City of Marion wins Australian Sustainable City 2013

Australian Sustainable Cities Awards logo

Monday 18 November 2013
Media Contact Peter McLean
Phone 0416 227 158

City of Marion Overall

Ann Gibbons, Manager, Environmental Sustainability, City of Marion
Councillor David Speirs, Deputy Mayor & Coastal Ward Councillor, City of Marion
Joel Hayes, BeachCare Coordinator, Griffith Centre for Coastal Management
Rick Burnett, CEO, Keep Queensland Beautiful
Naomi Edwards, Coastal Community Engagement Officer, Griffith Centre for Coastal Management

The crowning of the City of Marion as the Keep Australia Beautiful, Australian Sustainable City 2013 has been welcomed as a well-deserved win for the city, which saw the South Australian city Deputy Mayor David Speirs accept the award at an event in the City of Cockburn, WA this morning.

The Award recognises City of Marion achievements in community and civic beautification, presentation, health, wellbeing and pride. It also recognises the partnerships between government, business, industry and local community networks.

  • The City also took home the Heritage and Culture category award for ensuring their cultural history is preserved and celebrated by a biennial free community festival that attracted more than 7000 visitors in March this year. The event highlighted the diversity of Marion with song and dance by diverse groups from countries such as Germany, India, Brazil, Africa and India.
  • The Sustainable Cities judge was particularly impressed how the city preserved its indigenous and European heritage. The City of Marion is one of only 360 organisations across Australia to make a public commitment to strengthening relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people after it recently launched its Reconciliation Action Plan. Actions include expanding consultation with the Kaurna community, using indigenous place names for upgraded parks and acknowledging country on emails and stationery. It also reinforces economic and health partnerships that support the local indigenous community.
  • The Young Legends category, for delivering 40 waste education presentations on recycling, waste minimisation and food waste to local schools and kindergartens, where student leadership groups are empowered to identify specific waste issues and plan relevant actions.
  • Indigenous youth program, Ngaityo Wodli, engaged with young people though the use of environmental themes. Sessions focussed on food, health and culture as a means of engaging with youth on values towards caring for country and a connection to Kaurna country. Fifty five students learnt about culture, cooking with native foods, growing native foods and participated in an organic gardening project.
  • The Highly Commended award in Environmental Innovation and Protection which recognises their well-equipped Council nursery that propagated some 13,000 indigenous plants last year for five playground redevelopments, two Planet Ark Tree day sites, community giveaways and various verge enhancements.
  • A Highly Commended Water Conservation award for sustainable water management within communities. The city has combined innovative water conservation and water re-use initiatives at the private, industrial and municipal levels, benefiting society and nature.

National Executive Officer of Keep Australia Beautiful, Peter McLean said, “it’s pleasing to see another year of high calibre National finalists. Each finalist exhibited strong innovation and partnerships which contributed to outstanding community sustainability outcomes.”

Cameron Little, the National Sustainable Cities Judge said “these awards form part of an incredibly powerful project and impressive amount of community involvement goes into them. The City of Marion performed extremely well, and it was difficult to separate the top two or three finalists.”

The awards allow for excellence in metropolitan sustainability projects around Australia to come together to share best practice, success, as well as challenges. During the event, each finalist was allocated time to present their project, followed by a tour of the City of Cockburn, the 2012 Sustainable Cities title holder.

Special guest for the awards was Josh Byrne from Gardening Australia. Born in Esperance on the south coast of Western Australia, Josh spent his early childhood years surrounded by some of Australia’s best coast and bushland. He is an environmental scientist with a passion for sustainable gardening, appropriate technology and innovative environmental design.

KESAB environmental solutions Executive Director John Phillips OAM said that “the City of Marion presented a strong submission highlighting the complexity of managing a large and diverse urban Council specific to environmental sustainability and community health and wellbeing. The submission highlighted commitment to sustainability through projects including Hallett Cove Community Library Centre, community grants, hard waste collection, food waste recycling, protection of biodiversity and coast care, and partnering neighbouring council City of Holdfast Bay with a $123 mill stormwater management plan.”

Having gone head to head with six other leading lights of sustainability from around the country, City of Marion will hold onto their title until the 2014 awards. The City of Cockburn earned the right to host the 2013 event after taking out the Overall Australian title in Kogarah NSW, last year.

The Australian Sustainable Cities Awards encourage, motivate and celebrate the local sustainability achievements of urban communities across Australia.

Keep Australia Beautiful Australian Sustainable Cities Awards Winners 2013

Category Winner Highly Commended Sponsor
Overall Winner City of MarionSouth Australia
Community Action and Partnerships LauncestonTasmania PSF
Dame Phyllis Frost Litter Prevention Brisbane City CouncilQueensland City of SwanWestern Australia PSF
Resource Recovery and Waste Management City of SwanWestern Australia PSF
Environmental Innovation and Protection Canberra Indian Myna Action GroupAustralian Capital Territory City of MarionSouth Australia
Water Conservation City of Canada BayNew South Wales City of MarionSouth Australia
Energy Innovation City of MorelandVictoria LauncestonTasmania
Heritage and Culture City of MarionSouth Australia City of Canada BayNew South Wales
Young Legends City of MarionSouth Australia City of Canada BayNew South Wales



For further information about the judge’s visit, please contact:

National Media Comment:        Peter McLean, National Executive Officer, Keep Australia Beautiful  Mob: 0416 227 158

National Media Contact:           Alice Morgan, Communications Officer, Keep Australia Beautiful  Tel: 02 8626 9396

About the Australian Sustainable Communities Awards

Keep Australia Beautiful seeks to lead, challenge and inspire all Australians to strive for a sustainable and litter free environment.  It does this through research, communications programs and awards programs.

Its national awards are known as the Australian Sustainable Communities Awards which consist of the Tidy Towns, Sustainable Cities, and Clean Beaches Awards.  Each awards program commences with state and territory awards and culminates in a national Grand Final event.

The Sustainable Cities Awards are open to metropolitan communities. Our major cities are home to 77% of the Australian population, and have absorbed 80% of the population growth over the last 40 years. They are heavily exposed to the impacts of climate change. While our cities are among the most liveable in the world, they lag behind on some aspects of sustainability when it comes to energy consumption, car dependence and equity, with a stark and growing divide between the opportunities available to residents of the inner suburbs and those available to residents in outer urban areas.

About Keep Australia Beautiful

Keep Australia Beautiful is the national peak body on litter prevention. With over four decades of experience in engaging Australians to care for their local environments, (not to be confused with the organisation Clean Up Australia Day) KAB Programs include Sustainable Cities, Tidy Towns, Clean Beaches, National Litter Index, The LITTLE Committee, National Bin Network and Keep Australia Beautiful Week in August.

The KAB National website is where all information on the organisation can be accessed including the National Litter Index which is Australia’s only independent nation-wide litter research.

The Australian Sustainable Cities Awards are sponsored by

The Australian Food and Grocery Council’s Packaging Stewardship Forum. The Packaging Stewardship Forum of the Australian Food and Grocery Council, works with partners across the nation to deliver industry recycling, litter reduction and education programs on behalf of its members, Australia’s major beverage companies and their packaging suppliers. The Forum’s highly successful Do the Right Thing anti-litter campaign is recognised by more than 80% of people.  More than 400 towns and cities around Australia are now taking the Do the Right Thing message to their communities.

About trophy

The Sustainable Cities and Clean Beaches 2013 trophies were hand carved and painted by Wez Champion of Loutky Puppets, using reclaimed wood. Wez’s workshop is in the same building as KABNA. Wez uses Czech carving techniques blended with Australian exotic woods and finishing techniques. He believes in a world where craftsmanship is priority, where individuality is an asset and a new standard of art is passionately created, passed on and treasured. The plaques were created by NPD The Print & Framing Gallery.

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