Garig Gunak Barlu an Australian Clean Beaches finalist

Clean Beaches Program Logo

Thursday 4 June  2015



Garig Gunak Barlu

Garig Gunak Barlu (2)

Representatives from Garig Gunak Barlu National Park, on the Cobourg Peninsula, are eagerly anticipating the arrival of the Keep Australia Beautiful National Clean Beaches judge, Averil Bones on Tuesday 9 June.

Famous for being the world’s first Wetland of International Importance under the Ramsar Convention, Garig Gunak Barlu National Park has proven itself worthy to be the Keep Australia Beautiful, Northern Territory Clean Beaches representative.

Jointly managed by the Iwaidja speaking peoples of the Cobourg Peninsula and Parks and Wildlife Commission NT, the Park will now go head-to-head with five other national finalists around the country to vie for the Keep Australia Beautiful, Australian Clean Beaches Award 2015.

As part of her judging tour, Ms Bones will experience firsthand a number of the key environmental projects and initiatives at Garig Gunak Barlu, which earned the coastal region the Territory title:

  • Endangered marine turtles
  • Marine debris removal – Conservation Volunteers
  • Indigenous /Non-Indigenous Culture and Heritage (Aboriginal, Macassan, and European)
  • Park species program management.

The annual Clean Beaches program award communities and organisations who actively work for a cleaner, more sustainable coastal environment. Awards are presented to local councils, volunteers, surf lifesaving clubs, rangers and other community groups who implement initiatives that care for dunes, waterways, protect habitats, educate the community, reduce litter, preserve and value culture and heritage, and support tourism.

Ms Bones, who is judging this awards program for the third year running said “there are so many reasons why Garig Gunak Barlu has been chosen as the Northern Territory winner of the Keep Australia Beautiful Clean Beaches program, and therefore they will be very competitive when the national judging takes place. I can’t wait to visit and see all their achievements first hand.”

Ms Bones will evaluate these initiatives against the national awards criteria which include community action and partnerships, litter prevention, resource recovery and waste management, environmental innovation and protection, water conservation, energy innovation, heritage and culture, and a youth participation and engagement award which are all individually given scores out of 100.

Peter McLean, National Executive Officer for Keep Australia Beautiful said that “each of the Australian Clean Beaches finalists has demonstrated significant outcomes in a range of sustainability projects and activities and the national program allows each of them to learn even more from leading projects in other states and territories.”

Heimo Schober, Chief Executive Officer for Keep Australia Beautiful Council Northern Territory said that “Territorians can be very proud of the fantastic work the Garig Gunak Barlu Rangers have carried out in the National Park over the years, keeping the beautiful sandy beaches, lagoons, rainforests, grasslands, mangroves, swamps, sea grass, coral reefs and sparkling blue waters clean, and teeming with life.”

“The Park protects many rare species and is just absolutely beautiful and it also has a very interesting ancient and contemporary history.  They deservedly are NT Clean Beaches Finalists and will certainly present with initiatives that will give the other state finalists something to think about.”

The current Australian Clean Beaches title holder is Nhulunbuy, in the top end near Gove.  This iconic title will be passed onto the new 2015 winner at the Australian Clean Beaches Awards event to be held in Darwin on 14 August.

Other Clean Beaches finalists include:

  • Port Julia, Yorke Peninsula , South Australia
  • Bondi Beach, New South Wales
  • Richardsons Beach, Tasmania
  • Guilderton, Western Australia
  • Burleigh Heads, Queensland

Through the Clean Beaches Awards Program, Keep Australia Beautiful share expert knowledge and experience to empower those who care about our beaches to actively work towards a cleaner, more sustainable marine environment.

The Australian Clean Beaches Awards are sponsored by the Department for the Environment.


For further information please contact:

Judge Contact:

Averil Bones Australian Clean Beaches judge 0437 864 153

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  Ph: 02 8626 9396


About the Australian Clean Beaches Awards

Clean Beaches is a fun, competitive program to help keep Australian beaches and shorelines litter free and sustainable. Launched in 1998, the competition challenges Australia’s communities to prove they have the nation’s cleanest beach. Hundreds of beaches and shores enter this competition every year.

Clean Beaches takes a whole of community approach and covers many elements of community life. When all the community entities are working well together, to best manage their beach environment, it is often reflected in Clean Beaches success.

About the judge – Averil Bones

Averil Bones has worked as an environmental activist for over ten years, including with WWF-Australia and Humane Society International. She has served on a range of committees and boards including the NSW Government’s Natural Resources Advisory Council and the Prime Minister’s Roundtable on Water Reform. She has participated as a volunteer in a wide range of community projects, for example the Australian Humpback Whale Survey and turtle population surveys on Australia’s east and west coasts.

Averil is an active member of her local community garden, and has recently completed work with the Commonwealth Government developing inter-jurisdictional climate change adaptation policy. She holds a Bachelor degree in Communication and a Masters degree in Political Economy.

Comments are closed.