Titjikala community spirit shines for National Tidy Towns judge

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MEDIA RELEASE
Thursday 12 December 2013
Contact Heimo Schober
Phone 0407 186 461
Email ceo@kabcnt.org.au

Titjikala

The desert community of Titjikala has proven it’s the Northern Territory’s 2013 Tidy Towns Winner and now its environmental efforts have put it in the running for this year’s Keep Australia Beautiful Australian Tidy Towns awards. The national judge Dick Olesinski visited Titjikala earlier this week as part of his judging tour, to compare it against six other finalists across the country.

The Australian Tidy Towns Program recognise the hard work undertaken by individuals and groups in rural communities and share these best practices and  ideas to continue to improve our important rural towns.

Dick Olesinski had a long and busy schedule prepared for him, as he visited a number of key environmental projects and initiatives in Titjikala that earned it the Northern Territory’s winner’s title for 2013. It’s also Dick’s 20th year in judging the national Keep Australia Beautiful Tidy Towns program, which makes him very much the expert when it comes to evaluating these initiatives against the national awards criteria which encompasses:

  • Community Action & Partnerships
  • ‘Dame Phyllis Frost’ Litter Prevention
  • Resource Recovery & Waste Management
  • Environmental Innovation & Protection
  • Water Conservation
  • Energy Innovation
  • Heritage & Culture
  • Young Legends        

Mr Olesinski said “I’ve seen Australia in all its splendour and variety. I’m constantly amazed by the commitment of people living and working in remote places to developing their communities, even after 20 years in the field.”

Keep Australia Beautiful Northern Territory CEO, Heimo Schober said “The people of Titjikala take great pride in their community and have a rich display of heritage and culture. The community has a special place in history, and the people share their country and heritage through their arts, crafts and sporting activities. The towns park, swings, school, offices, homes, store and buildings stand out and shine with immense pride.”

With a population of less than 300 residents, the community of Titjikala sits nettled among the red sand dunes of the Simpson Desert. With the formation of the Northern Territory shire councils in recent years, the MacDonnell Shire Council has become central and instrumental in reinvigorating that community pride and re-engaging the Tidy Towns competition.

Five years ago, when the MacDonnell Shire was formed, Titjikala did not have a regular rubbish collection. Households burned their waste in old drums on the street. This was not healthy or safe and the community struggled to be clean and attractive. The MacDonnell Shire Council set goals and objectives so that over a number of years all their communities would be cleaner, healthier and more attractive. Today Titjikala has a regular twice weekly rubbish collection that is safely disposed of at its waste management facility.

In response to these initiatives many sections of the community have become more involved to make Titjikala the clean and tidy town it is today. In response to its community owners’ requests, the Community Store is a willing contributor to the tidiness of Titjikala by introducing its owners’ proactive initiatives. Among other examples, the store replaced its use of complimentary plastic bags with paper bags to better manage the local environment.

Nationally, the Tidy Towns program received 360 entrants, and 1300 category submissions across councils, shires, community groups, schools and individuals. These figures have increased from previous years, when last year KAB received 300 entrants and 1180 category submissions.

The current Tidy Towns title holder is Victor Harbor in South Australia, and this esteemed award will be passed onto the new winner in 2014 at an event to be held there in early April.

State and territory finalists announced include Nundle in New South Wales, Mundubbera in Queensland, Sheffield in Tasmania, Wangaratta in Victoria, Walpole in Western Australia, and Kingston South East in South Australia.

The Australian Tidy Towns Awards are sponsored by The Do the Right Thing Program of the Australian Food and Grocery Council’s Packaging Stewardship Forum.

ENDS

EDITOR’S NOTES:

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

Judge Contact: Dick Olesinski. Mob: 0413 750 681 ecomarketing@senet.com.au

National Media Comment: Peter McLean, National Executive Officer, Keep Australia Beautiful peter@kab.org.au  Mob: 0416 227 158

National Media Contact: Alice Morgan, Communications Officer, Keep Australia Beautiful alice@kab.org.au  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.

About the Australian Tidy Towns Awards

These awards encourage, motivate and celebrate the achievements of rural and regional communities across Australia. Each year state and territory winners are announced between August and November. They then receive a visit from the Australian Tidy Towns Judge and the Australian Tidy Towns Awards are presented in April/May.

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

About the judge – Dick Olesinski

Richard, or Dick as his friends and colleagues call him, conducts an environmental management support consultancy in South Australia for business, industry, community groups and government agencies. He also consults to the retail industry to initiate environment improvement policies, as well as to KESAB (Keep South Australia Beautiful) and Natural Resource Management boards in Adelaide.

His projects include implementing environmental initiatives for the construction industry together with coordinating business, industry and community environmental education programs.

The Australian Tidy Towns Awards are sponsored by:

The Do the Right Thing Program of 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.

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