Watch out Nhulunbuy: Australian Clean Beaches judge is on her way

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Tuesday 20 May 2014
Contact Vanessa Drysdale
Phone 0437 187 036


What: Keep Australia Beautiful National Clean Beaches judging
When: Friday 23 May 2014
Media Call Time: 8:30-9.00am
Location: Dhimurru’s Office Arnhem Road, Nhulunbuy NT 0881

On Friday 23 May, the Keep Australia Beautiful National Clean Beaches judge Averil Bones will visit Nhulunbuy, the Northern Territory Clean Beaches finalist.

The Dhimurru Aboriginal Corporation Rangers have proven themselves worthy to be the Northern Territory Clean Beaches winner, now they will go head-to-head with four other national finalists around the country to vie for the Keep Australia Beautiful, Australian Clean Beaches Award 2014.

As part of her judging tour, Ms Bones will tour through Nhulunbuy beach and up to Cape Arnhem to take in a number of key environmental projects and initiatives which earned the coastal region the Keep Australia Beautiful Northern Territory Clean Beach Awards title for 2014.

Dhimurru is a Yolngu organisation representing the 13 traditional owner groups or clans of the East Arnhem peninsular. Of the 21 staff employed by the organisation, 15 are Yolngu Traditional Owners and Custodians.

Each year, and for the last 13 years, Dhimurru undertake Australia’s longest running continuous marine debris survey and ghost net retrieval at Wanuwuy (Cape Arnhem). Marine sea turtles are the most vulnerable, who are particularly susceptible to entanglement in ghost nets.  Last year (2013 season), the rangers retrieved an average of 1 tonne of marine debris and ghostnets per km of beach.

The Clean Beaches program award communities 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 second year running said “there are so many reasons why the Dhimurru Rangers from Nhulunbuy has been chosen as the Northern Territory finalist 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 these 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 national 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.”

The national Clean Beaches judging takes place over the last fortnight in May, to then decide on the overall Australian winner. The current Australian Clean Beaches title holder is Currumbin on Queensland’s Gold Coast. This title will be passed onto the new 2014 winner at the Australian Clean Beaches Awards event to be held on 18 July at the Currumbin Surf Club.

Other Australian Clean Beaches finalists include:

  • Whyalla, South Australia
  • Raspins Beach, Tasmania
  • Fingal Head, New South Wales
  • Rainbow Bay, 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.

Official event sponsor for the Australian Clean Beaches Awards 2014 is Gold Coast City Council, and event supporter Currumbin Surf Life Saving Club. Keep Australia Beautiful is seeking category sponsorship for this worthwhile program.


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.

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