THREE community groups and a leader in indigenous education are among south-west nominees for the 2014 Victorian Regional Achievement and Community Awards.
The Basalt to Bay Landcare Network, which works in the Warrnambool and Moyne areas, and the Middle Island Maremma Project have both been nominated for the environmental sustainability award while Warrnambool’s F Project has been nominated for the community group of the year award.
Bronwyn Ferguson from Naringal has been nominated for the leadership and innovation award.
The awards encourage and acknowledge the valuable contributions made throughout regional and rural Victoria.
Winners will be announced at an awards gala presentation dinner at Docklands stadium on Friday, October 24.
The F Project is an artist-run initiative and was established in Warrnambool in 2008.
It provides people in the south-west community with opportunities to engage with and appreciate the arts by building networks between artists and the broader community.
Last year it took on a lease of a former funeral home in Timor Street in Warrnambool to create “The Artery”, a place for artists to have studios and exhibit work.
The Basalt to Bay Landcare Network started in 2007 and has been instrumental in the development of landscape scale revegetation plans with industry in the Warrnambool and Moyne local government areas.
As part of its aim to focus on priority sites where there are species of significance, it has begun a project of integrated pest management and monitoring to protect the southern brown bandicoot in a 32-hectare reserve at St Helens, north of Port Fairy.
The Middle Island Maremma Project is a partnership between community and local government that took the world-first step of using Maremma guardian dogs to successfully protect little penguins.
The Maremmas have helped reverse a dramatic decline in the little penguin numbers on Middle Island where the penguins were being attacked by predators.
Bronwyn Ferguson has been a leader in providing Aboriginal culture awareness in early childhood learning for two-year-olds through to year 6 pupils throughout Victoria.
She has also helped train educators and created indigenous-themed games and resources to enhance educators’ teaching abilities.