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Local Heroes

Since 1990 hundreds of thousands of Aussies have taken to their streets, parks, beaches, bushland and waterways to remove accumulating rubbish.

In 2015 we launched the Hero Circuit, Ian Kiernan visiting seven special people who are representative of  those who have been involved for 25 years.

Each Hero was presented with Ian's favourite headwear - an Akubra cattleman, generously donated by Akubra

Lorna Plate - New South Wales

Born and lived in the Curl Curl area all her life, Lorna Plate is 91 years young.

Since the 1980’s Curl Curl Lagoon Friends with Council and State Government have worked on the rehabilitation of the Greendale Creek and the Curl Curl Lagoon. Lorna has been on the Executive of the Curl Curl Friends for the last 23 years.

She has been involved from the very first Clean Up Day and for many years managed the site at the Griffin Road Bridge.

The location is a very convenient site to send helpers off to areas that require attention around the lagoon and as far as the beach.  The Park St site is in the middle of John Fishers Park and is convenient for the collection of rubbish around the lagoon .  Many helpers register and pick up their bags from one site and leave the full bags of rubbish at the other.

Lorna's team sets up their stand at the  Greendale Bridge site on the northern side of the Bridge and at the entrance of the Alan Newton Reserve.  Alan Newton was a great Curl Curl Lagoon friend and an Executive member who spent many years helping to restore the Curl Curl Lagoon area.  This is the area in which Lorna and her team are actively involved in  bush regeneration.

Recruiting for the Day is via a newsletter to over 2500 members and residents.  The turn up can be from 50 to 100 or more at each site – weather of course often determines the numbers.

Joann Burns - Queensland

Passionate about removing rubbish from the marine environment, Joann has been involved  in the Boyne Island, Tannum Sands areas,  cleaning up roadsides, beaches, parklands and mangrove areas.  

She has been active since 1990 not only to picking up rubbish, but also organising industry clean up days and registering clean-up sites for the local Iluka Girl Guides and Canoe Point Outrigging Club.

Collecting with the Girl Guides is a great opportunity to do Service for the Community, while creating a learning opportunity, encouraging the girls to be more responsible citizens. 

A Gladstone local, Joann loves the natural spaces and closeness of the beaches.  Her children have also been involved since they were infants.

The majority of rubbish she and her team remove is plastic - straws, bait bags, lighters, lids, bottles along with pieces of netting and string.

David and Barbara Youngman - Tasmania

As they were spending more time at their Greens Beach holiday home David and Barbara became involved in  Clean Up Australia, registering a site along the beachfront, encouraging locals and holiday makers to get involved. They had a fair amount of work in the initial years and got nearby Kelso on the Tamar River to join them. Today, due to the ongoing help of the community,  they can clean in about an hour .

 Just prior to 2000 David was asked by Emile Johnstone. a Forester and our first Landcare Chairman ,to take over the reigns. He really learned so much from this experience., undertaking  monthly Working Bees, clearing large areas of pervasive South African bone seed along fore shore recreational parkland. It took about 5+ years, and Landcare maintaisn an eye out for any regrowth. Today the community is actively tackling enviromental challenges such as sand dune protection, weed removal from tracks and Sea Spurge. 

Douglas Lyall McColl - Victoria

The local pharmacist for over 50 years Douglas and his team annually clean up Yarriambiack Creek, Town entrances and ANZAC Park.

 A highly motivating gent, Douglas has brought together a number of local community groups including local Girl Guides, gardening groups, Rotary and Lions as well as school students - allocating areas across the town so all of Warracknabeal gets its annual autumn clean.

For the last 17 years the local Pharmacy window has been the focus of a local Clean Up display, featuring t-shirts, bags and other memorabilia of local Clean Ups.

It is with sadness that we, in 2017, record Doug's passing. We join the local community in saying farewell to a local hero who gave so much, brought people together, and fought for local improvements - all with a smile upon his face.
We have fond memories of time spent with Doug at the Civic Reception the Mayor of Warracknabeal held for Doug in 2015, when he charmed all present with his wonderful recollections, anecdotes and passion for a cleaner town.
Douglas Lyall McColl's spirit lives on with all who knew and worked alongside this Local Hero.

Val Percy - South Australia

Val started cleaning up the beaches along our coastal region when she and her husband used to fish in those areas.  

This progressed to the first clean up at Port Noarlunga  North of the Onkaparinga River Mouth, at a time when her volunteer duties with "Trees for Life" were centred in that region. 
Her TFL group decided to clean around Noarlunga Transport Interchange where they collected  a dozen or so bags each year for a number of years.  Some years later they moved to Dover Place and the car park on Marine Parade in Christies beach where they continue to collect glass plastics and general waste along the local beaches.

Andy Durant - Western Australia

Over the last 25 years Andy has organised schools based clean ups to keep this important forefront for his students and fellow teachers. 

At his last two schools  the environment has been a priority, with  recycling of many different materials becoming a focus.

 For Andy and his students, Clean Up Day is an extension and consolidation of these activities.

Regular assemblies highlight  keeping the environment tidy and free of pollution. Regular Emu Stalks of school grounds leave no stone unturned.

This focus has led to a greater awareness and overall the amount of rubbish in the school grounds has decreased. Visits from local waste management operators have reinforced the need for action to continue.
Swan View Primary School's bush regeneration project at the Woodbridge Creek [which passes through the property] has also reinforced the need for changing attitudes not only of students but also the wider community.
Even though we focus on cleaning up  on the official schools clean up day Andy and his green team practice the sentiments of the program all year round noting how important a clean environment is to their school, wider community and sustainability of the school programs.