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April 2020 Green Skills News 

A message from Laura Bird, our Green Skills State Manager, on receiving the AIM WA Pinnacle Award for Green Business Excellence 2019-2020
 I felt extremely privileged accepting the RAC Pinnacle Award for Green Business Excellence for 2019-2020 on behalf of the Green Skills team. This award recognizes the amazing work all our staff and volunteers have put in over the past 30 years, from Denmark to Perth to Albany. Together we work as a driver of change for sustainable communities; providing skills, workshops and leadership in revegetation, weed management, energy efficiency, water efficiency, waste reduction, social connectedness; and most importantly enabling people to ‘be the change’ they want to see in their community. We look forward to increasing our outreach through future working partnerships and collaborations with others who are similarly seeking to enable sustainable communities.

Denmark Community Garden celebrates first Birthday anniversary
The Denmark Community Garden coordinated by Green Skills in collaboration with the Denmark CRC, celebrated its first anniversary in March 2020.
 
Garden workshops with Neal Collins have been held regularly since the garden started with local horticultural tutor Neal Collins. Over 120 people have attended workshops during the year. Recently a shade house and green house as installed at the garden by contractor Matt Egan and community garden volunteers. This was funded through grant from the WA Government’s Department of Communities and will allow an expanded range of education and horticultural activities. Because of Covid-19, workshops have been suspended for the current time, but will resume as soon as possible.
 
The Garden is supported by Green Skills, the Denmark CRC, Lotterywest,  WA Department of Communities, Kwoorabup Denmark Transition Town Network, the Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal, the Denmark Community Windfarm Group Sustainability Fund, Metroof, Thornton's Hardware & Mitre 10, the Denmark Men's Shed, other organisations & many volunteers.    
Graham Mason inspects the seedling trays in the newly erected shade house of the community garden
CLIMATE SCIENCE EVENTS
Climate Science and Our Future
In March, Green Skills organised two events in Albany  with renowned science broadcaster Robyn Williams (pictured left above). The first was in collaboration with the the CIty of Albany Library and the second with University of Western Australia.
The ABC Science Show with Robyn Williams will be broadcasting two young Climate Action leaders from Albany, Rebecca Ford and Patrick Webster. Both of these outstanding young people spoke with Robyn Williams at Climate Science & Our Future, organised by UWA and Green Skills for the recent South Coast Festival of Birds and Biodiversity. They presented to a packed house at the Kalyenup Studio at the Albany Entertainment Centre on Tuesday 10th March  2020.
Rebecca’s speech is planned to be broadcast in full on 4 April, and Patrick’s speech on 18th April 2020. See the ABC Science show website at https://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/scienceshow/  for  further information..
 
About these young Climate Action leaders….
Patrick Webster
(pictured above right speaking to the audience at the UWA Climate event)
Patrick Webster is an Albany local, graduating from Albany Senior High school as prefect and head boy in 2019. He is a connected part of the Albany community including being a volunteer at the Albany Hospice, a member of the Headspace advisory council, a soon to be WA Debating League adjudicator in the Albany division and a regular volunteer in sustainability and climate action events, He is undergoing a gap year this year and plans to move up to Perth for University in the following year.  He was a key motivator for the Albany schools climate strike in 2019 and took part in the City of Albany community engagements, planning the future sustainability of the Emu Point to Middleton beach coast. Patrick plans to volunteer overseas at some stage this year, with ecosystem management in South America top on his list.  He is a keen promotor of sustainable lifestyles and passionately believes the change that is needed begins from the individual up. He enjoys picking up rubbish with family, swimming at the beach and playing the Saxophone in his down time. 
 
Rebecca Ford   
Rebecca is a 16 years old and in year 11 at Albany Senior High School (ASHS). She is very much involved with community engagement as she is part  of the Albany Youth Advisory Council, local speech and debating groups,  and is an ASHS student leader. She is also part of the ARDL Skate Like A Girl program for roller derby.
SOUTH COAST FESTIVAL OF BIRDS AND BIODIVERSITY SYMPOSIUM 13 MARCH 2020
2020 Birds and Biodiversity Festival Symposium and YouTube Videos
 
On 13th March 2020, Green Skills held the Festival of Birds & Biodiversity Symposium Symposium at UWA in Albany. Over 70 people attended the event.
 
The symposium was opened by Aunty Carol Petersen, local Mineng elder, and continued with a range of science and community based speakers. Viv Read, chair of BirdLIfe Western Australia, launched the WA Bird Conservation Network at the event.
 
A couple of YouTube videos were made of two outstanding presentations delivered at the Symposium, video footage captured by Denmark film maker Michael Hemmings working with Green Skills Basil Schur.  Please watch the following presentations at the links provided:
 
“Biodiversity on the International Stage: Inspiring Change Around the Globe”
Dr Judith Fisher

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wd_qa5dMQgs&feature=youtu.be
 
and  “Restoration Genetics: lessons for conservation”
by Professor Stephen D Hopper

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e6va9vSavmw
 
The event was supported by Lotterywest, Green Skills, Birdlife Australia, UWA-Albany, and  the Great Southern Development Commission.
 
2020 SOUTH COAST FESTIVAL OF BIRDS AND BIODIVERSITY WRAP
2020 South Coast Festival of Birds & Biodiversity wrap
From January through to mid March, Green Skills and BirdLife Australia ran the eighth annual South Coast Festival of Birds and Biodiversity, It featured an array of inspiring events showcasing the unique and beautiful bird fauna of the south coast of Western Australia, held in and around Albany.
 
Examples of some Festival of Bird & Biodiversity events included:
  • Gondwana Art Exhibition and Boodja Film showing at Yongergnow Malleefowl Centre, Ongerup
  • The Festival of Birds Symposium   
  • WA Museum Albany hosed an art exhibition, Feathered Fishers & Others with the stunning artwork of Albany artist, Sylvia Harrison. 
  • The Albany Library  presented a free evening talks by Anne Bondin (BirdLife Australia) and Paul Wettin including  “Rare and Endangered” on Thursday 5th March 
  • Shorebird Bird ID Workshops hosted by BirdLife’s Dr Vicki Stokes provdied information on our amazing shorebirds, how to identify them and how to contribute to annual surveys. Two sessions were scheduled in Denmark and Albany.
  • Free Bird Tours facilitated by BirdLife Australia, highlighting special bird habitat areas; includes a walk at Lake Seppings in Albany on Monday 2nd of March, a workshop to learn how to identify birds by their calls on Wednesday 11th March. Go birdwatching with BirdLife Australia on Tues 10th March and learn about resident and migratory shorebirds.
  • A field trip to Waychinicup to learn about threatened species including the fate of the Western Ground Parrot was held on  9th March 3-8pm, hosted jointly by BirdLife/ Friends of the Western Ground Parrot. Regional ecologist Sarah Comer was the key presenter on the day.
  • Other tours included a weekend Gondwana Link Bird and Eco Restoration Field Trip   
  • The Great Cocky Count, the biggest single survey for black cockatoos in Western Australia, continues this year with information workshops in Nornalup   29th February and Denmark on 1st March
The free SunSmart Albany Kite Fiesta 2019 scheduled on Sunday 29th March had to be postponed due to Covid-19.
 
See the festival website
www.birdfestival.greenskills.org.au 
 
This Festival was supported by Lotterywest, The Great Southern Development Commission, Museum of the Great Southern, Green Skills, BirdLife WA, UWA- Albany, South Coast NRM, Friends of the Western Ground Parrot, WA Department of Biodiversity Conservation and Attractions, Albany Bird Group, Gondwana Link Ltd, Yongergnow Malleefowl Centre, Bush Heritage Australia, Conservation Council of WA, The Koorabup Trust & others.
 
Biodiversity conservation on Glendavale Farms as part of Gondwana Link
Above right: Stuart Hocking with group at recently completed fencing of Banksia woodland
Above left: Stuart Hocking & Bill Thompson on farmland with 2 year old revegation in the eco-link


Since 2017, the Hocking family has partnered with Green Skills, Greening Australia, South Coast NRM,WA Government's State NRM Program and the Australian Government's National Landcare program to protect and build key biodiversity eco links.  In these troubled times, it is good to report on a farming family scoring goals when it comes to biodiversity conservation.
Recently Green Skills visited Glendavale farms, a 4300 ha broadacre cropping and sheep property near Boxwood, about 130km NE of Albany, in the heart of Gondwana Link's FItzy to Stirling country. Stuart Hocking showed us how progress is going with collaborative bushland fencing and eco-link revegetation projects on this farm. The property retains over 500 hectares of remnant vegetation and is strategically situated between Bush Heritage's Monjebup Reserve and the Pallinup River.
Bill and Jane Thompson, of neighbouring Yarroweyah farm, and Hannah Bannister, South Coast NRM's Regional Ecologist also joined in the tour.  5km of fencing was recently completed as part of a Green Skills’ facilitated project.
Gondwana Eco Tour Highlights
This 2 day bus trip in March  included visits to special eco-restoration sites: Chingarrup Sanctuary, Monjebup and Red Moort Reserves (Bush Heritage Australia), Wetlands with Australasian Bittern habitat near Manypeaks and a farm beside Warriup Swamp, Green Range. Altogether about 22 people were engaged in different aspects of the tour. Presenters included  Sylvia Leighton and Peter McKenzie (Wilyun Pools) , Angela Sanders (Bush Heritage Australia ecologist) , Eddy & Donna Wajon,  Dr Vicki Stokes (BirdLife WA) and PLaxy Barratt ( Birdlfe WA).  One highlight was staying at the Wilyung Pools Farm, and being graciously hosted by Sylvia and Peter.
Top left: Dr Vicki Stokes and group at Chingarrup Mallefowl mound
Top right: Eco tour at Chingarup Ochre cliffs
Bottom left: Plaxy Barrat and group at Chingarrup Mallefowl mound
Bottom right: Gondwana Tour at Bush Heritage's Monjebup property with Angela Sanders
KEEPING AN EYE ON SYDNEY GOLDEN WATTLE
THE GREEN SKILLS 2020 SUSTAINABLE COMMUNITY FESTIVAL SCHEDULED TO BE HELD IN THE ALBANY TOWN SQUARE SATURDAY 21 MARCH  2020 and THE SUNSMART ALBANY KITE FIESTA ON 29 MARCH 2020 HAS BEEN POSTPONED TO AN UNSPECIFIED FUTURE DATE DUE TO COVID-19 EPIDEMIC CONCERNS.  GREEN SKILLS IS INVESTIGATING OPPORTUNITIES FOR RUNNING SOME EVENTS ONLINE. WATCH THIS SPACE...
Denmark Tip Shop closed until further notice

due to COVID-19 trading restrictions

Dear Denmark Tip Shop customers and valued visitors
Green Skills greatly regrets having to close the Tip Shop during this COVID-19 epidemic period. Green Skills assures you that we will reopen as soon as the Federal Government lifts the current restrictions placed on non-essential business trading. Our staff and customer’s safety is our primary concern and because we can’t ensure social distancing protocols as required under government regulations, we have decided that it is the right thing to do to close the Tip Shop.
PLEASE do not throw away those items that you would otherwise donate to the Tip Shop but keep them in storage to donate to us when we reopen. We will be relying on our Denmark community’s support to help us re-build our Tip Shop into the thriving community business that it has been and will be as soon as we reopen.
PLEASE do not leave any items at the Tip Shop gates, as we are not accepting goods at this time, and items left will just become a mess for someone to have to clean up when we open the gates to you all again. We will keep you posted on when we hope to reopen, but until we hear from the government, we cant give any definite reopening date at this time. We are still accepting any spare tip passes, please bring these to the Denmark office.

Green Skills thanks you for your valued support to date, and we look forward to reopening and re-building our Denmark Tip Shop and revitalising our community when these difficult times are over.
 
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Our mailing address is:
denmark@greenskills.org.au

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Green Skills Inc · PO Box 577 · Denmark, WA 6333 · Australia

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