On World Environment Day Environment Minister, Matt Kean has announced the winners of the NSW Environmental Citizen of the Year Awards.
Griffith based food-rescue group, Hampers of Hope, has taken out the award for NSW Environmental Citizen of the Year, with a Year 7 class at Coonabarabran High School receiving the top honour in the NSW Young Citizen of the Year category.
Mr Kean highlighted the importance of the awards in promoting community champions and grass root organisations.
“From recycling and litter reduction, to creating community gardens and protecting our oceans - the calibre of this year’s nominees is extraordinary. I commend the winners, and all nominees for their initiatives to conserve the environment while growing community spirit,” Mr Kean said.
“Both Hampers of Hope, for their work in the Griffith region and the students at Coonabarabran High are making a real difference in their local communities and setting an important example for others to follow.”
Hampers of Hope is being recognized for its work creating more than 130 hampers per week, providing hundreds of individual meals per day to disadvantaged people.
The Coonabarabran High School D7 Support Unit Class’ have been acknowledged for their environmental leadership in developing eco-sustainability programs and their significant contributions to the Return and Earn Program.
“The youngsters are an inspiration to all schools around the state with special thanks to Warrumbungle Shire Council for their nomination of the students,” Mr Kean said.
Chair of the Australia Day Council of NSW, Andrew Parker, congratulated both winners, saying the addition this year of the Young Environmental Citizen of the Year is to empower the next generation of environmentalists.
Now in its third year it is sponsored by Return and Earn - the largest litter reduction program ever undertaken in NSW with more than 5.6 billion bottles and cans returned for recycling.