Now in its 18th year, the Eco Awards celebrate ordinary people doing extraordinary things to conserve the local environment and the volunteers who spend their time enhancing the regions diverse and valuable natural habitat.
We received 30+ nominations across eight categories this year, reflecting a strong focus on the environment and the need to protect our area’s unique, natural assets.
Over 100 eco-heroes and community members attended Mona Vale Surf Club on 8 June 2023 as we revealed the winners of the 2023 Northern Beaches Eco Awards.
To further embrace sustainability, the eight winners’ trophies were crafted from reclaimed blackbutt timber
Congratulations to the 2023 winners and highly commended awardees.
Caring for our Bushland
Winner: Jenny Wilson
Jenny has contributed countless hours in her 20 years working as a volunteer at the North Head Sanctuary Foundation and native plant nursery. Jenny continues to assist with the revegetation program for the nationally endangered Eastern Suburbs Banksia Scrub.
Caring for our Waterways
Winner: Malcolm Fisher
Mal is well know for his efforts to Save Manly Dam back in the 90’s as well as establishing the volunteer Bushcare group for the Mermaid Pool which adjoins Manly Dam. This group has removed tons of rubbish, planted hundreds of native plants and trees, and has worked to remove invasive weeds for over 20 years.
Caring for our Coast
Winner: Janet Kershaw
Janet has contributed to protecting, preserving, and enhancing Bungan Beach's local native vegetation and fauna, watercourses and dunes. She continues to lead others and personally nurture the care of this very significant remaining Northern Beaches biodiverse coastal community.
Highly Commended: Rosanna Perillo-Boutin
Rosanna is the organiser and manager of the Ocean Action Pod, a multimedia education experience that has been created to engage both adults and children with the growing problem of plastic pollution. Take a tour of the ‘Ocean Action Pod’ and meet Ocean Action heroes - learn more about the trouble the ocean is in and why it needs your help.
Caring for our Native Animals
Winner: Gary Pattinson
During his 19 years as a WIRES member, Gary has attended to the rescue of more than 800 native animals, mostly snakes and other reptiles. Gary has contributed to the organisation as a whole with uncountable hours of volunteer work fulfilling many roles within WIRES.
Highly Commended: Murray Sharp
Murray has been a dedicated Penguin Warden in Manly for more than 20 years, protecting the Little Penguins and educating the community about the threatened population.
Sustainable Resources Award
Winner: Louise Williams
Louise is a founding President of the Baringa Bush Community Garden in Seaforth. Her continuous and dedicated involvement since its inception has ensured that the garden has moved from strength to strength. The garden remains organic, sustainable and zero waste, a fantastic sustainable resource for the community.
Sustainability & Climate Change Award
Winner: Christina Kirsch
Christina has worked tirelessly to raise public awareness of climate change and to bring renewable energy to the Northern Beaches. She has spearheaded the concept of locally produced, decentralised clean energy production. Her sense of commitment and courage has inspired other community members to join the organisation she has created and now leads.
Individual Achievement Award – Youth (16-25yrs)
Winner: Nicholas Chambers
Nicholas volunteers an incredible amount of time towards environmental conservation causes. He represents the Narrabeen Ward on the Northern Beaches Council Youth Advisory Group and has promoted environmental conservation and sustainability for young people throughout the Northern Beaches.
Individual Achievement Award – Lifetime (25+yrs)
Winner: Keelah Lam
Keelah is a well known, active and passionate environmental campaigner and follows her mantra of living sustainably, with solar panels, a water tank, chooks and a veggie garden as just some of the features at her home.
She is a true Eco Hero, having started the Manly Food Co-operative back in 1997 to provide the community with good organic produce. Keelah has mentored numerous environmental volunteers at the Co-op over the years, the Co-op has a Waste Free Shopping Ethic, eliminating plastic packaging from the shop and reusing and recycling glass and other packaging.
View Categories information
- Caring for our Bushland
Recognises individuals who are working to conserve and restore Northern Beaches bushland and promote biodiversity of native flora species.
- Caring for our Waterways
Recognises people who are protecting or improving the condition of our receiving waters, riparian areas and aquatic ecosystems including lagoons, creeks and estuaries.
- Caring for our Coast
Recognises individuals who demonstrate initiative in protecting, restoring and enhancing our marine and coastal ecosystems.
- Caring for our Native Animals
Recognises individuals committed to protecting Northern Beaches native animals - marine and terrestrial. Individuals may be providing direct care for wildlife or indirectly, for example improving the ecological condition of key habitats, reducing the impact of pest species or working to improve our wildlife corridors.
- Sustainable Resources Award
Acknowledges an individual or community organisation whose vision is to rethink how we sustainably manage our resources by reducing waste or re-using, repurposing or recycling used materials, with demonstrable results of diverting a significant amount of waste from landfill or extending the life of used materials.
- Sustainability & Climate Change Award
Acknowledges those who have taken active steps improve sustainability or respond to climate change, for example by taking part in Council’s Charge Ahead program to reduce their carbon emissions, or are working to ensure the community is more resilient to the effects of climate change.
- Individual Achievement Awards
Youth - Acknowledges a young person between the ages of 16 and 25 who has demonstrated a dynamic approach to increasing awareness and taking action on environmental conservation or resource issues either at school or in the community.
Lifetime - Recognises a person or persons who have devoted more than 25 years of their time to our natural environment, and for their demonstrated ongoing commitment to maintain, conserve and improve our unique environment on the Northern Beaches.