Pride in community

Presentation: David McInnes, Ann Vokes and Peter Earl. photograph supplied

Staff writers

MORWELL Rotarians and guests recently attended the Club’s annual Pride of Workmanship Awards night at the Morwell RSL.

Chairman, vocational director Ann Vokes, paid tribute to three local people who were recognised and rewarded for their dedication and commitment to our home environment.

Matthew Peake, Peter Earl and Anne Roberts all have very different interests and responsibilities in the environmental field, and each show true concern in what they do to protect and improve what we have so that we, and new generations, can appreciate and enjoy our own backyard.

Mr Peake, executive officer of Resource Recovery Gippsland, (aka Gippsland Waste & Recovery Group) has been identified by his peers as a leader in his field and one of the most committed and competent officers in the state.

The organisation works with six municipalities throughout Gippsland as well as state government, businesses, industries and most importantly, supporting environmental education in school communities.

Mr Peake has had to deal with many changes to government legislation and waste management structures and he has met every challenge efficiently and effectively.

Mr Earl’s background in environment issues was initially that of a volunteer growing and planting native plants.

Recently, since joining the Yinnar, Yinnar South Landcare Group, (YYSL) he has focused on restoring vegetation in the Middle Creek area following the 2019 fire and has become more active in environmental weeding and collecting local indigenous seed for propagation and direct seeding.

He plays a critical role in co-ordinating the group’s activities.

Mr Earl usually personally plants and grows 1500 seedlings a year, and due to COVID restrictions, undertook almost all of the 2021 YYSL planting in Middle Creek on his own with zero budget.

Thank you: David McInnes, Ann Vokes and Matthew Peake. photograph supplied

Ms Roberts has maintained her interest and dedication to the Crinigan Road Bush Reserve for over 23 years.

Despite many challenges along the way such as engaging volunteers and lack of interest from others, she is now seeing her years of hard work bringing about great improvements in the bush reserve.

The small group of four dedicated volunteers, during regular working bees, have planted over 3000 trees and shrubs and grasses over the past year.

They are immensely proud of their work and Ms Roberts is seen as the driving force that has brought about great improvements in the reserve.

All smiles: David McInnes, Ann Vokes and Anne Roberts. photograph supplied

The reserve is now fenced with roads and tracks formed, and public picnic facilities to enjoy.

Rotary president David McInnes presented the awards and citations to each recipient and commented how Rotary Club members appreciated the opportunity of recognising and thanking our local achievers who work hard to improve our community life.