Awards and recognition

We appreciate the army of people caring for and managing Crown reserves, and acknowledge their work and commitment through awards and long-service recognition.

Call for nominations now open

Nominations are now open for the 2021 NSW/ACT Community Achievement Awards. The Department of Planning, Industry and Environment – Crown Lands (the department) wants to recognise outstanding volunteers who devote their time to help manage Crown reserves on behalf of their communities. Crown land managers can apply for the following two award categories:

  1. Crown Land Manager Excellence Award – This award recognises a Crown land manager (the organisation) that exemplifies outstanding community service ethos, dedication and commitment to their communities.
  2. Individual Excellence in Crown Land Management Award - This award recognises an individual volunteer involved in the management of Crown land that exemplifies outstanding community service ethos, dedication and commitment to their communities. For more information and to nominate for an award category, visit the Awards Australia website

An awards presentation will be held on 19 November 2021, at the Fairmont Resort & Spa, Blue Mountains.

A $2,000 prize package will be awarded to award category winners at the event and all nominations will receive a certificate of achievement.

Nominate now.

Nominations close 11 August 2021.

Want to recognise someone but don't have the time? Simply refer someone to the award organiser — it takes only two minutes to complete the form and the award organiser does the rest. Nominees will be contacted to complete the questions. It’s that easy!

2020 Winners

Crown Land Manager Excellence Award: The Cobargo Showground Land Manager

The Cobargo Showground Land Manager manages the Cobargo Showground, which has become a symbol of a determined and resourceful community. The Land Manager is a seven-member volunteer committee responsible for the care, control and management of the Showground for the benefit of the wider community. Supported by Bega Valley Shire Council and the NSW RFS, they are now working on a project to build a much-needed modern community facility, which will also be a bushfire and disaster refuge. During the New Year’s Eve bushfire, the Land Manager immediately opened Cobargo Showground, turning it into a safe haven for relief, support, comfort and friendship.

Individual Excellence in Crown Land Management Award: Kim MacDonald of Bobin Hall

Kim MacDonald of Bobin is the Vice President of the committee that manages Bobin Hall, a Crown Lands asset managed by the local community. During the November 2019 bushfire, Kim and her partner Gary lost their own farmhouse as they protected the Hall from fire using only a garden hose. Despite being forced to live a considerable distance, Kim ensured that the Hall had the resources to offer those who had nowhere else to go. She established the Hall as a bushfire recovery centre and arranged for the loan of a generator to provide power to the Hall and for a cool room for food storage.

2020 Finalists

Crown Land Manager Excellence Award

Bobin School of Arts is based in Bobin Hall, an asset of Crown Lands that is managed by the local community. For years, it has become a social centre, evacuation centre, donation centre and was a recovery centre for families severely impacted by fires. Local residents purchase a $5 annual membership to the Hall. A committee with five permanent positions oversees the Hall, plans social event and fundraisers such as an active recycling program, and organises repairs or improvements. A subcommittee is elected to assist with building maintenance and administration. The Hall’s survival of the 2019 bushfires became a vital rallying point for the community.

Glen Innes & District Historical Society Inc proudly serves as custodian of the Glen Innes & District community. For fifty years, the Society has served as Land Manager and operator of the Land of the Beardies Museum History House & Research Centre, which opened in 1968 and is listed as a heritage building. The Land of the Beardies is a folk museum, safekeeping artefacts, maps, photographs and other historical and cultural items of the Glenn Innes community. By providing archival storage, the Society functions as a chronicle via the recording and informing of successive generations. The Society currently has 248 members, with around 45 actively volunteering within the museum.

Hunter Multicultural Communities Inc. of Waratah manages the Reserve that provides a safe space for the aging, vulnerable, at-risk youth, disabled and multicultural individuals and groups. HMCI, formerly the Ethnic Communities Council of Newcastle and Hunter Region, is a not-for-profit benevolent organisation, originally founded to support new, emerging and established communities from a culturally and linguistically diverse background. They have over thirty employees and 100 dedicated volunteers. HMCI’s new CEO, Annette Gebhardt, has transformed the Reserve into a true community hub that encompasses a sustainable diversity community garden. During the pandemic, they joined with Harris Farms, Meals on Wheels and OzHarvest to deliver food hampers.

Individual Excellence in Crown Land Management Award

Barry Cumpstay of Lillian Rock was fundamental in the construction of the Hanging Rock Hall. For over thirty years, Barry has been involved with the Hall, which was built by volunteers on the Wadeville Reserve when Wadeville Hall burnt to the ground in 1984. As member of the board of management, he assists in decision-making and maintaining the energy and focus required for pro-active development. A master builder and manager of workers, Barry he provided a constant provision of tools, knowledge and skills in the creation of the Hall, leading volunteers and overseeing quality control. The Hall was recently listed as a Heritage Building in Kyogle Shire.

Neil Rose of Norah Head has been a board member of Norah Head Lighthouse Reserve for seven years. As current Land Manager Board chairperson, Neil ensures all areas of the Reserve are maintained and protected according to relevant legislation. He manages Reserve finances in conjunction with the Treasurer, ensures maintenance and repairs are carried out, makes sure the Reserve is available and safe to visit and enjoy and ensures publicity to maintain rental income. For over thirty years, Neil has been active in the community, holding positions as Councillor, Deputy Mayor and Mayor of Wyong Shire Council and Deputy Chair of the former Reserve Trust.

William West of Bribbaree has been tirelessly working for the Brisbbaree Showground for 37 years. He was Chairman of the Showground Trust for 13 years and was the Secretary/Treasurer since 1997. At 72, William hopes to continue supervising the use of the Showground, cleaning up after each event, cleaning toilets, checking tanks and pump water and ensuring the grounds are in pristine condition for the next five years. With his extensive knowledge, he is often called upon if power fails or water pipes burst. William has drawn up comprehensive maps of the power and water systems to let others understand the workings of the ground.

2019 RACA

Find out about our 2019 RACA winners and finalists

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