Alby Wooler is the Queensland leader in sustainability
LONG-standing President of the Capricorn Coast Landcare Group Alby Wooler was one of more than 450 guests at the Minister's Awards dinner in Brisbane last week, but never expected to hear his name called for the Minister's Award for Leadership in Sustainability.
"It truly is an honour to receive recognition for our Junior Landcare Passport Program," Alby said, who initiated Junior Landcare at Yeppoon State School in the early 1990s.
Alby is tickled pink to have been nominated for the award and even more excited to have received the award above 26 other nominees, but he says the program and passport would never have got this far if it weren't for the support of many others.
"This year we were lucky to receive a Community Grant from Livingstone Shire Council and Keppel Bay Sailing Club allowing us to take the next step with a passport, and there have been many others working so hard behind the scenes for many years; I'm just so grateful for everyone who's supported it," Alby added.
"And winning a Minister's Award just blows my mind."
The 2015 judging panel used phrases to describe Mr Wooler's dedication like: "Combines passion, innovation and persistence through long-term grassroots leadership and collaboration, in this program among many, focused on empowering future leaders and professionals to embrace and widely advocate the benefits of living sustainably - an outstanding nomination."
With Alby on the night were three generations of the Wooler family including his grandsons, son-in-law, and cousins Jane Wood and Sue Wooler.
Also proud to join Alby were Yeppoon State School's Principal Christine Wilson and long-standing Junior Landcare teacher Judy Herold.
"We're simply thrilled for Alby and the group, and all past, present and future Junior Landcarers," Christine said.
"For a grassroots program from a small regional town to top initiatives by the likes of councils and big corporates is inspiring. It shows dedication and working together from the bottom up can achieve great things."
Junior Landcare started at Yeppoon State School in the early 1990s and has since spread nationwide and overseas.
At 84 years of age, its founder Alby Wooler still volunteers every school week with Yeppoon, Taranganba and Emu Park State Schools in their school veggie gardens, as well as leading yearly Wetland Discovery tours with all schools on the Capricorn Coast.
If you'd like to support Junior Landcare, contact the Capricorn Coast Landcare Group Envirolink office on 4939 1002 or email email@example.com. You can also follow the Capricorn Coast Landcare Group on Facebook.