Celebrating 30 years of the Best Friend Award
This year we celebrated the 30th Anniversary of the Best Friend Award and congratulated our Best Friend Award winner for 2021, Nina Earl from Friends of Bradshaw Bushland Reserve, who exemplifies the attributes of our Best Friends with a long term and sustained commitment to environmental volunteering. A short video of the online presentation ceremony can be viewed here.
As part of the 30th Anniversary, we prepared a special edition newsletter which highlighted the work of many Best Friend Award winners and their characteristics (leadership, inspiration, support and dedication to name a few). They are the person who is always present weeding or planting trees, the person writing grant applications, the person organising morning tea, the person mentoring and inspiring others, sharing their environmental wisdom freely. We strongly encourage you to nominate someone from your Friend Group for next year’s award.
The volunteer work of Friend Groups is vitally important to our Victorian ecosystems and biodiversity of our landscapes.
“Our efforts may be local, they may not seem like much, but together they make a patchwork of care, and caring for country is everything” – Laura Mumaw
Best Friend Award Winner:
Nina Earl, Friends of Bradshaw Bushland Reserve
Nina is held in extremely high regard by her extensive networks and ‘Friends of’ colleagues. She has volunteered for the environment for more than 22 years. She has been a member of Friends of Bradshaw Bushland Reserve in Mordialloc since 1999, serving as vice president and is also active with Friends of Mordialloc Catchment in the Mordialloc Creek Reserve, Yammerbook Nature Reserve and Epsom Conservation Reserve.
Nina’s advocacy is determined, respectful and effective. She was one of a group of people instrumental in Kingston Council purchasing a development site for a bushland reserve that was the last remaining patch of coastal vegetation in the area. Nina consulted with the local Bunurong people to have land in Aspendale Gardens renamed after the Aboriginal leader, Yammerbook. And Nina helped to save rare grassland at the centre of the old Epsom horse training track.
“The flora and fauna of this country is so rich and interesting, the landscape and prehistory too. The Mordialloc catchment was once a great wetland that rivalled Kakadu. I didn’t grow up here, so the learning curve has been steep, but the opportunity to protect remnant vegetation and restore the original plant communities of the area is so rewarding,” Nina said.
Nina has been resourceful in attracting funding to environmental projects. She has been an influential presence in Kingston – a champion for the local environment and for her community.