​Territory’s best: Titjikala on show in Tasmania

20 February 2015

A contingent of MacDonnell Regional Council staff from Titjikala is set to travel to Sheffield in Tasmania to represent the Northern Territory in the Keep Australia Beautiful Tidy Town Awards.

The small desert community of Titjikala is a finalist in the national awards now for the second year running. Previously they have been named highly commended for their Water Conservation and winners in the Heritage & Culture category against Australia’s best. This year the community’s efforts have increased as have their expectations for the national title.

During the last year Titjikala has established and achieved significant projects through broad community consultations delivering the following partnerships and actions:

  • National Australia Bank supported erosion control revegetation project
  • Melbourne University community engagement architecture development project
  • NT Government’s Territory Housing community fencing upgrades to 22 homes
  • Tangentyere Projects providing upgrades to sporting facilities at football oval and softball park through the Remote Jobs and Communities Program (RJCP)
  • Alice Springs Metal Recyclers commercial engagement incorporating the 7mate TV series Outback Truckers
  • Army Aboriginal Community Assistance Program (AACAP) set to deliver a community wide sewerage system that will replace individual septics tanks and reduce health risks in the low-lying flood prone community and other community development projects and activities

This list alone puts Titjikala in contention for a Community Action & Partnerships award while individual projects are also under consideration for Litter Prevention, Resource Recovery & Waste Management, Environmental Innovation & Protection, Energy Innovation, Young Legends as well as the for the Water Conservation and Heritage & Culture categories.

Among the travellers representing MacDonnell Regional Council and the Titjikala community:

Civil Works Team Leader, Douglas Wells whose innovation is at the heart of Titjikala’s Environmental Innovation & Protection award entry. Douglas salvaged and fostered Red River Gum seedlings found around the community that have since established and been successfully incorporated into an erosion control revegetation project and to provide wind breaks as part of the upgrades at the sports grounds.

Civil Works Assistant, Darren Wilyuka and MacYouth Team Leader, Lisa Sharman will be presenting a case study at the national awards titled Rubbish is not in our language about Titjikala’s Litter Prevention efforts. Lisa has also overseen the establishment of the Titjikala Youth Board which has been nominated for a Young Legends award.

Essential Services Officer, Alex Palmer was MacDonnell Regional Council’s first indigenous graduate from the vocational training course developed in conjunction with Council by the Power and Water Corporation and Charles Darwin University. He and Titjikala’s resident Councillor, Greg Sharman round out the contingent of locals travelling to the awards.

As is the tradition of the national Tidy Towns competition, the reigning winners Sheffield get to showcase their town as they host the current year finalists and the awards presentation.

Prior to their visit, MacDonnell Council staff arranged with the hosting Kentish Council staff, for an exclusive inspection of the Sheffield facilities and operations. This will give the desert visitors an opportunity to share knowledge with their island contemporaries. Keep Australia Beautiful official activities will follow, showcasing local business and organisational achievements.

Category winners and the 2015 National Tidy Town will be announced at a Local Gourmet Dinner in Sheffield on Friday evening 27 February. MacDonnell Regional Council and its stakeholders are hoping for a more national recognition for its winning community – while the residents of Titjikala would like to become known as Australia’s tidiest town!

Tellus Holdings, which recently received Major Project Status from the NT Government for the development of a salt mine near Titjikala, is happy to support the travel and accommodation for Titjikala community members to attend the National Tidy Towns Awards.

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