Santa Teresa shines as the Territory Tidy Town

10 November 2018

The Grand Ballroom of Darwin’s SkyCity casino shone from the community pride displayed by the Santa Teresa representatives at the gala awards ceremony when their community was named the Territory Tidy Towns.

After being highly commended and named winner in several categories at the Keep Australia Beautiful (NT) Tidy Towns awards this evening, the remote Aboriginal community of Santa Teresa was named the 2018 Territory Tidy Town.

Established as a Catholic Mission in the 1950s, Santa Teresa became home to people from Alice Springs and a mission at the former gold mining town of Arltunga. Today MacDonnell Regional Council provides services for about 600 residents at Santa Teresa including rubbish collection and tip maintenance, internal roads maintenance, parks and open spaces and sporting grounds.

Mostly speaking Eastern Arrernte, Santa Teresa residents are a close knit community with great civic pride. Known locally as Ltyentye Apurte, meaning stand of beefwood trees, the country surrounding the community is rich in rock art, artefacts and ceremonial sites. Residents of the community 85km south east of Alice Springs are driven to promote various clean and sustainable initiatives that keep their community tidy and welcoming.

“Santa Teresa has won Tidy Town awards in different categories over the years – so its great that it is now named the Territory Tidy Town”, said MacDonnell Regional Council President, Roxanne Kenny.

The entire community has embraced the responsibility to keep their community clean. While the local Civil Works team of the MacDonnell Regional Council provides the backbone for getting things done, they are well supported by the efforts of the residents. The good people of Santa Teresa have embraced MacDonnell Regional Council’s development of their waste management processing and engage where possible with their own initiatives.

There is also strong community support coming from the community’s own Atyenhenge Atherre Aboriginal Corporation (AAACorp) and the Ltyentye Apurte Catholic Education Centre and Church. Residents regularly engage through many of their own projects and initiatives such developing their community store precinct, a local hairdresser business, a horse program for students and the annual Santa Teresa Race Weekend.

When MacDonnell Council formed ten years ago many communities didn’t have a regular rubbish collection and households burned their waste in old fuel drums in the street. Today communities compete to best impress the judges and MacDonnell Regional Council has gone from strength to strength in its achievements and in the Territory Tidy Town awards. At this year’s awards ceremony they once again emerged as the major winner of the evening:

  • Having won Best Medium Community Santa Teresa then won the major Territory Tidy Town award qualifying it to represent the Northern Territory at the National Tidy Town awards in Smithton Tasmania next year.
  • Santa Teresa also won the Community Participation award while the Lytentye Apurte Catholic Education Centre won the Territory Tidy Town School award and its Deputy Principal Justin Colley was awarded the Territory Tidy Town Citizen award
  • Santa Teresa was also commended in the Litter Management and the Resource Recovery categories
  • The Finke community won the Resource Recovery award and the Waste Management award, and was commended in the Community Participation and the Culture and Heritage categories
  • Imanpa and Hermannsburg were both commended in the Litter Management and the Community Participation categories
  • Areyonga was commended in the Territory Tidy Town School category
  • while Wallace Rockhole won the Best Small Community award
  • and the MacDonnell Regional Council won the Best Regional Council award for the fifth consecutive year

MacDonnell Regional Council’s record is strong – consistently winning the Best Regional Council Award since it was introduced in 2014. This achievement reflects the high standards set in its remote communities and includes the top honour of consecutively being named a Territory Tidy Town winner: Finke in 2017, Areyonga in 2016, Mt Liebig in 2015, and Titjikala in 2014 and 2013.

A healthy competition among MacDonnell Regional Council’s 13 communities means that staff achievements are rated very highly when judged against the rest of the Northern Territory. In many aspects of local government and service delivery in remote Australia, MacDonnell Regional Council is seen as a leader and innovator by stakeholders and peers.

“I knew our communities were doing great work – but to be told, five years running, that we are the Best Regional Council suggests we are doing something right!” said MacDonnell Regional Council CEO, Jeff MacLeod.

MacDonnell Regional Council also congratulates its neighbour, the Alice Springs Town Council, and particularly it’s Rediscovery Centre that was named the Mobile Muster winner at the Territory Tidy Town awards.

download media release as PDF