Santa Teresa travelling “overseas” for awards ceremony

1 April 2019

Hoping to win the 2019 Australian Tidy Town Award for their remote Aboriginal community, proud residents of Santa Teresa will fly from the Northern Territory to Tasmania to attend the gala national Tidy Towns awards ceremony this week.

Among the residents travelling will be Traditional Owner and Assistant Teacher Nora Hayes, Atyenhenge Atherre Aboriginal Corporation (AAAC) CEO Susie Lowe and Ltyentye Apurte Catholic Education Centre Deputy Principal Justin Colley, along with MacDonnell Regional Council civil workers Darren and Melvyn Young. The entourage will travel with great hope for their community to be successful on the national stage at the awards ceremony being held in Smithton, Tasmania on Friday 5 April.

“ We think this is the best place to live in central Australia, we love it here ” Santa Teresa radio broadcaster Phillip Alice said.

The remote Aboriginal community is competing against the best towns in Australia from each state after being critically assessed by the national Tidy Town judge as she made her way around the country. Judging was against nine categories and Santa Teresa’s track record suggests they can be confident of recognition.

Their new waste management facility is best practice in remote Australia and could see them rate well in the Resource Recovery and Waste Management category.

Their use of a smart computer to monitor the community’s water supply and identify issues as they emerge could see them rate well in the Environmental Sustainability – Water category.

The community’s increasing use of solar lighting and power could see them rate well in the Environmental Sustainability – Energy category.

The Ltyentye Apurte Catholic School’s efforts to educate children, through making posters and a brochure to teach the whole community about cleaning up and with practical exercises outside the classroom like community working bees, qualify it in both the Dame Phyllis Frost Litter Prevention and the Young Legends categories.

Traditional Owner and Assistant Teacher Nora Hayes says “ We have done a lot of things at school. The kids have designed posters that reminds everyone to pick up rubbish and how to recycle. We also have regular working bees as part of Eco Schools Program. ”

After last year’s national Tidy Town judge’s assessment, MacDonnell Regional Council undertook to improve young people’s understanding of how their community can be more sustainable.

Through consultation with community leaders, stakeholders and constituents MacDonnell Regional Council agrees that children in its communities are key to making environmental change into the future.

To help make this happen, MacDonnell Regional Council engaged the creators behind the ABC children’s television presenters – dirtgirl, scrapboy and Costa the garden gnome – and acquired their Get Grubby program for use in all its early learning centres and participating schools.

“ The school also does the interactive online learning program Get Grubby. dirtgirl and Costa know a lot about looking after the environment. We were lucky to have them visit the schools. The kids from the early learning centre and the older ones from MacYouth also do the program,” Traditional Owner and Assistant Teacher, Nora Hayes said.

The enthusiasm of the television presenters and the application of this program throughout the community could see Santa Teresa rate well in the Environmental Communication and Engagement category.

Along with this the work done by the Ltyentye Apurte Rangers to manage fire, waterways and biodiversity could see the community rate well in the Environmental Sustainability – Natural Environment Management category.

Or as the Get Grubby program’s dirtgirl says “ Its all about caring for country. ”

Several MacDonnell Regional Council communities have previously won the Heritage and Culture category in recent years. From the famous Keringke Arts Centre to AAAC’s program to research and preserve its early buildings, to the iconic Catholic church, Santa Teresa is well represented.

Finally, a program range including a men’s shed program, pregnant women and young mums program, nutrition program, horse program and even the Melbourne Football Club’s investment into greening the Santa Teresa oval, all stack up well in the Community Health, Wellbeing and Interest category.

When Santa Teresa was named the 2018 Territory Tidy Town it became the territory finalist in the national Tidy Town competition.

Judging against the nine categories for the national title took place in Santa Teresa earlier this month with the results of the judge’s visit to be announced at the gala dinner ceremony hosted by Australia’s reigning national Tidy Town, Smithton, in Tasmania on Friday 5 April.

A contingent of Santa Teresa residents and MacDonnell Regional Council staff will fly from Alice Springs on Wednesday 3 April to attend the awards.

“ Our thoughts and best wishes are with the Santa Teresa representatives travelling to the awards. I’m sure the hard work and effort put in by the whole community will be rewarded ” MacDonnell Regional Council CEO Jeff MacLeod said.

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