2008 Port Phillip and Western Port Landcare Awards
Category: Individual Caring for Private Land
Winner: Penny Roberts
The 2008 Port Phillip and Western Port Landcare Awards were held on Saturday 6 September at Zinc in Federation Square and the 11 winners announced in front of 250 guests.
The Awards celebrate Landcare Week’s Landcare Heroes and focus on the thousands of volunteers making a difference by tackling some of the big issues in Melbourne’s landscape and catchment environments.
Penny Roberts was awarded the Individual Caring for Private Land category. She is the immediate past President of the Newham and District Landcare Group and owns a 220 hectare property in Newham with partner Hilary.
Since they moved there five years ago they have fenced off 35% of their property and planted over 2,000 indigenous plants per annum, with emphasis now on under-storey species, grasses and flowers. In 2007-08 they planted over 5,000 plants and in 2008-09 they aim to plant a further 8,000 indigenous species.
Penny is an avid seed collector which helps ensure that group funded projects and plantings on her own property use local provenance plants. There are a number of purpose planted beds around the Roberts’ property specifically to enable easy seed collection.
Penny has been part of the Group’s vision to develop a bio-link of indigenous vegetation from the Cobaw Range to Mount Macedon. While Penny was President the Group’s membership grew from 40 to 95 households. She has played a pivotal and innovative role in Group’s effective emphasis on the social side of Landcare to involve new landholders. She has organised property planning sessions and has helped build a sense of community through Landcare related activities and planting sessions with the local primary school.
All winners of the Port Phillip and Western Port Landcare Awards will go on to be nominated for the 2009 Victorian Landcare Awards.