In Summary

  • Students Bivek Inderjeeth and Shanon Watkins were recognised for their commitment to environmental stewardship in 2019
  • Bivek won the Claude Crockford Environmental Award for his work as a horticulturist at The Eastern Golf Club
  • Shanon is part of the Woka Walla Land Management Crew, which won the Victorian Landcare Award for Indigenous Land Management 

Swinburne Conservation and Land Management students Bivek Inderjeeth and Shanon Watkins were both recognised for their commitment to environmental stewardship this year.

On the green

Bivek is a horticulturist at The Eastern Golf Club in Victoria’s Yarra Valley. He was instrumental in the build of the golf course, and is now responsible for the maintenance and enhancement of the course and its surrounds, including the club’s private nature reserve and the river bank.

Bivek won the 2019 Claude Crockford Environmental Award, issued by the Australian Golf Course Superintendents' Association (AGCSA).

The award is named in honour of Claude Crockford, a former superintendent at the Royal Melbourne Golf Club and a champion of golf course environmental management. It recognises golf course managers’ commitment to sustainable land management, long-term environmental planning, community involvement and overall environmental stewardship of their golf course.

Bivek was chosen for the award based on his commitment to environmental stewardship and to fulfilling his club’s philosophy of creating an environment in harmony with the broader landscape.

“It is an honour to be recognised across Australia for my work and to represent The Eastern Golf Club,” says Bivek.

Bivek hopes to continue to have a positive impact in environmental management and encourages others to be more eco-conscious when tending to their own property.

“The best time to plant a tree was ten years ago, the second best time is now,” he says.

Caring for country

Shanon Watkins is part of the Woka Walla Land Management Crew, which operates across Yorta Yorta Country, including Echuca, Shepparton, Benalla and Wangaratta, as well as more broadly in northern Victoria. Its work includes revegetation, fencing to protect remnant vegetation, pest plant and animal control, seed collection, flora and fauna surveys, cultural heritage identification and protection, and cultural burning.

“It was always my dream to be an Indigenous ranger and being a part of the Woka Walla Land Management Crew is as close as it gets,” says Shanon.

Conservation and Land Management student Shanon Watkins and the Woka Walla Land Management Crew.‌Shanon Watkins (third from left) and the Woka Walla Land Management Crew were recognised at the 2019 Victorian Landcare Awards | Image: Landcare Victoria/ Facebook

The Woka Walla Land Management Crew won the Indigenous Land Management Award at the 2019 Victorian Landcare Awards

Shanon and the other four crew members were presented with the award by the Governor of Victoria Linda Dessau, and Victoria’s Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change, Lily D'Ambrosio, at a ceremony at Government House.

“It’s fantastic to have others realise the good work that we do,” says Shanon.

The Woka Walla Land Management Crew will represent Victoria at the 2020 National Landcare Awards in the Indigenous Land Management Award category.

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