Community spirit makes Scone a winner, says Lynda

May 17, 2023

The national Keep Australia Beautiful Award ceremony on King Island tomorrow (May 19) will be attended by Scone Tidy Towns president, Lynda Posa, the proprietor of Plants On Main, and Belltrees Public School principal, Shane Roberts.

Both will also be among the speakers at the event. Committee members Lynne and Laurie Ring will also be making the trip to King Island.

Scone was named NSW Tidy Towns Sustainable Community winner in March. As well as the Overall Award, Scone took top honour in the categories of Wildlife and Habitat Conservation for the Garden Club’s ‘Highways and Byways’ Program and Heritage and Culture for the Scone Literary Festival.

Belltrees Public School’s impressive ‘Regenerative Agriculture at Belltrees’ program was awarded category winner for Communication and Engagement. Their ‘Dirty Dusty Paddocks to Water Wonderland’ project was highly commended in the category of Waterways and Marine Protection.

Belltrees was also highly commended in the Young Legends category for their inspiring ‘Paddock to Plate, Garden to Classroom’ program which helps students grow produce to eat in class and sell in the school’s marketplace.

Lynda said she had no expectations of taking out a national title, but was excited about attending the awards – not to mention visiting King Island for the first time.

“I have no expectations because we are very new at this,” she said.

“With the interruption of Covid, we’ve only been going for two years and it would be a huge surprise if we took out a national award.”

The committee’s success has been the result of a big effort by a small number of people.

“But look at Belltrees School, they are proof that some of the biggest ideas come from the smallest organisations. That small school deserves all the accolades that have come their way – and more.”

Naturally, she’d love to see more people to get involved with the Tidy Towns committee but understands that every community organisation in the Upper Hunter is desperate for new members.

“What I’d like to see more of is the crossing-over of members of local organisations to support other committees that are having a major event. If we can come together to lend a hand to make it a success everyone benefits.”

Scone businesses will soon have the chance to promote their town as a State (and hopefully, national) Tidy Towns winner. After a suggestion from the Scone Chamber, Scone’s Tidy Towns committee has arranged for Keep Australia Beautiful to create artwork for window decals.

The Keep Australia Beautiful Tidy Towns and Sustainable Cities awards programs have been running since 1981, encouraging, recognising and rewarding local communities, councils, businesses and schools for reducing litter, increasing recycling and beautifying and improving their local environment. Murrurundi and Singleton won the award in 2019 and 2021 respectively.

While the team is hopeful of a national win, Lynda Posa believes the depth of community spirit shown in the local Tidy Towns programs makes Scone a winner already.

“As a collective, we can all work together to achieve great community outcomes.”.