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The Community Environment Network’s 2022 Be A Team (BAT) Award winners, announced at its annual networking night last week, included a list of quiet achievers and well-known agitators, all working to protect sustainability and the environment on the Central Coast.

BAT Award categories include:

  •           Best 12th Man or Woman – someone who has worked tirelessly in the background to help others in the front line
  •           Rookie of the Year – a newcomer to the conservation movement who has contributed to our region’s environment and sustainability
  •           Most outstanding community-based organisation – a group that has worked tirelessly on behalf of the environment and sustainability
  •           Most outstanding allrounder (the BAT Award) – a person who has put in a valiant effort on behalf of the environment and sustainability

The 2022 winners were: Ellen-Jean (EJ) Kidd, Best 12th Woman, for her Land for Wildlife volunteer work; Lesley Harvey of Grow Urban Shade Trees (GUST) as Rookie of the Year; and the Coast Environmental Alliance (CEA) as most outstanding community-based organisation.

The recipients of the 2022 Most Outstanding Allrounder (BAT Award) were Ann and Stephen Parsons from the Pearl Beach Crommelin Native Arboretum.




EJ (Ellen-Jean Kydd)

BAT awards with EJ

EJ has worked tirelessly as a Volunteer in CEN Wildplant Nursery and as our Land for Wildlife Administration coordinator. At the Wildplant nursery, EJ has been involved in collecting seed, propagating seedlings from cutting and seeds and been an important part of the team at Wildplant Nursery at Central Coast Wetlands, Pioneer Diary.

EJ does all the administration work for Land For Wildlife in NSW.  She handles all phone and email enquiries about the program, liaises with both LFW members and regional providers.  There are currently 2600 LFW members in NSW and for the past years she has been in this position she has processed many hundreds of new members.  New members have to be entered in our database and sent information about the scheme.

EJ’s work is crucial for the LFW program in NSW.


Lesley Harvey

BAT awards another winner

Lesley joined Grow Urban Shade Trees (GUST) a few years ago.  Her enthusiasm is unstoppable.  Lesley applied for a Federal grant to plant a tree to commemorate HRH Queen Elizabeth in her 70th year as monarch. Her application was successful and the Queens tree was planted on 3rd November this year on the Woy Woy foreshore with Dr Gordon Reid MP and Leisel Tesch MO in attendance for unveiling of the plaque.

Lesley is to be congratulated for her perseverance and creativity in leaving a significant legacy for future generations to enjoy.

As a member of GUST, Lesley has made contributions to several projects but this one she managed completely on her own.


The Coast Environmental Alliance

BAT awards 2022 Jake Cassar w Sam Gary and John

CEA started in 2009 as Save the Sacred Lands at Kariong on Facebook. Around three years ago changed its name to Coast Environmental Alliance, founded by Bushcraft teacher, youth mentor and musician, Jake Cassar in response to a proposed development at Kariong Sacred Lands, also known as Bambara (meaning forest in an Aboriginal language). In 2010 Jake, with the support of local Aboriginal Elders successfully defended Kariong Sacred Lands in the Land and Environment Court. After illegal clearing of one of the blocks not long after, CEA set up an activist camp on Woy Woy Road for 89 days and leveraged the promise from the then Liberal State Government’s Catherine Cusack to “Secure Bambara’s Future”. CEA ran over 40 peaceful community rallies and concerts and eventually had the land gazetted to national park.

CEA also supported local legend Sue Chidgey in stopping the selloff of 25 local parks and reserves. It ran three large rallies with hundreds of people in response to Wallarah 2 coal mine approval and featured on an SBS and ABC documentary about it. It also helped establish Camp Quoll and campaigned against the sand mine next to the Walkabout Wildlife Sanctuary. Established Camp Eagles Nest and saved the Eagle’s Nest and surrounding bushland. Supported locals at Glenning valley to downsize a massive development there. CEA members helped to track and relocate over 150 native animals during the bushfires. CEA officially listed koala sightings from around the Central Coast and liaised with Government ecologists to give data to support local koala studies.

CEA works closely with Traditional Custodians to protect sacred sights and vulnerable bushland and are currently working with TCs to defend another area of Kariong Sacred Lands and C2 land from development. CEA believes that a focus on good and consistent public engagement on social media, issuing regular press releases, having regular events and doing the hard yards in the background has been the key to their success


Ann and Stephen Parsons

BAT award winners 2022 with Sam Willis John Asquith and Gary Chestnut

Ann and Stephen Parsons of Pearl Beach immediately became members of Crommelin Native Arboretum since settling here permanently in 2009. 

Anne joined a Coastal Hazards Committee and was instrumental in getting the Pearl Beach Lagoon being within the remit for the study of lagoons on the Central Coast and contributed strongly to the subsequent ecological studies of the lagoon. 

Anne was instrumental in obtaining a grant of $20000 from the Commonwealth government for project to promote native bee conservation and examining the feasibility of re-introducing koalas into Brisbane Water area. The project was refocussed to one ensuring habitat support for both koalas and native bees in the Arboretum.

Stephen has been a member of Pearl Beach Bushcare since 2009 and has superbly led the team for almost 10 years. Stephen has also been a member of the Arboretum Management Committee.  Stephen has organised and run Clean Up Australia since 2010 and also removes litter all year round from the local roadsides in and around Pearl Beach.

Throughout their time in Pearl Beach, Ann and Stephen have participated in local environmental acitivites including CEN, Arboretum working bees, arranging guest speaker, managing environment focussed functions and fund raisers and encouraging others to join the Arboretrum, Bushcare and Cleanup days through the Web, Facebook and through local media

Contact details

CALL 02 4349 4756

PO Box 149 Ourimbah NSW 2258

FM Building, Central Coast Campus,
University of Newcastle,
Loop Road, Ourimbah,
NSW, 2258


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