The ACT Environment Awards celebrate the efforts and accomplishments of environmentalists and environment groups, and the contributions they have made to the environment in the ACT and beyond. We were pleased to celebrate the 2020 award winners – Annie Close, Frederick McGrath Weber and the National Parks Association – at the Conservation Council’s Online Spring Dinner.

2020 Environmentalist of the Year

Annie Close

Annie has been actively involved with the group for several years. She founded and has led the Artivism group within 350 Canberra to create more than 100 banners for use at public rallies and marches. She has also played a central role in creating and selling merchandise to finance the climate movement in the ACT.
Annie is a dedicated member of the 2XX FM Community Radio team that produces and presents “Behind the Lines”, where she has helped highlight climate activities and local climate groups. Although the impacts of COVID-19 have restricted her ability to record in studio, Annie is working to expand her reach and audience, and is currently learning to make podcasts about environmental and climate issues.
Annie is a founding activist and strong campaigner for the #StopAdani Canberra movement. At national and international levels, she has assisted to persuade over 65 major companies to choose the climate, water, and our natural wonders over Adani’s coal. At a local level, she has spent hours leading action on the street and creating materials for distribution at events.

2020 Moira and John Rowland Young Environmentalist of the Year

Frederick McGrath Weber

Frederick has been heavily involved in the quest to improve sustainability on his family farm, Majura Valley Free Range Eggs. Following bushfires, COVID-19 and significant personal loss, Frederick has persevered to reduce waste and drive sustainable innovation in Australian egg production.
Under Frederick’s leadership, everything at Majura Valley Free Range Eggs is moving towards minimal waste. In addition to designing new and innovative mobile chicken sheds that are rotated around the farm to improve soil fertility, he has also developed the Majura Valley Natural Compost and Worm Castings, where farming bi-products including compost are sold in biodegradable hessian bags and recycled buckets from the Riverina Feta.

Frederick is an active volunteer for a number of community organisations, including Girls on Bikes. He recently ran a community workshop with the Molonglo Catchment Group to collect rubbish along the Molonglo River. He is now developing a sculpture with the rubbish collected, due to be displayed at Stromlo Cottage later this month.

Amongst many other commitments, Frederick’s current project is reusable egg cartons. His concept for a reusable egg carton has several universities interested, and the project will hopefully get underway next year.

2020 Conservation Council Member Group of the Year

National Parks Association of the ACT

Following a two and a half year campaign by the NPA against feral horses, the ACT Legislative Assembly this year declared a revised “Namadgi National Park Feral Horse Management Plan”. This follows many hours of time and funding from NPA volunteers.
The NPA ACT has also contributed to enhancing local knowledge of Namadgi National Park and increasing community engagement in the Park’s protection through the publication of various nature guides and bulletins, citizen science studies, nature walks, press releases, Namadgi Park tours and submissions to Government.
This year, the NPA facilitated a Young Nature Photographers Competition, which successfully collates a broad range of unique photos of the ACT environment, taken by young local ACT residents. The winning photos are now displayed at the Canberra Museum and Gallery and on various online media platforms.