Tasmanian Community Achievement Awards

2020 Tasmanian Community Achievement Award Winners


Prime Super Employer Excellence in Aged Care Award

Community Care Tasmania of Launceston are a not-for-profit care provider who has delivered services to older Tasmanians and people with a disability in their homes for over 30 years. They have a team of 35 dedicated office staff and 150 part-time support workers. Their staff enjoy flexible working arrangements and an Employment Assistance provides access to external counselling. All staff have extensive training in their respective roles and office staff have lift desks and gym equipment to improve physical wellbeing. Staff are encouraged to bring their house-trained pets to work and are provided with short-term staff loans in periods of financial stress. 

Presented by Senator the Hon Richard Colbeck, Minister for Aged Care and Senior Australians, Minister for Youth and Sport.

Prime Super Business Achievement Award

East Coast Cruises of Triabunna is committed to developing the tourism in Maria Island. Established by marine biologist and fisheries’ scientist Mike Davis, East Coast Cruises specialises in offering cruise and walk day tours to Maria Island National Park and Ile Des Phouqes Nature Reserve. Aboard the “Spirt of Maria”, guests disconnect from ordinary life to immerse themselves amongst remote natural landscapes and reconnect with nature. East Coast Cruises contributes over $350,000 to the Triabunna community and over $450,000 to the Tasmanian economy each year. They are a six-year TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence awardee and a major influence to the strong development of tourism at Maria Island.

Presented by Senator the Hon Richard Colbeck, Minister for Aged Care and Senior Australians, Minister for Youth and Sport.

Tasprint Community Group of the Year Award

Harvest Launceston Community Farmers' Market is a not-for-profit that has grown to become the premier destination in Tasmania for sourcing local produce. Established in 2012, Harvest is led by a 10-member volunteer Board, a management team of three, and more than 160 registered volunteers. In 2020, Harvest transformed, reinvented and sustained a local community event from a weekly Saturday morning farmer’s market on asphalt to an online platform that generated more than $220,000 amid the pandemic crisis. On Mother’s Day, Harvest worked with a local cycling club for a flower delivery drive. They saw over $4,000 in sales and donated delivery fees to the Benevolent Society.

Presented by Lydia Andrews, Business & Operations Manager, Tasprint.

MAIB Disability Achievement Award

Judy Huett of Burnie advocates for human rights of people with a disability. Judy was the first Australian person with an intellectual disability to go the United Nations in Geneva to talk to the UN Committee about the 2013 UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. She has actively worked in the Independent Advisory Council and the Intellectual Disability Reference Group, advising the National Disability Insurance Agency board from the lived experience of a person living with intellectual disability. Judy works with the Speak Out Association of Tasmania and is an Asia Pacific member of Empower Us Action Group, an international inclusion group.

Presented by Teena James, Injury Management Advisor, MAIB.

Heather & Christopher Chong Outstanding Achiever Award

Leigh Higgins of Bruny Island has been committed to volunteering since 1959. Leigh has dedicated 60 years of voluntary service for Ambulance Tasmania, the SES, TasFire, Bruny Island Councillor and Kingborough Councillor. He helped St John’s establish ambulance stations in Burnie, Launceston and in the rural town of Avoca. Leigh helped educate new ambulance volunteers and he was instrumental in establishing the Police Boat Jetty on Bruny Island. Leigh retired in 1991 as Principal of Bruny Island District High School. He has been a recipient of the Kingborough Citizen of the Year Award, Peter Parssey Memorial Award and the Australia Day Ambulance Service Medal.

Presented by Alderman Heather Chong, Deputy Mayor, Clarence City Council.

EPA Sustainability Award

Neville Smith Forest Products Pty Ltd of Mowbray has invested in a pellet production facility and has so far removed 3,000 tonnes of timber processing residue from landfill. Timber waste such as dust, off-cuts and sawdust decompose and release methane into the environment whilst in landfill. The pellets, a form of bioenergy heating are distributed to retail outlets for consumers who use pellet consuming devices in their homes. Because of the high burning temperature and efficiency of most pellet heating devices, harmful emissions are captured as soot and disposed of during the routine cleaning process. Pellet heating technology provides both environmental and cost benefits.

Presented by Warren Jones, Chair of the Board, Environment Protection Authority.

Get Moving Tasmania Physical Activity Award

Surf Life Saving Tasmania, Hobart is passionate about promoting inclusivity. As part of a larger Special Needs Inclusion Strategy, they created the Starfish Nippers Come and Try Program. The Program provides young people with disabilities and serious illness, the opportunity to participate in a recreational activity, reduce aquatic injury and death and provides a long-lasting sustainable aquatic inclusion strategy. The Starfish Nippers Come and Try Program has allowed 20 volunteer 'Lifesaver Buddy's and 16 children with disabilities and their families to meet new friends and connect with other families and support networks. New funding has been received to extend the program to 400 participants statewide.

Presented by Kate Kent, Deputy Secretary Communities, Sport and Recreation, Department of Communities Tasmania.

Fonterra Australia Agriculture Award

Tasmanian Women in Agriculture of Launceston has revolutionised the perception of farming women for over 25 years. TWiA is a grassroots organisation that educates, strengthens and empowers rural women who are passionate about agriculture. They have a paid membership of nearly 300 and over 2,500 women in the network. TWiA organises Beyond the Farm Gate Tours and promotes farming innovations. They actively collaborate with industry stakeholders and contribute to the State Government’s COVID-19 Agricultural Response Group meetings. In March 2020, TWiA launched the #BuyTasmanianFirst campaign to connect producers with consumers. In April 2020, their Onfarm to Online eLearning Program helped set up online farm shops.

Presented by Darren Smart, Regional Manager, Tasmania, Fonterra - Farm Source.


The 2019 winners were announced at a Gala Dinner Presentation on Friday 22nd November at the Hotel Grand Chancellor, Hobart!


The winners were...

Heather & Christopher Chong Outstanding Achiever Award

Don McCrae of New Town has tirelessly supported those without a voice. Don is a founding member of JusTas, an organisation that seeks to promote justice, best practice and valuable outcomes for the community and returning citizens. He is a member of organisations such as the Shelter Tasmania board, Housing with Dignity, Greater Hobart Homelessness Alliance, Breaking the Cycle/Throughcare Reference Group and Glenorchy City Council Safer Communities Advisory Reference Group. He is an accredited suicide awareness trainer and a Research Officer/Presenter with the domestic violence program “Start Today Again.” He supports the Salvation Army Supporting Housing/Housing Connect and the Street To Home – Primary Homelessness Outreach Service.


Don McCrae presented by Heather Chong, CEO, QEW Orchards


Ricoh Business Centre Hobart Community Group of the Year Award

The Headstone Project (Inc.) TAS of New Town believes that ‘no veteran should be written off’. The Headstone Project is run by a small group of nine volunteers and twenty-five financial members who came together after finding out that there were First World War veterans lying in unmarked graves at Cornelian Bay Cemetery, Hobart and around Tasmania. The Headstone Project aims to ensure that these men are commemorated in an appropriate way at their point of burial by providing a simple pedestal headstone and a plaque. They have secured grants from the Federal and State Governments and have so far honoured and held service for 425 First World Veterans.


The Headstone Project (Inc.) TAS presented by Lydia Andrews, Business & Operations Manager, Ricoh Business Centre Hobart


MAIB Disability Achievement Award

Mark Lesek of Moonah is passionate about helping others who have lost limbs, since he became an amputee as a result of a road accident. He explored ways to regain his function, from developing his own prosthetics to eventually having osseointegration, a surgical procedure to connect a prosthesis directly into the end of a residual limb. Mark is the first Australian to have arm osseointegration and one of a selected few to have Targeted Muscle Innervation, where the amputated nerves are transferred to activate the remaining muscles. He is now an inspirational public speaker who encourages others towards the path of osseointegration.


Mark Lesek presented by Teena James, Injury Management Advisor, MAIB


Prime Super Business Achievement Award

Australian Honey Products Pty Ltd of Launceston is passionate about the honey business. They are a family owned supplier of honey products to Australian and international markets. Owner and Master Beekeeper Lindsay Bourke returned to beekeeping at the age of 60 with only 90 hives. Since then, it has grown to over 4,000 hives, making them the largest honey producer in Tasmania. In 2015, they obtained a government grant to build a new processing facility. Part of the grant was to start a Trainee Beekeeper Program in partnership with TAFE Tasmania. They won 2016 National Agribusiness Exporter of the Year. In 2018, their total export sales exceed $800,000.


Australian Honey Products Pty Ltd, Lindsay Bourke presented by Chris Pole, Regional Manager – Tasmania, Prime Super


Get Moving Tasmania Physical Activity Award

Risdon Vale Bike Collective of Risdon Vale operates around the context of restoring, selling and riding bikes. They work with young people from Risdon Vale to increase social cohesion, work readiness skills and recreational opportunities, providing a place for them to grow in character and life skills. This occurs through two workshop sessions each week during school terms with up to 30 participants aged from 10 to 18. They also run regular ride days and multi-day Mountain biking camps to participants each year. In the past two years, over 60 young people have participated in all aspects of the program, completing 4,000 hours of learning and development.


Risdon Vale Bike Collective presented by Helen Langenberg, Manager Sport and Recreation – Communities, Sport and Recreation


EPA Sustainability Award

Lion Dairy & Drinks of Lenah Valley is committed to waste reduction and cleaner production. Operating a fresh milk processing facility they currently dispose of industrial wastewater generated from the site, to sewer under a Trade Waste Water Agreement with TasWater. Over the past five years, the site has achieved a 50% reduction in biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) concentration amid increasing production. Lion Dairy & Drinks are dedicated to cleaner production projects, a targeted focus on overfill and process control. They have introduced waste management initiatives such as establishing relationships with local pig farmers to take waste milk products and offering community groups viable products with minor imperfections.


Lion Dairy & Drinks presented by Warren Jones, Chair of the Board, Environment Protection Authority


Prime Super Employer Excellence in Aged Care Award:

Emmerton Park of Smithton gives utmost importance to career progression and employee wellbeing. Formed in 1969. Emmerton Park is not-for-profit community-based, fully accredited 61-bed residential aged care facility, with 73 independent living units across three sites and home-based care services within the Municipality of Circular Head. Their 102 staff enjoy a culture of learning and pathways for career development. Two staff are currently undertaking Bachelor of Nursing Studies through James Cook University, utilising the Nurse Scholarship Program. Other benefits include extensive staff training on equipment, fire, mental health first aid, advanced care planning, dementia awareness and palliative care. A Counsellor is also available for staff.


Emmerton Park presented by Chris Pole, Regional Manager – Tasmania, Prime Super


Betta Milk ‘Make It Betta’ Health Achievement Award:

TASMEN of Rosny Park is committed to improving men’s mental health. Tasmanian Men’s Health & Wellbeing Association Inc. is a not-for-profit organisation that helps men 18 to 80 years of age take responsibility for their lives, their personal growth and relationships using a peer-to-peer model of experiential learning. Their work encompasses the annual Tasmanian Men’s Gathering, creating Men’s Groups, running an email conversations’ list and conducting regular Men’s Circles to provide on-going support. In 2018, they produced ‘Men with Heart,’ a photo and video installation with images telling a story of men supporting each other. TASMEN won the 2019 Tasmanian Men’s Health Awards.


TASMEN presented by Jane Bennett, Managing DirectorCEO, TasFoods Ltd


Fonterra Australia Agriculture Award:

Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers Association of Launceston has for over 70 years strived to maximise the potential and success of their members’ businesses through influential advocacy, strong and credible leadership, and the promotion of innovative solutions. Some achievements include rallying for government funding for the Powranna truck wash facility and introducing an online market place for buying and selling feed and fodder. They delivered the AgriSkills Project to revitalise skills and training and assisted King Island farmers in finding a workable solution for shipping and freight services. A request for coordinated weed management resulted in a government commitment for a $5 million Weed Action Fund.


Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers Association presented by Steve Taylor, Regional Operations Manager, Fonterra Australia


University of Tasmania Teaching Excellence Award:

Nel Smit, Taroona is a dedicated educational leader and mentor and is the Sustainability Coordinator at Huonville High School where she manages the Future Energy Team that won the 2017 Zayed Future Energy Prize. She has taken state-wide roles in environmental education in the last 30 years, focusing last year on promoting energy literacy through STEM at Huonville High and Energy Wise, a program promoting energy literacy for secondary schools. As Education Coordinator with Greening Australia, she initiated school and community education events including Big Biodiversity Days Out and Biodiversity and Geography Symposiums. Nel won the 2018 Tasmanian STEM Teacher of the Year award.


Nel Smit presented by Dr David Moltow, Lecturer, Faculty of Education, University of Tasmania