The nominations for this year’s Best Friend Award are now open and can be submitted up until 5pm, Wednesday 27 June, 2018.
The Best Friend Award is designed to acknowledge the outstanding contribution made to the environment by volunteer members of Friends groups, whether it be protecting a reserve, a waterway, a particular species, or part of our cultural heritage.
Individuals who have received this award often say that what they value most is being nominated by the other members of their own Friends group. It is these people who see on a regular basis the hard work and dedication of individual members of their group. They value it so highly that they put in the time and effort to nominate their candidate for an award.
The value of the Best Friend Award has been acknowledged by the Victorian Government with the Minister for Energy, Environment & Climate Change and a senior member of DELWP presenting the awards and providing a monetary tribute for the winners. This goes directly to benefit the nominating Friends group.
Based on feedback from last year, we have brought forward the award process. The awards will now be presented in August rather than in November, thereby avoiding that busy end-of-year period.
By starting now, we are giving Friends groups at least three months to put together their nominations. These are all assessed by an independent judging panel, according to the following criteria:
The nominee will have made an outstanding contribution under some or all of the following criteria or equivalent activities:
- Form strong relationships and partnerships for the benefit of the reserve.*
- Attract funding for the benefit of the reserve.
- Show personal dedication – ‘the above and beyond’ factor.
- Introduce young people to the reserve as a means of planning for succession.
- Make a personal impact on the establishment of major improvements in the reserve.
*Note: The term ‘reserve’ can also refer to species, waterway or cultural heritage. It is used generically to refer to the purpose of the group.
Further details about the criteria for assessing the Best Friend Award and a nomination form can be downloaded from our website.
We will also have a poster competition again this year. Friends of Westgate Park won $100 last year for their excellent poster. Friends groups are encouraged to submit their posters for a prize to be awarded at the Best Friend Award ceremony to be held late August.