Recognising Outstanding Volunteerism
  • Last updated:
  • 10 May 2016

Norm is a passionate environmentalist who has for many years played an active role in the conservation of our local environment.

His dedication to the environment recently saw him nominated for an Australia Day Award (Environment).

Norm got involved in creek restoration while living in Brisbane after retiring from being a mining engineer/manager by joining his local Witton Creek revegetation group. After moving to the Sunshine Coast in 2008 Norm continued his enthusiasm for restoring local ecosystems by joining the Petrie Creek Catchment Care Group (PCCCG) in 2009.

In March 2011, Norm got involved in Council’s Community Nature Conservation Program (CNCP) and has since been the driving force behind three community groups actively restoring, altogether a distance of 1.35km, along Petrie creek and its tributaries. While Norm has contributed a lot of time, he would like it to be known that the main driver in this wonderful program, facilitated and funded by Sunshine Coast Council, exists because of the willingness of volunteers from the community to give their time to the environment.

The first of the three groups started in April 2011 to revegetate the old Florabunda bushcare nursery site and continue revegetation along Petrie Creek at the end of Laidlaw Road in Woombye. In 2013 Norm started Namba Creek group to remove Camphor Laurels and revegetate a tributary of Petrie Creek at the Model Railway Park in Nambour and in 2014 he started the third group at Quota Extension Park to create a riparian buffer along Petrie Creek, improving the habitat value and creek condition before the development of an open space park outlined in the Nambour Master plan.

Norm now coordinates all three groups and is super-efficient with organising monthly working bees, liaising with partners, welcoming new members, reporting, keeping people informed and writing publicity material for local papers. He also compiles the PCCCG newsletter ‘The Ornithorhynchus’ and has manned PCCCG stalls at local markets to promote local revegetation projects, community groups and the Florabunda Bushcare Nursery.

Recently, PCCCG with leadership by Norm was successful in acquiring a Queensland Government Everyone’s Environment Grant to the value of $24,000 to support the great work that the three groups have been doing at each site. This grant will cover the cost of removing some large Camphor Laurel trees and other woody weeds. It will provide plants for revegetating these areas and pay for contractors to undertake site preparation and maintenance at each site.

Norm is a great advocate of sustainable living as he lives in a house designed for sustainable living and is more often seen riding his push bike for transport than taking the car. He has carried out major revegetation works on his own property in Woombye which was formerly pineapple farm land and is now a forest of local native vegetation providing food and habitat for our local wildlife.

With Norm’s help and lots of onsite work, he has successfully completed one and is working on another Landholder Environment Grant that has seen 0.5 ha of his daughter’s property at Palmwoods turned into local native forest. He often supports other landholders working to revegetate their land by offering his advice and especially weed tree killing skills to help them achieve positive environmental outcomes. For the last three years Norm has organised a major Clean up Australia Day event based around Petrie Creek for PCCCG operating from the Quota Park picnic shelter in March.

To find out more about Community Nature Conservation Program visit council’s website and Petrie Creek Catchment Care Group.