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Glen Innes News

Glen Innes Severn Council Celebrates Success at New South Wales Local Government Awards

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Glen Innes Severn Council Celebrates Success at New South Wales Local Government Awards

Glen Innes Severn Council Celebrates Success at New South Wales Local Government Awards

 

Glen Innes Severn Council celebrated a remarkable evening at the New South Wales Local Government Awards in Sydney on Friday, June 7, securing multiple accolades in recognition of their outstanding contributions to the local government sector.

Rural Management Challenge Triumph

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The Council’s Rural Management Challenge (RMC) team, known as the ‘Highlanders,’ emerged as state winners, triumphing over 24 other councils. The team, comprised of Rhonda Bombell (Coordinator of Economic Development and Tourism), David Hunt (Manager of Assets), Shageer Mohammed (Chief Financial Officer), and Anthony Kamphorst (Manager of Infrastructure Delivery), initially won the regional heat in Bellingen in November 2023, advancing to the state final in Sydney in February 2024.

The RMC final challenged the Highlanders with complex scenarios that simulated real-world situations, testing their strategic thinking, decision-making skills, and knowledge of rural management practices. Their exceptional performance demonstrated a profound understanding of the challenges faced by rural communities, securing their victory as state champions.

Asset and Infrastructure Award

Adding to the evening’s success, Glen Innes Severn Council received the Asset and Infrastructure Award for the construction of the Yarrow Creek Bridge on Mount Mitchell Road. This award highlighted the Council’s innovative approach to upskilling staff, enabling them to complete intricate projects internally and reduce dependency on external contractors. Glen Innes Severn was among eight councils nominated for this prestigious award.

Leadership and Community Impact

Mayor Rob Banham expressed immense pride in the Council’s achievements, stating, “Council’s success at the LG Awards night is a clear indication of the hard work within Glen Innes Severn Council. Winning two prestigious awards motivates us to continue striving for excellence in all aspects of our operations.”

General Manager Bernard Smith, who attended the LG Awards night, also lauded the Council’s accomplishments: “We are incredibly proud of our staff’s achievements. The Rural Management Challenge award highlights the Highlanders’ strategic thinking and leadership capabilities, while the Award for Asset and Infrastructure reflects our Infrastructure Delivery Team’s ongoing efforts to enhance and maintain our community’s essential services.”

Celebrating Collective Achievements

The Glen Innes Severn Council extends its congratulations to all winners and nominees, celebrating the collective achievements that strengthen the vitality of local government in NSW. This recognition underscores the Council’s commitment to excellence and its dedication to improving the community through innovative practices and effective leadership.

By securing these awards, Glen Innes Severn Council not only showcases its capabilities but also sets a benchmark for other councils in New South Wales, inspiring continued growth and development within the local government sector.

 

For more Glen Innes News, click here.

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Alstonville News

Northern Rivers Koala Hospital needs funding: Urgent appeal for support

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A koala being treated at the Northern Rivers Koala Hospital in Lismore

Northern Rivers Koala Hospital needs funding: Urgent appeal for support

 

By Sarah Waters

Koalas are becoming an increasingly rare sight in NSW and the one organisation that is dedicated solely to their care in the Northern Rivers is desperately trying to keep operating as normal.

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The Northern Rivers Koala Hospital, operated by Friends of the Koala, has made an urgent plea for financial support.

A decline in donations and available funding has threatened the hospital’s ability to operate effectively.

The hospital is specifically designed for the medical treatment of koalas and is the only wildlife hospital in NSW licensed to vaccinate all treated koalas against Chlamydia – the number one cause of death for koalas in the Northern Rivers.

General manager of Friends of the Koala Silva Everaers said more than 350 Koalas are treated at the hospital each year.

“From July last year we’ve seen a 20 per cent increase in koalas coming in, versus the year before,” Ms Everaers said.

“It will continue to increase as the threats to koalas are increasing with climate change, natural disasters, habitat being destroyed causing more koalas on the road, which leads to car hits, dog attacks and more diseases due to stress.

“So that’s obviously concerning, and it has been really, really busy for our volunteers rescuing and caring for them,” she said.

The Northern Rivers Koala Hospital was formed in 2019 and is part of the wider Friends of the Koala (FOK) organisation.

The FOK organisation receives government grants for certain projects including a recent grant to vaccinate 300 koalas against chlamydia.

But no government money is received for the operational cost of the koala hospital.

General Manager of Friends of the Koala and Northern Rivers Koala Hospital Silva Everaers

General Manager of Friends of the Koala Silva Everaers

Half a million dollars needs to be raised by Friends of the Koala each year to cover the hospital’s annual operating expenses.

It is set up with diagnostic and treatment tools including ultrasounds, x-rays, a blood bank, as well as surgical and pathology equipment to provide specialised 24/7 veterinary care to koalas.

Until more funds become available the hospital may not be able to continue in its current capacity.

Ms Everaers said the priority was to keep the hospital funded and veterinary staff paid.

“That really is where the research and the magic happens,” she said.

“We work with over 300 volunteers, who do an absolutely incredible job rescuing and rehabilitating the koalas treated in our hospital, and because of that we are able to keep operational costs really, really low.

“But we can’t do it without financial support, in the end, there’s medicine, veterinary staff, the equipment we need, research facilities – it’s not free.”

Friends of the Koala have set up a special donation drive, appealing to the public’s generosity to help keep the hospital in operation and maintain their high standards of care.

Anyone with a heart for wildlife, including business owners and philanthropists, can become a ‘Friend of the Northern Rivers Koala Hospital’ at: friendsofthekoala.org or support by donating to the organisation.

Friends of the Koala are a grassroots organisation with more than 35 years of experience working on critical, on-the-ground activities to conserve habitat and protect koalas individually and as a species.

It originated as a charity focused on planting trees but has evolved into a multifaceted organisation that also provides 24/7 koala rescue, medical treatment, research, advocacy and community education.

Friends of the Koala has successfully rehabilitated and released over 2000 koalas back into the wild since its inception.

The Northern Rivers is home to one of the last significant, genetically diverse koala populations.

 

For more local news, click here.

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Glen Innes News

COUNCILLOR LARA GRESHAM RESIGNS FROM COUNCIL

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Councillor Lara Gresham

COUNCILLOR LARA GRESHAM RESIGNS FROM COUNCIL

 

Councillor Lara Gresham has announced her resignation from Glen Innes Severn Council, effective Thursday, 9 May 2024, after nearly two and a half years in the role. Cr Gresham is stepping down due to personal reasons, marking the conclusion of her tenure during which she actively represented the interests of the community.

Glen Innes Severn Council Mayor Rob Banham thanked Cr Gresham for her hard work and dedication to the Glen Innes Severn community.

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“Councillor Gresham has been a valued member of Glen Innes Severn Council, bringing pragmatic thinking and a rural perspective to our discussions,” Cr Banham said.

“Lara’s departure leaves a gap in our council. We wish her well in her future endeavours and thank her for her service.”

Glen Innes Severn Council General Manager Bernard Smith also acknowledged Cr Gresham’s contributions and approach to her role.

“Councillor Gresham has been a dedicated councillor, consistently demonstrating a strong commitment to her responsibilities,” Mr Smith said.

“She is one of the most conscientious councillors I have worked with and has been a staunch advocate for our community. Lara’s professionalism and collaborative approach have been appreciated by our staff, and her departure will leave a notable gap within our council.”

Council will be requesting that, considering the upcoming local government election in September 2024, the position remain unfilled until after the election.

 

For more Glen Innes News, click here.

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SPIRITS NOT DAMPENED BY 2024 AUSTRALIAN CELTIC FESTIVAL’S UNPRECEDENTED WET WEATHER DISRUPTIONS

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The 2024 Australian Celtic Festival

SPIRITS NOT DAMPENED BY 2024 AUSTRALIAN CELTIC FESTIVAL’S UNPRECEDENTED WET WEATHER DISRUPTIONS

 

The 2024 Australian Celtic Festival was a remarkable success, drawing in approximately 5,000 people to Glen Innes Highlands for the weekend, despite the challenging wet weather conditions that forced event organisers into Plan B mode on the final day of festivities.

A record number of festival goers flocked to the Australian Standing Stones National Celtic Monument on Saturday to enjoy a Celtic celebration like no other. The event featured a jam-packed program of attractions and entertainment with pleasant weather conditions until the rain set in that afternoon.

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Following more rain overnight, a decision was made to assess Sunday’s events and relocate part of the program’s entertainment and ceremonies to other venues, ensuring the show could go on.

Local business Glen Innes Bus Services played a key part in ensuring continued support for the stalls that remained trading at the festival grounds that day, kindly transporting ticket holders from various locations around Glen Innes to the Standing Stones.

The festival organisers expressed their gratitude for the understanding and flexibility demonstrated by vendors, performers, contractors, and patrons impacted by the change in plans due to the unfavourable weather conditions.

Given the circumstances, the unprecedented spike in the festival’s Saturday attendee numbers was somewhat of a relief.

Glen Innes Severn Council Mayor Rob Banham said Council is delighted with record attendance at the 2024 Australian Celtic Festival.

“Spirits were not dampened by the challenging weather at the 2024 Australian Celtic Festival. Despite the rain, the resilience of our town and the unwavering support from businesses and attendees truly shone through, making this festival a memorable success,” Cr Banham said.

Glen Innes Severn Council Coordinator of Economic Development and Tourism Rhonda Bombell said Council has been inundated with positive feedback following the festival.

“Council has received many congratulations from businesses and attendees who empathise with the difficult decisions and the speed in which alternative arrangements were made, highlighting our town’s resilience and commitment from businesses and Council to the festival,” Ms Bombell said.

Council extends its sincere thanks to The Glen Innes Services Club and its dedicated staff, Pinknoize Audio and the talented performers of the festival for their invaluable support of the revised entertainment program.

To help shape future events, Glen Innes Severn Council is asking for anyone who attended the festival to partake in a short 5-minute online feedback survey.

The 2025 Australian Celtic Festival and fringe events will take place 1-4 May 2025, with tickets on sale from 3 March. Keen festivalgoers are already booking their accommodation in advance for the festival’s 33rd year, which will highlight the Celtic nations of Brittany, Cornwall & Wales.

 

For more Glen Innes News, click here.

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