BEECHWORTH’S story of recovery after its supermarket burned down has moved audience members to tears at the Keep Victoria Beautiful Tidy Towns awards.
The town’s post-fire initiatives won the community government partnerships category at Saturday’s ceremony at Horsham.
Tidy Towns committee member Iris Mannik said the year’s events in Beechworth had made an impact, particularly for groups hailing from large areas like the Mornington Peninsula.
“I talked about how the shire would get the elderly ringing saying they couldn’t get their shopping without the Lions Club,” she said.
“I talked about how Beechworth plumbing moved out of their area – it was beyond what happened on the night. It touched people and they asked to hear more about it.”
Mrs Mannik said the Beechworth Food Co-op also claimed a category – environmental sustainability.
“It’s supporting our local foods and our growers,” she said.
“The co-op has little footprint and is a whole food education program.
“Now too, because they’ve grown to be bigger than thought possible, you don’t have to necessarily join as a member to get involved.
“The fact you can go to their seed bank, to me, is wonderful because we’re going to save our heritage goods.”
Keep Australia Beautiful Victoria chief executive Sabina Wills said the North East took out multiple accolades over hundreds of entries from across the state.
“I was particularly impressed with Indigo Shire’s entries this year,” she said.
“The Beechworth Food Co-Operative continues to stand out and we were also inspired by the communities involvement in assisting others when their supermarket was closed.”
“The Wooragee Primary School Bush Fire Recovery Program is a wonderful example of educating children on sustainability.”
Mrs Mannik said Wooragee Primary School was recognised for its efforts to restore 97 hectares of bush.
“Wooragee won the highly commended in that category and the most delightful thing happened – they won the lucky door prize,” she said.
“Rutherglen got the highly commended in the clean beach and waterway for the Rutherglen park project.
“I think we represented the Indigo Shire well.”
Horsham was named tidiest in Victoria for the second year in a row.