Another round of applause!Centre champions win big!

Wetlands take Centre stage!

Big wins for the Wetlands at Volunteer Awards

City of Cockburn’s Annual Volunteer Awards night (held on Sunday 23rd of October) recognised our passionate locals and local organisations that contribute innumerable hours to improving our community at all levels. The 2022 awards recognised a 'Volunteer of the Year', 'Cockburn Volunteer Organisation of the Year', and 'Mayor’s Volunteer Award', with 49 organisations represented among 76 nominations.

Among those deserving nominations was one name from the Centre—Angela Sawiak, Angie. And we are stoked to share the happy news that Angie won the award as the 'Volunteer of the Year' 2022. The award was presented by His Worship the Mayor Logan Howlett and received by Felicity Bairstow on behalf of Angela Sawiak. Here's an excerpt from Cr Laura Kirkwood's speech announcing the win.

Angela Sawiak

Longtime Centre Volunteer

wins City of Cockburn's 'Volunteer of the Year 2022'

Angela Sawiak is 'Volunteer of the Year 2022'

“Described as a natural leader who rallies the troops, the winner of this year’s 'Volunteer of the Year' title is Angela Sawiak from The Wetlands Centre Cockburn.

Angela, affectionately known as the ‘cake lady’ for her regular sweet supplies to fellow volunteers, plays a pivotal role in community volunteer and conservation programs. While motivating teams to work together to revegetate and restore natural ecosystems, Angela puts her database management skills to use mapping and reporting land care processes from seed collection, to propagating and planting seedlings at Beeliar Regional Park rehabilitation sites. Going above and beyond her two dedicated volunteer days, her aptitude for data collection and creating databases has enabled the nursery and revegetation programs to run efficiently for the past seven years.

In the past, she has been a leading citizen scientist in the Turtle Trackers program which works to protect the near-threatened southwestern snake-necked turtles.”

Angie pulling out tree guards from mature plants at Bibra Lake in 2016
Angie pulling out tree guards from mature plants at Bibra Lake in 2016
Taking a break from work in 2022
Taking a break from work in 2022


Turtle Trackers

Program started at The Wetlands Centre

Bags Second Place as 'Cockburn Volunteer Organisation of the Year'

The Turtle Trackers citizen science program was awarded second place in the 'Cockburn Volunteer Organisation of the Year' award category. We are thrilled with this win as the program was launched at the Centre and is of deep significance to our staff and volunteers who are personally invested in its success.

The program is organised and delivered in partnership with the City of Cockburn, Murdoch University, The Wetlands Centre Cockburn, WA Wildlife and the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions (DBCA). It aims to protect and support the near-threatened—southwestern snake-necked turtles—that live in many Cockburn lakes and wetlands, including Walliabup—Bibra Lake. The volunteers devote their invaluable efforts, generally in undesirable, cold, and wet weather during turtle nesting season between September and November.

This involves protecting the turtles and nests from human interference, road mortality, and predators such as ravens, bandicoots and dogs. Trackers record turtle sightings, nests and mortality on the Australian turtle mapping application called TurtleSAT, a national collection point for citizen science data on freshwater turtle species.

Congratulations to all winners and nominees.

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