Winners are Grinners!
Armadale Branch representatives – Roger Harington, Sue Radford, Debbie Walker and Kim Fletcher (Photo: Kim Sarti)
At a ceremony hosted by the City of Armadale on Australia Day 2022, the Armadale Branch was amongst the finalists (and Winners) for the Active Citizenship (Group or Event) Award of the Year for 2021.
The branch’s active citizenship involvement and outstanding contribution to community was recognised through it being awarded the Active Citizenship (Group or Event) Award for the Year. Branch president, Roger Harington, accepted the award on behalf of the branch, which was presented by the Armadale Mayor, Cr Ruth Butterfield.
Formed some 60 years ago, the Armadale Branch operates under the Wildflower Society of WA’s four ideals of Knowing, Growing, Conserving and Enjoying our Western Australian flora.
Armadale Branch is well known for promoting the value of our natural bushland and associated conservation issues, and for conducting events that are well organised. Community engagement in displays at shopping centres, local community markets, exhibitions and local schools enable branch members to share their knowledge and passion for WA’s wildflowers and raise environmental awareness.
Branch members have demonstrated active citizenship through their participation with like-minded community groups in the revegetation and protection of the natural environment within Armadale city. Many members serve on these community-based environmental groups or are Reserve Custodians of a small neighbourhood bush reserve to assist the City of Armadale’s bush crew.
On 28th March 2021, 60 years to the day of the branch’s formation, a celebratory tree planting took place at the Armadale Environmental Centre. Six trees of local species were planted, one for each decade. Armadale Mayor Cr Butterfield, planted the first tree. The second tree was jointly planted by family members of inaugural president Rev. Ewan Watts. The third tree was planted by inaugural members Irene and Michael Morcombe and the fourth tree was planted by Roger Harington, current branch president. The fifth and sixth trees were planted by student representatives from Armadale Primary School and Pioneer Village Primary School. In September the 60th Anniversary exhibition of wildflower art, photography and other artworks was held in the Armadale District Hall. To complete the experience for those attending, other events and activities such as bushwalks, talks and entertainment were included over the weekend.
The effects of exposure to nature are well documented – from increasing happiness and physical health to lowering stress. The public bushwalks conducted by the branch provide participants with opportunities to get out and enjoy the wonderful beauty of Western Australia’s unique wildflowers. These outdoor activities benefit a range of areas affecting public health and social wellbeing and by making people feel better emotionally, it enhances the community life of Armadale.
Branch activities and events continue to raise the awareness of the importance of the conservation and good management of our remaining unique bushland heritage.