Help us say thank you on behalf of our environment

Published: 02 Dec 2021

Over the last few years, Mackay’s Australia Day Environmental Achievement Award recipients have championed all creatures, great and small.

In January this year, the amazing Daryl Barnes accepted the award with an amazing poem dedicated to Mackay and its environment.

President of Birdlife Mackay since 2013, Daryl is known to many as a bird lover, conservationist, writer and poet.

He is also one of the driving forces behind Eungella Bird Week, a combination of citizen science data collection on the birds of the Clarke Range, including the rare endemic Eungella honeyeater, and social bird watching.

With a particular interest in engaging the next generation, engendering a love of birds and a desire to protect their habitats, Daryl has also written four children’s books all about our friendly neighbourhood feathered friends.

Last year, Keith Day, the past president, founder and tireless campaigner for Mackay Area Fish Stocking Association (MASFA), received the accolade.

Mr Day’s work since MAFSA’s inception in 1994 has contributed to our three stocked impoundments, Teemburra, Kinchant and Eungella dams, being amongst the best freshwater barramundi and sooty grunter fisheries in the world.

In 2019, passionate environmental scientist Lynette Keir won for her work educating the community on how to reduce food miles and reduce our ecological footprint through soil improvement.

Mayor Greg Williamson said the Australia Day Awards nominations were open once more, for the 2022 awards, and he encouraged residents to nominate any local environmental champions they may know of.

“Often, these people really do fly under the radar,” Mayor Williamson said.

“Because they work in isolation or with small groups in remote areas, their contributions often go underappreciated,” he said.

“But every time you walk on a pristine beach, see turtles hatching, notice an area of newly planted native saplings or spot a nesting box in a tree, there is usually a someone putting in their time who deserves recognition.”

To nominate someone for an Australia Day Award, visit council’s website ( Nominations close January 5, 2022.

All award winners and nominees will be recognised at a special awards ceremony at the MECC on Tuesday, January 25, 2022.

The Australia Day Awards are proudly sponsored by P. Comino and Sons and Tropical Exposure and are supported by Star 101.9.