11 September 2019

Bega adds accessibility to World Environment Day activism

| Ian Campbell
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Dr Helen Smith who will deliver the World Environment Day address in Bega on June 5. Photo: Supplied.

Dr Helen Smith who will deliver the World Environment Day address in Bega on June 5. Photo: Supplied.

A passionate outdoor enthusiast keen for people of all abilities to have opportunities in nature will deliver the World Environment Day address in Bega.

Bournda Environmental Education Centre has been hosting the dinner to celebrate the United Nations sanctioned day for the last 41 years.

Previous speakers at the Bega event include former NSW Premier, Bob Carr, Dr John Merso, Blue Mountains World Heritage Institute and former NSW Environment Minister, Bob Debus, and Dr Peter Davie, Queensland Museum.

A UN General Assembly resolution of December 15 1972 designated:

5 June as World Environment Day and urges Governments and the organizations in the United Nations system to undertake on that day every year, world-wide activities reaffirming their concern for the preservation and enhancement of the environment with a view to deepening environmental awareness.

“Since 1974, it has grown to become a global platform for public outreach that is widely celebrated in over 100 countries, and the Bega Valley has long been part of that,” says Doug Reckord, Principal of Bournda Environmental Education Centre.

Dr Helen Smith will address this year’s dinner at the Bega Valley Commemorative Civic Centre.

“Helen has a PhD in wildlife ecology and she has been working for several years on the ‘Naturally Accessible’ project for the National Parks Association (NPA) of NSW,” Mr Reckord says.

“She has also used her ecological knowledge for the NPA Koala Count and other important programs with the NPA.”

A Churchill Fellowship recipient in 2016, Helen was recently awarded a senior policy fellowship position with the Department of Environment and Energy in Canberra.

The policy fellowship is an initiative of the Chief Scientist and this is the first year they have been offered.

“Helen will give us her personal and research-based perspectives on making outdoor experiences more accessible and inclusive so that more Australians can enjoy a special connection with nature,” Mr Reckord says.

The World Environment Day Dinner is on Tuesday, June 5th at the Bega Valley Commemorative Civic Centre, with doors opening at 6 pm for a 7 pm start.

“The dinner will also feature wonderful creative art and writing by local students which will also be displayed in local libraries throughout the Bega Valley,” he says.

Tickets are available at Candelo Books (Bega) at a cost of $50 each cash, through Bournda Environmental Education Centre on 6494 5009, or via TryBooking.

Tickets always go quick!

*This article first appeared on RiotACT

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