Congratulations Frances: A BirdLife Australia Distinguished Service Award!
In early July, BirdLife Shoalhaven held a very successful ‘Celebration of Lake Wollumboola’ event, including the presentation of a BirdLife Australia Distinguished Service Award to Frances Bray. Frances has shown great leadership in campaigns for over more than 25 years, working to protect the environmental and Aboriginal cultural heritage of the Lake Wollumboola and its catchment, and advocating for the conservation of its rich bird life.
In 1993, Frances and friends established what became the Lake Wollumboola Protection Association Inc. In 2000 the Association was successful in preventing major urban development in the lake catchment and in 2002 the lake’s inclusion in Jervis Bay National Park. By lobbying at all three levels of government, they also successfully opposed further urban expansion, with NSW Independent Planning Commission refusing two major developments in 2018.
Happily, all three levels of government were present on the day, with Fiona Phillips, new Federal Member for Gilmore, Penny Sharpe, NSW Shadow Minister of the Environment and three Councillors attending. BirdLife Shoalhaven President Rob Dunn presented the Award to Frances, and spoke about the Act for Birds Campaign, and the recognition of the Lake as a Key Biodiversity Area.
Frances said she was honoured to receive the award.
"I am honoured to receive such a prestigious award for doing what I love most - that is spending time at Lake Wollumboola, observing the subtle changes in the lake's physical and ecological character, particularly its birdlife."
She thanked Birdlife Shoalhaven for organising the celebration of the lake and recognising the people who care for the lake and its birds.
Frances is the lake’s Key Biodiversity Area co-ordinator, a long-term contributor to Shorebird 2020 surveys and the NSW National Parks and Willdife Shorebird Recovery Program and also an active Bushcare volunteer.
Warmest congratulations and a massive thank you to you,Frances, from everyone at BirdLife Australia!
Image: a standing ovation for a local legend! Frances Bray with Rob Dunn, and 140 supporters with huge smiles.
The event was featured in the local media: click here to have a read.