Manly's Eco Award recognises our Unsung Heros

And the winner of the 2012 Eco Award is... SILKE STUCKENBROCK

Photographer and environmentalist Silke Stuckenbrock took out this year's Manly Environment Centre Eco Award for her internet-based ‘clean up’ movement - the Two Hands Project.

The Narrabeen resident set up the site with fellow environmentalist Paul Sharp, with the tag line ’30 minutes, two hands, anywhere, anytime.’ 

In less than a year, the project has gone from a small Northern Beaches concern to an international movement with almost 20,000 Facebook followers.paintingprize

The project works by inspiring people to clean up their own street, beach, park, school, or other special place, and then post photos on the Two Hands website of the improvements they have made.

This simple idea recognizes and connects local environmentalists from all over the world, and inspires others to take on their own 30 minute challenge.

For her efforts Ms Stuckenbrock received the ‘Unsung Hero’ award at the annual Eco Awards ceremony.

This year’s event was held among the giant fish tanks and pools of Oceanworld Manly, the perfect location for an award which forms part of Sea Week – a national marine awareness-raising initiative.

The Eco Awards were set up eight years ago to recognise Manly’s ‘Unsung Heroes’ who are working to protect our precious environment.

Previous winners include former local resident, singer, environmentalist and current federal MP  Peter Garrett ,  Penguin Warden Angelika Treichler, Keelah Lam for Sustainable Living, Eco Diver Dave Thomas, Surfrider Foundation stalwart Brendan Donohoe and last year's winner Ernie Murray for two decades of environmental work around Burnt Bridge Creek.

This year the award committee had to choose between 18 nominees – the largest number yet - with a field that ranged from recycled materials artist Angela Van Boxtel, responsible dog owner advocate Denise Keen and little penguin protector and environmentalist Richard Hewitt.

The awards - including the main prize of a glorious painting of Shelley Beach donated by artist Mark Budd - were presented by Manly Mayor Jean Hay with Council General Manger Henry Wong officiating as MC.

The 100-plus audience also heard talks by Stephen Summerhayes from Sydney Coastal Councils on the increasing problem of tiny bits of plastic rubbish entering the aquatic food chain, and University of NSW researcher Jennifer Sinclair on the impact of marine debris on sea birds.

Also on stage were eight-year-old film maker Rafi Gordon, with his ‘agent’ and fellow Manly Village School pupil Pete McClory. As well guests enjoyed finger food provided by Manly’s International College of Management Sydney and music by classical guitarist Lincoln Davis.

Pictures R > L, top row: Manly GM Henry Wong, winner Silke Stuckenbrock and Mayor Jean Hay; Costa Georgiadis and Manly Cllr Cathy Griffiths;  Princess Jemma of Plastic and speaker Jennifer Sinclair; 
Second row: Eco Award nominees on the OceanWorld stage; speaker Stephen Summerhayes (centre); Eco Divers' Dave Thomas and EcoTreasures Damien McClellan.
Third row: Sylvie Langbein and nominees Ros Young and Angela van Boxtel; guests at OceanWorld and OceanWorld staff.
Fourth row: Sue Halmagyi, Costa Georgiadis, Jennifer Wilson and nominee Mary Johnson; Silke with her Mark Budd painting; guitarist Lincoln Davis and Christina Kirsch with young container deposit supporter.

manly gm henry wong unsung hero silke stuckenbrock manly mayor jean haycosta georgiano and manly cllr cathy griffinprincess of plastic and speaker jennifer sinclairmanly mayor jean hay with eco award nomineesstephen summerhayescentre from sydney coastal councilsecodivers dave thomas eco treasures damien mcclellansylvie langbein roslyn tebbie and angela van boxtelguestsoceanworld staffsue halmagi costa georgiano jenny wilson mary johnsonsilke stuckenbrockentertainer lincoln davis christina kirsch  and young container deposit activist

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