|Community Forums 2007-2012|
In 2004, at the time of the establishment of the SMCMA, a Community Forum was held, called the Sydney Hands-On Environmental Forum. This provided a foundation for the SMCMA community program.
Between 2004 and 2007 feedback from Sydney's environmental volunteers indicated that they would value an annual Community Forum where they could meet and share their successes, network to obtain advice on their challenges and generally celebrate their hard work with like-minded individuals.
The SMCMA Community Forum is now an established event on the environmental volunteer calendar.
2012 - Held at Waterview Convention Centre in Bicentennial Park. The theme was “Looking Back…Thinking Forward”. Some 89 people from 50 different environmental volunteer groups attended. Dr Siwan Lovett, Director of the Australian River Restoration Centre gave a captivating presentation “Connections that count: people, place and passion”. Participants were asked to identify their key achievements and challenges and to create a timeline showing when their environmental volunteering experience began. An inaugural photography competition and exhibition was held in conjunction with the event. Winners were selected for “Best photo of a Bushcare site that demonstrates work in progress”, “Best photo of an environmental volunteer group” and “People’s Choice” categories.
2011 - Held at the Epping Club. The focus of the day was “Biodiversity and the science of what we do” to restore the environment. Bernie Hobbs (ABC science presenter) facilitated and spoke about her experience converting the “science=yawn” crowd. Professor Andrew Beattie spoke about the true wealth of biodiversity, and the importance of its preservation. Dorothy Luther from Wolli Creek Preservation Society, Bill Jones from Quarry Creek Bushcare and Ray Kearney from Sydney Fungal Studies Group Inc presented community perspectives showcasing Sydney’s biodiversity. The second Regional Awards were held. Six Regional Awards were given (two Innovation Awards, an Education Environment Award, an Aboriginal Education Award, a Community Group Environment Award and an Urban Landcare Award) and three Highly Commended Awards were given. Award winners gave presentations about their sites and achievements.