Mildura Weekly : Friday September 2 Vol 10 No 43
8 NEWS MILDURA WEEKLY FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 2, 2016 By ALEXANDRA TRELOAR MALLEE District Aboriginal Services employ- ee and Mildura’s Young Citizen of the Year Indi Clarke has another reason to smile after being named Koorie Student of the Year at the Victo- rian Training Awards. The community engagement facilitator at MDAS, and Sunraysia Institute of TAFE stu- dent, Mr Clarke, 24, said he was lost for words when his name was announced at the awards in Melbourne last week. “I remember sitting there listening to the other finalists and told my Mum I wasn’t go- ing to win, but when my name was called out, it was definitely disbelief, but I’m extremely proud and very humble,” he said this week. Completing a Certificate IV in Business traineeship, Mr Clarke said he has always had a passion for the community, and loves his current position at MDAS. “I’ve always wanted to do this type of work, ultimately giving back to the people who have given so much to me,” he said. “My main role is to deliver culture aware- ness training, looking after the communica- tions of the organisation.” Mr Clarke credits education for his many successes professionally and personally, and was thankful for the opportunity to complete further study. “I’m a big believer that education and awareness are the keys to a strong community, but also the keys to succeed in life, without an education there’s only so far you can get in life,” he said. “Education makes life so much easier and if anything ever happens, you’ve always got that to fall back on, I’m always preaching that to the young ones.” With his sights set on tertiary education in the future, and striving for higher leadership roles in the community, Mr Clarke said that for the moment he is content with his position at MDAS and is enjoying a break from study. “I’m thinking about doing university stud- ies, or maybe an advanceds diploma, but at the moment I’m pretty comfortable,” he said. “And in terms of work, as long as I’m work- ing with the community and giving back to people, I’ll be happy. “I like to plan for what comes ahead but appreciate what we have now, and I love what we work towards at MDAS, which is genera- tions of vibrant, healthy, strong Aboriginal communities.” By ALEXANDRA TRELOAR SUSTAINABLE business ex- pert and former Mildura resi- dent Aaron Wood travelled back to the region this week to show Sunraysia’s business sector how to profit from a ‘green economy’ at the final event of this year’s Small Business Festival. Addressing a crowd in Mildura on Wednesday, the 2007 Prime Minister’s Envi- ronmentalist of the Year and City of Melbourne councillor, said that he hopes the region will soon start to benefit from the growing solar power in- dustry, predicting it will excel in the next two to five years. “Sunraysia is in a great position in terms of where it sits on the (solar) grid, and I think the region should really capitalise on the boom,” Mr Wood said. In terms of the immedi- ate positive effects that so- lar plants can have on small businesses, Mr Wood said that small energy systems are becoming more affordable and more readily available, even for commercial busi- nesses. “I think commercial scale solar is underdone across the board, Australia has been very slow to jump on it, and what it could do in Sunraysia for packing sheds, wineries, trucking hubs could be very beneficial,” he said. Mr Wood also discussed the changing face of the waste sector which has seen the Victorian Government imple- ment a Statewide plan with a focus on resource recovery. “The key is highlighting not necessarily new informa- tion about sustainability but looking at how we market and sell these ideas,” he said. “For example, solar hot water systems in homes, the technology has been around for years and yet the last time we looked, only 12 percent of homes use solar hot water.” Mr Wood added that you don’t have to be an environ- mentalist or ‘greenie’ to im- plement sustainability into a business, and that it can have the potential to have positive economical returns for com- mercial and small businesses. “As the economy changes, we need to look at what we can do differently. And in terms of small businesses, sus- tainability and reducing waste are absolutely glaring business opportunities,” he said. “I think the Sunraysia re- gion has so much to offer and I know there are people in the business sector already doing really awesome things, and there are like-minded people keen to step it up even fur- ther.” Indi takes home coveted State award Small business meets sustainability in Mildura Firewood collection open for Mildura, Robinvale residents THE spring firewood season is officially open, with firewood access expected to be limited. With domestic firewood collected from public land considered a limited resource, no firewood will be available from public land in Mildura. Mildura residents will have to access firewood at Robinvale, with Parks Victoria saying it can’t guarantee firewood availability at sites for the length of the firewood season. “Domestic firewood is a limited resource that needs to be managed without impacting forest health,” Parks Victoria district manager north west, Peter Foster, said. “Domestic firewood supplies from most River Red Gum parks and reserves along the Murray Riv- er from Cobram to the South Australian border are being exhausted. “This year, a new system was introduced in des- ignated River Red Gum parks, reserves and forests along the Murray River to give local communities priority to access their local firewood.” Firewood collectors may be asked to prove their address when collecting firewood. 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