The small community of Santa Teresa (Ltyentye Apurte) in the Northern Territory has won massive acclaim at the Keep Australia Beautiful 2019 Australian Tidy Town Awards, hosted in Smithton, Tasmania.

The community was the winner of the 2019 Australian Sustainable Communities Tidy Town Award.

It also took home awards in the Litter Prevention, Environmental Communication and Engagement Category, Community Health, Wellbeing and Interest Category and Young Legend categories.

CEO of Northern Territory Keep Australia Beautiful, Heimo Schober, said the community’s residents have continually embraced the Territory Tidy Towns program with proud community culture.

“MacDonnell council staff, community elders, key stakeholders and residents of Santa Teresa demonstrated great community pride and leadership in community culture and heritage, local sustainability practices and education, and set a wonderful example for other remote Australian townships to follow,” said Mr Schober.

This year was one of the best and greatest national achievements recently obtained by a Northern Territory community at the Australian Awards.

“It is our first Northern Territory Aboriginal community to win the National Award. I’m bursting with pride and it’s a very honoured Territory community that’s achieved this prestigious win. I encourage all Territorians to get behind this small proud central Australian township of Santa Teresa (Ltyentye Apurte) and loudly acknowledge the community on their wins. They have made big changes in sustainably reducing litter pollution and beautifying their community. They have a fantastic quality of life in Santa Teresa and a strong country.”

Australian Sustainable Communities Tidy Towns judge, Gail Langley, said Santa Teresa (Ltyentye Apurte) is a comprehensive working model of a community driven to strive to create a vibrant sustainable environment.

“As a community, they continue to evolve through necessity in a changing world, they are willing to learn and adapt in a unique environmental, social and political arena,” she said.

Chief Executive and Executive Director of Keep Australia Beautiful, Val Southam, said the voluntary finalists in the Sustainable Communities Tidy Towns competition are some of the most dedicated and passionate people we are fortunate enough to be involved with.

“Every year we are inspired by the high calibre of entries demonstrating enormous community pride and environmental action and this year is no exception,” she said.

The awards were hosted over a two-day event which included a tour of Smithton, finalists’ presentations, and opportunities that allowed representatives the chance to share information and network with like-minded communities from around Australia.

By Rachael Knowles