Remote town tidies up

Article image - Remote town tidies up Nestled in the West MacDonnell Ranges, the hidden gem that is Areyonga was recently visited by the national Tidy Town judge Jill Grant.

Proud residents of the remote Northern Territory community of Areyonga visited Tasmania last month to compete in this year’s Tidy Towns ceremony. 

Nestled in the West MacDonnell Ranges, Areyonga’s 235 residents were overjoyed when their community was named Territory Tidy Town at last year’s Northern Territory Keep Australia Beautiful (KAB(NT)) awards.

Winning the major Territory Tidy Town award qualified Areyonga to represent the Northern Territory at this year’s national Tidy Towns awards.

Accompanied by MacDonnell Regional Council staff, the group that travelled to the gala event in Triabunna, Tasmania included: community leader and Local Authority member Daphne Puntjina, Local Authority member Joy Kunia, and Local Authority Chair and Council Civil Worker Jonathon Doolan.

Despite not taking out the top award – which went to Barmera in South Australia – the group said they were immensely proud of their community.  

The people of Areyonga have a long commitment to the values of Tidy Towns as a continuing part of their community culture. The community was named Territory Tidy Town in 1993 and 2003 before winning last year’s award.

The town participates in a number of innovative environmental initiatives.

Areyonga School’s curriculum includes bilingual classes taught in English and Pitjantjatjara by teacher, Tarna Andrews.

Through her classes, Tarna helps children grasp the importance of recycling and the damage litter causes the country and the environment.

School children also participate in ‘emu bobs’ each Friday, collecting litter and cleaning around the community.

The Areyonga community will be one of the first Northern Territory communities to come online through the 10MW Solar Energy Transformation Program.

Incorporating a hybrid solar/diesel power station to reduce reliance on diesel power generation, The NT’s PowerWater Corporation is transforming the way power is delivered in remote communities.

The hybrid power generation system will reduce fuel consumption by 15 per cent.

Community leader Daphne Puntjina summed up the town’s commitment to the environment: “We love this country. That’s why we’re looking after it.”