Rotary Melbourne, in its Centenary year, established an annual award to recognise a person who has made an outstanding contribution towards Rotary International Seventh area of focus – Supporting the Environment.
The award is made by the Club on recommendation of the Environmental Sustainability Committee (ESC), to a person who has made an outstanding contribution as a leader in an important aspect of Environmental Sustainability. And through this has made a major contribution towards creating awareness in the community, and inspiring others to change behaviours towards environmental sustainability.
The recipient of the inaugural Rotary Club of Melbourne Environmental Sustainability Award is Claire Moore.
Rotary Melbourne is pleased that Claire Moore is the recipient of the inaugural 2020-21 Rotary Melbourne Environmental Sustainability Award. In her acceptance speech, Claire said how pleased, and excited she was to receive the Award.
Bees have been Claire’s lifelong passion. She decided early on in life that she wanted to be a beekeeper and more importantly a queen-bee breeder, which she is now doing on the family farm at Kyneton. Claire grew up in Bellbrae, a small Victorian town near the Great Ocean Road.
An important milestone in her career was her coming runner-up in the 2019 National AgriFutures Rural Women’s Award after winning the Victorian round of the Award.
During a radio conversation with Jon Faine on ABC radio, Jon told Claire of a beekeeping program in the US that had significantly decreased reoffending rates by teaching commercial beekeeping skills to ex-offenders on release. This gave Claire the idea to do a similar program in Australia which led to her establishing a social enterprise, ‘Sweet Justice’.
Sweet Justice is a successful rehabilitation course that educates young male detainees at the Malmsbury and Parkville Youth Justice Centres in the practice of beekeeping. It is likely that the Beechworth Correctional Centre will be included in the program which is a possibility for wider application in Australia through Commonwealth and State Governments correctional facilities.
The Award was presented to Claire by Professor John Thwaites AM, at last week’s meeting. Professor Thwaites was the guest speaker for the day, and he spoke on Australia’s Progress Towards the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
Through its Environmental Sustainability committee, Rotary Melbourne hopes to maintain an ongoing relationship with Claire in her beekeeping and Sweet Justice activities.