Community care group toasts a milestone

Robert DoughertyNorth West Telegraph
Kevin Michel MLA and Kelly Howlett speaking at the event. Photo: Care For Hedland
Camera IconKevin Michel MLA and Kelly Howlett speaking at the event. Photo: Care For Hedland Credit: Picture: Care For Hedland

Nothing said “happy birthday” quite like the giant turtle-shaped cake conservation association Care For Hedland proudly brought out to mark its anniversary.

The environmental group celebrated 15 years of operations in the Pilbara at a dinner held at the ibis Styles Hotel in Port Hedland on June 9, with speakers at the event including Pilbara MLA Kevin Michel, BHP’s Mel McDonald and Town of Port Hedland Cr Julie Arif.

CFH chairwoman and founder Kelly Howlett said it had been a challenging road from the working group’s monthly meetings which were attended by eight to 15 people on a regular basis.

“The Care For Hedland journey at times has been a tough and eventful one, but at all times we have been fortunate to have had terrific support — from volunteers, businesses, industry and the wider community,” she said.

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“The difference this one group has been able to make and its ability to bring an array of different people together, from all walks of life, to proudly look after and help protect Port Hedland’s unique environment, has been a special achievement and has made all the hard work worthwhile.”

Over the years, the group has received commendations for its turtle monitoring program, community recycling initiative, coastal protection and conservation, waste management, volunteering, and work as a community group.

“Care For Hedland has always worked hard, shared what it could and has been recognised many times at various State awards ceremonies,” Ms Howlett said.

The association was originally run by volunteers but now employs a full time co-ordinator, two contract turtle program co-ordinators and a contract garden program coordinator. Membership has grown from 60 to close to 130.

The group also organises sustainability events for the public throughout the year.

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