KAB/Sustainability Award: John Forrester

Carranballac College teacher John Forrester is an active leader in the Wyndham community. John volunteers countless hours to local environmental causes through his roles on various committees and displays a commitment to educating and supporting others to contribute to environmental outcomes.

John is president of the Werribee River Association (WRiVA), where he has been a member since 1993. WRiVA is affiliated and licensed by the International Waterkeeper Alliance to carry out the role of the Werribee Riverkeeper. In 2014 John was invited as Werribee Riverkeeper to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, to attend the Waterkeeper Alliance Conference where he developed contacts with equivalent keepers in bays, creeks, wetlands, rivers, lakes and glacier fields from across the world.

John is also the president of Wyndham LitterWatch – an environmental education and community project initiated by Wyndham’s major environmental organisations (Western Region Environment Centre, Werribee River Association and Western Melbourne Catchments Network) in partnership with the Crossroads Uniting Church, Melbourne Water and Wyndham City Council. LitterWatch was founded to raise community awareness of the detrimental impacts that litter has on the environment, especially local waterways, and to improve Wyndham’s general amenity.

John is one of Wyndham’s most active environmental teachers and organises Kids Teaching Kids each year at Carranballac College where he teaches. Last year John was invited to Seoul as part of a UNESCO initiative between the Victorian Department of Education and Training and the Education Ministry Republic of Korea to share the story of the Sharp-tailed Sandpiper, a migratory bird which spends part of its life along the western shorelines of Port Phillip Bay and the other half of its life in the northern hemisphere.

John is an elected member of the Environment and Sustainability Portfolio Committee for Wyndham City. The committee provides guidance and advice to council on environment and sustainability policy and strategy development.

John’s commitment and willingness to volunteer countless hours, educating the Wyndham community about environment issues and constantly advocating for a better outcome not only for the Werribee River but the entire environment is inspirational. John is certainly a deserving recipient of the 2015 Dame Phyllis Frost award.