Team Koala founder Jenny Hayes has been recognised for her dedication to protecting koalas.
Team Koala founder Jenny Hayes has been recognised for her dedication to protecting koalas. John Gass

Team Koala founder wins award

THE founder of Tweed's Team Koala group Jenny Hayes has received a major environmental award from the Gold Coast mayor Ron Clarke.

Cr Clarke has presented school teacher and koala advocate Jenny Hayes with a Silver GECKO Award for her "tireless dedication to the welfare of Australia's koalas".

The Gold Coast and Hinterland Environment Council annually makes the GECKO awards to people working for the environment and Cr Clarke happily took on the role of bestowing it.

Ms Hayes, the president and founder of Team Koala who has campaigned heavily for the protection of koalas at the site of the proposed Kings Forest township for 4500 homes south of Kingscliff, presented the award at a ceremony at Currumbin.

It was bestowed on her "tireless dedication to the welfare of Australia's koalas and in particular the protection of their habitat in the Gold Coast and New South Wales border region."

A number of Gold Coast City councillors attended the awards, as well as Queensland MP Jann Stuckey.

President of the Tweed Heads Environment Centre Richard Murray was the recipient of the Gold GECKO Award.

Ms Hayes said that she was "greatly touched" by the award, but that the real credit went to "the members of Team Koala and the community that has been so supportive of saving our last three koala colonies on the Tweed Coast."

"Anything that can draw attention to their plight and the scientific measures needed to save our remaining 144 Tweed Coast koalas is greatly welcomed," she said.

"It's great to see the Gold Coast City Council appreciating the fact that we still have koalas at all."



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