Congratulations to Margaret Baker for winning the inaugural Environmental Citizen of the Year Award by the Blue Mountains City Council. Margaret has been a tireless, committed and passionate advocate for protecting the Blue Mountains environment for over four decades. Giving her time as both a professional and a volunteer, Margaret has shown outstanding commitment to, and excellence in, education, life-long learning and the promotion of the natural environment.
Margaret has contributed to environmental education and advocacy over many years which has made an invaluable contributuion to the Blue Mountains community.
To read the full award go to…https://www.bmcc.nsw.gov.au/media-centre/blue-mountains-citizens-celebrated-at-australia-day-awards
Margaret considers that her greatest contribution as an environmental citizen has been the education of many students in the TAFE system over a number of generations and courses.
When Margaret began at TAFE in late 1983, she was present at the launch of the Advanced Certificate in Outdoor Guiding and moved on to teach and manage Bush Regeneration, the Diploma in Natural Resource Management and Certificates in Conservation and Land Management. In just ten years employment in environmental areas in the Blue Mountains went from almost none to a new industry sector. Staff involved in training increased from legendary co-ordinator Jim Smith, with Margaret as a part-time staffer working out of a shoebox office, to a whole Environmental Studies Unit, with Margaret as its first Head Teacher.
Margaret said she “would want her Award to be dedicated to the many enthusiastic and visionary students who enriched her days and moved on to become paid and volunteer members of a now burgeoning environmental industry in the region and beyond.”
Bushcare Officer Monica Nugent, previous student and one of many participants in Margaret’s courses and field trips over the years reiterated these sentiments, stating “The legacy of Margaret’s meticulous, high standard of teaching and intellectual rigour is a generation of professional bush regenerators and Bushcare volunteers with the highest level plant identification skills, a deep understanding of the Blue Mountains landscape and appreciation for its value. By capably and willingly sharing her expert knowledge of the geology, botany, natural and human history of the Blue Mountains, Margaret has instilled a great joy for the flora and fauna and an enduring passion to care for it.”