Campbelltown’s Koalatown initiative, a program to raise awareness and empower the community to support the conservation of koalas, has been recognised at the prestigious RH Dougherty Awards for Excellence in Communication.

The RH Dougherty Awards are awarded by Local Government NSW and judged by leading experts in communications.

“Campbelltown is home to a healthy, disease-free and thriving colony of koalas and we’re committed to ensuring their survival and growth,” Mayor of Campbelltown George Brticevic said.

“The community’s response to Koalatown has been fantastic, and it’s been great to see how excited people have been to join us at planting days, forums and other activities.”

Koalatown connects schools, businesses, residents, expert scientists, land managers and wildlife carers to target issues relating to koala health such as habitat conservation, disease preventions, vehicle strikes and dog attacks.

The program has actively engaged the community since its launch more than a year ago, with more than 1000 residents signing up to be part of the program and more than 3000 school children participating in education sessions across 19 schools as part of the Koalatown Schools initiative.

“Our Greater Macarthur Koala Partnership Forum in 2019 made it clear that protecting and preserving our precious local koalas would only be achievable by educating and involving the wider community,” Mayor Brticevic said.

As part of the Koalatown program, residents have assisted with a koala monitoring program and habitat data collection. Educational and warning signage has been placed across the city in areas where unleashed dog attacks or vehicle strikes have affected koalas in the past.

“Koalatown has not only raised awareness in the community, it has brought Council, scientific experts and wildlife carers together to study our koalas and take meaningful actions that will ensure their survival into the future,” Mayor Brticevic said.