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Years dedicated to conserving and restoring the environment and volunteering with BushCare Sunshine Coast has resulted in Lindsay Hope being presented the 2023 Silver Mattock Award.

First awarded to Jill Chamberlain in 2011, BushCare Sunshine Coast’s Silver Mattock Award is annually presented to a BushCare community volunteer or volunteers for outstanding achievements.

Lindsay is one of the founding members of the Alex Forest Preservation Group and for over 25 years he has protected this area like his own backyard. Lindsay says being part of council’s BushCare Group has enabled members to socialise, enhance and maintain the Alex Forest Conservation Area, and in return to be rewarded with satisfaction, friendships, education, forest natural beauty, serenity, fresh air and improved mental health.

Lindsay and his wife Sue are avid bushwalkers and during their time in Tasmania were members of the Launceston Bushwalking Club and joined the fight to try to save the magnificent Lake Pedder National Park from being flooded for a hydroelectric scheme.  During the early 1970s Lindsay and his young family moved to the Sunshine Coast, bringing with them, their boundless passion for conserving the natural environment around them. They were foundation members of the Sunshine Coast Bushwalking Club and were involved with the Fraser Island Defenders Organisation to stop sand mining on Fraser Island.

In 1995, Lindsay and a group of locals, led by Dianne Thistlethwaite, joined together to form the Alex Forest Preservation Association to fight to save the Alex Forest from development. They succeeded in having the proposed housing estate reduced in size, and in 1998, the Maroochy Shire Council purchased the west half of the remaining forest, followed a few years later by the eastern half. To assist with funding of the initial purchase the Council introduced the Conservation Levy, which over the years has resulted in the purchase and protection of many other bushland areas with conservation value across thousands of hectares. Lindsay and others formed the very first ‘Bush Care’ group, known then as the Alex Forest Community Conservation Group.

In the past 15 years Lindsay has published two books. He is the author and photographer of Australian Wilderness and Wanderings: a life journey in the great south land, and Cradle Mountain: majesty, moods and memories.

Lindsay has also busked at the Lions Club at Fisherman’s Road Sunday Market on and off over the past 7 years, playing and singing Aussie bush songs and older popular songs. 

Lindsay was announced the winner at the BushCare Sunshine Coast Volunteers Day Out event. The Volunteers Day Out is council's way to thank BushCare volunteers for all the great achievements in the year. Alongside our epic 1,600+ BushCare volunteers, we’ve accomplished some pretty incredible achievements. In the 2022/23 financial year, we’ve planted 17,495 native trees, shrubs and groundcovers, removed and composted 1,924 wheelie bins (120L) of environmental weeds with a large amount managed in situ. These achievements have helped to create habitat for local wildlife and improve the quality of our bushland in council’s environment reserves.

Visit council's BushCare Sunshine Coast website to find out how you can get involved.