Luisa at Merri bek AwardsLuisa Macmillan, MCMC's Manager for over 20 years, was awarded the 2023 Environmental Sustainability Award at Merri-bek City Council Community Awards on 31 October. Luisa was honoured for her leadership in overseing the ecological restoration of Merri Creek parkland in Merri-bek and beyond, making it one of the area's most popular and valued environmental assets and an inspiration for other degraded urban waterways in Melbourne.

Luisa played a key role in developing and maintaining relationships with Merri-bek and the five other Councils on the MCMC, as well as with state government agencies, research and education institutions, and community organisations – particularly Friends of Merri Creek. She has been an effective advocate for  the health of the Merri and tributaries through membership of advisory committees, strategic planning processes, advice on planning permit applications, and appearance at VCAT and Planning Panels. Importantly, she raised awareness of the risks of development on sodic and dispersive soils in the upper Merri catchment, which result in sediment-laden creek flows downstream when disturbed.

Luisa gave thanks to Ann McGregor who nominated her and accepted the award on behalf of: Merri Creek itself; the hundreds of volunteers who have supported Merri Creek over many decades; her work colleagues past and present at MCMC; and Council officers and councillors; all who have been a vital part of Merri Creek’s revitalisation.

Photo: Luisa Macmillan with the 2023 Mayor of Merri-bek, Cr Angelica Panopolous