2024 Community Hero is Monica Mudge

On Thursday, March 7th, Monica Mudge was honored with the prestigious title of 2024 Community Hero in the NSW Women of the Year Awards. The ceremony, held at the International Convention Centre in Sydney, celebrated Monica’s remarkable contributions to her community, particularly through her visionary leadership at Treading Lightly Inc., a not-for-profit organization based in the Yuin region of NSW.

Monica Mudge, as the founder and President of Treading Lightly Inc., has been at the forefront of environmental advocacy, particularly in the wake of the devastating 2019–2020 bushfires. Through her tireless dedication, Monica has transformed Treading Lightly Inc. into a beacon of hope, dedicated to ‘Caring for Earth and Connecting Community’. Her work epitomizes environmental stewardship, fostering grassroots change and inspiring hope in the face of environmental challenges.

In her remarks, Monica humbly acknowledged the collective effort behind her success, saying, “I can honestly say I truly felt like some sort of fraud standing there. To be recognized as one woman worthy of such accolades feels very odd. You may not see the teams of women I get to work, and volunteer with EVERY DAY, but trust me, they deserve to be here as much as I did. Without them, and the men that support us, I wouldn’t be worthy of such generous words and accolades.”

Monica’s journey began with a childhood love for the environment and oceans, which fueled her lifelong commitment to environmental conservation. Previously, as Program Manager for Take 3 for the Sea, she showcased her leadership in addressing plastic pollution and sustainability goals with Surf Life Saving clubs. Now, through Treading Lightly Inc., Monica champions regenerative and sustainable practices that bridge community and environment.

Speaking about the future of Treading Lightly Inc., Monica stated, “Treading Lightly are always looking for more supporters – individuals, government, and businesses. With more help, we can do more to reduce waste; protect the biodiversity of our land and waterways; embed Aboriginal knowledge and practice; and educate and inspire the next generation. We want more than sustainability for our community. We want to work together to regenerate our environment.”