Monarto Zoo and Swan Reach Music Festival awarded at 2016 Brand SA Regional Awards

PEOPLE'S CHOICE: A portion of the many dedicated keepers at Monarto Zoo with the People's Choice Award from the Murraylands and Riverland category of the Brand SA Regional Awards. Photo: Emmalie Balnaves-Gale.

PEOPLE'S CHOICE: A portion of the many dedicated keepers at Monarto Zoo with the People's Choice Award from the Murraylands and Riverland category of the Brand SA Regional Awards. Photo: Emmalie Balnaves-Gale.

Two Murraylands attractions have been recognised in this year’s Brand SA Regional Awards.

The future development prospects at Monarto Zoo landed the 1500 hectare zoo with People’s Choice Award at the Celebration Evening on October 14.

A collaborative decision from Mayors across the regions awarded the Swan Reach Music Festival with Mayors Choice.

The winners were among 10 finalists for the Murraylands and Riverland category.

Monarto Zoo Director of Business Operations Sarah Brown accepted the People’s Choice Award at the awards night in Remark last Friday.

“This award is a reinforcement of how our community sees us and gives us a platform to position ourselves as a conservation project to the public,” she said.

For Sarah, it was paramount to spread the message that Monarto Zoo was a two-part mission.

“We work to save animals from extinction and connect people back with nature,” she said.

She said the award acknowledged the zoo’s dedication to future projects Wild Africa and Predator Experience.

“Around 130,000 visitors pass through our gates each year and hopefully these new projects will expand on this,” she said.

As the largest open range zoo in world, outside of Africa, Ms Brown believed the sheer volume of Monarto Zoo was what made it special.

“You could fit every zoo in Australia inside Monarto and still have space left over,” she said.

“The entire Adelaide Zoo would fit inside the Lion Exhibit and this extraordinary experience is in our backyard.”

On behalf of the zoo, Ms Brown said she was honored to be acknowledged among the other finalists.

“We were proud to be among the other wonderful finalists, all with fantastic and worthy projects,” she said.

Yates Electrical Services from Paringa in the Riverland was announced Sponsors’ Choice.

Aaron Parkyn and Sarah Parkyn, Caroline Bristow Wig Library, Murray River Queen, RiverGum Cruises, Rustic Reilly, Southern Sky Pecans and St Joseph's School Renmark were the remaining finalists. 

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