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Robert Pennicott, a Bruny Island resident helping protect Tasmania’s coastline and support people in need, has been selected to appear on the cover of this year’s Hobart White Pages® and Yellow Pages® book, to be distributed throughout Hobart and surrounding regions from 24 November 2012.

This year’s Covers Program theme, A Helping Hand, The Aussie Way, recognises Robert for his work cofounding the Tasmanian Coast Conservation Fund and establishing the Pennicott Foundation to make Tasmania, and the world, a better place.

A Bruny Island-based tour boat operator, Robert has long put his money where his mouth is – donating one quarter of his business’ profits to local projects and charities. Since 2007, he has contributed $100,000 to the Tasmanian Coast Conservation Fund, which enabled a feral species to be eradicated from Tasman Island, saving 50,000 seabirds a year.

Driven to help others, last year Robert founded the Pennicott Foundation to raise money for local and international causes. His first mission was circumnavigating Australia in a 17-foot yellow dinghy to raise funds and awareness for both conservation and polio. Surviving on approximately five hours sleep a night, Robert raised $288,000, which will assist in wiping out the disease worldwide.

“I’ve always been determined to leave a positive legacy in the world and do my bit to help my community and our planet. To be recognised for this is incredibly humbling and very surprising,” Robert said.

“I hope when people pick up their phone book this year, it inspires them to think about how they can help make Tassie a better place – even the smallest effort counts!”

Each year, Sensis®, the publisher of the White Pages® and Yellow Pages®, recognises the efforts of local people in their communities by celebrating their achievements on the cover of its books.

The theme for this year’s covers, A Helping Hand, The Aussie Way, was inspired by the thousands of Australians who go above and beyond to help someone in need, or their local community when times are tough.

White Pages® Product Manager Sarah Simpson said, “Australians have always banded together in times of need – it’s the Aussie way. No matter what the circumstances are, there’s never any questions asked – we just get in and get the job done.

“In this year’s Covers Program, we’re delighted to recognise and celebrate Aussies who have lent a helping hand when someone has needed it most.

“Robert has set a fantastic example and it is fitting that he has been recognised on the cover of the Hobart White Pages® and Yellow Pages®.”

Residents and businesses can choose not to receive a copy of the White Pages® and Yellow Pages® by calling Sensis® on 1800 008 292 or visiting http://www.directoryselect.com.au.

Did you know? The previous local people to appear on the cover of the Hobart White Pages® and Yellow Pages® were:

2011/12: Liila Hass featured on the cover under the theme Australians Creating a Better Future. Liila was recognised for her work helping Tasmania transition towards a sustainable future as chairperson and founder of not-for-profit group Future Tasmania and as co-founder of support group Vegetarian Tasmania.

2010/11: Sandy Bay resident Peter Crosswell featured under the theme Courageous Australians. Peter was recognised for his commitment to Camp Quality Tasmania and for the courage he showed when saving two friends during the Port Arthur massacre.

2009/10:  Rosetta resident Jenny Chapman appeared on the cover under the theme Creative Australians: Inspiring our Communities. The founding musical director of the Choir of High Hopes Hobart, which consists of more than 100 members who have experienced disadvantage during their lives.