Jack ‘Wongili’ Green, an Indigenous man from the Southwest Gulf of Carpentaria, has won an environmental award in recognition of his fight for both Indigenous rights and environmental justice in his region.
“As ACF celebrates its 50th year, we are thrilled to announce that Jack Wongili Green was unanimously chosen by the selection committee as the 2015 Peter Rawlinson Award winner for his outstanding contribution caring for our environment,” said ACF CEO Kelly O’Shanassy.
“From leading a campaign against the environmental pollution of his region from Glencore’s massive lead and zinc mine in the McArthur River, to working with other Indigenous groups to regain ownership of their lands, to the establishment of Indigenous ranger programs – Jack Green is a worthy winner of this year’s Rawlinson Award.
“The Australian Conservation Foundation has a long history of working closely with Indigenous people around the country and we are pleased to have the opportunity to honour Jack Green’s tireless work,” she said.
The Peter Rawlinson Award is named after a person who made his own outstanding contribution caring for our unique natural environment and wildlife.
David Morris from the NT Environmental Defenders Office, who nominated Mr Green for the award, described Jack Green as “the face of the fight for the environment in the Southwest Gulf.”
“Jacky has left on me an enduring impression of the importance of fighting for country and fighting for his people…Jack sees the two things as inseparable. These matters and Jack’s work are almost always out of sight, they should not be out of mind,” said Mr Morris.
On receiving the award, Jack Green commented: “It hit me in the heart and it made me feel really good and happy to get something back to recognise Australia, the importance of this land.”