Congratulations to forest campaigners Andrew Lincoln and the Goongerah Environment Centre (GECO), joint winners of the 2017 Peter Rawlinson Conservation Award in recognition of their critical work surveying and defending Victorian native forests.
The ACF Peter Rawlinson Conservation Award celebrates individuals and groups who have made an outstanding voluntary contribution to protecting the environment in Australia.
Established in 1992, the annual award is given in memory of former ACF Councillor Peter Rawlinson – a zoologist, lecturer in biological science and tireless campaigner for our living world.
GECO was awarded for the critical citizen science and on-ground surveying work of its volunteers to protect old growth trees and rainforest plants in East Gippsland forests.
Since January of this year, GECO's program has protected over 300 hectares of high conservation value Greater Glider habitat that would otherwise have been logged. In one case, they documented 22 individual Greater Gliders in just one area of forest where VicForests failed to detect any.
The program has been so successful it was nominated as a finalist in the 2015 United Nations World Environment Day Awards.
Left: Marnie Rawlinson, GECO campaigner Ed Hill, ACF CEO Kelly O'Shanassy. Photo: Stephanie Bradford
Mr Lincoln was awarded for the countless volunteer hours he has spent documenting rare and endangered wildlife in tracts of threatened forests in Victoria’s Central Highlands and East Gippsland.
Mr Lincoln, working unpaid far beyond the hours of nine to five, has trained citizen science groups, developed logging coupe and threatened species maps for other environment groups, and collaborated on celebrated legal interventions to protect Victorian forests. This work has led to logging being permanently halted in a number of active coupes and temporarily halted in many more. A significant number of areas slated for logging have been protected and many new protected zones, totalling many hectares, have been created on the back of Mr Lincoln’s tireless efforts.
Right: Greater Glider, East Gippsland. Photo: Pavel German/GECO
Peter Rawlinson was one of Australia's leading biologists and conservationists. He died on the island of Anak Krakatau, Indonesia, on 11 April 1991, while engaged in research fieldwork. He was only 48 years old.
This award was established in recognition of Peter's outstanding contribution as an environmental campaigner, researcher, teacher – as well as his tireless work for many conservation organisations, especially ACF, where he was Vice-President, Treasurer and Councillor.
For over two years, Micklo Corpus camped on his own traditional country, 70 kilometres east of Broome in West Australia at the gates of Buru Energy’s Yulleroo fracking site. He continues to share his knowledge of culture and love of country while engaging the community and industry to keep the Kimberley frack free.
Through this award we commend his efforts in highlighting the threats from potential contamination of his land and groundwater.
For many years, Regina McKenzie and other Adnyamathanha Traditional Owners have worked to regenerate and protect their homelands around Yappala Station in the Flinders Ranges.
In April 2016, they woke to the news the area was being considered for a nuclear waste dump – without their consultation or consent.
Since that time, Regina has lead the opposition to this proposal among her people and the broad Australian community.