About the award

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. 

Nominate online


Individuals or groups (excluding ACF staff and Councillors) can be nominated for their voluntary achievements at a local or national level.


The winner will receive a $3,000 prize and a memento. Entries are judged based on the significance of the issues addressed, the outcomes, the degree of difficulty in achieving them, and the level of personal commitment involved.

How to apply

Nominations are now closed. The winner will be announced at ACF's annual general meeting on 20 November 2020.

About Peter Rawlinson

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.

Past winner: Shirley Wonyabong, Elizabeth Wonyabong and Vicki Abdullah

2019 award winner

Three Tjiwarl women, Shirley, Elizabeth and Vicki, were awarded in recognition of their decades-long campaign to protect their country and culture from a proposed uranium mine at Yeelirrie in outback Western Australia.

We acknowledge their tireless work speaking up for country and culture around campfires, in politician’s offices, on the streets of Perth and in Western Australia’s highest court. Over the decades they have seen off at least three mining companies, including BHP, and have given strength and courage to their own community and many others.

Read their story

Right: Elizabeth, Vicki and Shirley at WA Supreme Court. Photo: Conservation Council of Western Australia

Past winner: Todd Dudley

2018 award winner

Grassroots conservationist Todd Dudley was awarded for 20 years of protecting and restoring ecologically-significant landscapes in north-eastern Tasmania’s mountains and coast.

Todd Dudley has campaigned against inappropriate commercial developments in sensitive coastal areas; advised individual landholders, councils and state government on native flora and fauna, weed control and fire management; led the Northeast Bioregional Network, a community conservation group; and brought back bushland to degraded landscapes.

Read Todd's story


Left: Todd Dudley, Melbourne. Photo: James Thomas

Past winner: Goongerah Environment Centre (GECO)

2017 joint award winner

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.

Read GECO's story


Right: Marnie Rawlinson, GECO campaigner Ed Hill, ACF CEO Kelly O'Shanassy. Photo: Stephanie Bradford


Past winner: Andrew Lincoln

2017 joint award winner

Andrew 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.

Andrew, 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 Andrew's tireless efforts.

Read Andrew's story


Left: Greater Glider, East Gippsland. Photo: Pavel German/GECO


Past winners

View all past winners