Grassroots conservationist Todd Dudley has won the 2018 Peter Rawlinson Award in recognition of 20 years of protecting and restoring ecologically-significant landscapes in north-eastern Tasmania’s mountains and coast.
The honour, which celebrates outstanding voluntary contributions to protecting the environment, was awarded at the Australian Conservation Foundation’s (ACF) annual general meeting in Melbourne on Friday night.
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.
“Over two decades of conservation work, Todd has shared his knowledge and passion for the nature of north-eastern Tasmania and has inspired countless others to join the effort to protect our unique places and wildlife,” said ACF’s Chief Executive Kelly O’Shanassy.
“In the Skyline Tier Ecological Restoration project Todd and a team of 18 locals restored bushland to the hills overlooking Scamander, where forest had been cut down in the 1960s and ’70s and turned into a pine plantation. In a huge restoration effort, Todd and his team brought back biodiverse native forest using seeds that had survived in the ground under the pines.
“Todd is known for his knowledge and his passion, but also for his quiet diplomacy and patience – important qualities for anyone wanting to achieve lasting change,” she said.
Todd’s referees described his work on the East Coast Conservation Corridor as “visionary and inspirational”. The Friends of the Blue Tier praised his work on the Blue Tier Forest Reserve, saying “the pride he has given to unemployed men is incredible, he’s changed people’s lives. He’s unassuming in nature, a quiet achiever and an amazing man.”
Established in 1992, the Rawlinson Award is given annually in memory of former ACF Councillor Peter Rawlinson – a zoologist, lecturer in biological science and tireless campaigner for our living world.