JILL HUDSON AWARD FOR ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION
Presented by Craig Wilkins | Chief Executive, Conservation Council of SA
Winner: Professor Sarah Wheeler
For more than a decade, Professor Sarah Wheeler has sought to change national water policy for the benefit of South Australia and the entire Murray-Darling Basin system.
Alongside her academic research as Professor of Water Economics at University of Adelaide, Professor Wheeler has engaged extensively on water policy with government and industry.
Of particular focus has been her work advocating for the most effective policy options to return water to rivers within the Basin. Advocating for increased buyback of irrigator entitlements is fraught with conflict, given the popular narrative about the socio-economic impacts of buybacks by major irrigator groups.
Taking such a stance in calling for water policy reform and being critical of politically-motivated water changes – along with the call for continued buyback of water entitlements – has caused conflict with politicians, irrigator lobby groups, and other water organisations.
Despite significant opposition, Professor Wheeler continues to provide top-level scientific expertise on the Murray-Darling Basin alongside her unwavering advocacy for our country’s greatest Rivers.
In 2006 Elizabeth Penney’s family purchased seven acres of barren farmland in Angle Vale in Adelaide’s northern suburbs.
Over the past 16 years, the humble family patch has become a six-acre native sanctuary that attracts over 30 different bird species and other diverse fauna. Since convincing her family the area would make a fine bird sanctuary, Elizabeth has brought the land back to life, planting over 20,000 native plants on the property.
Each week she works long hours on the land: planting, weeding and planning for the coming season. As part of her conservation efforts, Elizabeth rescues and repots over 500 plants each year, caring for them at home until they are ready to return to the plot. And at 80 years of age, she shows no signs of slowing down.
This thriving native haven in our city’s north is testament to the tenacity of Elizabeth Penny’s determination to protect and restore our environment.
A lifelong champion for the environment, Alan Young has dedicated his time and energy to restoring landscapes, creating habitats for wildlife, and connecting people to nature.
Alan was nominated for his exceptional contributions to the Lot 101 revegetation project in Glenelg North.
He has worked tirelessly to ensure the project's success, collaborating with a range of partners across government and local council, and rallying members of the community to engage with nature. Alan’s determination and drive have resulted in positive revegetation and weed control outcomes on the 650m Lot 101 Sand Dune.
This critical project has helped stabilise the dune system and improve its biodiversity while providing a unique opportunity to develop and promote effective land management methods for coastal vegetation and dune systems.
Alan continues to inspire others through his work promoting a stronger connection between nature and community.