Some of South Australia’s most passionate environmentalists were celebrated last night at the 2022 South Australian Environment Awards.

The awards, run by the Conservation Council of South Australia in partnership with the Department for Environment and Water and Green Adelaide, acknowledge individuals, groups and organisations that dedicate their time, expertise, and passion to care for our precious natural environment.

Five winners were recognised for their contributions towards protecting the environment – including horticulturist, author and media personality Sophie Thomson who took home Green Adelaide's Pelzer Prize – and five lifetime achievers were awarded for their long-term pursuits.

These individuals and organisations all demonstrate enormous passion for the environment, and moreover, an incredible amount of motivation and dedication to make a difference.

It is only the second year that Green Adelaide’s Pelzer Prize has been awarded, and this year the honour went to Gardening Australia’s Sophie Thomson.

Green Adelaide Board Presiding Member Professor Chris Daniels said the renowned horticulturalist was recognised for her passionate commitment to gardening but more importantly conveying the benefits that accrue to our environment and overall community wellbeing.

“Sophie is a superb example of someone who has a tremendous love of nature, which is rivalled by her enthusiasm to make a practical difference,” Professor Daniels said.

“She has a fantastic ability to bring others along on the journey with her, and inspires them to find small ways to make a difference too.

“We are thrilled to support the Pelzer Prize again this year and we congratulate and thank all of this year’s SA Environment Awards winners for their dedication to our environment.”

Pelzer Prize winner Sophie Thomson (Image credit: Luke Simon Photography)

Conservation SA President Mark Anderson said the winners have made significant contributions in everything from habitat restoration and sustainability, to education and community engagement.

“The contributions that these winners and lifetime achievers have made – and continue to make – is something that we appreciate and value enormously,” Mr Anderson said.

“These individuals and groups are motivated by a deep and genuine love of nature and concern for its future, and deserve to be recognised more broadly for their huge contributions.”

The 2022 SA Environment Awards categories and winners are:

  • Jill Hudson Award for Environmental Protection
    Winner: Tom Morrison
    Now in its 25th year, this award recognises an individual living in South Australia who has made an outstanding contribution to protecting the state’s environment.
  • Working Together Award
    Winner: Nature Festival
    This award recognises groups, organisations or projects where collaboration and partnership have been key to achieving significant results for our environment.
  • Innovation Award
    Winner: Maximilliam Mann
    This new award recognises an individual, organisation or company for developing or applying an innovative solution towards a sustainable future.
  • Leif Justham Young Achiever Award
    Winner: Madeline McShane
    This award recognises individuals (or groups of young people) under the age of 28 who have made a significant recent contribution to protecting the state’s environment.
  • Green Adelaide’s Pelzer Prize
    Winner: Sophie Thomson
    This award recognises a conservation leader or environmental champion who works towards restoring landscapes, creating habitat for wildlife, connecting people to nature, or cleaning up natural spaces.

Lifetime Achievers Awards:

  • Betty Westwood
  • Major Sumner AM
  • Dr Mike Bossley AO
  • Margaret Lee
  • Dr Richard Willing OAM.

For more information about the awards, visit the website.

Main image: Pelzer Prize winner Sophie Thomson. Image credit: Luke Simon Photography

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