Unsung Hero of South Australian Science Communication
Dr Robert Lawrence and Mrs Rosalie Lawrence – Winner
Robert and Rosalie Lawrence are conservationists who are passionate about using citizen science to connect people to the natural world.
They have a broad interest in plants, especially native orchids and over the years, have participated in orchid surveys and volunteering thousands of hours to collect invaluable data for researchers.
Since 2006, Robert and Rosalie have run Heritage Bushcare, providing sensitive weed control for the conservation of threatened plants and mentoring the next generation of South Australia's conservation land managers.
They are actively involved in numerous citizen science programs, including the Great Koala Count, BioBlitzes, the City Nature Challenge for Greater Adelaide and Wild Orchid Watch (WOW). The WOW project is testament to Rosalie and Robert's vision to engage Australian amateur naturalists, orchid enthusiasts and citizen scientists in large scale data collection in collaboration with scientists and large scientific institutions.
Mr Adrian Sherriff
Adrian Sherriff is the founder of Animals Anonymous which provides educational wildlife encounters and presentations using a diverse range of Australian native animals. He promotes the importance of conserving the natural environment, animal habitats and the breeding of vulnerable and endangered Australian animals.
On his own property he has embarked on improving its biodiversity through an extensive and collaborative revegetation program which has enhanced the habitat for many species of plants and animals. His passion for learning and communicating scientific ideas drove him to co-create a regular podcast, The Aussie Wildlife Show, which interviews scientists and authorities in their fields on conservation and environmental issues. He also uses various other online media platforms to spread the word about the importance of revegetating the land and caring for animals.
Adrian undertakes interactive educational presentations and displays at a wide range of venues, including schools, shopping centres, conferences and fairs. His passion, knowledge and sense of humour help him to communicate his knowledge about animals and conservation in a memorable and informative way.
Mr Steven Walker
Steve Walker has had a lifetime interest in frogs and other wildlife. He currently works for the Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges Natural Resources Management Board's Education Team.
He has significantly contributed to community frog monitoring programs in South Australia, including the EPA Frog Census and, consequently, providing advice to Zoos SA during the development of the Frog Spotter 'app'. Steve also co-authored the book "Frogs of South Australia (Third Edition)" with Associate Professor Mike Tyler. Through decades of work identifying records of frog calls from around the state, his verifications have contributed a huge amount of scientific data on South Australian frog distributions.
Being a key member of the Frog Watch SA partnership, he has developed valuable educational resources, provided training for citizen scientists, and given hundreds of presentations to a diverse range of educational institutions and community groups. His distillation of the science into entertaining anecdotes suitable for young and old makes him a popular science communicator who lives his passion.