2022 Award Recipients


Presented by Peter Malinauskas MP | Premier of South Australia

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Dr Mike Bossley AM
Margaret Lee
Major 'Moogy' Sumner AM
Dr Richard Willing OAM
Betty Westwood OAM


Presented by Adelaide Cemeteries CEO Michael Robertson

Winner: Nature Festival

The Nature Festival is a 10-day program of events, encounters, and experiences to celebrate our love of nature in South Australia.

In just its second year (2021) the state-wide festival grew 75% with 14,000 participants over 285 unique events.

Nature Festival has made a huge impact since its founding in 2020. The dedicated leadership team supports events from artists to wineries to health professionals, working with the environment sector to find creative ways to reach new audiences.

After last year’s Nature Festival, surveys showed participants felt increased pride in South Australia’s environment, with the majority inspired to take positive action to care for nature after attending the festival.


Biodiversity McLaren Vale

Biodiversity McLaren Vale is a joint initiative of local industry, community and government that works to preserve and regenerate biodiversity across the region. In 2022 they celebrated a five-year partnership with Shingleback Wines that has seen the planting of more than 6,000 native plants of 75 different species.

Trees for Life Tree Scheme

The Trees for Life Tree Scheme is the longest running grassroots conservation program in South Australia, In 2020/21 the program involved more than 500 backyard volunteers who grew a staggering 211,000 seedlings: a formidable achievement.


Presented by Dr Susan Close MP | Deputy Premier Minister for Climate, Environment and Water

Winner: Dr Maximilian Man

Dr Max Mann is a Research Associate at Flinders University making advancements on a new alternative for recycling e-waste.

Dr Mann has been nominated for developing an innovative process to leach precious metals from e-waste using a cheap, widely available, water chlorination compound.

His non-toxic precious metal extraction method promises to lessen the environmental impact of e-waste recycling in South Australia and beyond.

This innovative research is also being applied in gold mining, eliminating the use of toxic mercury or cyanide.

Dr Mann is collaborating with Clean Earth Technologies to build a pilot plant in Adelaide for large scale e-waste recycling using this technology.


Dr Abe Chandra

Vascular and general surgeon Dr Abe Chandra began his sustainability journey after seeing the need for an alternative to incineration for medical plastic waste. Dr Chandra has been nominated tonight for his company SARBN Circular’s R&D work on the sustainable remanufacture of oyster baskets and other end-of life plastics across the Eyre Peninsula.

Mary Kelly

Mary is the founder of Reusably, an Adelaide based startup facilitating swap systems of reusable containers using cloud-based technology. Mary has been nominated for her ongoing work supporting communities to eliminate single-use packaging from cafes and businesses.


Presented by Leif's mum Helen Taylor

Winner: Madeline McShane

Madeline is an inspiring young campaigner with a focus on the health of our planet and its people.

As an active environment advocate, Madeline has had a big impact on established campaigns from Fight for the Bight to School Strike for Climate, and co-founded a number of grassroots action groups for South Australians of all ages.

Madeline’s formidable grassroots organising includes co-founding Fossil Free UofA, a student group working to divest the University of Adelaide from fossil fuel investments.

She also co-founded the South Australian Grassroots Ecosystem (SAGE), a collective of grassroots environmental groups, designed to foster the sharing of information, ideas and support.

Madeline reminds us that while the threats to our natural world are real and growing, positive local action can and will make a difference.


Jack Gill

As a passionate advocate for the environment, sustainability and community empowerment, Jack dedicates his time and effort towards supporting his community in the Town of Gawler in its transition to a low-carbon and climate-resilient future.

Max Schubert

Max is a Biodiversity Team Member at Campbelltown City Council committed to the revegetation of Indigenous landscapes, particularly within Athelstone where he has lived his whole life.

Max was nominated both for his professional work and generous community volunteering, where he offers expertise and a passion for native flora and fauna in service of his community.


Presented by Mark Anderson | President, Conservation Council of SA

Winner: Tom Morrison

In 2017 after witnessing a neighbour in the Mitcham Hills area remove every single tree in their backyard, only to move out three months later, Tom felt compelled to find out how this was possible.

Discovering how weak tree regulations and protections are in Adelaide, he started the highly successful 20 Metre Trees Facebook page to raise awareness and propose solutions, reaching thousands of people every week.

Since then, Tom has been a tireless advocate for law reform through countless meetings and deputations with arborists, local Councillors, data experts, ecologists, the State Planning Commission, CFS and other key decision makers, cleverly educating and building up a network of advocates within and outside the system.

Over the past three years he has been a lead author on a series of highly influential reports prepared in partnership with Conservation SA and other tree advocacy organisations.  In particular, his work comparing tree regulations in South Australia to equivalent places in other states has been a revelation, changing the public narrative and directly leading to the commitment by the new Malinauskas Government to match Australian best practice in green canopy protection.

Tom’s highly effective advocacy of evidence-based solutions, and his ability to draw threads together and work out what needs to change in the system – all as a volunteer - has shaped public debate over the need for better tree protections and increased awareness of the urgency to retain tree canopy cover across metropolitan Adelaide.

In addition, he is the founder of the South Australian Tree of the Year Award, a competition that sees people nominate their favourite trees for the public to vote on, along the way engaging people from both city and country to appreciate the wonders around them.


Matt Farrell

University of Adelaide PhD Researcher in restoration ecology Matt Farrell is an inspiring biodiversity advocate and community leader.

Matt has been nominated for his work with the Sellicks Woodlands and Wetlands Action Network, leading direct engagement and advocating for biodiversity protection with community and Council.

Dr Sophie 'Topa' Petit

Associate Professor Sophie ‘Topa’ Petit has been nominated for her extraordinary rallying of community after the devastating 2020 Kangaroo Island bushfires.

Professor Petit’s inclusive biodiversity recovery work has given hope to many Kangaroo Island residents struggling with grief and helplessness by helping them feel that their actions can make a difference.


Presented by Chris Daniels | Chair, Green Adelaide Board

Winner: Sophie Thomson

Sophie Thomson is an Adelaide based horticulturalist, author and media personality who presents ABC’s Gardening Australia, Sophie also delivers extensive information and engagement through talkback radio and a variety of other forums.  Sophie developed her own garden as a model for engaging everyone, but particularly children, with backyard nature.  She has also been an active voice for the protection of old trees, and on the importance of green space and nature as a response to climate change and COVID 19.

But it is her work assisting bushfire recovery in communities in the Adelaide Hills and Kangaroo Island for which she was awarded the Pelzer Prize..

Recognising the power of reconnecting with nature as an essential part of the healing process, in the immediate aftermath of the devastating wildfires on KI in early 2020, Sophie conceived and developed the reGrowth Garden Recovery Program.

Her vision was to help others who have lost their gardens through the fires to get their hands back into the soil and start to garden and grow food again.


Commendation for Application of Innovative Technology: Project Green Group
Commendation for Community Park Management: David Ragless
Commendation for Botanical Research: Neville Bonney
Commendation for Regional and Remote Communities: Don Helbig
Commendation for Landscapes for Wildlife: Danny Rohrlach
Commendation for Environmental Education: Rona Sakko
Commendation for Citizen Science: Stephen Fricker