Born in 1916, Joan Burton Paton AM was a renowned teacher, naturalist, environmentalist and ornithologist.
Joan had a lifelong passion for nature, serving on myriad consultative and advisory committees on the management of National Parks and Wildlife during the 1970s and ‘80s.
Joan was one of the first women to become a member of the exclusive Adelaide Ornithologists Club before she was elected president in 1991.
She was active in the Royal Australasian Ornithologists Union and served as President of the South Australian Ornithological Association.
Joan was a much-loved teacher with a talent for inspiring others, running courses on birds and bird identification for 35 years through the WEA. Many keen South Australian bird watchers developed their passion for birds and conservation after taking one of Joan’s courses.
In 1996, Joan was made a Member in the General Division of the Order of Australia for services to ornithology, education and the environment.