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Media Release
Australian Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Senator the Hon. Ian Campbell

4 June 2005

Lizzie Corke, Prime Minister's Environmentalist of the Year


A passionate and inspirational young Australian, Lizzie Corke, is the Prime Minister's Environmentalist of the Year for 2005, announced at the Banksia Environmental Awards in Adelaide tonight (Saturday, 4 June).

Lizzie Corke is the co-founder and director of the Cape Otway Centre for Conservation Ecology, an exciting facility that successfully blends wildlife education with tourism, raising the benchmark in sustainable tourism.

“In addition to achievements in providing educational eco-tourism opportunities on Cape Otway, Lizzie Corke and her husband, Shayne Neal, have established a successful business which is a powerful example to others,” Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Senator Ian Campbell said.

Officially opened in April 2004 the Cape Otway Centre for Conservation Ecology is recognised as a business dedicated to the conservation of biodiversity and ecological systems through education, research, wildlife care and example.

Last year the centre was awarded the 2004 Victorian Tourism Award in the category of ‘Best New Tourism Development’. In the same year it was awarded the Colac ‘2004 Going Greener Award’ and was a finalist in the Alcoa Regional Achievers Award.

Federal Member for Boothby, Dr Andrew Southcott, congratulated Ms Corke on her outstanding achievement in the field of environmental conservation, after presenting the Award on behalf of the Prime Minister at the Banksia Environmental Awards dinner in Adelaide tonight on the eve of World Environment Day.

The Banksia Environmental Foundation was created in 1989 to support and recognise members of the community for their positive contribution to the environment. The Prime Minister’s Environmentalist of the Year award has been sponsored by the Department for the Environment and Heritage since 2001.

"The Australian Government is proud to sponsor the Banksia Awards and will continue to support the community and industry in finding solutions to the challenges that face our natural and built environments,” Senator Campbell said.

Previous winners of the Prime Minister’s Environmentalist of the Year include prominent scientist and the former Director of the Cooperative Research Centre for Freshwater Ecology, Professor Peter Cullen (2001); inspirational NSW farmer, Bill Sloane (2002); the well-known conservationist Dr John Wamsley (2003); and visionary environmental engineer Che Wall (2004).

The theme for this year’s Banksia Awards was ‘Environmental education’, to highlight the United Nations’ Education for Sustainable Development Decade 2005 – 2015.

More information about the Banksia Awards is available at www.banksiafdn.com

Media Contact: Marianne McCabe 02 6277 7640 or 0400 389 580

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