South East Queensland’s environment champions announced

27 July 2017

Finalists for the 2017 Healthy Land and Water Awards have been announced, revealing an extraordinary range of projects undertaken by everyday Queenslanders to protect and enhance their local environment.

From tagging tiger sharks off the Sunshine Coast to reducing mud pollution in Moreton Bay, the finalists for the 10 Awards categories illustrate the dedication communities have for their favourite local places, whether it’s marine or freshwater habitats, local rainforests or rich agricultural areas.

“We’ve had an incredible response to this year’s Awards, with a wide range of different projects showing how passionate South East Queenslanders are about their natural environment,” Healthy Land and Water CEO Julie McLellan said.

“We are lucky to live in such a beautiful and vibrant part of the world, so it’s not surprising that local communities, businesses and governments are so dedicated to keeping it healthy and productive.”

The 10 Awards categories are:

  • Lifetime Achievement Award;
  • Volunteer of the Year Award, sponsored by River 94.9 FM;
  • Junior Environment Champion Award, sponsored by Seqwater;
  • Environmental Stewardship Award, sponsored by Queensland Urban Utilities;
  • Science Innovation Award;
  • Water Warrior Award, sponsored by Brisbane City Council;
  • Sustainable Education Award, sponsored by Port of Brisbane;
  • Erosion Sediment Control Leadership Award;
  • Sustainable Water Management Award, sponsored by Unitywater;
  • Government Stewardship Award, sponsored by BMT WBM.

In addition, there is the Minister’s Grand Prize, sponsored by the State Government, and the People’s Choice Award, which is open for voting until August 28.

“Now that the finalists have been announced, we are urging South East Queenslanders to show their support for our unsung environment heroes by voting for their favourite project in the People’s Choice Award,” Ms McLellan said.

“These dedicated individuals are out there every day working for very little monetary reward to protect and enhance the places and wildlife we all love, so let’s give them the recognition they deserve.”

For a list of finalists and to vote for your favourite environmental hero in the People’s Choice Award, visit  

Notes to editor:

Some of the finalists for the 2017 Healthy Land and Water Awards include:

  • Bribie Island resident Ian Bell has dedicated 40 years to improving and protecting South East Queensland’s landscapes and waterways, whether it’s lobbying against destructive industrial developments in sensitive ecosystems, helping to improve water quality in Moreton Bay or protecting local sand dunes. Recently, Ian has been trialling his world-first “Flood Proof Fence” – a collapsible fencing system that enables farmers to better manage stock in and around stream systems and floodplains, while protecting important riparian zones. Ian is a finalist in this year’s Lifetime Achievement Award. 
  • Lordie Walker is a young Quandamooka man from Minjerribah (Stradbroke Island), whose work as a Quandamooka Land and Sea Ranger has been an inspiration for the local community. Lordie has overcome disadvantage to become a finalist in the Junior Environment Champion Award, which is sponsored by Seqwater.
  • Roadvale State School, a small rural school of 32 students, 40 kilometres west of Ipswich, which has introduced a program to re-establish endangered Brigalow forest in the area, along with wildlife habitats. In the process, the school is addressing the significant local challenge of rising salinity in local soils. Roadvale State School is a finalist in the Water Warrior Award, which is sponsored by Brisbane City Council. 

Image: Quandamooka Land and Sea Ranger Lordie Walker is a finalist in the Junior Environment Achievement Award, which is sponsored by Seqwater. © Lucinda Allanson