Winners of the 2018 Australian Geographic Society Awards

By Australian Geographic 26 October 2018
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From polar explorers to plastic bag campaigners, today we recognise the best in Australian adventure and conservation for 2018.

OVERCOMING SIGNIFICANT physical challenges and proving that age is no barrier, this year’s winners of the Australian Geographic Society awards are some of the most inspiring yet.

Each year the AG Society gives out seven awards, the Young Conservationist and Adventurer awards, Adventure and Conservationist of the Year, Spirit of Adventurer and the Lifetime awards. The 2018 Awards were celebrated at a gala dinner ceremony in Sydney on 26 October, attended by special guests the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.

This year’s recipients of the Lifetime Adventurer award, the Society’s most prestigious honour, is polar explorer Syd Kirkby, Australia’s most decorated Antarctic adventurer.

The Lifetime of Conservation Award has gone to Atticus Fleming, former Chief Executive of the Australian Wildlife Conservancy, the world’s largest private owner of land for conservation.

For the second time, Jade Hameister has taken out the Young Adventurer award, this time for becoming the youngest person to ski to both poles and complete the Polar Hat Trick in 2017.

Young Conservationist of the Year has been awarded to Sophia Skarparis for her campaign against the use of plastic bags in New South Wales.

The Numbat Task Force, consisting of Robert McLean, John Lawson and Sean Van Alphen, has won the Conservationist of the Year award for their lobbying efforts to save the numbat, Western Australia’s faunal emblem.

Steve Plain has been named Adventurer of the Year for climbing the world’s seven summits – Vernon, Aconcagua, Kilimanjaro, Carstensz, Elbrus, Denali and Everest – in just four months following a near-fatal injury.

This year’s Spirit of Adventure award recipient is Paul Pritchard who, in 1998, suffered from a brain injury after a falling boulder hit him in the head while climbing Tasmania’s totem poles. Despite this, he has continued his adventures, including achieving world-firsts.

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Thank you to sponsor of the 2018 Australian Geographic Awards.