Press Release - 20th February 2006.

Vice Chairman of the Australian National 4WD Radio Network Inc.
wins Serventy Conservation Award.

WILDLIFE PRESERVATION
SOCIETY OF AUSTRALIA INC

(ABN 13 817 470 816)
Formed in 1909 and dedicated to the conservation of Australia's wildlife
Patron: His Excellency Major General Michael Jeffery AC CVO MC (Retd)
Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia
President of Honour:  Dr Vincent Serventy AM


MEDIA RELEASE
ALICE SPRINGS VOLUNTEER WINS SERVENTY CONSERVATION AWARD FOR 2005


Mr Lyall Kenneth Metcalfe of Alice Spring in the Northern Territory is the winner of the 2005 Serventy Conservation Award presented at a ceremony in the NSW Parliament House, Macquarie Street, Sydney on Monday 20 February 2006.

Ken (as he is known) has an inspirational love for Australia's wildlife and has a lifelong interest in nature conservation both as a working Ranger with the Fauna Protection Panel and as a Ranger with the National Parks & Wildlife Service in NSW.  In his older years Ken has continued his life volunteer conservation work throughout most states of Australia.  Ken now lives in Alice Springs NT where he acts as a Regional Councillor for our Society and assists with many Northern Territory Parks clean ups, and also assisted with the foundation of the Alice Springs Volunteer Bush Fire Brigade.

Ken as recipient of the Serventy Conservation Medal for 2005, while not as old as Dr Vin Serventy, has nonetheless made a lifetime contribution to the conservation movement.  Ken Metcalfe joined our Society as a 19 year-old and has been active ever since.  His activities have lasted over a period of more than 45 years.  These began in Sydney where he acted as Honorary Ranger for Hornsby Shire Council, Sutherland Shire Council, as Honorary Ranger for NSW under the Fauna Protection Act and in a salaried position within the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service.  He also became a registered flora collector for the National Herbarium, Sydney.   During this time Ken found time to act as an Honorary Fire Patrol Officer and even captain a local Bush Fire Brigade.

Wherever Ken has gone he has become involved in conservation and related activities. He was an honorary Ranger for Coffs Harbour Council and since his move to the Northern Territory he hasn't allowed the heat to affect his zeal.  He has been actively involved in the Alice Springs volunteer Bush Fire Brigade, won a Tidy Towns Award for small towns, won a Power and Water Award for vegetation and water conservation in a small Aboriginal community north of Alice Springs.  In 2001 Ken was runner-up in the Territorian of the Year award and in 2002 was awarded the Volunteer of the Year for Emergency and Safety.

In the army there is an old saying, "don't volunteer for anything".  In the conservation movement that just wouldn't wash.  We'd achieve very little if we didn't work together.  We depend on volunteers and it is fitting that a volunteer like Ken Metcalfe should be recognised for his lifelong contribution.

The Serventy Conservation Award

The Award was instituted in 1999 to commemorate the wildlife conservation work of the Serventy family (Dr Vincent, his brother Dr Dominic, and Sister Lucy Serventy who died in 2003 aged 98.  Lucy was our oldest Life Member).  Dr Vincent Serventy AM is now our President of Honour and will be present with his wife Carol Serventy OAM at the Luncheon.  Also present at this Annual Luncheon will be the inaugural winner, Margaret Thorsborne of Cardwell, Queensland and past winners John Fenton from Hamilton Victoria, Bernie Clarke from Sussex Inlet NSW, Val Taylor and Dr Judy Messer from Sydney.

The Presentation of a special Bronze Conservation Medal was made by our Guest Speaker, The Hon Morris Iemma MP, Premier of New South Wales, and the cheque presentation was made by Dr Vincent Serventy.
 
  Ken with Dr Vincent Serventy AM.

 
  Ken with the Award Certificate and Medallion

History of the Serventy Conservation Award

In 1997 the Council of the Society decided to perpetuate and honour the conservation memory of the Serventy family for their outstanding contribution to wildlife preservation throughout Australia by establishing the Serventy Conservation Award and Medal.

The Serventy Conservation Award, named in honour of our President of Honour, Dr Vincent Serventy AM, his brother, the late Dr Dominic Serventy, an international ornithologist, and his older sister Lucy Serventy, who died last year.

Dr Vincent Serventy has been a member of the Society for more than 50 years, written some 65 books and served as its President until 2000.  His work for conservation and the environment is well known.  His sister Lucy, was a member of the Society for even longer, and was famous in Western Australia for her work in nature conservation, particularly among young people and for her bush walking exploits throughout the State.

This Award is intended to honour wildlife conservation work that has not been done as part of a professional career for which the person will have been well paid and honoured.  It is given to those who labour in the wildlife conservation field for a love of nature and a determination that it should be conserved.

Often these have been non-scientists who have earned their wildlife conservation skills through sheer hard work and sometimes personal sacrifices.  In the past names like Alec Chisholm, Keith Hindwood, Arnold McGill, Milo Dunphy all come to mind.  In the last century there were other great figures like the artist and ornithologists John Gould and John Gilbert who contributed much to our knowledge of our Australian wildlife.

Medal design

The Medal was created by Australia's foremost sculptor, Stephen Walker, who was born in Victoria in 1927 and now lives in Tasmania.  At the request of Vincent Serventy, Stephen designed the special conservation medallion in brass.  The medal depicts our national icon, the Australian koala (Phascolarctos cinereus), on one side and our Society's own special emblem, the short-beaked echidna (Tachyglossus aculeatus), on the other with suitable wording.

Stephen Walker's empathy and affection for Australian wildlife is embedded in the creation of the Serventy Wildlife Conservation medal.  His achievement of excellence in design and construction of this superb artwork is a complement to our unique Australian wildlife.

In addition to the Medal a cheque for $1,000 is awarded annually.  Many conservationists in the past have suffered financially for their devotion to the cause of wildlife conservation.  This monetary award is a small tribute to their dedication.  The bronze medal is designed to be a constant reminder that the conservation movement has remembered their work in the past, just as history will remember the same achievements in the future.

Selection procedure

The decision on the granting of each year's medal is decided by a full meeting of the Society's Council each year.  Nominations should be received by the Secretary of the Society by the end of October each year for assessment.   Each nomination should contain sufficient details of the work of the nominated person for the Council to be able to verify the good work of the individual on the field of wildlife conservation across Australia.

For more information please contact the Executive Director of the Society on Tel (02) 9556 1537 or check our website - www.wpsa.org.au
 
 


Ken receiving the 2005 Vincent Serventy Award from NSW Premier Morris Iemma (left) and Patrick Medway AM. National President Wildlife Preservation Society of Aust. (centre)