Date posted: 15 December 2016
Saving South Australia's threatened plants from extinction can be a thankless task, but yesterday the South Australian Seed Conservation Centre's efforts (and those of its volunteers) were officially recognised at the inaugural Green Globe awards.
More than 120 nominations were received for the awards - open to teams across the Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources - with the judges looking at each team's achievements, how they've worked and collaborated with each other, and what they contribute to DEWNR's goals and public value.
Environment Minister Ian Hunter opened the award ceremony yesterday to a crowd of over 500 people, and the Seed Centre - which has now conserved more than 71% of SA's threatened plant species through seed bank deposits - was later announced as one of the five award winners.
Botanic Gardens and State Herbarium Director Lucy Sutherland congratulated the Centre's staff and volunteer force for their conservation efforts.
"As well as delivering core conservation outcomes for South Australia, the Centre's work makes significant contributions to Australia's international efforts around the delivery of the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation and our national obligations under the Convention on Biological Diversity," Dr Sutherland said.
"It is great to see the team’s considerable efforts acknowledged and recognised."
Seed Conservation Centre Seed Collection and Research Officer Dan Duval dedicated the award to the Centre's team of "selfless" volunteers, as well as its sponsors.
"We'd like to thank the volunteers who spend endless hours assisting with field work, from hand-pollinating orchids to monitoring threatened plant species, and from assisting with laboratory work to helping the development of our web page," he said.
"Our volunteers really are selfless and dedicated people, who are experts in their field. These threatened species and sometimes undescribed species would not be in our seed bank without the volunteers' efforts. We also wouldn't have the vast amount of images and data on our web page if it wasn't for them. They perform a huge service to the flora of South Australia. This award is an acknowledgement of all their efforts.
"Special thanks to Kieran Brewer, Thai Te, Rex Croft, Denzel Murfet, Rosemary Taplin, David Kilpin, Thelma Bridle, Ron Taylor, Paul Beltrame, Les Nesbitt, Michael Yeo, Bruce Skinner, Phil Druce, Adrian Shackley & many others.
"We also can't undertake what we do without our sponsors - there's no program without them."
The Centre thanks its past and present sponsors CMV Foundation, Antony & Mary Lou Simpson, ElectraNet, Santos, Thyne Reid Foundation and Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
The South Australian Seed Conservation Centre is proudly supported by CMV Foundation, Thyne Reid Foundation, Antony & Mary Lou Simpson, ElectraNet and High Noon Trust.