Two of Australia’s true ecotourism leaders – both of them former directors of Ecotourism Australia – have been recognised with Medals of the Order of Australia (OAM) this week, which were presented as part of the 2020 Australia Day Honours.
Lizzie Corke, Co-Founder of the Advanced Ecotourism certified Great Ocean Ecolodge and CEO/Co-Founder of the Conservation Ecology Centre and new Otways attraction Wildlife Wonders, was recognised for her service to conservation and the environment.
Peter Gash, Managing Director of Advanced Ecotourism and Climate Action Leader certified Lady Elliot Island Eco Resort and Co-Owner/Chief Pilot of Seair Pacific, was recognised for his service to eco-tourism and aviation.
“I am delighted to accept this award and gratefully acknowledge the enthusiasm, expertise and unwavering support of the people who make up our team at the Conservation Ecology Centre,” says Ms Corke of the award.
“The Otways are home to many species which have been lost from other places and the ecosystems here provide an important haven to help secure their long-term survival.
“As we’ve seen bushfires devastate huge areas of this beautiful country this summer, it’s likely the Otways will play an important role in securing populations of some of our most iconic species, such as the koala, and other elusive but very important species, such as the quolls, potoroos and bandicoots.”
Peter Gash, who has been Co-Lease Holder and Managing Director of multi-award-winning Lady Elliot Island Eco Resort since 2005, says that the award belongs just as much to his family and friends as to the passionate people who support the work of ecotourism, conservation, reef education and renewable energy at Lady Elliot Island.
“The award came as a great surprise and I feel very humbled by the fact that people have gone to the effort of nominating myself for such an accolade,” he said.
“To have been awarded this accolade in the two areas of ‘eco-tourism’ and ‘aviation’ speaks volumes for the fact that these areas can be mutually supportive and beneficial for the advancement of education and environmental stewardship without detracting from each other. This indicates a remarkable approach by the Australia Day Awards Committee to the challenges the planet faces in the future.”
Lizzie Corke served on the Ecotourism Australia board from 2013 to 2018 and Peter Gash was director from 2012 to 2014.
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