AAEE recognizes its members for their significant efforts in the areas of environmental education and education for sustainability.
We recognise these efforts through the national environmental awards, including the annual Environmental Educator of the Year Award and the biennial Brian Foreman Scholarship and Fellowship of AAEE.
View the Award details and past recipients below.
AAEE Environmental Educator of The Year Award
Each Chapter is encouraged to nominate a member who has achieved significant outcomes within their groups’ work in support of Education for Sustainability.
Congratulations to Joint recipients of the AAEE Environmental Educator of The Year Award Ingrid Albion from Tasmania and Jenny Hill from NSW.
Ingrid Albion works with Tasmania’s Parks and Wildlife Service as an Interpretation and Education Officer but her role and impact has extended beyond Tasmania. At the heart of every program she creates is a legacy mindset – whether it is training thousands of staff and volunteers how to rescue stranded whales, educating wildlife institutions how to save and successfully breed captive Tasmanian Devils, initiating and fostering programs such as the Aboriginal Discovery Program which empowers local Aboriginal voices, the See It Dream It Do It program to inspire regional girls to see future opportunities as rangers or fire fighters or the wildsCOOL and Maria Island school camp programs which connecting schools with nature. Every program is aimed to give others the tools to make a difference on this planet.
Many of the sustainable development goals underpin Ingrid’s programs and she sees education and action on climate change as critical. Her solutions to the predicament where the vision may not be supported are creative including working on podcasts, educational resources and partnerships that ensure these messages are disseminated.
Her Tasmanian Climate Change Stories website collects both local and international you tube videos and acts as a living library for others to see the effects of climate change on people’s lives. She was selected as part of 1000 women in STEMM to join the Homeward Bound Project who work collaboratively to educate and influence others on climate, plastics, gender equity and other sustainability programs.
Ingrid is a highly energetic and focused educator who has influenced generations of Tasmanians and nurtured her 3 daughters, all of whom are devoting their lives to environmental advocacy and empowerment. Ingrid is currently the Convenor of AAEE Tas and has been very supportive of AAEE TAS Post Covid Community skills building and sharing project- Repair, skills and nature play café and the newest Steminist proposal to bring more female voices to the science table.
Ingrid’s management style is about empowering others to become leaders and has mentored over 100 Discovery Rangers to become environmental advocates. She leads by example and not just talks the talk but also walks the walk. Whether it is hand-rearing orphaned wildlife or volunteering in a host of environmental programs Ingrid believes we can all make a difference on this planet if we are given the knowledge, skills and inspiration to act for the greater good. Click on her picture to hear Ingrid talk about her work.
Jenny Hill is the joint winner of the 2020 Environmental Educator of the Year. Jenny has been involved in environmental education since 1980. She was the inaugural vice president of the Metropolitan West (Sydney) Environmental Educators network. More recently Jenny was an environmental educator for Blue Mountains City Council, leading a number of programs including Connect with Nature with schools and pre-schools. In 2019 Jenny was winner of the AAEE NSW Government and Overall awards for environmental education. Jenny is the vice president of AAEE NSW for 2020.
It’s a few days before Christmas 2019. The temperature is 47°C. Today I’m moving into our unit in Wagga Wagga* Regional NSW, Wiradjuri country. Around us the earth is baking. Not a lick of water in the soil. No crops, no stock for yet another year. The threat of fires close by is growing and made real in late December. I was born here, grew up in Wagga a place that most people would describe as conservative. A long history of colonisation and ‘taming’ the land. A safe liberal-national seat, although an Independent is now the State Member. Our Deputy Prime Minister was born here.
For me, new possibilities. Feelings of quiet eagerness and grief in equal measure. Back after all these years. Closer to family. Eager to reconnect and really learn about my belonging place. To connect with community. Yet grief. Leaving the Blue Mountains community and its unique, diverse, life-giving ecosystems. And anguish - the Blue Mountains is burning**.
It can be depressing. Climate change is real. It’s right here in our face. I feel grief. I won’t let myself feel hopeless. I make a pact with myself: to continue to lighten my own footprint and to find and connect with environmental educators and stories in this region. To make a contribution.
Fast forward almost a year. We are creating our suburban vegetable garden in our small space (think wicking beds, compost bays, water tanks). We have had blessed soaking rain. And I am learning and discovering every day that there is a sustainability story happening right here in Regional NSW. Stories of hope. Perhaps it is still pockets of practice, but I get the sense it is growing and along with it some of the changes in thinking that are needed right now. Healing the land. Healing relationships. Creating big, local solutions to big problems. Stories like:
- Regional activism: climate marches, a Climate Action group, and Fridays for the Future – picnic protests every Friday outside the MP’s office calling for action on climate change.
- Regenerative farms increasing in number: Arcadia, Boree Creek and Ayrshire Park, Big Springs to name just two – farmers dedicating a percentage of their land to conservation; moving from conventional farming to practices that capture carbon and restore soil health. Working with
- Erin Earth gardens and Wagga’s demonstration garden – helping people to live more sustainably.
- A community-owned 1 megawatt solar array: Haystacks solar garden.
- Our regional Charles Sturt University certified as Australia’s first carbon neutral university.
- Wagga Wagga City Council’s Reconciliation Action plan and Biodiversity Strategy: MALDHANGILANNA.
- The gay and lesbian Mardi Gras and a community that voted yes to the same sex marriage.
This is just a snapshot. I hope to find out more. I will get back to you. Jenny Hill. Click on her picture to hear Jenny talk about her work.
*Wagga Wagga is a Wiradjuri word. In 2019, the English definition was officially changed from the popular but incorrect ‘place of many crows’ to mean: ‘place of many dances and celebrations’.
**In the 2019 – 2020 fires over 80% of the Blue Mountains National Park was impacted; 68% of the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area burnt; 123 million native animals impacted; over 20 homes destroyed.
We congratulate both Ingrid and Jenny on their outstanding commitments to EfS and their respective communities.
2019: Lorna Pettifer, VIC
2018: Jenny Dibley, ACT
2017: Associate Professor Jo-Anne Ferreira QLD
2016: Allen Hill, TAS. & Noelene Rowntree QLD
2015: Jem Hansen, NSW
2014: Jane Ryan, VIC
2013: Vanessa Whelan, ACT
2012: Elaine Lewis, WA
2011: Cam Mackenzie, QLD
2010: Grahame Collier, NSW
2009: Jennifer Pearson, WA; Annie Beecroft, TAS
2008: Richard Smith, SA
2007: Frank Fisher, VIC
Brian Foreman Scholarship
The Brian Foreman Scholarship was created to assist a member of the association to travel and attend the biennial conference. Brian Foreman was a founding member of the Association in 1980 and his work in South Australia is legendary. This award is in recognition of Brian’s contribution to environmental education in general and to AAEE in particular. Read Brian’s Story.
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"As an Environmental Educator I am privileged to work in an industry that is committed making changes in a variety of forums. In my day-to-day work I come into contact with academics in the field as well as classroom teachers. There is a natural synergy between the work I do with Deakin University and the work I do with Environmental Education Victoria, as it affords me the ability to see theory and practice combine."
- Jorja McKinnon
2018: Katherine Gaschk, WA & Angela Colliver, ACT
2016: Jorja McKinnon, VIC
2014: Janine Baker, SA
2012: Anne Pettit, WA
2010: Zarin Salter, WA
2008: Amy Krupa, WA
Fellowship of AAEE
After a brief interval, the Fellowship of AAEE was reinstated in 2012 to recognize a member who had made an outstanding contribution to environmental education at a national level over their career. This recognition is the awarded by the Executive Committee. Our past recipients are still very involved in the field of Education for Sustainability.
Professor Bob Stevenson
This year at the AAEE 2018 Conference we recognised Professor Bob Stevenson as an AAEE Fellow. Prof Stevenson is a Research Leader (Education for Sustainability) at The Cairns Institute, Director of the Centre for Research and Innovation in Sustainability Education at JCU and is Executive Editor of the Journal of Environmental Education (the oldest journal in the field).
Professor Stevenson’s research has focused on theory-policy-practice relationships in environmental sustainability education and its history and marginalized status as an educational reform in K-12 schooling. He has critically examined international and national policies and discourses and has developed seminal explanations of the discrepancies between policies and practice in environmental education, arguing for more inclusive and participatory approaches to policy formulation. His current research interests center on the current and potential sites of learning about issues of environmental sustainability by young people and how schools, peers, electronic media and the home, are being used and can be constructively used to work toward a more sustainable and just society.
2014: Amy Cutter-Mackenzie
2012: Syd Smith, NSW
1999: Stuart Traynor, Chuck Hopkins
1997: Jim Wilson
1994: Bill Stapp, Brian Foreman, David Tribe
1992: Annette Greenall (Gough)
1990: John Smith
1988: Celia Johnston, Kevin McDonald
1986: Alan Reid
1984: Peter Fensham, Allen Strom, Ernest "Watershed" Jackson, Edwin Butt