2014 Climate Adaptation Champions

2014 Climate Adaptation Champions

The winners of the 2014 Climate Adaptation Champions awards are:

Business award

Highly Commended:  Treasury Wine Estates

We highly commend the work of Treasury Estate Wines for changing production processes and practices to meet climate change and customer expectations.

Champion:  Yalumba Wine Company

Through its ‘Commitment to Sustainable Winemaking’ programme, Yalumba is working toward recognition as a smart, knowledge-based, independent Australian wine making company with the necessary adaptive capacity and resilience to succeed in an increasingly climate affected and globalised competitive wine-making industry.

Yalumba is committed to the five pillars of sustainability, throughout the entire wine production process from the land to the consumer. Two decades of experience and development led to the creation of the ‘Commitment to Sustainable Winemaking’ programme. Yalumba also developed the Greenhouse Challenge program (minimising greenhouse gas emissions throughout the life cycle of wine), and is very active in community programs, communication, land stewardship initiatives.

Yalumba’s programme has been recognised by the South Australian EPA as a model framework, a successful program which can be applied to other organisations wishing to achieve the same level of sustainability. It was used as a case study in the CSIRO Climate Adaptation Flagship initiative. Yalumba encourages the adoption of their framework by other organisations and is actively promoting its use.


Government award (State)

Highly Commended:  Impacts and Adaptation Team, New South Wales Office of Environment and Heritage

The judges highly commended the work of the Adaptation Team of the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH) for their development of best practice approaches to producing climate information, using participatory learning approaches and building adaptive capacity to enable and foster resilient communities in NSW.

Champion:  Victorian Adaptation and Sustainability Partnership – Victorian Department of Environment and Primary Industries

Picture6The initiative, formed between the Victorian State Government and all 79 Victorian councils, was established to work together on climate adaptation.

The VAS Partnership builds on a culture of collaboration between state and local government to drive local action through partnerships, mentoring, strategic resource allocation, learning and knowledge sharing, and mutual understanding.

The VAS Partnership was designed holistically, rather than one size fits all, to provide equal access to funding, mentoring and information to councils no matter where they are on their adaptation path. This approach has enabled many councils to explore innovative and diverse adaptation solutions that will prove useful beyond regional and state boundaries.

The Partnership includes the development of many local government projects across a range of adaptation topics. The VAS Partnership principles of learning and knowledge sharing, and capacity building empowers individuals and communities involved in a project with adaptation knowledge that will travel with them as they change jobs, houses, towns and communities.

Access past reports online


Government award (Local)

Highly Commended:  Sydney Coastal Councils Group

The judges highly commended Sydney Coastal Councils Group for their efforts in guiding local government decision-makers on prioritisation of adaption options in response to coastal inundation and erosion.

Champion:  Resilient South (Cities of Holdfast Bay, Marion, Mitcham and Onkaparinga)

Picture11The project is a partnership of the South Australian Cities of Onkaparinga, Holdfast Bay, Marion, and Mitcham and has taken an innovative approach to adaptation planning and stakeholder engagement by using the Model of Receptivity to incorporate the social sciences with hard science data, and in close collaboration with 145 Project Champions. The outcome is a practical and relevant adaptation plan for southern Adelaide.

Resilient South has taken an innovative approach to adaptation planning and stakeholder engagement. In South Australia, Resilient South has shared its learning with the State Government’s Strategic Reference Group and invited other Councils embarking on adaptation planning to participate in their workshops. Reports and other outputs are freely available online.



Individual award

Highly Commended:  Kendal McGuffie

Kendal McGuffie is highly commended for raising awareness of climate change science among the general public, policymakers, the media, and educators through his website and book The Climate Modelling Primer.

Champion:  Mark Baker-Jones

Picture13Mark Baker-Jones has worked tirelessly in communicating the issue of climate legal risk to the broader community  but especially so for the private sector.  Mark has written numerous publications on climate legal risk and has given his time to present in numerous fora around the country and also in the Pacific (Fiji and Samoa) and in Asia (Korea).

Mark has reached out into the private sector and applied the academic learnings in real world situations and then, where possible, has shared the lessons with the wider academic and professional community.

Mark has the ability to take the academic information and deliver it into parcels that are well-suited to the private sector – a challenge for most academic institutions and organisations.

Read a past interview with Mark

Download Report: Climate Adaptation in the Boardroom

Article by The Fifth Estate: Property developers need to factor in climate change or face the legal risks

Paper: Retreat from Retreat – The Backward Evolution of Sea-Level Rise Policy in Australia, and the Implications for Local Government