Climate Adaptation Champion Awards 2015-16

NCCARF is delighted and proud to announce the winners of the 2015-16 Adaptation Champions Awards. The drive and success of the NCCARF 2016 Champions show clearly that people and institutions recognise the challenge of climate change and are taking action. The awards were presented at this year's NCCARF/CSIRO Climate Adaptation conference dinner in front of an audience of 400 appreciative adaptation professionals.

Our Climate Adaptation Champions 2015-16 from left to right: Julie Fiedler (Horse SA), Vic McGrath, Liz Floyd and Tom Davies (EIANZ), and Chris Royal (Sydney Trains).

The Climate Adaptation Champions for 2015-16 were announced at the NCCARF CSIRO Climate Adaptation Conference 2016, held in Adelaide on 5-7 July 2016. These awards highlight the achievements of people taking concrete steps to change behaviour, techniques, businesses practices and policies to adapt to an uncertain future.

Congratulations to everyone who was nominated for their tremendous efforts! We are once again absolutely impressed by the outstanding people working towards climate adaptation, and are so grateful for their work.

The NCCARF Climate Adaptation Champions of 2015-16 are:

Individual category

Champion: Vic McGrath
A respected member of the Torres Strait Island communities. He has worked to raise awareness throughout Australia about the risks of climate change to these islands. Often acting as a bridge between authorities and these at-risk communities, Vic is acclaimed for his unique ability to effortlessly transverse cultural, scientific and governance domains.

Highly commended: Joshua Gilbert
A Worimi Man from the Mid North Coast of NSW, and prominent climate and environmental activist. Joshua has been a key force in creating a public facing farmer group that recognises that climate change is already affecting food supply and farming practices.

Encouragement certificate: Samarla Deshong
A member of the Koinjmal tribe and representative of the Reef Catchments Traditional Owner Reference Group, Samarla has been working to encourage people in Indigenous communities to talk about climate change. She believes that information is education, and that education empowers people to work together towards a shared outcome.

Community category

Champion: The Horse Federation of South Australia – Horse SA
A community-based organisation working with horse owners and enthusiasts in South Australia has developed a ‘Horse owner education program’. Through this program, Horse SA has supported horse owners to develop Action Plans to reinvent the way their property infrastructure is installed and managed to take into account future considerations, including climate change.

Government category

Champion: Sydney Trains
In developing a Climate Change Risk Assessment and an Adaptation Masterplan, this NSW Government-owned train operator has identified the key risks posed by climate change to its rail infrastructure, services and customers. Adaptation action already underway includes the installation of concrete sleepers and tension-regulated overhead wiring on its network, as well as new lightening protection measures.

Highly commended: Victorian Department of Health and Human Services
The Department’s Climate Change Strategy is an example of innovation and leadership in climate adapted city life. The Strategy allows the development of studies to characterise risks to public housing and residents, and the design of climate adapted housing in Victoria.

Business category

Champion: The Environment Institute of Australia and New Zealand – EIANZ
This association has been building capacity amongst environmental professionals for more than three decades. With more than 400 participants to date, its Learning to Adapt Program has become the most continuous and longest running course relating to climate change in Australia.