Climate Adaptation Champion Awards 2017-18

Congratulations to NCCARF’s 2017-18 Climate Adaptation Champions!

NCCARF is proud to announce the winners of the Climate Adaptation Champions Award – an Award that recognizes the work of Australian people, businesses and governments who are leading the way in climate change adaptation. 

The Award ceremony took place in Melbourne on May 9, as part of the Climate Adaptation 2018 Conference.

We wish to congratulate all our winners and are delighted to recognise them for their hard work and innovation.

Climate Adaptation Champions at Award ceremony. From left to right: Sarah Boulter (NCCARF); Donovan Burton (Climate Planning); Kieran Mau, Rex Gibbs, Eileen Deemal-Hall and Marie Shipton (recipients of the Award given to Wujal Wujal Aboriginal Shire Council); Rachael Alderman (DPIPWE); and Jean Palutikof (NCCARF).

The NCCARF Climate Adaptation Champions of 2017-18 are:

Business category

2017-18 Climate Adaptation Champion: Climate Planning

Climate Planning has developed Informed City, an innovative tool that helps organisations to improve adaptation governance over time. The development and ongoing evolution of the tool has been undertaken over a period of 10 years through extensive stakeholder consultation, being peer-reviewed at multiple stages by IPCC lead authors, practitioners and end users.

To date, Informed City has been used to assess the extent of climate change adaptation governance in over 200 Australian local governments, providing clarity on the capacity of councils to respond to the impacts of climate change in a strategic and comprehensive manner.

Government category

Highly commended: City of Melbourne

The City of Melbourne is one of the first cities worldwide to refresh their Climate Change Adaptation Strategy and review their action plan based on current best practice and knowledge. By doing this, the Council builds the resilience of the municipality to the impacts of climate change, so that the community can continue to enjoy the things they value.

2017-18 Climate Adaptation Champion: Wujal Wujal Aboriginal Shire Council

The Wujal Wujal valley-wide Emergency Management Network and Community Forum provides those working and living within the Community a means of telecommunications which is wind and rain resistant, robust and with sufficient capacity to enable Council, Local Police, Health Services and volunteers to manage conditions pre and post emergency event when and if normal telecommunication systems are compromised. 

This represents a clear example of an innovative adaptation measure that can be easily transferred to benefit other communities in similar situations.

Community category

Highly commended: Rebecca Brewin

Although in this opportunity we couldn’t identify a Champion, we highly commend the work of Rebecca Brewin. 

Rebecca is a business woman and resident of Billinudgel, a town in the Northern Rivers region of New South Wales. After the floods devastated her town in 2016 and 2017, she proactively took the initiative to develop an excellent website resource ( in consultation with community members. With a very simple and clear design, the website contains essential information and emergency contacts to ensure the community is more prepared and resilient to the impacts of climate change.  

Individual category

2017-18 Climate Adaptation Champion: Rachel Alderman

Rachael has pioneered a new climate and conservation philosophy within her Tasmanian conservation agency, the Department of Primary industries, Parks, Water and Environment (DPIPWE). Rachael has led the long-term monitoring for the endemic shy albatross on its three breeding colonies for some 15 years, which provided a unique data set for understanding the climate risk for this iconic species. She was involved in a range of analyses that showed that the species would decline in future without intervention, and then worked hard to obtain permits to undertake the first climate intervention experiments on this iconic species. These included both disease treatment for chicks and nest replacement for breeding adults. These approaches have garnered national and international interest, aided by spectacular images and video clips of the experiments. 

Rachael has also led a wide range of outreach initiatives, such as hosting artists at the field site and establishing a trust supported by public donations, resulting in additional experiments to address climate impacts.