Winners of the 2022 Reef Champions Awards are announced

The winners of the2022 Reef Champion Awards have been announced, shining a light on farming, extension, traditional owners and community leaders who are working to reduce their impact on the Great Barrier Reef.


Innovative nitrogen reduction practices, dedicated approaches to extension, revegetation of farms and conservation of wetlands and native animal species were just some of the success stories honoured at the Awards dinner in Cairns on the 30thof November


The Awards, run by Queensland Farmers’ Federation (QFF) with support from Prince’s Trust Australia, Australian and Queensland governments, recognise the outstanding achievements of individuals and organisations working to improve the quality of water entering the iconic Great Barrier Reef.


QFF CEO Ms Jo Sheppard congratulated the winners and finalists and highlighted the importance of acknowledging the efforts of farmers and others working with the agricultural sector, traditional owners and local communities to safeguard the future of the Reef and coastal systems.


“The outstanding achievements of farmers, extension officers, traditional owners, and community members nominated for these awards is a testament to agriculture’s commitment and achievements in improving water quality through practice change and innovation in Reef catchment areas,” Ms Sheppard said.


“I would like to congratulate everyone who has participated in this year’s Reef Champion Awards and thank them for the role they are playing in protecting our precious Great Barrier Reef,” said the Australian Government Minister for the Environment and Water, Tanya Plibersek.


Minister for the Environment and the Great Barrier Reef Meaghan Scanlon congratulated the finalists and winners for their exceptional work to protect the Great Barrier Reef.


“These awards showcase the achievements of Queenslanders who are setting the benchmark for agricultural innovation to reduce run-off and delivering practical Reef projects,” Ms Scanlon said.
“The work being undertaken by the farmers, advisers, traditional owners, and community groups shows what can be achieved if we work together. Through these efforts and collaboration, we can transform the outlook for the Reef and ensure it can be protected now and into the future.”


The 2022 Reef Champion Award winners are:


Prince’s Trust Australia Environmental Leadership – Reef Sustainability Award

Tony Rossi, Aloomba, for using his scientific skills on the farm; Tony was always interested in soil health, soil testing, developing precision agricultural techniques & regional environmental issues, & has become an advocate for demonstrating on-farm sustainable environmental practices to other farmers and industry.

"I see a real connection between farmers and First Nations people - I am so proud to work with our clan people, we all touch the earth."

Reef Nutrient Stewardship Champion Award: Denis Pozzebon

Reef Sediment Stewardship Champion Award: Fran and Damon Lyons

Reef Conservation Champion Award: Jason Bradford and Pacific Biotechnologies (Australia) Pty Ltd

Reef Extension Officer Champion Award: Rebecca McHardie

Reef Pesticide Stewardship Champion Award: Matt and Ben Abbott

Reef Traditional Owner Group Champion Award: Dawul Wuru Aboriginal Corporation

Reef Community Champion Award: CQ Seagrass Regeneration Collective

Reef Traditional Owner Youth Champion Award: Ashlyn Skeene,

Reef Youth Champion Award: Ema Parker

The Reef Champion Awards are funded by the Australian Government and the Queensland Government’s Reef Water Quality Program.


Written by QFF Media: Rebecca Donohoe