About - Environment Awards

Established in 2012, the Environmentalist of the Year Awards recognise and encourage the commitment and courage of environmentalists in their pursuit of environmental protection, preservation and justice.

The Deni Greene Award has been established to recognise the many contributions that Deni Greene made to sustainability during her time in Australia through an annual award named in her honour. The Award has been established through the initiative and financial support of a group of Deni Greene’s friends and colleagues. For a professional who has shown outstanding courage in their work for sustainability.


2020 Environmentalists of the Year Awards


Environmentalist of the Year - Ben Pennings

A tireless advocate for the environment, Ben Pennings has been a key organiser in the Stop Adani campaign for many years.


Young Environmentalists of the Year - Youth Verdict

Youth Verdict is a coalition of young people based in Queensland taking landmark legal action against Clive Palmer’s Waratah Coal, using the new Queensland Human Rights Act 2019 to object to the mine on the grounds that climate change threatens all young people's right to life and First Nations people’s right to Country and culture, with a compounding impact on young First Nations people. This case is the first youth-led climate case on human rights grounds in Australia with the potential to set a precedent for the application of the Human Rights act and force governments to consider human rights impacts of climate when assessing new fossil fuel projects.


Community Environmental Prize - Friends of Leadbeater's Possum

Friends of Leadbeater's Possum lead the challenge in the Federal Court to the legality of the exemption from federal environment legislation for logging under the Regional Forest Agreement. As well as protecting forests directly subject to the case, it has galvanised campaigns for forest protection, sparked new legal challenges, and caused hardware firm Bunnings to reject wood from VicForests.


Deni Greene Award - Professor Terry Hughes

Distinguished Professor Hughes is the former Director of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies (2005-2020). In early 2020, he documented the largest bleaching of the Great Barrier Reef on record, with an aerial survey of 1,036 reefs finding that 25 per cent of reefs were severely bleached. In 2016 Professor Terry Hughes was recognized by Nature as one of the “10 people who mattered this year” for his leadership in responding to the global coral bleaching event caused by climate change.



Past Award Winners

2012 (Hobart) - Environmentalist of the Year (Jenny Weber), Young Environmentalist of the Year (Dan Spencer) and Environmental Courage Award (Miranda Gibson).

2013 (Hobart) - Environmentalist of the Year (Drew Hutton), Young Environmentalist of the Year (Isaac Astill) and Deni Greene Award (Charlie Wood).

2014 (Hobart) - Environmentalist of the Year (Joseph Roe), Young Environmentalist of the Year (Peter Hammarstedt) and Deni Greene Award (Alan Pears).

2015 (Melbourne) - Environmentalist of the Year (Jill Redwood), Young Environmentalist of the Year (Amelia Telford), Community Environment Prize (Maules Creek and Gomeroi Communities) and Deni Greene Award (Dominique Hes).

2016 (Hobart) Environmentalist of the Year (Peter Owen), Young Environmentalist of the Year (Josh Creaser), Community Environment Prize (Goongerah Environment Centre (GECO)) and Deni Greene Award (Phil Wilkinson).

2017 (Hobart) - Environmentalist of the Year (Adrian Burragubba), Young Environmentalist of the Year (Murrawah Maroochy Johnson ), Community Environment Prize (Reef Defenders ) and Deni Greene Award (Giles Parkinson).

2018 (Hobart) - Environmentalist of the Year (Clare Rewcastle Brown), Young Environmentalist of the Year (Harry Burkitt), Community Environment Prize (Mackay Conservation Group) and Deni Greene Award (David Lindenmayer).

2019 (Hobart) - Environmentalist of the Year (Scott Mackenzie and Scott Daines), Young Environmentalist of the Year (Milou Albrecht, Harriet O'Shea Carre, Callum Neilson Bridgfoot), Community Environment Prize (Belfast Coastal Reserve Action Group) and Deni Greene Award (Difficult Bird Research Group).