The 2008 Australian Geographic Society Awards were announced on Thursday 9 October 2008 at a ceremony that brings together adventurers from all over Australia
Presented by filmmaker and adventurer Sorrel Wilby, the awards will honour and recognise the extraordinary spirit of Australian adventurers. “This year’s Australian Geographic Society Award winners are testament to the unique courage and resilience of the Australian spirit,” said Sorrel Wilby, chair of the Society. “They have demonstrated determination and ingenuity and have shown that adventuring is not just about breaking records, but also overcoming personal challenges of survival and discovery.”
Lifetime of Adventure: ALAN WARILD
Alan Warild, Australia’s most accomplished solo caver, has explored some of the world’s most difficult and challenging caves, including the world’s deepest – the 2100m Krubera-Voronia in Georgia.
Lifetime of Conservation: VALERIE AND RON TAYLOR
For nearly 50 years, Ron and Valerie Taylor have championed underwater conservation. Their lifetime’s work of underwater video footage and camera stills have helped to promote the vital role sharks play in the marine environment.
Adventurer of the Year: JOZEF TRUBAN
Jozef Truban receives his award for his brave solo 3100 km journey on foot and bike through hail and blizzards across the Carpathian Mountains – Europe’s last great wilderness.
Young Adventurers of the Year: JAMES CASTRISSION AND JUSTIN JONES
For their incredible world-first trans-Tasman paddle from Australia to New Zealand.
Conservationist of the Year Award: GEORGE BORNEMISSZA
Entomologist George Bornemissza oversaw the introduction of the bovine dung beetle to Australia – one of the most successful introductions of an exotic species in history.
Spirit of Adventure (1): ESTHER NUNN
In August 2007, Tasmanian free-spirit Esther Nunn recreated Robyn Davidson’s famous 1977 camel trek – a 3000 km desert walk from Alice Springs, NT, to Shark Bay, WA.
Spirit of Adventure (2): CHERYL AND NIKKI BART
Cheryl and Nikki Bart became the first mother-daughter team to climb the world’s tallest mountain when they reached the summit of Mount Everest earlier this year.
Spirit of Adventure (3): CHRIS BRAY AND CLARK CARTER
In September 2008, after surviving snow, ice, polar bears, wolves and tundra Chris and Clark made the first ever recorded crossing of Victoria Island.