16 October 2009 Story & Images: MiSociety
Andrew Lock wins Australian Geographic Society ‘Adventurer of the Year 2009′ with Angus Paradice taking out the 2009 Australian Geographic Society ‘Young Adventurer of the Year 2009′
Australian Geographic Society Awards 2009 – truly deserving of the word ‘awesome’
The flagging of an upcoming ‘Awards’ night can often herald thoughts of over winded thank you speeches and somewhat ‘stiff’ proceedings. But then there is the Australian Geographical Society Awards. At these ‘Awards’ guests hang on every word of the recipient’s acceptance speeches – nothing boring here just a lineup of adventurers from all over Australia who really deserve our attention.
In today’s society a so called ‘celebrity’ walks down the street shopping and it’s headline news. In Sydney for this occasion was a collection of Australians with the extraordinary spirit and with real and significant achievements on their CV’s that every resident of this country should hold in awe. These are ‘doers’ not ‘gonnas’.
MiSociety’s attendance at these awards last year was a real highlight and with the ‘dress code’ on our invitation for 2009 reading ‘lounge suit and hiking boots’ we couldn’t wait. Within the first half hour we reacquainted with Young Adventurer of the Year 2008, Justin Jones, Adventurer of the Year 2006, Tim Cope, underwater explorer Valerie Taylor and were introduced to the largest live python we had ever seen, a goanna and the cutest lizard ‘brooch – and that was just the ‘prelims’.
Andrew Lock took out the Australian Geographic Society’s ‘Adventurer of the Year 2009’ gong for being the first Australian to summit all 14 of the world’s 8,000 + metre peaks. 13 year old Angus Paradice claimed the Australian Geographic Society’s ‘Young Adventurer of the Year 2009’ for taking part in a 10 kilometre race for 2 year old horses and a 15 kilometre race for 5 year old horses in Mongolia in 2008 (tad more demanding than a computer game we muse). We wondered if Angus’ trip up on the stage would be more daunting for him than these rides but this young man handled himself like a pro.
At the other end of the life spectrum we were honoured to meet Dr Jon Stephenson who was awarded the Australian Geographical Society ‘Lifetime of Adventure Award 2009’ and his more senior contemporary 100 year old Alex Colley who was awarded the Australian Geographic Society ‘Lifetime of Conservation Award 2009’. Really truly awesome.