Winner and finalists - individuals

Cecilia Woolford, co-founder Eyre Peninsula Integrated Climate Change Agreement Committee, Chair - Steering Committee for the Far North and Outback Regional Adaptation Plan

In my view, Cecilia has been one of the most influential leaders of action on climate change in South Australia over the past decade…The legacy of Cecilia's leadership to date is that regional South Australia is more climate ready than it would have been otherwise. Her direction, guidance and mentoring has ensured that people in regional parts of the State have greater awareness of climate change issues and the actions needed to address them. In many instances this means that regional South Australia is also more prepared to support the State's low carbon transition - Mark Siebentritt, Seed Consulting Services

Cecilia worked with NRM (Board Member) Brian Foster to lead the development of the Eyre Peninsula's first Regional Adaptation Plan. She co-founded the Eyre Peninsula Integrated Climate Change Agreement Committee, which established one of the first sector agreements in South Australia and is seen as a prime example of climate adaptation governance in Australia.

In developing the EP adaptation plan, Cecilia helped pioneer a new approach to climate change planning, recognising that many people did not want to talk about how vulnerable they, their region or sector were. Along with Brian, she encouraged the use of decision lifetimes and adaptation pathways in the development of the plan, which at the time was a new approach but is now widely adopted across the state.

Cecilia is currently chairing the development of the Far North and Outback Regional Adaptation Plan and again spearheading a novel approach to adaptation planning by supporting a leader's forum focused on integrating climate change adaptation and economic development.

Much of Cecilia's work has seen her tackle climate change scepticism among regional communities, where she was able to communicate the science and need for action in a practical and respectful way. She has championed the use of direct engagement approaches that focus on working with leaders in the community who know the needs of the community best.

Pippa Cattanach, Team Leader, NRM Education, Natural Resources SA Murray-Darling Basin (SAMDB)

Pippa is our local climate change champion…she doesn't let her colleagues get despondent thinking that we can't have an impact. Instead she reminds us, in a quiet friendly manner, that we each have a role to play, every small action contributes to greater achievement - Sandy Gunter, Team Leader, Communications and Engagement, Natural Resources SAMDB.

As leader of the South Australian Murray-Darling Basin (SAMDB) NRM Education team, Pippa works with young people to develop the State's future environmental leaders. Her work sees her working with schools in the South Australian Murray-Darling Basin to instil sustainability as part of their school culture.

Founder and coordinator of Natural Resources SAMDB Carbon Action Committee, Pippa has made sure her own workplace is leading by example, encouraging her office to actively reduce their carbon footprint by carpooling, changing to LED light sources, promoting efficient use of air conditioning, ensuring sustainable procurement and promoting recycling in the office, home and at events. This saw Pippa work to increase staff awareness of climate issues, including running a staff sustainability pledge for three months - where Pippa herself went vegetarian in order to help reduce emissions. She successfully persuaded DEWNR senior executives to implement her DEWNR 'Walk the Talk' business case to lead SA government agencies in the 'greening' of Government operations through assessing and reporting carbon emissions, water, energy and paper consumption, waste reduction and recycling, savings targets and staff perspectives.

In this way Pippa has helped lead the state's transition to a sustainable, low‚Äźcarbon future and a Carbon Neutral Adelaide.

Wayne Meyer, Climate Research Scientist, Adelaide University

Understanding the likely effects of climate change on our social and ecological systems is extremely challenging…Without managed adaptation to climate change, the fundamental sustainability of these resources and practices cannot be assured. Local and regional adaptation to climate change involves more than bio-physical and economic considerations - it must involve understanding and recognition of commonly shared community values - Wayne Meyer, Climate Research Scientist, Adelaide University.

Wayne is a research scientist committed to further understanding how climate and people affect the condition of the State's soils, waters and vegetation. Wayne has promoted managed adaptation to climate change and its effects on our social and ecological systems through the development of Landscape Futures Analysis (LFA) tool. The tool brings together the best understanding of regional land use for production and conservation to project how land use may change in response to climate, markets and social preferences, thus helping regions and communities better understand, plan and adapt as climate changes.

This tool has been used in the SA MDB NRM and Eyre Peninsula NRM (EP NRM) regions to determine the specific responses to climate change scenarios and was used in the Lower Murray Landscape Futures project in the SA Murray-Darling Basin region and NCCARF-funded Envisioning Future Landscapes project.

Wayne also helped develop a modern, values based engagement process, which changed how regional natural resource management plans are formed and provides evidence that successful adaptation to climate change is possible through managed land use change.