Conservationist in line for state award

Lizzie Corke’s work in conservation ecology has earned her a nomination for a Regional Achievement and Community Award.

A COLAC district conservationist’s work to save the region’s ecosystems has earned her a nomination for a statewide award.

Cape Otway’s Lizzie Corke runs the Cape Otway Centre for Conservation Ecology – a centre dedicated to the protection of biodiversity.

She has received a nomination in the Regional Achievement and Community Awards.

Parks Victoria’s Sylvia van der Peet nominated Ms Corke for the Parks Victoria Regional Achiever Award saying she was an “inspiration to everyone who met her”.

“Over the last several years she had shown a commitment to the field of conservation that it would be difficult to find in another single individual,” Ms van de Peet said.

“Lizzie’s achievements prove, beyond doubt, that with sufficient hard work and dedication, one person can make a difference.”

Ms Corke, who is a zoologist, co-founded the Cape Otway Centre for Conservation Ecology with her husband Shayne Neal in 2004.

The couple also run the Great Ocean Ecolodge from their 67-hectare property adjacent to the Great Otway National Park.

The lodge’s profits support the ecology centre’s conservation work.

“Feedback from Australian and overseas visitors who have stayed at the ecolodge is exceptionally good and it is obvious that the experience Lizzie and Shayne provide encourages visitors to spend more time in the region,” Ms van de Peet said.

Ms Corke said she was honoured to be one of three Victorians nominated for the award.

“I think it’s to do with our commitment to conservation and biodiversity within the region and we certainly work very closely with Parks Victoria, so it’s great to be nominated,” she said.

“Our aims are conservation for biodiversity across the landscape and engagement of the local and wider community,” she said.

Ms Corke said the centre’s major work included a project

to save Australia’s tiger quoll population by using the scats from three tiger quolls at the centre to train a detection dog, Badger, to detect scats from tiger quolls in the wild.

“Conservation for the tiger quoll is something that’s very, very important to us,” Ms Corke said.

The centre also facilitates a koala program, researching the Otways’ koala population to conserve the species.

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