Cape Otway’s Lizzie Corke has always had a passion for the environment; now that passion has earned her a national honour.
Lizzie received a Medal of the Order of Australia during Sunday’s Australia Day honours for her service to conservation and the environment.
She is the co-founder and chief executive of Cape Otway’s Conservation Ecology Centre and the co-founder of Wildlife Wonders, and has previously won awards from the Australian Geographic Society and the Prime Minister for her work.
She said her passion for the environment began early, raised in a family committed to nature.
“I had a very special great-aunt who felt it was absolutely fundamental that nature is part of a child’s upbringing and she used to take us on fabulous rambling walks all through the north York moors, or London – anywhere that there was any nature at all, she would find it. I think she in particular sparked that respect and admiration for nature in me,” Lizzie said.
Her family moved to Australia and Lizzie studied zoology at the University of Melbourne, before travelling the country and eventually discovering a property at Cape Otway that would become the ecology centre in 2000.
“That was a really important time for me, it brought home the importance of science in conservation and the ability of science to bring about effective long-term conservation,” she said.
“(It) was far earlier than we had intended to establish the centre, but it has been incredibly special.”
For the past two decades, the centre has led the way in protecting the incredible biodiversity of the Otways, and Lizzie is certain that she has found an incredible home.
See today’s Colac Herald for more.