11 September 2017
Sunday September 10th was not only National Bilby Day, it was also a very special day for 13 year old Robert Irwin, son of conservation champions Steve and Terri Irwin. Robert was presented the prestigious ‘Luke Curnow Conservation Award’ by the ‘Save the Bilby Fund’.
The Luke Curnow Conservation Award is in honour of seven year old Luke Curnow who adored bilbies, those iconic Australian marsupials. Frank Manthey, co-founder of the ‘Save the Bilby Fund’ was so moved by Luke’s love of bilbies that when Luke tragically passed away from a brain tumor in 2009, he approached Andrew Powell, Member for Glass House and Minister for the Environment at that time, to name the award in his honour.
Mr Manthey was joined by Mr Powell and Dawn Fraser, Patron of ‘Save the Bilby Fund’, in presenting the award to Robert just before he fed one of Australia Zoo’s legendary saltwater crocodiles in the midday Wildlife Warriors show.
“I understand that choosing a winner for this prestigious award has become very difficult however it is Robert’s work with his camera, capturing our precious wildlife and landscape, that really made him stand out,” said Mr Powell said.
Luke’s parents and brother and sister were also present to see Robert accept the award and Mr Powell said it was heart-warming to see Luke’s love of bilbies translate into an award to honour those who work tirelessly to preserve Australia’s wildlife.
Robert Irwin is just the third recipient of the award with the host of ABC’s radio program ‘Australia All Over’ Ian McNamara and Joanne Johnson from Enviro-Print receiving it previously.
“I feel so honoured to have been chosen to receive the Luke Curnow Conservation Award. We work really hard at Australia Zoo to show everyone how amazing our native Australian wildlife is – Luke definitely knew how great bilbies are and it’s his kind of passion that will help us move in the right direction towards saving our iconic Australian species,” Robert Irwin said.
Ends 11 September 2017