Award for Education (shared) 2005

The Wetlands Centre is being recognized for its pioneer role in the use of CEPA activities to achieve restoration and management, first of the Hunter Estuary Wetlands, and then expanding its activities and forging links with other centres through Australia.

Volunteer work and partnerships are two tenets of the work of The Wetlands Centre, which is now an advisor to the Australian Government on wetlands and Ramsar matters. The Centre has grown from the management of one site to contributing to a national approach to wetland education. Chairman Christine Prietto says that one of the key factors of success has been that "providing a direct wetland experience is the most powerful tool for improving people's understanding of the values and functions of wetlands".

For the future, Ms Prietto considers that "a more strategic and integrated use of education and communication", and "to more clearly promote the role wetlands play in the story of water supply for both the environment and people" are priorities.

Building on the "great positive energy" brought on by the Ramsar Award, The Wetlands Centre will use the prize as a catalyst to increase awareness of Ramsar, at local, state and national level, as well as internationally. The Centre is committed to continuing its CEPA activities to achieve yet better understanding, and to gain a higher level of commitment to wetland conservation.