Science was front and centre at the 2013 Deadly Awards when ethnobotanist, Gerry Turpin was honoured with the inaugural Scientist or Science Project of the Year Award.
The new Deadly, supported by the CSIRO, acknowledges the achievement and contribution of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander scientists and projects to their community and to wider Australia, and was strongly contested with a range of experts nominated in 2013.
Gerry Turpin is a Mbabaram Traditional Owner and an Adjunct Senior Research Fellow at James Cook University’s Australian Tropical Herbarium in Cairns.
The Australian Tropical Herbarium is part of the Tropical Indigenous Ethnobotany Centre (TIEC), a joint venture between Traditional Owners of North Queensland, the Cairns Institute, James Cook University, CSIRO and the Queensland Government. It is uniquely transecting the intersection of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander ecological knowledge and science.
TIEC is the first of its kind in Australia; its purpose is to maintain and record cultural knowledge so that it can be passed on to future generations. It is an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander driven initiative established to engage, support and build the capacity of Traditional Owner groups in tropical Queensland to record and use Indigenous ethno-biological and ethno-ecological knowledge for cultural use on-country.
Gerry has already been the recipient of several awards, such as a Length of Service Certificate in recognition of 22 years of service by the Department of Environment and Resource Management and a Highly Commended Technical and Professional Excellence award for Herbarium surveying, mapping and monitoring of regional ecosystem projects.
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