The opportunity to do more
  • Friday 04 July 2008

For 2008 Churchill Fellowship recipient Michael (Mick) Smith, Botswana, England, Canada, the US and Brazil sounds like a world tour second to none and it is - but with a significant difference.

It’s a study tour to investigate the affects of climate change on freshwater environments and to bring the findings back to the Sunshine Coast.

Mick is one of 22 Queenslanders awarded a Fellowship from the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust. The Fellowship allows Australians to travel overseas to experience new opportunities, make contact with the best in their field and to bring the experience back to benefit Australia.

Mick was awarded the Fellowship for his contribution to waterways management through the Maroochy River Recovery program. The program, while continuing to focus on the health of the Maroochy River also addresses critical current issues such as climate change.

Council’s Chief Executive Officer, John Knaggs said Council and the wider Sunshine Coast community are lucky to have such talented people working in their midst and that the Fellowship acknowledged the calibre and achievement of one of Council’s key environmental scientists.

“Mick co-ordinates the Waterways Unit and I know I speak for Council, management and staff warmly congratulating him on this well deserved recognition.” Mr Knaggs said. “I also know Mick will applaud the work of the highly qualified team around him.”

Environment Portfolio Councillor, Keryn Jones said the seven week study tour was an extraordinary opportunity to focus on climate change and the necessity for sustainable practices at home and abroad.

“A Churchill Fellowship is a responsibility to learn more and to do more because climate change affects every corner of the planet we live on,” Cr Jones said.

“The tour will help develop thinking around climate change and waterway management as well as form ideas about possible relationships that will assist catchment managers in countries without the financial and scientific resources that we have.”

The 2008 Churchill Fellowships will be presented by Her Excellency the Governor at Government House, Brisbane on Wednesday 9 July.