Celebrating sustainability excellence

Congratulations 2022 Finalists & Winners!

Noosa Biosphere Awards

Noosa is recognised globally for its outstanding biodiversity values and rich cultural history. Designation by UNESCO as the Noosa Biosphere Reserve, recognises the ongoing efforts of our community to maintain a balance between people and nature.

The Noosa Biosphere Awards celebrates the individuals, businesses and organisations implementing local solutions to the global challenges of sustainable development and addressing climate change. The Awards recognise people who are making a difference in our community, championing environmental, social and economic sustainability across categories of Land, Water, Wildlife, and People & Economy.

The Noosa Biosphere Awards is an initiative of the Noosa Biosphere Reserve Foundation.

Key dates

  • Nominations & Applications Open: 1 September
  • Launch & Info Session: TBA
  • Applications Close: midnight, Friday 30 September
  • Finalists Announced: October
  • Winners Announced: Tuesday, 1 November at the Noosa Biosphere Gala

Know someone you think is deserving of a Noosa Biosphere Award? Nominate them today! A nomination is not an entry, but we’ll let them know they have been nominated.

Entering the Awards

Benefits of entering

The benefits of entering this program include:

  • Noosa Biosphere Awards Winners and Finalists will receive an official logo for use in future marketing
  • Winners will be profiled on the Noosa Biosphere Awards website
  • Winners and finalists will receive promotion of their organisation, project or cause through media coverage and social media marketing in the lead up to the Gala event, on the night and following the Award announcements.
  • Meaningful recognition for your contribution to sustainability by the Noosa community.
  • Share the award with your team to acknowledge and recognise their efforts and contribution.
  • Celebrate with your team, peers and community at the Noosa Biosphere Gala.
  • Opportunity to network with business leaders, sponsors and influential community members at the Gala event (tickets not included/guaranteed).
  • Build your brand profile through the promotion of your organisation or cause.

Aim of the Awards

Noosa is recognised globally for its outstanding biodiversity values and rich cultural history. In 2007, the Noosa Shire was awarded Biosphere Reserve status under the UNESCO Man and the Biosphere (MaB) Programme in recognition of the ongoing efforts of our community to manage Noosa’s land, waters and wildlife sustainably – while maintaining a balance between people and nature. The Noosa Biosphere is one of only five recognised UNESCO biosphere reserves in Australia and is part of a network of more than 700 sites worldwide.

The MAB programme aims to establish a scientific basis and support for enhancing the relationship between people and their environments. Biosphere reserves are ‘living labs’. They are learning places seeking to develop and test local solutions to the global challenges of sustainable development and biodiversity health.

The Noosa Biosphere Awards aims to celebrate local projects, products and service to the community that align with the UNESCO MaB Programme objectives and aim to broadly address the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Our focus is on acknowledging individuals, businesses and organisations that are implementing local solutions to the global challenges of sustainable development and addressing climate change. The Awards recognise people who are making a difference in our community and are leading the way.


There are four award categories for entry: Land, Water, Wildlife and People & Economy.

Eligibility criteria

  1. The individual, business or organisation must be based in or operate within the Noosa Shire; with activities benefiting the Noosa Biosphere Reserve.
  2. Represent one or more of our four priority areas of Land, Water, Wildlife and People & Economy
  3. Should meet at least two of the objectives of the UNESCO MaB Programme objectives:
    • (a) Combine the natural and social sciences with a view to improving human livelihoods and safeguarding natural and managed ecosystems
    • (b) Establish a scientific basis for enhancing the relationship between people and their environments.
    • (c) Promoting innovative approaches to economic development that are socially and culturally appropriate and environmentally sustainable.
  4. Aim to meet at least three of the UN Sustainable Development Goals

How to enter the Noosa Biosphere Awards

Nominations & Entries Open on 1 September. Applications close 30 September 2022.

To enter the Noosa Biosphere Awards, complete the Online Entry Form by the closing date.

Nominate a friend!

Anyone can nominate a business, community organisation or individual for the Noosa Biosphere Awards. We will notify the Nominee, then it is up to the nominee to determine if they are eligible and decide if they wish to enter the Awards.

To nominate someone, complete the Online Nomination Form and tell us why you think they are deserving of an Award. Be sure to include their contact details so we can let them know!

If you are nominating an Individual, you can complete the Awards Online Entry Form on their behalf so long as you have the individual’s consent.

Questions & Information

For more information or if you have any questions about eligibility and how to enter, please contact us at awards@noosabiosphere.org.au or phone (07) 5474 0932.

Be part of an exciting Awards program that celebrates our Noosa Biosphere community and environment!

Judging panel

Rex Halverson

Rex Halverson

Former Chair, Noosa Biosphere Reserve Foundation

Originally from Southern California, where he witnessed first-hand the consequences of poorly planned development, Rex has lived and worked throughout the US, UK and Europe as well as Australia. Executive roles have included Managing Director, Commercial Director and VP – Sales & Marketing as well as serving on the Board for several consumer technology manufacturers.

Today he is the founder and principal of Truth Sells and is a voice for increased sustainability within the consumer goods industry. Passionate about the Sunshine Coast region and its unique environment, he is a past Chair of the NBRF as well as having served as Chair and President of Queensland Koala Crusaders Inc. and Koala Action Inc

Vivien Griffin

Founder & Former President, Zero Emissions Noosa

Vivien Griffin is a long-time Noosa resident who served for many years as a Noosa Councillor. As a Noosa Parks Association member and former Sunshine Coast Environment Council President, she has contributed to the team effort involved in some of the region’s important environmental campaigns.

Upon retiring from local government, she identified climate change action as her major focus, and founded Zero Emissions Noosa Inc. in 2016 alongside a team of passionate and dedicated volunteers. The goal of the organisation is “Net Zero Greenhouse Gas Emissions by 2026”. Vivien would like to see the Noosa community become recognised for its leadership on climate action, just as in the past it led the way in protecting the natural environment. For Vivien, the motto “Think global, act local” has never been more relevant than in these challenging times.

Shaun Walsh

Special Advisor, Noosa Biosphere Reserve Foundation

Shaun Walsh is a qualified town and environmental planner, landscape architect and business manager and has been knocking around Noosa since 1992 when he started his first job out of university at Noosa Council His career highlights include Environmental Manager for Infrastructure Brisbane City Council, Environmental Manager for Australia’s Antarctic Operations; Design Manager at Place Design Group and most recently 8 years as CEO for South Bank and Roma Street Parklands in Brisbane. His additional appointments have also included Director of Oxley Creek Transformation, a large scale waterway corridor restoration program, as well as long stranding Director and immediate past president for the Australian Institute of Landscape Architects.
Shaun is a avid gardener and has been fortunate to retain acreage at Cooran and more recently Black Mountain for over 23 years. He is an active volunteer with Noosa and District Landcare, and as avid bushwalker, initiated the annual event the Great Noosa Trail Walk over 10 years ago , and continues as the Trail Guide leader for the event. He is particularly interested in the interaction between humans and nature, and how we design and enact processes that bring joy to both.

Judy Castledine

Former Director, Noosa Biosphere Reserve Foundation

Judy is a Chemical Engineer (graduated in 1974 from Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology with Distinction) who spent more than 30 years working to promote and implement sustainability around the world with an emphasis on developing countries in Asia.

On retirement Judy returned to Noosa. She was selected to be a volunteer member of the Noosa Biosphere Reserve Foundation Board. After leaving the board, Judy has remained an active member of the Foundation. Judy serves on the management team for a charity Santa’s Classy Helpers who every year give support to about 300 families who need a helping hand at Christmas.

Cr Brian Stockwell

Noosa Council

Brian will celebrate 40 years as a Noosa resident in November 2021. Now in his third term of Council he was first elected to Council in 1988. Before his re-election in 2016, Brian had a career in local and state government in senior leadership roles. In 2014 Brian started his own consultancy, Watershed Australia, and to lecture in physical geography and regional sustainability at the University of the Sunshine Coast.

In his roles as Councillor, planner and catchment coordinator Brian helped facilitate the formation of Noosa Landcare, Mary River Catchment Coordinating Committee and Cooloola Coastcare in the late 80s early 90s and has been actively associated with these groups since then. An active member of the community Brian is the current President of Noosa Lions Football Club, past Chair of the Noosa Biosphere Environment Sector Board, past Group Leader of Noosa Sea Scouts, past President of the Noosa Residents and Ratepayers Association and the Cooroy Chamber of Commerce.

Amelia Lorentson

Cr Amelia Lorentson

Noosa Council

Proud daughter of Italian immigrants, Amelia grew up in the suburbs of Brisbane, where she studied law before working as an Operations Manager in Sydney. Amelia holds a Bachelor of Laws from QUT and a Masters in Industrial Relations and Labour Law from University of Sydney. She moved to Noosa 20 years ago where she devoted herself to her family and to the Noosa community. Noosa’s beaches and national parks, are where she feels most connected to water and land, and to her community.

Amelia entered politics to effect positive change. Her mottos are: “I am no longer accepting things that I cannot change. I am changing the things that I cannot accept.” and “Tough on Issues, soft on people.”

Karen Finzel

Cr Karen Finzel

Noosa Council

Councillor Karen Finzel views her municipal role as being a conduit between community and council. As a long term resident with a history of investing in her community, Cr Finzel has a particular interest in two UNESCO Man and the Biosphere aims:

• combining the natural and social sciences with a view to improving human livelihoods and safeguarding the natural and managed ecosystems.

• promoting innovative approaches to economic development that are socially and culturally appropriate and environmentally sustainable.

As a chairperson for the Regional Arts Development Fund Committee and the Noosa Shire Heritage Reference Group, Karen extends her passion for history and the arts with committed support for the Noosa Museum and Noosa Regional Gallery.

Following her participation – as one of ten women chosen nationally – in an intensive leadership training program hosted by National Rural Women’s Coalition Canberra, Karen has set up the Women’s Collaborative Network. This project is directed at fostering, supporting and promoting leadership in women as a path to underpinning economic security and building resilient communities.

2022 Finalists

Land Category Finalists

  • Rosecliffe Boutique Farm Cottages
  • Eastwell Farms
  • Permeco Inc.

Young Eco-Leader Award Finalists
Sponsored by Tewantin-Noosa Lions Club

  • Jarrah Small
  • Spencer Hitchen

Water Category Finalists
Sponsored by UniSC

  • NICA – Waterwatch Team
  • NICA – Get Your Wetlands Project (Peter & Alex)
  • Noosa World Surfing Reserve Stewardship Council

Wildlife Category Finalists
Sponsored by Tourism Noosa

  • Meghan Halverson
  • Kanu Kapers

People & Economy Category Finalists
Sponsored by Community Bank Tewantin-Noosa

  • Plastic Free Noosa
  • Zero Emissions Noosa Inc
  • Noosa Lakes Resort
  • RACV Noosa Resort

2022 Winners

Congratulations to:

Land Category (Sponsored by NBRF)
Rosecliffe Boutique Farm Cottages

Water Category (Sponsored by UniSC)
NICA – Waterwatch Team

Wildlife Category (Sponsored by Tourism Noosa)
Meghan Halverson

People & Economy Category (Sponsored by Community Bank Tewantin-Noosa)
Plastic Free Noosa

Young Eco Leader Category (Sponsored by Tewantin-Noosa Lions Club)
Jarrah Small
Spencer Hitchen

2022 Award Sponsors

Support sustainability in our Noosa Biosphere Reserve, by sponsoring an Award. Limited opportunities available, contact us today.