Achievement Awards

Nominations for the 2015 Awards have now closed.

About the awards

The AELERT Achievement Awards recognise AELERT’s signature values and beliefs: collaboration, leadership, excellence, innovation and improvement in environmental regulation. The Awards celebrate best practice as well as improvement in the practice of the regulatory craft.

The 2015 Awards will be presented at the AELERT Conference in Brisbane on 28-29 October by the Keynote Speaker, Cynthia Giles, Assistant Administrator of the United States Environmental Protection Agency and Tony Circelli, Chair of AELERT and Chief Executive of the South Australian Environment Protection Authority.

Award Categories

Individual or a teams were nominated in the following two categories:

  1. Recognition of achievement within the profession
    This award will be presented to a person or group who has excelled or significantly improved in their personal regulatory performance within their home agency or jurisdiction.
  2. Recognition of achievement in building the regulatory craft
    This award will be presented to a person or group who has significantly contributed to the environmental regulatory profession as a whole. Their contribution should span jurisdictional boundaries.

Selection Criteria

Nominees for each category will be assessed against the attributes of a Modern Regulator, as defined in AELERT’s Modern Regulator Improvement Tool.

The Modern Regulator Improvement Tool descriptors will form the criteria against which each nominee is assessed.

Nominees who have significantly improved in an particular area will be regarded as equal to nominees who exemplify an attribute of a Modern Regulator.


For each award category, winners will receive a free ticket to the next AELERT Conference and dinner, in addition to an award.

In the case of a team winning the award, a maximum of 3 conference tickets will be distributed for the team to allocate using their internal processes.

2015 Finalists 

Congratulations to the five award finalists for 2015!

Recognition of achievement in building the regulatory craft

Amiette Wakenshaw, NSW EPA

Head, EPA Training Unit

"Amiette’s team has delivered nationally accredited and best practice operational and technical training courses to almost 4000 environmental regulators in every mainland jurisdiction in Australia. This training allows other regulators to enhance their knowledge and skills which will lead to significant environmental improvements. [...]

Not only is Amiette responsible for the scope of the program, she is also the lead trainer, with her extensive investigatory and regulatory experience supplemented by qualifications in environmental science, training and assessment.

Amiette’s contribution to building the regulatory craft of environmental regulators within Australia is today key to both improving on-the-ground results for AELERT members as well as helping members build capacity across all components of the Modern Regulator Improvement Tool."

Grant Pink, Department of the Environment

Director, Regulatory Capability and Performance

Grant Pink SQ"Grant has made a significant and distinguished contribution to the environmental regulatory profession for over a decade. He helped ‘build the regulatory craft’ at the state, federal, regional and international level and has made these contributions as a practitioner and manager, AELERT office holder and most recently as an academic. Grant's work is referenced, and his consultation sought by practitioners, managers, leaders and academics alike. [...]

But what makes Grant so exemplary is his consistent leadership role in promulgating the importance of networks in regulation. And he always practices what he preaches, reaching out to others and seeing what he can learn, what knowledge he can share, what ideas and opportunities can come out of new conversations and potential partnerships."

Jane HudsonEnvironment Protection Authority Victoria

Program Manager - Training

Jane Hudson SQ"Jane has led the development of the Authorised Officer training program for EPA Victoria, a recommendation of our Compliance and Enforcement Review - a competency based, targeted, high quality, training program that incorporates classroom, on the job training, mentoring, and assessment.

Jane has based the program on the principles of adult learning and encouraging people to develop a passion to learn. Every time she runs the program she assesses and improves it. We now have more than 80 well trained authorised officers, and thanks to Jane, they are competent, confident, and well equipped to exercise the powers we have conferred on them."

Recognition of achievement within the profession

Kevin Rowley, EPA SA

Team leader & ERT Coordinator, Investigations & Tactical Support

Kevin Rowley SQ"On arriving in SA from the UK, Kevin quickly identified that there were opportunities to share his experience and training with his colleagues and established an SA Investigation Managers Network Forum with a view to developing a centre of excellence in SA for professional Investigators. Kevin tapped into AELERT to connect across the jurisdictions and arranged for UK based Forensic Interview Solutions to provide advanced interview training and forums for practitioners nationally.

This highly successful program resulted in the recognition of Kevin's Qualification as Level 1 interviewer and trainer with Kevin conducting ongoing training for colleagues across the Environment and Natural Resources Agencies. The benefits of well trained and skillful interviewers across many areas of compliance and enforcement bring significant benefits to the Agency in delivering successful outcomes."

Patrick Lynch, Waikato Regional Council

Manager, Investigations & Incident Response, Resource Use Directorate

Patrick Lynch SQThrough [Patrick's work at Waikato Regional Council] a shortfall in environmental incident response was identified and he was able to build a dedicated team to respond to the breadth of environmental breaches (1400 plus annually) that fell short of requiring formal investigation and sanction. [...] Additionally, Patrick has developed, and maintained, training resources for regulatory staff that is shared nationally and is recognised as providing the leading reference in this field, namely the Basic Investigative Skills (BIS) Manual for local government.

While Patrick’s contribution commenced operationally, it has been grounded in leadership, management and applied practice, and in recent times has involved contributing to an all-of-government project aimed at developing nationally recognised qualifications for compliance and regulatory staff."

Past Winners

2013 Award Winner

AELERT Chair, John Merritt, congratulates Dr Robyn Bartel

Dr Robyn Bartel, the University of New England Affiliate Member

AELERT Chair, John Merritt, congratulates Dr Robyn Bartel on winning the 2013 AELERT Achievement AwardRobyn Bartel won the 2013 AELERT Achievement Award, awarded at the 2013 Conference dinner in Melbourne.

Robyn has been involved with AELERT since November 2003 and, on receiving the award, said that she is incredibly honouredthe award is not for me really but for all the agencies who were either founding members, or who have since become members, and made AELERT what it is today.

AELERT Chair John Merritt acknowledged Robyn’s foresight in writing and thinking about environmental regulation in a broader sense and the contribution Robyn had made, beyond her own sphere of work, to support effective environmental regulation throughout Australia. We are the beneficiaries of this foresight and I congratulate Robyn as the winner of the 2013 AELERT Achievement Award.

Read more about why Robyn was nominated in News.

2011 Award Winner

John Winkworth, Government of South Australia

The AELERT Achievement Award was launched at the 2011 Conference in Darwin. Long-time SA AELERT member officer, John Winkworth was recognised for his instrumental role in the activities that lead to AELERT’s formation and his pioneering role in environmental law enforcement. John enjoys a reputation and standing amongst his peers as someone who is willing to assist, quick to respond and a team player’.

On receiving the Award, John said:

It was a shock and a great honour to be awarded the inaugural AELERT ‘Achievement Award’ at the 2011 Conference in Darwin. To receive such ‘high’ recognition for my contribution over 9 years to AELERT was a fantastic way for me to end my 34 year career in state government law enforcement with the last nearly 11 years being in environmental law enforcement, a cause in which I was very passionate! Whilst the award is a personal one, I would like to acknowledge the great effort put in by the founding members group of 2003, including Dr Robyn Bartel and those people and organisations who have since signed on to AELERT. It is a wonderful progressive and rapidly growing organisation, one which I am so proud to say to others that I was there from day one and played a small part in the development and growth of such an important network.