John Sinclair AO

A pioneer in Queensland's voluntary conservation movement, he has been acknowledged as an outstanding influence in forging positive community attitudes towards the conservation of natural heritage areas. In particular, his struggle to stop sand mining and logging on Fraser Island led to the island's inclusion on the World Heritage List as one of the natural wonders of the world.

John Sinclair has been honoured nationally and internationally for his achievements in environmental protection. The Australian newspaper named him Australian of the Year for 1976. He received the United Nations Environment Program Global 500 Award in 1990 and in 1993 became only the second Australian to receive the Goldman Environmental Prize (considered similar in prestige to a Nobel Prize).

He has led campaigns for the Fraser Island Defenders Organisation since founding the group in 1971. He is a past vice-president of the Australian Conservation Foundation (1977 to 1983) and past president of the Wildlife Preservation Society of Queensland, and he enjoys honorary life membership of all three organisations.

A professional organiser of adult education for most of his adult life, John Sinclair formed an ecotourism business, Go Bush Safaris, in 1988. Associated activities have included visits to all major Australian national parks and World Heritage areas to observe management practices, from the perspectives of both conservationists and visitors. He has also worked as a consultant to the South African Campaign for St Lucia group (northern Natal) and studied World Heritage areas abroad such as the Grand Canyon and Mesa Verde National Parks in the USA and Rara Avis Eco Lodge in Costa Rica.



Gatton Gold Medal


Queensland Diploma of Agriculture
Bachelor of Economics