Promoting the awareness, understanding & control of weeds

Stephenson Award

The NSW Stephenson Local Government Weed Professional Award is a biennial prize awarded to recognise an outstanding contribution to planning and coordinating weed management programs in New South Wales.

The Buerckner and Stephenson Awards honour Parkes Shire Council Weed Officers, Mal Buerckner and Ian Stephenson who were tragically killed on the job in a helicopter accident in 2006, along with the pilot Shane Thrupp.  The Awards acknowledge the work of NSW Local Government Weed Professionals and their outstanding contribution towards protecting NSW from the impacts of weeds.

Nomination Process

  1. Download and complete the Nomination Form, ensuring that the Eligibility and Judging criteria are clearly addressed.
  2. Make sure all sections of the Nomination Form are completed and the contact details for the nominee and the person nominating are included in the application. Please note, the person nominating may be contacted during the judging process.
  3. Answers must be written within the space supplied.  Electronic or hard copies will be accepted.
  4. Send completed nominations by 30th June in years when a NSW Biennial Weeds Conference is held to:

Local Government Weed Professional Awards

The Secretary

Weed Society of New South Wales

PO Box 6

Muswellbrook NSW 2333



Eligibility and Judging

Any weed professional (weed officer or project officer) working for local government in the management of weeds in NSW.  Nominees will have made a significant impact managing weeds in their area through planning, physical removal or community education during the past two years. 

Nominees should be in a role that is involved with the planning or management of local, regional or state weed management programs.   

Past nominees and finalists are eligible to be nominated in recognition of new significant contributions to weed management.

Nominees can only be nominated for one award category (Buerckner Award or Stephenson Award).

All nominations are to be submitted by the closing date of 30 June in the year of the NSW Biennial Weeds Conference. Nominees will be notified by mail of their nomination for the Award and presented with a Certificate of Acknowledgement. 

A panel of judges will meet to review the nominations and may request more information or documents to support the application. The judges will be looking for evidence regarding the nominee’s achievements, integrated approach to weed management, strategic planning, engagement of project partners, technical expertise and industry recognition, willingness to accept extra responsibilities, mentoring of staff and peers, and professional development.

Finalists and the winner of the Award will be announced and presented at the NSW Biennial Weeds Conference.


The winner of the Stephenson Award will receive a presentation medal.

The NSW Weeds Officers Association Inc. and The Weed Society of New South Wales Inc. have each generously donated $500.00 to the winner* to be used towards travel costs to attend the subsequent Australasian or NSW Biennial Weeds Conferences.

*To claim the $500 prize of the donating Society, the winner -

  • Must be a current financial member of the donating Society (The NSW Weeds Officers Association or The Weed Society of New South Wales Inc), and continuously been a financial member for more than one year.
  • The total prize value is $1,000 if the winner is a member of both organisations.
  • The winner must gain their employer’s approval to attend the conference. If the employer does not grant approval the money may be used towards training costs.

To apply for membership to the NSW Weeds Officers Association contact Matthew Bailey  email

To apply for membership to The Weeds Society of New South Wales Inc. visit , or contact



Past Recipients

2019 David Pomery, Illawarra District Weeds Authority

2017 Mel Wilkerson, Snowy Valley Council

2015 Terry Inkson, Great Lakes Council

2013 Doug Campbell, Upper Hunter Weeds Authority

2011 Les Tanner, Inverell Shire Council

2009 Paula Bosse, Riverina Weeds Committees

2007 Don McKenzie, Bourke Shire Council (inaugural Buerckner & Stephenson Award)