Ken Jones, Winner of the Conservation Council SA Unsung Hero Award 2016

On Thursday 23rd November, Conservation Council SA held a night of celebration for the nominees of the 2016 SA Environment Awards. Ken Jones, was honoured for his 50 years of commitment to the environment, winning the Unsung Hero Award.


The Limestone Coast region was well represented on the awards night, Maureen Christie of Shorebirds SE was also a nominee for the Unsung Hero Award and Mark Bachmann from Nature Glenelg Trust, winner of the Jill Hudson Award. All the nominees are clearly deserving of the awards and hardworking environmentalists. You can visit the Conservation Council SA Facebook page for all the winners; here.


Ken would like to thank the nominators and all the people who have supported him.Congratulations to Ken for his amazing contributions to caring for country over the years. A special thank you from Ken’s family, Bush Repair crew and Southern Ocean Coast care members—thank you for sharing your knowledge and encouraging us all.


Ken telling his story at the awards night in November2016


Ken has been a long term volunteer for the conservation cause in South Australia. At 65, he is still very active and involved. He is a father to four boys, 41, 39 down to 5 and 3. Ken believes in the genuine sharing of knowledge and the celebration of the spirit of adventure.


Ken is a keen hunter and gatherer, and was a young skipper; from 1965 he spent many years out on the ocean fishing for Lobster, Shark and Abalone. In the 1970’s he was employed as patrol boat skipper for the Department of fisheries at Port Lincoln. Back near Port MacDonnell, as a general builder, he continued the family business with his brother Greg. They added an environmental flair to their buildings and developed unique, recycled bush hut designs.


Gaining valuable experience with National Parks, Ken and Katrina established an on ground environmental contracting business Bush Repair which offers expert revegetation, survey and weed control works to SA, VIC and TAS. The business employed and contracted a valuable crew of 10, on quality jobs for National Parks, Forestry SA and many other projects. He developed many new innovative techniques and trained his crew, always proud to share new ideas, knowledge and celebrate achievement. Bush Repair achievements include winning the Environmental and Sustainability award in 2014 for the Mount Gambier Chamber of Commerce Outstanding Business Awards. As a branch from Bush Repair, Ken created educational excursions. With his wealth of knowledge Ken planted the seed for cultural education and the venture grew into action. Ken has held walk and talks on country to many schools, health groups and individuals around the South East. He is often engaged for his knowledge of bush tucker, artefacts, tools and Boandik stories.

Ken was always heavily involved in caring for country and whilst working for different environmental departments and business, he also volunteered for a variety of community groups. He has made many contributions to the Australian environment, including being a foundation member of SE Shorebirds, volunteering for Port MacDonnell CFS, Chairman of Southern Ocean Coastcare and being regularly involved with the Pangula Men’s Group and Bunganditj Language. Ken has spent 10 years conducting bird surveys for Birds Australia, at ramsar wetland Pick Swamp and annual wader searches in the Coorong. Ken is often invited to share his wealth of knowledge and cultural education and has been a guest speaker at UNI SA events, primary and secondary schools, and NAIDOC Week Celebrations.



Ken Jones accepting his award from Conservation Council SA President Nadia McLaren, at the awards night in The Joinery Adelaide.


Ken also manages his own patch of scrub, Binnum Bushland, with wife Katrina. They purchased the Heritage block in 20… and have since undertaken restoration works on the valuable site. Including red Tail black Cockatoo recovery programs, invasive weed control, significant habitat restoration and feral pest control.

Ken continues teaching at schools, leading excursions and tour guiding, and encouraging the Boandik philosophy to encourage others to Care for Country.


If you would like to read about Ken Jones Conservation commitments, which he was awarded for read here.