[ASC-list] Whitley Awards 2008

Robyn Stutchbury rstutch at bigpond.net.au
Thu Sep 11 05:25:43 UTC 2008

Media Release, 12 September 2008: for immediate release

2008 Whitley Awards

The Royal Zoological Society of NSW today announced the winners of  
the 2008 Whitley Awards.

The awards are for outstanding publications that deal with the  
promotion and conservation of Australasian fauna. Of the awards, the  
Whitley Medal is the most sought after prize in Australian zoological  

The Whitley Awards, first presented in 1979, are hosted by the Royal  
Zoological Society of NSW and presented at a ceremony at The  
Australian Museum in Sydney. They are a tribute to Gilbert Whitley  
(1903-1975), who was the Curator of Fishes at the Australian Museum  
from 1922 to 1964. For many years Whitley was also the editor of the  
Society's publications and a very active member.

This year's Whitley Medal winner is A Fragile Balance, the  
extraordinary story of Australian marsupials by Professor Christopher  
Dickman and published by Craftsman House and produced by Mallon  
Publishing. Chris Dickman is Professor of Ecology in the School of  
Biological Sciences and Director of the Institute of Wildlife  
Research, both at the University of Sydney.

Distinguished science journalist and writer, James Woodford in his  
Sydney Morning Herald review, stated, ‘…it could easily have been a  
dry and leaden work but instead is alive with page-turning narrative  
and enough fascinating detail to satisfy his colleagues and the  
reading public.

A Fragile Balance tries to be many things and succeeds in them all.  
Most superficially, it is elegant and spectacular, and would look  
good adorning any coffee table. It is also a guidebook of sorts with  
a section that gives a short account of Australia's marsupials. It  
tells the story of the evolution of marsupials, the text leavened  
with the author's accounts of his adventures while studying this  
massively diverse group of animals.’

The book is beautifully illustrated by award-winning Rosemary  
Woodford Ganf who manages to not only capture the images of the  
marsupials, but demonstrates her knowledge and understanding of these  
animals. Her illustrations are not only anatomically correct, but  
they are aesthetically pleasing and set perfectly in the natural  

The Awards also include Certificates of Commendation and this year  
these were awarded to 11 publications. Commended were:

Historical Zoology
Glimpses of Paradise, The Quest for the Beautiful Parrakeet by Penny  
Olsen, published by the National Library of Australia
Children's Book
The Shark Book: Fish with Attitude by Mark Norman, published by Black  
Dog Books
Young Naturalist
Bugs Alive, A Guide to keeping Australian Invertebrates by A  
Henderson, D Henderson and J Sinclair, published by Museum Victoria
Zoological Reference
The Mammals of Australia, editors Steve Van Dyck and Ronald Strahan,  
published by New Holland
Systematic Zoology
Australian Ladybird Beetles (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae), Their  
Biology and Classification by Adam Slipinski, published by ABRS,  
Zoological Illustration
Growing Up with Australian Birds by Raoul Slater, Steve Parish  
Wingspan, editors Penny Olsen and Sophie Knezic, published by Birds  
Field Natural History
Bowerbirds: Nature, Art, History by Clifford Frith and Dawn Frith,  
published by Frith and Frith
Natural History
Bettongs, Potoroos and the Musky Rat-Kangaroo by A Claridge, J  
Seebeck and R Rose,
CSIRO Publishing
Zoological Manual
Otoliths of Common Australian Temperate Fish, a Photographic Guide by  
D Furlani, R Gales
and D Pemberton, CSIRO Publishing
Field Guide
Shorebirds of Australia by A Geering, L Agnew and S Harding, CSIRO  
For more information contact
Dr Noel Tait, Chairman, Whitley Awards Committee, RZS NSW;
phone/fax: 612 9427 6747; email: nntait at bigpond.net.au

Robyn Stutchbury
rstutch at bigpond.net.au
1 Carisbrook Street
Lane Cove NSW 2066
Ph/Fax: 612 9427 6747
Mb: 0419 4119 67

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