The South Australian National Science Week committee is delighted to announce the winners of the prestigious Unsung Hero of Science and Unsung Hero of Science Communication awards. The Awards, recognise individuals whose exceptional contributions have gone largely unnoticed but have made a significant impact on the fields of science and science communication.

Dr. Nick Whiterod – Unsung Hero of Science

Dr Nick Whiterod with Minister Hon Susan Close MP

Dr. Nick Whiterod won the Unsung Hero of Science award for his 20-year commitment to conserving and researching freshwater species and ecosystems. Dr. Whiterod’s work with the Nature Glenelg Trust, an environmental not-for-profit based in Victor Harbor, has demonstrated his unwavering commitment to the protection of underappreciated freshwater species in South Australia and beyond. His efforts have led to remarkable achievements, including the rediscovery of species, successful reintroductions, and a profound understanding of the intricate relationships between freshwater species and their environment.

Dr. Whiterod’s influence extends beyond South Australia, as he actively collaborates on national projects and shares his scientific insights to help shape conservation policies that safeguard over 50 species. Despite limited funding, he remains a passionate advocate for South Australian and national freshwater fish and crayfish conservation.

David Riley – Unsung Hero of Science Communication

A woman with dark hair stands next to a man wearing glasses holding a trophy

Minister Hon Susan Close MP and David Riley

David Riley won the Unsung Hero of Science Communication award, commemorating his tireless dedication to science communication for over 25 years. From a volunteer explainer at the Investigator Science and Technology Centre, David’s impact resonates in fostering STEM education through Mobile Science Education and initiatives like the Bright Sparks Science Club. His role in preserving Makerspace Adelaide during challenges underscores his commitment. David’s devotion to science communication remains unparalleled.

Beginning as a volunteer explainer at the Investigator Science Centre in 1997, David’s passion for hands-on science engagement and communication led him on a remarkable journey. David’s commitment to advancing STEM education is evident through his numerous accomplishments. He played a pivotal role in Mobile Science Education, delivering unparalleled STEM education activities and experiences. His dedication extended to supporting initiatives like the Bright Sparks Science Club, Maker Faire Adelaide and ensuring the survival of Makerspace Adelaide during challenging times. Additionally, his involvement in various STEM-related committees and projects, including SA Makers Inc, highlights his continuous efforts to promote science communication.