YAY - we won a Whitley! Hold On! Saving the Spotted Handfish (CSIRO Publishing, 2020) has been awarded the Threatened Species Conservation for Children award. The annual Whitley awards were announced on 15th November by the Royal Zoological Society of NSW. 2021 marks the 50th anniversary of the Whitleys, named in honour of Gilbert Percy Whitley. An influential ichthyologist, he was Curator of Fish at the Australian Museum (Sydney) for 40 years, former President of the Society, Editor of Australian Zoologist for over 20 years, and widely published himself. With these accolades, it’s no wonder these prestigious awards, which recognise the best of Australasian zoological literature, are named after him.
I’m so honoured to receive this recognition from my scientific peers. I’m even more thrilled the story of the Spotted Handfish has been acknowledged as a poignant showcase of conservation-in-action for this unique Aussie threatened species – a tiny prehistoric fish that walks on its hands. Thanks so much to all who contributed, especially my amazing collaborator, illustrator extraordinaire Rachel Tribout, who brought the story to life so vibrantly. Thanks to the team at CSIRO publishing for supporting and promoting this book. Go Handstand! Hope you continue to walk for millennia to come. Aren’t fish great!! My acceptance speech: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h7iTcreTkww General info: https://www.rzsnsw.org.au/grants-awards/previous-winners/2021-winners