Our Patrons

Dr Barbara Hardy AO

Barbara is co-founder of Nature Foundation. She has been working in the environmental field in a voluntary capacity since the early 1970s, and studied Earth Sciences at Flinders University following a Science Degree at the University of Adelaide.

Barbara has been a Commissioner of the Australian Heritage Commission, President of the (then) Nature Foundation SA, President of the Investigator Science and Technology Centre and Chair of the South Australian Landcare Committee.

Barbara was appointed an Officer of the General Division of the Order of Australia in 1987, received an Honorary Doctorate from Flinders University in 1993, an Advance Australia Award 1991, a SA Great Award 1992, an Institution of Engineers Medal 1992, and an ABC Eureka Award for the Advancement of Science 1994. She was named South Australian Citizen of the Year in 1996 and South Australian Senior Australian of the Year in 2014.

Barbara is the Patron of the University of South Australia's Barbara Hardy Institute which was created in 2011 and brings together scientists, engineers and social scientists to work together with a focus on sustainability of our society.

Dick Smith AC

Dick, founder of Australian Geographic magazine, met Barbara Hardy in 1986 and learned of the (then) National Parks Foundation of SA and our work at Coongie Lakes Wetlands. We were very pleased when, in June 2011, Dick agreed to become our Patron, as we appreciate what an incredibly busy man he is – an Australian entrepreneur, businessman, aviator and political activist.

In 1986 he was awarded Australian of the Year, and in 1992 he was awarded the Lindbergh Award, an annual world-wide award given to one individual for lifetime achievement of a balance between technical advancement and environmental preservation. Dick was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia in 1999 for his services to the community, charity and business. In 2010 he founded the media production company Smith & Nasht to create films about global issues. Dick Smith was awarded Companion of the Order of Australia in the 2015 Queen's Birthday Honours List.

Reg Nelson

Reg is an exploration geophysicist with over four decades' experience in the minerals and petroleum industries. Reg has been recognised through honorary Life Membership of the Society of Exploration Geophysicists, the Prime Minister’s Centenary Medal and the Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association’s Reg Sprigg Gold Medal. Nature Foundation recognised his support of the environment through the honorary award of Life Membership in 2010 and nomination as Fellow in 2012.

Reg has wide experience in technical, corporate and government affairs throughout Australia and internationally and was formerly director of Mineral Development for South Australia. He was a director for eight years of APPEA and was chairman of its board from 2004 to 2006. Reg was the Managing Director of Beach Energy Limited (1995-2015), a significant ASX 100 Australian-listed oil and gas explorer and producer.