Monarto Safari Park director wins UNESCO award

Peter Clark has been recognised for a lifetime of conservation work in Australia and Papua New Guinea.

Butterflies in Papua New Guinea, rhinos in South Africa and Australian native animals: Peter Clark has worked with them all.

Now, after more than 50 years in conservation, Monarto Safari Park’s director has been recognised with a lifetime achievement award from UNESCO: the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation.

He received the award in a ceremony at Government House on Tuesday, with His Excellency the Governor, Hieu Van Le AC, in attendence.

“It’s a great honour,” Mr Clark said."

“I have a lot of great memories of work both in Papua New Guinea and now at Monarto Safari Park, and I am immensely proud to say that conservation has been at the heart of all of it.”

Mr Clark started his career in agriculture, advising the Australian and Papua New Guinea governments, in 1973.

He established PNG’s Insect Farming and Trading Agency, which at one point employed more than 2000 villagers; helped establish the Rainforest Habitat, formerly the country’s biggest zoo; introduced environmental education in schools; and helped save tree kangaroos, birds of paradise and native insects.

In 2003 he became curator of Monarto Zoo, as it was then called.

By 2018 he was appointed its director.

As well as managing Monarto Safari Park’s ongoing transformation into a world-class tourist destination, with a luxury hotel on site and new visitor centre under construction, he has also led a conservation project which will bring 30 southern white rhinos to the park.

Mr Clark thanked the family members, like-minded colleagues and partners who had made his life’s work possible.

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