Paul Sattler
Paul Sattler
14 December 2015

A man who has dedicated his career to conservation in Queensland has been honoured with The University of Queensland 2015 Gatton Gold Medal.

Paul Sattler accepted the award at the 2015 graduation ceremony for the School of Agriculture and Food Sciences at 11am on December 15 at UQ’s Gatton Campus.

UQ Pro Vice-Chancellor Professor Alan Rix said the award was made each year to a UQ graduate who had made an outstanding contribution in their field. 

“Paul is a shining example of Gatton graduate who is truly creating change, having devoted his career to the preservation of Queensland’s unique and diverse natural environment,” Professor Rix said.

“He was Queensland’s first government ecologist, and instrumental in overseeing the expansion of the state’s national parks by 5.5 million hectares.”

“This award recognises the far-reaching impact of Mr Sattler’s contribution in preserving native flora and fauna, as well as increasing our understanding of the workings of complex ecosystems.”

Mr Sattler graduated from Gatton in 1972 with a Bachelor of Applied Science, and worked with the Queensland government before joining the Queensland National Parks and Wildlife Service as a conservation planner.

In his 2014 book Five Million Hectares – A Conservation Memoir 1972-2008, Mr Sattler provides his thoughts on the importance of national parks.

“Our park system is the cornerstone of nature conservation,” he writes.

“It contributes significantly to the maintenance of ecosystem services, underpins our tourism industry and protects much of (our) cultural identity … it is Australia’s treasure trove.”

In the book, Mr Sattler describes his four years on the Gatton campus as, “the best years of my life, a sentiment readily echoed by my college mates”.

UQ’s graduation ceremonies run from 11 to 19 December at the university’s St Lucia and Gatton campuses.

UQ Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Peter Høj said each student graduating from UQ was gaining a qualification from a world-class university.

“UQ is consistently well inside the world’s top 100 in all major global university rankings, and two of these currently place UQ in the world’s top 50,” Professor Høj said.

The estimated 7500 December 2015 graduates will join a group of 232,000 UQ alumni – including more than 12,000 PhDs – in at least 170 countries.

The Queensland Tertiary Admissions Centre is still accepting applications for study at UQ in 2016.  Details on key QTAC dates are here. The cut-off scores for UQ programs are here.

Prospective students can also contact UQ Admissions on (07) 3365 2203 or for information.

Instagram photos hashtagged #UQmemories or #UQalumni will be added to UQ’s December graduation collection.

Media: Neil Donnelly, UQ Gatton, 07 5460 1229 or or Mr Paul Sattler, (07) 3206 6041.