Vale Wayne Lawler

8 July 2021

Author: Des Boyland

Wayne Lawler

Wayne Lawler, photographer, near Gympie, Queensland

It is with regret and sadness that Wildlife Land Fund Limited (WLFL) informs our members and supporters of the passing of Wayne Lawler.

I wish I was advising of the registration of Lot 61 RP 187727 (another 10ha to be added to Weranga Scarps) with Wayne by my side. While the land is being acquired, Wayne is not here to see his dream realised. Life can be so unfair at times. Wayne donated Weranga Scarps to the WLFL and as generous as that was, it is but a small fragment of Wayne’s contribution to the conservation and protection of our wildlife.

Wayne was a great supporter of WLFL using his brilliant photographic skills to record wildlife on our various holdings and even participated in working bees at Witta Nature Refuge and the Neil Holloway Reesville Nature Refuge. Of course, there are many wonderful images from his beloved Weranga Scarps as well as the newly almost acquired Lot 61 that ensures the entire scarp is captured.

Wayne worked as a photographer for Australian Wildlife Conservancy (AWC) from 2008 until November 2020 and, typical of Wayne, he had volunteered for AWC prior to his employment with them. As a result of his engagement, wildlife and their habitat Australia-wide was captured in the sharp focus of his lens. Without a doubt, Wayne’s skill with his camera and his generosity contributed to the great success AWC is today. This statement applies equally to WLFL.

His care and passion for nature conservation photography were clearly demonstrated when he established an annual grants program for budding photographers back in 2010. In 2019, Wayne established a trust with Australian Unity and dispersal of funds from that trust will ensure the grant program will continue. Nowadays, Wildlife Queensland proudly operates and administers that grant program with the funds provided from the established trust.

Wayne was born in Brisbane on 13 January 1956 and passed away peacefully on 31 May 2021, aged 65. Raised in St Lucia and Redcliffe, he started his working life as an apprentice with Press Etching, where he learnt to process film and developed his passion for photography. After completing a Diploma Course in environmental science, he worked for CSIRO prior to completing a Masters Degree in Resource Science at UNE. Wayne always considered himself a wildlife photographer, starting his own environmental photo library ECOPIX.

His contribution to the protection and conservation of wildlife was very significant through his work with AWC and participation with WLFL, his financial generosity, and his brilliant outstanding photography that will live on forever.

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