John Holliday Student Conservation Award

DPI Fisheries, a branch of NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI), is aware of the diverse range of research that is being done each year by university post-graduate students, and encourages the communication of the results of this work to assist the management of fisheries resources and aquatic habitats in NSW.

DPI offers the John Holliday Student Conservation Award to encourage research students to share their research findings on topics of interest to the Department. The winning entrant will receive a cash award of $3,000. The Award is named in honour of the late Dr John Holliday, a former Senior Conservation Manager who pioneered the Department’s involvement in aquaculture and fish conservation issues.

The award is open to research students who were enrolled at an Australian University during the year of Award and who undertook fisheries-orientated research work in NSW. To be considered, the applicant must have completed, or be completing, research/studies relevant to the Award Program (see below) and administered through an Australian University.

Applications for the 2019 Award must be submitted by 25 July 2019.

Information for applicants

The Department introduced the John Holliday Student Conservation Award in 1999. The Award aims to encourage research students to share their research findings on topics of interest to the Department.

All research students (Honours, Masters, PhD students or other post-graduate students) who are currently enrolled and are completing studies/research in NSW in areas relevant to the Award Program (see below) are eligible to enter.

Research areas relevant to the Award Program

Research themes that are eligible for consideration under the John Holliday Award Program for 2019 are set out in the Fisheries NSW Strategic Research Plan 2014-2018 (PDF, 7959.06 KB) and include:

  • identifying habitats that contribute most to the survival, growth and productivity of native fish species in NSW,
  • determining the status of fish habitats in NSW and identifying the processes limiting their extent or threatening their ongoing value,
  • mapping and assessing the biodiversity of fish populations and/or their habitats in NSW to understand their distribution,
  • assessing the threats to listed threatened fish species, populations and communities in NSW as well as protected and key endemic species,
  • improving our understanding of the biology and habitat requirements of threatened native fish species in NSW,
  • researching the causes and impacts of non-indigenous aquatic species or exotic aquatic diseases in NSW and assessing risks from new pest incursions or disease outbreaks,
  • examining the impacts of water use and water pollution on fish and/or fish habitats in NSW,
  • evaluating the impacts of man-made structures (e.g. dams, weirs, bridges, causeways, culverts, pontoons, jetties, river stabilisation works, floodgates, drains, canal estates etc.) on species diversity, fish passage and/or fish habitats in NSW.

The 2019 John Holliday Student Conservation Award will consist of a cash prize of $3,000 and a Certificate of Achievement. The Student Conservation Award will be conferred in October 2019.

How to enter the Awards?

To enter the John Holliday Student Conservation Award, you will need to submit an electronic copy of a concise report summarising your research to date which is relevant to one or more of the above topics. The submission should be no longer than 2000 words in length and should be in standard scientific report writing format.
It should therefore include the following sections:

  • Title
  • Author's name and university affiliation
  • Summary (in lay language)
  • Introduction
  • Methods
  • Results
  • Discussion & conclusion
  • References (Not included in the word count)

The Department would like to promote all of the entries submitted for the award in Newstreams (e-newsletter). As such, any images/maps/graphs that are provided may be used, in consultation with the author, to promote the student's work and institution.

The entry email must include the entrant's name, student university identification details, address, contact phone number and alternative email address. The electronic copies should be emailed to Pamela Gallagher at:

When are entries due?

Entries must be submitted by 25 July 2019.

What will happen to my entry once submitted?

Each year, a summary of the entries received will be compiled into a summary report entitled "Department of Primary Industries Student Conservation Award" and will be published on the DPI website. Your contact details will be included in this compendium unless you wish to remain anonymous. Please refer to:

Judging the Awards

The judging panel for the Award program consists of the Director Fisheries Research, Director Aquatic Environment and a representative from a NSW conservation group. The panel assesses the applications and recommends a winner to the Deputy Director General DPI Fisheries

Further information

For further information on the John Holliday Student Conservation Award please contact:

Pamela Gallagher


Phone: (02) 4916 3848