Having grown up on a South Australian pine plantation as a child, Dr Sarah Ryan was always used to being surrounded by nature.
"My father was a forester and we lived out amongst the bush, and I grew up learning about forestry," Dr Ryan said.
It was that love of nature and the environment that spurred her on to pursue a career in agricultural science, which led the now-Canberran to a role with the CSIRO for more than 30 years.
Her service to the environment, along with her community work, has led to her becoming a Member of the Order of Australia as part of the Queen's Birthday Honours.
Along with her decades of work as part of the CSIRO, which led to significant work as part of the Murray-Darling Basin Commission, Dr Ryan has also played a leading role as chair of the National Resource Management Council. She has also led the ACT Bushfire Council since she was appointed as chair in 2017.
"They're interesting jobs, and you end up learning more and more about the community you live in as well," Dr Ryan said.
"I'm interested in how systems work, so I began as an agricultural scientist, but I've kept being drawn to wider issues and how they all fit together, and so I carved out a career doing a range of jobs."
That range of jobs also saw the scientist also serve as deputy chancellor at the University of Canberra between 2015 and 2017, while previously having served as chair of the Canberra Institute of Technology council.
Dr Ryan said there were many parallels between her environmental and her education work.
"They're both really important foundations in society, and they're things that take a long time to make changes to the system, they build over a period of time," she said.
"You're planting seeds in the ground and planting ideas in young people."
Environmental work has led to fellow Canberran George Wilson be appointed as a Member of the Order of Australia.
Dr Wilson received his AM for his service to wildlife conservation, veterinary science and his community work. The Canberran has played a key role in wildlife management strategies for wild and feral animals, particularly kangaroos.
"I started working with NSW National Parks and Wildlife in the 1970s and was involved in kangaroo management, and now I'm working on it again in the back end of my career," he said.
"I've been particularly interested in and concerned about the way kangaroos on pastoral properties are regarded as pests by graziers, and I've been interested in how we can enable landholders to integrate kangaroos into production."
As well as his environmental work, Dr Wilson has also been honoured for his community service, as a Scout leader in the ACT since the 1980s and his work as president of the Deakin Residents' Association.
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