From vital feral goat control that was pivotal in restoring the diminishing Flinders Ranges, to protecting new populations of previously extinct western quoll, SSAA member Kaz Herbst has been on the frontline of conservation for more than 25 years. Now, his many trips to outback South Australia, countless volunteer hours and dedication to protecting our native wildlife has been recognised with an Order of Australia Medal (OAM) in the 2018 Australia Day Honours List.
Kaz’s list of voluntary roles is inspirational. He has served as President of the SSAA SA Conservation and Wildlife Management (SSAA SA CWM) branch, educated newcomers to our recreation as a mentor, fulfilled the role of Range Officer and coordinated many much-needed cull activities. In his typical modest fashion, Kaz described how he was “surprised at the nomination”, saying his involvement in a myriad of conservation initiatives “wasn’t much of a sacrifice as I’ve enjoyed it all!”
The OAM, for service to natural wildlife conservation in South Australia, pays tribute to a legacy of conservation work by Kaz, who was one of the first members of SSAA SA CWM when it was formed to combat feral goats in the Flinders Ranges in 1992. This led to Operation Bounceback, which saw SSAA SA CWM members target foxes, feral cats, rabbits, donkeys and feral goats.
Today, Bounceback has paved the way for the resurgence of the western quoll and yellow-footed rock-wallaby, with Kaz also serving as Vice President of the Yellow Footed Rock Wallaby Preservation Association Inc. Of his award, Kaz paid tribute to SSAA SA CWM and the key role his fellow members played in Bounceback. “I’m only one person, SSAA SA CWM is a big organisation, as is the Sporting Shooters,” he said. “If it wasn’t for SSAA, none of this would be possible.”
Fellow SSAA SA CWM founding member Gil Hartwig was awarded an OAM for his service and role in Bounceback in 2007.
Along with his involvement in SSAA SA CWM, for which he has been awarded life membership, Kaz has sat on consultative committees for the South Australian Government, helping guide the management of National Parks. He is a member of two key National Parks Friendship groups and a founding member and past-president of the Monarto Pistol and Shooting Club.
Today, Kaz is still a passionate shooter. He continues to participate in state government-sanctioned feral and pest animal shooting activities in the National Parks and enjoys attending the State Shooting Range at Monarto. He will be presented the OAM at a ceremony to be held at Government House in Adelaide in April. Learn more about SSAA CWM groups, including how to join.