Cairns Man “Aquaponic Gardener” recognised by the Head of State, Queen of England

shaking Governal Generals hand

Rod Ingersoll shakes the Governor General of PNG’s hand after being awarded OBE

Just a quick blog post to alert my aquaponic sustainable minded gardening friends that as an Australian Citizen working in remote Papua New Guinea highlands, my commitment to the people of Papua New Guinea and community/ environmental work history was recognised by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth 11,  Queen of Great Britain and Commonwealth, at a ceremony at Government House, Port Moresby last week (23/11/17).

His Excellency, Grand Chief Sir Bob Dadae, Governor General of Papua New Guinea confirmed the title “Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (OBE)” for my Community Development, Rural Health & Environmental Conservation achievements to date. I’m glad i was able to borrow a suit. Its sure not my usual clobber. I’m much more comfortable in the tropical forests of Australia and PNG playing with frogs, tree kangaroos and birds of paradise wearing my usual khaki green and hat.

“I am overwhelmed and speechless to be recognised in this manner by the PNG Government and Her Majesty the Queen of England”.

OBE Award conferred to Rod Ingersoll

Rod Ingersoll receives OBE award from Governor General of PNG

“I have worked at the grass roots level with NGOs, government, business & global mining companies. My focus has always been on assisting people and the planet. I’m passionate about building the capacity of PNG communities. If we cant get development assistance right in remote community’s we will never be able to preserve PNG’S unique ecology, especially in mining areas where long term sustainability is difficult to achieve. People need to see a reason to protect their forests for the rest of the worlds sake. Its essential to involve community if you wish to do any activity business or otherwise in PNG”.

“Everyone has something to offer. God has placed us all on the planet for different tasks. PNG seems to be one of mine. I just do what I can, when I can, with what I have & partner with others to get things done. There are a lot of people doing great work around the world, I’m just one person doing my bit on a big planet”.

“I personally still have big dreams and visions for PNG. With Climate change impacting Agriculture and people’s ability to grow food, the need surrounding mining areas and very little of PNGs tropical forests protected, think I might stay for a while longer and see what else may need doing”.

“I truly believe that we can all make a difference. Its not hard. You don’t have to go to another country like i did. Everyone’s voice is valuable right where you are, everyone has something to offer those less fortunate than ourselves. Do what ever you think you are called to do and then take massive action”.

“Everyone can positively influence their own backyard and own community. Grow your own vegetables to reduce food miles, plant a tree to attract biodiversity, don’t buy a certain product if old growth forests were logged to make it for example toilet paper or furniture. Here’s a big idea- talk to your next door neighbor to make sure they are OK. Just make some kind of effort to help humanity and the world we live in. If we don’t each do something, the repercussions are long term and endless”. 

“It hasn’t always been easy and I have sure had many challenges both in Australia and Papua New Guinea but anything worthwhile always has a few bumps in the road. Important thing is to stay focused on the positives, dig deep, find the strength to continue and celebrate the people’s lives being changed by even smallest of environmental , community or agriculture projects”. 

“Its been a wild 41 years journey, best years are always ahead, “ Mr. Ingersoll said.


Rod Ingersoll Honoured by Queen with OBE

Cairns Post 29th Nov 2017- Feature article- “Ecologist honored by Queen for PNG Work” (click to enlarge)

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