Stephen Hedges has become an acknowledged expert on the lifecycle of the Little Penguin colony on Victor Harbor’s Granite Island. He has made an outstanding contribution to penguin research, first as a tour guide for more than 20 years, and then as a research assistant with Flinders University, and the BirdLab, for almost 10 years.
His voluntary work assisting in the colony’s survival has not only added to an enhanced understanding of the factors affecting their decline by helping to collect crucial information, but also by communicating the science and the unknowns to Local and State Governments, conservation groups and the community. Stephen became Senior Environmental Advisor to the company leading the Granite Island Causeway Project providing expert, practical advice on mitigating the risk of disturbance to the Little Penguins. He worked for the City of Victor Harbor as organiser/leader of penguin tours, and as a mentor/technical adviser to staff on the resilience of local marine bird and reptile species.
Stephen has a broad range of other community interests, including volunteer work as a citizen scientist with Kangaroo Island/Victor Harbor Dolphin Watch. While Art teacher at Victor Harbor High School, he raised environmental awareness within the school before it was fashionable with his philosophy of reduce, reuse and recycle featuring in his lesson activities