Steve Wilson Medal


A medal awarded to recognise outstanding individual contribution to the Canberra Ornithologists Group.




2014   Grahame Clark and Jenny Bounds

2015   Chris Davey and Barbara Allan

2016   Jack Holland and David McDonald

2017   Michael Lenz

2018   Sandra Henderson and Dick Schodde

2019   Sue Lashko and Paul Fennell

2020   Bruce Lindenmayer

2021   Joan Lipscombe

2022  Nicki Taws

2023  Anthony Overs

The citations are in the linked issues of Canberra Bird Notes.


Awarded to an outstanding COG member or ex COG member who has

  • served in a voluntary capacity
  • contributed in a professional manner
  • contributed on the COG committee, in any other regular role, or in any other way in support of the aims of COG.

It is not a long-service award and is not an award for services to ornithology in general, but is awarded for meritorious services to birds through COG.



The medal recognises Steve Wilson OAM (1912-2009), a past president and life member of Canberra Ornithologists Group (COG).

Steve is warmly remembered by COG for his intellectual leadership and extensive knowledge of the birdlife of the ACT and region. He was tireless in his efforts to document the abundance and distribution of birds in the ACT through extensive pioneering work in mist-netting and banding native birds in the Brindabella Range, along the Murrumbidgee Corridor, at the Botanic Gardens and several other sites around Canberra. A number of his protégés in this work have gone on to play key roles in Australian avian research.

His book, Birds in the ACT: Two Centuries of Change (1999), published when he was 87 years of age, is a scholarly examination of the presence, abundance and distribution of birds in the ACT based on all available records.

Steve and Nonie Wilson provided a garden bird survey chart for the first 23 years of the survey. His survey detailed the numbers and occurrence of some 115 species at or near his Canberra garden.



The award may be made annually by the Award Committee. The Award was established by the COG Committee in 2014 during the celebrations of COG’s 50th year. The inaugural Steve Wilson Medal Committee was Neil Hermes, Alison Russell-French and Bruce Lindenmayer. In 2021 the committee was Neil Hermes, Sue Lashko and Jack Holland.


Lake George bird banding outing at Lake Road, Bungendore.
12 March 1963 4.45am to 8.00am.
(l to r) Nonie Wilson (Steve’s wife), HRH Prince Phillip, Steve Wilson and sons Denis Wilson and Kevin Wilson.
Photo notes : An informal outing with the Wilsons, kept secret from the rest of the world until the event was over. Attended by HRH, his equerry, Sqdn. Ldr. Chequette; and Mr Ray Whitrod, Commissioner for Commonwealth Police.










Australian National Botanic Gardens bird banding outing 3 April 1966
(l to r) Kevin Wilson, Steve Wilson, Nonie Wilson and HRH Prince Charles


Steve Wilson Medal obverse

Photos of Steve Wilson and family and royals presented to Neil Hermes COG President in 2021 by Margaret Wilson (Kevin Wilson’s wife and Steve’s daughter- in-law) and Sarah Buchanan (granddaughter)