AS WE GO TO press with this issue we are also in full organisational swing for the AG awards. It’s always a busy time for us, but this year our excitement is through the roof as we prepare to welcome Their Royal Highnesses the Duke and Duchess of Sussex to our night of nights on 26 October. We are truly honoured to host the royal couple who will be here for the
Invictus Games. Prince Harry will find himself among old friends such as Lifetime of Adventure recipient and polar guide Eric Philips and 2014 Spirit of Adventure winners Seamus Donaghue and Heath Jamieson, both wounded ex-servicemen. All four went to the South Pole together in 2013. Prince Harry is well known for his dedication to the physical and mental wellbeing of former military personnel, and for his adventurous spirit, which we all share at AG. But it’s also as a passionate conservationist and ambassador for youth that we especially welcome him to the AG awards.
The royal couple will also travel to Fraser Island, Fiji and Tonga where they will visit tracts of native forest dedicated under the Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy.This worldwide conservation network aims to heighten protection of existing forests and help rehabilitate others that have been degraded or destroyed.
The ambitious project harnesses the power of the Commonwealth to address an unfolding environmental catastrophe and has been founded in the name of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth (page 82).We’re keen to raise awareness of the Canopy and look forward to honouring the contribution of the Queen to global conservation during our awards ceremony.
On 11 November, many sombre and reflective ceremonies will take place to commemorate the Centenary of Armistice. We know from the personal experiences of the servicemen and women participating in the Invictus Games that the suffering doesn’t always end when the fighting ceases. Alasdair McGregor worked with the Australian War Memorial to understand what really happened when the war was over (page 88).
Look for highlights and photos of the awards on our website and in the next issue of Australian Geographic. We thank all our sponsors for supporting the event and especially our presenting partner, Coral Expeditions, who are offering new and renewing subscribers the chance to win a PNG expedition cruise worth more than $25,000. See page 53.