Valerie Taylor Ocean Protection Prizes

The inaugural Valerie Taylor Ocean Protection Prizes are open for entry! Launched at the Blue Solutions Summit held at the Maritime Museum on 10 March 2022 in partnership with the Volvo Ocean Lovers’ Festival, the Prizes celebrate the work of Valerie Taylor, an Australian diver, photographer, and ground-breaking conservationist dedicated to protecting and inspiring love for our ocean and marine life.

The annual Prizes have been established by Bondi organisation Blue World to honour Valerie Taylor’s achievements throughout the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development.

Valerie Taylor Ocean Protection Prizes co-founder Merran Hughes, a Bondi artist, said she was inspired by the conservation achievements of Valerie Taylor, and her husband Ron Taylor.

“Valerie has been instrumental in gaining support and protection for many marine species, including the Australian Fur Seal and the Grey Nurse Shark,” said Merran Hughes.

“With these prizes we hope to encourage partnerships between conservationists of all persuasions including artists, community groups and scientists. The arts and community-cultural projects are my own interest area and I think they play a vital role in communicating ocean literacy and protection concepts.”

“We can’t ignore how quickly our coastal communities and marine environments are being stressed and damaged by climate change. We need the arts, business, science, and community to mobilise and support ocean sustainability and make a positive impact for our ocean’s health,” said Merran.

Speaking at the Blue Solutions Summit, Valerie Taylor said: “I am thrilled to be involved with these Prizes. Ocean protection and ocean literacy need to be urgently prioritised across Australia. I hope some practical initiatives develop as a result of this initiative.”

Valerie Taylor on the anchor of the wreck of Siris in 1981. Image by Ron Taylor courtesy Valeries Taylor.

About the prizes

The prizes have been set up to raise awareness about the urgent need for ocean care – from addressing issues like plastics and pollution in the ocean, to caring for the fragile marine eco-systems around Sydney’s beaches.

Two prizes are on offer:

  • The Valerie Taylor Ocean Protection Prize $10,000 will be awarded for a project based in Sydney.
  • The Valerie Taylor Sydney-East Prize $3500 will be awarded for a project based in Waverley, Woollahra or Randwick LGA.

Project ideas are encouraged that focus on one or both of Blue World’s aims: 

  • To make a direct impact on ocean protection and restoration.
  • To create wonder, inform and activate our communities to protect and care for our oceans and marine eco-systems.

Applications for the Valerie Taylor Ocean Protection Prizes close 30 June 2022.  For further Information visit and follow the Prizes on Insta at blue_world_bondi

Feature image by Ron Taylor shows Valerie Taylor diving with a Nurse Shark at Seal Rocks, NSW. Australia.Photograph courtesy Valerie Taylor.