THE SIR HUBERT WILKINS FOUNDATION
Various (as yet undetermined) Sir Hubert Wilkins medals would be designed to encourage altruistic and visionary thinkers in the range of domains in which Wilkins himself excelled and made a personal contribution. In each case the way in which Wilkins worked—collaboratively and without clamour for recognition—would be part of the criteria for the medal winners. As per the Wilkins Foundation mission statement, prizes would be given for Wilkins-like methodology as well as for outstanding achievements.
Sir Hubert Wilkins Chair of Climate Change
This academic Chair is a special appointment made at the University of Adelaide and was originally funded by the Government of South Australia. It was established with funding for four years, beginning in 2006-2007, but funding has since been terminated. The Chair’s role is to advise government, industry, and the community on how to tackle climate change. The Chair is also tasked to draw together expertise in climate change from across the University. The first appointee to the position was Professor Barry Brook who held the Chair for eight years until December 2014. The position was then held by Professor Corey Bradshaw from 2015-2017, at which time Professor Alan Cooper was appointed. The Wilkins Foundation Australia would work to re-establish a funding model with State Government assistance for the ongoing Chair.
Bringing Wilkins Home
Australians should be able to access the archives pertaining to Wilkins. The archives of this South Australian are far-flung—mostly in America, but some in the UK and more in Europe. Few letters and writings (not in the biographies) are available to Australian researchers. With today’s information technology, the most important archives could be digitised so that any Australian could view them online. Bringing more of these archival texts and audio- visual materials into the public domain is one of the main aims of the Wilkins Foundation. We understand that organisations who hold original Wilkins related archives need to charge for their services, and this may be one of the main outgoing expenses envisaged by the Wilkins Foundation.
The productive life of Sir Hubert is a national treasure; his wealth of knowledge and life experience, in an astonishing range of domains, would enrich all Australians.