Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria
Gerry began his journey in his early years on the Atherton Tablelands, and when he was 8 years old the family moved to Shepparton, Victoria. The family stayed in Shepparton for 8 years before moving back to the Tableland.
After leaving school, Gerry worked as a seasonal fruit picker and farm labourer travelling around Australia before starting a traineeship in 1985 with the Department of Primary Industries as a Scientific Assistant in Brisbane, Queensland.
The department changed names several times due to change of government and was called the Department of Environment and Heritage when Gerry was offered an Indigenous scholarship in Botany at the University of Queensland. This gave Gerry the opportunity to not only formalise his qualifications within the science of plants but also afforded him the opportunity to embark on a journey of recording and documenting Indigenous Biocultural Knowledge, working with many traditional owner groups in Far North Queensland, particularly Cape York.
As an Mbabaram man from north Queensland and one of the first Indigenous Ethnobotanists, Gerry, with the assistance of partners from CSIRO, Queensland Herbarium, Australian Tropical Herbarium and Traditional Owners helped establish the Tropical Indigenous Ethnobotanical Centre (TIEC) at the James Cook University in Cairns. TIEC is housed within the Australian Tropical Herbarium.
Gerry has a strong cultural commitment to facilitating effective partnerships that support Indigenous communities to protect, manage and maintain their cultural knowledge on the use of plants. Gerry is a member of the Ecological Society of Australia Board of Directors with the role of Indigenous Engagement, and a member of the NESP Threatened Species Recovery Hub Indigenous Reference Group.
In 2013, Gerry took out the first ever science award at the 2013 National Indigenous Deadly Awards for best scientist or science Project of the Year category.
Source: Extracted from:
Portrait Photo: 2019, extracted from: https://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/awaye/features/word-up/gerry-turpin/11507426 (viewed 2022).
Data from 5,667 specimens