Australian Orchid Foundation

Award of Honour for 1999 granted to:

Leonard Joseph Lawler


He was the first curator of the Orchid Seed Bank which is now often quoted as a major conservation initiative of the Australian Orchid Foundation.

He gained his fellowship of the Australian Institute of Medical Scientists with a thesis on “Biochemical Investigation of Australian Orchidaceae”.

He served on the Australian Orchid Foundation Research Committee and was Chairman for a period.

His paper “Ethnobotany of Orchidaceae” remaining the definitive work on the subject, consists of 123 pages of enormous detail on uses for food, medicines, decoration, and as a source of fibre. He is recognised as a world expert on the topic.

He has written over twenty papers on scientific topics relating to orchids.

He has been deeply involved in the study of North Queensland orchids recording the distribution of the rare species.

He has collected specimens of new and interesting orchids which were made available to scientists and herbariums.

He discovered a new species of Malaxis near Rossville, south of Cooktown, and that it was subsequently named in his honour: Malaxis lawleri.

He has been held in great respect and high esteem by the orchid fraternity throughout Australia and worldwide.