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PrideofAustraliaCongratulations are in order for Free the Bears’ own Mary Hutton- taking home two awards at the recent Pride of Australia medals ceremony in Perth this month. Mary was recognised for a lifetime of advocacy and wildlife conservation being awarded both the Environment Medal and also this year’s People’s Choice Award.

For the past 11 years, the awards have celebrated Australia’s unsung heroes. Recognising outstanding acts of bravery, courage or quiet determination. Mary Hutton is now recognised in the community as an individual that has made the world a better place. And we couldn’t agree more!

In true Mary modesty, our fearless founder says that it was not an individual effort and thanked the work of the extended Free the Bears team.

I would personally like to thank everybody who supported Free the Bears in nominating our work. It was such an amazing day! I felt immensely privileged to be recognised amongst so many selfless people who have done so much with their courage in the most adverse of situations. People helping children, the sick, those less fortunate than them. There were so many inspirational stories and it was just wonderful to hear about so many people in our community doing such amazing things. I felt very proud to be there amongst them all.

But to be honest, I felt most proud standing up there for the entire Free the Bears team. What an absolute privilege it is to work with such a dedicated group of people. Congratulations really go out to our extended team. I wouldn’t be doing what I’m doing for the bears without every single one of them who work tirelessly to make a difference to the lives of bears. To the wonderful state supporters running raffles, our amazing team in Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam, our partners, donors and supporters all around the world. It’s just amazing to think of the work that has been done because of your support.

To me personally, this is just an incentive for us to do more for the bears with continued support such as this. What we have achieved so far is just the tip of the iceberg. We’ve still got so much work to do until the suffering is over for the bears of this world. I thank everybody for the continued support in helping us to achieve what we need to do. We won’t stop, we’ll just keep on going for the bears.”

From everybody here at the Free the Bears team, we would like to congratulate Mary for this incredible achievement. Each and every day the lives of bears are changed because of Mary’s commitment and endless determination. On behalf of us, and the 900 bears whose lives you’ve changed….thank you Mary Hutton. 


Mary's inspirational autogbiograpgy 'Free the Bears' is the story of how an ordinary Perth grandmother became an extraordinary animal activist. You can purchase a copy of Mary's book by clicking here

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