• Andrew Harper and friend.
    Andrew Harper and friend.

Explorer and cameleer Andrew Harper has received a medal of the Order of Australia, for his service to environmental science, research and adventure tourism, in this year’s Australia Day honours.

Mr Harper became the owner of the Outback Camel Company, after a 30-year career in the merino sheep industry. He had led expeditions across the deserts of Central Australia, including the Simpson and Tanami, for more than 20 years.

"There is a real need to get to these remote places and see what's making the landscape tick, " he told the ABC. "I believe strongly and very passionately, and perhaps with a bit of bias, walking with pack animals is really the best way to get to know what the country is doing."

He founded Australian Desert Expeditions in 2007, after recognising that scientific research had much to gain from exploring the outback using camels. "I accepted the award really on behalf of my colleagues at Australian Desert Expeditions, who have worked tirelessly over the years on these expeditions,” Mr Harper said.

He added that they’re all trying to raise the profile of remote Australia and make the country aware that it's not a vast inland wasteland, and that there is a lot out there that needs to be documented and recorded.

"It was a great honour to accept the award on their behalf," he said.

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