David Elliott OAM

Co-founder, Australian Age of Dinosaurs Museum of Natural History

2024 Australia's Local Hero

David Elliott OAM’s chance discovery of a dinosaur fossil during routine sheep mustering in 1999 led to the revival of Australia’s palaeontology field – and the creation of a palaeo-tourism industry that put outback Queensland on the map. 

David’s initial fossil discovery was followed by others. As palaeontologists began to return to the region to investigate, David and his wife Judy founded the Australian Age of Dinosaurs Museum of Natural History in 2002 as a not-for-profit charity. 

The Museum first operated on the couple’s property, where they conducted dinosaur digs and built an impressive collection of fossils. Later, it was moved onto donated land.  

Today, it houses Australia’s most significant collection of fossils from the country’s largest dinosaurs. A major tourist attraction, it serves as a centre for Australian paleontological research and discovery. 

David was recognised for his contributions to science with an Order of Australia Medal (OAM) in 2015.