Barbara is co-founder of Nature Foundation. She has worked in the environmental field in a voluntary capacity since the early 1970s, and studied Earth Sciences at Flinders University following a Science Degree at the University of Adelaide.
Barbara has been a Commissioner of the Australian Heritage Commission, President of Nature Foundation, President of the Investigator Science and Technology Centre and Chair of the South Australian Landcare Committee.
Barbara was appointed an Officer of the General Division of the Order of Australia in 1987, received an Honorary Doctorate from Flinders University in 1993, an Advance Australia Award 1991, a SA Great Award 1992, an Institution of Engineers Medal 1992, and an ABC Eureka Award for the Advancement of Science 1994. She was named South Australian Citizen of the Year in 1996 and South Australian Senior Australian of the Year in 2014.
Barbara is the Patron of the University of South Australia's Barbara Hardy Institute which was created in 2011 and brings together scientists, engineers and social scientists to work together with a focus on sustainability of our society.