Here are our speakers & guests for the AEGN Tasmania Field Trip
You can view the full program here
Land and Heritage Coordinator at Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre
A proud Pakana, Tralwulway man, Andry lives in Hobart and has spent 20 years working in the area of Natural and Cultural Resource Management in Government and non-government organisations predominantly in the Aboriginal Community sector. Andry is currently working at the Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre, undertaking community based, on country projects on Aboriginal Land around Tasmania and the Bass Strait Islands to promote healthy country and community development.
Andry is interested in working within the principles of community leadership and self-determination for Aboriginal communities. Andry is also committed to the arts sector and he supports the development of art and cultural programs in the Aboriginal and wider community. Andry studied at the University of Tasmania and has a BSc in Ecology and Geography fields. Andry is also the current Co-chair of the Firesticks Alliance Indigenous Corporation an organisation dedicated to the continuation and revitalisation of cultural fire practice within Aboriginal communities.
Graeme Wood Foundation / Spring Bay Mill
Anna Cerneaz is a company director of several notable for-profit and not-for-profit organisations. She started her professional life as an oceanographer, but her lifelong interest in the led her found an artistic management business and become the founding general manager of Pinchgut Opera. She has since integrated her arts and environmental passions by applying her director skills to Wedgetail Foundation, Artology (co-founder), Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, Syrinscape and most notably the Graeme Wood Foundation and Spring Bay Mill. The Foundation seeks out and supports progressive thinking and action. Spring Bay Mill was transformed by Anna and Graeme Wood from being the world’s largest wood chip mill to a breathtakingly beautiful events and conference space. In 2023 she joined Groundswell as its inaugural chair.
Hobart Lord Mayor Councillor
Councillor Anna Reynolds was elected Lord Mayor of Hobart in November 2018, the third woman to be elected into the role. First elected as an Alderman to the City of Hobart in 2014, she was Chairperson of the Parks and Recreation Committee during her first term.
Anna began her career establishing a community legal centre in North Queensland, after completing her degree at the Australian National University. She has held senior roles in advocacy, policy development and management, including:
- Managing the Australian Conservation Foundation’s Parliament Liaison Office
- Deputy Director of WWF International’s Global Climate Change Program
- Chief Executive Officer of the Multicultural Council of Tasmania
As Lord Mayor, Anna is focused on a range of issues including affordable housing, climate change, active transport, and protecting Hobart’s heritage.
Melliodora Fund, Australian Communities Foundation
Bruce has had a life-long interest in nature conservation. He worked in agricultural research and land management and with many new and emerging farming industries. He has been a founder, activist, supporter and advocate of several leading eNGOs in Victoria and held office-bearing positions for long periods. A major local focus has been the protection and ecological restoration of the Merri Creek, from the Dividing Range through northern Melbourne (Wurundjeri country). Bruce and his wife Ann played a central role in establishing the 25 km linear trail, substantially expanded the parklands and the establishment of the ecological restoration team in 1989. They are keen birders and own several covenanted bush blocks.
Having fallen in love with Tasmania’s wild places, Bruce and Ann were members of the Friends of the Wilderness which secured the head offices for The Wilderness Society in Hobart and in Melbourne in the 1980s. They were also key investors in Australian Ethical Investments, which has driven the transformation in Australian ethical investment and superannuation since 1989. Bruce was President of Victorian National Parks Association 2018-2022 and is President of the National Parks Australia Council. As foundation members of AEGN, Bruce and Ann’s philanthropic activities support a range of eNGOs in all states of Australia, with a focus on nature conservation, building movement capacity and advocacy. They are supporters of the Tasmanian Land Conservancy and were made Life Members in 2011. In 2019/20 they worked with the TLC to establish the Prosser River Reserve.
Melliodora Fund, Australian Communities Foundation
Claire Bookless is the Managing Lawyer of the lutruwita/Tasmania practice of the Environmental Defenders Office. EDO is a community legal centre dedicated to seeking a world where nature thrives.
Claire holds undergraduate degrees in Laws (Hons) and Environmental Science from Griffith University and has over 15 years’ experience practising as an environmental lawyer in Tasmania, Queensland, and Victoria.
Since joining EDO in 2016, Claire has achieved successful results for clients in cases challenging: inappropriate tourism development in the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area, clearing of critically endangered forests, the destruction of Aboriginal cultural heritage, and mining in takayna/the Tarkine. In addition to fighting for better environmental outcomes through the courts, Claire seeks better outcomes for nature and access to justice for the Tasmanian community through improvements to environmental, planning, and heritage laws.
Before joining EDO, Claire worked in a senior role in Queensland Government undertaking environmental prosecutions and related litigation. Her work included successful prosecutions concerning unconventional gas, serious pollution incidents, and wildlife crime.
Tasmanian Director at The Australia Institute
Eloise Carr is a policy and governance professional and former public servant of 15 years, who now leads the Australia Institute’s presence in Tasmania. The Institute conducts research on a broad range of economic, social, governance and environmental issues to inform public policy debate and bring greater accountability to democratic processes.
Eloise’s work on coastal and marine policy for State and Federal governments included 7 years on the Australian delegation to the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources, part of the Antarctic Treaty system.
She has led policy development and implementation on coastal resource management, marine conservation, addressing the impacts of climate change, sustainable fisheries management, regulatory reform and international governance.
Eloise has also run her own consultancy, co-founded the Tasmanian Independent Science Council, worked in medical research, and studied marine biology on the Great Barrier Reef.
She has always sought to elevate the role of science in evidence-based policy and decision making. Eloise has completed the Australian Institute of Company Directors course, is a qualified coxswain and a keen sailor.
Emily J Flies
Lecturer at University of Tasmania
Emily was raised in the suburbs of upstate New York where she completed a Bachelor of Arts in anthropology and psychology (2001-2005). After a few years of teaching outdoor education, she completed a master’s degree in disease ecology (Michigan State University, USA, 2008-2011) and a PhD in disease ecology and epidemiology at the University of South Australia in Adelaide (2012-2016).
Since joining UTAS in 2016, Emily’s research has shifted from quantitative modelling of global food demand to understanding the diversity of environmental microbiomes to, now, a focus on how better connections among humans and the environment can help create healthy and sustainable communities. She co-leads the ‘sustainable people-environment interactions’ research theme of the National Environmental Science Program’s ‘Sustainable Communities and Waste Hub’. She is also an Associate Investigator in the Healthy Environments and Lives Network, which seeks to make healthcare more equitable, sustainable and resilient to environmental change.
Emily teaches in the Sustainability space. She has developed and coordinated Backyard Biodiversity in the Diploma for Sustainable Living, and a first year unit on People, Places and Nature. She developed UTAS’s first major in sustainability, and co-teaches the capstone unit, Change Agents in Sustainability. Emily is also co-founder of two not-for-profit science communication organisations, and Tasmania’s Inspiring Women in STEMM Fellowship Program.
When not at work, she spends time with her three favourite boys (her partner and two kids), coaches and plays soccer, trail runs and eats bagels as often as possible.
Senior Research Fellow – Marine Social Science at University of Tasmania
I am a researcher based at the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies. I coordinate research programs concerned with human dimensions (communities, behaviours, institutions, markets, knowledge production, other collective action areas and interventions) of marine realms. My first commitment is to place-based research here in Tasmania. At the same my work takes me all over Australia and into international collaborations.
A lot of my research focuses on fisheries and aquaculture communities and sectors, inclusive of Indigenous, professional and recreational. More and more I am engaged in research concerned with climate change and attendant climate actions in response rapidly warming oceans. Across these emerging conditions, my research highlights political economy implications for benefit sharing and distributive justice.
Graeme Wood Foundation /Spring Bay Mill
Graeme is the founding sponsor for the Global Change Institute at the University of Queensland, founding investor in Guardian Australia, and is behind the regeneration of the Triabunna Woodchip Mill into the events focused Spring Bay Mill on Tasmania’s east coast.
He is co-founder and Chair of tech startup Mawson Ventures, co-founder and Chair of Artology and Chair or Board member on several tech startups and impact investments.
Graeme holds an Honorary Doctorate in Economics from the University of Queensland and was made a Member of the Order of Australia in 2012.
Director, Centre for Marine Socioecology, UTAS and IMAS
Gretta Pecl is a Professor of marine ecology at the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies (IMAS), and the Director of the Centre for Marine Socioecology (CMS) at UTAS. She has a diverse research background but currently spends most of her time exploring the impact of climate change on natural systems, and helping develop adaptation options for conservation, fisheries and aquaculture. Gretta has a specific interest in how climate change is resulting in a redistribution of life on earth, and she leads several national and international efforts to better understand climate-driven changes to species distributions, including the citizen science initiative Redmap Australia and the Species on the Move international conference series.
She is a Lead Author for the IPCC AR6 report, an Australian Research Council ‘Future Fellow’, and an associate editor for several leading international journals. Gretta has been prominent in UN Decade of Ocean Science programmes, actions and working groups, including co-leading Future Seas 2030 and other major international initiatives. She has a strong passion for science communication and engagement with the public and is ranked in the top 200 most influential climate scientists in the world (and the top 20 women).
Chief Executive Officer at Tasmanian Land Conservancy
James is a conservation ecologist with a passion for connecting people to the natural world through shared experiences, storytelling and community involvement. He has been working with government and not-for-profits in Victoria and Tasmania for more than 15 years, with experience in conservation covenants, philanthropic programs, marketing, communications, community engagement and not-for-profit governance. James joined the Tasmanian Land Conservancy 12 years ago and has been CEO since 2018.
Co-Chief Executive Officer at Pollination Foundation
Jane joined Pollination Foundation to pursue her passion for finding new ways to flow finance into local communities who steward nature.
Jane is a leader in nature conservation with over 25+ years as an Executive and Non-Executive Director of multiple and varied organisations including The Nature Conservancy Australia Program, Australian Land Conservation Alliance, Accounting for Nature, Protected Areas Learning and Research Collaboration and the Tasmanian Land Conservancy. Prior to that Jane had over a decade of public and private sector experience in environmental law and policy.
Jane received a Barbara Thomas Fellowship in 2014, Harvard Club of Australia Fellowship in 2017 and was awarded Tasmanian Australian of the Year 2016 for her contribution to nature conservation.
Senior Research Scientist at CSIRO Environment
Dr Jess Melbourne-Thomas is a Transdisciplinary Researcher and Knowledge Broker, and leads a marine socio-ecological systems team with CSIRO Environment in Hobart. She has a background in mathematical modelling and Antarctic climate change science, and her work focuses on connecting research to decision-making for sustainability and climate change adaptation. Jess was the 2020 Tasmanian Australian of the Year and was one of Australia’s first 30 Superstars of STEM. She co-founded the Homeward Bound project for women in climate science leadership and was a Lead Author for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 2019 Special Report on the Oceans & Cryosphere in a Changing Climate. Jess was one of 12 female scientists globally to have her portrait featured as a constellation on the ceiling of New York’s Grand Central Station as part of GE’s 2017 Balance the Equation campaign.
Jim developed extensive knowledge of organisational structure and management over his 40 years building businesses, while also supporting a wide range of conservation organisations. In 2018 all accumulated business profits were donated to establish Rendere Trust, a stronger vehicle to drive conservation outcomes. “My last five years have been fully committed to supporting eNGOs, and it has been the most fulfilling time of my life.”
Rendere Trust is 100 per cent committed to the environment and will strategically spend down by 2030 because, Jim asks, “Why would you invest in anything else? We’ve only got one Earth. Our most critical investment is the planet that we depend on.”
Director of Macquarie Island Conservation Foundation
Dr Julie McInnes is a research associate at The University of Tasmania where she studies the ecology of Southern Ocean seabirds and mammals, with a focus on applied research leading to conservation and management initiatives. She has been involved in the development and implementation of wildlife research and monitoring programs around Australia, the Antarctic and Subantarctic and is a member of several international working groups to ensure that this science is translated into policy outcomes.
Julie has a strong passion for Macquarie Island, with over 15 years’ experience working with this unique and precious island ecosystem, including 2.5 years spent on the island. Through this passion and drive, Julie was one of the Founding Directors of the Macquarie Island Conservation Foundation, which launched in February 2023. The Foundation aims to fund and facilitate science and research programs, as well as provide supplementary support to management initiatives, student projects and outreach activities which will benefit the conservation of Macquarie Island. The Foundation also seeks to provide an ongoing connection to Macquarie Island through news and updates, and to inspire others to value and contribute to the protection of the island and its unique inhabitants.
Mona Artist and Curator // Founder of Material Institute
Kirsha Kaechele is an artist and curator at Mona (Museum of Old and New Art), and founder of Material Institute—her charity with branches in two countries—New Orleans, USA, and lutruwita / Tasmania, Australia. She is interested in the space where complex problems exist, and places transformation at the heart of her work. For Kaechele, problems are a medium for art.
Her projects include: 24 Carrot—building kitchen gardens in low-income schools and communities; CA$H 4 GUN$—a conceptual artwork in the form of a gun buyback scheme in New Orleans; Heavy Metal—an art-science initiative hellbent on cleansing timtumili minanya (River Derwent) of heavy metal contaminants; Ladies Who Jump—a philanthropically minded annual skinny dip in the depths of winter; and Eat the Problem—a super-deluxe food and art compendium featuring a series of ‘recipes’ using invasive species (both real and surreal) with an accompanying exhibition at Mona that featured the world’s largest glockenspiel, tuned to the frequency of the Earth. She is currently investigating and investing in forests globally.
CEO and Founder of Wedgetail
Lisa Miller studied Advanced Science specialising in the fields of zoology and evolutionary biology before starting her career as a scientist at the Australian Museum. After transitioning into tech in 2004, Lisa has spent the last eighteen years developing products and scaling leaders and teams at some of the fastest growing companies in Australia – including Canva. She has now united her passion for conservation and technology by establishing Wedgetail: an organisation devoted to conserving and restoring biodiversity through sustainable investment.
Head of Research & Development at Sea Forest
Masa has an extensive background researching seaweed performance and the ecological impacts of climate change. Working with esteemed universities and institutes, Masa is expert in the rehabilitation and conservation of coastal and estuarine environments. Having completed his doctorate on dynamic resilience and stability of Ecklonia Masa also invested many years cultivating Macrocystis to restore Tasmania’s endangered native kelp forests.
Associate Professor. Senior academic (research and teaching) at Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies, University of Tasmania
I’m a reef ecologist with over 30 years experience in working on temperate Australian reef systems, fish biology and ecology with some wider interests around estuaries, threatened species and habitat mapping. Much of my research has involved monitoring marine protected areas to both understand the effectiveness of MPA protection, as well as using their reference area role to untangle environmental and anthropogenic drivers and understand the relative effects of fishing, natural variability, climate change, introduced pests and range extending species. While this has been primarily on shallow coastal reefs from WA to NSW, in the past 15 years this has extended to deeper offshore environments to help inform understanding of the biodiversity in the new AMP network and establish associated monitoring programs.
Founder of Hobart Rivulet Platypus
Pete Walsh is the founder of Hobart Rivulet Platypus, a community group dedicated to the conservation and protection of Hobart’s urban platypus population.
Photo credit: Fraser Johnston
President of Neighbours of Fish Farming, Tasmanian Alliance for Marine protection
A former ABC correspondent in the Middle East, Africa, Europe and the Americas, Peter was also an ABC Four Corners reporter. Resident in southern Tasmania for the past 8 years, Peter has used his skills as a reporter to investigate and expose the impact of industrial Atlantic salmon feedlots on marine life, waterways and communities. He began this work in the Huon River valley when residents explained their concerns about noise, light and deteriorating coastal waters caused by salmon feedlots were being ignored by industry and government. Since then he has led Huon-based Neighbours of Fish Farming (NOFF) and the statewide Tasmanian Alliance for Marine Protection to represent Tasmanians, to protect state waters and marine life and to hold government and industry to account.
Land for Wildlife Coordinator at Tasmanian Land Conservancy
Phil joined the Tasmanian Land Conservancy (TLC) as Land for Wildlife Coordinator after working for the Save the Tasmanian Devil Program as a Wildlife Biologist, since 2009. Prior to that, he worked as a park ranger for 12 years in the Northern Territory, including Kakadu, Litchfield National Park, Arltunga and western Arnhem Land. Phil sees the value of recognising and working with many inspiring Tasmanians who put their passion into learning about and protecting the land they live on for the collective benefit of conservation. Phil has been a member of the LFW program himself for over 10 years and displays his green sign with pride! He’s also the father of three busy boys, and a keen musician (and host of community music events).
Senior Marine Campaigner at Environment Tasmania
Rebecca lives on turrukana/Tasman Peninsula where she fostered a love for Tasmania’s spectacular coasts and marine environment. She has experience in a variety of roles including Ecology Researcher, Bush School Practitioner, Food Co-op Founder and Co-ordinator, Community Garden Co-ordinator and Environmental Campaigner. A native to the UK, Rebecca came to Tasmania in 2013, and loves the Tasmanian wilderness for bush-walking and kayaking.
Robert Purves AM
Director and Founder, Purves Environmental Fund
Robert has had a long career in business and in the environmental sector. In business he has been Chairman or Director of public and private companies in areas including healthcare, engineering, and funds management.
In the environment, Robert has been involved in numerous environmental campaigns including tree-clearing in NSW and Queensland, “Save the Great Barrier Reef”, NSW container deposit (CDS), water reform, and the Tarkine in Tasmania. He also more recently chaired the successful campaign for Zali Steggall in the federal seat of Warringah.
In addition, Robert’s environmental work has focused on bringing his business skills to assist building the fundraising capacity of eNGOs, such as the recent merger of Environmental Defenders Office.
He is currently a Director of Wentworth Group of Concerned Scientist, and a Trustee of Lizard Island Research Station. He is also the immediate past President of WWF Australia and a former board member of WWF International (the world’s largest science-based conservation organisation).
In 2004 Robert established the Purves Environmental Fund, which core objectives are to support advocacy and education on climate change and landscape management, and to improve environmental policy and capacity.
He invests in the energy transformation sector and co-founded the Renew Power Group, which develops and owns solar and wind assets.
Robert has a long family connection with the pastoral industry, and his family owns sheep and cattle farms in Southern Tablelands of NSW.
Research Fellow at Tasmanian Land Conservancy
Dr Sally Bryant AM worked for over 30 years as a wildlife scientist with the Tasmanian Government managing threatened species programs then as Science Manager with the Tasmanian Land Conservancy. Sally’s research spans theoretical conservation science specialising in threatened vertebrates mainly birds and her extensive field experience has focused on island restricted species. She is the Chair of the Endangered Forty-spotted Pardalote National Recovery Program and has led recovery efforts for over three decades.
Sally has authored and co-authored numerous books, chapters and peer reviewed papers on wildlife conservation. In 2020 she became a Research Fellow with the TLC, is Honorary Editor of the prestigious Journal Papers and Proceedings of the Royal Society of Tasmania and in 2023 was awarded an Order of Australia for her contribution to wildlife conservation and land protection.
Steven Loudon Chown
Professor and Director at Monash University
Steven L. Chown is Professor of Biological Sciences at Monash University, Melbourne, Australia, and Director of Securing Antarctica’s Environmental Future, an Australian Research Council Special Research Initiative.
His research concerns biodiversity variation through space and time, the conservation implications of environmental change, including the means to mitigate it, and the human-environment intersection in natural, agricultural and urban settings.
He has undertaken research in Australia, the Asia-Pacific, Africa, and in the broader Antarctic region where he has over 30 years of field experience. His research in the Antarctic has covered numerous aspects of biodiversity variation and its conservation.
For many years he has represented the international Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR), of which he was also President (2016-2021), at the Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meetings, which set policy for and regulate the region, providing scientific advice on a broad range of environmental and science policy matters.
Steven is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science, and an International Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. For his science and policy work in the Antarctic he has received the French Republic’s Medal of the 30th Anniversary of the Madrid Protocol, the inaugural Tinker-Muse Prize for Science and Policy in Antarctica, and the SCAR Medal for Excellence in Antarctic Research.
Campaign Coordinator at Lake Pedder Restoration Inc
An avid bushwalker and wilderness photographer Tabatha has been the campaign coordinator of the Restore Lake Pedder campaign, since 2021, after being a volunteer for several years. Tabatha also runs a small conservation and land management business, remediating degraded land into community green spaces, and works with several Tasmanian eNGO’s, including being chair of the Wilderness Society, Tasmania.
[Photo credit Karen Brown]
Dr/ Conservation Officer at Invasive Species Council
Tiana has a background in feral ungulate ecology and management. Prior to moving to Australia, she worked as a researcher on fertility control programs for feral horses in Western USA. She then moved to Tasmania to undertake a PhD on reproductive ecology and physiology in domestic and feral horses. She also served as a scientific advisor for NSW Parks and Wildlife in the development of the 2021 Kosciuszko Wild Horse Management Plan. She now works for the Invasive Species Council focused on feral deer management in Tasmania.
Tiana has a passion for science outreach and engagement to help improve public understanding of animal ecology and effective, humane management of invasive animal species.
Co-founder, Head of Marketing and Community at Ocean Impact Organisation
Tim Silverwood is an award-winning environmentalist committed to reducing human impacts on the natural world. A keen surfer, Tim became alarmed at the risks plastic pollution posed to our oceans and wildlife, co-founding the not-for-profit organisation ‘Take 3 for the Sea’ in 2009.
After ten years building Take 3 into a social movement and successful charity, Tim launched Ocean Impact Organisation (OIO) in 2020 with co-founder Nick Chiarelli. OIO is Australia’s first ocean impact ecosystem and startup accelerator helping people to start, grow and invest in businesses that positively impact the ocean.
OIO’s purpose is to transform ocean health through inspiration, innovation and good business. OIO’s mission is to support and accelerate ocean impact businesses. To date (Dec. 2022), OIO has received over 950 program applications from 65 countries, and has supported 68 startups and entrepreneurs.
Tim’s achievements include being awarded the 2014 NSW Green Globe ‘Sustainability Champion’; featuring in the popular ABC series ‘War on Waste’ and starring as an ‘Ocean Guardian’ in the 2017 feature documentary ‘Blue’. In 2011, Tim sailed 5000km across the North Pacific Ocean to study the infamous Great Pacific Garbage Patch, sharing his experiences through a popular TEDx talk on his return.