Biographies of session chairs, speakers and walk leaders

THE PAST 50 YEARS INFORMING THE NEXT 50

Friends of Black Mountain

 

(listed alphabetically by family name)

Wally Bell

Wally is a Ngunawal Elder and chair of the Buru Ngunawal Aboriginal Corporation (a Not For Profit body) where he is also a Cultural Heritage Officer. During his 33 years with the Corporation, he has been actively involved in the management and protection of Ngunawal Aboriginal cultural heritage as well as caring for country as a traditional custodian to maintain his Aboriginal sites of significance. He is also an Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Consultant and participates in landcare conservation and management on country, as well as engaging with the wider community to help them develop a better understanding of Ngunawal culture.

Dr Linda Broadhurst

Linda is Director, Centre for Australian National Biodiversity Research (CANBR) and Director, Australian National Herbarium (ANH) at the CSIRO National Research Collection Australia, and has been working at CSIRO since 2001. Her early research assessed how remnant size, isolation and degradation associated with recent landscape fragmentation affected long-term plant population viability. Her most recent research is assisting NRM groups and NGOs to understand how these changes influence their seed sourcing and seed production to ensure that restored populations have the broad genetic base required to respond to changing environments.

Mark Butz

Mark is an environmental science graduate with a particular interest in what we can learn from the past to enhance both our understanding of the present and our choices for the future. This reflects a lifelong interest in environmental and social history, community participation, and the power of story. He pursues these through his work as a freelance consultant, facilitator and writer, and through volunteer efforts. He has lived in Canberra since 1980, with Black Mountain looming in his backyard. However, for some years he has been writing history for Jerrabomberra Wetlands and participating in management advice for Mulligans Flat-Goorooyarroo, following his earlier work on natural and cultural landscapes of Blundells Flat and Shannons Flat in the Lower Cotter catchment.

Geoffrey Dabb

Geoffrey began birdwatching around his home town of Geelong during his school-days, when he first came across bird photography. After qualifying as a lawyer, he spent many years in Papua New Guinea where he was a foundation member of the New Guinea Bird Society. He came to Canberra in 1980 and has been retired since 2002. He has acquired a huge library of bird books and is the current chair of the BirdLife Australia English Names Committee. He has given several talks on the birds of Black Mountain, using his extensive collection of photos.

Michael Doherty

Michael is a plant ecologist based in Canberra. Born in southern Sydney, he spent much of his formative years botanising and bushwalking in the sandstone country of the Sydney Basin, and graduated with an honours degree in science from the University of Sydney in 1986. For over 30 years he has undertaken research and consulting in plant conservation and management both in Australia and overseas. Initially based in Sydney at the National Herbarium of NSW and then the NSW NPWS, he subsequently spent 25 years with CSIRO in Canberra, until leaving in 2016 to pursue a career as a gentleman naturalist and occasional botanical consultant. Michael has a strong interest in vegetation disturbance dynamics and is currently writing up a long-standing part-time PhD at ANU, investigating the relationships between fire, plant species richness and plant community composition in montane ecosystems.

Dr Murray Evans

Murray is an ecologist with the Conservation Research section of the ACT Government, where for the past 15 years he has been involved in the recovery of threatened fauna. Prior to moving to the ACT, he worked for universities and parks agencies in NSW and Queensland. Over his 30-year career in wildlife management and research he has been fortunate to study some fascinating animals in some amazing places in Australia and South America. He is currently involved in the conservation of endangered Corroboree Frogs, for which he has a particular soft-spot, and hopes that one day Corroboree Frogs will again be common and calling from the sphagnum moss bogs in the high areas of Namadgi National Park.

Paul Fennell

Paul started his working life as a science teacher in secondary schools in Queensland in 1965. He finished his working life as an administrator in the ACT vocational education and training system in 2006. He is a past president of Canberra Ornithologists’ Group (COG) and was for many years the manager of COG’s database of bird sightings for the ACT and region. He has edited two editions of The Birds of Canberra Gardens, and is currently the editor of the COG Annual Bird Report.

Dr Doug Finlayson

Doug is a graduate of the University of Edinburgh, BSc (Honours Physics, 1960) and subsequently graduated with MSc and DSc degrees in geophysics. His career began with the British Antarctic Survey before he joined the Bureau of Mineral Resources, Geology & Geophysics (now Geoscience Australia) in 1965. His professional interests were in determining the major structural features of the continent and in their tectonic evolution. Now retired, he is still an active member of Geological Society of Australia with continuing interests in geoheritage, geotourism and geoeducation. With a number of co-authors, in 2008 he published A Geological Guide to Canberra Region and Namadgi National Park.

Anke Maria Hoefer

Anke Maria has been training volunteers how to eavesdrop on frogs since 2011. She is a great advocate for citizen science, stewardship and above and beyond all, frogs, and singlehandedly coordinates the ACT and Region Frogwatch Program. In her previous life she has been a physiologist, morphologist and a behavioural ecologist. Anke Maria has teamed up with numerous scientists to add to the list of publications based on Frogwatch data. Securing ongoing funding for Frogwatch would be the highlight of her career with the Ginninderra Catchment Group.

Julie Hotchin

Julie is a historian with research interests in social memory, the role of place in creating identities and how people express these connections. She is particularly interested in how Black Mountain has been imagined over time and its place in the cultural history of Canberra. She has published widely in her main research area of medieval cultural and religious history, and is currently a visiting fellow in the School of History at the Australian National University. Julie is also a member of the Friends of Black Mountain.

Heino Lepp

Heino is an honorary associate of the Australian National Botanic Gardens and helps with the fungal queries received by the botanic gardens. His major interest is in certain groups of non-lichenized fungi. However, a long friendship with some bryologists and lichenologists has meant that he has also picked up a modicum of knowledge about bryophytes and lichens.

Kimberi (Kim) Pullen

Kim started collecting insects at a young age in Canberra and graduated to a career in entomology. He has worked in the areas of cytogenetics, pheromone-based control of crop pests, biological control of weeds, use of insects as indicators of environmental health, biodiversity survey and cataloguing, and collection management. He has collected insects in all states and territories of Australia, and in Mexico and PNG. He is currently working in the Australian National Insect Collection, and is compiling a list of the insects of the ACT in his spare time.

Dr Rosemary Purdie

Rosemary is a plant ecologist with a particular interest in fire ecology, arid ecosystems and nature conservation. She has worked for the Queensland Herbarium, Bureau of Flora and Fauna, Australian Heritage Commission and Murray Darling Basin Commission, and was the ACT's second Commissioner for the Environment. She's been a member of government advisory bodies including the national Threatened Species Scientific Committee and the ACT's Flora and Fauna Committee and NRM Advisory Committee. She's been an Honorary Associate at the Australian National Herbarium since 2002 and has spent a lot of time on Black Mountain since 2009.

Dr Sarah Ryan

Sarah’s career began in agriculture science with a PhD from the University of WA, a long time ago. Her interests developed into broader ones about the management and governance of whole landscapes, and she pursued these in many guises through her career in CSIRO and on various ACT Government advisory councils, including as Chair of the ACT NRM Council, and currently as Chair of the ACT Bushfire Council. She is recently retired as Deputy Chancellor, University of Canberra, and also on the Board of Capital Regions Landkeepers Trust. A love of bushwalking and landscape photography get her out into the bush.

Dr David Shorthouse

David has a long association with Black Mountain from his work on the ecological resources of the ACT (1979), biologist with the ACT Parks and Conservation Service (1981–1986), environmental planning for NCDC and National Capital Authority (1986–1992), and Manager, Wildlife Research Unit, Environment ACT (1995–2008). Since retirement he has been a member of the Mulligans Flat Sanctuary Management Committee and the Woodland and Wetlands Trust, and environmental consultant to the Ginninderry development in West Belconnen.

Dr David Tongway

David is a landscape ecologist and spent 48 years with CSIRO, working in rangelands, mined lands and agricultural lands with a special interest in restoration of disturbed landscapes. He has also worked in a dozen other countries implementing a “soil health” field assessment procedure aimed at understanding management-induced soil problems and designing rehabilitation procedures.

Dr Karen Williams

Karen is President and a Managing Director of Molonglo Catchment Group. She works with people and environment to adapt and develop innovative ways of integrating natural resource management, social history, community history, community (cultural) development, and the visual arts. Karen uses specific skills—as author, scholar, researcher and artist—to initiate the creative interaction of environment, culture and social inclusion. Developing sustainability and education initiatives to strengthen the relationship between people and their environment in a holistic way, Karen integrates economic, socio-cultural and environmental considerations to bridge between Western and Indigenous knowledge.