The organising committee for the workshop is:
Nick Gill (University of Wollongong, co-chair)
Associate Professor Nick Gill is a geographer at the University of Wollongong with a background in social and cultural aspects of land management, including stewardship under changing social and environmental conditions. Nick has been studying invasive plant management by lifestyle-oriented rural landholders for ten years. He has also recently undertaken weeds-related projects for the Nursery and Garden Industry of the ACT and NSW, the NSW Department of Primary Industries, and the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage.
Sonia Graham (University of New South Wales, co-chair)
Dr Sonia Graham is a geographer at the University of New South Wales. Sonia has studied the mechanisms of successful transdisciplinary and collective weed control for over a decade. She has undertaken weeds-related projects for the NSW Department of Primary Industries and the South East Local Land Services. She organised the Third International Workshop on Invasive Plants and Weeds in Canada in 2016 (https://andinaalberta.weebly.com/), and is passionate about organising a truly transdisciplinary conference on weeds in Australia that brings the diverse groups of stakeholders together.
Michael Williams (Michael Williams & Associates Pty Ltd, Sydney)
Mike Williams is one of Australia’s few specialist natural resource management (NRM) facilitators. He has worked both nationally and internationally in the ecological sciences and invasive species space for over 40 years, and has over 700 NRM workshops, forums and symposiums to his credit. He was crucial in the development of the international ‘ANdinA’ series of interdisciplinary scientists’ meetings, with its innovative approach on which this conference is founded. The Andina format, which Mike has spear-headed on four occasions in three continents, was purpose-built to elicit the safe and collegiate inter-personal interactions within which free and frank exploration of challenging and controversial topics can take place – to a far deeper and meaningful level than can occur in traditional meetings. In the planning and delivery of these week-long meetings, the facilitator is an integral part of the organising team and a vital ingredient to the success and long-term impact of the workshop. He is a Fellow of the Environment Institute of Australia and New Zealand and former Deputy Chair of the NSW Nature Conservation Trust.
Robyn Bartel (University of New England)
Associate Professor Robyn Bartel is a legal geographer with wide-ranging expertise in science, law and education. Her research encompasses regulation, regulatory agencies and the regulated, as well as the social, institutional and natural landscape in which all are situated. Participation in the conference reflects her core expertise and interests in biodiversity management , the value of multiple knowledge types, the importance of innovative models of policy learning and collaboration.
Roger Cousens (University of Melbourne)
Emeritus Professor Roger Cousens is a plant population ecologist at the University of Melbourne, whose 35+ year research career has focussed on agricultural and environmental weeds. His activities have included fieldwork and theoretical models, management and policy; he was a member of the Australian Government’s Australian Weeds Committee that introduced Australia’s first National Weed Strategy. Roger has challenged ecologists internationally to develop new opportunities for debates
Hillary Cherry (NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment)
Hillary Cherry is a Weed Management Coordinator, working with the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment and the National Parks and Wildlife Service. She coordinates state-wide weed strategy, policy and planning for biodiversity conservation. From 2005-2013, she coordinated the Weeds of National Significance (WoNS) programs for bitou bush, boneseed and asparagus weeds. She has a Master’s Degree in Botany from the University of Florida (UF). She worked with the UF Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants on terrestrial weed research, applied management and weed risk assessment before moving to Australia in 2002.
David Darlington (former NSW NPWS regional manager)
Dave Darlington was the NSW NPWS Regional Manager for the Kosciuszko Region until his retirement in 2013. Dave enjoyed a long career with NPWS spanning more than 33 years and held various positions including ranger, senior ranger, fire management officer, district manager and 14 years as a regional manager. Dave has a wealth of knowledge regarding the challenges of managing mountain landscapes. For 11 years Dave was the NSW representative on the Australian Alps Liaison Committee and during this period was Chair of the Committee for 3 years. Dave also has a good knowledge of NRM issues across the Monaro. Since retiring Dave spends his time with his 5 grandkids, and works as a volunteer in his local Jindabyne community and is an active member of the Rural Fire Service. He spends many months each year on adventures to remote parts of Australia and further afield.