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          Member | Join now

          By joining the biggest community of bird lovers in Australia, you can help us make a positive impact on the future of our native birdlife. The members of BirdLife Australia, along with our supporters and partners, have been powerful advocates for native birds and the conservation of their habitats since 1901.

          We are also the meeting ground for everyone with an interest in birds from the curious backyard observer to the dedicated research scientist. It doesn’t matter what your interest in birds is or how much you know about them, your membership will offer you the opportunity to increase your awareness and enjoyment.

          Birdlife Australia would be delighted to welcome you as a new member and we look forward to sharing our news and achievements with you throughout the coming year.

          Our Programs

          @BirdlifeOz

          ‘Southern Cassowary’ was the winning image from last year's Bird Portrait Category, in the @BirdlifeOz Photography… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…

          @GichingaWa Amazing huh! "The physiological secret to long migrations does not depend on a single 'magic' adaptatio… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…

          More evidence that conservation works. Breeding seabirds on Macca have also bounced back tremendously since the int… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…

          People

          So many people contribute in a variety of ways to help us create a bright future for Australia's birds. Little would be achieved without the generous contribution of over 85,000 members, volunteers and supporters.

          We have a core team of staff across Australia headed by the Chief Executive Officer. Many of our project officers are experienced scientists who are making a valuable contribution to the organisation and to the protection of Australia's birds and habitats.

          Many more people volunteer their time, skills, knowledge and energy to help BirdLife Australia and pursue their passion for birds. They volunteer in a wide range of roles such as Branch Committee Members, Field Atlassers, Project Support, Librarians and Office Assistants.

          BirdLife Australia is governed by a voluntary Board of Directors who are elected by our Members.

          Staff

          National Office, Melbourne

          CEO & Management Team

          Paul Sullivan Chief Executive Officer
          James O’Connor Head of Science & Research
          Samantha Vine Head of Conservation
          Andrea Spencer  Head of Corporate Services
          Diana Gibson Head of Communications, Engagement & Development

          National Public Affairs

          Sean Dooley National Public Affairs Manager

          Conservation

          Preventing Extinctions
          Jenny Lau Program Leader (Preventing Extinctions)
          Janelle Thomas Preventing Extinctions Program Coordinator

          Campaigns & Strategy
          Erin Farley Campaigns Manager
          Andrew Hunter Campaigner
          Fiona Blandford  Conservation Community Organiser

          Coastal Birds
          Grainne Maguire Program Leader (Coastal Birds)
          Meghan Cullen Beach-nesting Birds Project Coordinator
          Renee Mead Beach-nesting Birds Project Coordinator
          Kasun Ekanayake Beach-nesting Birds Project Coordinator
          Dan Lees Beach-nesting Birds Project Officer
          Steve Klose Migratory Shorebirds Program Manager
          Laura Rhodes Migratory Shorebirds Program Coordinator
          Lindall Kidd Migratory Shorebird Program Officer
          Marta Ferenczi Migratory Shorebird Program Officer

          Woodland Birds
          Dean Ingwersen Program Leader (Woodland Birds)
          Caroline Wilson Woodland Birds Project Coordinator
          Chris Timewell Woodland Birds Project Coordinator

          Finance & Corporate Services

          Corporate Services
          Leanne Curnow Corporate Services Manager
          Andrew Dunn IT Manager
          Carly Hardidge Receptionist/Office Administrator
          Reza Torkman Digital Transformation Lead

          Finance
          Andrea Pym Finance Manager
          Elaine Yang Accountant
          Mitul Vyas Accounts Officer

          Communications, Engagement and Development

          Development Team
          Fiona Bell-Scott Development Manager
          Veronica Champness Regular Giving Officer
          Amelia Kuveke Development Officer
          Jessica Sommers Donor Stewardship Coordinator

          Communications Team
          Cara Schultz Acting Communications Channels Manager
          John Peter Senior Writer and Editor
          Natasha Harris Communications Production Editor
          Anna Wilson Communications and Design Officer (digital, graphics, AFO)
          Alex Croft Communications/Development Officer
          Tanya Loos Communications Coordinator

          Engagement and Supporter Services Team
          Helen Bryant Engagement Manager
          Stacey Maden National Promotions and Engagement Coordinator (on maternity leave)
          Joanna Feely National Engagement Coordiator (acting)
          Aniko Harsanyi Supporter Database Manager
          Rajen Kakkad Supporter Services Officer
          Bethany Gillard Supporter Services Officer
          Kate Trewin Volunteer and Network Development Coordinator
          James Matcott Volunteer and Network Engagement Officer

          Science & Research

          Andrew Silcocks Atlas & Birdata Project Manager
          Chris Purnell Research and Conservation Officer
          Glenn Ehmke Monitoring Program Manager
          Kerryn Herman Research Ecologist
          Amy Adams Population Monitoring Project Officer
          Joris Driessen Threatened Species Database Officer

          Monica Awasthy Birds in Backyards Program Co-Manager
          Holly Parsons Birds in Backyards Program Co-Manager

           

          Staff across Australia

           

          WA

          Vicki Stokes WA Program Manager
          Tegan Douglas WA Citizen Science Project Coordinator
          Adam Peck Carnaby’s Black-Cockatoo Project Coordinator
          Rebecca Boyland Southwest Black-Cockatoo Project Coordinator
          Annette Park WA Office Manager

          QLD

          Golo Maurer Key Biodiversity Area Program Manager

          NSW

          Mick Roderick Woodland Birds for Biodiversity Project Coordinator
          Gary Howling Woodland Birds CAP Coordinator
          Beth Mott Powerful Owl Project Officer
          Wendy Fox Discovery Centre Office Manager

          SA

          Kelsey Bennett South-eastern Red-tailed Black-Cockatoo Recovery Project Coordinator
          Bronwyn Perryman Coordinator - Kids Helping Cockies
          Aleisa Lamanna Samphire Coast Project Manager

          VIC

          Deb Sullivan Project Officer, Gippsland Lakes

          TAS

          Charlie Sherwin Conservation Campaigner
           

          Volunteers

          Project
          Mary Satchell Threatened Bird Network Assistant
          Sue Guiness Threatened Bird Network Assistant
          David McCarthy Atlas & Birdata Assistant
          Ren Millsom Atlas & Birdata Assistant
          Shapelle McNee Great Western Woodlands Volunteer Coordinator

           

          Library
          Lachlan Garland Head Librarian
          Jane Robinson Librarian
           

          Staff Profiles

          Melbourne Head Office

          Research & Conservation Staff

          Dean Ingwersen

          Bachelor of Science (Conservation Biology and Ecology, Hons) La Trobe University (2005)

          Dean has been involved with BirdLife Australia (then known as Birds Australia) since 2002 when he would spend spare time between university assignments entering Orange-bellied Parrot sighting data at the office.  While he studied Dean continued to assist project staff with all manner of tasks, from vetting of Atlas records to completing surveys for Swift Parrots, Orange-bellied Parrots and Grey-crowned Babblers.

          In 2005 Dean assisted with the banding data analysis for the final volume of HANZAB, at the same time as coordinating the winter Orange-bellied Parrot surveys and completing his Honours research.  For this Dean investigated the ecology of mixed-species woodland bird flocks, assessing which species utilised them and who ‘took control’ of moving the flock around the landscape.  He also tested the two main theories around why species participate in these flocks – better protection from predators or better access to food – using Scarlet Robins as a focal species.

          From 2006-2008 Dean coordinated the Threatened Bird Network, working to assist volunteers to find opportunities with threatened bird recovery programs.  This allowed a great deal of interaction with project across the country, and in this time Dean served on three recovery teams, several informal recovery groups, and interacted with hundreds of volunteers around the country.  Some of the projects coordinated by Dean in this time included surveys for Black-eared Miners in Murray-Sunset NP, Australian Painted Snipe across their range, and woodland birds in revegetated agricultural landscapes.  From 2009 Dean co-managed the Woodland Birds for Biodiversity project, working to secure the future of our threatened and declining woodland birds through covenants on private land, implementation of key recovery actions, and presentation of numerous talks and workshops.  As part of this role Dean has also worked as the national recovery coordinator for the Regent Honeyeater.  This has seen Dean redraft the national recovery plan, coordinate three captive-releases of the species, conduct surveys, banding and blood sampling of the bird, and liaise with a wide range of stakeholders to ensure the survival of this charismatic woodland species.  Dean is the current Threatened Bird Program manager, overseeing BirdLife Australia’s full range of research projects around the country.

          Dean is a staunch advocate of citizen science and is constantly inspired by the contribution the wider community makes to bird conservation.  In what little spare time Dean has he runs a bird banding project in central Victoria (he is an A class bander), tries to take photos of as many bird species as he can, and spends time with his family so they don’t forget what he looks like!

          Golo Maurer

          PhD Australian National University, Canberra (2006)
          Diplom Biologe, Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms Univerität Bonn, Germany (2001)

          Golo Maurer manages BirdLife Australia’s KBA Program. He also initiated and coordinates BirdLife Australia’s Indigenous Grant for Bird Research and Conservation. Prior to this Golo ran BirdLife Australia’s Shorebirds 2020 project. In June 2015 Golo opened BirdLife Australia’s North Australia Office in Cairns where he is now based. His position allows him to combine science, conservation and an infectious enthusiasm for birds to grow BirdLife Australia’s existing partnerships. Best of all, he can indulge his passion for thinking outside the box to develop novel collaborations to protect Australia’s native birds and their habitats.

          Prior to working at BirdLife Australia Golo’s scientific career in ornithology saw him complete a PhD on Pheasant Coucals at the Australian National University and conduct postdoctoral research in Australia and the UK on cuckoos and egg-shell evolution. He has over 30 peer reviewed articles to his name and also contributes to popular science magazines and ornithological books.

          Golo is currently an assistant editor for Emu , an Honorary Research Fellow at Adelaide University in Dr Phill Cassey’s invasion ecology Group (www.cassey-invasion-ecology.org) and an Adjunct Research Fellow in the College of Marine & Environmental Sciences with Dr Brad Congden (https://research.jcu.edu.au/portfolio/brad.congdon/). He has taught Ornithology Courses at the University of Birmingham, UK and at Charles Sturt University.

          Grainne Maguire

          PhD The University of Melbourne (2005), B.Sc. (Hons) The University of Melbourne (1998)

          Grainne is passionate about the natural environment, having grown up exploring the Australian bush with her family. Grainne majored in Botany and Zoology subjects during her Science degree at The University of Melbourne. She then carried out her Honours research on the dispersion of foraging Eastern Grey Kangaroos between habitats of differing pasture quality and mob sizes at Yan Yean, within the framework of the Ideal Free Distribution theory. After completing Honours, Grainne worked as a research assistant at Melbourne Uni and then got a job developing training packages for Vocational Education and Training and Assessment Services. However, her passion for behavioural ecology was not being fulfilled, and so she soon enrolled in a PhD studying the habitat ecology and breeding behaviour of the Southern Emu-wren.

          Grainne carried out her research in the heathland and swamps around Portland, Lower Glenelg and Anglesea. An elusive and difficult to study species was no barrier to Grainne who was keen to uncover the habitat requirements and impacts of habitat quality on breeding success so as to better inform heathland management and weed removal programs. A fascination with mating systems and parental care led Grainne to install remote cameras at emu-wren nests to explore gender roles and variation in care. A year in the lab developing microsatellites and exploring paternity revealed that emu-wrens are highly monogamous with rare cases of extra-paternity and cooperative breeding. During her PhD, Grainne worked closely with volunteers, managing a small team to maximise data collection from the notoriously secretive emu-wrens. She also worked closely with Alcoa and discovered the value of feeding research findings into land management practises.

          After finishing her PhD, Grainne was employed at Birds Australia on the Beach-nesting Birds project. Since 2006, Grainne has worked on this award winning project, which evolved from a case study into the effectiveness of nest site protection for improving Hooded Plover breeding success on Victorian beaches, to an established citizen science program along the eastern mainland where Friends of the Hooded Plover groups monitor and actively protect nests every spring and summer. The program has been extended to other species of beach nesters and encompasses coastal management issues more broadly.

          Grainne is an A class bander and currently coordinates Hooded Plover banding across the Victorian and South Australian coasts. She maintains close links with Deakin University through collaborations with Mike Weston, co-supervises numerous Honours projects and has over 20 peer reviewed articles to her name.

          Meg Cullen

          PhD Deakin University, Melbourne (2009)
          Bachelor of Conservation Ecology (2000) Honours (2001) 

          At the age of nine Meg Cullen decided she wanted to be a Zoologist and very little changed as she made her way through school.  Meg began her undergraduate course as a part of the first group of students to undertake a Bachelor of Conservation Ecology at Deakin University. 

          Drawn to the Otway Ranges, where she spent many of her childhood holidays exploring both the bush and the beach, she headed down to the Geelong campus of Deakin University to embark on research for her honours project.  Meg examined long-term temporal changes in small mammal communities in the Anglesea Heath.  Becoming thoroughly addicted to Antechinus and Potoroos, and surprisingly not sick of cleaning out smelly Elliott traps, Meg headed straight onto further research.  She investigated biogeographical aspects of small mammal and vascular plant communities in a wider region of the Otway Ranges, resulting in the completion of her PhD in 2009. 

          While enjoying the independence of research, Meg saw the importance of creating a nexus between conservation research and environmental education in order to capture the interest of individuals and communities, to incite cooperation in conservation programs and implement crucial behavioral change.  During her postgraduate studies she spent five years teaching environmental science/management at Deakin University and since completing her studies, she has spent the last five years teaching and developing environmental programs at Edendale Environmental Education Center.

          Meg began working at BirdLife Australia in 2007 providing statistical and GIS assistance on a variety of research projects.  In 2009 she began working on the Beach-nesting Bird project, a citizen science program with over 650 volunteers involved in nest monitoring, surveys and awareness raising.  During this time Meg has utilised her experience in environmental education to develop and implement a range of educational and awareness raising programs.

           Renee Mead

          Bachelor of Environmental Science (Wildlife and Conservation Biology, Hons) Deakin University (2012).

          Renee began working as a Beach-nesting Birds Project Officer at Birdlife Australia only four days after completing her Honours at Deakin University! Renee’s Honours research explored the clutch fate and success of Hooded Plovers Thinornis rubricollis along the Victorian coastline using remote sensing cameras. This research contributed greatly to our knowledge of the fate of eggs, the relative impacts of different predators and included an investigation into nest site selection at a microhabitat scale. Renee grew to know the Victorian coastline back to front through her Honours project as well as gaining great insights into beach-nesting bird behaviour. This made her perfect for joining the Beach-nesting Birds Team at BirdLife Australia. Since then she has coordinated a national Hooded Plover count and compiled maps and reports, carried out volunteer training workshops and awareness raising activities across Victoria and has spent endless hours working through the breeding season data to compile nesting summaries for each pair that is monitored.
          Prior to working at BirdLife Australia, Renee has worked at the Department of Sustainability and Environment as a River Health Policy Officer as a Summer Placement during her undergraduate degree, and has also worked for Parks Victoria as a summer Ranger at the Mornington Peninsula.

          Samantha Vine

          Samantha Vine is the Head of Conservation at BirdLife Australia, managing a diverse portfolio of conservation policies, programs and campaigns. Samantha is committed to threatened species recovery and preventing extinctions.

          Samantha has over a decade of experience engaging the community in threatened species conservation. She has a strong history of convening recovery-planning forums and building threatened species projects and programs. Samantha has participated in numerous recovery teams, stakeholder groups and international delegations. Samantha was recently appointment to the Federal Ministerial Advisory Committee for the Environment, primarily to advise on threatened species matters.

          Samantha was a founding member of the Places You Love Alliance and co-convened the original campaign team from its inception. She now chairs the PYL Management Committee.

          Prior to working at BirdLife, Samantha headed WWF Australia's Flagship Species Program, and before that was the Regional Manager for the Threatened Species Network in Eastern and Southern Australia. Samantha worked for the University of Sydney’s Institute of Wildlife Research as well as various State and Federal Government Departments prior to joining the NGO sector.

          Samantha studied at the University of Sydney, where she obtained a Bachelor of Science, majoring in ecology and evolution, and a Masters degree in wildlife health and population management.

          Steve Klose

          PhD, Ulm University with University of Queensland, Cambridge University, Endeavour Research Fellow (2009), MSc, Ulm University and Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (2004), BSc, The University of Queensland (2002)

          Steve obtained his PhD in Animal Ecology and is a keen birdwatcher and an A class bird and bat bander. As an Australian Government Endeavour Research Fellow, he studied the behaviour of migratory Australian grey-headed flying-foxes (Pteropus poliocephalus) in a collaboration between The University of Queensland, Ulm University (Germany) and Cambridge University (UK), carrying out his field research in the Gondwana Rainforests World Heritage in northern New South Wales. He also spent a year on tiny Mellum Island in the North Sea's Wadden Sea National Park studying oystercatchers (Haematopus ostralegus) and worked at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI) on Barro Colorado Island in Panama. Steve has advised on wildlife conservation in corporate and government roles in an international context for more than a decade and is an expert with the IUCN Commissions on Ecosystem Management (CEM) and Protected Areas (WCPA). He joined BirdLife Australia in 2018 after having been an active member with BirdLife for 30 years. Working in the Conservation Team at National Office, he coordinates the implementation of BirdLife Australia’s Conservation Action Plan for Migratory Shorebirds both within Australia and internationally and has attended consultations in the context of international agreements as an Australian Government delegation member. Steve is a member of BirdLife Tasmania's Executive Committee.

           

          Research & Conservation Staff across Australia

          Mick Roderick

          Bachelor of Applied Science (Environmental Assessment and Management, 1994)

          Mick has been an avid birder since his tertiary education days in the early 90’s when studying ecology at Newcastle University. Following uni Mick travelled extensively around Australia getting involved in research projects in places such as the Simpson Desert, Kakadu, Shark Bay and the Gondwanan Rainforest reserves of NSW. A few years later he embarked on a 12 month solo sojourn around the world and assisted with bird surveys in the Andean cloud forests, Ecuadorean tropical dry coastal forests and the rehabilitation of injured macaws, guans and other Neotropical birds in Bolivia (and even got to ‘walk’ a Puma). He has also volunteered for environmental project work in Ireland and Thailand and is a firm believer in giving back to areas that he visits overseas as a volunteer.

          In between, he has birded on 5 continents during several extended trips as a ‘backpacking birder’ and knows full well how heavy field guides can get inside a backpack (especially South American ones!).

          In his professional career, Mick worked for 10 years as an ecologist for various environmental consultancies mainly based in NSW, but also worked in many parts of Australia. Most recently though (before joining BirdLife) he worked as a Senior Threatened Species Officer for the NSW Department of Environment and Climate Change and as a Conservation Officer for the Nature Conservation Trust of NSW. He also does part-time bird tour-guiding, is the current President of the Hunter Bird Observers Club, heads up the notorious Hunter Home Brewers Twitchathon team, is a member of the NSW Ornithological Records Appraisal Committee and, most challenging of all, arranges pelagic birding trips off Port Stephens (he openly admits to being a ‘petrel-head’).

          Mick is the NSW Project Coordinator for the Woodland Birds for Biodiversity project and is based in Newcastle, NSW working predominantly in the species-rich-yet-under-threat woodlands of the Hunter Valley.

          Board of Directors

          John Barkla, President

          John has had a lifelong interest in birds, joining the Bird Observers Club in 1973 and the RAOU seven years later. (The Bird Observers Club subsequently became Bird Observation & Conservation Australia (BOCA) and the RAOU became Birds Australia.) He was the Managing Partner of a major accounting firm before retiring in 2003. He was subsequently elected to the Board of BOCA in 2005, serving in various capacities, including on its Finance & Audit Committee and as Trustee of the Australian Bird Environment Foundation. He became President of BOCA in 2009. He also served on the Finance & Audit and Vic Group Conservation Committees of Birds Australia. John has had a long involvement with Melbourne Water’s Western Treatment Plant — an internationally significant wetland — and was an inaugural member of its Biodiversity Conservation Advisory Committee; he has been its Chairman for many years.

          Barry Baker

          Barry worked with the Commonwealth Environment Department for many years, dealing with wildlife management. Now, as an environmental consultant for Latitude 42 in Hobart, Barry focuses on development and implementation of recovery plans for threatened species and threat abatement plans for key threatening processes. Among other things, Barry is currently working on the conservation of albatrosses and petrels, minimising interactions with fisheries. He is President of the Australasian Seabird Group — one of BirdLife Australia’s special interest groups — and a BirdLife Australia representative on the Orange-bellied Parrot Recovery Team. Barry is also an active supporter of the Birdata project.

          Mandy Bamford

          Mandy joined the RAOU as a child in 1976, during the first Atlas of Australian Birds. She assisted promoting the Atlas and, after graduating with Honours in Zoology from the University of Western Australia, worked as a Wetlands Project Officer for the RAOU. Mandy currently runs a Perth-based ecological consultancy in partnership with her husband Mike, specialising in fauna investigations and science communication. Mandy is passionate about communicating environmental messages to a broad audience, working collaboratively with communities, companies and governments — both professionally and as a volunteer. She is also a teacher in Science Communication and Animal Biology at the University of Western Australia. Mandy and Mike were jointly awarded the Inaugural Biodiversity Ambassadorship Award from the Curtin Institute for Biodiversity and Climate in 2011. In her spare time, Mandy is President of the Western Australian Naturalists’ Club and Chair of the Herdsman Lake Regional Park Community Advisory Committee.

          Gerard Early

          As the Deputy Secretary of the Department of Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts, Gerard Early was responsible for a number of important aspects of biodiversity conservation, including wildlife protection and the Australian Government’s environmental impact assessment and approval regime. He gained substantial experience in biodiversity as a former Deputy CEO of the Australian Nature Conservation Agency and the Australian Heritage Commission, and led the Divisions in the Department responsible for natural resource management. Gerard was awarded the Public Service Medal in the 2007 Queen’s Birthday Honours List for his outstanding public service in the protection and conservation of Australia’s natural environment and cultural heritage.

          Duncan MacKenzie

          With a lifetime’s experience in wildlife research and systems management, Duncan has many skills developed in managing commercial and community organisations and scientific research projects, both in Australia and overseas. His expertise covers fundraising, marketing and communications, business and finance, organisational development and systems analysis. Duncan was Chairman of Ecotourism Australia and the South Australian Tourism Industry Council, and has had a finger in many pies — ecotourism, corporate and non-government organisations. At BirdLife Australia he is best known for his key role in the governance of Gluepot Reserve. He is a life member of BirdLife Australia.

          Martine Maron

          Associate Professor Martine Maron is an ARC Future Fellow at The University of Queensland, and Deputy Director of the National Environmental Science Programme’s Threatened Species Recovery Hub. Her research expertise is in environmental policy and ecology, with a particular interest in sustainable development and conservation. She has provided expert advice on environmental policy to the United Nations Convention on Combatting Desertification and the International Union for the Conservation of Nature as well as various national and state governments. Martine chairs the Australasian Ornithological Conference Advisory Committee and is past Chair of BirdLife Australia’s Research and Conservation Committee and the South-eastern Red-tailed Black-Cockatoo Recovery Team.

          Alex Morgan

          Alex is a co-founder and director of Acacia Partners, a Melbourne-based corporate advisory firm that provides bespoke advice in relation to mergers and acquisitions and capital raising transactions. He has over 30 years’ experience providing investment banking and accounting services in Australia and New York. He also manages a family grazing property near Mansfield, Victoria, where he enjoys the company of resident Wedge-tailed Eagles. Alex has a passion for the outdoors and is dedicated fly fisherman which takes him to the rivers of north east Victoria and New Zealand. Alex is committed to helping BirdLife Australia maximise its influence and impact for the benefit of all Australian birds and people.

          Gary Nelson

          Gary is a Partner within the Business Advisory practice of the consulting and financial services firm Findex, previously known as Crowe Horwath. He has over 35 years’ experience providing taxation and business advisory expertise covering a wide cross-section of industries and family groups in the SME sector. He is a Board Member of Jubilee Sailing Trust Australia Ltd; a charity utilising the adventure of ‘tall ship’ sailing to unlock human potential and breakdown barriers between people of different circumstances. Gary is a former Member of the Board of Governance for Uniting Care Life Assist, a not-for-profit group providing government funded services to people who are aged, people with a disability and the carers of these people. He is a co-opted committee member – Finance and Audit and Australian Bird Fund.

          Alanna Vivian

          Alanna Vivian has degrees in arts from the University of Melbourne and law from La Trobe University.  Since 2008 she has worked as a lawyer for state government, specialising in planning and environmental law. She previously worked as a lawyer in a large commercial law firm in the area of litigation. Alanna’s hope is for BirdLife Australia to be a household name as the peak body for the protection and conservation of Australia’s native birds, and is keen to ensure that future generations have the opportunity to enjoy birds in their natural habitat.

          Research and Conservation Committee

          Dr Jim Radford (Chair)

          Jim has been the Principal Research Fellow in the Research Centre for Future Landscapes at La Trobe University since 2017. The Research Centre aims to find solutions and develop next-generation tools to address the global challenge of sustaining natural ecosystems and biodiversity in human-dominated landscapes under climate change. Jim completed his PhD on the breeding biology and conservation ecology of the White-browed Treecreeper at Deakin University in 2002. He was a Research Fellow at Deakin University studying the impacts of land-use change in agricultural landscapes on bird communities until 2007, when he joined Bush Heritage Australia as their Ecological Monitoring Co-ordinator. Jim held several roles at Bush Heritage, including Science Director and Executive Manager Science and Conservation until he joined La Trobe at the end of 2016. Jim has been a member of BirdLife’s Research & Conservation Committee since 2012.

          Barry Baker

          Barry Baker worked for many years with the Commonwealth Environment Department, dealing with wildlife management issues. His work over the last 15 years has focused on development and implementation of recovery plans for threatened species, and threat abatement plans for key threatening processes. Barry is an environmental consultant for Latitude 42 in Hobart, and amongst other things is currently working on the conservation of albatrosses and petrels, particularly minimising interactions with fisheries. He is President of the Australasian Seabird Group - a special interest group of BirdLife Australia, a representative of BirdLife on the Orange-bellied Parrot Recovery Team, and is an active supporter of the Atlas & Birdata project.

          Associate Professor Kate Buchanan

          Kate Buchanan is an Associate Professor at Deakin University’s Geelong campus. She started her academic career in the U.K. (B.Sc. University of Glasgow, Ph.D. University of London), with 2 post-doctorates from University of Stirling, U.K. She then moved to a personal research fellowship from the Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851 at Cardiff University, and continued to work there as a Senior Lecturer until early 2008, when she moved across the globe to Deakin University. Her research interests span the evolution of avian signals, endocrine responses to stress and avian immune function, working on a range of native and non-native species. Kate is the Editor of BirdLife Australia’s premier scientific journal Emu — Austral Ornithology and also serves on BirdLife Australia’s Student Awards Committee.

          Professor Stephen Garnett

          Stephen Garnett is an environmental scientist with an interest in the knowledge needed to live sustainably in the tropics. He joined the staff of Charles Darwin University in May 2004 as Professor of Tropical Knowledge and was Director of the School for Environmental Research from 2007 to 2010. Professor Garnett is recognised nationally and internationally for research on conservation management, particularly of threatened species. He has more recently become involved in a range of research related to the knowledge economy in tropical Australia, including how to increase Indigenous involvement in the economy, how to attract and retain knowledge workers in the tropics  and how to pool knowledge resources to increase economic productivity. Stephen is interested in the application of tropical knowledge for the purpose of improving livelihoods and conservation outcomes.

          Dr Raymond Nias

          Dr Raymond Nias is the Director of the Southwest Pacific Region for Island Conservation, an international organisation that seeks to prevent extinctions by removing invasive species from islands. Ray completed his post-graduate studies on cooperative breeding in Superb Fairy-wrens at the University of New England, Armidale in 1988. He subsequently joined WWF Australia and was the Director of Conservation until 2009. He worked on a number of national and international environment campaigns during that time and established on-ground programs across Australia and in the South Pacific. He has a keen interest in environmental policy and the role of science, advocacy and community engagement in promoting better environmental outcomes. From 1988 to 1992 he was a member of the RAOU Conservation Committee. His work at Island Conservation involves the development of regional and national partnerships and invasive species projects with island governments, intergovernmental agencies and non-governmental groups, including the Birdlife Pacific Secretariat.

          Dr April Reside

          April Reside is a Research Fellow at James Cook University in Townsville.  April is a spatial ecologist with a particular interest in conservation biology and flying vertebrates.  April’s PhD looked at the impact of climate change on tropical savanna birds and developed new spatial modelling techniques to account for the shifting habitat suitability that occurs across most of Australia due to irregular rainfall. She now works on incorporating climate change into systematic conservation planning.  Her past and current projects involve waterfowl, Black-eared Miners, shorebirds and birds in mangroves.  April sits on the Black-throated Finch Recovery Team and is involved in multiple local conservation issues in North Queensland. Bird watching is one of her favourite pastimes.

          Brendan Sydes

          Brendan Sydes is CEO of Environmental Justice Australia, a non-profit legal practice dedicated to environmental protection. He led its predecessor, the Environment Defenders Office (Victoria) from 2005, providing legal advice and representation to community groups and environment NGOs working to protect and enhance the environment, policy and law reform. Throughout his legal career Brendan has been involved in a range of organisations dedicated to social and environmental justice, including Darebin Community Legal Centre, the Tenants Union, Marrickville Community Legal Centre, and the Federation of Victorian Community Legal Centres. Brendan has degrees in Law and Science and a Master of Environment from the University of Melbourne, and continues to lecture in environmental law at a number of Australian universities. Brendan is an avid birder and also a member BirdLife Australia’s Governance Committee.

          Ayesha Tulloch

          Ayesha is an ARC DECRA Fellow at the University of Sydney whose research focuses on using good ecological knowledge to inform conservation decision-making. She is an applied ecologist interested in biodiversity management and monitoring decisions that take place in human-modified landscapes where there are multiple threats and conflicting objectives. She worked in conservation and management roles in non-government conservation organizations and industry before returning to academia to complete a PhD in optimal monitoring and citizen science at the University of Queensland. Her current research is focused on how best to manage ecological communities in dynamic environments such as the Simpson Desert. She works with non-government conservation organisations in Australia, Africa and Asia including Bush Heritage Australia, the Wildlife Conservation Society and BirdLife Australia, and with Australian government agencies to deliver on-ground conservation outcomes and training in conservation decision-making. Ayesha also co-leads the multi-stakeholder National Environmental Science Programme’s Threatened Species Hub project "A Threatened Species Index for Australia" and the NSW OEH Saving Our Species research project “Rapid assessment of condition in threatened ecological communities to inform conservation resource allocation decisions”.

          Associate Professor James Watson

          James is an Associate Professor Fellow at University of Queensland and Lead Scientist of the Wildlife Conservation Society. For the past six years, James has directed WCS’s climate change program, leading the planning and implementation of climate adaptation and REDD+ projects throughout WCS’s landscape, seascape, and species conservation programs. During this time he has worked in more than 20 countries, helping to apply innovative methods projects as diverse as ecosystem-based adaptation planning for coastal fisher communities in Papua New Guinea to impact assessment of large-scale industrial development across Africa’s Albertine Rift. James’ has published more than 100 peer-reviewed papers on  different aspects of conservation science. He currently serves on the leadership committee for the Science for Nature and People (SNAP) Initiative, the International Panel for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) Data and Knowledge Task Force, and the IUCN’s climate change working group and offset policy working group. He was recently elected the global president of the Society for Conservation Biology.

          Membership Awards

          Fellows

          The award of Fellows of BirdLife Australia recognises distinguished services to ornithology particularly through BirdLife Australia and its predecessor organisations. It is the highest award available to both professionals and amateurs. 

          Current Fellows are:

          Dr Mike Bamford
          Dr Margaret Cameron AM
          Sid Cowling
          Dr Peter Dann
          Dr Stephen Davies
          Dr Douglas Dow
          Professor Stephen Garnett
          Dr Philip Moors AO
          Dr Mike Newman
          Prof Henry Nix AO
          Assoc Prof Penny Olsen AM

          Life Members

          Anyone who has been a Member of BirdLife Australia for 50 years automatically becomes a Life Member. In appreciation of their loyalty, membership fees are waived. 

          Honorary Life Members

          The award of Honorary Life Membership recognises distinguished services to the objects of BirdLife Australia and its predecessor organisations. It is the highest award available to members for their contribution to the organisation.

          Our current BirdLife Australia Honorary Life members are:

          Geoff Deason
          Gerard Early PSM
          Sue Mather
          Alma Mitchell
          Rosemary Payet
          Howard Plowright
          Kate Ravich
          Len Robinson

          Honorary Member

          Honorary membership was awarded to Patricia White for a major contribution to Birds Australia as a volunteer.

          2021 Awards

          Nominations are now open for the 2021 Fellows and Honorary Life Member awards. Applications close 30 November 2020.

          Guidelines and selection criteria for the awards can be downloaded below.

          RAOU Fellow Sid Cowling

          BirdLife Distinguished Service Awards

          The BirdLife Australia Distinguished Service Award (BDSA) is a formal acknowledgement of the enormous contribution to BirdLife Australia and its predecessor organisations made by members.  It is awarded to a range of members every year in May at the organisation’s AGM.

          The Award was established in 2005 by Bird Observation & Conservation Australia (BOCA) as part of its Centenary to acknowledge outstanding service to BOCA – the BOCA Distinguished Service Award.  BirdLife Australia is continuing the tradition of this award.

          Voluntary workers are eligible for a BirdLife Distinguished Service Award.  Holders of Honorary Life Memberships, Honorary Members, Fellows, members of the BirdLife Board and the Awards Committee in office at the time of consideration of the awards in any year will not be eligible for an award in that year.

          The awards are made for significant contributions to BirdLife Australia for a significant period of time. The concept of ‘significant contribution’ relates either to initiation of a new idea or activity for BirdLife Australia and carrying it out successfully, or to taking responsibility for a particular area or areas within BirdLife’s administration or activities with particular success.  The concept of ‘significant time’ is normally for service over the ten years prior to the year of the award.

          BirdLife Australia calls for nominations to be submitted by 31 January each year.  The nominations may be made by the Board or by three financial members of BirdLife Australia and must be in writing on the appropriate form, specifying the grounds for the nomination.  Nominations will be considered by the Awards Committee which will make recommendations to the Board.  Each year the names of awardees will be announced at BirdLife’s AGM and presentations will be made to them at that meeting (or another appropriate meeting for those unable to attend the AGM).  Names and short citations may also be published in Australian Birdlife

          Download selection criteria and a nomination form below.

          Downloads

          BirdLife Distinguished Service Awards Recipients

          View citations for all Distinguished Service Award recipients from 2005-2020

          BirdLife Australia Fellows

          View a complete list of the Fellows of BirdLife Australia

          BOCA Biographies

          In 2005 BOCA celebrated its centenary. In recognising some of the people who helped it to reach this milestone, short biographies were collated by Leonie and Trevor Robbins.

          BirdLife Australia Fellows

          Guidelines and Selection Criteria

          BirdLife Australia Honorary Life Member

          Guidelines and Selection Criteria

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