First time’s a charm

Collaboration and partnerships the key for forum success

30 October 2015

Threatened species may be fewer and fewer in number with each passing year, but they’re certainly not alone and forgotten – judging by the huge level of interest and support for their plight expressed at today’s Western Australia’s inaugural Threatened Species Forum, held in Geraldton.

More than 180 delegates from across the state and country attended the conference, which aimed to promote the plight of threatened plant and animals, and highlight new conservation methodologies and recent successes.

Event spokesperson Richard McLellan, CEO of the Northern Agricultural Catchments Council, who initiated the forum following the National Threatened Species Summit held in Melbourne in July, said the day exceeded all expectations.

“We had a fantastic turn out and support leading into this forum, from NRMWA – comprising all seven of Western Australia’s NRM groups – and the WA Department of Parks and Wildlife,” he said.

“The interest and presence of representatives from national, state and local governments, environmental organisations, research institutions, education facilities, community groups and passionate individual community members really demonstrated the united effort that exists to help protect our species and our environment.”

Mr McLellan said among the many highlights of the day was a keynote presentation by University of Western Australia Winthrop Professor Stephen Hopper, who shared his insights and expertise in conservation.

“It is essential to have an on-going dialogue between the practitioners of conservation, community groups, government organisations, private land owners and the science community- where new approaches are being tested and investigated,” Professor Hopper said.

“There is no point in people doing this in isolation we have to collaborate to bring change.”

Another key speaker of the day was Australia’s first Threatened Species Commissioner Gregory Andrews who said the forum had united experts and the community to focus on threatened species recovery, not only in Western Australia, but also across the country.

“Everyone has a role to play.  The Australian Government is investing millions of dollars in partnership with the state government and community groups. I’m excited to see so many Western Australians united in finding new and innovative solutions to halt extinctions” he said.

“These types of forums are important in growing awareness and maintaining momentum for practical, on ground recovery actions; this event is building on the Threatened Species Strategy launched by Minister Hunt at the National Threatened Species Summit held a few months ago.”

“I want to see more of this momentum; and more importantly, I want Australia’s children now and into the future to see more numbats, bilbies, bandicoots, quokkas, woylies and quolls.  Australians love our native animals and plants and it’s time to save them from the ferals.”

The inaugural Threatened Species Forum WA was held at Durack Institute of Technology today.

The Northern Agricultural Catchments Council would like to thank all of its sponsors and partners for helping make this event possible.


MEDIA CONTACT: Alexia Parenzee (08) 9938 0100. High resolution photos are available upon request.

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