#PeopleOfNRM – NARvis Technical Working Group

The current natural resource management (NRM) Strategy for the Northern Agricultural Region (NAR), an interactive web-based and GIS-enabled platform known as NARvis, was completed in 2015. To ensure that the region continues to respond effectively to the constantly changing landscape of opportunities, threats, and aspirations in natural resources management, we are currently updating this strategy.

A knowledgeable and diverse Technical Working Group has been appointed to give input on the natural resource assets and management priorities in the Region and to ensure that the NARvis continues to meet the needs of all stakeholders in the Region. This versatile group of experts will also bring their experience in the region to advise on the best ways to incorporate new and emerging information relevant to the NAR into the NARvis platform.

Allow us to introduce you to…

Paul Findlater

Principal Research Scientist (Soils) – Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD)

How did you first become involved in or interested in natural resource management? I first became involved in/interested in natural resource management while at high school when I worked for a “marineland” on the east coast.

What do you hope to achieve as a member of the Technical Working Group? Provision of advice so as the strategy is based on sound scientific evidence and principles.

Chontarle Bellottie

Aboriginal Engagement Manager – West, Bush Heritage Australia

How did you first become involved in or interested in natural resource management? A strong cultural connection to Country and love for the ocean.

What do you hope to achieve as a member of the Technical Working Group? I hope as a member of this group we can achieve a collaborative regional goals that include two way science strategies and Traditional Owner engagement opportunities.

Landy Jones

NRMO, Land Use Planning Advice – Department of Water and Environmental Regulation

How did you first become involved in or interested in natural resource management? Growing up on a farm I was fortunate to be able to spend time wandering the bush at the back of the house, watching the seasons change.

What do you hope to achieve as a member of the Technical Working Group? Inspire the next generation to enjoy the natural environment as much as I do.

Mark Canny

Program Manager Planning Advice Mid West Gascoyne Region – Department of Water and Environmental Regulation

How did you first become involved in or interested in natural resource management? The passionate, knowledgeable people working on ground in the region to protect/ enhance our environment is the best part of NRM.

What do you hope to achieve as a member of the Technical Working Group? Having been involved over several years with the Regional NRMP Plan I hope to be able to provide background/continuity as well as input from my recent roles perspective.

Anthony Desmond

Regional Leader Conservation – Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions

How did you first become involved in or interested in natural resource management? Growing up in the Midwest with a family background in farming and being able to spend your days surrounded by the wonders of our bush and the ocean day after day – how could you not!

What do you hope to achieve as a member of the Technical Working Group? We’re very lucky to live in a time and place where we can work to improve the condition of our natural assets and restore some of the damage that we have wrought. Providing interested people with the information they need to prioritise the actions they can undertake to make the most of their efforts is key to that.

Dr Garry Middle

Acting manager, Environment Policy – WALGA

How did you first become involved in or interested in natural resource management? I’ve worked for over 30 years in environmental planning, including  environmental impact assessment, regional and strategic land use planning, coastal planning, climate change adaptation planning and open space planning, as a practitioner, academic and decision maker. I’m a former independent member of the board of the Western Australian Planning Commission as an expert in coastal and environmental planning, and was the former head of Department of Urban and Regional Planning at Curtin University. I’m currently Chair of Great Victoria Desert Biodiversity Trust, an independent Trust fund dedicated to funding research and on-ground works in the Great Victoria Desert, and an adjunct senior research fellow at Curtin University.

What do you hope to achieve as a member of the Technical Working Group? I’d like to be able to represent the interest of Local Governments, but also to bring my expertise in – and knowledge of – regional land use planning.

Rhys Allen

Technical Officer, Science and Resource Assessments Division, Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development.

How did you first become involved in or interested in natural resource management? I first became interested in natural resource management whilst exploring regional and remote parts of Australia as a child on family camping trips.

What do you hope to achieve as a member of the Technical Working Group? As a member of the Technical Working Group I am keen to learn more about the diverse NRM projects and strategies proposed to enhance the natural assets of the region. Being involved in the TWG is a great opportunity to collaborate with other NRM stakeholders and to support the development of a strategy which will be a valuable asset for the community.

Dr Nathan Craig

Executive Officer, West Midlands Group

How did you first become involved in or interested in natural resource management? My interest and involvement came from growing up on a family farm in the Wimmera region of Victoria where we had plenty of trees and a third of our property was remnant vegetation. Through learning about the Potter farms in Victoria in the 1990’s, it quickly became evident that there are many benefits to establishing shelterbelts and protecting our vegetation to enhance farm productivity. This approach underpins my farming systems approach to this day.

What do you hope to achieve as a member of the Technical Working Group? I hope that the NARvis can evolve in the coming years to be the guiding light for all groups working in the region that will enable a coordinated approach to managing our natural resources more effectively, so that we can realise and highlight the benefit of good natural resource management for all landholders across the region.

Dr Miles Sowden

Senior Atmospheric Scientist, Sigma Theta

How did you first become involved in or interested in natural resource management? I got tired of wet hands from analysing water samples (how much) when a friend was looking for a programmer (a hobby of mine at the time) to fix a dispersion model program (where does it go). After that was asked to assist in setting up photochemical modelling (consequences of pollution) for South Africa. Realised the inadequacies of modelling and the importance of remote sensing to get continual real-time ground-level concentrations.

What do you hope to achieve as a member of the Technical Working Group? I hope my contribution can change the public perception that climate change/environmental issues are often seen as an “environmental tax” against progress and that I can assist to ensure that economic progress can occur simultaneously with improvements to the environment.

We also are proud to have on board Kym Suckling, Aboriginal Heritage Sites expert from the Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage and Dr Mark Gibberd and Dr Julia Easton who are both Agriculture experts from Curtin University.

Representing NACC NRM in the Technical Working Group are our very own NARvis Project Officer, Amanda Bourne and Operations & Programs Manager, Kane Watson.

Amanda Bourne – NARvis Project Officer

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