Great to be able to share some exciting news – I have been awarded a Churchill Fellowship to travel to the UK and explore the ins-and-outs of some of the most amazing conservation and community engagement projects in the world.
In later years of Winston Churchill’s life he was engaged significantly with the natural landscape, especially through his painted artworks.
I am most grateful and very excited to be able to experience first-hand some internationally renowned conservation initiatives.
My sense is that there is ALWAYS more to learn: I am particularly looking forward to meeting like-minded people and exploring sites, programs and facilities that can help shape the future of our equally exciting projects in Canberra and elsewhere in Australia.
While Europe has a longer history of environmental degradation than Australia, it also has a longer history of successful conservation programs and organisations.
In July-August next year (2017) I hope to visit organisations and sites as diverse as the Eden Project (their photos above), the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust (including London and Slimbridge Wetlands Centres), Trees for Life, the Canal and River Trust, and the Borders Forest Trust. I have begun the process of reaching out to these and some other amazing organizations to seek an invitation… fingers crossed.
These and other Trusts in the United Kingdom can provide insights into the right mixes of legislative, policy, business operations, partnership, land tenure, science and community support arrangements that enable the establishment of long-term and secure funding arrangements for biodiversity conservation in Australia. This project will help better-inform the Australian conservation community about more efficient models that can add-value to existing government- and community-lead public good programs.
Thanks to the Churchill Trust for the opportunity, and to the referees who supported my application – Tony Peacock, Alison Russell-French, Peter Davey and [then Environment…] Minister Greg Hunt.
Of course I look forward to sharing my experience and insights gained for the betterment of biodiversity conservation in Australia…