Gerard Early, Chair
Previously Deputy Secretary, Department of Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts, Gerard Early had overall responsibility for a number of important aspects of biodiversity conservation, including wildlife protection and the Australian Government’s environmental impact assessment and approval regime. He has substantial biodiversity related experience as a former Deputy CEO in both the Australian Nature Conservation Agency and the Australian Heritage Commission as well as having led Divisions in the Department responsible for various aspects of natural resource management. Gerard was awarded the Public Service Medal in the June 2007 Queen’s Birthday Honours List for outstanding public service in the protection and conservation of Australia’s natural environment and cultural heritage.
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.
Although David has always had a strong interest in natural history he only became involved in the birding community by joining Birds Australia and BOCA in 1996, becoming a director of BOCA in 2005. Other related interests include native plants, nature photography and bushwalking. He has wide experience in the not-for-profit outdoor recreation sector including serving on several boards and committees. David has a professional management background in sales, marketing, administration and the development of strategic and business plans.
Dave was always interested in birds whilst living in the UK, but his interest only became serious when he moved to Australia. His career in Information Technology has encompassed many roles, including managing major business units, and has taken him to live in 5 countries, where he has indulged his passion for birding. He is now retired and was a member of the BOCA board and their website developer. He is President of the Werribee Wagtails birding group, a member of several local environmental groups and is still involved in doing website work on a voluntary basis for various organisations.
Dez holds the following qualifications: a Graduate Diploma in Education (specialising in science education), a Bachelor of Applied Science Parks and Recreation (specialising in aboriginal culture and fauna/flora ecology) and an Associate Diploma of Applied Science Rural Techniques (specialising in Wilderness Reserves and Wildlife). Dez has been involved with a range of conservation organizations for over 20 years. These organisations included Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service, Convenor of Brisbane Valley Koala Preservation Society, Coordinator of Esk Nature Search 2001, Convenor of Townsville Seagrass Watch, Education Officer of the Butterfly House Southbank, surveyor for the Queensland Wader Study Group and managing his own native animal hospital, the Australian Fauna Ward in Brisbane, still operating today. Dez moved into the field of education in 1996 and used his skills gained from work in an environmental field to develop hands-on educational courses that focus around ecological studies. In his current role as Science Head of Department he has developed a range of educational programs focussing on bird conservation in the Brisbane region. Dez is currently Branch Liaison of the BirdLife Southern Queensland branch and President of BirdLife Brisbane local branch and also sits on BirdLife Australia's Important Bird Areas committee and the National Education committee. Dez has been involved in bird care and bird surveys for over 30 years and believes that focussing on educating young people will provide a strong platform for environmental consciousness in Australia’s future generations. To do this Dez says we need a balance of clear educational messages that explicitly explain bird conservation, while also encouraging young people to be involved in hands-on bird survey work.
John has had a lifelong interest in birds. He joined the Bird Observers Club in 1973 and some 7 years later joined the RAOU, the former names of Bird Observation & Conservation Australia (BOCA) and Birds Australia. John was the Managing Partner of a major accounting firm and retired in 2003. He joined the Board of BOCA in 2005, serving in various capacities including as a member of its Finance & Audit Committee and as Trustee of the Australian Bird Environment Foundation, and became its President in 2009. John also served on the Finance & Audit and Vic Group Conservation Committees of Birds Australia. John has had a long involvement with the internationally significant, Ramsar listed, wetland at Melbourne Water’s Western Treatment Plant and has served on its Biodiversity Conservation Advisory Committee since the inception of that committee in 1986, for many years now as its Chairman.
Dr Martine Maron
Dr. Martine Maron is Senior Lecturer in Environmental Management at The University of Queensland. She is a landscape ecologist with a particular interest in birds. Martine’s research group focuses on meeting the challenge of effective biodiversity conservation and management in agricultural, pastoral and forest systems. She also works on conservation policy including biodiversity offsets and land stewardship. Most of this work is done in partnership with community groups and government and non-government organisations involved in conservation and natural resource management. Martine co-chairs the south-eastern Red-tailed Black-Cockatoo Recovery Team and is the Chair of BirdLife Australia’s Research and Conservation Committee.
Pat graduated in Zoology from Oxford University in 1964, completed her doctorate there in Cell Biology and then spent three years in the USA at the University of Rochester in upstate NY. Following migratory birds crossing Lake Ontario became a spare-time fascination and started her 40+ years of birdwatching. On arrival in Melbourne in 1972, Pat further developed an academic career in Human Anatomy, retiring in 2003 from a Senior Lectureship at Latrobe University. Also in 1972, Pat joined BOCA, becoming President (1980-82). She has been Chair of the Trustees of the Australian Bird Environment Foundation supporting conservation and education activities since1993 and a long-term member of the BOCA Board. Pat continues to work towards greater community involvement in the appreciation and preservation of Australian birds and their habitats.
Dr Robert Davis
Rob is a lecturer in conservation biology at Edith Cowan University in Western Australia. He served on the committee of Birds Australia (WA) for nearly a decade and was convenor of the WA group from 2005-2008. His research interests currently include shorebirds, Carnaby's Black-Cockatoo conservation and the conservation biology of Micronesian birds. In the past Rob also ran his own fauna consultancy business and has sat on various environmental committees and catchment management groups. He has had input into BirdLife Australia's Carnaby's Black-Cockatoo Recovery project for many years and was formerly a member of the Carnaby's Black-Cockatoo Recovery Team. Rob's hope is that all Australian's will value birds and that we will see no further loss of native bird species.
Since 2010 Rob has been the CEO of the Great Eastern Ranges Initiative, which aims to build a conservation corridor over 3,600kms. from central Victoria to far north Queensland. In this role he works closely with a range of community groups, non-government organisations, universities, government agencies and industry. Prior to this Rob was the CEO of the Nature Conservation Trust of NSW for four years, which protects high conservation value private land under in-perpetuity conservation agreements. From 2000 to 2004 Rob was the Company Secretary of Landcare Australia. The role involved the negotiation of sponsorship agreements with large corporates to support this major community-based movement.
Rob is a Chartered Accountant and has gained broad commercial experience over 20 years prior to working in the not for profit sector. He gained a Graduate Certificate in Ornithology in 2000 and a Masters in Environmental Management in 2005 from Charles Sturt University. He has served on the Birds Australia Council since 2006 and as Treasurer since 2002.