Professor Jon Altman (Symposium close - final comments)
Professor Jon Altman is an economist and anthropologist
who since 1990 established and heads the Centre for Aboriginal Economic
Policy Research at the Australian National University. He has undertaken
research on numerous issues in the Northern Territory varying from
the significance of land rights and native title, to industry studies
on mining, tourism and the arts, to regional studies on outstations,
the customary economy and the efficacy of Indigenous organisations.
Professor Altman holds an adjunct appointment at the NTU and collaborates
regularly with colleagues at the Key Centre for Tropical Wildlife
Management and the Bawinanga Aboriginal Corporation, Maningrida.
Dr David Bowman (Principal Research Fellow, ARC
Key Centre for Tropical Wildlife Management, Northern Territory
University) is an internationally recognised authority of the ecology
and management of Australian vegetation, with a particular interest
in bushfires and Indigenous ecological knowledge. Since moving
to the NT in 1984, following his post graduate research into sustainable
forestry in Tasmania, he has conducted field research throughout
northern Australia and worked at a variety of laboratories throughout
Australia and overseas. His recently published a book entitled
Australian rainforests: islands of green in a land of fire (Cambridge
Press) presented a challenging new theory concerning the flammability
of Australian vegetation for which he was awarded a Doctor of
degree from the University of Tasmania.
A recipe for belonging to northern
Australia: the roles of traditional, scientific and adaptive ‘knowledge’
‘If you think knowledge is expensive
try ignorance’ - the settlement of northern Australia
is an excellent example of this old saying. Inappropriate knowledge
systems and a failure to appreciate the profound ecological understanding
of indigenous people have hampered the sustainable development
northern Australia. With some notable exceptions, such as the technological
transfer of landscape burning from traditional people to the
pastoral industry, the history of settlement of northern Australia
has been like a government funded game of ‘blind man’s
buff’, with monolithic schemes lurking and stumbling from
one disaster or spectacular misapprehension to another. Only
and after enormous loss of knowledge, are environmental scientists
now routinely collaborating with Indigenous land managers.
new threats and accelerating rates of change driven by global processes
has demanded new approaches beyond both the local scope of
ecological knowledge and the cautious certainty and universal applicability
of classical scientific knowledge. I suggest the most appropriate
knowledge system will be found, in part, in the emerging field
of adaptive management where land management interventions
as what they really are - ‘experiments’ conducted in
the face of great uncertainty. The development of a historical
is also of critical importance to place ‘extreme’ events
into a more realistic context. While the future is uncertain,
increasing knowledge base, derived from practical experience, natural
history observations and pure and applied intellectual inquiry,
Australia can avoid some of the more calamitous impacts of settlement
that burden southern Australian environments. Such a knowledge
will no doubt lead to a greater sense of belonging for the recent
settlers of north Australian environments, which may give rise
a ‘a land ethic’ where some economically natural
resources may be foregone to preserve other values – paralleling
similar decisions already made by some indigenous groups.
Chambers is the inaugural Chief Executive of the Northern Territory
Department of Infrastructure, Planning
and Environment which was created by merging three related agencies
in 2001. He is a professional civil engineer whose career has
the provision of a wide range of government infrastructure over
the past 35 years. This period has coincided with the growing
of the community and their governments that development and conservation
issues must be balanced to achieve a sustainable future.
The balancing act for Government: developing the north and protecting
The Northern Territory is a unique locality
which has largely being unaffected by development. This is not
a reason for restraining
the ambitions of the Territory’s people for economic growth.
Developing the north and preserving the unique features of our
environment is a balancing act for Government.
For Government to perform this balancing act, the Department of
Infrastructure, Planning and Environment with its wide ranging,
and seemingly conflicting, responsibilities has a special duty
to put before Government the outcome of sound and rigorous research
This will ensure that development of the north and the protection
of our environment is based on fact rather than perceptions and
John Chappell is a geologist who has encountered
the traces of majestic changes through which the earth has passed,
and is sobered to find that these are unmatched by some of the changes
that are underway today. He is currently Professor of Environmental
Processes in the Research School of Earth Sciences at ANU, and formerly
was Professor and head of the Department of Biogeography & Geomorphology
in the Research School of Pacific Studies. His field-based research
on changing sea levels, climates and physical environments over
the last 35 years has encompassed many regions of northern Australia
and Papua New Guinea, and, more recently, parts of China. He is
a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science.
Retrospective and prospective changes of climate and environment
in northern Australia: implications for sustainable development
After the cessation 10,000 years ago of repeated,
violent swings of climate, agriculture emerged and humans began
to tread the earth ever more heavily. Eventually separated by attitude,
industry and weight of numbers from our ecological context, our
total impact may exceed all changes that have befallen the earth
since the death of the dinosaurs. The record of the past helps us
gauge the bounds of what we may hope to sustain in future.
Climatic and sea level changes in the recent geologic
past were more rapid than forecast under global greenhouse, according
to evidence from many parts of the world. Plants and animals adjusted
to these changes, which occurred not once but repeatedly throughout
the last few million years. At first glance, this information seems
to suggest that our scarred environment will heal, once human populations
have stabilised and sustainable development is achieved, but closer
inspection shows this conclusion to be false. Unhappily, human impacts
upon the natural world are very different from past patterns of
change. While some impacts are debated, such as the human role in
prehistoric extinctions, others are unarguable: modern humans are
causing extinctions of creatures large and small at a higher rate
than the world has seen since the catastrophe that extinguished
the dinosaurs. Furthermore, past climate changes did not reduce
regionally continuous ecosystems to oceans of farmland, sprinkled
with sparse archipelagos of parks and reserves, reducing biodiversity
and impeding adaptation to global warming. In short, the key question
is whether damage to the global ecological theatre is becoming so
great, that it may neither adapt to oncoming climate changes nor
recover from its degraded state.
No greater challenge faces Australia than to achieve
a sustainable way of life. The recent State of Environment Report
indicates that our present water usage exceeds supply in much of
south-eastern Australia and that land degradation is a major contributor
of turbidity, nutrients and pesticides to waterways, as well as
loss of soil fertility. Large areas of acidic and sodic soils
to poor water quality, secondary salinity and loss of ecosystem
function. Dryland salinity, a legacy of broad-acre land clearing
affects 5.8 m Ha and is increasing. Our rate of clearance of native
vegetation apparently is exceeded in only four other countries.
None of this is sustainable. Looking to our north, the Indonesian
fires of 1997-98 show how human activities can acutely sensitise
the environment to climatic events that, in themselves, are not
Australia's north, with its small population, is
in an enviable position to achieve the new National Priority of
living sustainably with the environment. The paper presents evidence
of the ways in which the ecologic theatre has acted in the past,
on time scales of decade to millennia; understanding these changes
will help achieve this goal.
Conn AO - MEc(Syd) PhD(Duke) Hon DEc(NTU) FAICD
Dr Conn, the Chairman of Original IT Investments
Pty Ltd, is also Deputy Chairman of IASbet Ltd. He was Administrator
of the Northern Territory from 1997 to 2000, following 12 years
as Chief Executive of the Northern Territory Treasury. He has extensive
experience in the public and private sectors including positions
as Executive Director Corporate Finance CIBC Australia Ltd, Deputy
Secretary NSW Treasury, Principal Administrator at the OECD in Paris,
Senior Lecturer in Economics at the University of Sydney and as
Chairman/Director of many public sector corporations in the NT.
He was a member of the Australian Statistics Advisory
Council for 12 years from 1981, and from 2000 to 2002 was a member
of the Australian Accounting Standards Board and the Heads of Treasuries
Accounting and Reporting Advisory Committee. Outside business and
the public sector, he has served as Chairman of the Darwin Symphony
Orchestra, been a Director of the Darwin Performing Arts Centre,
and is currently a member of the NSW State Council of St John Ambulance
Australia and Adviser to its Executive Committee.
Dr Conn was appointed an Officer of the Order of
Australia in 1996.
How the NT can sustain a second-class
Avoid taking risks.
- Barry Coulter was born in Bendigo,
Victoria and moved to Darwin in 1976 to work at the Darwin
Community College after spending almost six years in Papua
- He gained CLP pre-selection for the seat of Berrimah in 1983
and was elected to the Northern Territory Legislative Assembly
in December 1983
- He was promoted to cabinet in December 1984
- Elected Deputy Chief Minister by Parliamentary
colleagues on 14th May 1986
- Barry Coulter has held almost every portfolio responsibility
over a sixteen year period including Treasury for almost nine
- Stepped down from politics and resigned after
the successful Consortium for the Railway Project was announced
on 18th June 1999. He spearheaded the Alice Springs to Darwin
Railway Project for 13.5 years
- Until recently he was
- Chairman of the Northern Territory Defence Industry Study
- Board Member, Centre Applied Economics, University of South
- Chairman, Darwin Port Authority
- Chairman, Air North
- Board Member, International All Sports
- Represents a variety of national Corporations in the Northern
Territory including oil and gas, construction and mining
- He also runs Mt Bundy Cattle Station and is involved in the
- Barry has two sons
Dr Rosemary Hill is an environmental scientist
with a strong interest in Indigenous peoples’ rights and
approaches to the land. She has been an advocate for conservation
Australia for over 20 years, winning the Cassowary Award in 2001
for her role in achieving both World Heritage listing and recognition
of Aboriginal culture in the Wet Tropics. She is currently Northern
Australia Program Coordinator for the Australian Conservation
active in promoting holistic engagement with sustainability issues,
through community-based, scientific and socio-economic approaches
Creating an ecologically sustainable northern
From a global perspective, northern Australia is important for two
reasons: its outstanding near-natural landscapes, and the cultural
diversity of the Indigenous peoples. Imagine a future where we enhance
these values—Indigenous peoples have the skills and opportunities
to choose their own development pathways, to actively engage their
cultures in keeping country healthy—and where the wild rivers
still run free, the land is still covered with native trees and
alive to the haunting cry of curlews by night.
Creating this future depends on the adoption of
ecologically and culturally appropriate models for economic development.
Truly sustainable development—based on knowledge industries,
digital communications, low-impact tourism, community services,
cultural and creative industries, renewable energy production, and
sustainable farming systems—can position us to be part of
the new economy, where growth is strong.
Right now there are early warning signs—rising
saline groundwater in places, a rapid decline of mammals and granivorous
birds, and a failure to lift key socioeconomic indicators of Indigenous
peoples' well-being through major resource projects…Continuing
the current development pathways will re-produce the intractable
environmental problems of southern Australia—salinisation,
species extinction—and offer little hope for Indigenous people
to move beyond the impacts of colonisation. Government policy settings,
and industry/community partnerships will be critical in supporting
ecological and cultural sustainability.
Mark Horstman is a science journalist with ABC
Radio National and News Media, currently in Sydney. Trained in
tropical biology at James Cook University in Townsville, for around
last fifteen years he has worked on environment and development
issues with Aboriginal, conservation, and government groups in
northern Australia and on a national level.
From 1998 to 2002, Mark lived in Derby and Broome working with
the Kimberley Land Council and Aboriginal people to establish an
active land and sea management program that makes practical application
of extensive traditional knowledge, including projects with the
CRC for Tropical Savannas Management.
Having taken the long way
round to becoming a journalist - and live in a large city - he
remains astonished that the ABC offered
a science cadetship to a Queenslander with a dodgy haircut and
some attitude, clutching a savanna-sized pannikin in caffè latte
country, making wild assurances about 'picking things up along
Since joining the ABC in late 2002, Mark has made
good his threat: writing science news and features for The Lab,
for The Health Report and Earthbeat, creating diversions when faced
with curly questions on talkback radio, working on Bush Telegraph's
Grow Your Own project, and has just been let loose on ABC-TV’s
He’s a firm believer that science doesn’t
just reside in the universities or in the ‘south-east triangle’ – there
are many unsung scientific minds and methods in the bush and the
suburbs, especially in the north. As important as good scientific
research, he reckons, is the story that it tells, and the policy
Hully Liveris is a third generation Darwinite who had the good
fortune of growing up in a town that was a fantastically rich cultural
and educational experience.
Tracy blew him off to
Sydney to “discover” the north
shore, eastern suburbs, westies and the rest. They didn’t
fully appreciate his stories of spearing stingray.
He returned to Darwin following completion of tertiary education
at the University of New South Wales to a city in reconstruction
With a passion and memory for the Darwin of the past he has sought
to examine the creation of a contemporary regional Architecture
in the Top End of the Northern Territory.
The Importance of a Contemporary Regional
Architecture for Northern Australia.
A Local Perspective.
Life in these parts can be hard, real hard.
If you get the built environments wrong up here, then you've got
a great chance of cooking your goose.
Successful outcomes in the Top End [Architecturally speaking]
usually involve acknowledgement of our unique physical and cultural
In many ways Architects throughout Australia
have lost their way in providing enriching built environments
attuned to the people
and contexts for which they are meant to serve. Local solutions
are overlooked for national ones with “expertise”.
Certainly up here the broader issues of Governmental policies
do not greatly assist the elevation of the Art of Architecture
to be of benefit to the greater population and in many ways Government
historically have negatively interfered in the actual design and
planning of our environments.
The Northern Territory has no Government Architect, and many tiers
of Government, including Council, have an Engineering focus when
it comes to the making of our cities and landscapes.
Our urban, suburban and rural landscapes are bearing the scars
of poor planning and important public projects are being realised
by consultancies that cannot or will not acknowledge our unique
physical and cultural environment.
Architectural [and other] competitions are virtually unknown,
and innovation has not really been encouraged.
Drop-dead commissions for public works frequently have resulted
in less than optimum outcomes. Award winning small to medium sized
local firms, which have a track record for innovation, are ignored
for firms with quality assurance and national presence.
With reducing professional fees, increase in Client expectations,
the problems in the insurance game and the corresponding increase
in risk exposure, why would Architects and other disciplines attempt
to instigate change and break new ground ?
The rising tide of confidence associated with our impending oil
and gas boom will exacerbate the problems of making necessary changes
that will enable contemporary solutions to be implemented and address
the many issues that face our communities.
In the years into the future what will the questioning and investigative
Darwinites think of our efforts in how we guided or positively
influenced the development of our vital environments, from the
backyard and on ?
Think about that and ask whether you have a part to play.
Ian Lowe is one of Australia's most prominent
environmental scientists as well as an amateur tenor and serious
An Emeritus Professor at Griffith University, he has made presentations
on environmental issues to audiences ranging from the Academy
Science to the Woodford Folk Festival. Recognition of his work
includes the Queensland Premier's Millennium Award for Excellence
the Prime Minister's Environment Award for Outstanding Individual
Achievement, the 2002 Eureka Prize for Promotion of Science, the
Centenary Medal and being made an Officer of the Order of Australia.
He directed Australia's Commission for the Future in 1988, chaired
the advisory council that produced the first national report on
the state of the environment in 1996 and has been centrally involved
in the international movement toward "sustainability science".
Why depending on oil and gas is incompatible
with the goal of sustainable communities in the Territory
As a nation, we are committed to the goal of developing in a sustainable
way through a National Strategy, adopted by the Council of Australian
Governments in 1992. Achieving that goal will require commitment
to efficient resource use, conserving environmental values and developing
social stability. Energy supply and use is a crucial consideration
because our way of life is critically dependent on the ready availability
of large amounts of fuel energy. For energy use to be sustainable,
three changes are needed. We have to improve dramatically the efficiency
of turning energy into the services people want: transport, lighting,
cooling and heating, motive power and so on. We should be moving
away from supply technologies based on limited resources; the most
obvious example is petroleum. Finally, we should be phasing out
energy supply technologies that impose unacceptable environmental
costs, of which the most urgent example is global climate change
resulting from use of hydrocarbon fuels. For these reasons, sustainability
involves moving away from fossil fuels and increasing our reliance
on renewable energy technologies, as well as improving the efficiency
of energy use. The good news is that these changes will bring a
range of social and economic benefits, especially to those communities
which obtain an advantage by being "early adopters" of
the new technologies.
As the Discipline Leader for the Environment and
Planning programs of Social Science and Planning at RMIT in Victoria,
Barbara’s research interests are in triple bottom line, strategic
planning and public-private land use management. Previously Director
of Metropolitan Planning and Land Supply in the ACT and head of
ACT Housing (public housing agency), Barbara is also the immediate
past national president of the Planning Institute of Australia,
a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and the
Australian Institute of Management. Barbara has worked at a senior
level in the Victorian, NSW and ACT public sector and run her own
consultancy. Her interests span environment, housing and planning,
particularly the linkages between these. She has a strong interest
in national policy in these areas and their relevance at the local
Implementing sustainability in the
Northern Territory - from governance to education
The concept of sustainability has been discussed for the past two
decades and strategies and plans are being developed to implement
sustainable cities and regions. However even the greatest proponents
of a sustainable future are still grappling with implementing the
ideas. One of the challenges is determining who does what in a
federal system and how to achieve coordination across the sectors.
Another challenge is incorporating the cultural dimension into
the triple bottom approach to implementing sustainability. A third
challenge is developing the skills to respond to a diverse environment.
These challenges will be explored together with examples of successful
implementation relevant to a sustainable future for north Australia.
Alan Morris has worked in the public sector at
Territory, national and international level. An economist by profession,
he has been particularly involved with machinery of government issues
and promoting principles of good governance. He was Secretary of
the Northern Territory Department of the Chief Minister from 1984-90
and Executive Director of the European Bank for Reconstruction and
Development from 1994-97. He is currently Chairman of the Commonwealth
Grants Commission and also undertakes advisory work in the Pacific
Powerhouse or Mendicant? Is the Territory
an engine of growth or a drag on the Federation?
Territorians like to portray the Territory as a
‘sleeping giant’ whose potential as a powerhouse of
the national economy is constrained by a lack of interest in the
more populous parts of Australia, and timid, unsympathetic policies
by successive national governments.
The Territory’s existence as a functioning
community is heavily underpinned by the process of fiscal equalisation.
The Territory receives more than five times the Australian average
level of per capita funding through this process. Without this level
of funding the structure of the Territory community could not be
sustained at anything like current levels.
What does this say about financial sustainability?
This presentation will discuss the Territory’s
financial viability and the prospects for the future. It will address
such questions as whether the high levels of Commonwealth funding
are an acceptable price to pay to sustain the Federation, an investment
in the nation’s future, and how financial sustainability should
Joe Morrison was born and raised in Katherine and is of Wardaman
and Torres Strait Islander descent. He has recently been seconded
from the Parks & Wildlife Service to the CRC for Tropical Savannas
Management. His background is in the broad Indigenous land and
sea management arena having worked across the Top End of the NT
for a decade in that field. He has spent considerable time supporting
the development and promotion, along with the Northern Land Council’s
Caring for Country Unit of community based ranger programs, particularly
in the Gulf of Carpentaria region. He is currently the Coordinator
of the North Australia Indigenous Land & Sea Management Alliance,
working on a collaborative research project aimed at integrating
Indigenous research into mainstream research across north Australia.
He is a member of the Indigenous Advisory Committee, which advises
the Federal Minister for Environment on matters relating to the
EPBC Act and has recently been appointed to the Australian Landcare
Council. He is also a board member for the Centre for Indigenous
Natural and Cultural Resource Management. Joe’s interest
have developed into what has been termed Traditional Ecological
Knowledge, or more appropriately Indigenous Knowledge with an aim
to legitimising Indigenous people’s knowledge of country
alongside western science. His presentation is from a personal
perspective on Indigenous natural and cultural resource management.
A personal perspective on Indigenous natural
and cultural resource management
Across the Northern Territory, Indigenous people
own nearly 45% of the terrestrial land mass, with approximately
10% still under
claim. On top of this, Indigenous people own 87% of the NT coastline
and make up about 29% of the NT population.
The last 5 years has seen
the emergence of community based ranger groups across the Top
End climb to 30 with over 200
through the Community Development Employment Project (CDEP) scheme.
However not only are new groups becoming engaged at a rapid rate,
but the future for existing programs are very fragile, relying
on adhoc and short term funding sources and a general non-acceptance
in mainstream natural resource management fields of its legitimacy.
Compounding this is the lack of knowledge in the environment
and economic sectors of the potential opportunities that Indigenous
people being on country could make to the wider community by
activities. Having Indigenous people manage weed infestations,
harvesting feral herbivores for consumption, undertaking burning
and looking out for pest threats or diseases have to be recognised
and embraced locally and nationally. This is part of being an
While the landcare ethic and movement has been
celebrated in Australia for a decade, Indigenous people have struggled
themselves on country, getting access to sacred sites and a seat
at the negotiating table to manage some of the most bio-diverse
landscapes in Australia.
There is a need to support Indigenous people to remain on their
traditional country, carry out customary activities and manage
new and emerging threats through organisational capacity development
of resource providers and other government agencies. Indigenous
people can manage country for the national good, using a blend
of western science and indigenous knowledge and do it reasonably
cheap, but there has to be a shift in the thinking behind the provision
of resources and legitimising indigenous knowledge, a system that
has managed this landscape for millennia.
Steve Morton, Executive Chair, CSIRO Environment
and Natural Resources
Dr Steve Morton is one of Australia's leading
ecologists through over 30 years of professional experience and
dedication to the
Australian environment. An expert in the ecology of arid Australia,
his work in more recent times has focussed on the challenge of
integrating conservation into the production matrix. He is one
of the country's foremost thinkers on issues facing conservation,
land management and ecological sustainability. Steve recently chaired
the Prime Minister's Science Engineering and Innovation Council's
working group on "Sustaining our natural systems and biodiversity".
Steve received both his B.Sc.(Hons) and
his PhD in animal ecology from the University of Melbourne. Following
post-doctoral studies at the University of California, Irvine
and the University of Sydney, he worked as a biologist for the
Office of the Supervising Scientist at Jabiru in the Northern
Territory. He joined CSIRO in 1984 at its Alice Springs laboratory,
and transferred to Canberra a decade later.
Until recently Chief of CSIRO Sustainable
Ecosystems, Steve now has taken on responsibility for CSIRO’s
five environmental Divisions as Executive Chair, Environment
and Natural Resources.
Steve has a strong vision for the ecological future of the nation,
and longstanding commitment to meeting the challenge of achieving
sustainable use of our landscapes.
Balancing biodiversity and economic development
in Northern Australia
Future-gazing is fun, but it is also important. Disciplined thought
about likely futures not only provides insights into our present
situation, but also has the potential to help us in nudging policy
towards longer-term considerations. What do present trends in biodiversity
suggest about the future for conservation and for the services
that our ecosystems provide to human society. In tackling this
question I will draw upon the work of my CSIRO colleagues, led
by Michael Dunlop, who have analysed different scenarios for Australia’s
land and water resources. The results suggest that Northern Australian
landscapes will be quite different in future; and will provide
us with both wonderful opportunities and profound challenges. I
want us to use such thought experiments to assist us in considering
our options and in working in concert to find a sustainable future.
Peter Newman is on secondment to the WA government where he is
the Director of the Sustainability Policy Unit in the Department
of Premier and Cabinet, co-ordinating the development of a Sustainability
Strategy for the state. This Strategy has been recognised as one
of the most innovative attempts in the world with significant public
He is also the Professor of City Policy at Murdoch University where
he has been since the University began in 1974. He has been an
elected councillor with the City of Fremantle and had secondments
to work with the WA Premier and the Minister for Transport in the
80's. He is best known in Perth for his work in rebuilding the
city's rail system.
Peter also works on an international level where he studies global
cities and is a Visiting Professor with the University of Pennsylvania.
His book with Jeff Kenworthy 'Sustainability and Cities: Overcoming
Automobile Dependence' was launched in the White House in 1999
and his 2001 co-authored book is called 'Back on Track: Rethinking
Australian and New Zealand Transport.'
Sustainability and town planning:
Some potential applications to the north.
Sustainability brings fresh perspectives
as government, business and civil society try to simultaneously
of their economies, environments, and communities. How
WA has created
a Sustainability Strategy, despite its 'wild west' caricature,
may provide some perspective on the potential for the Northern
Territory to adopt this unfolding global process and paradigm.
Town Planning was re-born 100 years ago
as a way to integrate environmental and social concerns with
the market. It
remains a tool that could
provide new opportunities for sustainability. Two key areas
of application are: (1) Regional sustainability through
of 'place narrative' and community visioning with economic
plans and natural resource management plans; and (2)
through integrated land use and transport, especially emphasising
Professor Grahame Webb is regarded by many as
one of the world's leading authorities on crocodilian research
and management, and
on the concept of conserving wildlife through sustainable use programs.
He is Managing Director and heads Wildlife Management International
Pty. Limited that serves the needs of numerous national and regional
governments, wildlife and conservation agencies, industries, universities
and individuals tackling subjects ranging from pure scientific
investigation and education, local environmental management to
international issues associated in a range of countries. He began
researching reptiles in the late 1960s, and since the 1970s has
been actively involved in the conservation, management and traditional
Aboriginal use wildlife resources. He has a distinguished academic
record having held appointments with University of Sydney, Australian
Museum, Sydney University of New South Wales and is an Adjunct
Professor with the Northern Territory University. In 2001 he was
awarded the prestigious Clunies Ross National Science and Technology
Award, for his contribution to a new vision for wildlife conservation
based on sustainable use.
Using wildlife for economic benefit: strengths
Wild plants and animals are renewable natural resources
which can and
a wide range
tangible benefits, especially in northern Australia. The concept
of "conservation through sustainable use" (CSU) provides
an internationally accepted framework through which wildlife can
theoretically be developed as an economic resource, without compromising
conservation goals. Northern Australia would appear an ideal site
for implementing such programs, and has made some advances. However,
the success of any such ventures will depend on a series of political,
philosophical and technical constraints being overcome. This in
turn will require resources, but more important, that the government
and private sectors work together, with a common vision for the
Williams - AM, Celebrity
Speakers - The Christine Maher Group
Robyn Williams has presented The Science Show
on ABC Radio National since it began in 1975 - this could be a
record. His other weekly programs are In Conversation and Ockham's
Razor. On television he appears on Catalyst and has presented series
from Nature of Australia to The Battleships.
Robyn is the first and only journalist to be elected a fellow of
the Australian Academy of Science. He has four honorary doctorates
and is a visiting professor at the University of NSW, Queensland
and Balliol College Oxford.
His latest books include Scary Monsters and Bright Ideas, about
communicating science, and a novel 2007 - A True Story About to
Happen, a funny story about the possible end of civilization as
we know it.
Galarrwuy Yunupingu, AM is
a long-serving Chairman of one of Australia’s
most powerful Aboriginal organisations, the Northern Land Council.
His life is synonymous with the struggle for land rights and justice
for his people. Born at Yirrkala (Melville Bay) in the Northern
Territory in 1948, Galarrwuy was educated at the Yirrkala Mission
School and at a Methodist bible college in Brisbane. He first became
the NLC’s Chairman in 1977 and is a senior Gumatj clan leader.
A formidable advocate for his people, he was presented with the
Australian of the Year Award in 1978 and was awarded the Member
of the Order of Australia in 1985.
"Land Rights, the Northern Territory and "development" in
the 21st Century".
- The continuity of cultural and spiritual value
of the land for Aboriginal people.
- The change in non-Aboriginal values - coming
more into line with an Aboriginal appreciation of the value of
- Potential areas of agreement and conflict between
emerging Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal views of the land.
- The challenge of bringing the two systems
closer together constitutionally, culturally, and economically.