Associate Professor Julian Prior

Associate Dean, International Outreach and Engagement - Faculty of Science, Agriculture, Business and Law

Julian Prior

Phone: +61 2 6773 3610

Email: int-sabl@une.edu.au

Biography

Introduction

I have been a member of staff of Ecosystem Management since 2000, although I have been involved in teaching within the discipline since 1992. For the 20 years prior to coming to UNE I worked in natural resource management in Australia and overseas, while employed by a range of government and non-government agencies and international development organisations.

I have a strong professional and research interest in the developing field of environmental dispute resolution. I have trained in facilitation, conflict resolution, mediation, and negotiation.

I believe that in order to keep abreast of current developments within my areas of teaching and research interest, I must maintain a strong ongoing involvement with industry and government. I maintain this currency through undertaking selected consultancies. Australian consultancy clients include the former Murray Darling Basin Commission and Land and Water Australia, the Grains Research and Development Corporation, the Cotton Cooperative Research Centre, Meat and Livestock Australia, Australian Wool Innovation, the Minerals Council of Australia, NSW Department of Premiers and Cabinet, NSW Department of Environment Climate Change and Water, and several NSW Catchment Management Authorities.

International consultancy clients for projects in Africa, the Pacific and Asia include AusAID, the Global Environment Facility (GEF), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), OXFAM Great Britain, the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR), the Secretariat for the Pacific Community (SPC) and the German bilateral development agency, GTZ.

I also bring a number of technical capabilities to my teaching including:  aerial photo interpretation and land evaluation, whole farm planning, integrated catchment management, soil and water conservation and rangeland management.

Influences Upon My Teaching and Learning Philosophy and Practice

My teaching philosophy has been moulded by my own experiences as a student (high school, undergraduate and postgraduate), my experiences as a technician-educator, as an adult education facilitator, and as a university educator. I can identify a gradual evolution in my teaching philosophy as I moved through these roles and the concurrent learning environments. With regard to teaching and learning, I tend to take an empirico-inductive approach (i.e. loosely, trial and error).  While my reading of the educational literature may challenge my existing beliefs and suggest new theoretical frameworks for teaching or learning strategies, they only become part of my professional practice if I find that they are relevant to my experience.

Attitudes to Learning:

I generally subscribe to the view that deeper learning (Marton and Saljo 1976) is desirable in many circumstances, and attempt to seek out deeper learning outcomes in my teaching.  It is my belief that if students themselves can identify the coverage of what needs to be known in terms of facts, skills, and concepts (Biggs 1991). When confronted with (say) a problem-based learning environment, they are more likely to seek to meet these learning needs.  My approach to teaching must provide the environment and the framework to allow this to occur.

Attitudes to Teaching:

I can trace a clear evolution in my teaching philosophy away from a focus upon lecturer and content, towards a focus upon student learning needs and learning outcomes. I believe my initial focus should be upon the learner's cognitive development where knowledge is to be interrogated and not taken for granted, and authority (including mine) is open to question.  I see that my role as an educator is to prepare students to deal with the sorts of unpredictable and complex situations with which they will be confronted in their professional lives.

Student Perspectives

"As a teacher…. I expect a range of opinion [from students]; I would not want to please everybody. But nothing ever prepares me for the range I get.  How can I possibly be the one who has 'opened the world to me.  Now I know what the world is about; and the rest is up to me!' – and at the same moment 'the most dishonest, hypocritical and careless teacher I've had the misfortune to meet – and Harvard pays you!' " (Perry 1984, 149).

From the student's perspective there are two components to learning.  The first is the nature of one's own individual learning needs (learning outcomes).  The second is how one meets these learning needs (teaching-learning strategies).   As a teacher, I utilise my own student experiences as reminders of what I did and didn't enjoy, and what I did and didn't value, in order to inform my approach to teaching.  I can also recall that over time, as I matured as a student, I was capable of better defining my learning needs.

Onsman (1991) identified a number of characteristics of adult learners, some of which relate to teaching and learning strategies, and others which relate to learning needs.

  1. Adults learn by doing
  2. Adults learn when they have a perceived need to learn
  3. Adults learn by solving problems
  4. Different adults learn in different ways ( e.g. three modalities of visual, auditory, and kinaesthetic learning)
  5. Adults like variety in their learning activities
  6. Adults want feedback in their performance
  7. Adults want to apply what they learn
  8. Adults learn when the learning fits their value systems
  9. Adults already know a great deal (viz. 'Prior Learning', 'Local Knowledge')

In my teaching practice I have found that each of these principles has enormous implications for student involvement within the learning process. To ignore them is to risk student indifference. I encourage students to identify and talk about their learning needs. I believe that the more students are encouraged to do this, the better they will become at defining these needs. Students who feel that their learning needs are being met are more likely to be involved in and enjoy the learning process.  A practice I have developed is to ask participants to identify their learning needs at the commencement of any learning exercise.  On occasion I use this practice within my university teaching. Students, at least initially, are often unclear about their learning needs. In general, they have handed this responsibility to the lecturer.  Handing it back is no easy task. Initially students appear to be apprehensive about taking on this role.  As a teacher, I believe a first step towards student acceptance of this responsibility, is to always be explicit about the learning outcomes I think are important and that I am seeking.  I now try to make it clear why I am doing what I am doing, and what is the students' role in the process.

Qualifications

Qualifications

  • Bachelor of Rural Science
  • Graduate Diploma in Urban and Regional Planning
  • Master in Urban and Regional Planning
  • Graduate Certificate in Higher Education
  • Certificate IV in Workplace Assessment and Training
  • PhD

Teaching Areas

Teaching Profile

I teach one core unit within the Environmental Science Degree program; one core unit within the Rural Science and Agriculture Degree Programs and one core unit within the Bachelor of Sustainability Degree program.  I also contribute in a minor way to several other units within these degree programs.

  • NR 411/511 Natural Resource Policy and the Community (core Unit within the Bachelor of Sustainability Degree Program; also an elective within the Environmental Science Degree program). This Unit has won UNE awards for student satisfaction for the last 5 years.
  • AGEX 310/510 Agricultural and Natural Resource Extension (core unit within the Rural Science and Agriculture Degree programs; also an elective within the Environmental Science Degree program)
  • EM312/512 Environmental Impact Assessment (core unit core unit within the Environmental Science Degree program and the Urban and Regional Planning Degree Program)

Teaching and Learning Strategies

As an educator I believe I must be clear about the learning outcomes I am seeking and the learning processes I am utilising - why these particular outcomes and processes have been chosen.   However, merely telling students what I am planning for them and why, is not enough.  The issues of student interest and student involvement must be addressed, and the relevance and application of their learning outcomes must also be demonstrated. This is particularly important, and challenging, when broaching deeper learning outcomes with students.

I explain to students that lower level skills and competencies provide the building blocks to higher level skills and competencies.  I emphasise that once we have completed one level of the learning sequence, they should not then discard what they have learnt, but take it with them to apply within the next more complex learning environment.   A simple example of this learning sequence utilised with the unit AGEX 310/510 is illustrated below.

Communication skills --> public presentation skills --> critical thinking skills --> group facilitation skills  --> team skills  --> strategic planning skills

One clear message I gleaned from my experiences in adult education and training, and my reading of the associated literature, is that different adults learn in different ways.  I thus try as much as possible in each of my teaching exercises to utilise strategies which appeal to the three learning modalities (i.e. auditory, visual and kinaesthetic).  This might be a simple principle, but it is easy to overlook, and its learning impact is very powerful.

I also believe that effective teaching strategies involve:

  • clear and well structured teaching material,
  • explicit learning objectives
  • relating learning objectives to student's high priority learning needs
  • utilising a range of audio-visual media
  • experiential or problem based learning techniques
  • participatory learning environments
  • small group learning where appropriate.

References

Biggs, J. B. (1991) 'Teaching design for learning, in Ross, B. (ed) Teaching for Effective Learning, Research and Development in Higher Education, 13, pp11-26.

Marton ,F. and Saljo, R. (1976) 'On qualitative differences in learning:outcome and process', British Journal of Educational Psychology, 46,  4-11.

Onsman (1991)  Taking Control of Training: a Guide for Managers, ABC Books,Sydney

Perry, W. G. (1984) 'Different worlds in the same classroom', in Ramsden, P. (ed) Improving Learning:New Perspectives, Kogan Page,London pp 145-161.

Publications

(in date order)

Lobry de Bruyn, L., Prior, J. and Lenehan, J. (2013) 'Weaving a stronger fabric for improved outcomes', Journal of Agricultural Education and Extension. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/1389224X.2013.803991

Prior, J. (2013) 'Community Engagement to Resolve Climate Adaptation Conflicts: Utilising Consensus Building, Joint Fact-Finding Strategies, and Cognitive Frames Analysis', Chapter 16, In Palutikof, J., Parry, M., Ash, A., Stafford Smith, M., Waschka, M. and Boulter, S. (eds) Climate Adaptation Futures, pp.167-176, Wiley-Blackwell, Chichester.

Prior, J. (2012) 'Participation and social capital in sustainable land management: lessons learned from international Landcare', Scientific Workshop on Sustainable Land Management to Enhance Food Production of Asia-Pacific Economic Community (APEC)  Members, November 2012, Chiang Mai, Thailand (Invited Keynote Paper).

Prior, J. (2012) PNG Climate Change Authority Institutional Structuring and Policy Consultation, Report for the Government of Papua New Guinea and SPC/GIZ Coping with Climate Change in the Pacific Island Region Programme.

Prior, J. (2011) Evaluation of the Professional Capacity Building and Training Program for the Staff of the NSW Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water, University of New England, Armidale.

Prior J., Lobry de Bruyn, L. and Lenehan, J. (2011) 'Weaving a stronger fabric: designing educational and extension activities for regional NRM organizations that can lead to demonstrable practice change', In Hitting a Moving Target: Sustaining landscape, livelihoods and lifestyles in a changing world, (Ed. G Mills). Proceedings of 2011 APEN national Forum, 28-30 November, Armidale. p 62-63.

Prior J.,  Lenehan, J. and  Lobry de Bruyn, L. (2011) Evaluation of Behaviour Change Resulting from Education and Extension Programs for the Border Rivers-Gwydir Catchment Management Authority, University of New England, Armidale.

Prior, J. (2010) 'Facilitating and mediating complex environmental negotiations: the role of the chair', 2010 National Mediation Conference, Adelaide, 6-9 September 2010.

Prior, J.  (2010) 'How Can We Achieve 'Good' Governance for Climate Change Adaptation? Lessons Learnt of Relevance to the Pacific', International Conference on Renewable Energy and Climate Change: Focus on the Pacific (ICRECC2010), University of the South Pacific, Suva, 6-8 December 2010. (Invited keynote paper).

Prior, J. (2010) 'You Don't Know What You've Got 'Til It's Gone – Protecting and Building Social Capital for Community Adaptation to Climate Change', International Conference on Renewable Energy and Climate Change: Focus on the Pacific (ICRECC2010), University of the South Pacific, Suva, 6-8 December 2010.

Prior, J.  (2010) 'The Sustainable Livelihoods Approach:  a useful conceptual framework for participatory community-driven processes for the identification of climate change impacts and community adaptation strategies', 2010 International Climate Change Adaptation Conference, Brisbane, 28 June-1 July 2010.

Prior, J.  (2010) 'Effective Community Engagement to Reach Agreement over Climate Adaptation: Utilising Consensus Building and Joint Fact-Finding Strategies', 2010 International Climate Change Adaptation Conference, Brisbane, 28 June-1 July 2010.

Lobry de Bruyn, L., Prior, J. and Mascord, L. (2010) 'Reading the land: influences of Property Management Planning Courses on Landholders' Soil Management Activities in Border Rivers-Gwydir Catchment Management Authority', Solutions for a Changing World, 19th World Congress of Soil Science, Brisbane, 1-6 August 2010.

Love, C., Carroll, P., and Prior, J. (2010) Building Social Capital to Achieve Sustainable Farm Practices, Chapter 9, In Jennings, J., Woodside, D., and Packham, R. (eds) Enabling the Sustainable Management of Natural Resources and Agricultural Production: The Role of Extension, Australia Pacific Extension Network, Brisbane.

Prior, J.  (2010) 'Volunteerism and Inclusiveness and the Future of Landcare', Celebrate, Communicate, Invigorate, National Landcare Forum, Adelaide 23-25 March 2010. (Keynote Address).

Prior, J. (2010) Stakeholder Engagement and Communication in Regional Land-Use Planning.  Report for the Minerals Council of Australia, University of New England, Armidale.

Holt, R., Steyn, F. and Prior, J.  (2009) 'Food, Finance, Forests, Fish or Famine — Sustainable Landcare for Africa: an Agribusiness Approach', Caring for Our Land, Caring for Our Future, 4th Biennial South African LandCare Conference, 12-16 July 2009, Polokwane, South Africa.

Prior, J., Lobry de Bruyn, L. and Mascord, L.  (2009) Evaluation of the Border Rivers-Gwydir Catchment Management Authority Property Management Planning Program. Final report and recommendations for the Border Rivers-Gwydir Catchment Management Authority, University of New England, Armidale.

Prior, J., Ghalsasi, P.M., Walkden-Brown, S.W., Chavan, K.M., Kulkarni, S.R. and Nimbkar, C. (2009) 'Shepherds' views on the value and management of Deccani crossbred FecB carrier ewes with a higher twinning percentage: implications for a future introgression extension program',   Proceedings of the Helen Newton Turner Memorial International Workshop on using the Booroola

Prior, J.  (2008) Review of the Land Conservation and Improvement Act, the Land Conservation Board, and Associated Policy Framework: Final Report and Recommendations, Report for the Government of the Fiji Islands and SPC/GTZ Regional Forestry Project.

Prior, J.  (2007) Review of the Land Conservation and Improvement Act, the Land Conservation Board, and Associated Policy Framework: Preliminary Report and Draft Recommendations, Report for the Government of the Fiji Islands and SPC/GTZ Regional Forestry Project.

Prior, J. and Holt, R.  (2006) 'Tools for International Landcare – Lessons Learnt from South Africa and Australia', Landscapes, Lifestyles, Livelihoods, International Landcare Conference, Melbourne, 8-11 October 2006.

Zirkler, K. and Prior, J. (2006) 'Community Landcare and the CMA: a question of survival', Landscapes, Lifestyles, Livelihoods, International Landcare Conference, Melbourne, 8-11 October 2006.

Boulton, A.J., Panizzon, D.L. and Prior, J.C. (2005) 'Explicit knowledge structures as a tool for overcoming obstacles to interdisciplinary research', Conservation Biology, vol.19, no.6, pp 2026-2029.

Chudleigh, P., Prior, J. and Simpson, S.  (2005) Mid Term Review of the National Grain and Graze Program, Report for Land and Water Australia, Meat and Livestock Australia, Grains Research and Development Corporation, and Australian Wool Innovation.

Prior, J.  (2004) 'Regional Landcare Networks in Australia: Lessons Learnt of Relevance to South Africa', (invited paper) South African National LandCare Conference, Stellenbosch, 7-9th September 2004.

Prior, J. and von Maltitz, G. (2004) Draft Policy and Institutional Arrangements for the South African LandCare Programme, [South Africa – Australia Institutional Strengthening of the Department of Agriculture Program], report for AusAID and the Government of South Africa.

Chudleigh, P., Prior, J. and Simpson, S. (2004) Incorporating Native vegetation Management into Agricultural Production Systems – Project AGT10, Report for Land and Water Australia, Native Vegetation Research and Development Program.

Prior, J.  (2003) 'Environmental Dispute Resolution in Australian public policy; strategies to reduce costs and improve outcomes', Australasian Journal of Environmental Management, 10.2:  32-41.

Prior, J.  (2003) Review of Project ASEM/1998/052: Australia-Philippines Landcare Project, unpublished report for the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research, ACIAR,Canberra.

Stanley, J., Hutchinson, K., Godwin, I., Gregg, P. Jessop, R., Katz, M., King, K., Prior, J., Sindel, B. and Thompson, D. (2003)  Biotechnology (GMO) Issues and Research Priorities for Land and Water Australia, Land and Water Australia,Canberra.

Prior, J. (2002) Assessment of Past Experience and Possible Future Directions for LandCare in South Africa – Second Report,[South Africa – Australia Institutional Strengthening of the Department of Agriculture Program], report for AusAID and the Government of South Africa.

Prior, J. (2002) Assessment of Past Experience in the South African LandCare Program-  First Report, [South Africa – Australia Institutional Strengthening of the Department of Agriculture Program], report for AusAID and the Government of South Africa.

Kahn, L., Nimbkar, B. and Prior, J.  (2002)  Wasteland Improvement Workshop, report on the outcomes from a workshop held at Pune, India 24-25th April, 2002, unpublished report for the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research, ACIAR,Canberra.

Prior,  J.C. and Anderton, D.  (2002) Community Participation in Natural Resource Management: Can Resource Management Committees do the Job? CEDR,UNE

Prior, J. and Lobry de Bruyn, L. (2001) 'Catchment management and its implications for intensive agricultural industries', Production and Environmental Monitoring Conference 2001, October 17-19, University of New England, Armidale.

Chudleigh, P., Keating, B., Fievez, P., Prior, J. van Rees, H. Taylor, J., Simpson, S., and Wylie, P. (2001)  An Environmental Analysis of the Australian Grains Industry. Study conducted for the Grains Research and Development Corporation.

Lobry de Bruyn, L. and Prior, J. (2001) 'Changing Student Learning Focus in Natural Resource Management Education - Problems (and some Solutions) with using Problem Based Learning'. In Flexible Learning for a Flexible Society Proceedings of ASET/HERDSA 2000 Joint International Conference, 2-5th July Toowoomba, L. Richardson and J. Lidstone (Eds) (ASET/HERDSA, Queensland). Pp 441-451. ISBN: 0 908557 47 7

Lobry de Bruyn, L. A. and Prior, J. (2001) Meeting of Minds, Clashing of Cultures: evolution of teaching practice to engage students as co-learners'. In Proceedings of the 24th International Conference of HERDSA 2001  Learning Partnerships Newcastle University, Newcastle 8-11th July, (Eds P Little, J Conway, K Cleary, S Bourke, J Archer, and A. Kingsland. ISBN 0 908557 49 3

Prior, J., Reid, N., Metcalfe, P., Smyth, R., Wass, C. and MacKinnon, L.  (2000) Murray Darling Basin Commission Educational Scoping Study – Final Report, University of New England, Armidale.

Prior, J., Reid, N., Metcalfe, P. and Smyth, R. (2000)   Murray Darling Basin Commission Educational Scoping Study – Mid Term Report, University of New England, Armdale.

Prior, J. and de Bruyn, L. (2000) 'Changing Student Learning Focus in Natural Resource Management Education - Problems (and some Solutions) with using Problem Based Learning'. In Flexible Learning for a Flexible Society Proceedings of the HERDSA 2000 Conference.

Prior, J. (2000) 'Team Work', in R. Muldoon (ed), Skills for the Future Case Studies from UNE , Teaching and Learning Centre, University of New England,Armidale pp. 111-116.

Prior, J.C. and Browne, W. (1999) 'Integrated Sub-Catchment and Property Management Planning - action learning with GIS to facilitate management change." In Sustainable and Practical Vegetation Management into the new Millenium -Economics and Environment.  Proceedings of the AANRM-NSW Branch Conference, Coffs Harbour, 28-30 June 1999,  pp. 224-231.

Prior, J.C. and Nadolny, C.  (1998) 'Integrated catchment planning for sustainable landuse in Northern NSW: Partnerships through Landcare.'  Proceedings of the Management for Ecological Sustainability Conference, University of  Queensland, 22-24  Sept 1998, Centre for Conservation Biology,University of Queensland.

Prior, J. (1998) 'Producing students who are leading the way, not following', in R. Muldoon and C. Buckland (eds), Skills for the Future–Reflections of UNE Academics , Teaching and Learning Centre, University of New England, Armidale, pp. 34-39.

Prior, J.C. (1996) 'From technology transfer to community development: the policy implications of the Australian Landcare movement', in S.Sombatpanit, M.A. Zobisch, D.W. Sanders and M.G. Cook (eds), Soil Conservation Extension: from Concepts to Adoption, International Board for Soil Research and Management,Thailand, pp. 77-86.

Reid, N., Lobry de Bruyn L. A., Daniels, D., Metcalfe, P., Hughes, D & Prior, J. (1996) Development of an Action Learning Program  Package in Sustainable Land Management. UNE,Armidale.

Prior, J.C. (1994a) Pastoral Development Planning, OXFAM Development Series No. 9, OXFAM,Oxford.

Prior, J.C. (ed.) (1994b) Is Agriculture on a Downward Spiral? Can Landcare Make a Difference? Proceedings of the 1994 Northern Tablelands Landcare Seminar held in Armidale, NSW, 26 May, 1994, Dept. CaLM,Armidale.

Prior, J.C. (1994c) 'The Three Generations of Landcare: a message for groups, Landcare facilitators and government policy makers', In Landcare in the Balance, Proceedings of the Australian Landcare Conference, Sept. 1994, pp. 136. Dept. Primary Industry and Fisheries,Hobart.

Prior, J.C. (1994d) 'Landcare groups as self-directed learners: building human capacities', In Landcare in the Balance, Proceedings of the Australian Landcare Conference, Sept. 1994, pp. 112. Dept. Primary Industry and Fisheries,Hobart.

Prior J.C.  (1994e) An Evaluation of  the Education Programs of the NSW Department of Conservation and Land Management, unpublished report, CaLM,Sydney.

Prior, J.C. and Miller, D. (1993) 'Is Landcare the great leveller? - equity and extension issues for evaluation' In Australia-Pacific Extension Conference, Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia, October 12-14, 1993, pp. 375-377. Dept. Primary Industry,Brisbane.

Miller, D. and Prior, J.C. (1993) 'New England graziers - everything they need to know but have never been asked', In Australia-Pacific Extension Conference, Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia, October 12-14, 1993, pp. 291-294. Dept. Primary Industry,Brisbane.

Prior, J.C. (1992a) 'Community based soil and water conservation projects: the Erigavo Project experience', In People Protecting Their Land, Proceedings of the Seventh International Soil Conservation Organisation Conference, Sydney, Sept. 1992, pp. 821-829. ISCO,Sydney.

Prior, J.C. (1992b) 'Evaluating the experience of Third World Soil and Water Conservation Projects - 9 Common Shortcomings', In People Protecting Their Land, Proceedings of the Seventh International Soil Conservation Organisation Conference, Sydney, Sept. 1992, pp. 420-426. ISCO,Sydney.

Prior, J.C. and Miller, D.  (1992) 'Local Rural Organisations: Their increasing role in carrying out applied research and extension to mitigate land degradation', In People Protecting Their Land, Proceedings of the Seventh International Soil Conservation Organisation Conference, Sydney, Sept. 1992, pp. 795-801. ISCO,Sydney.

Miller, D. and Prior, J.C. (1992) 'The Agricultural Facilitator: a sensitive new age advisory officer', In Future Directions for Agricultural Education and Training, Proceedings of a Conference and Workshop held at the University of Western Sydney, Hawkesbury, NSW, Sept. 30 - Oct. 2, 1992. Centre for Extension and Rural Development, University of Western Sydney,Hawkesbury.

Prior, J.C. (1991) Wholefarm Planning - Long Form Syllabus, Document produced for  the NSW College of Technical and Further Education Rural Studies Branch,Orange.

Prior, J.C. (1989) The Rangeland Assessment Programme: Rangeland Study Site Field Methodology and Manual, Soil Conservation Service of New South Wales Western Region,Condobolin.

Clift, D.K., Dalton, K.L. and Prior, J.C. (1989) Bladder saltbush (Atriplex vesicaria Heward ex Benth) regeneration on the riverine plain of south-eastern Australia since 1983.  Australian Rangeland Journal, 11, 1, 31-9.

Clift, D.K., Semple, W.S. and Prior, J.C. (1987) A survey of bladder saltbush (Atriplex vesicaria Heward ex Benth) dieback on the Riverine Plain of South-eastern Australia from the late 1970's to 1983. Australian Rangeland Journal, 9,1, 39-48.

Consultancy Interests

Research and Consultancy Interests

My research and consultancy interests lie in the areas of natural resource policy, institutional analysis and capacity development, agricultural and natural resource extension, social capital-building for sustainable natural resource management, community-based natural resource management (including community adaptation to climate change), environmental dispute resolution, and natural resource and environmental management in developing countries.

Much of my consultancy work in Australia and in developing countries has been in the area of policy, program and project evaluation and design in the above areas (a list of past consultancy projects is given below).

I have a strong interest in Australia and international Landcare, and I am an Australian member of the Landcare International Steering Committee.

I am the Project Leader of a 4 year, $2 million, research-for- development project in Myanmar entitled: Strengthening institutional capacity, extension services and rural livelihoods in the Central Dry Zone and Ayeyarwaddy Delta regions of Myanmar. This project has among its research strategies, an assessment of the livelihood strategies of resource poor farmers; an analysis of the Myanmar agricultural research, extension and tertiary education institutions, including both the public and private sector players, and working with these institutions to produce capacity development strategies to improve farmer livelihoods. The Project is funded by the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research.

I have a strong professional and research interest in the developing field of environmental dispute resolution. I have trained in facilitation, conflict resolution, mediation, and negotiation and have conducted research into multiple stakeholder environmental dispute resolution and consensus building.

Consultancies within Australia

  • 2012 Catchment Management Authorities-Landcare Partnerships Project: team leader and process facilitator- institutional change and collaboration dialogue to forge collaborative partnerships between 2 regional Catchment Management Authorities and 5 regional Landcare networks for landscape-level natural resource management – funded by Border Rivers-Gwydir Catchment Management Authority.
  • 2010-2012 Independent Chairperson, Liverpool Plains and Gunnedah Basin Minerals and Energy Working Group; constituted of state and local government, 10 mining and energy companies, and Namoi CMA, this working group is charged with identifying and implementing regional strategies for adaptation to the changes brought about by rapid mining development.
  • 2000 NSW Catchment Management Board Handbook, NSW Department of Land and Water Conservation  – author of Community Consultation Section
  • 1999 Community Participation in Natural Resource Management in  NSW - Practitioners Workshop  – co-organiser and Chair, and co-editor of Workshop Proceedings
  • 1999 Northern New England Rural Lands Protection Board Strategic Plan –designer and facilitator of Workshop series and strategic planning framework
  • 1999 North West Catchment Management Committee Strategic Plan – designer and facilitator of Workshop series and strategic planning framework
  • 1999 Macleay Catchment Management Committee Strategic Plan – designer and facilitator of Workshop series and strategic planning framework
  • 1998 "Social values attached to native vegetation research project" (LWWRDC-ANCA funded) - design and piloting of focus group qualitative research instrument for The Rural Development Centre
  • 1997-1998 Agricultural extension training for agricultural and agroforestry professionals - 7 short courses conducted by Melbourne University, the Australian National University and the Australian Council for Overseas Aid - course designer and trainer.
  • 2010-2011 Professional Skills Training for staff of the NSW Department of Environment Climate Change and Water: skills training for front-line staff in environmental consensus-building, environmental conflict resolution, natural resource management extension, group facilitation, and use of the media.  Ex post evaluation of workplace impacts of training also conducted.
  • 2010 Evaluation of the Education and Extension Training Program of the Border Rivers-Gwydir Catchment Management Authority. Consultancy conducted for Border Rivers-Gwydir Catchment Management Authority.
  • 2010 Stakeholder Engagement Strategies and Regional Natural Resources and Land Use Planning Framework and Policy; policy and strategy discussion document and report for the Minerals Council of Australia.
  • 2009-2012 High County Urban Biodiversity Project: Member of Project Steering Committee; and member of  Monitoring and Evaluation Team at the University of New England; $2 million urban biodiversity and climate change adaptation project involving a partnership between the NSW Department of Environment and Climate Change, 4 local governments, the University of New England, and community groups. The University of New England has the monitoring and evaluation contract to report on outcomes relating to aquatic and terrestrial biodiversity, water quality, and community capacity building (social and human capital).
  • 2009 Evaluation of the Property Management Planning Program, consultancy conducted for the Border Rivers-Gwydir Catchment Management Authority.
  • 2008-2009 Regional Forums to address Conflicts over Mining in the Gunnedah Basin, Workshop designer, Chairman, and lead facilitator; conducted for the NSW Department of Premiers and Cabinet.
  • 2008-2010 Speaksoftly Project; Community Consensus Building; Team Leader and Trainer; community training and capacity building project for environmental dispute resolution, including the development of an online training component; consultancy conducted for the Border Rivers-Gwydir Catchment Management Authority.
  • 2008-2009 Facilitation, Negotiation and Mediation Training Workshops for Regional Landcare Facilitators, Designer and Trainer for a series of professional training workshops;
  • 2006 Landcare Networks and Namoi Catchment Management Authority Consensus- Building Workshop; Workshop Designer and Lead Facilitator; funded by Liverpool Plains Land Management Committee.
  • 2005 Mid-Term Review of the National Grain and Graze Program: Partnership between four national Research and Development Organisations (Land and Water Australia, Grains R&D Corp., Meat and Livestock Australia, and Australian Wool Innovation) and state government agricultural and natural resource management agencies seeking integrated financial, social and environmental outcomes.
  • 2005 NSW Landcare and Catchment Management Authority Collaboration Project: Facilitator of discourse and consensus building between regional Landcare networks and regional Catchment Management Authorities.
  • 2005 Evaluation of the NSW  Property Management Planning Pilots, Report for the  Border Rivers-Gwydir Catchment Management Authority, the Central Western Catchment Management Authority and the NSW Dept. of Infrastructure Planning and Natural Resources.
  • 2004-2006 Independent Chairman of Broadwater Wetland Ramsar Nomination Working Group: Chairman of this multiple stakeholder consensus building process involving local and state government, farmers, fishers, Aboriginal groups, conservation interests, and researchers (Funded by the NSW Department of Environment and Climate Change).
  • 2003-2005 The Lessons Learnt Project: Case Studies of Environmental  Negotiations and Consensus Building within Twelve NSW Regional Vegetation and Water Committees, study for CEDR, UNE.
  • 2004 Regional Resource Planning Forum: Lessons Learnt, Future Challenges and the Way Forward,Co-Convenor and Chair (with NSW Dept. of Infrastructure Planning and Natural Resources and QLD Dept. Natural Resources and Mines) of forum at UNE to discuss the new challenges and opportunities for NRM planning faced by Regional Bodies – attended by representatives from Aust. Capital Territory, Vic., NSW and Qld.
  • 2003 Biotechnology (GMO) Issues and Research Priorities for Land and Water Australia, report for Land and Water Australia,Canberra.
  • 2001-2002 Landcare Revival Project and Landcare Consolidation Project: capacity building and action research projects for Gwydir - MacIntyre Landcare Coordinating Committee and Southern New England Landcare Coordinating Committee.
  • 2001 Gwydir Catchment Ecosystem Services Project (Workshop leader and facilitator for community consultation) funded by Dept. Land Water Conservation and Cotton Cooperative Research Centre).
  • 2000-2001 National Environmental Analysis of the Australian Grains Industry for the Grains Research and Development Corporation for Grains Research and Development Corporation – Principal Researcher and Environmental and Social Scientist on Team (for Agtrans Research).
  • 2000 Murray Darling Basin Commission Education Scoping Study - Principal Researcher and Team Leader.

Consultancies and Research within Developing Countries

  • 2013-2017 Strengthening institutional capacity, extension services and rural livelihoods in the Central Dry Zone and Ayeyarwaddy Delta regions of Burma (ASEM/2011/043 program: Improving Food Security and Farmer Livelihoods in Burma); Project Leader of this $2 million project funded by the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research.
  • 2013 Southern Africa International Landcare Master Class Training, Team Leader and trainer: 28 participants from Malawi, South Africa, Kenya, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Zambia, Swaziland and Uganda; held in Lillongwe, Malawi, July 2013; funded by ATSE Crawford Foundation, Government of South Africa, and International Centre for Agroforestry, (Training for sustainable agriculture and food security, Community-Based Natural Resource Management, and community adaptation to climate change).
  • 2012 PNG Climate Change Authority Institutional Structuring and Consultation, Report for the Government of Papua New Guinea and SPC/GIZ Coping with Climate Change in the Pacific Island Region Programme.
  • 2012 East Africa International Landcare Master Class Training, Team Leader and trainer: 26 participants from Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda; held in Mbale Uganda, 19-23 March 2012; funded by ATSE Crawford Foundation, Government of South Africa, and International Centre for Agroforestry, (Training for sustainable agriculture and food security, Community-Based Natural Resource Management, and community adaptation to climate change).
  • 2010-2011 Short Course Trainings in Sustainable Agriculture, Natural Resource Management, and Landcare, for participants from 7 African Countries; Team Leader, course designer, and lead trainer; training provided (in Australia and in Africa) for participants from Ghana, Rwanda, Burundi, Burkina Faso, Egypt, Tunisia and Djibouti; funded by AusAID and implemented by the University of New England.
  • 2008 Workshop Presenter and Co-Facilitator of Pacific Regional Awareness Workshop on Clean Development Mechanism (CDM): Regional workshop attended by 16 Pacific Island countries; funded by SPC/GTZ, Asian Development Bank, and the Applied Geoscience Commission (SOPAC), Nadi, Fiji, 14-17th January 2008.
  • 2007-2008 Review of the Land Conservation and Improvement Act, the Land Conservation Board, and Associated Policy Framework: Team Leader: Report for the Government of the Fiji Islands and SPC/GTZ Regional Forestry Project.
  • 2003 Review of the Australia-Philippines Landcare Project, Team Leader and CBNRM specialist: Study conducted for the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research, ACIAR, Canberra.
  • 2006-2008 Extension support and socio-economic evaluation of Indian transhumant shepherd communities for the project "Improved productivity, profitability and sustainability of sheep production in Maharashtra, India." Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (Project number ASI/2002/038).
  • 2008 Workshop Presenter and Co-Facilitator of Pacific Regional Awareness Workshop on Clean Development Mechanism (CDM): Regional workshop attended by 16 Pacific Island countries; funded by Asian Development Bank, GTZ, Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) and the Applied Geoscience Commission (SOPAC), Nadi, Fiji, 14-17th January.
  • 2007-2008 Review of the Land Conservation and Improvement Act, the Land Conservation Board, and Associated Policy Framework: Team Leader: Report for the Government of the Fiji Islands and SPC/GTZ Regional Forestry Project.
  • 2006 International Landcare Master Class Training for Participants from Developing Countries, Team Leader and trainer: (included 14 participants from 6 Asia-Pacific countries) Melbourne, funded by Crawford Foundation, Aust. Dept. Agriculture Fisheries and Forests, GTZ and AusAID (Training for Community-Based Natural Resource Management).
  • 2006 Review and Future Design of the Extension Component of Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research Project No: AS1/2002/038  Improved productivity, profitability and sustainability of sheep production in Maharashtra, India.
  • 2006 Global Environment Facility (GEF) Large Project Proposal for Pipeline Entry and PDF-B Approval: Catchment and Landscape Management for the Government of Eritrea. Implementing Agency: International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD).
  • 2005 Program Design:  Post-Crisis Livestock Rehabilitation and Development Program: Environmental and Natural Resource Management Component, Eritrea. International Fund for Agricultural Development, Rome
  • 2005National Stakeholder Workshop to Develop the Fijian National Landcare Program, Nadi, Fiji. Presenter and Wokshop Facilitator.
  • 2004 Draft Policy and Institutional Arrangements for the South African LandCare Programme, Team Leader and Policy Specialist [South Africa – Australia Institutional Strengthening of the Department of Agriculture Program], report for AusAID and the Government of South Africa.
  • 2003 National Stakeholder Workshop to Develop Policy and Institutional Arrangements for the South African LandCare Programme, [South Africa – Australia Institutional Strengthening of the Department of Agriculture Program], workshop conducted on behalf of AusAID and the Government of South Africa.
  • 2002 Assessment of Past Experience and Possible Future Directions for LandCare in South Africa – Second Report, Team Leader  and NRM Specialist [South Africa – Australia Institutional Strengthening of the Department of Agriculture Program], study and report for AusAID and the Government of South Africa.
  • 2002 Assessment of Past Experience in the South African LandCare Program-  First Report, [South Africa – Australia Institutional Strengthening of the Department of Agriculture Program], study and report for AusAID and the Government of South Africa.
  • 2002 Stakeholder Workshop to Develop Strategies to Increase Sheep and Pasture Productivity and Improve Conservation of Rangelands in Semi-Arid Regions of Western India. Pune, India, workshop conducted on behalf of Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research, Canberra.
  • 1986-89 Project Manager, Erigavo Erosion Control and Rangeland Management Project, Northern Somalia, (also appointed to position of Acting Country Manager for Somalia on various occasions), OXFAM Great Britain.