Innovation in Conservation -Restoration tools & techniques for urban environments

Fri May 10 2024 at 09:00 am to 04:00 pm

Ryde College of TAFE | Sydney

Australian Association of Bush Regenerators-AABR
Publisher/HostAustralian Association of Bush Regenerators-AABR
Innovation in Conservation -Restoration tools & techniques for urban environments
There may be some tickets released late this week, if you'd like to be on the waitlist please email [email protected]
Calling all conservation practitioners and enthusiasts! AABR and TAFE NSW present a symposium exploring innovative technologies and best practices aiding conservation efforts, with a focus on urban environments.
Guest speakers:
Peter Dixon (AABR President- keynote speaker)
Peter is the President of AABR (Australian Association of Bush Regenerators) and has 35 year’s experience in urban ecological management, bush regeneration, community engagement, education and training, catchment management, program design and grant program management.
He’s a man on a mission and an inspirational speaker with professional expertise ranging from facilitating the Mighty Duck River Restoration Collective since 1997, and setting up the Wooton Food Swap to the being the Director, Grants for the Environmental Trust, Deputy General Manager for the Sydney Catchment CMA, all founded on a dedicated practice of assisted natural regeneration as a practicing bush regenerator.
Peter’s experiences in delivering environmental restoration programs at all levels provides unique insights into the multitude of professional pathways that a thorough understanding of on-ground restoration practices can provide. He’s always enlightening, challenging and thought provoking, often entertaining and he plays the ukulele.

Mark Walters (Soil Translocation Specialist)
Mark is an Ecologist and TAFE Teacher of Cert III, Cert IV and Diplomas of Conservation & Ecosystem Management.
Mark emphasises that NSW lags behind places like WA and various European jurisdictions, in using translocated topsoil seed banks as a restoration method.
Topsoil from development sites is usually headed for the tip and, although it's distressing to see bush being cleared, the silver lining can be found in saving the seed-rich topsoil.
In the Sydney region it has been estimated that about 89% of species have a soil borne seed bank. In areas with similar sandstone or sandy vegetation about 80 to 90% of the seed bank is in the top 5cm of the topsoil. Translocation can produce a faster and better outcome than traditional revegetation methods, so it proves a valuable resource for restoration.
Dr Michelle Ryan (CHEN Platypus Project)
Dr Ryan is Senior Lecturer, Ecology and Environmental Science at Western Sydney Uni and overseeing the Platypus Project
CHEN is working with Western Sydney University researchers and students on a new project to establish the occurrence of platypus living in the extended Cattai Creek Catchment. The platypus is on the path to extinction and it is critical that national conservation measures are implemented.
Due to their elusive behaviour, platypus are monitored using environmental DNA (eDNA) – an innovative, non-invasive sampling technique that analyses a small water sample for traces of platypus DNA.
This project hopes to confirm their presence and build community knowledge, increase environmental awareness and take steps to help protect their habitat in the catchment.

Shaun Hooper (Aboriginal Cultural Fire Practitioner)
Shaun Hooper researched his Masters in how Aboriginal Cultural knowledge and Practice informs Cultural Burning and how this relates to the concept of an Aboriginal Philosophy. He is currently researching Ceremony and Magic in Aboriginal Land and Sea Management in South Eastern Australia for his PhD at UNE.
He has previously worked as a Senior Scientist and in the Bushfire Risk Research Hub for NSW department of Planning and Environment, and as a Director for Caring for Country Pty Ltd providing culturally based land management, Aboriginal Community support, advice and training in all areas including but not limited to: Cultural Burning, Invasive Pest Management (weeds and vertebrate pest) GIS and infield data capture, monitoring, flora and fauna survey, reintroductions of threatened wildlife species, Land and Sea/River planning, Aboriginal Ranger Teams setup, management and Training.
“An Aboriginal Cultural Burn is not guided by a prescription, it is guided by the close relationship that the Aboriginal Cultural Fire Practitioner has with Country and everything in it….
Cultural Burning is a landscape wide approach unlike the more strategic hazard reduction approach. It provides for emergent outcomes for a range of species who contribute in various ways to the implementation. Cultural Burning in its true sense is not just people driven, this is important as it respects the relational requirements of Aboriginal Cultural Practice.”
Chelsea Costello (Ku-ring-gai Council - Eastern Pygmy Possum Project)
Chelsea is a Natural Areas Officer at Ku-ring-gai Council and has over eight years' experience in the private and public sector, during which time she has managed threatened species monitoring programs, impact assessments and fauna management techniques across the east coast of Australia.
The Eastern Pygmy Possum is listed as a Vulnerable species in NSW, weighing between a tiny 15 to 45 grams, feeding largely on nectar and pollen and is an important pollinator of heathland plants such as banksias and prefer to shelter in tree hollows.
The Eastern Pygmy Possum Project which has been running for the last 15 years, is an initiative between Ku-ring-gai Council’s ‘Natural Areas Team’ and volunteers to improve the understanding of: EPP’s distribution and abundance, habitat preferences and provide supplementary habitat in areas where hollows are scarce.
EPPP engages the community and decision makers in biodiversity conservation and promotes better management habitat and the consideration of EPP in development or other management/bushland management activities. The program has contributed greatly to the understanding of Pygmy-possums in the LGA, including continued evidence of successful breeding.
Matt Stephens (Hollow Hog Creator – presentation followed by demonstration)
Matt Stephens is the inventor of ‘Hollow Hog’ - a unique wood carving tool that has been specifically designed to create habitat for hollow dependent wildlife. Through extensive trialling in New South Wales, this Australian designed and manufactured tool has proven its ability to safely and quickly carve hollows in the toughest hardwoods.
It takes at least 70 to 120 years for hollows to form in trees in Australian forests. The Hollowhog forms these hollows in less than an hour, providing at least an additional 70 years of potential use by fauna and, most importantly, filling the gap until hollows are able to develop naturally.
The Hollowhog efficiently and safely creates large internal cavities through small entry holes in both living and dead wood. No other damage to the tree’s cambium (living tissue) occurs through the carving process, meaning that there is little disruption to a tree’s growth.
The entry hole size and shape can be targeted to any fauna species through either carving a larger entry hole or adding entry modifiers to reduce the size back down to as small as needed. There are many reports of larger more aggressive species displacing smaller hollow occupants where a hollows entrance is big enough for them to get in.
Matt will hold a demonstration of the ‘Hollow Hog’ on TAFE grounds after his presentation.

Event Venue & Nearby Stays

Ryde College of TAFE, 250-258 Blaxland Rd, Ryde NSW 2112, Australia,Sydney, Australia


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