Thursday, December 8, 2022

Koalas: How threatened? Threatened how? Webinar, 21 April 2022

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Register via Zoom here:

This is the first webinar for Australian Rural & Regional News and what a topic with which to start!

Koalas were listed by the Minister for the Environment in February 2022 as endangered in three jurisdictions in Australia (Queensland, New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory), following a recommendation by the Threatened Species Scientific Committee.

This webinar is to consider that listing and look into such issues as the history of koalas in Australia, the impacts on koalas over time, why they have been classified as endangered and the significance and effects of that classification.

The webinar will be of interest to researchers, policy makers, farmers, foresters, people who live and work on the land, conservationists and everyone concerned about koalas.

Register at the Zoom Event page

To register, you will need to sign up for Zoom (that’s free), then purchase a ticket to reserve your spot.

Click the Register button on the Zoom Event page.

Any questions about the process or that you’d like asked of the speakers, contact TheEditor@ARR.News.


The panel of speakers has a wealth of experience in their different fields:

  • Emeritus Professor Helene Marsh FAA FTSE, Chair of the Threatened Species Scientific Committee
  • Cheyne Flanagan, Clinical Director, Port Macquarie Koala Hospital
  • Audrey Koosmen, President of Hunter Wildlife Rescue
  • Vic Jurskis, Ecologist and Author
  • Peter Rutherford, Forest Scientist, Secretary, South East Timber Association

Emeritus Professor Helene Marsh FAA FTSE
Chair of the Threatened Species Scientific Committee

Professor Helene Marsh

Professor Helene Marsh was appointed to the Threatened Species Scientific Committee as Chair in August 2011. She is a conservation biologist with some 40 years’ experience in research into species conservation, management and policy with particular reference to tropical marine and terrestrial wildlife of conservation concern. The policy outcomes of her research include significant contributions to the science base of dugong conservation in Australia and internationally. Her research also provided the conceptual basis for the ‘Back on Track’ Program conducted by the Queensland government. Helene is committed to informing interdisciplinary solutions to conservation problems and has collaborated widely with colleagues in other disciplines.

Helene is a Fellow of the Australian Academies of Science (Vice-President, Biological Sciences) and Technological Sciences and Engineering and has received national and international awards for her research and conservation. She is the natural heritage expert on the Australian delegation for the World Heritage Committee and Co–chair of the IUCN Sirenia Specialist Group. She is on the editorial boards of Conservation Biology (Regional Editor), Endangered Species Research and Oecologia.

Helene retired as Dean of Graduate Research at James Cook University (JCU) in 2018. She is now Emeritus Professor of Environmental Science at JCU. Her publications include two books, 170+ papers in professional journals, ~50 chapters in refereed monographs/conference proceedings, more than 30 papers in conference/workshop proceedings, plus numerous technical reports and popular articles. Helene has been on the supervisory committees of about 100 honours and research students (including 56 PhDs to successful completion) and 12 postdoctoral fellows.

Threatened Species Scientific Committee

Cheyne Flanagan
Clinical Director, Port Macquarie Koala Hospital

Cheyne Flanagan
Cheyne with a patient

Cheyne Flanagan’s career commenced in the agricultural industry working with cattle, sheep and horses and began caring for sick and injured wildlife at the same time. From there it was back to university and a career move into wildlife followed – working with reptiles and other native species including wild koalas.

Cheyne has been the Clinical Director of the Port Macquarie Koala Hospital for the last 22 years and instead of retiring will now manage Koala Conservation Australia’s Wild Koala Breeding Programme.

Port Macquarie Koala Hospital

Audrey Koosmen
President of Hunter Wildlife Rescue

Audrey Koosmen
Audrey with Shane

Audrey started caring for wildlife while living on a dairy farm with her parents, and that carried on for some 57 years and few more.

Audrey has cared for all wildlife other than snakes. She has rescued, cared and released koalas for over 35years.

Audrey’s role now in HWR is President, Species Coordinator and Incident Controller in major disasters affecting wildlife.

While Audrey’s age and health stop her from daily rescuing now she is heavily involved in operational planning of the group.

Hunter Wildlife Rescue

Vic Jurskis
Ecologist and author

Vic Jurskis
Vic with baby koala pellets in young regrowth at Murrah.

Vic graduated as Bachelor of Science (Forestry) in 1976 and worked in the bush as a labourer, forester, researcher, planner, manager and finally Silviculturist for NSW native forests before retiring from paid public service in 2012.

Vic is one of very few scientists who have intensively studied natural, low density koala populations. In 2017 CSIRO’s Wildlife Research published his Ecological history of the koala and implications for management. Vic says this is the only comprehensive scientific review of the koala’s ecological history throughout its range since Europeans arrived.   

Peter Rutherford
Forest Scientist, Secretary, South East Timber Association

Peter Rutherford

Peter Rutherford has a forest science degree from the ANU. During his career has worked for government forest agencies in NSW and Victoria. He worked for two private forestry companies, which had operations in both NSW and Victoria. He has been involved in both native forest and plantation management operations in the government and private sectors.

Peter has extensive fire fighting experience, which commenced in 1972. He has experience in bushfire mitigation through aerial and ground based fuel reduction burning on public and private land. He was a Group Captain in the Holbrook Shire bushfire brigade network for six years.

In the private sector, Peter was involved in managing softwood and hardwood plantation development, maintenance and harvesting operations. He also has extensive experience in the management of native forests, including thinning of regeneration resulting from bushfires and harvesting operations.

Peter also spent time establishing wastepaper collections in Melbourne, Adelaide and other centres, to supply recycled fibre to the newsprint mill at Albury. He was also involved in the development and implementation of an integrated transport system to deliver wastepaper to the Albury mill from capital cities and return newsprint rolls to publishers.

While at Albury, Peter managed the establishment and operation of a 300 hectare plantation, which was irrigated with treated paper mill process water from the newsprint mill. Peter has had a long-term interest in forest biodiversity.




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