Curtin University

A passionate botanist and professional with a deep knowledge and understanding of the plants of Western Australia who has been involved in major programs while the Foundation Director at Kings Park Science and now at Curtin University working on restoration science, conservation biology and community engagement.  A passionate gardener and garden designer.

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Photo credit: Curtin University 


More diverse than 98% of all other countries, Australia is unparalleled for the richness of its plants and animals.  With evolutionary lineages that are amongst the most continuous record of life on earth, Australia’s First Nations people learnt to live in harmony and equilibrium with nature and the natural environment.  Their respect for plants and animals through a system of totems and landcare was developed over 60,000 years, resulting in a complex and stable interconnection of human existence and nature.  But within a blink of evolutionary time, all this changed and in the 200 years since European occupation, we have taken more species to extinction per capita than any other continent.  Western Australia as the ‘jewel in the crown’ was to see the exquisite diversity of its unique ecosystems decimated by the arrival of the industrial revolution on one of the most ancient landscapes on earth.  From spectacle to collapse, the southwest in particular is now in ecological free-fall with little hope that we can arrest the accelerating decline in the 30% of nature that remains uncleared.  In this presentation I will present what we know of the evolutionary marvel of the southwest, the impacts of the hands of humans and how walking together with our traditional custodians represents a key way to rethink how we might arrest the impending ecological collapse.

The 2020 Festival of Landscape Architecture is taking place on Whadjuk Noongar Country. We acknowledge the Traditional Owners of Whadjuk Noongar Country and Country throughout Australia. We pay our respects to Elders past, present and emerging.