Writers

Dr. Mark Bahnisch

Dr Mark Bahnisch is a Brisbane-based sociologist. He is a Fellow of the Centre for Policy Development and a Research Affiliate of the Eidos Institute. Mark’s academic expertise encompasses public policy and research methodology. He has been published widely and has been recognised as an innovator in social media, on which he is often asked to give keynote and panel presentations.

Dr Bahnisch has been active in research, policy and consulting around improving the quality of public deliberation and consultation. His work as both an academic and a consultant and writer has been recognised through several awards and commendations.

He has consulted to the Australian and Queensland governments and in the community and private sectors, with a focus on public policy and organisational research and methods of engagement. His writing on public affairs, culture and society has appeared in newspapers, independent online media, blogs, books and academic journals.

Brian Bahnisch

Brian Bahnisch holds a Bachelor of Arts and a graduate degree in Education. After qualifying as a librarian his substantive career was in the Department of Education in Queensland, as the first Supervisor of School Libraries from 1969, later with broader duties covering all curriculum materials and associated services.

The School Library Association of Queensland has instituted a professional practice award which carries Brian’s name in recognition of his contribution to teacher-librarianship.

Brian left government employment in 1991. He took up garden maintenance, now mainly on acreages in Upper Brookfield. Since 2002 Brian has written extensively for the internet on a variety of topics, such as trade issues and more recently on climate change. His articles have included analysis of land use issues and coal seam gas.

Brian grew up in brigalow country at the southern edge of the Dawson River catchment.

Dr. Marion Carey

Dr Marion Carey MB BS (Hons)  MPH  FAFPHM  FRSPH  is a public health physician who specialises in Environmental Health. She is currently the VicHealth Senior Research Fellow at Monash Sustainability Institute, a multi-disciplinary institute of Monash University, that seeks solutions to key sustainability challenges. She was previously Senior Medical Adviser in Environmental Health to the Chief Health Officer of Victoria. Her current areas of interest include the importance of biodiversity to human  health; how primary health care, and services to the homeless, can adapt to increasingly extreme weather; how rural communities are affected by water insecurity; and  the health impacts of energy choices -wind farms, coal combustion  and coal seam gas mining. See Marion’s Researcher Profile.

She is a member of the National Executive of Doctors for the Environment Australia, a voluntary organisation of medical doctors working to prevent and reduce illness caused by damage to the natural environment.

Troy Collings

Troy Collings is the CEO of Best Practice Regulatory Services (BPRS) – a respected consulting and training provider to government regulators throughout Australia.  Troy is also the Chair and founder of the recently established Centre for Regulatory Excellence.  Prior to moving to the private sector in 2008, Mr Collings spent twenty-three  years in key regulatory portfolios covering the environment, natural resource and water management, mining, transport, consumer affairs, and justice.  With broad operational experience in compliance and enforcement, Troy’s career progressed to strategic policy management, leading national reform projects.

An accomplished writer and sought after presenter, Troy co-authored “Regulating our Natural Resources – Farmers Friend or Farmers Foe? Have Regulators got the mix Right?” which was published by the Flinders Journal of Law Reform in 2007 and widely lauded for its innovative approach to regulation.  From 2006-2008, Troy was Chair of the National Best Practice Committee for the Australian Environmental Law Enforcement Regulator’s Network. With his extensive professional network, Troy is able to tap into Australia’s regulatory community at the local, state and commonwealth levels on Coal Seam Gas and related issues.

Troy’s expertise resides in developing best practice regulatory and compliance frameworks, effective community and stakeholder engagement models, government/regulated community relations, and reducing risk.

Dr. Peter Dart

Dr. Peter Dart is an Agricultural Scientist with a particular involvement in Soil Science and Farming Systems who has worked on environment and resource management, food production and food security issues in many countries in the semi arid and wet tropics, in the UK, West and South East Asia, Africa, South America and Australia.  He has worked in both Government Agencies and Universities, with the FAO and the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research Centres including spending 8 years at the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi Arid Tropics based in Hyderabad in India.  He advises the large AusAID/GIZ program on Climate Change and Coastal Ecosystems just starting in 5 Provinces in the Mekong in Vietnam.  He has coordinated public forums on Environmental and Health Implications of Coal and Coal Seam Gas Mining at the Universities of Queensland and Sydney supported by the Australian Conservation Foundation and the Australian Society of Soil Science Inc.

Dr. Samantha Hepburn

Samantha Hepburn is one of Australia’s pre-eminent legal scholars whose legal research involves the examination of a range of different property and land law issues. Samantha has taught and researched at Monash University, Deakin University and the Australian National University. Samantha completed her doctorate at the University of Melbourne and is currently an Associate Professor at the Melbourne campus of Deakin University. Her books on  land and property law, as well as equity and trusts have been prescribed and referred to throughout Australia, New Zealand, Asia and the Pacific.  Her doctoral research and subsequent publications have focused upon a range of areas including: the propertisation of carbon property interests, the nature and scope of statutory mining rights, and the nature and scope of native title rights in the territorial sea.

Dr. Tina Hunter

Dr Tina Hunter completed her doctoral thesis ‘Legal Regulatory Framework for the Sustainable Extraction of Australian Offshore Petroleum Resources: A Critical Functional Analysis’ at the University of Bergen, Norway. She continues to research and teach at the University of Bergen, where she is a member of the Legal Culture Research Group and the Research Group for Natural Resources, Environment and Development Law. Dr Hunter has a background in earth sciences, completing a BA (Hons) from the University of Sydney in 1989, specialising in Estuarine and Marine Sediments. She also achieved post-graduate qualifications in Library Science, becoming a Librarian in 1993 and continued on completing her Masters in Information and Research in 2000. She completed her JD (Hons) at Bond in 2005. She continues developing her interest in Constitutional Law, Jurisprudence, Mining, Resources and Energy Law through her work as a full-time Assistant Professor at Bond University.

Dr Hunter consults to governments regarding the regulation of petroleum, unconventional gas and other natural resources. She has written extensively in many areas of law, including oil and gas law, jurisprudence, comparative law and policy.

Drew Hutton

Drew Hutton has been an environmental and social justice campaigner for over 30 years. He was the founder of the Queensland Greens in 1991 and co-founder of the Australian Greens in 1992. He resigned all his positions in the Greens in early 2010 to take up the Lock the Gate campaign.

Drew is currently the president of the Lock the Gate Alliance and a spokesperson for Friends of the Earth (Aust). He has been working in the campaign against coal and coal seam gas development since April 2010 when he linked up with landowner groups, mainly in southern Queensland, to form what was then called a “green-farmer alliance”. In late 2010 he and other landowners in the Surat Basin began the Lock the Gate campaign and, soon after, this became the Lock the Gate Alliance initiated by groups in New South Wales.

Drew has written extensively on environmental themes including co-authoring A History of the Australian Environment Movement with his partner Libby Connors.

Kim Jameson

Kim Jameson is a visual artist, designer and writer who divides her time between Queensland and Northern California. She was educated at The University of Queensland and the University of San Francisco, and studied politics, sociology, fine art and art history.

Ms Jameson has blogged for the leading Australia public affairs website Larvatus Prodeo for some years, focusing on her areas of interest in public policy, culture, disabilities and media analysis.

While resident in the United Stated states, Kim worked as a community organiser and taught in the California State University system, as well as in her professional practice as an artist and writer.

Professor Roger Jones

Roger Jones is a Professorial Research Fellow at the Centre for Strategic Economic Studies (CSES) at Victoria University. His original degree was in earth science but he has since worked on revegetation, as a museum curator, technical essayist and researcher working on past, present and future climates, climate impacts and climate policy.

At Victoria University he applies an interdisciplinary focus to understanding climate change risk, bridging science, economics and policy. His methods for managing climate change risks through adaptation have been used widely in Australia and internationally, contributing to the Australian Climate Change Adaptation Strategy, the United Nations Development Program Adaptation Policy Frameworks and many individual projects. He was a Coordinating Lead Author on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Working Group II Fourth Assessment Report and is undertaking the same role in the Fifth Assessment Report due in 2014.

Rebecca McNicholl

Rebecca McNicholl is a Brisbane based consulting environmental engineer. She received her Bachelor of Environmental Engineering (hons) in 2004 from the University of Queensland. Since graduating, Rebecca has worked as a consulting environmental engineer, as a community engagement coordinator for a community-based landcare group, and for local and state government in various environmental management and engineering capacities.   Rebecca also volunteers with Anglicare’s high school tutoring program for migrant and refugee students, and writes the occasional article in a voluntary capacity for Beyond Zero Emissions’ media team (Beyond Zero Emissions is a is a not-for-profit research and education organisation developing blueprints for the implementation of climate change solutions).  Rebecca is currently studying education part-time.

Dr. Robert Merkel

Robert Merkel is a lecturer in Software Engineering at Monash University, Melbourne, Australia. His research and teaching focuses on empirical risk mitigation in the context of large software development projects, from both human-centered and technologically-driven perspectives.

He has written extensively for the Australian public affairs blog Larvatus Prodeo, including on issues of energy systems in the context of climate change and other environmental risks.  His responses to essays on these issues have also appeared in Quarterly Essay.

Heidi Ross

Heidi Ross is on the committee of community group Keep the Scenic Rim Scenic and was an organiser of the so-called Kerry blockade.  After a career in media and small business,  she spends her days fighting to keep coal and coal seam gas out of communities, including her own, while also working to establish an exclusive ‘wilderness camp’ on the edge of World Heritage Lamington National Park.  Born in Africa, Heidi worked for several years in the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s London Bureau before returning to Brisbane to raise her family.  They have lived in the Scenic Rim since 2008, ‘walking the talk’ when it comes to sustainable living and protecting regions from inappropriate development.

Dr. Wendy Sarkissian LFPIA

Wendy is widely regarded as one of Australia’s most experienced social planners. She is also a facilitator, trainer, author and educator. She seeks spirited ways to nurture an engaged citizenry. She has coauthored three new books: Kitchen Table Sustainability: Practical Recipes for Community Engagement with Sustainability (2009). SpeakOut (2009) and Creative Community Planning (2010).

Originally educated in Arts and education, she holds a doctorate in environmental ethics from Murdoch University and a Masters of Town Planning from Adelaide University. She is a Life Fellow of the Planning Institute of Australia. She designs and manages complex community engagement processes in high-profile developments as well as small rural communities. She also is expert in evaluation and managed a large-scale post-occupancy evaluation of high-rise housing in Vancouver from 2007-2008 through the University of British Columbia, as an Adjunct Professor. Much of her training is in community engagement and workshop facilitation, largely for local government.

Wendy is Adjunct Associate Professor at the Curtin University Sustainability Policy Institute, Adjunct Professor in the School of Sustainable Development, Bond University. She has taught in many Australian and overseas universities. An owner-builder, she lives in an eco-village in Nimbin, NSW.

Professor David Shearman

David Shearman is a physician, Emeritus Professor of Medicine (University of Adelaide) and was previously on Faculty at Edinburgh and Yale Universities.

He is Honorary Secretary of Doctors for the Environment Australia, which concerns itself with links between the environment and human health. He is a Board Member of the International Climate and Health Council and the International Society of Doctors for the Environment.

Books and articles by David on the topics of environmental health, climate change, governance and world civilisation can be found here.

Professor John Quiggin

John Quiggin is a Federation Fellow in Economics and Political Science at The University of Queensland. He is prominent both as a research economist and as a commentator on Australian economic policy. He is a Fellow of the Econometric Society, the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia and many other learned societies and institutions. He has produced over 1000 publications, including five books and over 300 journal articles and book chapters, in fields including environmental economics, risk analysis, production economics, and the theory of economic growth.  He has also written on policy topics including climate change, micro-economic reform, privatisation, employment policy and the management of the Murray-Darling river system.

John Quiggin has been an active contributor to Australian public debate in a wide range of media. He is a regular columnist for the Australian Financial Review, to which he also contributes review and feature articles. He frequently comments on policy issues for radio and TV. He was one of the first Australian academics to present publications on a website. In 2002, he commenced publication of a blog providing daily comments on a wide range of topics. His latest book, Zombie Economics: How Dead Ideas Still Walk Among Us, was released recently by Princeton University Press.