What the Experts are Saying about our work
'I first encountered Damien in the early 1990s when he was collecting vegetation data for remnant stands of critically endangered grassland, grassy woodland, wetland and coastal communities south and east of Melbourne. Damien entered quadrat data for vegetation samples into the Flora Information System which I subsequently curated for the state environment department Flora and Fauna Survey and Management team.
Over subsequent decades Damien continued to supply quadrat data of the highest quality for threatened plant communities throughout the state. Damien’s data, spanning four decades of vegetation monitoring, has contributed significantly to our knowledge of these communities and their management requirements. Damien’s personal knowledge of these communities and their inexorable decline across the last half century has been instrumental in informing the monitoring, restoration and protection of the state’s wetland and grassland communities with a strong focus on remnant stands in the most depleted landscapes in the state, namely the Victorian Volcanic Plains, Northern Riverine Plains, Murray Valley and Gippsland Plain.
Damien has been a pioneer in wetland restoration which I have witnessed at the Waterways development on Mordialloc Creek over the last twenty years. Waterways represents a pioneering beacon to wetland restoration in Victoria as the largest metropolitan restoration initiative at the time, which aimed to restore the vegetation types characteristic of the former Carrum Carrum Swamp, reintroducing over two hundred wetland and grassland species propagated at the Australian Ecosystems nursery from locally sourced provenances.
As the brains trust and co-founder of Australian Ecosystems, Damien has taken his lifetime experience in wetland restoration, plant propagation and vegetation survey and monitoring as a consultant to provide a solid foundation for the Wetland Revival Trust. Damien also brings to the Trust his wealth of knowledge of fauna, including birds, mammals, frogs and reptiles, and his overseas experience as a consultant in Inner Mongolia and Timor Leste.
I first encountered Elaine when, as education and training manager for Greening Australia Victoria, she invited me to deliver training sessions in plant identification over twenty years ago. Elaine brings her management, environmental education and ecological monitoring expertise to the Trust, having also worked for my department at the Arthur Rylah Institute for Environmental Research in Heidelberg in monitoring programs for the threatened Eltham Copper Butterfly and threatened frogs such as Growling Grass Frog.'