Mr James Adams
Education and Interpretation Officer, Parks Victoria
Nature has been a central part of my life ever since I was young. As a boy I could be found climbing trees, hiking, camping, skiing and mountain biking whenever possible. It has greatly influenced my professional life too, and a snapshot of my employment history includes constructing native billabongs, catching and relocating Koalas, conservation work, tour guiding in central Australia, expedition work, and teaching outdoor and environmental education in schools. I’m currently work for Parks Victoria on a range of education-related programs, and despite not being in the classroom anymore, I still have a passion for facilitating nature-based experiences and knowledge with all sorts of groups. Fundamentally, I believe that nurturing our connections with nature is one of the most significant things we should be doing as a society for both our physical, mental and societal wellbeing.
Mr Max Campbell
President, The Field Naturalists Club of Victoria
President of The Field Naturalist Club of Victoria (4 years). Biologist and active field naturalist for over 50 years with a special interest in invertebrates and biodiversity. Max is strongly committed to the establishment of the Nature Stewards program.
Dr Lawrie Conole
Coordinator City Environment & Sustainability, the City of Melton
I’ve been a bird nerd since the early years of high school in the 1970s. From then to now I’ve been involved in volunteer activities with organisations like BirdLife Australia, and somewhere along the way I finished a PhD on bird ecology. I’m best known for knowing about birds, but I’m also into bats and frogs, and know a bit about some native plants as well. At Melton it’s my responsibility to see that our natural areas are being looked after, and that residents have the chance to enjoy wildlife and native plants in their gardens and neighbourhoods, and in some of our conservation reserves.
Ms Lee Harrison
Ecologist, City of Melbourne
Lee is passionate about learning and fascinated by ideas. She has worked in the field of urban ecology for over a decade and thinks that nature stewards are needed now more than ever to sustain biodiverse and liveable cities on our urbanising planet.
Ms Reegan Key
Manager, Public Information and Warnings at Emergency Management Victoria
Reegan’s role at Emergency Management Victoria focuses on implementing best practice communications in Victorian emergencies, though the management and improvement of warnings, media engagement and community information.
Prior to working in emergency management, Reegan’s experience spans promoting Victoria’s wonderful National Parks, multi-million dollar fundraising campaigns and media management for national and international sporting events.
Outside of work Reegan is mum to a busy toddler and has another baby due this year.
Mr Andrew Knight
CEO, Outdoors Victoria
Andrew is thrilled that Outdoors Victoria is able to assist in the formation and release of this innovative and impactful program.
Andrew and his wife’s children, Patrick 10 and Keira 8 are key motivators for Andrew’s drive to have more regular Victorians learn, connect with other Victorians in their community and then interact to help the environment.
His children’s passion for caring for the environment by reducing consumption of energy, plastics, and high carbon footprint foods has inspired Andrew to explore with others that are specialist in the environmental space, as to what we can do to assist the Victorian community right now.
Nature Stewards is a great learning gateway program and Andrew at Outdoors Victoria is proud to be working with many environmental experts to bring the very best environmental learnings to Victorians in an innovative new way.
Ms Ann McGregor
I have enjoyed watching birds since I was a youngster in the Dandenong Ranges, and this led to an interest in nature conservation. As an environmental planner I have worked at the University of Melbourne, in the Victorian Public Service and as a consultant. I have volunteered with environmental groups for over 40 years, particularly focused on the Merri Creek. Through volunteering I have learnt a lot, made many friends, and had the pleasure of seeing bushland protected, re-established and appreciated. After hearing about the US Master Naturalist programs, I was inspired (with strong support from my family) to introduce the model in Victoria as a means of connecting people more deeply with nature and encouraging them to enjoy the many benefits of environmental volunteering.
Dr Bruce McGregor
President of the Victorian National Parks Association
Growing up in rural Western Victoria, near the Grampians/Gariwerd instilled a passion for the outdoors and nature. I loved geography, bush walking and playing Aussie Rules Football. My father introduced me to bird watching and growing native plants. I am an active research scientist with training in biology, land management, adult education and organisation leadership. For many years I have volunteered with environmental groups in environmental protection and restoration, waterway management, and outdoor recreation. This led to a Victorian Environmental Friends Network Best Friend Award in 2015. I currently volunteer with the Victorian National Parks Association, Trust for Nature and BirdLife Australia.
Dr Madelaine Willcock
Nature Stewards program co-ordinator, Outdoors Victoria
I can frequently be found in my preferred natural habitat – the great outdoors – camping, relaxing, and probably checking out any local volcanoes. I have been fortunate to have had many wonderful childhood family and scouting adventures in nature that ignited a great respect, love, and spiritual connection with the natural environment. I believe our personal connection with and stewardship of the environment is fundamental to our personal, societal, and environmental health and thus supporting others to find, build and maintain their connection, is a key passion. I have continued to explore and learn in the nature through my career in volcanology field research, STEM education program development, and ongoing training in land management and art therapy.
Maddy will be helping out at both programs.