Council members are appointed for a four year term. Half of the Council are appointed biennially to ensure corporate knowledge is passed on to new councillors.
The President, Finance and Audit Officer, and Secretary are the Directors of the Company and there can be up to five General Council Members.
Finance & Audit Officer
John Brisbin migrated to Australia in the last term of Paul Keating and the first wave of the internet revolution. He helped bring the web to organisations as varied as the NSW Environmental Protection Agency and Nature Conservation Council of NSW to the Australia-Tibet Council and the award-winning ReachOut Youth Suicide Prevention initiative. Finally realising that the deepest human issues are not reducible to a digital toolset, he dove into the UWS Social Ecology program under Prof Stuart Hill and emerged with a new perspective and a Masters AppSci in Complexity Theory and Organisational Development in 2004. With a new baby on the way John took over the Coordinator’s role for the Arid Lands Environment Centre in Alice Springs, where he was embraced by the Desert Knowledge CRC community, including Dr Mark Stafford-Smith who (among others!) introduced John to the beauty of Australia’s rangelands. He was selected as the first CEO of the Northern Territory NRM Board for a short but passionate tour of duty. By 2007 John was back in tech based in Townsville with a client base of Cooperative Research Centres and NRM organisations. In 2015 he was elected Chair of the Northern Gulf regional NRM, and served on various panels and committees associated with the rangelands. John continues to serve as a Director of the Mitchell River Watershed Management Group and seems to be busy writing a large number of manuscripts in his head. The opportunity to serve the ARS came as a welcome development. John says it is a chance for him to give back and say thank you to the community of passionate rangeland folk who have been so generous with their time and insights over the years.
Dr Warwick Badgery is a research leader in rangelands with NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) with 20 years’ experience in the application of system level thinking to improve profitability, reduce GHG emissions and enhance sustainability of livestock systems under a changing climate. Warwick has significant experience in investigating soil C under grazing systems, led the Central NSW component of the National Soil Carbon Research Project (SCaRP) and helped develop the first pilot pricing scheme for soil carbon in Australia. He is leading the development of the Grazing Intelligence models, to forecast livestock and pasture production in commercial paddocks. He was the Program Leader for the Feedbase Theme of the national Livestock Productivity Partnership, is working across the MLA Carbon Storage and Emissions Avoidance Partnerships and is an Honorary senior fellow with Melbourne University.
Chris Obst has been working and living in the Top End of the Northern Territory since 2015. Prior to this, he worked as an environmental consultant, specializing in native flora and fauna, in his home state of South Australia for several years before continuing in a similar role in Tasmania. Having had enough of the cold he decided it was time to make the move to the wet-dry tropics of Darwin to enjoy a warmer lifestyle. Chris initially worked in the Weeds Branch of the NT government, and then as a Land Assessment and Development Manager for a private pastoral company in the Barkly region. In this role he undertook land condition monitoring, weed management and infrastructure planning using GIS. In 2021 Chris joined the NT government Department of Environment, Parks and Water Security in the Rangeland Monitoring Branch. Initially working as a monitoring officer, now as the manager, he uses his experience in the pastoral industry and environmental science field to monitor the condition of the rangeland vegetation, from the southern deserts to the northern tropical savannah woodlands. Chris has joined the ARS council to be a representative of the NT and hopes to provide a valuable contribution to the discussion and promotion of sustainable grazing practices in the Australian rangelands.
Gay Crowley is an ecologist with over 30 years’ experience in research and extension aimed at improving environmental management. Her research interests span conservation ecology; biogeography; fire and biodiversity management; and Natural Resource Management (NRM) planning. Gay has long supported the development and delivery of regional NRM programs – she has just completed a term as a foundational board member of the Kangaroo Island Landscape Board in South Australia, and has previously worked on NRM plans and programs in both Queensland and the Northern Territory. Gay has worked with First Nations Peoples across northern Australia to integrate western science and Indigenous Knowledge into fire and biodiversity monitoring for The Nature Conservancy and has also worked with Meat and Livestock Australia and the Tropical Savannas CRC to support sustainable fire, biodiversity and grazing management across northern Australia. Gay also spent many years living and working with pastoralists on Cape York Peninsula to identify and implement fire management to reverse the decline of high conservation value grassy woodlands.
Kate grew up on a dryland mixed farming operation on the Yorke Peninsula in SA before heading off to Uni to get a Bachelor of Applied Science in Agriculture. Her career since then has involved pastoral property management planning in SA and NT, capacity development in WA for the Indigenous Land and Sea Corporation and a couple of stints overseas working in sustainable livelihood programs in Sri Lanka and Cambodia. For nearly a decade Kate coordinated the national Rangeland NRM Alliance assisting with its endeavour to coordinate strategic NRM projects across the rangelands, provide advice on environmental and sustainable agriculture policy and program design. Through the Rangeland NRM Alliance Kate coordinated the delivery of multi-faceted projects with industry and government partners including the provision of spatial information via the NRM Spatial Hub, the delivery of climate change information for NRM planning across the rangeland cluster and the development of the multi-sector Outback Alliance. Kate is currently the Project Lead: Industry Partnerships for NRM Regions Australia based in Adelaide.