Ron Hacker, Chair, Publications Committee.  Email:

The last few months have been an exciting time for the Publications Committee.  I know that may be hard to believe but it’s true!!

Amber Marshall takes over as Social Media Editor

As foreshadowed in my last report, Amber Marshall took over from Heidi Wright of Wright Social as the Society’s Social Media Editor in early December. Since then she has built steadily on the solid foundation established by Heidi in the initial period of contracted, professional management. The number of Facebook likes has continued to grow and Amber has sourced some great material, particularly pictures, for posting on the web.  If you are not already a follower, check out the web site.

A feature of the Society’s venture into social media has been the development of clear objectives for our activity in this field, and clear strategies to achieve them, as well as a clear role statement for the Social Media Editor. These developments were greatly facilitated by Heidi Wright. There are thus clear guidelines for Amber to follow and a clear framework for reporting to the Publications Committee. The whole exercise has a ring of professionalism about it.


Appointment of Dr Paul Novelly as Editor-in-Chief of The Rangeland Journal

Dr Paul Novelly was appointed Editor-in-Chief of The Rangeland Journal from 1 March 2016. Paul has had a long career in rangeland research and extension and has worked in Brazil, Colombia, Iran, Iraq and China as well as in three States of Australia. He obtained his Ph D from the University of Arizona and from 2004 until his recent retirement was Manager, Rangeland Research in the WA Department of Agriculture & Food. Paul takes over from Assoc. Prof ‘Wal’ Whalley who generously stepped back into the role after the untimely death of Prof. John Milne last September. The transition will be gradual as Wal will finalise all manuscripts that were already undergoing peer review prior to 29 February, and will also finalise the first Special Issue for 2016 due for publication in April. Paul was appointed following a world-wide call for Expressions of Interest among about 2500 individuals having a previous association with The Rangeland Journal – a process that yielded several serious applications.

I welcome Paul to his new role and look forward to working closely with him over the coming years.


Appointment of Camilla Osborn as Web Site Editor

Camilla was appointed to this role from 1 January 2016 following the expiry of Russell Grant’s term of office. Camilla has since received training in administration of the web site from the designers and is now actively managing this key component of the Society’s communication network. Camilla has worked extensively as a professional rangelands officer in South Australia, Queensland and the NT, and has also undertaken a 12-month stint with Worldwide Fund for Nature in Laos. Her most recent appointment is that of Coordinator with the Centralian Land Management Association in Alice Springs. She was part of the team that managed the media desk at the Society’s last biennial conference in Alice Springs and brought our conference proceedings up to date with live Twitter feed during the sessions.  A warm welcome to Camilla, with the expectation that her role in the coming years will prove beneficial to the Society and personally rewarding!


With these appointments, and Noelene Duckett’s continuing role as RMN Editor, the Society is in good shape. We can be optimistic about all of our major publications activities.