Proceedings of the 1994 symposium on biodiversity and fire in North Australia -
Biodiversity series, Paper no. 3
Deborah Bird Rose (editor)
Department of the Environment, Sport and Territories and the North Australia Research Unit, The Australian National University, 1995
Russell Anderson has a diverse background evolving from forestry, farming, human resource management and technical services spanning over 30 years. His community involvement during this period included seven years as Deputy Shire President of Litchfield and 12 years as Committee Chairman of the Bushfires Council.
Russell enjoys the challenge of his position as Executive Officer of the Bushfires Council and Chief Fire Control Officer for the Northern Territory. He is a strong advocate in the development and growth of the Territory.
David Bowman (PhD) trained as a forest ecologist in Tasmania, and has carried out ecological research throughout Northern Australia since 1984 for the Conservation Commission of the Northern Territory. In 1994 he won a Charles Bullard Fellowship to study forest ecology at Harvard University.
John Bradley has undertaken extensive linguistic and anthropological fieldwork in the Borroloola area between 1984 and 1994. He has assisted the Yanyuwa people in the presentation of their 1992 land claim, and is the author of the Yanyuwa dictionary as well as other publications with and for Yanyuwa people. He is currently a PhD candidate in anthropology at the Northern Territory University.
Dick Braithwaite (PhD) is Senior Principal Research Scientist with the CSIRO Division of Wildlife and Ecology. He has worked on a wide range of ecological issues in Northern Australia over his past 15 years based in Darwin. He is currently Officer-in-Charge of the CSIRO Tropical Ecosystems Research Centre, Darwin, and is National Coordinator of the CSIRO Multi-Divisional Program for Tourism. Dick is a member of numerous committees including the Kakadu Board of Management and the NT Bushfires Council.
For most of her fifty years, April Bright has been deeply involved in her traditional country and with her people. Together, her mother, aunties, uncles and the old people taught her about her country, steeped in their culture. She learned to hunt and forage for food, but just as she learned the Dreamtime stories, if not more importantly, April was told about the birthplaces, the burial sites, the spiritual affiliation with her country and how to 'look after country'.
Kathleen Deveraux is from the Rak Mak Mak Marranunggu local descent group. She was born in 1954 at Panypiyaduk, a stock camp on the Finniss River that is normally referred to as Possum Yard. This site has a Dreaming story about a possum that belongs to her clan group. She grew up along the stock routes and cattle camps from Fog Bay, Finniss River and Wagait to Meneling Station.
In 1991 and 1992 the Mak Mak clan were handed back some land as a result of the Finniss River Land Claim. This land from Sweets Lookout to Mount Finnis is now registered as the Gurudju Land Trust. The White Eagle Aboriginal Corporation is the incorporated body that takes care of the progress and development of this land.
Wali Fejo is one of the Larrakia people, and the Principal of Nungalinya College in Darwin. He reports: 'I was grateful for the opportunity to be involved and glad to see the variety of people who came together in my country. I look forward to seeing the ideas from the symposium taken back to people's home communities.'
Patrick Green is Chair of the Junjuwa Association in Fitzroy Crossing and Chair of the Yaranggi Cattle Company (WA). He has been active for many years with Aboriginal organisations and issues in Western Australia. He is a Bunaba man and, except for the time he was in school, has spent his life in and around his own home country.
Tony Griffiths has recently completed a Master of Science degree at the Northern Territory University. His research topic focussed on the effects of both the seasonal climate and widespread fires of the Top End on the frillneck lizard. Tony has spent the majority of his 'research' life in the Top End, investigating the population ecology of small mammals, participating in fauna surveys and generally marvelling at the beauty and diversity of the Northern Territory.
Camilla Hughes (BA, LLB) came to Darwin in 1990 to practise law after graduating in Arts and Law from the University of New South Wales. Currently she lectures in constitutional law, administrative law and torts in the Law Faculty, Northern Territory University.
Rhys Jones is Professor in the Division of Archaeology and Natural History, Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies, The Australian National University. In addition to having triggered the firestick farming debate and carried out research on the use of fire as a land management tool in Arnhem Land, his research interests include the origins of humanity, human colonisation of the western Pacific and Australia, Aboriginal ecological adaptations, and historical European views about hunters and the evolution of human society. He has carried out extensive fieldwork in Tasmania, Arnhem Land, and the Daly-Fitzmaurice region of the Northern Territory.
Peter Latz is a botanist/ecologist with the Conservation Commission of the Northern Territory. He was born in Alice Springs, grew up at Hermannsburg, and then took on various jobs in the Territory before obtaining a degree in biology at Adelaide University. Since then he has completed a Masters degree at the University of New England, Armidale. His research interests are broad and include 'bushtucker' (from before it became fashionable), fire research (including fire-stick farming), rare plants and the effects of climate and grazing on plant communities.
Tony Press is the Executive Director, Biocultural Landscapes North, of the Australian Nature Conservation Agency. Based in Darwin, he is responsible for the management of the World Heritage National Parks of Uluru and Kakadu as well as nationally significant conservation areas in the Indian Ocean and Timor Sea. Tony has lived in the Territory for 10 years, the first 5 in Kakadu. He has a strong personal commitment to involving Aboriginal people in nature conservation and to the recognition by public administrators of the legitimate rights and aspirations of indigenous peoples.
Deborah Bird Rose
Deborah Bird Rose (PhD) is a Research Fellow of the North Australia Research Unit of The Australian National University. Over the past 14 years she has worked with Aboriginal people in various parts of Australia in documenting cultural, social and ecological issues of significance. She has worked with Aboriginal claimants on land claims and in land disputes, and has worked with the Aboriginal Land Commissioner as his consulting anthropologist. She is author of Dingo Makes Us Human (Cambridge University Press, winner of the 1995 Stanner Prize), and Hidden Histories (Aboriginal Studies Press, winner of the 1991 Jessie Litchfield Award for Literature). At this time her research interests are focussed on indigenous and settler concepts of 'nature' and 'productivity'.
Jeremy Russell-Smith (PhD) is Project Officer in Kakadu National Park where he is involved in fire management and related natural resource management issues. He has carried out extensive research into fire ecology and related issues in the Top End.
Peter Stanton graduated from the Australian Forestry School in Canberra in 1962 and worked for the Queensland Forestry Department until 1974. He was involved in all aspects of forestry operations, but from 1967 onwards specialised in national parks matters, carrying out extensive exploratory surveys across the State to determine potential national park areas. In 1977 he joined the Australian Parks and Wildlife Service and has since adopted a range of responsibilities. He was the Service's first Regional Director and served in that role for eight years. He has now returned to field duties in far northern Queensland as Senior Principal Conservation Officer of the Queensland Department of Environment and Heritage. Throughout much of his career he has been deeply involved in managing fire and in documenting changes in the land.
Joe Yunupingu Djalalingba is Senior Ranger and Cultural Adviser with the Dhimurru Land Management Association in Nhulunbuy, NT. He and his brother Galarrwuy Yunupingu are the senior people of their group, and are committed to teaching younger people the responsibilities of Yolngu land management. Mr Yunupingu's clan country is in the area of Cape Arnhem.