Meet 2017 Team of Murdoch Branch

The last AGM at Murdoch Branch resulted in the election of a new group of enthusiastic Murdoch Branch Committee Members. With a few changes along the way our current committee is: President: Christine Allen, Vice-President: Diana Corbyn, Secretary: Sheree Walter, Treasurer: Mathew Woods, General Committee Members: Felicity Bairstow, Gus King, Ross Young, and Eddy Wajon. Let’s introduce you to the team:

Dr Christine Allen has been a life-long plant-lover and spent her childhood exploring the second-oldest National Park in the world, the Royal National Park in NSW. The weird and wonderful diversity of plants in the southwest of WA drew her to Perth where she completed a PhD at UWA with DPaW on threatened flora in the Stirling Range National Park. Christine is now an active advocate for conservation and sustainability. Favourite plant: Banksia coccinea.

Diana Corbyn has served as Branch President through three terms, has been a Vice President and a committee member throughout the life of the branch. Since she became a lecturer at South Metropolitan TAFE’s Murdoch Campus in 1991 she continually enthuses her love and knowledge of the local flora in hearts and minds of the students she teaches. In 1998 she initiated the wildflower walks and has continued to this day. Come on out this year and meet Diana at Wireless Hill, Orelia or Samson Park.

Sheree Walters joined Murdoch committee for the first time, few weeks after our AGM (Welcome!), and she took bravely on a responsible role of secretary. Sheree grew up in the wheatbelt region of Western Australia with a passion for the environment and natural landscapes. After completing a Bachelor degree in Environmental Science in 2014, Sheree has recently returned to Curtin University to undertake a PhD in restoration genetics of native flora. She is particularly interested in landscape ecology and the importance of biodiversity – including plants, animals, insects and fungi – in both natural and restored landscapes.

Mathew Woods is our fantastic treasurer. Mat works in the Bushland’s and Wetland’s of Perth. Mat has a Love of all plant life but especially WA natives. He is particularly fascinated by the food plants and prehistoric flora. He was exposed to the native plants very early while camping in the Jarrah forest and surrounding regions and could not get enough. This fascination led him to study Conservation and Land Management at the Challenger Institute of Technology. In his spare time Mat enjoys practicing traditional bushman skills.

Felicity Bairstow (ex McGeorge) calls herself a life long nature nerd from country WA. She has spent the last 20 or so years working to conserve bushland and wetlands south of the Swan river here in Perth. A lot of that time went into the long campaign to protect the North Lake Reserve from Roe Highway Stage 8. She is now a co-convenor of the Community Wildlife Corridor group which has the vision of transforming the now partially cleared road reserve into a wildlife corridor and trail for people to enjoy and learn about the amazing plants, animals and culture of this area. Felicity served on the Murdoch committee many years ago and is very pleased to be back on Committee and dealing with much more pleasant aspects of plant conservation.

Ross Young is fresh out of uni, having graduated from Curtin University in 2014 with a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Biology. Don’t let that fool you, though – he’s longer in the tooth than you think, as uni followed a 27-year jaunt with Commonwealth Bank (and an accounting degree). Ross has a keen interest in plant ecology (and birds) and Western Australian plants (and birds), in particular – and has always been interested in the natural world around him. As a kid, he learnt (from his Mum) the pleasure to be had from being able to recognise (and name) the plants (and birds) in the garden (which, even then, included native plants). Banksias are probably his favourite plants (especially Banksia coccinea and Banksia ilicifolia) but, if pressed, he’ll still admit to a lingering fondness for roses.

Dr Eddy Wajon loves nature – whether it be chemical, botanical or zoological, he loves beauty in all its forms. He’s been called a disrupter – challenging the status quo, thinking outside the box, trying to be different, and generally annoying those in power and supposed leadership positions. However, he tries to be creative, inclusive, contributory and a force for positive change.

Angus (Gus) King, like Eddy, loves the beauty and magic of nature, especially our native trees. Other than recognising their beauty and threatened status he knows little about native plants but can still actively contribute to preserving them for future generations. He originally studied geology but more by accident than design had a career in IT. His real passion is renewable energy and even though retired he probably still spends too much time on his computer helping to bring about its adoption rather than learning those plant names.

Come and say Hi!

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Meet Murdoch Managerial Mob

The AGM in December 2015 resulted in the election of a new group of enthusiastic Murdoch Branch Committee Members: Vice-President: Ben Sims, Secretary: Christine Allen, Treasurer: Mathew Woods, General Committee Members: Christina Birnbaum, Eddy Wajon, Diana Corbyn, Gus King, Neil Goldsborough, Ross Young, and Pawel Waryszak accepted the honour of being re-elected for the second time as Branch President. Let me introduce you to the team:

  1. Pawel Waryszak loves exploring the natural world. In 2012 he came to Perth where he commenced his PhD project at Murdoch University. Pawel’s PhD project looks at the role of the topsoil seed bank transfer in Banksia woodland restoration and he is at the stage of writing up the results now. Pawel is very grateful to Dr Phil Ladd for introducing him to the folks at Wildflower Society of WA who share his passion for wildflowers. He has always enjoyed learning about the plants that grow around him – by the time he was a teenager, he had already spent a big chunk of his pocket money on flora guides of the region he was born in (that is, in the Lublin region of Poland).
  2. Ben Sims grew up in Tasmania and had a love for nature and gardening from a young age. After finishing his Bachelor of Agricultural Science he travelled around Australia and moved to Perth in 2009. After many years travelling he decided to take his career more seriously and in 2012 started with Natural Area as an Environmental Field officer. He nearly instantly gained a passion for WA wildflowers and studied a Diploma of Conservation Land Management and joined the Wildflower Society to learn as much as he possibly could. A few years later he decided he wanted to combine his passions of gardening and nature to create environmentally friendly landscapes and promote the use of endemic and Australian species.
  3. Dr Christine Allen has been a life-long plant-lover and spent her childhood exploring the second-oldest National Park in the world, the Royal National Park in NSW. The weird and wonderful diversity of plants in the southwest of WA drew her to Perth where she completed a PhD at UWA with DPaW on threatened flora in the Stirling Range National Park. Christine is now an active advocate for conservation and sustainability. Favourite plant: Banksia coccinea.
  4. Mathew Woods works in the Bushland’s and Wetland’s of Perth. Mat has a Love of all plant life but especially WA natives. He is particularly fascinated by the food plants and prehistoric flora. He was exposed to the native plants very early while camping in the Jarrah forest and surrounding regions and could not get enough. This fascination led him to study Conservation and Land Management at the Challenger Institute of Technology. In his spare time Mat enjoys practicing traditional bushman skills.
  5. Dr Christina Birnbaum is a plant ecologist interested in a wide range of topics related to plants, including their biology and interactions with belowground micro-organisms in native and novel environments. She moved to Western Australia from Sydney, where she did her PhD on invasive Australian acacias, in 2012 and since then has been fascinated by the unique and beautiful WA flora.
  6. Diana Corbyn has served as Branch President through three terms, has been a Vice President and a committee member throughout the life of the branch. Since she became a lecturer at Challenger TAFE’s Murdoch Campus in 1991 she continually enthuses her love and knowledge of the local flora in hearts and minds of the students she teaches. In 1998 she initiated the wildflower walks and has continued to this day. Come on out this year and meet Diana at Wireless Hill, Orelia or Samson Park.
  7. Dr Eddy Wajon loves nature – whether it be chemical, botanical or zoological, he loves beauty in all its forms. He’s been called a disrupter – challenging the status quo, thinking outside the box, trying to be different, and generally annoying those in power and supposed leadership positions. However, he tries to be creative, inclusive, contributory and a force for positive change.
  8. Angus (Gus) King, like Eddy, loves the beauty and magic of nature, especially our native trees. Other than recognising their beauty and threatened status he knows little about native plants but can still actively contribute to preserving them for future generations. He originally studied geology but more by accident than design had a career in IT. His real passion is renewable energy and even though retired he probably still spends too much time on his computer helping to bring about its adoption rather than learning those plant names
  9. Neil Goldsborough is an Environmental Scientist in Environmental Restoration. Coordinator for the Friends of North Lake & an avid leader for wildflower walks. Demonstrator at Murdoch University for Introduction to Environmental Science since 2004. Has taught at Challenge TAFE (now Institute of Technology) and was an instructor for Rossmoyne Senior High School Bush Rangers. He served as Branch President for 3 years & has been on the committee since joining in 1996.
  10. Ross Young is fresh out of uni, having graduated from Curtin University in 2014 with a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Biology. Don’t let that fool you, though – he’s longer in the tooth than you think, as uni followed a 27-year jaunt with Commonwealth Bank (and an accounting degree). Ross has a keen interest in plant ecology (and birds) and Western Australian plants (and birds), in particular – and has always been interested in the natural world around him. As a kid, he learnt (from his Mum) the pleasure to be had from being able to recognise (and name) the plants (and birds) in the garden (which, even then, included native plants). Banksias are probably his favourite plants (especially Banksia coccinea and Banksia ilicifolia) but, if pressed, he’ll still admit to a lingering fondness for roses.

Come and say Hi. See more updates on our  MURDOCH BRANCH FACEBOOK PAGE.