The Who’s Who of ‘A Conservation Conversation’

The line-up at this year's celebration of conservation (clockwise from top left): Professor Darryl Jones; Cara Parsons; Professor Don Henry AM; Revel Pointon.

The line-up at this year’s celebration of conservation (clockwise from top left): Professor Darryl Jones; Cara Parsons; Professor Don Henry AM; Revel Pointon.

This year, WPSQ’s celebration of another year in conservation will be held at the beautiful Bulimba Golf Club where friends and supporters of the Society will enjoy drinks, canapes and a 2-course dinner along with A Conservation Conversation: Across the Generations hosted by behavioural ecologist and Griffith University’s resident bird expert, Professor Darryl Jones. But exactly who will Professor Jones have in the hot seat on November 17 as Wildlife Queensland presents this not-to-be-missed coming together of the conservation community?

Based in the Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute as the ‘Melbourne Enterprise Professor of Environmentalism’, Professor Don Henry AM spends his days providing leadership and vision in the fields of environmental policy development and reform, climate change, and sustainability. He is an International Board Member of The Climate Reality Project and is the strategy advisor to its Chair, the Hon. Al Gore, former Vice President of the United States. His current research engagement program is to support the Paris Agreement on climate change, encouraging greater ambition in its goals and building support for a strong ‘ratchet mechanism’, including five-yearly reviews of national commitments.

“Don represents extensive interests and experience over a long period of time and many campaigns,” said Darryl of his “old guard” panel member. “His status is therefore of someone with the most perspective on how things have changed and what may have worked in terms of effectively pushing the conservation agenda, and what may no longer be the case.

“He is still such a passionate and humble person, despite his achievements,” Darryl said.

Joining Professor Henry as the middle panel member in terms of age and experience will be Law Reform, Education and Advice Solicitor with Environmental Defenders Office Queensland, and winner of the 2018 Mahla Pearlman Award for the Australian Young Environmental Lawyer of the Year, Revel Pointon.

“Revel is someone who can articulate brilliantly the absolute necessity of being in the game from a legal and policy perspective,” said Professor Jones. “You can only be really effective if you can fight these battles with a detailed knowledge and a strong determination to think clearly and see through the mist of misinformation and obfuscation.

“She is scarily focused; the quintessential lawyer with a massive heart.”

And what of the millennial perspective? Despite being the panel’s youngest member, ecology Honours student and senior PASS leader for Griffith University, Cara Parsons, is viewed with equal admiration by Professor Jones. “Cara is similar to all of the above with the added ingredients of bloody-mindedness (despite being a vegan!) and a commitment to continuous communication and connectedness.

“She also embodies the passion and enthusiasm of youth, along with the personal determination to change the world NOW,” he said.

Professor Jones is genuinely excited by the opportunity to host a discussion between these three respected conservationists whom he believes “will complement each other really well”, though he warns, “I fully expect them to go off on their own tangents and I will probably have to bring a cattle prod to keep order.”

In particular, he is looking forward to asking each of them, “What do you think is the biggest issue we face and what are you doing about this?” Wildlife Queensland joins Professor Darryl Jones in urging everyone to come along and hear the answers to this and many more burning questions at what he tips to be “an entertaining, funny, devastating and thoroughly engaging night that will tell us what really matters, why there is still so much hope and how we can all make a profound difference.”

Tickets to ‘A Conservation Conversation’ are now selling with student and group concessions available – don’t miss our Early Bird Special!

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