Role: Organiser, Educator
Biography: I have been a member of staff of Ecosystem Management since 2000, although I have been involved in teaching within the discipline since 1992. For the 20 years prior to coming to UNE I worked in natural resource management in Australia and overseas, while employed by a range of government and non-government agencies and international development organisations.
My teaching and research interests lie in the areas of natural resource policy, rural extension and environmental dispute resolution. I also have a particular interest in resource management in developing countries, with my specialisation being in African pastoral development.
I have a strong professional and research interest in the developing field of environmental dispute resolution. I have trained in facilitation, conflict resolution, mediation, and negotiation and am the Director of the recently instituted Centre for Environmental Dispute Resolution at UNE (CEDR).
Research I conducted in NSW between 2002-2004 with 6 Regional Vegetation Management Committees and 5 Regional Water Management Committees clearly demonstrated to me that training in negotiation, conflict resolution, and consensus building would have greatly benefited the reaching of agreement within these committees.
The Speaksoftly project is based on the premise that many natural resource management conflicts can be avoided or mitigated when stakeholder representatives undertake training in collaborative negotiation and community consensus building. I hope that, through this Speaksoftly pilot project, we can gradually build an accessible training framework that will allow community members to develop their environmental negotiation and consensus building knowledge, skills, and behaviours.