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Professor Phil Duncan joins board of NSW Biodiversity Conservation Trust

Giovanni Torre -

The New South Wales Biodiversity Conservation Trust has welcomed two new board members to support work to expand private land conservation in the state.

Professor Leslie ‘Phil’ Duncan, a member of the Gomeroi / Gamilaroi Nation with a strong connection to the Wiradjuri Nation, has a background in natural resource management and community engagement, with extensive experience providing policy and  leadership advice to Indigenous organisations and government agencies.

On Wednesday the Trust said the appointment of Professor Duncan ensures Indigenous representation on the BCT Board, following the sad passing last year of respected Kamilaroi man and inaugural NSW Biodiversity Conservation Trust Board member, Mr Russell Taylor AM.

The other new board member,
Fiona Simson, is a farmer and experienced policy, governance and strategy non-executive Director, with a career in agricultural advocacy and policy development. She was also the first female Chair of the National Farmers’ Federation.

In addition to the two new members, academic and environmental researcher Dr David Freudenberger has been reappointed to the BCT Board.

They join continuing Board members the Niall Blair (Chairperson), Christine Covington  (Deputy Chair), Tim King CFA, John Maher, John Pierce AO, and Dr Jane Weatherley.

Outgoing board member Ms Karen Zirkler was thanked by the Trust for her "significant contribution to the Trust’s  strategy and direction over the past four years".

Ms Zirklers experience with biodiversity conservation in the agricultural sector has helped the Trust engage with private land holders," the organisation said in a statement.

Fiona Simpson. Image: supplied. 


The NSW Biodiversity Conservation Trust is the NSW government agency tasked with protecting and enhancing biodiversity on private land across the state. Landholders enter into a long-term agreement with the BCT to maintain and enhance biodiversity on their properties.

Minister for the Environment, Penny Sharpe, said she was "very pleased to welcome Professor Leslie ‘Phil’ Duncan and Ms Fiona Simson to the Board".

“Ms Simson and Professor Duncan bring a wealth of expertise and knowledge and are a strong addition to a team which guides the Biodiversity Conservation Trust in its innovative and science- based programs," she said.

“Professor Duncans natural resource management expertise and experience working with Aboriginal people and government will help the Trust continue to expand Indigenous participation in their programs.

“Ms Simson brings a strong background in agricultural policy advocacy to the Board, particularly in relation to environmental sustainability, biodiversity and climate change on farms."

The Minister thanked
Ms Zirkler "for her service and support to conserve biodiversity in NSW over the past  four years".



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