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Bushfire Advisory Committee

Robert Pallin (Bushfire Advisory Committee Chair)

Robert was Chairperson of the Nature Conservation Council of NSW (2000-2005). He is Chairman of the Paddy Pallin group of companies and member of NPWS South Coast Advisory Committee. Robert is currently the NCC’s Representative on the Illawarra Bush Fire Management Committee, and the Lord Howe Island Bush Fire Management Committee the Bush Fire Co-ordinating Committee. He was a councilor on Ku-ring-gai Council (1991 to 1995) and chaired the Hornsby Ku-ring-gai Bush Fire Management Committee.

Prof. Don White, BEng, CEng, FIChemE

Don is the Chairperson of the Nature Conservation Council of NSW. He is a Manager and Engineer by training and profession and is now an Adjunct A/Professor in Engineering at the University of Sydney. Don was a Board member of the Environmental Protection Authority NSW 2008-12. He is also a Volunteer Fire-fighter and Publicity Officer for the Laguna Fire Brigade, Coordinator of Green Shareholders, Member of the Environmental Trust Waste Committee, the Load Based Licencing technical Review Panel of EPA and a member of the Contaminated Lands Auditor accreditation panel of EPA.  Don has been a keen volunteer Bush Regenerator and is the Local Resident Group Coordinator.

Bob Conroy, B.A.(Geography, Biology), GradDip.EnvStudies, MMgt.

Bob Conroy has more than 40 years of experience in protected area management in both operational and executive roles. Bob has a strong interest in fire management strategy, policy and planning and has represented the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service for more than 10 years on the Bush Fire Coordinating Committee and the Australasian Fire and Emergency Service Authorities Council. Bob is currently a Deputy Captain with Coal and Candle RFB, now represents the Minister for the Environment on the NSW Bush Fire Coordinating Committee and represents NCC on the Rural Fire Service Advisory Council. Bob is also a member of the World Commission on Protected Areas and the IUCN Expert Assessment Group for the Green List. As a Director of ARRDENT Pty Ltd, Bob has recently undertaken a fire policy review for Parks Australia was a member of the AFAC audit team for the 2016 Tasmanian bushfires. Bob is also a recipient of the National Fire Medal, AFAC Special Acknowledgement Award for Contribution to the Industry and is a Churchill Fellow.

Grahame Douglas, PhD Bushfire Weather and Fire Behaviour

Grahame began his interest is bushfire matters in the late 1980’s representing environmental interests on the then Bush Fire Council. In 1993 he was appointed to the Bush Fire Coordinating Committee. In 1996 he was Environment Officer within the then Department of Bush Fire Services and held a number of positions including Manager, Planning and Environment. Grahame has worked with the NSW Rural Fire Service in the area of community safety for more than 15 years and was responsible for developing the legislative provisions and policy relating to bush fire risk management planning, development control for bushfire prone areas, environmental impact of hazard reduction activities and assisted in initial changes to the NSW variations to the BCA. He was the principal author of Planning for Bushfire Protection in 2001 and 2006 and is currently chair of TAC/20 and represents the FPAA in the review of AS3959 Construction in Bushfire Prone Areas. Grahame now lectures at the Western Sydney University in the Post Graduate Bush Fire Protection. He has completed his PhD in NSW bushfire weather and fire behaviour under the influence of climate change.

Greg Mullins AO, AFSM, MMgt, FIFireE

Greg served as Commissioner of Fire & Rescue NSW from 2003-2017; the second longest serving Commissioner in the organisation’s history, and the first person to come through the ranks to be both Chief Fire Officer and CEO. He has a long history in bushfire control, as a member of his local volunteer bushfire brigade from 1972 to 1982, as a full-time firefighter from 1978 to 2017, and as a volunteer firefighter with the RFS from 2016 to the present. During his career he worked as Blue Mountains Hazard Reduction Officer, Sydney Region Hazard Reduction Officer, Officer in Charge Bushfire Section, Alternate 41F nominee for Hornsby Kuringai, Director State Operations, member of the NSW Bushfire Coordinating Committee, and he oversaw many major firefighting operations including the 2001/02, 2007, and 2013 bushfires. He was a awarded a Commendation for Courageous Action for a rescue during the 1994 bushfires in Lane Cove, where he was in charge of field operations. Greg as a Masters Degree in Management, is a graduate of the Executive Fire Officer Program at the US National Fire Academy, completed a Churchill Fellowship on aircraft and bushfire control in 1995, and is a Fellow of the Institution of Fire Engineers. Prior to retirement he was President and Board Chair of AFAC, the peak council for fire and emergency services in Australia and NZ, and was Australian Director of the International Fire Chiefs’ Association of Asia. He is currently Chair of the NSW Ambulance Service Advisory Board, and in 2019 formed Emergency Leaders for Climate Action, which has influenced national debate on the links between climate change and major bushfires. He is a keen bush regenerator.

Jane Gye, B. Sc. (Hons) Geology and Geophysics, GradDip. EnvEd.

Jane has been a BFAC member since 2006 and a qualified bush regenerator since 1982. Currently a Bushcare supervisor with Ku-ring-gai Council (20 years) and lately with National Trust (15 years) and Hornsby Council (10 years). Committee member of the Australian Association of Bush Regenerators since 2002. Jane was a member and chair of Ku-ring-gai Council's Bushland Management Advisory Committee in the 1990s. 

Judy Lambert, AM, BPharm, BSc(Hons), PhD (Pharmacology), Grad Dip EnvMgt, Grad Dip Business Admin

Judy’s interest in fire management began with early experience growing up in a family deeply involved in volunteer fire services. Living on a farm in north-eastern Victoria she experienced a major fast-moving grass fire at unpleasantly close proximity. Judy’s career spans time as a research scientist, an advocate for a national environmental NGO, a fulltime consultant to a former Federal Minister for the Environment, and a long-time partner in a small consultancy business. Judy and her then business partner the late Dr Jane Elix worked as facilitators for NCC’s pilot Hotspots Program (2007-2010), using their shared consensus-building, conflict resolution and NRM/ecological management skills and learned much about fire management from the diversity of experts/stakeholder participants. Judy is an NCC representative on the Mosman-North Sydney-Willoughby and Northern Beaches BFMCs. She has also been a community leader in collaborative research on the influence of hazard reduction burns in restoring Critically Endangered Eastern Suburbs Banksia Scrub on North Head at Manly.

Jim Morrison, B.A. (Geography and Planning), Grad.Dip. Ecology

Jim is currently the Northern Regional representative on Nature Conservation Council of NSW Executive committee. He was the NCC's representative on Kyogle BFMC for five years and is currently the alternate representative on the Northern Rivers BFMC. Jim was directly involved in the development and implementation of the 'Cultural Connections' model for Indigenous engagement from 2007 - 2010. He was the NCC representative on Native Vegetation and Water Committees and the Upper North Coast Catchment Management Board. Jim is President of the North Coast Environment Council Inc. and has undertaken postgraduate studies in conflict resolution at UNE Armidale.

Kate McShea, M.App.Sc Wildlife Health & Population Management, B.Sc

Kate is the Coordinator of the Healthy Ecosystems Program and has been working with the Nature Conservation Council of NSW since 2008. With a keen interest and experience in fire ecology, environmental management and both terrestrial and aquatic conservation, Kate coordinates delivery of the Hotspots Fire Project (Hotspots) with the NSW Rural Fire Service as well as the broader and longer term aspirations of the Healthy Ecosystems programs within NCC.

Dr Simon Heemstra, PhD Uow. BSc (Hons) UNSW. FBAN

Dr Simon Heemstra is the manager of the Bureau of Meteorology's Hazard Preparedness and Response – National section. Under Simon, HPR-Nat currently provides decision support for the commonwealth and our emergency service partners, guides strategic development of Bureau warning products and services, and coordinates Bureau representation at national committees. Simon was employed by the New South Wales Rural Fire Service from 2002 to 2020 and held a range of roles including state research policy and training for areas including Bush Fire Risk Management, Community Planning, Prescribed Burn Planning, Environmental Assessment, Fire Behaviour Analysis and Bush Fire Impact Analysis. Simon has been chair of the AFAC Predictive Services Group, a member of the National Fire Danger Ratings Review working group, chair of the Climate Change Working Group and lead end user for the Bush Fire and Natural Hazards CRC Fire Behaviour Research Stream. Simon has been a volunteer firefighter in the NSW RFS since 1994.

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