who we are
The management committee of PTBA has many long standing members who also hold senior roles in member organisations. Each member participates for the purpose of contributing to outcomes in conservation, rather than self-fulfillment.
Raised in rural Scotland, Sheena Gillman had been a member of the RSPB since her youth. After studying and working in Edinburgh, London and Oxford, she then settled in the Whitsundays and with her husband, established the first medical practice in the Whitsunday town of Airlie Beach.
After living in large busy cities, life in rural Queensland was somewhat surreal. The family’s leisure time was spent sailing, diving or taking picnic trips to places like Eungella National Park. Becoming an avid bird watcher was inevitable.
Sheena has belonged to both Birds Queensland and BirdLife Australia for over three decades and has received conservation awards from Queensland Conservation Council, Birds Qld & BirdLife SQ. In June 2023 she was awarded BirdLife Australia’s Honorary Life Membership.
Despite a long association with ‘birding’, Sheena describes herself as a generalist and is concerned that conservation must be a ‘whole of landscape’ approach.
In discussion with Lee Curtis while both were attending a wildlife tourism workshop, Sheena decided a group was required which would bring together naturalists eager to contribute to conservation advocacy. Lee had co-edited Queensland’s Threatened Animals (CSIRO Publishing 2012) and recognised species were being monitored to extinction.
With a leap of faith, Sheena hired the Tribal Theatre and invited Sharyn Munro to launch her book, ‘Rich Land Waste Land – How Coal is Killing Australia’. The Bimblebox Nature Refuge was under siege for coal mining, so the opportunity to screen the film of Bimblebox’s story, seemed too good to miss. Surprisingly, a profit of $1.200s was raised at that event; this became the seed funding required to establish Protect the bush Alliance in October 2012.
Dr. Stephen Prowse
Stephen Prowse is a retired research scientist and was formerly the CEO of two Cooperative Research Centres and held Adjunct Professorial positions. Prior to that, Dr Prowse was a research Scientist with CSIRO. After retirement, Stephen commenced work as an environmental advocate. Stephen currently coordinates biodiversity surveys for PTBA, serves on the Birds Queensland Management Committee, and is a co-editor of “The Sunbird”, the research journal of Birds Queensland.
Stephen has a strong interest in the translation of research outputs into impact, especially in delivering broader community benefits. In his recent positions, he has had oversight of numerous projects and programs that have involved the use of research outputs to change policy and practice. Dr Prowse has a background in disease research in humans and livestock with a focus on pathogenesis, and the development of vaccines and diagnostics. Dr Prowse is the author of over 100 publications in refereed journals, books, industry journals, and online. Dr. Prowse is a reviewer for various journals and funding organizations and has served on Government and industry advisory and policy committees.
Dr. Christine Galbraith
A lifelong nature lover and explorer of Australia’s natural areas, Chris has spent the decade since retirement as a medical practitioner being actively involved in environmental work, community involvement and education in the Enoggera Creek catchment
Dr. Bridget Lewis
Dr Bridget Lewis is an Associate Professor in the School of Law at Queensland University of Technology, where she researches environmental human rights. She has written numerous articles, books and submissions on human rights-based approaches to climate change and other environmental challenges. In addition to acting as Secretary of PTBA, Bridget is currently Deputy Convenor of BirdLife Southern Queensland.
Mr. Paul Donatiu
Paul Donatiu heads up the Biodiversity Conservation Team in Healthy Land and Water. Paul has a study background in architecture, psychology and environmental management, and has worked for Greening Australia, WWF, Griffith University and the Queensland National Parks Association. Paul has a strong interest in native flora, threatened species recovery, restoration ecology, disturbance ecology, fire management, and how native plants and animals are dealing with the impacts of a changing climate. Paul has completed a fellowship overseas examining how national agencies in Europe, USA and South Africa were dealing with climate impacts on protected areas.
Dr. Richard Noske
Dr Richard Noske was a Senior Lecturer in Biology at Charles Darwin University (CDU) in Darwin, Northern Territory, for 26 years. He has written or co-written three books, a dozen book chapters, and over 120 scientific journal papers, mostly concerning the ecology of Australian and Indonesian birds. He has been Chief Editor of three ornithological journals for 5-20 years. An Adjunct Senior Fellow at the Centre for Biodiversity and Conservation Science, University of Queensland, Richard supports many conservation organisations.
Vanessa Moscato BSc (Hons)
Vanessa has worked as an ecologist, project manager, and consultant in the SEQ environment sector for 20 years. She gained valuable experience working with not-for-profit community groups on a range of grassroots projects including water watch, seagrass watch, platypus watch, Landcare, and bush care. She coordinated and leveraged funding for multi-year collaborative research projects looking at sub catchment processes influencing water quality and restoration of critical habitats. For the past 10 years, Vanessa has been assessing the impacts of civil developments on matters of environmental significance, and providing advice on legislative compliance including offsets. In 2021, Vanessa returned to research, specialising in rainforest botany, and completed a long-term study into the survival and recruitment of trees in old-growth rainforest. Vanessa is currently making local refinements to state regional ecosystem mapping for Noosa Council. Vanessa joined Protect the Bush Alliance in 2019 and dedicates much of her time to identifying, understanding and advocating for the urgent protection of old growth, high conservation value ecosystems.
- Honours Research (Understanding changes in dry rainforest over 40 years, University of Queensland, 2021
- Bachelor of Science (University of the Sunshine Coast, 2006)
- Regional Ecosystem Training and Rainforest Plant Identification Certificate, 2018
- First Aid & Perform CPR, 2018
- Caring for Orphaned Mammals Certificate, 2017
- Permaculture Design Certificate, 2015
- Fauna handling/spotter catching and Venomous snake handling Certificates, 2015
- TAFE – Cert IV Conservation, Cert III Water Quality, Cert III Horticulture, 2008 -2014
Sophie is a field ecologist/ zoologist, working in Far North Queensland. Sophie has completed a Masters in Conservation Biology and a Bachelor in Science (Biodiversity & Conservation). She spends her time outdoors, hiking, surfing and bird watching.
Tida is a conservation scientist with an interest in improving the integration of research into planning, policy and practice; working in partnership with Indigenous communities in ways that combine Indigenous knowledge systems and western science, and the effective communication of science tailored to different stakeholder needs. Her current work is focused o the impacts of invasive species on Australia’s native plants and animals.
Judith Hoyle was a founding member of Protect the Bush Alliance, serving as Chair for two years. Judith is a nurse by profession and has worked at senior levels with multi-million-dollar budgetary responsibilities. She has a highly developed collaborative leadership style with extensive experience in managing complex systems and building highly effective teams.
She has been a keen amateur birder for 40 years. In the last 15 years she has coordinated and led multiple bird surveys for BirdLife Australia and other conservation organisations, from the Queensland coast to the Great Sandy Desert.
In 2012, soon after the merger that produced BirdLife Australia (BLA), Judith joined the committee of BirdLife Southern Queensland (BSQ), becoming its Convenor in the same year – a position she held for nine years. Under her leadership, BSQ became one of the highest profile regional branches of BLA.
Her conservation work for migratory shorebirds associated with the campaign to stop the commercial development of part of a Ramsar site at Toondah in Queensland has given her a high public and media profile. The campaign has become a national exemplar of the importance of mobilising local communities to challenge inappropriate developments that threaten bird populations and critically endangered species.
Dr. Ronda Green
Ronda J Green, BSc (Hons) PhD is an adjunct research fellow at Griffith University, her main research involving seed dispersal by frugivorous birds and effects of habitat alteration on wildlife. Lectureships have included population ecology, community ecology, conservation biology, nature tourism, wildlife tourism, nature activities for primary teachers and social biology at tertiary institutions, as well as adult education courses in Wildlife of Southeast Queensland and Bird Behaviour. In 1996 she started Araucaria Ecotours, specialising in educational wildlife tours. She is chair of the Scenic Rim branch of the Wildlife Preservation Society of Queensland, through which she has organised various workshops, field trips and expos, fauna surveys, a Bioblitz, and a project to establish wildlife corridors in the Scenic Rim. She is also chair of Wildlife Tourism Australia Inc., and has authored and co-authored reports for the Sustainable Tourism CRC, a report for UNWTO on sustainable wildlife tourism in Asia and the Pacific, and various books, chapters and articles on wildlife and wildlife tourism.