In the best interests of flora and fauna in the bush

Following are recordings of presentations by speakers at the Mallacoota Community Safety and Resilience Support Group Project on 17 September 2016. A bushfire safety orientated community field day that covered a wide range of subjects, with local emergency services, government agencies and service and community groups participating.

While some of the recordings have volume variations they are all worth hearing.

Emeritus Professor William “Bill” Gammage, AM, FASSA

is an historian and adjunct professor in the Humanities Research Centre at the Australian National University. He is a multi-award winning author who, for his book “The Biggest Estate on Earth – how aborigines made Australia”, was awarded the 2012 Prime Minister’s Prize for Australian History, 2012 Victorian Prize for Literature and 2012 ACT Book of the year award, just to name a few.

Fire in 1788
Q and A

John Mulligan

was born and raised in Mallacoota in his early days.  He experienced life on the land and was a former owner of the now non-existent Gipsy Point hotel during which time he conducted tours of the local area and has a wealth of knowledge of the ‘old timers’ and their stories.  He brings valuable first-hand historical knowledge to the Howitt Society, having observed changes to the bush of East Gippsland, particularly concerning life and bushfire over many years.

Fire in East Gippsland before 1950s

Malcolm Gill, OAM

Graduated from Melbourne University with an agricultural science and subsequent research degrees, Malcolm spent nearly five years in USA. Then, in 1971 he joined CSIRO as their first full-time fire ecologist. After retiring from CSIRO he continued his research at the Australian National University’s Fenner School of Environment and Society in Canberra. His research interests include fire weather, fire behaviour, fire management and the effects fires on biodiversity, water supply, people and houses. In Australia, his study areas have included tropical savannas, deserts and a range of ecosystems in south-eastern Australia but especially forests. He was a member of the 2003 Victorian Bushfire Inquiry and an expert witness for the 2009 Victorian Bushfires Royal Commission. He was personally, socially and professionally involved in the 2003 Canberra bushfires. He has been published widely.

Personal story about bush fires in Canberra

Peter Allard

Fire management, forest and weed management, ecology and native animals

Vic Jurskis, B.Sc (Forestry)
Australia National University

Photo by Ben Marden

renowned as one of Australia’s eminent Eucalypt scientists, was silviculturist with the Native Forests Division of Forests New South Wales. He has written extensively on forest management issues.  Vic resides in Eden and is author of “Firestick Ecology – fair dinkum science in plain English”.

how to burn
Q and A

David Packham, OAM, MAppSci

worked for 40 years in bushfire research with CSIRO, Monash University and the Australian Emergency Management Institute. He was responsible for fire-weather services in the Bureau of Meteorology. His extensive research concentrated on the physics of bushfires, and he applied this research to practical issues including the development of aerial prescribed burning, non-evacuation of properties, modelling of fire behaviour, and forensics. He consults extensively on survival of people during bushfires, on fire risk and on coronial inquiries into deaths during fire-fighting.

wildfire threat today, fire intensity, who stands to gain from wildfire disaster, failure of those responsible for land management