WHO we are

We are just like you…   

"We know the true value of unique people and their places"   

Our Conservation Management team are hand picked conservation industry professionals from across the country, ensuring the most suitably trained and experienced people deliver the necessary component of the specific project or program, to enable ongoing improvements and progress to the next stage of the conservation process. All jobs are overseen and delivered as required by the Directors of Conservation Management Pty Ltd, Stuart Cowell, David Whitelaw and Alistair Dermer.


Stuart Cowell - Director

Stuart owes his expertise in Healthy Country Planning to over twenty-five years of experience, working at the forefront of Natural Resource Management. Stuart is renowned for a pragmatic approach to land management, ensuring all stakeholder needs are met while helping to find solutions and an effective path forwards.

Stuart has experience in both the public and private natural resource sectors on a national level. He has the proven ability to work with people and communities to help build healthier landscapes.

Stuart’s role in developing the Healthy Country Plan concept, as well as his skills in strategic planning and facilitation, and the application of the Open Standards for the Practice of Conservation makes him an invaluable member of Conservation Management.

Read more about Stuart at Linked In


David Whitelaw - Director

David’s pragmatic skills apply to all aspects of land and sea operations, organisational risk, safety and governance, and have been demonstrated nationally in both the public and private sector. He brings more than twenty years of leadership experience in managing protected areas, and is committed to making communities stronger and landscapes healthier.

David is motivated by the Conservation Management mission to positively impact the world around us. He is drawn to opportunities that connect people to country and embraces change as a sign of innovation and good things to come, while respecting traditions and culture.

David’s practical experience implementing all elements of land management within cultural landscapes across Australia makes him an invaluable member of the Conservation Management team.

Read more about David at Linked In


Alistair Dermer – Director

Alistair owes his knowledge and skills of operations and implementation to over twenty years of experience in practical land management.

He has managed properties from the rainforests of Tasmania to remote dune fields in Western Queensland and has worked from within many communities across Australia. He specialises in operational program management, including planning, implementation, monitoring and communications. 

Alistair’s has diverse experience in managing large protected areas and associated complex programs, incorporating ‘cultural landscape values’ into protected area management. His focus on connecting people and places makes him an invaluable member of the Conservation Management team in building healthier ecosystems.

Read more about Alistair at Linked In

Staff and Associate Profiles - Conservation Management has a dedicated team to ensure the right skills and support are there when needed

Toona Berwick – Philanthropy and Client Relations

Toona has worked for the past ten years with a wide range of community groups and organisations to lift innovative project ideas off the ground.

Toona’s skills include helping to design, articulate and value projects, to attract philanthropic funding. Her interest in Philanthropy as a funding source is in its ability to elevate an isolated project into a powerful tool for collective impact. Her extensive fundraising experience and knowledge of the Australian grants network helps build support for clients and enables access to funds relevant to Conservation Management.

Toona grew up in a farming family within the Daintree Rainforest, a landscape closely connected to the Great Barrier Reef.  She is passionate about contributing to positive social and environmental change. She believes people, culture and environment cannot be separated, and loves working with Conservation Management at the intersection of these fundamental systems.

Read more about Toona at Linked In

Paula Deegan – Open Standards Facilitator and Planner

Paula’s experience comes from thirty years of working in Natural Resource Management, much of it in strategic planning for both public and private land. She was drawn to the practice of Open Standards and later to Healthy Country Planning because of the practical way in which planning is embedded as an essential step in the land management process. 

Paula’s belief in learning from and sharing successes and failures complements the adaptive management framework of the Open Standards, as do her renowned skills in helping land managers to link science with practical needs.

Her passion lies in empowering people and therefore creating healthier landscapes. Her skills and dedication in this and more makes her an excellent addition to the Conservation Management team.

Read more about Paula at Linked In

Karen Harrland – Professional Writer

Karen has worked and lived in landscapes from the Simpson Desert to Tasmania in the fields of conservation, education and writing.

Her experience living and working on remote properties together with a passion for community building has taken her from roles in large scale property management to teaching kids about conservation both in schools and the bush.

Karen is tertiary trained in Environmental Management and Agricultural Science as well as being a qualified teacher. Her passion for educating about the environment have helped guide her experience and skillset. Karen is a published author, and is proud to use her collective experience in weaving words and land management for research and writing within Conservation Management.

Read more about Karen at Linked In

Anton Ingarfield – Miradi Mechanic

Anton has direct experience and skills in Protected Area Planning, including developing plans and policies with traditional owners of the Nambucca Valley on the NSW North coast.

He worked for nearly twenty years in environmental education and park management, and is passionate about Indigenous land management and cultural landscapes, as well as the dynamics of vegetation communities.

Anton has qualifications and skills in forest ecology, geomorphology and human sciences in addition to Protected Area Planning.

Now based in Tasmania, he sees working for Conservation Management as an ideal opportunity to help Indigenous land managers in their aspirations.

Ross Kermode – Creative Design and Communications Support

Ross has been actively involved in environmental project management, creative design, and publishing for over 25 years, with many projects focusing on promoting environmental and indigenous awareness.

Ross’s ability to simplify complex information and develop visual aids, helps people to understand and connect with information.  His all-around skills and experience enable him to identify the many layers and perspectives involved in understanding, implementing and then communicating detailed projects and ideas.
Ross has broad experience in mentoring indigenous rangers, design work, indigenous engagement, remote operational activities and database development, and ensures he maintains a practical approach that functions on the ground and in the office. He sees the work Conservation Management is doing with their clients as vital to moving towards healthier country. 

Saras Kumar – Conservation Impact Specialist

Saras has extensive experience in monitoring and evaluation, community engagement and cooperative management of protected areas.  Her expertise is in bringing together local communities, governments, NGOs and corporations to wisely use natural resources and protect areas of conservation significance.

She has over twenty years’ experience in South East Asia and Australia in leadership positions within NGO, private and government sectors.

She seeks out opportunities to support social and environmental outcomes through connection to a healthy natural environment. This has led her to co-found Reef Check Malaysia, involve local communities in the development of South Australia’s nineteen new marine parks and facilitate the cooperative management of national parks with Aboriginal communities.

Saras’s experience working in a variety of environments and diverse cultures enables her to help build stronger communities and healthier land and sea scapes.

Read more about Saras at Linked In

Astrid Roubicek – Business Systems and Office Manager

Astrid has a diverse skillset and knowledge base which she brings to the Office Manager role. Astrid’s skills include Human Resource Management, along with administrative support, design and photography.

Astrid’s role in Conservation Management allows her to work with local and remote teams utilising current online technologies. Her responsibilities include accounting, payroll, invoicing and reconciliations, as well as assisting in building governance capacity of clients.  

Astrid has great admiration and respect for the work Conservation Management carries out. She is a valuable addition to the Conservation Management team.

Read more about Astrid at Linked In

Mel Sheppard – Community and Partnerships Program Support

Mel’s extensive experience includes developing Aboriginal community ranger groups, planning for private conservation reserves and fieldwork in National Parks. She has worked in landscapes from the Kimberley region of Western Australia to the East coast of Australia in roles such as negotiating joint management with government, capacity building projects for Aboriginal Corporations, and developing commercial partnership agreements.

Mel is passionate about Indigenous land management, applying her communication and planning skills to help people bring their aspirations for country into reality.

Mel believes that with a respectful and collaborative interplay between land users in modern Australia, we can grow together as a nation, honouring the cultures that have shaped the country. Mel’s project management skills and recent Indigenous corporation experience adds significant value to the Conservation Management team.

Read more about Mel at Linked In

Daniel Sprod – Open Standards Planner, Facilitator and Spatial Systems Support

Daniel’s primary skills are in environmental planning. He is a coach and trainer in the Open Standards in the practice of conservation, and his other areas of expertise include Geographical Information Systems (GIS/mapping). 

He is passionate about maps, and the way they help people understand what is important in a landscape, and how things fit together. 

Empowering people and helping them to bring their aspirations into reality is a passion of Daniel’s, which, along with his love of nature, makes him an excellent addition to the Conservation Management team.

Philippa Walsh – Open Standards Facilitator and Planner

Philippa Walsh (Pip) has over twenty-five years’ experience working in conservation and is highly regarded for her strategic planning skills. Pip has been heavily involved in the development and delivery of innovative projects and partnerships at a landscape scale.

Pip has extensive experience in leading workshops in the use of the Open Standards.  She is a leader in the industry, providing both individual and team support as needed. She works closely with a number of organisations in Australia and the Asia Pacific as a Conservation Coach, through which networks she shares her passion for equipping teams to learn from their projects and each other.

Pip brings together strong policy and evaluation experience, a high level of facilitation skills as well as a sound understanding of a diversity of funding, governance and operational models. She is a valuable member of the Conservation Management team.

Read more about Philippa at Linked In

Frank Weisenberger – Open Standards Facilitator and Planner

Frank has worked extensively with Indigenous Communities on Conservation Planning, Business Development and Natural and Cultural Resource Management.

Frank brings his skillset as an Open Standards facilitator and trainer to the Conservation Management team. Frank has extensive knowledge in training conservation practitioners in the Healthy Country Planning Methodology and coaching teams in the development of Healthy Country Plans.

Equipped with a tertiary background in Geography, Anthropology and Tourism Management, Frank previously worked for the Kimberley Land Council and now supports Indigenous communities for Conservation Management.

Frank believes that a critical success factor for long-lasting conservation outcomes is the inclusion of community and stakeholders in all phases of the adaptive management cycle through culturally appropriate, respectful and participatory processes.

Read more about Frank at Linked In

OUR guides

Our clients needs direct us…

"Respect, confidentiality and confidence - working in the right way"

Our team and our associates understand the diversity of environments and the communities associated with them.
Having closely worked with many indigenous communities over many years, we are all aware of key protocols and the need to be respectful of cultural values. 

We know some of the information we work with may require levels of confidentiality and we have a proven ability to maintain protection of information where identified.

It is all about ensuring our clients are confident in working with us, so they can comfortably communicate their ideas, show what is most important to them and to help us best meet their needs.


A deep pool that reflects effort…

"Combining expertise, opportunity and measurable collective impacts"

We work with many like minded people and organizations.
Our key interest is to see work we help develop be sustained.
Partnership and relationship opportunities are a key part of achieving this.
We have always got our eyes, ears and minds open to identify connections that could be mutually beneficial for our clients and others.

Our collective contacts include;

Communications associates

To see positive change...