Steve and Mike hang up their boots
On Friday 2 September, the Authority bid farewell to two of its treasured assets—Mike Stott and Steve Goosem. Both are retiring from undoubtedly the most significant and remarkable journey of their career. Mike and Steve have made extensive and significant contributions to the work of the Authority and to the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area.
Mike as our intrepid GIS expert and Steve as the organisation’s encyclopaedia of scientific knowledge.
Mike has been with the public service since 1974 commencing as a cadet with Queensland Forestry where he learnt map making and cartography. This early training instilled a real discipline in Mike’s work which is displayed through his meticulous application to every job he does. In Mike’s 25 years with the Authority, his generosity of spirit reached far beyond the Authority’s walls—training and mentoring numerous staff and other individuals, external agencies and groups in GIS. Mike provided high quality maps and services to researchers, students, land managers, conservation organisations and Traditional Owners.
A major project that Mike played a significant part in is the 1:50,000 vegetation mapping for the Wet Tropics. This mapping gives the area a finer scale definition, which provides a much more valuable asset for researchers and land managers alike. This mapping has been used as the basis for Regional Ecosystems for the Wet Tropics.
Steve has been involved in rainforest management and research in north Queensland for the last 30 years and is recognised by his peers as an international expert on the Wet Tropics of Queensland.
Completing his PhD in Botany at the University of Queensland in 1983, Steve came to the Authority in 1992 from the then EPA (QPWS). Due to his extensive knowledge of rainforest ecology, Steve has become a legend in his field. He has carved a path in ensuring that high quality researchers are attracted to the Wet Tropics. His steady influence has played a part in some very successful long term research and monitoring.
Steve has also led improvements in the presentation of World Heritage values and research to a broader audience. He initiated and developed the concept of the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area as an ‘International Learning Landscape’. The purpose of the initiative is to have the area recognised globally as a significant site for research in rainforest ecology, management and society.
Through this lens Steve has developed the World Heritage Family Project. The project elucidates the obvious evolutionary, geological, biogeographical and botanical links between the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area and several other World Heritage areas.
Although Steve’s main area of expertise is plant ecology, he has had a long association and interest in cassowaries. He authored the first Cassowary Management Plan for the Mission Beach District in 1992, wrote the initial nomination for its listing as an endangered species on the Commonwealth Governments EPBC Act in 1997 and was a member of the early Cassowary Recovery Teams from 1995 until 2006.
Steve is also a prolific author with many journal articles to his name as well as some stand out reports for the Authority.
The Authority has not only benefited from Mike and Steve’s dedication and service for 25 years, but also their friendship and humour. We will miss them dearly and wish them happiness and the best in their retirement and future endeavours.
Other movements in and out of the Authority
Many will already know Rebecca Lagerroth who has been managing the Rainforests Partnership team at the Authority for some months. Rebecca was successful in securing the position and took up her new permanent status as Manager of Aboriginal Partnerships on 1 September. We warmly welcome Rebecca to the Wet Tropics team and know her extensive skills and experience will continue to benefit many aspects of the Authority's role.
In the meantime, Rebecca and the rest of the Authority has welcomed Eli Taylor into the Aboriginal Partnerships team to replace M'Lis Flynn who is currently on leave until November this year and enjoying a well-earned rest. Eli has a Bachelor of Applied Science majoring in human geography. He has hit the ground running with his practical skills and experience in project management, GIS, research, and cross cultural engagement, including in remote Aboriginal communities in the Northern Territory and with Girringun's Indigenous Protected Areas Program.
Zoe Andolfatto, also a valued member of our Aboriginal Partnerships team has taken up a secondment opportunity to act in a Senior Project Officer position with the EHP Indigenous Land & Sea Ranger program until the end of February 2017. Zoe will prepare for the Ranger Workshop being held in March next year and support ranger groups of Mapoon, Aurukun and Eastern Kuku Yalanji. We wish Zoe all the best and hope she keeps us briefed on her new endeavours.