Helen is an ecologist with 30 years’ experience within the environment sector, with the goals of protecting the environment and connecting people to a positive relationship with nature. She has worked for state and local governments, universities, and not-for-profit organisations. Helen has extensive experience in conservation, restoration and biodiversity theory and practice augmented by research, human-nature relations and stakeholder and community engagement.
Helen has a PhD in the perceived wellbeing benefits of biodiversity along urban river corridors. This research combined environmental and social sciences to examine the management of urban areas for greater biodiversity with multiple benefits for ecology and human health and wellbeing. She has investigated different aspects of human-nature relationships as a research associate with People and Environment -RMIT University and Gardens for Wildlife Victoria. Helen has published in the areas of human relations with nature, wildlife populations and eucalypt physiology.
The impacts of urbanisation and climate change are an important focus for Helen and have informed her approach to developing and managing restoration of riparian and bushland reserves. She is passionate about galvanising conservation on private land especially through wildlife gardening. Her work has included monitoring of flora and fauna, threatened species management, strategy development and reserve prioritisation methodology.
Helen has extensive experience working with stakeholder and community engagement. This has resulted in supporting groups in capacity building, co-design and implementation of projects and interpretation. Helen has built successful external partnerships with industry, governments, and other organisations such as Melbourne Water, Parks Victoria, DELWP, RMIT and Latrobe universities, local council, and community Friends groups. She is skilled in interpreting information and presenting it to a variety of stakeholders in a manner that is accessible and informative.