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Our Management Committee

ANPC Annual General Meeting held Wednesday 16 November 2022

The Annual General Meeting of the Australian Network for Plant Conservation Inc. (ANPC) was held on Wednesday 16 November 2022 over Zoom and in person at the Australian National Botanic Gardens.

We said thank you and farewell to our committee member Meredith Cosgrove who has finished her term.

We welcomed Leonie Monks to the ANPC Management Committee and welcomed back Linda Broadhurst, Andrew Fairney, Melissa Millar and Singarayer Florentine who re-nominated for another 2 years as Ordinary Members.

Dr Geoff Pegg, our guest speaker, gave an insightful talk on the results of the Fire and Rust project which looked at the impact of Myrtle rust on post fire regeneration. You can watch his presentation here. We also had time at the conclusion of the meeting to play the new film ‘Myrtle Rust – the silent killer’.

Click here to read the President’s Report on what the ANPC has achieved over 2022.


Dr Tony AuldSenior Principal Research Scientist
Senior Team Leader (Management of Threats to Biodiversity)
Department of Planning, Industry and Environment
Sydney, NSW


Dr David CoatesResearch Scientist
Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions
Perth, WA 


Robert HawesCanberra, ACT


Grant WarnerRetired professional accountant
Canberra ACT

Committee members

Dr Cathy OffordPrincipal Research Scientist and manager, The Australian Botanic Garden Mount Annan
Mount Annan, NSW

Dr Linda BroadhurstDirector, Centre for Australian National Biodiversity Research
Director, Australian National Herbarium
Canberra, ACT
Dr Andrew CrawfordResearch Scientist, Threatened Flora Seed Centre
Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions
Perth, WA
Andrew FairneyCEO Seeding Natives Incorporated
Adelaide, SA
Dr Singarayer FlorentineAssociate Professor
Federation University
Ballarat, VIC
Dr Lydia GujaManager, National Seed Bank
Australian National Botanic Gardens
Canberra, ACT
Dr Melissa MillarResearch Scientist, Plant Science and Herbarium Program
Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions
Perth, WA
Damian WrigleyNational Coordinator of the Australian Seed Bank Partnership
Canberra, ACT
Dr Kelli GowlandEnvironmental Scientist, Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water
Canberra, ACT
Leonie MonksResearch Scientist, Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions
Perth, WA

Ex-Officio member

Rewi ElliotSecretary, New Zealand Plant Conservation Network
Wellington, New Zealand


Dr Tony Auld – President

Tony is a Senior Principal Research Scientist within the NSW government and has worked in conservation for over 30 years. His research focus has been to examine how a range of threats (including for example changed fire regimes, grazing and exotic species) are impacting on the conservation of plant species and their habitats across a range of ecosystems from arid to coastal to offshore islands. He has been involved in developing policy and on-ground management for how to best mitigate threats to biodiversity. He has a keen interest in soil seed banks and the role they play in allowing or promoting plant persistence along with ecosystem restoration. Recently, he has had a focus on extinction risk assessment and the conservation of threatened plants and ecological communities, along with the development and implementation of measures to protect areas that have a very high value for biodiversity conservation (such as refugia, best remaining examples of an ecosystem, key sites for conservation of multiple threatened species and endemic species). He is a Professorial Fellow at University of NSW and University of Wollongong.

Dr David Coates – Vice President

David Coates is a Research Associate in plant conservation in the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions Western Australia. He has broad interests that cover conservation biology, conservation genetics, ecological restoration, recovery of rare and threatened species and managing threatening processes such as Phytophthora dieback and habitat fragmentation.  He currently leads a project on threatened plant translocations in the National Environmental Science Program’s Threatened Species Recovery Hub and hold positions of adjunct Professor at the University of Western Australia and Murdoch University.

Robert Hawes – Secretary

Robert moved to Canberra at the start of 1986 to become a computer programmer, first at ComSuper, then in 1994, he transferred to the ATO. In 2009 he retired and quickly found two volunteer jobs via Volunteer ACT. One was at RSI & Overuse Injury Association doing clerical work. He soon joined their committee, first as secretary, later as treasurer. The other was at 2xxfm 98.3 finding community announcements. In November 2012 he became their bookkeeper. He also had a one-year term as secretary on their management board. In March 2020 he resigned from the organisation. In November 2013 he became a volunteer with the Conservation Council ACT doing clerical work. In July 2018 he became a volunteer with the ANPC as their bookkeeper.

Grant Warner – Treasurer

Grant is an accountant who joins the ANPC as treasurer after 30 years of experience in the Commonwealth Government. He has worked in several agencies, building skills in accounting, budgeting, internal reporting, governance, grant administration, financial policy, procurement and process improvement. Grant was previously a board member and committee chair of the Army Amenities Fund Company. Since retiring, Grant is looking forward to assisting organisations restore and maintain the Australian environment.

Damian Wrigley – Committee member

Damian lives and works on Ngunnawal country, but as the National Coordinator for the Australian Seed Bank Partnership he works with experts and contributes to their efforts to secure and understand Australia’s native flora from different states right across the continent. Damian supports national collaborative efforts for ex situ germplasm conservation and research with seed banks, botanic gardens, NGOs, universities and communities. He works with the Council of Heads of Australian Botanic Gardens Inc. to deliver plant conservation projects and fund raising to support the work of seed banks and botanic gardens around Australia. Damian is a strong advocate for the importance of plant conservation and the role of science in delivering effective policy and programs, regardless of whether they are delivered by governments, business or communities. Damian is Australia’s national focal point for the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation under the UN Convention on Biological Diversity and the Oceania Representative to the CITES Plants Committee. He is hosted by the Australian National Botanic Gardens in Canberra.

Dr Linda Broadhurst – Committee member

Linda is the Director of the Australian National Herbarium in Canberra, one of CSIRO’s six National Research Collections. At the moment her major research interests include assessing seed production areas to ensure they are producing high genetic quality seed for restoration. In conjunction with partners including the ANPC, she is also building a project to assess where and how to restore Silver Banksia (Banksia marginata) for the Bring Back the Banksias Project. Linda was ANPC President between 2016 and 2019 and is a regular presenter at ANPC workshops. Studying human biology at university, Linda by chance took a plant biology course as part of her undergrad program and the tutor inspired a love a plants. She went to to do a PhD in the conservation of Geleznowia verrucosa, a monotypic species in WA. After working for CALM (now BC&A) in WA Linda moved to CSIRO in 2000.

Andrew Crawford – Committee member

Andrew has worked at Western Australia’s Threatened Flora Seed Centre (Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions) for the past 16 years collecting and conserving WA’s conservation significant plant species, and has been involved with the germination of many of the threatened species grown for use by the Department in plant translocations. He has a PhD on seed storage and longevity of Australian native plant species, and was a co-author of a chapter on seed and vegetative material collection in the 2009 edition of the ANPC’s Plant Germplasm Conservation in Australia publication. For the past 10 years he has taught a module on seed collection and ex situ seed storage as part of a flora management course run by the Department.

Andrew Fairney

Andrew is the founder and CEO of Seeding Natives Incorporated. This environmental charity specialises in ecological restoration of native grasslands and associated ecosystems from the ground up. Seeding Natives aims to save threatened flora and fauna from extinction, particularly in Adelaide and the Mounty Lofty Ranges. Andrew was previously a landscape gardener specialising in native gardens. He then studied environmental science and management at the University of South Australia and has spent the last decade focusing on restoration and rehabilitation of diverse native grasslands.

Dr Singarayer Florentine – Committee member

Singarayer is a restoration and invasive species ecologist with more than 20 years of experience in research and higher education teaching. He has been specialising in work on ecologically diverse habitats and has had experience in three different countries. His initial research was in Sri Lanka where he studied the impact of selective logging of tropical rainforest on native species recruitment. After earning his PhD from Curtin University he moved to Queensland where he worked as Weed Scientist with the Tropical Weeds Research Centre for 2 years. In 2000 he was appointed as a Lecturer at the Centre for Rainforest Studies where he was involved in several tropical rainforest restoratipn projects and began to conduct research into weed invasion in fragmented landscapes. For the last 14 years, at the University of Ballarat and Federation University, he has been active in a number of significant research projects, has been supervising postgraduate and honours students and has developed undergraduate studies in restoration ecology.

Dr Lydia Guja – Committee member

Lydia Guja is the Manager of the National Seed Bank at the Australian National Botanic Gardens and a researcher in the Centre for Australian National Biodiversity Research. During her time at ANBG she has focussed on seed collection, storage, physiology, evolutionary ecology and dormancy, and germination in the context of native plant conservation. Lydia is particularly interested in coupling long-term seed bank storage for ex situ conservation with research that enables effective seed use for conservation and restoration (e.g. alleviating seed dormancy, improving viability or germination, providing information on plant species’ ecological and biological characteristics to inform in situ management or translocation). Through delivery of numerous collaborative projects Lydia has worked with many academic, government and industry partners on the conservation of Australian flora. This includes threatened species, and plants and ecosystems from across the country: the Australian alps, Western Australian coast, oceanic islands, wet tropics of far north Queensland, the arid region, and temperate grassy ecosystems of South-Eastern Australia. Lydia holds a BSc in Landscape Management and a PhD in Seed Biology. She is passionate about native plant conservation and would like to make further contributions by participating in the ANPC committee.

Dr Melissa Millar

Melissa is a Research Scientist with the Plant Science and Herbarium Program of the WA Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions, where her chief responsibilities are to conduct research that contributes to the circumscription, conservation and management of Western Australian flora. Melissa’s research utilises a range of molecular genetic techniques to examine the evolutionary processes that maintain genetic diversity and shape patterns of genetic structure in native taxa. Her work contributes to understanding long term evolutionary influences of the persistence and phylogeographic structure of native taxa as well as the effects of current anthropogenic disturbances such as fragmentation and the requirements for successful long term restoration.

Dr Cathy Offord – Committee member

Cathy’s research interests lie in ex situ conservation including seed storage and tissue culture, reproductive biology, especially seed biology, horticultural development of Australian Plants and translocation of threatened species. Her current projects include ex situ conservation of Australian rainforest species, restoration ecology of Persoonia species, conservation and cultivation of Wollemi Pine and technological improvement of seed banking for long-term conservation.

Leonie Monks – Committee Member

Leonie Monks has studied and worked in threatened plant conservation for almost 30 years. She is employed as a Research Scientist with the WA Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions where her role is to plan, implement and monitor translocations of threatened plant species and to undertake research to improve the success of these translocations. She has been an author on ANPC germplasm conservation and translocation guidelines, and presenter at ANPC translocation workshops around Australia and internationally.

Dr Kelli Gowland – Committee Member

Kelli Gowland is an Assistant Director in environmental regulation at the Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water. Previously, Kelli worked at the Australian National Botanic Gardens as the facilitator of Australia’s contribution to the Global Tree Assessment, an initiative of Botanic Gardens Conservation International to have a conservation assessment for all the world’s tree species available on the IUCN Red List.  Academically, Kelli has a background in Evolutionary ecology, including a PhD from the Australian National University that investigated the distribution of epiphytic Aeridinae orchids as a function of their symbiotic partners: their host trees and mycorrhizal fungi. Kelli’s other research interests have included how a warming climate could affect the native alpine bluebell, Wahlenbergia ceracea over multiple generations and how alpine Ranunculus spp. (buttercups) can look so different to each other, despite being able to hybridize and produce fertile hybrid seed.