The Great Southern Science Council was established in late 2011. Following a call for nominations for membership, eight councillors were appointed and first met early in 2012.
The members of the Council agreed on the following objectives. “Within the scope and purpose of the Council in the region:
1) Through consultation with relevant organisations, identify the needs, knowledge gaps and capacities and set priorities for science.
2) Establish links with universities with a view to attracting postgraduate students and undergraduates.
3) Offer mentoring and encouragement to scientists, including those studying for higher degrees and those beginning their careers.
4) Improve communication between scientists and local communities.
5) Assist the attraction of resources for scientific research, development and education in the region.
6) Encourage the teaching of science in schools and further education.
7) Encourage cross-disciplinary research, especially between scientists working in different organisations and between the natural and social sciences.
8) Advocate and provide advice to governments, industry, science institutions and community.
9) Listen, liaise, debate, consider and represent active and effective science.”
The members believe that the Science Council initiative will address a need for improved coordination and integration of sciences in a region that is increasingly recognised for its unique biodiversity and tourism. To achieve this the GSSC will encourage and link academic, industry and applied researchers with local communities and organisations to improve knowledge and sustainable management of the region.
Through industry, schools, universities, technical institutions, government departments and adult education, GSSC will highlight the value of science and innovation and their roles—such a task is clearly important in the State as a whole, as well as the region. The GSSC will also provide a voice for, and advocate for, a cross-section of sciences, and cross-disciplinary research where appropriate, in the Great Southern, with a view to encouraging links between local, statewide and international researchers.
The Great Southern Great Science symposium is scheduled on Thursday 8 August. This annual Symposium profiles the exciting science and research being undertaken by scientists in the Great Southern or that has relevance to the Great Southern. The Symposium is open to the general public. The Symposium is organised by a committee comprising of representatives from CENRM, Great Southern Development Commission, Chief Scientist’s Office, WA Museum (Albany), and the GSSC.
The current members of the Great Southern Science Council are:
Chair: Philip Cocks, PhD, Ecologist, agricultural scientist, research manager, researcher. A scientist with considerable experience as an international agricultural researcher.
Wal Anderson, BSc, MSc, PhD. An agronomist with extensive experience in overseas aid projects. Fellow of the Australian Institute of Agricultural Science.
Louise Duxbury BA, Env Sci (Hons),PhD. A manager of environmental and educational projects, including workshop facilitation, delivery of training programs and delivery of community change projects.
Julia Fry, PhD, Graduate Cert, Public Sector Management. A research scientist and public sector manager with expertise in regional development and natural resource management.
Craig Sinclair, PhD (Psychology), early career researcher/student supervisor. A researcher with interests in palliative care, rural health, rural mental health, Aboriginal health.
Helena Stoakley-Medcalf, BSc (Hons), PGCE, biologist and passionate science educator, teacher trainer and secondary science teacher.
Andrew Maughan, BSc, MSc (Hydrogeology), Program Manager with Department of Water managing the collection and interpretation of hydrological and water quality information for ground and surface water systems across the south coast; with interests in how to communicate technical information to the community.