Photo of a Galah by Neil Humphris. CC BY-NC-SA 4.0
Dr Val Catchpoole has worked as a teacher, lecturer, curriculum developer, online course developer and writer, at primary, secondary and tertiary levels of education in Queensland. Val‘s experience also includes working for the ABC as an education producer for eight years. In the mid 1990s Val was awarded a Garth Boomer scholarship from the Australian Children’s Television Foundation, to write and design a set of multimedia resources for the teaching of Ethics in the Middle Years of Schooling while also completing a PhD in Applied Ethics at QUT. Val’s doctoral research confirmed her belief that we have a shared responsibility to provide opportunities for school students to learn about our natural world and Val thinks this can be achieved through a study of our amazing local birds.
Dr Richard Noske obtained his PhD from the University of New England in northern New South Wales, based on his research on the ecology of songbirds. After a brief stint as a science teacher, he was appointed Senior Lecturer in Biology at Charles Darwin University (CDU) in Darwin, Northern Territory, a post he held for 26 years. In addition to three books, a dozen book chapters and numerous non-refereed articles, Richard has authored or co-authored over 100 scientific journal papers, mostly concerning the ecology of tropical birds of Australia and Indonesia. Soon after moving to Brisbane in 2010, he joined Birds Queensland and was President of this society from 2012 to 2016. Richard has guided many bird tours in northern Australia and Papua, and has worked with Japan’s NHK TV on three documentaries about birds.
Photo of a Tawny Frogmouth by Sandra Gallienne. Used with permission.
Photo of an Azure Kingfisher by Melissa Humphris. Used with permission.
Marie Bermingham B Ed (USQ) M Ed (QUT) is an experienced primary teacher who has worked in small rural schools, regional centre schools and metropolitan schools. She has taught at all levels from Year 1 to Year 6. She also worked for a time developing curriculum programs for the Australian National Curriculum. In her years of teaching, Marie has found that students of all ages have a natural curiosity about the world around them which is addressed by the scientific processes of observing and questioning. The over-arching priority of Sustainability in the Australian Curriculum resonates with her passion for conservation of natural habitats in our urban world and the birds in them so the students of today and tomorrow can continue to learn about our fascinating Australian birds.
Neil Humphris is a retired company representative experienced in sales, merchandising, staff training and teaching clients in the use of products and procedures. He is a keen birder and passionate about imparting the joy of birding particularly to younger generations. He has been instrumental in the development and production of booklets specifically designed to assist educators when teaching the biological sciences sub-strand of each year’s curriculum, from prep to year six. This subject is usually strongly engaging with almost all students, particularly when their local birds and bird behaviour are the subject matter. This form of education can lead to an overall desire in students to save Australian birds and their habitat from unnecessary destruction for future generations.
Photo of an Eastern Spinebill by Murray chambers. Used with permission.
Photo of an immature Silver Gull by Greg Nye. CC BY-NC-SA 4.0
Greg Nye remembers being introduced to the natural world by his father before the age of two and developed a particular fascination with birds around the age of eight. Despite being a Kiwi, he flew to Australia in the early 1970s and has yet to be deported. A varied career has included working as a natural history and cultural interpretive guide at Carnarvon Gorge and six years in habitat restoration. The advent of digital video has presented an opportunity to record the natural world at an acceptable quality for an affordable price and the ‘Our Local Birds’ project means at least some of the hundreds of hours will not remain forever unedited.
Ellen Thompson is interested in video post-production, media management, creative commons, web development and owls.
Photo by Ellen Thompson. CC BY-NC-SA 4.0
Illustration by Elissa Kimber. All rights reserved.
Elissa Kimber is a teacher, hobbyist artist/web designer and amateur naturalist with a passion for conservation.