PLENARY SPEAKERS

Photo of Mark Howden

Keynote Speaker, Professor Mark Howden

Professor Mark Howden is Director of the Institute for Climate, Energy & Disaster Solutions at The Australian National University.

He is also an Honorary Professor at Melbourne University, a Vice Chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and is the Chair of the ACT Climate Change Council. He was on the US Federal Advisory Committee for the 3rd National Climate Assessment, was a member of the Australian National Climate Science Advisory Committee and contributes to several major national and international science and policy advisory bodies.

Mark has worked on climate variability, climate change, innovation and adoption issues for over 30 years in partnership with many industry, community and policy groups via both research and science-policy roles. Issues he has addressed include agriculture and food security, the natural resource base, ecosystems and biodiversity, energy, water and urban systems.

Mark has over 420 publications of different types. He helped develop both the national and international greenhouse gas inventories that are a fundamental part of the Paris Agreement and has assessed sustainable ways to reduce emissions. He has been a major contributor to the IPCC since 1991, with roles in the Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth and now Sixth Assessment Reports, sharing the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize with other IPCC participants and Al Gore.

Victor Steffensen

Plenary Speaker, Victor Steffensen

Victor Steffensen is an Indigenous writer, filmmaker, musician, and a traditional knowledge consultant for land and community wellbeing. He is a descendant of the Tagalaka people from North Queensland. Much of Victor’s work is based on the arts and reviving traditional knowledge val-ues, particularly Aboriginal fire management, with Aboriginal communi-ties and non-Indigenous Australians. He is the co-founder of the Firesticks Alliance which involves a large community network across Australia. Victor holds an Honorary Doctor of Science through James Cook University. He is the author of the book, Fire Country, and the children’s book, “Looking After Country With Fire.” Through his artistic label Mulong, Victor has published music tracks and videos such as Great Land, and Cool Burning. 

Ella Maesepp

Plenary Speaker, Ella Maesepp

Ella Maesepp (BSc (Hons) Env Sc) has been the Landcare Officer with Katanning Landcare for 16 years, delivering sustainable agriculture, wetland management, eco-living, salinity and biodiversity projects alongside the broadacre farming community. She is a well-versed grant writer, and enjoys bringing people together to make on-ground change a reality.

Ella was the 2015/16 WA and National “Young Landcare Leader” Landcare Awardee, won the Environment category of the 2004 West Australian Youth Awards, and was part of the 2012 National Landcare Conference Steering Committee and served a term on the Australian Landcare Council.

Ella is a passionate advocate for the environment, and has an outcomes-focussed approach. She regularly speaks at conferences and with the media, and also runs a small business teaching people about household-level sustainability, such as low-waste living.

Ella is a farmer’s wife, mother of two young boys, and lives in an off-grid solar-passive strawbale house on their Katanning cattle, sheep and grain property, 300km south-east of Perth. When not busy with Landcare, Ella is an enthusiastic Scout Leader and enjoys sailing and dance.

Black and white photo of Jayden Gunn in the bush

Jayden Gunn

Jayden Gunn is a freelance photographer and passionate conservationist that specialises in Australian birdlife and vertebrate pest animal management.

He is a dedicated environmental educator and enjoys spending the majority of his time introducing people to Australia’s unique wildlife through digital storytelling paired with the photographs he captures.

Jayden possesses a comprehensive knowledge of avicultural husbandry and devotes much of his spare time rehabilitating sick and/or injured birdlife and also breeding endangered Australian avian species. He has an undying obsession with Australia’s Black cockatoo species and hopes to one day be a large part of their conservation.

Jayden has been an active member of Mid-Lachlan Landcare since 2011 as a volunteer and as an employee where he completed a contract in 2019 as a regional vertebrate pest animal coordinator in the NSW Central Tablelands.