Protecting Wilderness and National Parks

Notes on the Colong Foundation's Directors

John Robens, Chairperson is a web developer/technologist who has supported a number of environmental and progressive groups. For the last 20years John has worked on digital technologies. John is a keen bushwalker, canyoner and sometimes climber. "There is nothing better than discovering a beautiful place through serendipity". John has been running a web development business since 2007 and has degrees in Science, Economics and a Masters of Business and Technology.

Janine KitsonVice Chairperson began her journey as an environmentalist activist when she was elected a Ku-ring-gai Local Government Councillor in 2000. From this she learnt that legislation is the key to environmental protection.  Janine was then elected to the National Trust of Australia (NSW) Board in 2004. This gave her the opportunity to become active in the conservation of NSW's natural, built and cultural heritage.  It also led her to discover and be inspired by 'Wirrimbirra Flora & Fauna Sanctuary', Bargo, owned by the National Trust but managed by the David G. Stead Memorial Wild Life Research Foundation of Australia and which involved legendary pioneers of the environment movement such as Thistle Y. Harris, David G. Stead, Ivor Wyatt, Allen Strom, Milo Dunphy, Vincent Serventy and many more.  Janine's professional life has been dedicated to teaching and education, and has been the NSW Teachers Federation’s Representative to the National Parks Association (NSW) since 2004.  She publishes articles on the environment in the NSW Teachers Federation’s journal ‘Education’, which is read by over 60,000 teachers.

Albert Renshaw, Treasurer, has been supporting community groups, in an honorary capacity, since 1960. These include the Scout and Guide organisations; a local sporting group; the University of NSW Speleological Society; and the Glebe Society. He also spent several years on four committees of the National Trust of Australia (NSW) for which he was awarded their silver medal for service. He has been honorary treasurer to Colong for twenty years.

Ian Tanner, Secretary, is a retired accountant/company secretary and businessman. In 1960 did FP8 at Outward Bound School Hawkesbury River NSW then joined UNSW Bushwalking Club. Currently Treasurer for REACH - Christian Education at Chatswood High School and Willoughby Girls High School. Supporter of The Leprosy Mission as a team member/ prayer partner of a Missionary Committee. Member of Chatswood West Ward Progress Association. He strongly supports the preservation of Australia's natural wilderness heritage.

Henry Gold OAM, Honorary Photographer, arrived in Australia from Austria in 1955. He joined the Sydney Bushwalkers Club in 1956. He supported the infant environment movement and he has continued ever since as the Honorary Photographer of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness. His work has been used to lobby Governments, in books, by the press, in campaign literature and conservation magazines. Henry's images have convinced many members of the public to become wilderness supporters. In 2006 he was awarded an Order of Australia Medal for "service to wilderness preservation through the use of photographic documentation".

Patrick ThompsonHonorary Editor, has been a committee member since the 1970's and was chairperson for Colong between 1994 and 2007. Pat founded his Company Trekaway in 1973 which was a pioneering venture offering small group tours to National Parks in Australia and Overseas. After publishing "Myles Dunphy, Selected Writings, compiled and annotated by Patrick Thompson" in 1986, he decided to retire from his travel business and become a publisher. His new business was called Envirobook and it continues to publish and distribute books focusing on the environment and the natural world. Pat is the editor of 'The New Bush Telegraph' of the Shoalhaven region where he resides and is currently Assistant Editor of the Colong Bulletin. Pat also enjoys bushwalking.

Fiona McCrossin graduated from Sydney University with a Marine Science and Zoology major in 1979, having been elected Vice President of its Biological Society in the same year. Since then she has worked with many NGOs; including the Wilderness Action Group of NSW, South East Forest Alliance, Total Environment Centre and Colong Foundation for Wilderness. Fiona considers her greatest achievement for the environment her relentless pursuit for an extended national park system in the south east forests of NSW, particularly the protection and restoration of the identified Coolangubra Wilderness, for which she worked for 25 years. Fiona believes that legislation should reflect best practice science and sees wilderness as the strongest method of legislative protection for a natural area. Parallel to her work with NGOs, Fiona has worked as a science teacher, instigating and mentoring environment groups in public and independent schools since 1982. She has also worked as a tutor at the Universities of Sydney and NSW. In 2009 Fiona was awarded Green Teacher of NSW for her work at North Sydney Boys High.

Dr Haydn Washington is an environmental scientist of 35 years experience, having worked in CSIRO, as an environmental consultant and as Research Manager of the Blue Mountains World Heritage Institute. He is Hon. Secretary of the Colo Committee that led the campaign for Wollemi NP in the 1970s, and has been Director and Acting CEO of the Nature Conservation Council of NSW. He is the author of 4 books on the environment – ‘Ecosolutions’ (1991), ‘A Sense of Wonder ‘(2002), ‘The Wilderness Knot’ (2009) and ‘Climate Change Denial: heads in the sand’ (2011). He completed his PhD ‘The Wilderness Knot’ at the University of Western Sydney in 2007.

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