Protecting Wilderness and National Parks

Notes on the Colong Foundation's Directors

Elizabeth Elenius, Chairperson, was a member of the Colong Committee during the battle for Mount Colong in the late 1960s, inspired by Milo Dunphy and her aunts, Eileen and Joan Bradley, of Bush Regeneration fame. Elizabeth also joined the National Parks Association at that time and became the Editor of the Association's Journal for a number of years. Through her conservation work she decided to return to 'school' and then secured a degree in Earth Sciences at Macquarie University. Once graduated, Elizabeth became a Project Officer with the Nature Conservation Council of NSW from 1979-1981, working on the rainforest campaign. She has held a number of positions within university administration and later in research organisations. In 2005 Elizabeth joined the Colong Foundation Board and has been our Secretary since 2006.

John Robens, Vice Chairperson is a web developer/technologist who has supported a number of environmental and progressive groups over the last 5 years. For the last 15 years John has worked on digital technologies supporting progressive campaigns. John is a keen bushwalker, canyoner and sometimes climber. There is nothing better than discovering a beautiful place through Serendipity. John has been running the web development business since 2007 and has degrees in Science, Economics and a Masters of Business and Technology.

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 Thompson, Honorary 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.

Tom Widdup began his love affair with the Australian bush as a child growing up on a beautiful property on the far north coast of NSW. He is a former Assistant-Director of the Colong Foundation and is currently working for Oxfam Australia as the National Close the Gap Co-ordinator. Tom has a Masters in Development Studies from Sydney university  and specialises in public campaign strategy, implementation and evaluation; lobbying & advocacy (specialist in environment, Indigenous affairs & Human rights); public advocacy communications; fundraising and organisational strategy; project and event management; and coalition building, facilitation and management.

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’ due to be published in 2011. He completed his PhD ‘The Wilderness Knot’ at the University of Western Sydney in 2007.

Janine Kitson 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.

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