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 20 years 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.

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.

Sierra Classen is a Masters student at the University of Sydney, studying to be a primary school teacher. She is the Conservation Officer of Bushwalking NSW, the state’s peak bushwalking organisation, involved with the executive of the Sydney University Bushwalking Club and is also an honorary member of the Manning Valley Canoe Club. Sierra became active with the Colong Foundation in order to promote the protection of wilderness and the Gardens of Stone region on the western edge of the Blue Mountains. She is working to create strategies for collaboration between groups interested in promoting wilderness, advocating for sustainability, and being outdoors.

Alex Allchin is a full time Mechanical Engineering student at the University of New South Wales. He has a strong interest in bushwalking is current the Tracks and Access Officer of Bushwalking NSW and serves on the committee of Sydney Bush Walkers. Alex's interest in Myles Dunphy's efforts to protect wilderness in NSW through map making and reserve proposals is what initally lead him to the Colong Foundation, and the important work which the foundation undertakes these days is what has kept him here.

Valerie Atkinson is a retired Occupational Therapist/Counsellor, an active bushwalker and former member of the Total Environment Centre's Canopy Committee. Val has been involved with campaigns that saw the addition of Mount Werong to the Blue Mountains National Park and major additions to the Deua National Park, as well as the reservation of Tantawangalo National Park. She enjoys site inspections, especially visits to collect information regarding conservation issues. Her most recent visit was to Yanga National Park and remarked on its effective reserve management.

Dr Stephen Allen is an expert in water resource management and is currently convenor of the Sydney Action Group of the Gardens of Stone Alliance. He organised A Spring Day in the Gardens and helped to produce two 30 x 3 metre banners for the event. Stephen enjoys multi-day bushwalking, especially exploring new wilderness country. He has a doctorate in economics and is a qualified accountant.