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Mammals are an indicative species in the landscape which we can use to measure the success of our revegetation work, but it’s not just habitat that we are working to relink and create. We are trying to restore the ecological functions of landscape, and improve it for all species including birds, insects, and pollinators.

Sebastian Burgess

Before joining Greening Australia nineteen years ago, Sebastian had more time experiencing the outdoors than most people do in a lifetime. His first memories involve travelling through remote areas in Malawi in Africa with his father, a forester. At six year’s old his family moved to Australia, where Sebastian began his schooling.

“When I was a young teenager we moved to the east coast of Tasmania. I was offered some jobs in fire management and worked in a fire tower when I was 14. I was given a motor bike to ride up the forestry roads each day to the tower to check in and look out for smoke.”

Sebastian remained working in various fire management roles until college, spotting and fighting fires.

Inspired by his father, Sebastian would spend school holidays working on forestry projects and parks and wildlife services such as conducting animal surveys. When he graduated secondary school, he travelled overseas and immersed himself in the nature-based tourism industry. It would be a while before he returned home.

“I’ve always had an interest in people and in the outdoors. My first degree was in outdoor education which I completed after spending a decade in the ski industry, teaching skiing around the world.”

Despite his love of the snow, Sebastian found that he still got the most enjoyment in caring for the land. Every summer vacation whilst at university he worked as an interpretation officer in Tasmania. On graduation he got his first post-graduate job teaching park management at TAFE University before joining Greening Australia. Today, he is our Director of Conservation where he works on our Tasmania Island Ark program.

“I work with farmers and other land managers to improve the sustainability of their property management. We are trying to build the resilience of the land and its inhabitants, and reduce threats like soil erosion, weed incursions and land degradation.”

“Mammals are an indicative species in the landscape which we can use to measure the success of our revegetation work, but it’s not just habitat that we are working to relink and create. We are trying to restore the ecological functions of landscape, and improve it for all species including birds, insects, and pollinators.”

Sebastian is proud of Greening Australia’s willingness to take chances to achieve the best possible results for the environment.

“We took some big risks in our early restoration work in Tasmania, applying traditional forestry techniques, processes and methodology for raising plants at scale to agricultural landscapes. It was a big experiment, but it proved to be hugely successful and has produced outstanding results.”