Stephen Johnston

Stephen Johnston

Chairperson

My interest in nature conservation was fostered from an early age by my late mother in the 1960s. I attended my first conservation protest meeting around 1969 in opposition to the proposed industrial development of Westernport Bay south-east of Melbourne. My holidays in the 1980s and 1990s were frequently taken up with bushwalking in wild areas from the Arnhem Land plateau in Kakadu to Precipitous Bluff and the Arthur Range in south-west Tasmania, along with treks in many Victorian and NSW national parks.

In 1988 I was elected vice-president and in 1990, president for three years of the Victorian National Parks Association, the state’s leading nature conservation advocacy body which was founded more than 60 years ago. From 1993 to 1996, after moving to Canberra, I was president of the national umbrella body, the Australian National Parks Council, and on the committee of the ACT National Parks Association.

Retirement from full-time work in 2015 has enabled me to resume active involvement in conservation work. I became President of the Canning River Residents Environment Protection Association (CRREPA) in 2016, a year that also saw me spending a lot of time clearing Hydrocotyle ranunculoides from the Wilson wetlands. I was appointed to the City of Canning’s Sustainability and Environment Advisory Group and elected Deputy Chair of SERCUL in 2017 and Chairperson of SERCUL in 2020.

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