NSW Environment Protection Authority Board Chair Rayne de Gruchy, and EPA CEO Tony Chappel today welcomed two new members to the EPA Board – one being an Aboriginal board member and traditional ecological knowledge holder, and the second a world renowned climate scientist.
The new board members are eminent water and environment scientist Associate Professor Bradley Moggridge – a proud Murri Man of the Kamilaroi Nation in Northern NSW – and University of Technology Sydney (UTS) Pro Vice Chancellor of Research and internationally recognised climate scientist Professor Chris Turney who investigates climates of the past to determine how our climate may change in the future.
Ms de Gruchy said the two new board members deepened the EPA’s expertise in climate change and environmental science, giving it greater insight to address some of the most important environment issues faced by the State.
“Between Associate Professor Moggridge and Professor Turney we have an extraordinary concordance of two new board members who through different lenses look deep into the past to find our way to a better future,” Ms de Gruchy said.
“It’s a perspective that will add immensely to our understanding of the environmental challenges ahead and help build on the important work the EPA does for NSW.
“I am also pleased to see an Aboriginal understanding of the complex environment we live in is now an entrenched part of the EPA Board. It brings an important perspective to our work that comes from 65,000 years of environmental stewardship and deep knowledge of this land.”
Ms de Gruchy said the combination of First Nations knowledge and environmental science would inevitably lead to more holistic decision making at Board level.
“The EPA Board welcomes these appointments, which will increase the diversity of the EPA Board, adding scientific expertise and First Nations knowledge and experience to existing skills in law, governance and business,” Ms de Gruchy said.
Mr Chappel said Associate Professor Moggridge and Professor Turney arrive at a time of significant ambition and change in the EPA, with the release of the draft Climate Change Policy and Action Plan and the challenges of rapidly moving towards a circular economy over the next decade.
“The new energy and experience these two new board members bring could not be more appropriate for these tasks and we look forward to their contribution,” Mr Chappel said.
Associate Professor Moggridge brings extensive experience in indigenous and water research roles through his work with the CSIRO, NSW Department of Primary Industries, the National Environmental Science Program Threatened Species Recovery Hub and today at the University of Canberra Centre for Applied Science.
He said he applied for the role because wanted to be part of an organisation that had integrity and took the protection of Aboriginal culture seriously.
“I am delighted to be part of an organisation that has started to take on Indigenous ways of knowing and being,” Professor Moggridge said
“To be a part of this board brings together the link between protecting the environment and caring for country, which has been the touchstone of my career, research, and personal journey.”
The other new board member, Professor Chris Turney, has worked closely with industry and academia to find solutions to climate change. He has an extensive research background in the ecology of the past, biodiversity and Antarctic research. Professor Turney has been to Antarctica on multiple occasions where he took ice and rock samples that revealed past climates to help scientists understand the changes that will come with a warming world.
Professor Turney said it was an absolute privilege to be invited to be a member of the EPA Board.
“It is a critical time to be on the board of an authority helping the State to transition to a sustainable circular economy, creating jobs and restoring and protecting the environment for future generations,” Professor Turney said.
Prof Turney replaces outgoing board member Professor Richard Bush who resigned earlier this year.