Page 3941 - Week 13 - Tuesday, 29 October 2013

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The Atlas of Living Australia covers all Australia’s known species with data collected from museums, herbaria, community groups, government departments, individuals and universities. As it does in bioblitz, the citizen scientist plays an important part in compiling and updating the atlas. Citizen scientists, such as you, Mr Assistant Speaker Doszpot, or me, can download the open source field data software and then collect and manage biodiversity data, adding to existing field studies or starting our own, even in our own backyard.

The ACT government’s nature conservation strategy also encourages the involvement of community groups and dedicated individuals that volunteer their time and expertise to nature conservation. Canberra’s youth helped to get the bioblitz underway last Friday with a schools day. It is important that they appreciate the wealth of species around us—the frogs, bats, fish, reptiles, mammals, birds and various invertebrates, as well as plants and fungi and even bryophytes—and that our young people help to ensure our native flora and fauna prosper in our city’s second century.

Of course, when we talk of Canberra’s natural heritage, we must remember that this landscape was created over the last 20,000 to 40,000 years by Aboriginal men and women. It has been shaped by those traditional owners through the use of fire, planting and cultivation to provide food, clothing and medicines. Our environment has been shaped by humans over time. Colonisation in the last 200 years has brought massive environmental change and disrupted the balances shaped over the previous millennia.

An Indigenous perspective also challenges a common view of the bush landscape as natural and untouched. The truth is that there was no wilderness, because the law dictated that all country be cared for, contradicting those colonial perspectives which regarded the landscape as untouched and belonging to no-one.

Mr Michael Linke

MR COE (Ginninderra) (4.37): I rise today to speak about the contribution to Canberra by Michael Linke. As we all know, Michael was the CEO of the RSPCA in the ACT for eight years. During his time as CEO, Michael represented the RSPCA at national and international forums. In 2011 he spoke to the No Kill Conference in Washington DC about RSPCA ACT’s successful re-homing strategies. During his time at the RSPCA, Michael used his marketing expertise to develop high profile events which were used to provide significant funds for the RSPCA.

Prior to his appointment as CEO of RSPCA ACT, Michael was a successful regional manager of Vision Australia. Vision Australia is Australia’s leading not-for-profit blindness agency, and during his period as regional manager Michael oversaw the delivery of services to thousands of blind and vision-impaired people.

Michael studied tax law at the University of New South Wales and went on to spend 15 years in the public service as an executive at the ATO. Michael is also a trained accountant and has represented Australia in a couple of sports.

Michael and his wife, Mardi, established the Linke Animal Welfare Trust in 2011 with the mission of providing future funding to secure the safety of all animals in need in the Australian Capital Territory. All income from the trust is distributed to the

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