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Graduate - Michelle Glover

Michelle Glover
Michelle Glover

The Royal Botanic Gardens Kew provided the Partnership with fieldwork funds to be administered as a grant over three years, to support the Partnership’s 1000 Species Project involving the seed banking of Australia’s most threatened species. Michelle Glover developed the grant guidelines and application process for the Partnership’s Secretariat, which has ensured that these funds are managed in an efficient and transparent manner, and the conservation accomplishments can be easily reported.

Tell us a little about yourself
I grew up in the bush in Thunderbolt country around the New England region, Northern NSW. My home town was within a stone’s-throw of some of the most beautiful and “alive” countryside in Australia. My fondest memories are camping, canoeing and hiking trips in the Macleay River Valley, Bald Rock, Washpool, Cathedral Rock, New England, Girraween National Parks. I am passionate about the outdoors, travelling, photography, diving, bird watching and animals generally.

I studied Environmental Science at the University of New England and have been employed ever since! I have government and private sector experience having previously worked in the field of entomology (CSIRO and NSW Department of Primary Industries) as well as the food industry (making carrot juice for Japan!).

What interested you about working in the environmental field?
Love for nature and the outdoors.

When did you join the Department and where are you currently working?
I joined the Department in 2008 as an assessment officer, administering the EPBC and Sea Dumping Acts for offshore oil and gas and port developments. Currently I work for Parks Australia in the Commonwealth Marine Reserves Branch where I am contributing to the development of new management plans for the Commonwealth Marine Reserves within the broader marine reserves estate.

In 2012 I completed the Department’s Graduate Program which involved three work placements within different areas of the Department, the first being the Australian Seed Bank Partnership, located in the Australian National Botanic Gardens.

What was your role with the Australian Seed Bank Partnership?
Two key projects I worked on as a graduate with the ASBP as part of a three month placement were I helped with developing a small grant scheme and supporting products for The Council of Heads of Australian Botanic Gardens (CHABG) and the preparation of a communication strategy for the ASBP targeting internal and external stakeholders.

What did you enjoy about working for the Partnership? Was there a particular highlight?
What I most enjoyed about my time with the Partnership was the experience I gained from working on an important conservation program for a not-for-profit organisation. A particular highlight was working in partnership with and being based amongst the natural environment of the Australian National Botanic Gardens.

Did you make any surprising discoveries about plants and seeds when you were working for the ASBP?
What I wasn’t aware of prior to working with the ASBP was:

  • how many of Australia’s plants occur nowhere else in the world (92 per cent of the higher plants),
  • the full extent of seed conservation in Australia and around the world, and
  • the types of challenges faced in relation to seed preservation particularly with regard to recalcitrant species that don’t fare so well under standard seed banking conditions.

How do you relax after work?
Relaxation for me involves outdoor pursuits. Now that I think about it, this coincidently involves plants! I am most at peace when I am in the bush and amongst nature and find nothing more settling than the smell and sound of the Australian bush. Instinct tells me it’s not healthy for people to be sitting, staring at a computer eight hours a day!