Ian has always been driven by twin passions: the bush and the beach. Graduating with a Bachelor’s degree in geology in 1975, he spent the next four years working as a geologist. His first position saw him move to a bush camp on the edge of the Tanami desert in the Northern Territory. This was followed by roles assessing land stability along Sydney’s northern beaches and then as an underground geologist in Mt Isa in northwest Queensland.
While he loved the geologist’s lifestyle, Ian came to realise that nature conservation was his real calling, so he moved to Perth where he obtained an MSc in Natural Resource Management. In 1985, following a year teaching science and maths in newly independent Zimbabwe, an opportunity arose to take a position in WA’s new conservation agency and he grabbed it with both hands.
Ian worked in national park, reserve and broader conservation management for the next 32 years, first in operations, later in national park and strategic planning roles and finally as a “trouble-shooting” project officer for the agency. Having moved to Albany on WA’s south coast in 1989 to take up a regional planning role, he still lives there today.
Since retiring in 2017, Ian has time to indulge his love of presenting the wonders of the natural world to a range of community organisations in his town. His presentations are full of fascinating and quirky facts about the natural history of his beloved south coast. At other times, Ian can be found bushwalking, travelling with his wife Jane, or just beachcombing below his home which overlooks Albany’s King George Sound.