I’ve long had a passion for environmental management and conservation, and the unique challenges of the Australian bush led me to study and work with a particular interest in fire ecology. Early in my career, I completed an honors project on the ecological impacts of bushfire suppression operations on native species recovery, weed invasion and soil compaction, and made recommendations for improvement.
After university, I started working with the Country Fire Authority, where I supported the operations in the State Control Centre and then worked in land-use planning, in the early days of the Wildfire Management Overlay (now Bushfire Management Overlay).
I started with Parks Victoria in 1999, when I spent a year supporting tourism operations and licensed tour operators across the state. I then moved to East Gippsland and worked right across the region, planning and coordinating projects, including the return of land to Mitchell River National Park that was previously destined for a large dam.
Following the proclamation of Victoria’s system of marine national parks and marine sanctuaries, I worked across eastern Victoria writing management plans for the seven marine national parks and sanctuaries from Cape Liptrap to Cape Howe, including Wilsons Promontory Marine National Park.
I then worked as Ranger in Charge in Bairnsdale before moving to Central Queensland, where I also worked as a Ranger in Charge. This experience was challenging and very rewarding, as I learned new approaches across new environments.
With a young family and the lure of extended family in Victoria, we returned home and I worked again for Parks Victoria, this time as a District Program Manager in the Otways/Surf Coast. Here, I was involved in a range of strategic initiatives, including overseeing the implementation of programs and projects for the newly declared Great Otway National Park.
Following the Black Saturday bushfires and Royal Commission, I helped set up a team to implement a new approach to bushfire management in the Otways as part of a pilot program. I was seconded to DELWP for this important period.
I was subsequently offered the position of District Manager for northeast Victoria, overseeing up to 40 staff in six different locations. Around this time, I became president of the school council in Bright, and was a member of a not-for-profit community leadership program board.
My recognition of the need to make personal change led me to study coaching and mentoring with a view to helping men recovering from the grief and trauma associated with divorce. This was an interim period — a working sabbatical — that allowed me to further clarify and fine-tune the philosophy and practice of positive psychology. During this period, I maintained my connection and interest with conservation and land management.
Becoming a consultant was a natural evolution from all these experiences. I am continuing to work with a number of organisations on a range of interesting projects, including Parks Victoria, DELWP and bushfire management consultancies.
A full list of my experiences are detailed in the CV section below.
February 2021 to present:
Consultant, Conservation and Land management
Providing practical solutions to contemporary land, conservation, cultural heritage and fire management challenges.
July 2020 to July 2021:
Ty Caling Coaching & Consultation
Provision of transformative life coaching to generic and niche clients.
October 2013 to July 2020:
District Manager, North East, Parks Victoria
Senior management and operational leadership of District Management Team and staff, ensuring effective development and delivery of District component of Regional Action Plan.
Responsible for >$1.4M annual budget of works, people and culture, community/stakeholder engagement and media management.
Successful annual delivery of large high-profile programs and projects on-time, on-budget (<5%) and to high standards.
Acknowledged by People and Culture Directorate as leading exemplary approaches to people leadership and management.
Noted by internal and external customers as championing integration, collaboration and positive professional relationships.
Established and led inaugural Barwon Otway Bushfire Risk Landscape strategic planning team to develop landscape-scale bushfire management strategy and Strategic Bushfire Management Plan. Led participatory approaches to community and stakeholder engagement in decision making.
Acknowledged by Regional Manager of leading a project that is innovative, ground-breaking and transformational.
Noted as leading vertical and horizontal integration of bushfire planning internally and externally.
October 2009 to May 2012:
District Program Manager, West Coast, Parks Victoria
Responsible for overseeing District operations, program management and delivery; and, executive support to District Manager. Leadership of multi-disciplinary team.
Acknowledged by Parks Victoria as leading structured decision making approaches for environmental resource allocation.
Noted by District Manager as achieving balanced approach to capacity planning through Regional Operations Plan project.
Effective coordination of major (>$3M) initiative funding through Management Plan implementation schedule.
October 2006 to October 2009:
Ranger in Charge, Boyne, Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service
Led and managed team of Rangers to deliver environmental, cultural and visitor experience projects on time, on budget and to high standards.
Effectively managed numerous people management matters to achieve positive outcomes for QPWS.
Noted by Regional team as possessing effective ability to translate corporate and regional direction into on-ground action.
Developed effective working relationships with landholders and community members that benefitted park outcomes.
February 2006 to October 2006:
Ranger in Charge, Bairnsdale, Parks Victoria
Responsible for leading and managing team of Rangers to deliver environmental, cultural and visitor experience outcomes.
Feedback from staff that they have improved role clarity, direction and structure.
Developed and maintained effective working relationships with park neighbours and key stakeholders.
September 2002 to February 2006:
Regional Program Planner Marine, Eastern Victoria, Parks Victoria
Responsible for leading development of Marine National Park and Sanctuary management plans for Eastern Victoria.
Delivered on government commitment in completing seven management plans on-time with elevated community engagement.
November 2000 to September 2002:
District Program Manager, East Gippsland, Parks Victoria
Responsible for District program and budget coordination; and, management of major projects.
Effectively engaged staff in delivery of various initiatives, including: Levels of Service, State of the Parks, management plans.
November 1999 to November 2000:
Tourism and Recreation Services Officer, Parks Victoria
Responsible for administration of the Licensed Tour Operator permit system, recreation standards, industry engagement and tour operator reforms.
Received feedback from General Manager that creation of Tour Operator Management System is innovative and best-practice.
April 1998 to November 1999:
Research Officer, Headquarters, Country Fire Authority
Responsible for leading development of guidelines for building and subdivision in bushfire-prone areas (ie. Bushfire Management Overlay).
Received positive feedback from Director on conference paper prepared on bushfire spray (sprinkler) systems.
October 1997 to April 1998:
State Control Centre Support Officer, Headquarters, Country Fire Authority
Responsible for fulfilling various functions (eg. weather services, situational overview) to support operation of State Control Centre.
Received positive feedback from State Control Centre Duty Officer that documentation and systems were well-kept.