in the nature

Congratulations Dr Sally Bryant, Am

The Tasmanian Land Conservancy is delighted that Dr Sally Bryant has today been appointed a Member of the Order of Australia, for significant service to wildlife and land conservation in Tasmania.

Sally’s decades-long service to the people and wildlife of Tasmania has indeed been significant. Her twelve years at the TLC, most notably her ten years leading the science team, are only a small part of the picture.

Professionally and personally, Sally has dedicated her life to the conservation of Tasmanian wildlife and the habitats that support it. Her broad-reaching scientific knowledge, influence and understanding of endangered and threatened species has helped protect and conserve Tasmania’s wildlife, from quolls and beetles to the forty-spotted pardalote. Through her warmth and her down-to-earth attitude, Sally has connected countless Tasmanians to nature, changing attitudes and opening eyes to the species who share this island with us.

For over thirty years and with boundless energy she has worked with and volunteered her time across government and non-government agencies, academia, research institutions, environmental groups, and the general community. All have significantly benefited from her enthusiastic support, contributions, resilience and passion.

It was such a privilege to work with Sally,’ says TLC CEO, James Hattam. ‘She has an incredible ability to open your eyes, ears and heart to the natural world. She has left an indelible mark on our organisation, the places she has protected and all that have had the pleasure of wandering through the bush with her.’

From 1989 to 2007, Sally held senior science roles within the Tasmanian government, including years as the manager of the Threatened Species Section. The work she did there left an ongoing legacy, including the publication in 1999 of the important 426-page handbook Tasmania’s Threatened Fauna Handbook. What, Where and How to Protect Tasmania’s Threatened Animals.

Since 1999, Sally has hosted ABC Radio Hobart’s regular ‘Wildlife Talkback’ segment, fielding a huge range of questions from the public and providing an invaluable educational service, as well as being an advocate for the animals around us.

In 2007, Sally joined the TLC’s science team, where she was instrumental in driving research and inspiring Tasmanians to appreciate the value of nature. Her focus on the endemic forty-spotted pardalote led to the declaration of Tinderbox Hills Reserve in 2021, protecting one of the last areas of nesting habitat on the Tasmanian mainland for this endangered bird.

After retiring from her position at the TLC, Sally was a member of the TLC’s Science Council until 2021 and is today an Honorary Research Fellow. She has taken on a demanding honorary role as editor of the Papers and Proceedings of the Royal Society of Tasmania, one of the oldest scientific journals in Australia.

Sally is widely recognised for her positive and inclusive attitude, which has carried into mentoring up-and-coming field biologists, students and volunteers, giving them encouragement, support, advice and practical help.

In addition to being the author and co-author of over 70 books and peer-reviewed scientific papers and reports on wildlife conservation in Tasmania, below are just a few of the highlights of her career so far. To see the full list visit the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet

• Editorial Board Member, Journal of Ecological Management and Restoration, 2012-2022.

• Liaison, Hamish Saunders Memorial Trust, New Zealand, 2009-2017.

• Organising Committee, Island Arks National, since 2014.

• Chair, Forty-spotted Pardalote National Recovery Team, since 2011.

• Organising Committee, Island Arks Symposium, since 2013.

• Honorary Research Associate, UTAS School of Zoology, appointed 2009.

• Director, Go Wild Tasmania, Bonorong Wildlife Centre, 2007-2009.

• Chair, Community Review Committee Threatened Species Protection Act, 2008 (Ministerial appointment).

• Working Group, National Threatened Species Environment Australia, 2003-2007.

• Member, Scientific Advisory Committee, Threatened Species Protection Act, 1997 2003 (Ministerial appointment).

• Instigated Hamish Saunders Memorial Island Survey Program, 2003.

• Board Director, 1996-2001, The Royal Society of Tasmania.

• Advisory Panel National Estate, Australian Heritage Commission 1996-2000.

• President, Birds Tasmania (regional group of BirdLife Australia) 1996-1999.

• Promoter and volunteer property assessor, Land for Wildlife Program, Tasmania, since 1998.

• Instigated protection of Dennes Hill (Nature Reserve), Bruny Island for forty-spotted pardalote.

Banner photo of Dr Sally Bryant at Little Swanport Reserve by Matt Newton.