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Friday, June 24, 2011

Invitation talk:Restoring the Forest from the Tomerong to Tebedu'

Dear members and friends,

The Malaysian Nature Society Kuching Branch is inviting our members and nature lover friends for a talk given by Gerard Proust, Ecological Restorator and Educator (MNS member living in Australia).
title:’ Restoring the Forest from the Tomerong to Tebedu'
Date: Wednesday 6th July 2011
Time: 7.30 p.m. (please be on time)
Venue: UCSI Building (It is near the BDC flyover. From airport, go over flyover and building is on the left at the end of the flyover before Shell station) see map below (direction to this place is below.
Admission: Free
Please register by sending an email mnskuching@gmail.com or on our Face Book page (event note).
Gerard Proust: Introduction (The person & Experience)
I was born in Orange, NSW in 1959 and finished my High School Certificate (HSC) in 1976. I then studied to be an Optical Technician for four years at Sydney Technical College (UTS) and proceeded to work in that industry in Sydney and Wollongong during the 1980’s.
In the late 1980’s I moved to a rural area and changed my focus to living a more sustainable life. I wanted to work where my passion had always been, in the natural environment and help restore it. I started my own quest for knowledge and understanding of my immediate surroundings and how I could live within an ecological framework.
During the late 1980’s and the 1990’s I studied with the NSW National Trust, at Charles Sturt University and at NSW Technical & Further Education (TAFE). The different courses I undertook were: Bushland Regeneration (Forest Restoration), Wildlife Management, Environmental Studies, Business Management, Workplace Training, Diplomas in Conservation and Land Management (General Land Management) and Training & Assessing Educator (TAE). I have continued my own studies out in the forests and have built a large library devoted to the pursuit of ecological knowledge. While these courses where being undertaken I was actively involved with many community groups. Some during that time were: Chair of the Escarpment Coalition, Illawarra Landcare executive, Kembla Green Corridor committee, and active member of Landcare, Bushcare and Coastcare. Conferences and seminars were also many and varied in this hectic renewal time. These ranged from Bush Regeneration, mangrove regeneration, field ecology, fire ecology to wetlands management.
By the early 1990’s I was working in the ecological restoration and education sector. I worked with National Parks & Wildlife Service (NPWS), TAFE, Aboriginal groups, Department of Lands, local councils, catchment management authorities and many communities groups. The work varied from doing on ground works, seed collection and propagation, educator for schools and community groups, TAFE teaching of Forest Regeneration and with Coastcare running educational workshops.
In 1997 I started up Proust Bushland Services (PBS) with my partner (and mother of our two children Keira & Phoenix) Kelly Upton. This business incorporated both of our skills, knowledge and passion for our natural environment and teaching. See our website (www.pbsregen.com.au) for details of our wide scope of operations.
Today I still work out in the forests doing on ground works but also continue to teach, run workshops and field days, do management plans and ecological system audits, advise different government agencies, conduct flora surveys and fire management surveys and write articles on ecological restoration and sustainable living for industry publications, local newspapers and community groups like Berry Futurecare and the New Bush Telegraph.
I’m a member of the Australian Association of Bush Regenerators (AABR), the Ecological Society of Australia (ESA) and the Malaysian Nature Society (MNS). With my partner I helped setup the Shoalhaven Organic Food Co-Op and the local markets where we have the Shoalhaven Seed Savers stall.

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