News: 2017 Scholarship Announcement

New round now open & first round recipients announced

PALRC is proud to announce the recipients of the first round of its scholarships for 2017 and launch the new round of scholarships which close on 1 November 2017 (apply here: http://www.palrc.com/our-courses-2/scholarships/).

The first round was highly competitive with 30 applications from Australia, Asia and the Pacific. As far as possible, PALRC will seek to offer scholarships over time to a spread of recipients across the regions and with equality of opportunity for all.

Recipients each received $2,000 to contribute towards the course of their choice and we congratulate:
Maida Aguinaldo (Phillipines)
Matt Fossey (Australia)
Anthony Sandeman (Australia)
Kate Cranney (Australia)
Jennifer Croes (Australia)
Dean Matthews (Australia)
Fred Tabepuda (Solomon Islands)
Donna Kalfatak (Vanuatu)

The scholarships aim to support professional development, exchange of knowledge and experience, networking and collaboration to further our recipients career paths in protected areas managements.

The PALRC Scholarship program seeks capable, high-achieving students and/or emerging leaders in Australia, Asia and the Pacific who have a career ambition to advance the protection, sound governance and effective management of protected areas in their country/region, and especially those who would not otherwise have an opportunity to attend such a course. We also seek applicants who can demonstrate productive engagement with indigenous and/ or local communities associated with protected areas.

PALRC would like to thank its key partners in this scholarship program: the Tasmanian Land Conservancy, the University of Tasmania, Murdoch University, Charles Darwin University, Charles Sturt University, the Blue Mountains World Heritage Institute and Conservation Management. We would also like to thank private donors whose support has made this educational program possible and NRMjobs www.nrmjobs.com.au for its support.

Scholarship recipients were from engineering, forestry, government, non-government, and university backgrounds and are listed below:

Maida Aguinaldo

Maida has 24 years of experience in environmental and coastal area development, which has involved protected area management. Maida has worked in various capacities: as a community development worker, trainer, planner, and project manager. Maida currently works in the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (Phillipines) and would like to build her understandings of the Open Standards protected area management approach and lead further development in the management of protected areas in the Phillipines. A PALRC scholarship has allowed Maida to participate in the Open Standards training course in the Blue Mountains World Heritage Area in collaboration with the Blue Mountains World Heritage Institute.

Reflecting on the course, Maida said “I was able to immediately apply parts of the course in project development workshops and expect that I will continually find ways to integrate the course into our organizational systems.”

Matt Fossey

Matt has a large amount of experience planning for the creation and management of protected areas and has worked extensively within the government, NGO and community sectors. He has been involved in conservation programs in formal protected areas, customary lands and on private property. Matt strongly supports the PALRC initiative and what the collaboration is working to achieve. A PALRC scholarship has allowed Matt to participate in the Open Standards training course in the Blue Mountains World Heritage Area.

Anthony Sandeman

Anthony Sandeman began his conservation career as a field officer restoring natural areas throughout South East Queensland. His desire to understand more of the natural environment led him to undertake further study in Environmental Sciences. Through this journey he has been the recipient of the Prospectors Earth Sciences award, a scholarship to complete an observational report in the Ibaraki Prefecture of Japan and the Commonwealth New Colombo Plan. Anthony took the opportunity to learn the significance of cultural management firsthand with Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara Land Management. He has now turned his hand to the public sector where he is currently a Ranger with the Department of Environment, Water & Natural Resources in South Australia. A PALRC scholarship has allowed Anthony to participate in the Open Standards training course in the Blue Mountains World Heritage Area in collaboration with the Blue Mountains World Heritage Institute.

Kate Cranney

Kate is a science communicator with The Nature Conservancy’s Asia Pacific program, where she works with women’s conservation groups across Melanesia. Kate has worked with Bush Heritage Australia, RMIT University, the Torres Strait Ranger Program and the Queensland Government. She holds a Master of Science (Distinction) from the University of Melbourne and a Bachelor of Law (Hons)/ Environmental Science from Griffith University, Queensland. Kate is keenly interested in science communication, private conservation, Indigenous Caring for Country programs, digital storytelling and drawing fish (www.katecranney.com). A PALRC scholarship has allowed Kate to participate in the Open Standards training course in the Daintree in collaboration with James Cook University.

Jennifer Croes

Jennifer is a Conservation Scientist and business professional. Jennifer has a Masters in Science at Imperial College. Her conservation portfolio includes; Project manager at an Orangutan Rehabilitation Center in Borneo, leading the largest citizen-consultation process for the United Nations COP 15 to combat Climate change, Earth Hour 2010 National Manager, Biodiversity Conservation Consultant at WWF, an endemic bird rehabilitation program in Bali, and initiated the global “Save the Cassowary” campaign. She is currently consulting on an innovative Rewilding project, as well as consulting, campaigning, setting up anti-poaching patrol teams in Sumatra, Indonesia to combat illegal wildlife trade in protected areas. Jennifer has spoken at TEDxUbud and was nominated for the Telstra Women’s Business – Community Category Award in 2010. In 2014, she was awarded the Sir Edward Weary Fellowship to participate in the AsiaLink Leadership in recognition of her leadership in the Asia-Pacific region. She has Dutch-Indonesian heritage, speaks both languages and has lived, studied worked globally. A PALRC scholarship has allowed Jennifer to participate in the Open Standards training course in the Daintree in collaboration with James Cook University.

Dean Matthews

Dean Mathews is a Yawuru man from Broome in the Kimberley region of North West Australia. With ten years’ experience in the Pearling, seven in the Horticulture industry and three with the WA Department of Water – Water Information Branch, Dean has extensive experience in government and non-government organisations in the area of cultural natural resource management and community development. Dean is currently employed as a Senior project officer in the Native Title & Environmental Service Unit of Nyamba Buru Yawuru. Nyamba Buru Yawuru Ltd. Dean believed it was time to contribute his knowledge and work experience on natural resource management to support the rights and interests of the Yawuru people. Dean is a highly respected and valued employee and Yawuru community member. A PALRC scholarship has allowed Dean to participate in the Open Standards training course in the Daintree in collaboration with James Cook University.

Fred Tabepuda

Fred studied at the University of the South Pacific Centre, Honiara Campus, Solomon Islands (2008 to 2010), and the University of the South Pacific, Fiji (2011 to 2013) where he received a BA in Environmental Studies. After graduation, he began his work with Solomon Islands ecological solutions (ESSI) by working with them as a volunteer staff on a biological expedition on mountain Maetambe and Kolobangara River corridor of an area, which proposed to be protected. During his time with ESSI he was the assistant Environmental Officer for Lauru Land Conference of Tribal Community, a local Indigenous Organisation located in Choiseul Province. During this time, his work expanded in local communities in Choiseul on climate change project work, marine and terrestrial protected area work, mining awareness advocator and waste management work. A PALRC Scholarship is supporting Fred to participate in a Master of Protected Area Governance and Management at the University of Tasmania.

Donna Kalfatak

Donna Kalfatak has a Bachelor of Science and is a Senior Officer for the Department of Environment Protection and Conservation (Vanuatu). Donna facilitates community conservation workshops at the local level. While working with the Department of Environmental Protection and Conservation in Vanuatu, Donna worked with five communities developing their conservation management plans and facilitated their legal registration under the Environmental Protection and Conservation Act. Donna would like to lead developments in the government and local management of protected areas and explore capacity building mechanisms for local conservation groups for the effective management of protected areas. A PALRC Scholarship is supporting Donna to participate in a Master of Protected Area Governance and Management at the University of Tasmania.


Photo from Open Standards Course (Daintree Rainforest). Credit to Kate Cranney (2017 Scholarship Recipient)


Photo from Open Standards Course (Daintree Rainforest). Credit to Kate Cranney (2017 Scholarship Recipient)


Photo from Open Standards Course (Blue Mountains). Credit to Matt Fossey (2017 Scholarship Recipient)