During his time in paid work (1953-2005), the candidate spent the first decade or so working with dairy and beef cattle on farms, stations and ranches in England, Australia, and the United States.
In 1965 he began some four decades as an information broker between researchers and stakeholders, working across many decision-making scales. In-house training on the diffusion of innovations initiated a decade in agricultural extension with the Queensland Department of Primary Industries.
Positions at Griffith University’s School of Australian Environmental Studies and CSIRO’s Division of Land and Water Resources then followed through 1975-83. His task then was to support scientists as they experimented in multi-disciplinary projects on managing the natural resources of the Murray-Darling Basin. The task progressed from dealing with accelerated soil erosion and resource conflicts in the Condamine Basin, through institutional constraints and interstate differences on managing the Upper Darling Basin’s resources, to contests between scientists and between states in recognising and prioritising research needs for the Murray-Darling Basin.
He then moved into intergovernmental relations as Senior Policy Adviser and Deputy Director with the Australian Local Government Association, gaining first-hand experience on the impacts of federalism transitions put in place during the Fraser, Hawke and Keating ministries. That experience covered all areas of public policy, but with emphasis on environmental and fiscal policies. It included advocacy on behalf of local government to the National Conservation Strategy for Australia (1981-83); to the Interstate Commission and Constitutional Commission (1985-88); to the National Strategy for Ecologically Sustainable Development (1989-92); to the Intergovernmental Agreement on the Environment (1991-92); and to the Decade of Landcare (1990-2000).
A final period of paid work followed during 1993-2005, primarily on the design and diffusion of environmental and sustainability accounting innovations in the public and private sectors. It involved consultancies either as an individual, or as Research Fellow and Deputy Director at the University of Canberra’s Australian Centre for Regional and Local Government Studies. Overseas clients included the UN’s Division for Sustainable Development, and a collaborative project commissioned jointly by the City of Bogota, the Colombian Government and the UN’s Environment Programme. Domestic clients included the Murray-Darling Basin Commission, the Resource Assessment Commission, Greening Australia, the Commonwealth Department of Environment and Heritage, the Commonwealth Department of Primary Industries and Energy, and numerous local authorities.
Dick sadly passed away in late 2013, and is fondly remembered by all at CPAS.