Brett McNamara ‘Life of a Rain Drop – Protecting the Cotter Catchment’

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Thursday, 10 October 2019 - 12:30pm

Brett, Manager of Namadgi National Park, will talk on the emergence of the threat on Canberra’s principal water supply from feral horses, along with deer and noxious weeds.  Brett will provide context to the contemporary challenges confronted by land conservation managers as they manage the high county of the bush capital.        


As Manager of Namadgi National Park, Brett is acutely aware of the footsteps he and his team walk in as custodians for Canberra’s principal water supply.  With the emergence of the threat from feral horses to our west, along with deer and noxious weeds, Brett will provide context to the contemporary challenges confronted by land conservation managers as they manage the high country of the bush capital.


Brett McNamara:  Manager, Namadgi National Park, ACT Parks and Conservation Service, Environment, Planning and Sustainable Development Directorate.

Brett commenced his career as a trainee Ranger on a six-month contract, a number of years later he is still completely devoted and passionate about his role as a land custodian. 

In the late 1990’s Brett was seconded to the Australian Alps National Parks as Program Manager, a unique cross border cooperative management program.  As the Program Coordinator he guided and managed a number of significant regional inter-agency projects.  In 1999 Brett was promoted to a senior manager’s role within ACT Park & Conservation Service, focusing on the delivery of operational land management programs across the conservation reserve system. 

As a Rural Fire Service Divisional Commander, Brett witnessed firsthand the ferocity of the Canberra 2003 fire storm; the experience has left an indelible mark, almost losing his life, while he watched his family home burn to the ground at Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve.  As an experienced senior fire fighter Brett has received numerous awards, commendations and accolades including the ESA Community Protection Medal and the Commonwealth National Fire Medal for professional services rendered. 

With time Brett senses that perhaps the foremost challenge confronting contemporary land custodians is the application of people management.  The Park Manager’s role is not one of ‘managing’ the natural environment moreover it is managing people within this landscape. The challenge is managing the impact, the influence that people have exerted and will continue to bring to bear on this primordial landscape.

Brett considers it to be an absolute privilege to do what he does. Today as Regional Manager, Brett along with his team of dedicated professionals, is responsible for sustainable land management programs across our vast conservation estate. He firmly believes