Authors and acknowledgements


Headshot of author Kristen Williams
Dr Kristen Williams
Dr Kristen Williams is a principal research scientist in CSIRO Land and Water with extensive experience in research management, coordination and delivery. As an Ecological Geographer, she specialises in the integration of ecosystem and landscape sciences through multi-disciplinary team collaborations to generate data and knowledge products informing systems of ecologically sustainable land management, where biodiversity prospers, ecosystems function and adapt, and ecosystem services meet the needs of all people. She has extensive experience co-designing research with end users to ensure outputs meet their needs with a focus on biodiversity conservation, vegetation management policies, NRM planning and prioritising conservation investment strategies. Currently she is collaborating with the Australian Government to operationalise the Habitat Condition Assessment System, and recently with the New South Wales Government on methods underpinning the Biodiversity Indicator Program.
Headshot of author Barry Hunter
Mr Barry Hunter
Mr Barry J Hunter is a descendant from the Djabugay speaking people of Cairns hinterland. He grew up besides the Barron River in the rainforest near Kuranda. Barry experience includes employment in Government conservation agencies, the mining and exploration industry, community and not–for-profit, nd recently as a consultant working around Aboriginal Land management, Carbon Industry and community economic development. With over 30 years experience in Aboriginal affairs particular in areas of land, natural and cultural resource management. Barry has a Bachelor of Applied Science from Charles Sturt University and has a keen interest in the work community rangers do in looking after land, fire management and cultural heritage. Also having a real passion building community
capacity and planning that deliver sustainable social, cultural and economic outcomes within our communities. Barry has run a successful consulting business for 7 years, working in areas including Indigenous economic, community and social development, Indigenous land management and cultural heritage, reviews of government funded programs.
Headshot of author Becky Schmidt
Dr Becky Schmidt
Dr Becky Schmidt is a Principal Environmental Scientist in CSIRO Land and Water, leading interdisciplinary teams to deliver environmental information that government, community and industry use to make decisions, protect our environment and prosper sustainably. She works with researchers from a range of disciplines, complementing their specialist domain knowledge with her generalist understanding of systems, to address challenges in sustainability, agriculture, coal resource development, and land and water science. Currently, she is collaborating with partners to implement the Australian Government’s strategy and action plan for a common national approach to environmental-economic accounting, helping government and businesses make balanced decisions using consistent information on the environment, economy and society. In addition, through her work with the Valuing Sustainability Future Science Platform, she is co-developing with partner the next-generation science to ensure that Australia has indicator frameworks and institutions to drive sustainability through innovation.
Headshot of author Emma Woodward
Dr Emma Woodward
Dr Emma Woodward is a Senior Research Scientist and leader in co-design who brings together different knowledge systems and types to deliver collaborative solutions to land and sea management at regional and national scales. Based with CSIRO Land & Water in Perth, Australia, Emma’s research frequently involves partnering with Australian Indigenous communities to co-develop methods, tools, protocols and guidelines that can facilitate understanding and inclusion of diverse knowledges, values and interests in natural resource planning and management and enterprise development. Emma has previously worked on Our Knowledge Our Way (OKOW), a transdisciplinary science initiative to produce the first Indigenous-led guidelines for best practices when working with Indigenous knowledge in caring for Country. The outcomes of the OKOW Guidelines have made a foundational impact in setting a new standard in how to engage Indigenous peoples in partnering with science.
Headshot of author Ian Cresswell
Dr Ian Cresswell
Dr Cresswell has extensive experience working in environment and sustainable development in several different areas, including biodiversity, reserve planning, fisheries, wildlife regulation, and protected areas. He has a long history of success in managing large scale, science-based government programs in natural resource management, with a strong focus on management to balance environmental, economic, and social outcomes. He has extensive experience in providing high level advice to Government and Industry on environmental and sustainability issues. He has led major research programs in CSIRO in both terrestrial and marine domains, as well as senior roles in marine planning, sustainable fisheries, and wildlife management, including as the Director of the Australian Biological Resources Study. 


Ethics clearance for ‘Indigenous expert contributions to state of environment (SoE) 2021 Land theme’ (application 176/20) was provided through the CSIRO Social Science and Human Research Ethics Committee. All contributions by Indigenous peoples or organisations to this report have been approved by the individuals or organisations concerned. 

The authors thank all case study authors for their significant contributions to the Land chapter, and all Indigenous people who contributed to the report. In addition, we thank: 

  • Andy Sheppard (CSIRO), and Donald Hobern, Shawan Chowdhury and Martin Westgate (Atlas of Living Australia) for their contributions to the introduced and invasive species content, supported by the Atlas of Living Australia, Terrestrial Ecosystem Research Network (TERN), and Global Register of Introduced and Invasive Species – Australia
  • Luke Pinner, Peter Lyon and Alison Cowood (Australian Government Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment, DAWE) for spatial analyses supporting the native vegetation content (specifically Figures 3, 6-8, and Tables 1 and 12), and Randal Storey for spatial analyses supporting Tables 4 and 5, and Figures 12 and 21)
  • Graciela Metternicht (University of New South Wales), Beryl Morris, Guru Siddeswara (TERN) and Jamie Cleverley (James Cook University) for helping coordinate researcher input into several case studies, data and references
  • Glenn Newnham (CSIRO) for advice on content relating to fire and settlement patterns
  • Jane Stewart, Lucy Randall (Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences), Alison Cowood (DAWE), and the land-use and land tenure teams for early access to land account data on land use and land tenure for exploration and general advice
  • Peter Meadows (Australian Bureau of Statistics) for advice supporting interpretation of land account data
  • Stephen Roxburgh, Pep Canadell and Peter Briggs (CSIRO) for advice and analyses of above-ground carbon
  • Renee Young (Western Australian Biodiversity Science Institute) for input into the Retaining and restoring natural capital assets section
  • Sue Bestow (Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet) for coordinating input into the National Soil Advocate case study
  • Amy Warnick and Sonja Heyenga (CSIRO) for advice and assistance with human ethics applications
  • Mary Milne, Andrew Murrell, Kimberley Shields, Christina Lees and Phillip Rofe (DAWE) for help connecting theme authors with content providers in government, assistance with sourcing data, and other support as needed
  • Robert Markham (DAWE) and Gabriela Dounis (Terri Janke and Company Pty Ltd) for facilitating approvals and consent for Indigenous case studies
  • Siobhan Duffy (CSIRO) and Jamie Love (New South Wales Department of Planning, Industry and Environment) for facilitating access to artwork from earlier reports
  • Lindsay Mitchell (Tasmania Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment), Tim Danaher (New South Wales Department of Planning, Industry and Environment), Matt White (Victoria Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning), Matt Miles (South Australia Department for Environment and Water) and Suzanne Furby (CSIRO) for advice about state land-cover mapping products and data
  • John Turnbull (University of New South Wales) for advice supporting development of wellbeing assessments
  • Crystal Bradley (DAWE) for facilitating links between the SoE 2021 report and environmental–economic accounts
  • Lynne Macdonald, Ross Searle, Peter Wilson and Linda Gregory (CSIRO) for advice and input on soils.

The authors further thank state, territory and Australian Government colleagues for their critical reviews of scope, content and detail in the Land chapter. The substantial efforts of anonymous peer reviewers are also gratefully acknowledged. The authors also thank the Australian Government Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment SoE team (listed in the Overview report); the Biotext team (listed in the Overview report); Peter Cochrane and the State of the Environment User Reference Group; the Murawin team (listed in the Overview report); EY Digital team; Indigenous Advisory Committee; and the State of the Environment Project Board. 

Responsibility for the information and views set out in this chapter lie entirely with the 5 authors, and these do not necessarily reflect the position of the Australian Government. 

The authors apologise to anyone whose contributions they have not acknowledged.