The State Government has appointed University of South Australia Biology Professor Chris Daniels as the inaugural Director of Cleland Wildlife Park with the role to commence in July.
In order to take up his new role at Cleland, Professor Daniels will step down as Presiding Member of the Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges Natural Resource Management Board from 30 June.
That role will be filled by Dr Felicity-ann Lewis, current Chair of the Dog and Cat Management Board and former Mayor of Marion, head of the Local Government Association of South Australia and the 2014 South Australian of the Year.
“I’m looking forward to working with Professor Daniels and Dr Lewis to help deliver the Marshall Liberal Government’s comprehensive environmental reform agenda,” said Minister for Environment and Water David Speirs.
“The Cleland director role has been created to provide a new era of leadership at Cleland, and to support the State Government’s conservation, education and business sustainability mandate.
“Professor Daniels is also Chair of the International Koala Centre of Excellence (IKCE) based at Cleland and brings expertise in board and organisational management, and an understanding of citizen science, community engagement and policy development.
“He is a successful ecologist and academic who led the Great Koala Count 1 and has been integral in the development of koala management strategies, making him ideally suited for this role.
“I am delighted to have Professor Daniels on board, particularly at a time when the Liberal State Government is keen to explore eco-tourism development options for Cleland Wildlife Park.”
Professor Daniels said he was looking forward to taking up the position at Cleland Wildlife Park which is renowned as a place for quality animal experiences.
“Cleland offers visitors the opportunity to develop real and lasting connections with wildlife through direct contact,” he said.
“The park’s potential is virtually unlimited and I anticipate extending our connection with wildlife, as well as increasing opportunities for education, research and conservation of our unique fauna.”
Mr Speirs said he looked forward to working with Dr Lewis on supporting the natural resource management reform agenda.
“Dr Lewis brings a wealth of experience to the role, understands the needs of local communities and will bring invaluable expertise and knowledge to the role of presiding member.”
Dr Lewis will take up the new appointment from 1 July 2018.