The VSTWP contracts three Extension Officers to develop and implement community-led targeted extension projects in the regions around the containment line, and within the core infestation area. All of the extension officers have a strong background in agricultural science and invasive plants, as well as previous experience in serrated tussock management.
Please find a biography on each of our three extension officers below, with a fourth extension officer likely to be contracted in the coming months.
Ivan joined the VSTWP as the Executive Officer whilst working for the Department of Primary Industries in Kyneton in 2011-2012. Since leaving the State Government, Ivan has begun a private consulting business and has been contracting as an Extension Officer for the past four years with the VSTWP. During this time, he has conducted extension projects in Clarkfield, Riddells Creek, Sunbury, Gisborne and Bullengarook and provided one to one extension to over 1000 land owners for serrated tussock infestations.
Having studied his undergraduate Applied Science degree at Federation University, he completed a post graduate masters degree at RMIT in Environmental Planning and Sustainability. He worked for the Department of Primary Industries for seven years before leaving to start consulting in Environmental Projects across the State, including Community Engagement Officer at the VSTWP and Wildlife Surveyor with Wombat forestcare.
Ivan has represented the VSTWP at many events, conferences and field days across the state and has an in depth understanding of the biological and treatment options available for serrated tussock. He has produced TV Commercial, Radio Advertisements and conducted evaluation on behalf of the VSTWP and currently manages the VSTWP website and communication activities.
His other interests include gardening, soccer obsessions and getting out into the wilderness as often as possible.
Antares joined the VSTWP as Extension Officer in 2022 in the Gippsland Region. She has a background in ecology and botany and is employed through ID Ecological Management.
She has completed a number of key projects in the Gippsland region for the VSTWP and has a great engagement presence and has achieved a great deal of treatments in the region.