Dr Rik Thwaites
Board member since 2015
Rik provides the Conservation Ecology Centre with expert advice in the area of community development. He is passionate about the natural environment and how rural communities interact with their environment, particularly the potential for rural people to be the drivers of improved environmental management and protection.
Rik is a senior lecturer in ecotourism, a social scientist and member of the Institute for Land, Water and Society at Charles Sturt University. He has been involved in a large variety of research projects and consultancies related to ecotourism, protected area and natural resource management in local and Indigenous communities, and climate change adaptation.
In recent years, Rik has also taught and undertaken research in Nepal, India, Vietnam, East Timor, China and Fiji.
“ I have known Lizzie and Shayne since their early days at Cape Otway, and have been inspired by their dedication and enthusiasm to their work. Over time they have shown a great capacity to engage with the community at many levels, and to seek new and innovative approaches. Together with their team, they have helped to drive great change in our understanding of the Otways environment and in the way it is managed, lessons that are useful beyond this local area. I am particularly excited by the future prospects for the Conservation Ecology Centre and its associated entities, and the opportunity to be able to make my own small contributions to its successful operation.“