The Communications and Knowledge Brokering project works across all the hub's projects to foster and support collaboration. The team aims to break down communication barriers by recognising obstacles as they appear, diagnosing their cause, identifying remedies and putting in place processes that promote communication. The project hosts interdiciplinary forums throughout the year for our researchers, partners and stakeholders.
The project also manages cross disciplinary studies, like the National Wildlife Corridors Plan (NWCP) to Regional Sustainable Planning and the Lower Hunter Mapping Community Values Study.
Knowledge brokering and communication services are delivered through the Communications Theme (Theme 1) by just one project, titled Communication and Knowledge Brokering, with a team of six led by Professor Ted Lefroy:
A full time communications manager based at the University of Tasmania - Suzie Gaynor
Two part time knowledge brokers based in the respective study areas that focus on connecting the hub’s researchers to regionally based agencies, land managers and decision makers:
Louise Gilfedder, Tasmanian Midlands (based in Hobart, Tasmania)
Gill Anderson, Australian Alps (based in Bright, Victoria)
One part time knowledge manager with a role to synthesise and communicate the hub's research with key portfolio areas within the Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities is Canberra based - Ross Rowe.
Adam Cowell is our dedicated liaison person in the Canberra based National Environmental Research Program team in the Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities.
Vanessa Mann is the part-time Business Manager from the UTAS Centre for Environment who manages the hub’s financial and contractual management, supports the logistics of bringing the hub's network of researchers and collaborators together and is the central registration point for all datasets acquired under licence and any new datasets generated by the hub’s researchers.
Dr Alex Lechner (Wildlife Corridors Research Fellow) leads a cross disciplinary study titled ‘Apply the principles of the National Wildlife Corridors Plan (NWCP) to Regional Sustainable Planning. Alex liaises closely with both the Wildlife Team and the Bioregional Futures Team.
As project leader, Ted Lefroy is responsible for building and maintaining relationships with groups within the Australian Government, State Government agencies, regional natural resource management organisations, non-government organisations, local government, other groups and organisations involved in biodiversity planning. He oversees the development and communication of the integration framework that delivers the collaborative and cross-disciplinary outcomes of the hub's research.
The communications manager is a pivotal link between projects in the hub, and between the hub and its research partners. Suzie Gaynor is responsible for developing the publication policies with the agreement of the hub’s partners, and overseeing the hub’s publications and online resources to ensure that research outputs are accessible to end users and stakeholders.
An important internal role for the Communications and Knowledge Brokering team is to break down barriers between teams by recognising obstacles to communications, diagnosing their cause, identifying remedies and creating preventative processes. This is especially the case in the area of biodiversity conservation and environmental management, where biophysical and social processes are poorly understood, management decisions are commonly based on untested assumptions, assessments of value at all levels from species to ecosystems are highly subjective, and the planning process involves reconciling competing values and interests. Similar obstacles can prevent effective communication with external audiences and an additional role of the knowledge brokers is to identify the hub’s different audiences, determine their preferred methods of communication, and prepare material designed to reach each audience most effectively.