WTA Committee

WTA Committee

Ronda Green, Denise Goodfellow, Peter Wood, Aise Kim, Fiona McCaul, Maree Kerr and Mark Le Pla

CHAIR Ronda Green, BSc(Hons) PhD


Ronda Green

Ronda Green

Dr. Ronda Green is an adjunct research fellow at Environmental Futures, Griffith University, conducting research on seed dispersal by fruit-eating animals and the effects of habitat alteration. She  has been involved in wildlife tourism for several decades, and runs the multi-award winning ‘Araucaria Ecotours’ specialising in wildlife tours from Brisbane. Ronda has also recently developed the Scenic Rim Wildlife Information Centre, powered by photovoltaic cells, on her family property near Rathdowney, South East Queensland, and nature trails emanating from this. She has recently published a handbook of wildlife tourism for guides, students and business start-ups, and has authored and co-authored several research reports for Sustainable Tourism CRC Griffith University (negative and positive effects of wildlife tourism on wildlife, birdwatching tourism in Australia etc.,)  and initiated  and run various wildlife workshops and the 2 day Wildlife Festival in Beaudesert in 2008 She is also chair of Wildlife Preservation Society Scenic Rim Branch Inc.  Publications and presentations by Ronda can be viewed here.


VICE CHAIR Denise Lawungkurr Goodfellow, BA, Grad Dip (sociology of tourism), PhD candidate

Northern Territory

Denise Lawungkurr Goodfellow

Denise Lawungkurr Goodfellow

Denise Lawungkurr Goodfellow is a birdwatching/natural history guide, environmental/Indigenous tourism consultant and writer.  As biological consultant she has conducted fauna surveys in the remote Top End, often solo. In 1981 she stood for Council to save mangrove habitat.  Learning that Indigenous people lacked representation she won their trust by accepting an invitation from a senior woman to catch a water python, entailing four hours in a lake inhabited by large estuarine crocodiles. The Indigenous women were horrified when Denise was then threatened with prosecution, and to protect her they adopted Denise. Denise began working as a birdwatching/natural history guide for international visitors in the early 80’s.  Later she ran a national campaign against operators in Kakadu National Park who rammed crocodiles with boats to make them jump for visitors, a mistreatment that angered the Indigenous owners and made them want to ban visitors. At the request of her adopted Aboriginal sisters, Denise helped establish an appropriate tourism project on their country, Baby Dreaming, in western Arnhem Land.  The elders, previously scared and distrustful of white people, drove 450 kms to Denise’s home to tell her their first visitors – American birdwatchers and students – were “great”. Elders also decided to make their prized hunting waterhole a sanctuary for birds. The sensitive visitation enhanced the status of women and families.   Denise has worked as a wildlife and Indigenous adviser to television, and in 2000 was contracted as an interpreter/transcriber on the Lonely Planet’s Guide to Aboriginal Australia. Her book Birds of Australia’s Top End has been described as winning “top honors” (American Birdwatcher’s Digest), and ‘impressive’ (the American Birding Association’s Winging It).  Her autobiographical Quiet Snake Dreaming is used for literacy projects in European educational institutions and cross-cultural awareness courses. Since 2010 Denise has lectured for the University of New South Wales’ summer school and is presently planning a study tour for the University of Georgia.  She is doing a PhD on American couples who travel internationally to watch birds.

SECRETARY and Membership Secretary, Aise Kim PhD

Dr-Aise-KimSouth Australia

Dr Aise Kim is a Senior Lecturer in Tourism Management at the University of South Australia.

She completed her PhD on visitor interpretation and sustainable tourism at the University of Surrey, U.K.  Her research interest areas include tourism impacts, tourist behaviours, pro-environmental behaviour, market segmentation, destination image, and tourism destination marketing. She has a distinctive track record in the field of environmental behaviour and visitor interpretation in nature-based tourism areas, publishing her research work in top-tier journals, Journal of Travel Research, Tourism Management, Journal of Ecotourism, and Tourism Geographies.

Dr Kim has been actively involved in several research projects focusing on tourist behaviours and the psychological and environmental impacts of those behaviours in the field of special interest tourism, such as bird-watching tourism, fossil-based tourism, nature-based tourism, food tourism, and ecotourism. She was one of the successful applicants to the South Australian Tourism Commission and Flinders Ranges Tourism Industry Association for the project which examined the potential of nature-based tourism products for sustainable regional economic development in the Flinders Ranges region, South Australia. Her recent research work also is extended to examine a cross-cultural study on green accommodation, targeting wildlife tourists and nature-based tourists.

She is keen to make a stronger connection with the industry and engage with the project which makes significant impacts on the policy development and practical implications for sustainable business development at a local, regional and national scale.

Peter Wood , BSc, PhD

Peter Wood

Far North Queensland

Peter Wood completed a PhD at the James Cook University (JCU) on the conceptual, supply and demand of marine research tourism worldwide and in Australia in 2011. Presently he is a researcher with the JCU studying products and markets for offshore research tourism over the Great Barrier Reef. Since 2009, Peter has supported the marine tourism company – Eye to Eye Marine Encounters with marketing, grant and award applications, and advanced ecotourism accreditation. He presented a paper on marine research tourism at the national wildlife tourism workshop in 2013. Other presentations have included 

  • Wood, P. (2009). Opportunities for marine research tourism in Australia. Paper presented at the First International Symposium on Volunteering and Tourism.
  • Wood, P., & Coghlan, A. (2008). The conceptual nature of marine research tourism and key stakeholder involvment in marine research tourism. Paper presented at the 18th Annual CAUTHE Conference.
  • Wood, P., & Rumney, J. (2009). Key stakeholder views of marine research tourism in Australia. Paper presented at the 6th Coastal & Marine Tourism Congress, Port Elizabeth, South Africa.,
  • Wood, P., & Zeppel, H. (2008). The preferences of potential marine research tourists for different marine research tourism products in Australia. Paper presented at the The Future Success of Tourism: New Directions, Challenges and Opportunities. ISTTE (International Society of Travel & Tourism Educators) Conference. AWARD: Best Paper (Full Refereed Paper) at ISTTE Conference 2008




Fiona McCaul

Fiona McCaul

Fiona McCaul

In 2009 Fiona moved to Darwin, this life changing time introduced Fiona to new wildlife on a different scale with a backyard filled with amazing creatures!  Tata lizards, Radjah Shelducks visiting by water, a Merten’s Water Monitor visiting everyday to sun himself on the deck, orange footed scrub fowl scratching in the garden beds, a pheasant coucal dropping in for the odd grasshopper or lizard snack and a favourite the Figbirds that come to feed on the palm fruit.  Fiona completed a Certificate III in Eco Tourism Guiding with EcoTraining Australia at Swim Creek Station in 2009, changing her perspective forever.  Fiona is currently studying a Bachelor of Arts(Fine Arts) degree with Curtin University with many of her works inspired by wildlife.

Fiona has been working as a marketing consultant since 2009 and looks forward to supporting and working with wildlife eco tourism orientated operators around Australia to market their business with recently launched business name The Marketing Pod.  Fiona’s career in marketing roles is diverse and comprehensive in environments including health, retail, the arts, property management in shopping centres and in residential and commercial property development.  Fiona has worked with Australia’s world-class residential master planning developer Lend Lease, South Australia’s iconic Carclew Youth Arts, plus international leading property management companies such as Stockland and Savills and has received 9 Property Council of Australia Excellence in Marketing Awards for shopping centre marketing campaigns. More recently Fiona has consulted for a number of Medicare Locals around Australia, marketing the national eHealth Record to Australian residents and writing PR and communications plans for various branches.

Maree Kerr

MareeKerrMaree Treadwell (Kerr) has a Masters of Wildlife Management and is an executive committee member of the Australasian Bat Society Inc, a member of Australian Wildlife Management Society and Animal research group, and a state representative of Interpretation Australia. She has a background in environmental, heritage and cultural interpretation and visitor services in zoos, wildlife sanctuaries, national parks and museums, including nine years in outreach community and school programs with Ku-ring-gai Bat Conservation Society. Maree has a special interest in bats, particularly flying-foxes, and in 2012 created the annual Australasian Bat Night which she coordinates on behalf of the Australasian Bat Society (ABS), in partnership with community groups, local councils and people involved in bat conservation, interpretation and tourism. Maree is looking at a PhD project investigating societal values on flying foxes and assessing impact of education/ interpretation (including tourism) programs in changing attitudes and impact of this on conservation effort and outcomes. Maree is also coordinating a Batty tourism project on behalf of the ABS. She is currently compiling a list of places to see bats of all sorts throughout Australia and New Zealand prior to placing these onto an interactive map on the ABS website, and is asking for information from people involved in tourism, education, research and bat care. Please send information to cantcatchme@netspeed.com.au. Maree also has an interest in social media and its potential for education, conservation, research and tourism.

Mark Le Pla

Mark-and-scrubwrenMark Le Pla has a Bachelor of Science with Honours, majoring in Ecology and Conservation Biology. He completed my studies in 2012 and have since spent time in western and north Queensland assisting in birding studies as a volunteer. He is currently a senior tour guide at Cedar Creek Estate, responsible for the Glow-worm Cave and Frog Hollow exhibit tours. This position involves providing visitors with information about the ecology of glow-worms/frogs and their importance in their respective environments. Through his university studies, tour-guiding and volunteer opportunities, he has found a passion for public speaking about the ecology of Australian native animals as well as the possibilities behind integrating science and tourism. He has a special interest in both frog and avian communities and hopes to learn more about integrating citizen science and wildlife tourism in the future.