Key-note speakers

Key-note speakers at the National Wildlife Tourism Workshop 16-18th May 2012

We have the following excellent keynote speakers presenting at the workshop  –

  • Professor Clem Tisdel – Australia’s foremost expert on the economics of wildlife tourism
  • Associate-professor Darryl Jones – a wildlife behavioural ecologist who leads a team of researchers on human-wildlife ineteractions, and wellknown as an entertaining and informative speaker
  • Shane O’Reilly – manager of one of Australia’s pioneering and longest-running ecotourism ventures, and with experience of various facets of tourism in Australia and South Africa
  • (regrettably Steve Parish will no longer be joining us)

See below for details of each

Their presentations will cover many aspects of wildlife tourism,  and are looking forward to their formal presentations with valuable updates and insights, plus their involvement in discussion groups and informal chats during the workshop.

You can now also read interviews with:


Clement Tisdell

Professor Clement Tisdell is one of Australia’s most prolific authors on economics. While he has conducted research and lectured in many fields of economics, he is well-known as a pioneer in the field of ecological economics and is Australia’s leading expert on the economics of wildlife tourism. His experience and expertise will be apparent from this small sample of his publications:

  • Tisdell, C.A. (1974). The value of demand for and supply of national parks – economic issues raised by recreational use. Research Paper No.4, Board of Environmental Studies, Newcastle University, NSW
  • Tisdell, C.A. (1983a). The Great Barrier Reef: A regional case of tourism and natural resources. Australian Parks and Recreation, May, 37-42. Reprinted in the UN Wildlife and National Parks Management Bulletin, 10(4), 1-6
  • Tisdell, C.A. (1984a). The environment and tourism in South East Asian and Australia: Experiences and strategies relevant to tourism development and administration. Thai Journal of Development Administration, 24(1), 124-142
  • Tisdell, C.A. (1986b). Conflicts about living marine resources in Southeast Asia and Australian waters: Turtles and dugongs as cases. Marine Resource Economics, 3(1), 89-109.
  • Tisdell, C.A. (1988a). The economic potential of wildlife on the Otago Peninsula, especially the yellow-eyed penguin for tourism. Economics Discussion Papers, No. 8818 University of Otago, Dunedin, NZ.
  • Tisdell, C.A. (1988b). Sustainable development: Differing perspectives of ecologists and economists and their relevance to LDCs World Development, 16, 373-384.
  • Tisdell, C.A. (1988c). Sustaining and measuring gains from tourism based and natural sites: Analysis with reference to the Galapagos. Pp. 229-252 In C. A. Tisdell, G. J. Aislabie and P. J. Stanton (Eds.), Economics of Tourism, Institute of Industrial Economics, Newcastle University, Australia.
  • Tisdell, C.A. (2003). Fostering tourism to diversify and develop small economies: Brunei’s policies in a general context. Pacific Tourism Review, (6), 83-94.
  • Tisdell, C.A. (2009). Wildlife conservation and the value of New Zealand’s Otago Peninsula: Economic impacts and other considerations. Pp. 277-290 In J. D. Harris and P. L. Brown (Eds.), Wildlife, Destruction, Conservation and Biodiversity, Nova Science Publishers Inc., New York.
  • Tisdell, C.A. and Bandara, Ranjith (2009). A Sri Lankan elephant orphanage: Does it increase willingness to conserve elephants? How do visitors react to it? Pp. 253- 276 In J. D. Harris and P. L. Brown (Eds.), Wildlife, Destruction, Conservation and Biodiversity, Nova Science Publishers Inc., New York.
  • Tisdell, C.A. and Swarna Nantha, H. (2008). Conservation of the proboscis monkey and the orangutan in Borneo: Comparative issues and economic considerations. Pp. 225-250 In V. K. Gupta and A. K. Verma (Eds.), Perspectives in Animal Ecology & Reproduction Vol. 5, Daya Publishing House, Delhi.
  • Tisdell, C.A. and Wilson, C. (2002). Economic, Educational and Conservation Benefits of Sea Turtle Based Ecotourism: A study focused on Mon Repos. Wildlife Tourism Research Report Series, No. 20 CRC Sustainable Tourism, Griffith University, Gold Coast, Queensland.
  • Tisdell, C.A. and Wilson, C. (2004). Economics, Wildlife Tourism and Conservation: Three Case Studies. Technical Report, CRC for Sustainable Tourism Pty Limited, Griffith University, Gold Coast, Queensland. [the three case studies here involved Lamington National Park, Glow Worms in southeast Queensland, and Antarctica]
  • Xue, D., Cook, A. and Tisdell, C.A. (2000). Biodiversity and the tourism value of Changbai Mountain Biosphere Reserve, China: A travel cost approach. Tourism Economics, 6, 335-357.

Do you start to see why we’re excited to hear Clement’s updates on the economics of wildlife tourism inAustralia and have the opportunity for discussions with him?


Darryl Jones

Associate Professor Darryl Jones has a reputation amongst students and the general public as being an  entertaining and highly informative speaker. He and his team of students and assistants have been researching human-wildlife connections for many years, including wildlife tourism. Darryl is also deputy director of the Environmental Futures Centre at Griffith University, which aims to “understand and develop solutions to facilitate a clean, resilient and sustainable future for our global environments.”

Darryl has conducted extensive work on birds, especially brush turkeys and magpies, but also on other animal groups.  Here is a sample of his publications of particular relevance to wildlife tourism:

  • Jones, D.N. & Reynolds J. 2008. Bird feeding in our towns and cities: A global research opportunity. Journal of Avian Biology 39: 265-271.
  • Jones, D. N. and Buckley, R. (2001). ‘Bird-watching tourism in Australia.’ (CRC for Sustainable Tourism:Gold Coast)
  • Jones, D. N., Enck, J. W., Siemer, W. F., Decker, D. J. and Brown, T. L. 1998. An Introduction to Human Dimensions of Wildlife Management: Taking the North American Experience to Australia. Human Dimensions Research Unit Series No. 98- 7, Cornell University
  • Jones, D. N. and Nealson, T.2005. Impacts of bird watching on communities and species: Long-term and short-term responses in rainforest and eucalypt habitats. CRC Sustainable Tourism Technical Reports, Vol. 2005, pp. 1-17
  • Bond, A. & Jones D.N. 2008. Temporal trends in use of fauna-friendly overpasses and underpasses. Wildlife Research 35: 103-112.
  • Chapman R. & Jones, D.N. 2009. Just feeding the ducks: Quantifying a common wildlife-human interaction. Sunbird39: 19-28
  • Green, R. & Jones, D.N. 2010. Practices, needs and attitudes of bird-watching tourists in Australia. Sustainable Tourism CRC MonographSeries, Pp. 70.
  • Selles, A., O’Hare, M., Jones, D. N. and Veage, L. 2008. Integrating fauna protection into road design. Public Works Engineering, Vol. 43(4), pp. 80-84

Darryl also writes a regular column on urban wildlife for the Wildlife Australia magazine. He has traveled widely on several continents, and has conducted research and lectured in North America.


Shane O’Reilly

Shane is the Managing Director of O’Reilly’s Rainfrest Retreat and associated businesses.  O’Reilly’s was one of the pioneers of Australian ecotourism lomg before the word was coined, and is now one of the laergest and oldest such operations in the country. Shane of course is part of the multi-generational family associated with this well-known venture that started out with a bumpy dirt track presenting something of  a challenge to reach the little cabins amidst the forest, and now attracts many birdwatchers and other nature-lovers from around the world, and holds regular bird weeks, frog weeks and other specialized events.

Shane has studied business and human resources at tertiary level and has worked in hospitality in both South Africa and Australia, which has given him some insights into some of the directions Australian wildlife and nature tourism could go to provide some very special experiences for travellers.  He is also concerned about the narrow margin for profit in many Australian wildlife tourism ventures, which can make it difficult for operators to keep going. He  is a board member of both Tourism Queensland and the Gondwana World Heritage Committee, as well as being active in various local tourism groups.


Steve Parish

Steve will no longer be joining us, but we;re leaving his description here for now

Steve Parish is Australia’s best-known wildlife photographer and publisher of an extensive range of Australian wildlife books for adults and children.

Steve has a passion for all kinds of wildlife and for connecting people – especially children – with nature. His company’s (Steve Parish Publishing) vision  is to ” bring people the story of Australian nature, so they will be inspired to champion its protection.” This is not unlike the aim of many wildlife tourism operators,who will have much to gain from Steve’s long experience and insights.

While still a teenager, Steve  started to notice that fish could be not only beautiful but have personalities, and switched from hunting with a spear-gun to stalking sea creatures with an underwater camera. He later widened his hobby to animals in other habitats and finally turned it into a full-time profession (which he has now pursued for several decades), often working along with researchers to compile records of species never before filmed (or never filmed quite so well), sometimes in less-than-confortable situations,  as well as reaching out to the general public of all ages with captivating photos of animals and landscapes, and later also children’s stories and activity books, travel guides and books on how to photograph wildlife and their habitats, as well as publishing books on similar themes by other authors.

He has won many awards, including:

  • 1974 Nikon South Pacific Underwater Photographer of the Year
  • 1993 Silver and Bronze Medals Queensland Industry Craftsmanship Awards for Excellence in Print Production
  • 1996 Gold Medal for Casebound Books in the 13th National Print Awards
  • 1999 Australian Photographic Society’s Award for Contribution to Nature Photography
  • 2001 Winner in the Whitley Awards in the Best Popular Zoology Book category for the Encyclopedia of Australian Wildlife
  • 2003 Wilderness Society Environment Award for Outstanding Environmental Publishing
  • 2008 Awarded Medal of the Order of Australia for services to publishing

Steve has much to share with tourism operators – how to set up a small business and turn it into a great success, how to use an animal’s special qualities to capture public imagination and empathy, how to arouse interest in the lesser-known creatures, how to get children feeling a connection with nature, and of course how to take great photos!

Steve’s presentation on Friday 18th May, at the wildlife tourism workshop:

This is a great opportunity to learn from an expert.



Photographing Australian wildlife is a very popular and a very addictive pastime — one that can provide a dedicated photographer with a life-long interest and can be very alluring when offered in workshop/holiday expedition formats to both beginner and more advanced photographers.  The activity of acquiring the images is as diverse in approach as there are species found in Australia, however Steve’s talk will attempt to strip away confusion and present the activity in its simplest form.  This presentation will cover the capture and post production of images and there will be a particular emphasis on choosing, using and marketing wildlife experiences in this modern digital age using wildlife images in a social media environment.


Further notes:

Naturalist photographer Steve Parish has specialised in the photography of Australian animals for forty years.  His skills have enabled him to develop a wide ranging portfolio across all animal groups and in this fascinating talk Steve reveals the techniques that apply across all mammal, reptile, amphibian, bird and invertebrate groups.  Steve also works underwater with fish mammals and invertebrates and will also briefly cover this fascinating area.

Of special interest to tour operators, good wildlife photography can be very useful  for:

  • promotion – how to compose, take, and edit for great photos to capture the attention and interest of potential customers (whether on your main website or Facebook page, in brochures, adverts, posters etc.)
  • interpretation – good photos showing animals in their native habitat  and doing interesting things are part of this – whether they are to be used in an educational way on the web, in nature trails, other signage, interactive computer programs, or just in a folder for guests to peruse while on your tour or staying at your accommodation.

See WTA’s interview with Steve here