Rangelands NRM Blog, News & Resources

Rangeland Roundtable gets rangeland science discussion going

The ‘Rangeland Science Roundtable’ met last month to discuss We need to do ‘it’ differently. What is IT?

The Roundtable is a monthly forum for people passionate about contributing to rangeland social, economic and ecological science.

It has been running since 2017 and has been facilitated by Rod Safstrom and more recently by both Rod and Chris Curnow (Rangelands NRM), and generally runs for 90 minutes. Rangelands NRM aims to continue the Roundtable and will seek renewed engagement from its adherents.

Participants are asked to bring to the session an item that represents the month’s theme for them— a book, a report, a paper, a picture, or an artefact.

“This is a form of academic discussion where participants agree on a specific topic to discuss,” Chris said.

“Each person is given equal right to participate, as illustrated by the idea of a circular layout referred to in the term roundtable.”

The event is designed to share learning across agencies, consultants, pastoralists and other interested people working in WA’s pastoral and unallocated rangelands country; and contribute to questions surrounding sustainability in the rangelands.

In previous meetings of the Rangelands Roundtable, participants have explored many and varied issues that strike at the core of the future sustainability of these vast Outback regions.

“The idea is always to support and challenge each other’s thinking and to give each other ideas to take forward into our own various endeavours, sometimes separate to those in the group,” Chris said.

“We don’t always achieve the unity, but we do go a long way to achieving better understanding,” said long-time rangelands practitioner and total grazing pressure stalwart Greg Brennan.

Some thoughts from our recent gatherings:

  • If we want a different outcome, we need to do something differently.
  • Sharing commitment and passion
  • Generating hope and inspiration
  • What do people need?
  • What can I do to make a difference?
  • Volunteering opportunities
  • Come together to share; action orientated
  • Why does the conversation get stuck?
  • Fierce conversation
  • Different ways of working
  • At the end of the day, what has been good in these Rangelands Roundtables?

The group is keen for new participants to join, so if you are interested, please contact Chris Curnow on chrisc@rangelandswa.com.au or phone 0429 387 644.
Previous Themes of the Roundtable (2017-2019) have been:

  1. What rangelands ‘hat’ do I bring?
  2. Bring a rangelands question you are exploring.
  3. How do you ‘see’ the rangelands landscape?
  4. Regenerative pastoralism – Do the economics add up?
  5. Let’s share our stories and experiences with groundcover.
  6. Looking to 2017: Let’s share our aspirations in the rangelands
  7. Where do I fit into the rangelands social map?
  8. Carrots and sticks. What has worked for you?
  9. Sharing our rangelands knowledge. How do you share your rangelands knowledge?
  10. Is there an opportunity for a Wentworth style group in the rangelands?
  11. Feedback from the National Rangelands Conference
  12. Our opportunities for contributing in the rangelands in 2018
  13. Economic perspectives for rangelands regeneration
  14. Functional restoration, novel ecosystems, ‘Taboo’ restoration options, carbon opportunities
  15. How we understand carbon opportunities in the WA rangelands
  16. The CENTURY ecosystem and carbon monitoring tool explained and Is there a role for introduced plant species in carbon farming in rangelands landscapes?
  17. Increasing Soil Carbon in the Rangelands – Understanding the potential in terms of soils, landscape function, monitoring, potential methods
  18. Sharing our planning contributions in 2019
  19. Resourcing the Rangelands
  20. Connecting across the Rangelands and Land Holder Led Landscape Planning vs Government Compliance Planning
  21. Stewardship – but we explored Greg Brennan’s Abstract for the Rangelands Conference
  22. We need to do ‘it’ differently. What is it? Why are we here and where to from here? What can I do to make a small difference?