Chris L. Curnow

Perth, Western Australia

Spanning national and international contexts, Chris has spent more than 20 years engaging land managers, individuals and communities from all walks of life for socio-economic and environmental outcomes. He has lived and worked all over the Americas and the Caribbean, including more than six years living and working in Central and South America. Since 2003, he has worked to promote private conservation that complements the National Reserve System in a bid to establish a truly integrated protected area network. In doing so he has championed Australia’s only internationally-recognised biodiversity hotspot – the Southwest Australia Ecoregion. Prior to this, he spent more than five years advising NGOs and governments in Latin America on environmental and development projects. In addition to Australia’s temperate eucalypt woodlands, Chris also has a passion for the conservation of Australia’s arid/semi-arid ecosystems. In the 1990s he worked with rangeland pastoralists to reduce total grazing pressure across vast areas of inland NSW – a major driver of environmental degradation on these fragile lands. From 2003 to 2013 he held the position of WWF-Australia’s Program Manager – Southwest Australia Land Manager Engagement.

From October to December 2013 he assisted as voyage crew to sail the Dutch tall ships ‘Tecla’ (voyage from Sydney to New Zealand and Falkland Islands to Uruguay) and ‘Bark Europa’ (voyage from New Zealand to Falkland Islands), crossing the Tasman Sea and the South Pacific Ocean and rounding Cape Horn. In a voyage of more than 6000 nautical miles entirely under sail, over nearly three months, Chris arrived alive and well on the shores of the River Plate at Colonia del Sacramento, Uruguay. A novice to traditional sailing and navigation upon high seas prior to this landmark journey, Chris says that time on the planet’s deep oceans have taught him many things.

In his spare time he likes to do back country treks, sea kayaking quiet estuaries and writing and performing songs with his band the Rusty Nails at the local farmers’ market. He is at heart an avid solo/adventure traveller, with recent sojourns including: Sub-antarctic forests of Navarino Island; Over-land from Guatemala through Central America and via the Darien Gap from Panama into Colombia; Sailing from Australia to Uruguay via Cape Horn three months under only sail; Cornwall to the Russian Arctic and Vladivostok by trains; Ice and rock in Greenland and Iceland.