Breakfast attendees enjoyed food supplied by the Bushfood Factory heard and from former WA Chief Scientist Professor Lyn Beazley AO FTSE about the significance of the South Coast’s biodiversity on a global scale and the challenges it faces into the future.

Professor Beazley also facilitated a discussion between a panel of local women, including Department of Parks and Wildlife ecologist Sarah Comer, botanist and botanical artist Ellen Hickman and social engagement and change specialist Dr Louise Duxbury.

The panel reflected the unique role played by women in the field and discussed opportunities for enhancing women’s networks for better conservation outcomes.

The field trip to Lake Pleasant View which followed the breakfast, took in a cultural tour of the site from Albany Heritage Reference Group Aboriginal Corporation chair Vernice Gillies.

Sarah Comer also spoke to the group about the significance of the wetlands to the threatened Australasian bittern and discussed current research being undertaken to assess population size, feeding habit and threats from predators.