The beginning of July heralded a change for Perth Zoo as it was amalgamated with Kings Park, Rottnest Island and the Department of Parks and Wildlife to form the new Department of Conservation, Biodiversity and Attractions (DBCA).
The amalgamation was the result of wide spread reform in the West Australian public service.
DBCA consolidates conservation science under one agency while creating opportunities to work collaboratively and engage the community to deliver on the conservation, protection and enhancement of natural and cultural heritage in Western Australia’s parks and reserves.
For Perth Zoo it offers a unique opportunity to strengthen and share our notable expertise in conservation, research, animal husbandry, community engagement and education.
The formation of the DBCA resulted in some structural change with the new Department reporting to both the Minister for Environment and Minister for Tourism. A new Interim Director General, Mr Mark Webb was also appointed to lead the department. Mr Webb is formerly the acting Director General of the Department of Agriculture and Food. Prior to that he was CEO at the Botanic Gardens and Parks Authority for more than a decade.
Ms Maria Finnigan, a long-time zoological professional and ASMP member, is currently the Acting Executive Director of Perth Zoo. She will take over many of the functional roles of the former Chief Executive Officer, Susan Hunt who departed to pursue another role within West Australian Government. Susan had been with Perth Zoo for 17 years. Having been a former ZAA President and the current WAZA President, she has left a strong legacy and helped transform Perth Zoo into a leading conservation institution.
For the majority of Perth Zoo’s stakeholders the creation of the DBCA will have little consequence. Perth Zoo will retain its external brand and continue to operate the Zoo, related business areas and projects at Perth Zoo. However Perth Zoo email addresses will change to @dbca, so please do not delete our correspondence!
More information about the new Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions can be found here: www.dbca.wa.gov.au
Danielle Henry, Media and Communication Manager, Perth Zoo