The Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry has appointed Dr Bertie Hennecke as the new chief environmental biosecurity officer, drawing upon his expertise in natural resource management, invasive species, and agricultural sciences. With almost 30 years of experience in the public service and academia in Australia, Dr Hennecke holds a PhD in Botany and a master’s degree in international agriculture and has held senior leadership roles in the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES) and several plant biosecurity areas within the department.
Chris Locke, the deputy secretary of biosecurity and compliance, welcomed Dr Hennecke and commended his wealth of knowledge and experience that he brings to the role. As the chief environmental biosecurity officer, Dr Hennecke’s primary responsibility is to liaise between the government and the community to raise awareness and strengthen Australia’s capacity to manage biosecurity risks. Mr. Locke expressed confidence that Dr Hennecke’s expertise and skills would enable him to excel in this national leadership role.
“The role of the chief environmental biosecurity officer is to liaise between government and the community to raise awareness and build Australia’s capacity to manage biosecurity risks,” Chris Locke said.
“Dr Hennecke’s expertise and skills will ensure he excels in this national leadership role.”
Mr. Locke also acknowledged the significant contributions of outgoing chief environmental biosecurity officer Dr Robyn Cleland and wished her the very best in her retirement. With Dr Hennecke’s appointment, the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry is poised to continue its mission of protecting Australia’s environment and natural resources, ensuring the well-being of its citizens.