Education and training

Education and training


This five-day course takes you into the heart of the Blue Mountains to explore the realities of managing a protected conservation area. You will engage with local practitioners to develop an understanding of management challenges in on-ground conservation . Using a problem-oriented framework you will explore management of threats to the Park’s integrity.

This course is offered for the first time through the Blue Mountains World Heritage Institute as part of the Protected Areas Learning & Research Collaboration and in partnership with local government agencies.

Dates for this course have yet to be scheduled. Please contact Dr Rosalie Chapple to register your interest.

Course Content

Blue-Moutains-EscarpmentThe Blue Mountains are a one million hectare World Heritage Area inland from the expanding metropolis of Sydney. The area includes a resident population of about 80,000 people and is intermingled with mixed land use including agriculture, mining and tourism. This presents a fascinating protected area management challenge with multiple interacting threats and opportunities.

 This course will consider how conservation goals can be achieved, with management decisions informing and balancing ecological, economic, political and socio-cultural factors.

Course-photoTopics include:

  • Ecosystems, bushfires and introduced species
  • Co-management with Indigenous people
  • Public engagement
  • Government/non-government partnerships
  • Tourism
  • Managing the wild/urban interface
  • Urban planning and development to minimise impacts on World Heritage values
  • Identifying common interests and addressing conflicts


Development of capabilities in understanding and addressing the complexity and uncertainty of large-scale ecosystem management.  The professional development skills are widely applicable across the field of conservation and beyond, in both government and non-government.

Key features:

  • Practical, on-ground application
  • Extended time in the field with a diversity of practitioners in protected area conservation
  • Case study of nature conservation adjacent to a rapidly expanding metropolis
  • Addressing complexity using an interdisciplinary problem orientation framework. This provides a widely applicable process for defining and addressing problems

Who is the course for?

There are no pre-requisites other than commitment and enthusiasm. Suitable for professional development in government and non-government conservation efforts and for university students (credit for other subjects or courses may be possible – please discuss with course convener).

Registration / further information

Please contact Dr Rosalie Chapple for further information and/or to register your interest in this course.

Course Convener

RosalieRosalie Chapple (BSc PhD) is the Blue Mountains World Heritage Institute’s Program Director and a co-founder of the Blue Mountains World Heritage Institute (BMWHI) in 2004.
The Institute is a not-for-profit organisation partnering with government agencies and university researchers to support conservation and management of the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area. The Institute works with these agencies and local communities to develop integrated and collaborative approaches to the wide range of complex protected area management issues.

At the University of New South Wales, Rosalie leads an intensive short course focusing on management of the Blue Mountains World Heritage Area in the Masters of Environmental Management programme. This very popular course* has now been adapted for a wider audience and is offered through BMWHI in partnership with the Protected Areas Learning and Research Collaboration (PALRC).


The experience gained through this course been invaluable for my current role. The course offers a fully immersive learning experience, illustrating the importance of the varied stakeholder and interest groups associated with landscape-scale conservation. It covers a range of management issues, with ample opportunity for discussion with stakeholders and with other participants. I would recommend this course to anyone who is interested in conservation, particularly at the landscape scale and/or stakeholder engagement. It has really helped the establishment of the K2W partnership.  Mary Bonet, Facilitator for the Great Eastern Ranges Initiative – Kanangra Boyd to Wyangala Link (K2W)

If you want an insight into the complexities of protected area management, nothing beats getting out into the field and speaking to people who are actually doing it. This course delivers insights in spades. I couldn’t recommend it too highly. James Tremain, Communications Manager, Nature Conservation Council of NSW

Course facilitator & mentor

PCochrane picParticipating in the program as a facilitator and mentor will be Peter Cochrane, Chair of the Blue Mountains World Heritage Institute and with a long history of engagement and expertise in conservation and protected areas.


Day 1
ARRIVE & Check-in
Introductory session & Welcome to Country
Context & overview of park mgmt. issues & the GBMWHA
Introduction to problem orientation framework
Interpretive bushwalk (short)

Day 2
Interpretive bushwalk (3-4 hours)
INDIGENOUS CO-MANAGEMENT – Presentations from Traditional Owners & agency staff
PARK MANAGEMENT ASPECTS: Presentations from Parks & Wildlife managers

Day 3
TOURISM: Site visit to key local tourism operator/s
FIRE MANAGEMENT: Rural Fire Service (site visit)
Field site visits and presentations by Parks & Wildlife managers

Presentations from local council staff & site visits



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