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Hotspots Staff Update, December 2022

Saturday, 17th December 2022

Hotspots Staff Update, December 2022

Within the NSW Rural Fire Service, Žofie Lahodny-Gecso (pictured) has joined us as Acting Hotspots Coordinator. Žofie has worked with the NSW RFS for the past 18 years, with her previous role primarily involving issuing environmental approvals for hazard reduction works, handling hazard complaints and conducting community engagement. In 2009, Žofie worked alongside Jali Local Aboriginal Land Council and others facilitating the first Indigenous Hotspots program in NSW, on Jali lands at Wardell.

Also joining us from RFS is Jason McWhirter, who is the Hotspots Environmental Coordinator. Jason is based in Bateman’s Bay and has over fifteen years’ experience working in various state government natural resource management departments and private companies as an Environmental Advisor.

Jason is also an RFS volunteer with over thirty years’ experience having held many positions including Brigade Captain and has worked in Community Engagement and Hazard Management in the Queanbeyan/Braidwood area. Before Hotspots, Jason has extensive operational experience and is qualified as an Incident Management Logistics Officer and Planning Officer.

Also joining the Hotspots team are Belinda Kenny and Neale Watson. Belinda and Neale will be joining Nature Conservation Council as ecologists.

With extensive experience in NSW government position, Belinda is an applied scientist with a passion for conservation, expertise in fire ecology and fire behaviour, strong plant identification skills, and a keen interest in weed management. Belinda is happiest when using expert knowledge and technical skills for practical land management outcomes and she will be focusing on supporting workshops around Central NSW.

Neale has over 40 years' experience working in natural resource management in NSW and Victoria, particularly in visitor, fire and pest management in National Parks and other conservation reserves. Neale is based in Narrawallee and will support delivery in the southern region of NSW.

To learn more about other Hotspots team members, check out our staff page:

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