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 Emer O’Gara

 Coordinator Plant Diseases Program – Parks and Wildlife Service | Department of Biodiversity Conservation and Attractions

 Presentation Title: Playing your cards right! Green Card – Past, present and future

Meet the Presenter:

Emer O’Gara has worked on Phytophthora for almost 30 years and has had the privilege of working with a number of eminent scientists and knowledgeable people – many of whom she hopes to meet up with at DIG/DIF. 

Phytophthora seems to draw Emer back to WA at 10 year intervals.  She first came to WA in 1993 to undertake her PhD at Murdoch University on how P. cinnamomi infects jarrah in Alcoa’s rehabilitation with Professor Giles Hardy, the late Dr Ian Colquhoun and Emeritus Professor Jen McComb.  After a post-doc in Melbourne on P. palmivora in tropical fruit and many wonderful work trips to NT, FNQ, Thailand and Vietnam Emer returned to WA in 2003 and worked with Giles at the Centre for Phytophthora Science and Management where she learnt that a GPS can look deceptively like a mobile phone! 

Emer had a break from Phytophthora for a few years to work in agroforestry, catchment recovery and climate change before going with my family to live in France for three years….and you guessed it…returned to WA at the end of  2013 to commence work with DBCA as the Plant Diseases Program Coordinator. 

Emer thoroughly enjoys working with colleagues in other agencies and organisations to pool ideas, expertise and resources to take innovative approaches to old problems. She is currently the Plant Diseases Program Coordinator – a demanding and sometimes challenging role but well supported by a skilled, passionate and dedicated team.

Tilo Massenbauer


Green Card was developed in 2010 by the Department of Biodiversity Conservation and Attractions (DBCA) to provide awareness on the potential for environmental impacts when undertaking on-ground works in the South Coast Region.  Green Card was then adapted and adopted more broadly within the department and in the community in collaboration with the Dieback Working Group (DWG) as a course that provided training on the biology, impacts and management of dieback.  DBCA’s 2017 Dieback Management Manual states that Green Card will be mandatory for all personnel involved in on-ground works on lands managed by the department, and DWG and South Coast NRM (SCNRM) have actively promoted it so that to date it has been delivered in the classroom to over 2000 people. 

As the requirement for Green Card has increased it has become apparent in the department that the capacity for classroom delivery of the course on demand is limited. Consequently, DBCA have just completed development of an online version of Green Card which comprises eight modules, each with an assessment.  A ‘taster’ of the online Green Card will be delivered in this presentation.  The increased demand for, and recognition of, the non-accredited Green Card within government, industry and the community led to a decision to form the Dieback Training Consortium to provide oversight, coordination, communication and collaborations on the development and delivery of dieback training products existing and emerging in Western Australia. 

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This event was supported by funding from the Western Australian Government’s State NRM Program, the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions, Newmont Boddington Gold, and Perth NRM

This project is supported by funding from the Western Australian Government's State NRM Program

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