To study recent developments in the various branches of conservation and management of natural resources - UK

David Steane was born in Kashmir, India in 1927, when he was three, his father took up the post of Conservator of Forests in Tasmania and the family moved to Hobart. At seventeen, he was awarded a scholarship to the Australian Forestry School in Canberra, where he studied for four years, gaining his degree in Forestry.

In his youth he was an avid bush-walker and adventurer, and made many excursions to interesting places on his legendary motor-bike. In 1952 David went to work for a private operator in the north-east of Tasmania and became involved in planting marram grass on the sand dunes to prevent erosion on grazing country. This was the start of a theme that followed him throughout his working life.



David was awarded a Churchill Fellowship to study conservation in Israel, Turkey and the United Kingdom, which he used to study for his Master’s Degree in Conservation at University College, London.

In 1971 he and his family moved to Hobart in Southern Tasmania, where he took up the post of Chief Land Management Officer for the Tasmanian Lands Department, until his retirement in 1987. Here his role involved overseeing the management of Coastal and Protected Areas, a role that he pursued with passion and diligence, not fearing to petition his seniors when he felt something needed doing.


A lesson to Tasmania is provided by Britain where the national Trust and government Authorities are buying every piece of coastline they can, to preserve it. Similar is taking place in the US and Canada. The scheme in Britain was called ‘Operation Neptune’.
His visit strengthened his conviction that as much as possible of Tasmania’s coastline should be protected as public reserves. He advocated that adequate reserves should be set aside for posterity for recreation and general service so that all members of the public could enjoy it not just those owners of property that boarders the sea.
Such reservations would enable the State Authorities to take steps to prevent encroachment from the sea.

David noted that in Britain and the US that instead of parks for people to look at there was an effort being made to incorporate information to explain what was going on in the countryside. This he felt helped people to appreciate the parks more and to care for them better.
Interpretive walks were also seen as excellent ways to inform the public