Proposal to establish a new regular publication for the coastal management community of Australasia

Mr Tom Fitzgerald1

1University Of Sydney, Sydney, Australia


Coastal management in both Australia and New Zealand embraces a wide range of professional disciplines. Since 1990 in both Australia and New Zealand there have been annual and biannual conferences with the purpose of bringing together multidisciplinary practitioners to exchange information and learn best practices in managing complex and ambiguous coastal knowledge and issues.

Both the New Zealand Coastal Society (NZCS) and the ACS have been established with similar goals – to facilitate and promote the sharing of knowledge. The NZCS has produced a quarterly newsletter called ‘Coastal News’ since inception in 1990 (in hard copy and electronically). The ACS has no such regular newsletter.

There is significant knowledge contained in both Societies’ memberships and conference outputs. This knowledge should be available for present and future use. While there are a handful of relevant academic journals for coastal managers in existence globally, no such publication exists in Australasia.

Critically, there is no publication (formal or otherwise) which is devoted to the needs of a growing community of coastal scientists and managers in Australia and New Zealand. Is now the time to establish a regular online (and in-print) publication that serves the changing needs of the NZ and Australian coastal management communities?


Tom has broad experience in the development, analysis and implementation of coastal policy.  He’s worked for all levels of government, for NGOs, academic institutions and in the private sector in multiple jurisdictions.

Most recently Tom held senior positions within the NSW Department of Planning and Environment and had a lead role in both the coastal management reforms and the NSW Marine Estate work programme. He is now employed by the University of NSW undertaking a survey on the perceptions of risk and risk communication around coastal hazards. Tom is now based in Sydney but works in both Australia and NZ.

He was former Secretary for the Australian Coastal Society, Regional Coordinator for the New Zealand Coastal Society and has volunteered his time on the organising committees of the NSW Coastal Conference for the last 5 years and the NZCS Conference 2017. He also volunteers with the Environmental Defence Society (Australian Oceans Institute) in NZ on ocean management.

About the Association

The Australian Coastal Society (ACS) was initiated at the Coast to Coast Conference in Tasmania in 2004. The idea was floated as a means for those interested in coastal matters to communicate between conferences and where possible take resolutions of the conference to appropriate levels of government.

The idea was discussed further at the Coast to Coast Conference in Melbourne in 2006 and it was agreed that Bruce Thom develop a constitution of a company limited by guarantee that would operate on a national basis.

This plan was accomplished and in 2008 at the Coast to Coast Conference in Darwin the constitution was ratified and an Executive appointed. The company received charitable status in 2011.

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