Posted: March 15, 2023

Check out our conversation with Michael Reid, a practitioner and director with the Agriculture Victoria Australian government agency, about his experiences seeing how government and community can come together and engage to manage invasive species and other biosecurity threats.

Session Description

The European rabbit was introduced in Australia in the 1850's for hunting. The population exploded in what researchers say was the fastest recorded colonization rate for an introduced mammal, becoming Australia's most widespread and destructive pest.   

Drawing from collaborative work in rabbit management, in this session, Michael talks about the approach to managing rabbits through the development of the Victorian Rabbit Action Network. In particular, shares stories about how re-framing rabbit management and drawing on a democratic systems approach has supported collective action targeting this wicked socio-ecological issue. 


Storyteller Bio

Working as an Executive in the Australian government for 18 years, Michael has seen how government and community can come together to manage invasive species and other biosecurity threats. He is a passionate advocate for community engagement and is interested in cooperative forms of governance, inclusive institutions, and distributive leadership. In 2019, Michael travelled to Baku, Azerbaijan, to collect the 2019 United Nations Public Service Award for developing more inclusive and equitable services and contributing to the sustainable development goals for managing rabbits in Australia on behalf of Agriculture Victoria. Michael was recently awarded the Churchill Fellowship, where he will investigate community-led programs that support the management of weeds and pest animals – in New Zealand, USA, UK, South Africa. 

About the Series

Stories from the Field is a conversation series on community engagement and applied research. The series is designed to bring academics and practitioners together for informal discussions about the challenges and opportunities of doing work with communities, businesses, and the public sector. Stories from the Field is hosted by Penn State's Center for Economic and Community Development, an applied research center dedicated to strengthening local and regional development in Pennsylvania and beyond.