University of Canberra
CURF Seminar | Monday 16 September 2019 | The Importance of Trees
Posted 16 August 2019 3:09pm

Our final Seminar in the CURF 2019 Seminar Series discussed the topic of "The Importance of Trees".  A panel of of three speakers was established including ACT Greens MLA Caroline Le Couteur, the newly appointed CEO of Landcare ACT Catherine Keirnan and Doctors for the Environment Australia (DEA) ACT President Dr Arnagretta Hunter.

When: Monday 16 September 2019


Caroline Le Couteur MLA

Ms Le Couteur outlined the case for urban trees.  She highlighted the threats to Canberra’s urban forest, and identified some of the policy and regulatory changes required to address those threats.

Download a copy of Caroline's presentation here: PRESENTATION


Caroline Le Couteur MLA is the ACT Greens Member for Murrumbidgee, elected in October 2016.

Caroline has spent her life making our community fairer and more sustainable. She was a founding director of Australian Ethical Investment, an ASX listed company that only invests in ethical and responsible companies. She has also been the Executive Director of the Australasian Centre for Corporate Responsibility, a not-for-profit organisation that fights to improve the sustainability of Australian businesses.

She was previously elected as Member for Molonglo in 2008, and her achievements include helping secure the ACT's greenhouse gas target, improving consultation on local planning, and strengthening animal welfare.

Caroline grew up in Canberra and studied economics at the Australian National University. She has lived in Canberra for most of her life, spending nearly 20 years in Woden where she now lives with her husband.

Dr Arnagretta Hunter

Where we live affects our health and wellbeing often more than appreciated. For example tree lined streets that are aesthetically pleasing are used more for walking.  This enjoyment of incidental exercise improves our mental health, cardiovascular and musculoskeletal health and overall wellbeing.  Trees are surprisingly important for human health, allowing us to enjoy time outside and in natural environments.  They are a crucial part of our local response to the challenge of climate change.  Investing in trees is repaid with better health for our community.

Download a copy of Arnagretta's presentation here: PRESENTATION


Dr Arnagretta Hunter is a physician and cardiologist, clinical senior lecturer at ANU medical school and ACT convenor for Doctors for the Environment Australia. 

Catherine Keirnan

Trees are an essential part of the web of life and we can’t live well without them. Like all living things, trees have a lifespan and basic needs to thrive in our cities, farms and bushland.

Landcare ACT is a peak body that advocates for nature and its benefits for people. Through our members - farmers and volunteers – we help care for country for our future. What are today’s risks for trees in the ACT and what can we do about it?

Download a copy of Catherine's presentation here: PRESENTATION


Catherine trained initially as a Landscape Architect and this year was awarded Fellowship of the Institute of Landscape Architects. She has worked in various roles in the private consulting sector, for Defence Housing Australia and the ACT Government. Her most recent roles were in climate change policy developing the ACT Government’s adaptation and living infrastructure plans.

In August she was appointed to the position of CEO of Landcare ACT, the not-for-profit peak body.  Catherine has been a supporter and contributor to CURF since its early days.

← Back to listing