Management Committee

Darling Downs Environment Council is managed by a committee, which is elected each year at our Annual General Meeting.

The Committee meets monthly at the DDEC's office in Australia Arcade, 461 Ruthven St, Toowoomba.

Current Committee members are listed below. For more information please contact us.

Leon Surawski

President

Leon Surawski is a Civil Engineer with an understanding of the complexity of human society’s dependence on the natural world for its existence and resilience. He has a long association with environmental issues from being involved with Griffith University’s instream fauna survey of Barker and Barambah Creeks, Mt Isa Landcare Group, mine rehabilitation in Western Australia and Nauru, road project environmental approvals and studying for a Masters in Sustainability Studies.

Leon comes to the presidency of DDEC with an understanding that life on earth is now dependent on the actions of humans who have created a new geological epoch called the Anthropocene. He is an advocate of resilience thinking for a better understanding of how to survive in a rapidly changing planetary ecosystem: “Anyone who believes exponential growth can go on forever in a finite world is either a madman or an economist” (Quote from speech by Kenneth Boulding to the U.S. Senate in 1973. Boulding was an economist, educator, political activist and interdisciplinary philosopher).


Lee Mason

Secretary

Lee Mason is the father of DDEC. After the collapse of The Toowoomba Regional Environment Council (TREC) in 2013, Lee conferred with community groups and individuals to reformulate a strategy to protect, preserve and enhance our precious environment. 

The result was the Darling Downs Environment Council, which was incorporated in October 2014.

Lee is Secretary of DDEC and takes a leading role in liaising with Government and promoting effective environmental regulation. In his day job as a High School teacher he
has taught generations of Toowoomba students the curriculum, but also the highest humanitarian and social values. Lee’s partner Christine nurses at Toowoomba General Hospital.

Don Carlson

Treasurer

Don grew up on a farm between Dalby and Cecil Plains. Graduating with A BSc in Environmental Sciences and Psychology, Don worked in the rural sector including farming, research, education and seed production and marketing. A mid-life change saw him become a financial planner. 

Now retired, Don serves on the boards of Ability Enterprises and Toowoomba Clubhouse which support people with barriers to employment and mental health challenges. Don is one of the co-founders and current DDEC representative of the Toowoomba Branch of Renew a national organisation which champions practical sustainability solutions. Bushwalking is a favourite recreational activity and he is a committee member of Toowoomba Bushwalkers.

Cam Mackenzie 

Vice President

Cam Mackenzie is currently principal of the Amaroo Environmental Education Centre – Queensland,
Australia and is Vice President of the Australian Association of Environmental Education (AAEE) and Treasurer of the Queensland Chapter of AAEE. 

He has been involved in environmental and conservation organisations since 1980 as the President and Chairperson of the following associations or committees:
 Townsville Town Common Natural History Association (1982-87)
 Queensland Gould League for Environmental Education (1992-2005)
 Wildlife Queensland – Brisbane North Branch (1996 – 2006)
 Australian Council of Gould Leagues (1995 - 1997)
 Mountains to Mangroves Corridor Committee across North Brisbane (2001 – 2004)
 Darling Downs Environment Council (2014 – 2019)

Cam was a judge for the Queensland Premier’s Sustainability and Australian Banksia Foundation
Environmental Awards. In 2011 he was awarded the Australia Day Medal from the Department of Education for his service to environmental education in Queensland as well as Environmental Educator of the Year Award from the Australian Association for Environmental Education.

Sandy Brown

Committee Member

(Ian) Sandy Brown has spent a lifetime improving the lives of people as a Social Worker. 

In addition to a distinguished carreer in disability services he is a founding member of ‘The Dancing Bear Cafe Society”, a dynamic group of amazing people dedicated to improving the environment and peoples lives by harnessing food, art, music and culture. They raise people’s spirits, awareness, and funds for causes such as the DDEC’s Koala leaf project.

Sandy is Secretary of DDEC and a devoted partner to Jenny. He loves his tennis, boating and cycling and is a cornerstone of many community organisations.

Trish Lee Hong

Committee Member

Trish is a wildlife carer and miracle worker for her 'Puggles', baby echidnas bereft of their mothers, who she brings up with the care and attention that their spikey mums would give.

Trish runs the Wildlife Rescue, Rehabilitation and Education Association and is an integral part of DDEC's koala leaf project.


Trish has several degrees and has been a wildlife protector for many decades.

David Tutty

Committee Member

David Tutty is New Zealand born with a background in science and theology. He worked for many years as the Catholic Social Justice advocate in Auckland before moving to Pretoria to pursue a doctorate in theology. In his research he focused on social change and conversion to justice.

David has been in Toowoomba for two years and works for the Catholic Social Justice Commission.

Environmental issues, and particularly climate change, are a key focus of the Commission. On our Council he represents Toowoomba for Climate Action and Australian Religious response to Climate Change (ARRCC). David builds a bridge between social justice issues and stewardship of the environment in his work on the DDEC committee.

Action Team

Paul King

Community Organiser

Paul King is our Community Organiser. His job is to keep in touch with member groups and assist them in accordance with the directions and policies of the Management Committee.

Paul has previous experience in organising and advocating for workers and people with disabilities. He has been involved with indigenous and environmental justice. He represented DDEC in the landmark environment case New Acland Coal v Ashman.

Paul is a member of several groups, including Western Downs Alliance which is committed to limiting the human and environmental cost of hydraulic fracturing and unconventional gas extraction. He provides direct assistance to other DDEC affiliates as well as being responsible for the operational and day to day running of our organisation

Catrina Lawrence

Community Organiser

COMING SOON
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