The International Conference on Environmental, Cultural, Economic and Social Sustainability will feature plenary sessions by some of the world’s leading thinkers and innovators in the field, as well as numerous parallel presentations by researchers and practitioners.

Tom Baum Amareswar Galla
Davina Boyd Souad Halila
Cheryl Desha Charlie Hargroves
Ramesh Durbarry Katherine Morton

Garden Conversation Sessions

Plenary Speakers will make formal 30-minute presentations. They will also participate in 60-minute Garden Conversations - unstructured sessions that allow delegates a chance to meet the speakers and talk with them informally about the issues arising from their presentation.

Please return to this page for regular updates.

The Speakers

Tom Baum

Tom Baum’s major research and teaching interests lie in the area of people and work within the context of the tourism sector. A major focus of this work involves applying principles of sustainable development to issues of employment, particularly in the context of developing countries and small island jurisdictions and he has contributed to an embryonic literature in this area within tourism. Tom is Professor of International Tourism and Hospitality Management in the Department of Hospitality and Tourism Management, the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow. Prior to this, he held a number of academic and professional posts in tourism development and in consulting. Tom has a BA and MA from the University of Wales and a PhD from Strathclyde. His latest book, Human Resource Management for Tourism, Hospitality and Leisure – an international perspective, has a particular emphasis on themes of sustainability in relation to tourism work. He is also author of 6 other books and over 150 academic papers. Tom has advised governments, private sector organisations, colleges and universities in these area as well as conducting courses for tourism professionals and administrators. Tom Baum is past President of EuroCHRIE and former Board Member of International CHRIE. He was also the 2001 winner of the John Wiley Award for outstanding contribution to research. Tom is a Fellow of the Tourism Society and a Member of the International Academy for the Study of Tourism.

Davina Boyd

Davina Boyd, originally from New Zealand, is the 2008 winner of the International Award for Excellence in the area of Environmental, Cultural, Economic and Social Sustainability. Davina’s work and research has focused on capacity development. After working for the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES) and United Nations Environment Program International Environmental Technology Centre (UNEP-IETC) capacity development programs in Japan, Davina is currently completing her PhD at Murdoch University, Western Australia. Her research focuses on improving capacity development by exploring ways to integrate renewed thinking about capacity development core principles into practice.

Cheryl Desha

Cheryl Desha is the Education Director for The Natural Edge Project and a Lecturer in the School of Engineering, on sustainable development. A graduate of Environmental Engineering (Griffith University, university medal) Cheryl was the 2005 Australian Young Engineer of the Year. Her teaching and research role includes developing course material and delivering training to embed sustainability critical literacy skills into curriculum for undergraduate, and postgraduate students. Prior to joining TNEP she worked for 4 years in a multi-national engineering consultancy
in their sustainability team. She is currently undertaking her PhD on developing a curriculum renewal framework for transitioning to engineering education for Sustainable Development and is on the International Advisory Panel for the ‘International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education’.

Ramesh Durbarry

Ramesh Durbarry is an Associate Professor in Tourism at the University of Technology, Mauritius. He has been the Head of School for four years. He has a particular interest in the field of tourism, applied economics and econometric modelling. He completed his PhD at the School of Economics, University of Nottingham in 1998. He has worked on projects for UNCTAD and EU. He was a Research Fellow, Lecturer, Senior Lecturer and Associate Professor at the University of Nottingham, UK. He has lectured Econometrics (theory and applied), Research Methods, Tourism Business, Markets and Strategy, Marketing Strategies for Tourism and Travel at both the undergraduate and postgraduate levels.

Ramesh is undertaking research on tourism and travel, tourism taxation, price sensitivity of tourism, tourism culture and the impact of the tourism sector on the economies of the United Kingdom, Balearic and Canary Islands and Malta. He is also specialising on the econometric modelling of tourism demand, both inbound and outbound, using single equation and system of equations models within static and dynamic contexts and also structural time series modelling.

Amareswar Galla

Born and educated in both south and north India, including Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi, Professor Galla provides strategic cultural leadership in Australia and the Asia Pacific Region as the Professor of Museum Studies at the University of Queensland in Brisbane. ( Until recently he was the Professor and Director of Sustainable Heritage Development, Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies, the Australian National University in Canberra. He was also a regular visitor at the National Museum of Ethnology, Leiden, working on the implementation of Museums and Cultural Diversity Promotion in the Netherlands; Guest Curator of International Projects with the Vietnam National Department of Cultural Heritage; and Founding Convener of the Pacific Asia Observatory for Cultural Diversity in Sustainable Heritage Development in partnership with several bodies including UNESCO. ( He is the first Australian elected as the President of the Asia Pacific Executive Board (1998-2004) - Chairperson of the Cross Cultural Task Force (2005-2011) - and until recently Vice President of the International Executive Council (2004-2007) - of the International Council of Museums, Paris. He is a Trustee of the Pacific Islands Museums Association.

Souad Halila

Souad Halila has a PhD in History from the University of Southern California. She majored in American history & international relations, and minored in US literature. Her PhD thesis focused on the intellectual development and diplomatic career of African American Ralph J. Bunche. She taught English and Literature for eleven years at King Saud University in Saudi Arabia. From 1999 to the present, she has been teaching US and GB history and culture at the University of Tunis and Sousse, Tunisia. She lectured extensively in the USA, Saudi Arabia, Spain, France, and Tunisia on contemporary issues related to the US, France, the Middle East, and North Africa. In September 2006, she spent 4 weeks at Wilson College, Pennsylvania as a senior Fulbright Visiting Specialist.

She has a broad interest in environmental issues and green philosophy but her research focuses primarily on US intellectual, political, social, cultural, and religious history, particularly social and political movements, race relations, African American history, Arab American history, and multiculturalism. She initiated several courses related to these topics at her university. Recently and since 9/11, she has focused her research on Islamic issues and the Occident.

Charlie Hargroves

Charlie Hargroves is the Project Director for The Natural Edge Project (TNEP) and a Research Fellow in the Urban Research Program at Griffith University. He was recently appointed as an Associate Member to the Club of Rome. A 2000 graduate of the University of Adelaide, Charlie practised as a Civil and Structural Engineer before co-founding TNEP as a special project initiative within the Institution of Engineers Australia. Charlie co-edited ‘The Natural Advantage of Nations’ (Earthscan 2005) and is now working with the team on two publications: a 20 year response to ‘Our Common Future’ (1987) titled ‘Cents and Sustainability’ (the topic of this plenary keynote), and an update to ‘Factor 4’ (1997), titled ‘Factor 5’.

Katherine Morton

Dr Katherine Morton is a Fellow in the Department of International Relations at the Australian National University. She is a China specialist and her research interests include global civil society, international environmental politics, international development, and the influence of international norms and interventions on domestic political and socio-economic change. She is presently engaged in a study of transnational advocacy at the grassroots in China and its impact on the struggle for social and environmental justice. Her previous positions include East Asia Research Consultant (1995-97) and Deputy Director of the East Asia Programme, University of Sussex (1992-94).