Laura Babian
DPE (NSW Government)

Laura Babian profile picLaura Babian

Director, Conservation and Restoration Science, NSW Department of Planning and Environment

Laura Babian is the Director, Conservation and Restoration Science in the NSW Department of Planning and Environment, where she leads an applied-science team who undertakes science and research related to the NSW koala program, restoration science on public and private land tenures, fire science and fire ecology, cultural science and conservation science.

Ms Babian has worked extensively for the NSW Government as a native vegetation specialist. This work included field-based and landscape-based assessment of native vegetation condition, extent and management. This field-based work was a valuable stepping stone to evidence-based strategic planning for the catchment management authorities. Ms Babian was responsible for the development of the Southern Rivers/South East Catchment Action Plan (CAP 2023).  This plan was one of the first international examples of applying resilience thinking to strategic natural resource management.  Moving into public land management, Ms Babian led the development of plans of management for the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service and evaluation frameworks to assess management effectiveness.  Since 2018, Ms Babian has worked in science administration roles. Projects include leading the NSW Biodiversity Indicator Program, social research functions and science communications, among others. Ms Babian has a keen professional interest in facilitation, change management, and community and stakeholder engagement. She is currently studying an Executive Masters of Public Administration through the Australia and New Zealand School of Government.

Current academic employment and positions

  • Director, Conservation and Restoration Science, NSW Department of Planning and Environment.

Highest qualification

  • 2001: B. Science (Applied Physical Geography) Hons, University of New South Wales.

Roles on government or regional organisation committees

  • chair, NSW Bushfire Risk Management Research Hub Steering Committee
  • member, Australian Mountain Research Executive Steering Committee.