Curator of Australia & Operations Manager
Rick commenced his Zoological Career at Featherdale Wildlife Park in 1983 as a Zookeeper. Rick’s passion for Zookeeping and success in animal management and breeding resulted in his rise to the promotion of Park Manager, a position he held until his resignation from Featherdale in 2014, following 30 years of service.
As Park Manager at Featherdale, Rick was responsible for the strategic direction, welfare and regulation of Featherdale’s animal collection. This included animal acquisition, disposition as well as management of all aspects of the business operations including curatorial, maintenance, building renovation work and landscape and exhibit design.
After years of dedication to the Industry as an Executive Officer of the NSW Fauna & Marine Park’s Association, Rick was elected as President in 2007. Subsequently, Rick was nominated and appointed as a Ministerial Advisor on the Exhibited Animals Advisory Committee in 2007 and Non-Indigenous Animals Advisory Committee in 2009, serving both committees for 3 consecutive terms.
Rick’s knowledge of the industry, as well as his animal experience and practical abilities led him to accept work for the Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH). He was asked to coordinate the capture and relocation of animals resulting from the closure of the Australian Wildlife Park and Waratah Park. Rick has also assisted with the capture of many illegal and seized animals under OEH legislation.
Rick served as committee member of the NSW Standards Committee and was invited to consult on the Animal Welfare Strategy and the National Wildlife Strategy; assisting with drafting of these two significant documents.
Rick has been contracted by Blacktown City Council over many years as an expert in native animal management, assisting with animal identification and location surveys for areas identified for future urban development.
Rick has always taken a keen interest in the professionalism of the Exhibited Animals industry and was responsible for the development of formal training programs in conjunction with Richmond TAFE. These training courses included Euthanasia for Zoos and Wildlife Parks, Clinical Pathology and Microchipping as well as development of an Online Captive Animal Management Course for Owners and Operators of Wildlife Parks and Zoos.
Rick is currently working on the Sydney Zoo Project, using his experience in exhibit design and construction to develop the Zoo’s exhibits, back of house enclosures and support buildings and his extensive network of industry contacts for the animal acquisition process.