Chels is a leading Indigenous ecologist with extensive experience in cultural landscape management and design with over 27 years of professional experience in cultural ecology & environmental planning, design and management within government agencies, research institutes, Indigenous communities, and consulting firms. She has worked on large-scale environmental projects, applied marine research and studies in Australia, the Pacific and the United States.
Chels has previously worked as a Ranger with the NSW National Parks & Wildlife Service (23 yrs) undertaking protected area management, research, environmental compliance, incident control, response and operational systems, project management, species management, permits and compliance, program and managing contracts, tenders, and projects relating to the recovery and conservation of protected species, cultural heritage and environmental land/seascapes.
Chels has had representation of Australian, United States and New Zealand Governments at international meetings over the last 22 years, with involvement in the development of national and international policy and strategic documents, and delivering applied and practical solutions to challenging Indigenous issues in marine conservation, management and resource-utilisation issues.
Chels designed and co-ordinated successful intra indigenous mediation process regarding cultural heritage and conservation management issues. Designed and co-ordinated successful Aboriginal community facilitation processes for preparation of comprehensive negotiating documents for negotiations with the NSW, SA and Commonwealth Governments. Designed and implemented Aboriginal Community Ranger programs and volunteers Ranger programs. Effective and positive liaison with senior NSW and Federal Government officers and Ministers.