Building an Australian biosecurity community

University of Canberra's EcoDNA team Session illustration, Jessamy Gee, Think in Colour
5 May 2022

The University of Canberra's EcoDNA team recently attended the 2nd Australian Biosecurity Symposium on the Gold Coast (3-5 May).

The symposium was a flagship event of the Biosecurity Collective – a shared initiative consisting of Animal Health Australia (AHA), Invasive Species Council (ISC), Centre for Invasive Species Solutions (CISS) and Plant Health Australia (PHA) intended to influence the direction of Australia’s biosecurity system towards 2030, particularly in engaging all Australians in building a stronger biosecurity system and building a mass biosecurity movement.

Over 400 of Australia’s key agricultural, government, research, and community sectors were brought together to network, brainstorm and unite under a common purpose to accelerate biosecurity reform under the following themes:

  • Connecting the dots: enhancing the system and its resilience
  • Empowering Action: working together for transformational change
  • Future focused: how science and tech are paving the way forward
  • Mainstreaming biosecurity: turning buzzwords into a way of life

The MC, Costa Georgiadis (ABC Gardening Australia) was asked to be the mentor for the Decade of Biosecurity which was launched during the symposium.

With key notes from Dr Anika Molesworth, Dr Norman Swan and Dr Debbie Eagles and over 100 great talks there was wealth of information and inspiration on offer.

Our own Alejandro Trujullo-Gonzalez delivered two great talks - Detection of exotic Khapra beetle eDNA using portable technologies in Australian biosecurity and Best practice guidelines for eDNA biomonitoring programs for Aust and NZ which are to be delivered to DAWE in June.

Our Knowledge Broker, Paula Doyle went as part of the UC EcoDNA team and found the event inspirational. “Its wonderful to see the passion and innovation our fabulous scientific community bring to the Biosecurity space” she said. She also is looking forward to following up with several new research, government and industry contacts in the biodiveristy genomics and biosecurity domain that many be of interest to researchers in the CBA community.