Soil Science Australia – Who We Are

The Australian Society of Soil Science Incorporated, known as Soil Science Australia is a not-for-profit, professional association for soil scientists and people interested in the responsible management of Australia’s soil resources. Soil Science Australia supports soil scientists and promotes the importance of soil as a finite resource. Some members are students, some are at the start of their careers while others are highly regarded experts in Australia and internationally. We have seven branches and are governed by an elected Federal Council. Each branch has its own committee responsible for organising local educational, professional development and networking events. Soil Science Australia is a member of the International Union of Soil Sciences (IUSS) and contributes to the National Committee on Soil and Terrain (NCST).

Soil Science Australia’s governing body is the Federal Council, consisting of the Executive Committee, the President of each of the seven branches, and the Chair of the Certified Professional Soil Scientist Board.


Our Patron

The Hon. Penny Wensley AC, has been the Patron of Soil Science Australia since 2012 and was the National Soils Advocate between 2020 and 2023.

The Hon. Penny Wensley AC was appointed National Soils Advocate in August, 2020.

Former Governor of Queensland and distinguished Australian diplomat, Ms Wensley’s interest in soils, soil health and sustainability dates from the early 1990’s, when she was Australia’s Ambassador for the Environment. In this role, she championed Australia’s interests at the landmark 1992 UN Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) and was a key contributor to the negotiation of the three major environmental treaties launched by the UNCED process: the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, the Biodiversity Convention and the Convention to Combat Drought and Desertification. This experience—and serving as Chairman of the first UN Conference on the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States—established a deep conviction of the importance of managing our natural resources in a sustainable way.

She is currently a member of the Food and Agriculture Organization (of the United Nation)’s Global Soil Partnership. She is also Australian lead, CA4SH—the International Coalition of Action for Soil Health—an outcome of the UN Food Systems Summit.

As State Governor, Ms Wensley was active in promoting environmental knowledge and awareness and was a strong supporter of community groups and organisations involved with environmental management, conservation and protection, including as State Patron of Queensland Water and Land Carers.

During her six-year tenure as Governor, seeing first-hand the impact of the succession of droughts, floods and cyclones experienced by the State, including the biggest storm ever to hit Queensland, Cyclone Yasi in 2011, strengthened her commitment to advocating for sustainability and better management of Australia’s natural assets.

Ms Wensley is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of International Affairs and an Honorary Fellow of the Environment Institute of Australia and New Zealand. In addition to her role as National Soils Advocate, she is a Director of the Lowy Institute and Chairman of the Great Barrier Reef Advisory Committee. She is also Patron of, the Soil Cooperative Research Centre, and the Australian Organics Recycling Association.

Federal Executive

Soil Science Australia is incorporated under the Associations Incorporation Act 1991 of the Australian Capital Territory.  The current Statement of Purposes and Rules was revised and agreed at the 2022 Annual General Meeting.

Federal President
Edward Scott CPSS

Federal Vice President
Darren Kidd

Federal Treasurer
Isaac Kelder CPSS

Federal Secretary
Justine Cox

Chief Executive Officer
Michael Walker FIML FGIA MAICD

Click here for list of past Federal Office Bearers since 1956.

Federal Council

Branch Presidents
New South Wales Dr Ivanah Oliver 
Riverina Dr Jason Condon
South Australia Mr John Weber CPSS
Tasmania Dr Richard Doyle CPSS
Victoria Dr Gary Clark CPSS
Western Australia Dr George Mercer
Queensland Mr  Evan Thomas CPSS
Affiliated Committees
Accreditation Board Chair Dr Leigh Sullivan CPSS
Soils in Schools Mr Michael Walker EO FIML FGIA MAICD
Training Board Chair Dr Robert Loch CPSS
Calendar Committee Dr Aaditi Dang

Training Board

Training Board
Board Chair Dr Robert Loch CPSS
Deputy Chair Dr Andrew Biggs CPSS
Mr Edward Scott CPSS Federal President
Dr Bhwana Bhatta
Belinda Nielsen
Professor Damien Field
Dr Brett Thomas
Dr Pamela Hazelton CPSS
Dr Ivanah Oliver
Mr Cameron Leckie RSP-SM

Accreditation Board

Accreditation Board Members
Chair Dr Leigh Sullivan CPSS
Deputy Chair Dr Emily Leyden
Dr Pam Hazelton CPSS
Mr Evan Thomas CPSS
Ms Helena Woolums
Dr Kylie Bradley CPSS
Dr Jason Reynolds

Soil Science Australia acknowledges the Traditional Owners of the land and we pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future.