Christine Forster

Christine Forster has spent her career trying to ensure our natural resources are managed sustainably and responsibly for future generations.

Honour Roll

One of her major contributions has been towards the development of a sound knowledge base for land water management in Victoria.

Born in Melbourne in 1939, Christine completed a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Melbourne in 1959. Her first job was as an experimental officer at the CSIRO Animal Health Laboratories. In 1966, she moved to the Northern Territory to work as a bacteriologist/chemist for the Water Resources Branch of the NT Administration, where her interest in water quality and water management was sparked. In 1971, she joined the Secretariat of the Australian Water Resources Council and worked on a national water quality assessment network. From 1974-76, she was Assistant Secretary of the Resources Management Branch of the Water and Soils Division of the Commonwealth Department of Environment and Conservation. In 1976/77 she acted as first Director of the Australian Heritage Commission, which developed the Register of the National Estate.

In 1977, Christine and her family moved back to Victoria to Castlemaine, where she was involved in a wide range of community affairs and was elected to the Castlemaine City Council. In 1982, she moved back to the family farm at Ararat and became involved with a ram breeding program, soil and water conservation and a longterm tree propagation and planting program which saw 90,000 trees planted on her farm over 18 years. For six years she was Chairperson of the Board of Management of the Rural Water Commission of Victoria and for five years was Chairperson of the Board of Directors of the National Irrigation Research Fund.

Christine was a member of many boards, committees and councils involved with managing Victoria's and Australia's water and natural resources throughout the 1990s. Currently, she is Chairperson of the Victorian Catchment Management Council, the peak advisory body to the State Government on catchment management. She is a member of the Victorian Water Trust Advisory Council and a director of VicSuper Pty Ltd. She was awarded a Centenary Medal in 2003 for services to conservation of water and our environment.

Christine has effectively worked towards improved management of our natural resources for nearly 40 years with modesty and great commitment. She has been remarkably influential at getting things done at all levels from State policy through to on-farm action.