Michael Sale

Associate Environmental Consultant and Ecology Practice Area Leader, Coffey2011 Melbourne Fellowship


Not only do I have a greater sense of confidence and direction, but I also have the tools and awareness to engage others.

What are you about? Who are you as a person, not just professionally. What do you care about, what are you passionate about, why do you care about sustainability?

As an ecologist and environmental scientist, I have a passion for exploring, documenting and promoting biodiversity. I love the natural world, being amongst it and learning from it. The dramatic changes we’ve seen over the last century, even in my lifetime, do worry me, particularly with regards to biodiversity. I also worry about our society loosing connections with the natural environment. Realising that so many of my CSL fellows experienced similar concerns and the way the many are working towards changing this, does give me optimism for the future.

In my professional life, my love for the natural world first led me down an academic path completing research into the ecology of the swamp antechinus (a cool little native mouse) on remote Bass Strait islands for my PhD. Since then, I have been involved in a range of consulting projects primarily focused on terrestrial biodiversity, impact assessment and environmental management, throughout Australia and Papua New Guinea.

In my personal life, I’m a keen photographer and I try to explore and experience my local  environment (mainly Yarra Bend Park) as much as I can.

What have you been up to since CSL? 

While many of my fellow CSL fellows chose to take dramatically different paths following the CSL fellowship, I decided to continue with my career as an environmental consultant.  Since completing the fellowship in 2011, I have been lucky enough to get some amazing opportunities: completing biodiversity surveys in the deserts of Western Australia and jungles of Papua New Guinea being highlights.

My personal life has also been exciting. Proposing and being married to my partner Liz have been two of the most memorable moments. I have also fulfilled lifelong dreams, visiting and experiencing the extraordinarily beautiful environments of Antarctica and Madagascar.

How did CSL play a role in putting you on that path? How does your CSL experience help you now?

The fellowship program was a transformational experience for me. Not only do I have a greater sense of confidence and direction, but also the tools and awareness to engage others. Being part of the wider CSL alumni community is also motivating. Seeing so many of my CSL friends and alumni creating positive change and generally creating a better world is inspirational.

What’s next for you?

Fatherhood! We are expecting the arrival of our first child in a few months, which is definitely going to be a huge and life-changing experience!  In my professional life, I hope to continue to build a career in biodiversity protection and management, drawing upon the skills and networks I have developed at CSL.

What’s your longer term vision?

My longer term vision is for a prosperous society that values, supports and protects biodiversity. This means valuing our dependence on natural ecosystems for social and economic sustainability. Showing my child some of the amazing things I have seen and learned from the natural environment is something that I hope to be able to do. 


More alumni from 2011 Melbourne Fellowship

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Astha Batra

Co Founder, Future Business Council

2011 Melbourne Fellowship
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Craig Irvine

Co founder, The Future Business Council

2011 Melbourne Fellowship

Claire Desira

Manager, Start Counting at National Australia Bank

2011 Melbourne Fellowship
Burning off season Burnett Hwy

Greg Foyster

Journalist Greg Foyster undertook the CSL fellowship program in 2011. The course gave him the courage to cycle up the east coast of Australia documenting sustainable living. The story of that journey was published in the book Changing Gears in 2013.

2011 Melbourne Fellowship

Tom Quinn

Founding CEO & Director, Future Business Council

2011 Melbourne Fellowship

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