Editorial Team

Western Australia Exploration is produced by a dedicated Editorial Team of volunteer historians who are committed to the preservation and dissemination of information about Western Australian exploration history.

Dr Ian Abbott, ecologist, is Senior Principal Research Scientist, Science Division, Dept of Conservation and Environment. He has wide field experience and expertise in biogeography and historical ecology, as well as trees, birds and invertebrates. Since his first publication in 1970 he has published more than 200 papers.

Shirley Babbis is a member of the Genealogical Society of Western Australia and is the Treasurer of the Western Australian Explorers’ Diaries Project.

Shirley Barnes has more than 20 years experience in recreation and community planning and is now retired. She lived for many years in rural areas, especially the eastern goldfields and has always been keenly interested in the human component of ‘communities’, including during the early years of settlement and the gold rushes. After a number of years of Secretary for the Project, Shirley’s role is one of proofreading.

Kevin Bentley is an experienced and dedicated Proofreader with the Project.


Phil Bianchi is a keen four-wheel driver with a long interest in Western Australian exploration and following up on explorers’ routes. He has written, edited or co-edited ten books including Early Woodlines of the Goldfields, Cobb and Co. in the Golden West, A Camelman on the Canning – The diary of Claude Heppingstone, “The Afghan Problem” and their camels, Canning Stock Route Royal Commission, family histories, and histories of WA goldfields’ towns. His latest and largest work to date is Work Completed, Canning : A comprehensive history of the Canning Stock Route.

Phil also writes four-wheel drive travel articles for the Western 4Wheel Driver and the 4WD Action suite of magazines.

Nina Cameron completed general and midwifery nursing qualifications in Kalgoorlie and KEMH in the early 1960s. While living in Darwin she retrained as a library technician in the early 1990s and went on to complete a Bachelor of Arts in history at Northern Territory University (now Charles Darwin University) where she worked until returning to Perth in 2005.

Gail Dreezens is the Project’s typist and is an amateur historian. Her passion for Australian history has been further developed by travels throughout the country.


Dr Alex George worked at the Western Australian Herbarium from 1959 to 1981 and then spent twelve years in Canberra as Executive Editor of the Flora of Australia project. In 1993 he returned to Perth where he has his own consultancy as a botanist, editor and indexer. He has served twice at Kew as Australian Botanical Liaison Officer (ABLO)—in 1968 and 2004–05—and spent another year there when his partner Roberta Cowan was ABLO in 2002–03. His taxonomic research has focused on the families Proteaceae, Myrtaceae and Gyrostemonaceae, resulting in naming many new species and several new genera. He has also studied the botanical history of Australia. A particular interest is the 17th century privateer William Dampier who made the first broad-scale collections and observations on Australian natural history. Alex’s other interests include conservation, photography, gardening, music, travel, reading and aviation (he held a private pilot’s licence for 20 years). In 2000–01 he was President of the Royal Society of Western Australia. He is the President of the Kew Guild for 2010-11.

Keith Hancock is a fifth generation Australian of convict stock. He has a intense interest in the history of Western Australia. Keith is an amateur genealogist which fits nicely with his interest in history. He is a Proofreader with the Project.

Allan Harris is a Proofreader with the Project.

Dr Marion Hercock is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, adjunct research fellow with the School of Earth and Geographical Sciences at the University of Western Australia. She is the author of Born in the Desert, co-editor of The Finest Goldfields in the World, collaborating author of Where on the Coast is That? and numerous other publications. Marion is the Principal Editor of the forthcoming volume titled The Western Australian Explorations of John Septimus Roe 1829-1849.


Zoe Inman has travelled extensively in Western Australia, as a child with her family, working as a Medical Scientist and then as a 4WD tour company cook/hostess. More recent travel includes sailing the Kimberley and greater southern coasts, desert walking with camels and driving with her partner in their 4WD. The love of Western Australia’s flora, fauna and history was instilled as a child and continues to grow. Involvement with the Project is a natural and exciting progression. Zoe’s publications to date are science based. Zoe is working on the Kimberley volume(s).

Michael Lance is a farmer in the Great Southern whose interest in J.S. Roe’s explorations first brought him into contact with the Project.


Alan McCall is a keen four wheel driver with a special interest in the travels of David Carnegie. His is working on David Carnegie’s exploration journals in Western Australia. In 2003 Alan, using a quad bike, retraced Carnegie’s 1896 exploration route to Halls Creek. In 2013 he will attempt to retrace Carnegie’s 1897 journey southward from Halls Creek, again on a quad bike.

Sheryl Milentis is a historical and genealogical researcher. She has contributed to a history of policing in Western Australia. Sheryl co-edited a social history of the early years of the Kalgoorlie brothels, entitled The Scarlet Stain (2004) and contributed to Rescues, Rogues and Rough Seas, 150 Years of Water Police in Western Australia. Sheryl is currently the Principal Editor of the Project’s third chronological volume, Western Australian Exploration 1846-1859.


Ian Murray is a researcher of history, specialising in Western Australian 1890s gold towns, prospectors and place names. He is a volunteer in the Private Archive Section of the Battye Library.


Rob O’Connor QC has a keen interest in Western Australian history, Federation history, Commonwealth and State current political affairs, and books on early Australian maritime and land exploration. He is a Proofreader for the Project. Rob is a former State President of CPA Australia and a former State Chairman and an Honorary Life Member of the Taxation Institute of Australia. He has been a member of the Board of the Constitutional Centre of WA since 2001, a member of the Management Committee of the Friends of the Battye Library from 2001 to 2003 and since 2007, was Deputy Chairman of the Government House Foundation of WA from 2001 to 2007, a member of the Executive of The 1901 Committee from 1997 to 2001, a WA Councillor of the Constitutional Centenary Foundation from 1999 to 2000, and a Councillor of the Royal Western Australian Historical Society from 2001 to 2003.


Allan Zweck is a native of Blyth, South Australia who moved to Lake Grace as a new-land farmer from 1965 until retirement when he became an enthusiastic family history researcher. While researching explorer William F. Rudall, to whose wife he was related, he developed a great interest in the Explorers’ Diaries Project. Enthusiasm for the Project has been maintained by involvement as a Proofreader, by having a recognition of its uniqueness, and acknowledgement of the importance to collate such valuable documents.