Mercury Australia was pleased to hold its inaugural symposium on 7-8 November 2019 at the School of Culture, History and Language – Australia National University, Canberra. The symposium brought together a diverse range of researchers and others stakeholders working on mercury related issues, including both Australian academics and international guests, and scientists and social scientists.

Mercury Australia researchers at the inaugural Symposium, hold at the Australian National University. From right to left: Dr Darren Sinclair (University of Canberra), Dr Lynwill Martin (Lead Scientist on Mercury Program at Cape Point, South Africa), Dr Katie Volter (Commonwealth Department of the Environment and Energy), Dr Jenny Fisher (University of Wollongong), Dr Larissa Schneider (University of Australia), Professor Peter Nelson (Macquarie University), Dr Olga Furman (Commonwealth Department of the Environment and Energy), Dr Ed Butler (NAMRA), Dr Amanda Giang (University of Britsh Columbia), Dr Julia Jasonsmith (Australian National University), Bronya Lipski (Environmental Justice Australia), Professor Bill Maher (University of Canberra), Jennifer Powell (CSIRO), Dr James Whelan (Environmental Justice Australia), Professor Daniel Engstrom (University of Minnesota), Dr Stewart Walker (Flinders University), Dr Ylias Sabri (RMIT), Dr Ahmad Esmaiel Zadeh Kandjani (RMIT) and Mr. Dylan Stinton (Australian National University.

Topics addressed included:

  • atmospheric mercury in Australia
  • mercury emissions from coal-fired power stations
  • the historical deposition of mercury in Australian lakes
  • mercury in estuarine ecosystems
  • sulfur polymers for the safe mercury remediation
  • mercury analysis of Northern long necked turtles
  • mercury in historical gold mining in Victoria
  • regulation and governance of Mercury in the Southern Hemisphere
  • regulation and compliance in Australia
  • progress on the ratification of the Minamata Convention by Australia
  • understanding the biogeochemical cycle of mercury in Australia
  • priorities for Australia in becoming ‘Minamata ready’
  • lessons for Australia from the mitigation of mercury in North America
  • priorities for best available technology to reduce mercury emissions.
Participants actively contributed with discussions throughout the Symposium.

The symposium concluded with a commitment to coordinate, collaborate and communicate future research activities by Mercury Australia, to engage with interested stakeholders and to provide support to government in both ratifying the Minamata Convention and, subsequently, in meeting the obligations of the Convention.

The organisers of Mercury Australia Symposium, Dr Larissa Schneider (Australian National University) and Dr Darren Sinclair (University of Canberra), with the international speakers Dr Amanda Giang (University of British Columbia), and Professor Daniel Engstrom (University of Minnesota).


The event included the presence of Bronya Lipski (Lawyer) and Dr James Whelan (researcher and community organiser) from the Environmental Justice Australia.


Posted by: Dr Darren Sinclair and Larissa Schneider