Convention 2023, Speaker Profiles

Dr. Patrick Ghysels is a Belgian veterinarian and an expert in avian nutrition with a strong interest in parrots and aviary birds. For more than 50 years he has bred all kind of birds, such as canaries, European and tropical finches, insectivorous birds, waterfowl, park fowl, parakeets and parrots. Near to his private owned birds he is managing more than 400 birds in the Versele-Laga Pet Research Center.
His experience combines both practical and academic study ensuring a broad and valuable basis of advice. More than 25 years he has operated as scientific consultant for Europe’s leading bird food producer Versele-Laga (Belgium), where he was co-developer of the extruded and hand-rearing diets NutriBird. Most of today’s Oropharma, Orlux and Prestige products are developed or improved on his advice.
He advises the most important bird parks and private collections in Europe on feeding topics. For more than 20 years he has had a privileged relationship with the management and staff of Loro Parque (Tenerife), the most elaborate parrot collection in the world.
He is author of many articles on the subject and a regular speaker on ornithological and veterinary conferences through the whole world.
We would like to thank Versele-Laga for sponsoring Dr Ghysels appearance at the convention.

Dr Luis Carlos Neves is the Vice President of Animal Care for the Mandai Wildlife Group zoological parks – Jurong Bird Park, Singapore Zoo, River Wonders and Night Safari. In this role he is responsible for the overall management of one of the largest zoological collections in the world, with close to 1000 species and over 16,000 specimens, including one of the largest collections of birds managed under human care in a zoological setting, with 400 species and 3500 individuals.
A Veterinarian by training, Luis has always been fascinated with birds and their care, and this led to him keeping and breeding many species from a young age. He has been keeping and breeding birds in one way or another for the past 30 + years. Nowadays he focuses specifically on Hornbills –managing the largest collection of Hornbills in the world with 23 species – , Indo-pacific Pigeonsand Doves, as well as Australasian Psittacines and Southeast Asian Songbirds. He is the speciescoordinator for the Santa Cruz Ground-dove and Knobbed Hornbill EEPs and the veterinary advisorfor the EAZA Hornbill TAG. He is also an active member of the IUCN SSC Specialist Groups forGalliformes, Hornbills and Pigeon & Dove and the Chair of the Peacock-pheasant Working Group.
Luis is a strong advocate of promoting a positive and productive interface between zoos and responsible professional aviculturists and using technical expertise development and sharing of precious experiences to improve the overall care of bird populations under human care, in particular those with conservation needs.
When he is not thinking about birds, he likes to cook for friends and family, to garden and being ignored by his cats.

Tony Silva became mesmerized with parrots when 10 years old, when he started visiting a pet store that exhibited a Blue and Gold Ara ararauna and Scarlet Macaw Ara macao. The store owner claimed that macaws mated in the air and would not breed in captivity. That concept seemed incredible and sparked an interest that resulted in him acquiring his first big parrot by age 16 (in 1976). Soon the number of species and individuals grew and by 1978 Tony had achieved the first US breeding of the Slender-billed Conure Enicognathus leptorhynchus.
Tony´s curiosity, early success and interest led to more species being acquired and in travels to the Caribbean and South America to study parrots in the wild, as direct observations in the field were considered key to achieving success in captivity. Tony´s first significant field studies were conducted in Argentina during the 1980s, when weight and growth gains of hand-reared young Amazona aestiva were compared to young being reared in the wild by their parents. The next decade resulted in more species being studied and bred; to date, Tony has studied parrots in the field in Asia, Africa, all of Latin America and the Caribbean, Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific. Tony has kept and bred in his private collection or during his tenure as Curator at Loro Parque 82% of all parrot species. His breeding achievements includes the Spix´s Macaw Cyanopsitta spixii, this while working with various individuals and government agencies to establish the Spix´s Macaw Cyanopsitta spixii recovery program—a project that has helped save this species from extinction. That program occurred while he was Curator at Loro Parque.
During an avicultural career spanning more than four decades, Tony has had hundreds of articles published. These have appeared in English, Spanish, French, Czech, German, Portuguese, Chinese, Russian and other languages. Tony has lectured on parrots in all continents. He was named the best speaker in 2018 at the Loro Parque Parrot Convention. Tony has had nine books published, including the revised edition of Psittaculture that appeared in print in 2018-2020 in multiple languages, Macaws in Field and Aviary in 2019 and Amazons in Field and Aviary in 2022. Each book has taken decades to complete, as Tony conducts fieldwork, research and breed species that have proven elusive, all in an effort to make the books the most complete work on parrots in aviculture ever to appear in print.
Tony maintains a large breeding collection in south Florida. The facility allows him to continue to expand on his vast knowledge base.

Jordan has been breeding Lories and lorikeets for around 17 years and have worked with around 28 species and subspecies. Currently he maintains around 250 lories and lorikeets as well as some cockatoos, softbills and South American parrots for a bit of added diversity.
“My true passion is to help establish or at least improve the numbers and quality of Exotic Lories in Australian aviculture.”

I have been keeping and breeding birds for 52 yrs starting when we moved to a farm at Pheasants Nest south of Sydney at the age of 11. Since then I have never not had birds and currently have a very mixed collection of parrots, finches, softbills and fruit pigeons.
Since moving to Queensland some 26 years ago I had the opportunity to acquire Purple and Rose-crowned fruit pigeons. Over the next 10 years I had great success with these small colourful pigeons.
Over these years I had dreamed of having Wompoo fruit pigeons in my collection. My presentation will cover the challenges and rewards of being one of only a handful of people in the country to successfully breed the Wompoo.

I have kept and bred a wide variety of birds since 1973, ranging from parrots, button quail species, through to many dove, softbill and pigeon species. My passion however, has always been in finches.
After moving from Torquay, Victoria to teach at Scotch College, South Australia, I now reside in the city of Adelaide. I have recently completed a new set of aviaries and currently keep a collection of finches, softbills and Neophemas.
As a school teacher, I strongly believe in promoting our hobby to a younger generation and have initiated several aviary projects in Victorian and South Australian schools, encouraging a new generation of bird keepers. I am a firm believer in sharing information about our wonderful hobby through opening aviaries to visitors, the writing of articles and giving presentations at various avicultural events. In particular, I am passionate about our need to promote and execute high levels of husbandry, presenting aviculture at all times, in the best possible light. With the advent of social media, this has become more important than ever.
I am a member of several avicultural clubs in South Australia, Victoria, NSW and Queensland, as I feel through clubs, a great deal of information is shared, which strengthens aviculture overall.
I am currently the President of the National and Finch and Softbill Association (NFSA) and Vice President of the Avicultural Society of South Australia.
My presentation for the Avicultural Society of Australia will focus on the importance of specialisation and maintain key core species in our collections. The presentation will cover three finch species, the Diamond firetail, Crimson finch and Pictorella, and will include aspects of aviary design, general husbandry, compatibility, diet and the sharing of breeding experiences.
We would like to thank Australian Birdkeeper for Sponsoring David’s appearance at the convention.

A Practising Endodontist and a Professor of Postgraduate Dentistry, Dr. Debashis Banerjee is also a member of the Dental Council of India, involved in active Academics and Administrative Regulation of Dentistry in India. He completed his Graduation and Post Graduation in Conservative Dentistry and Endodontics from Asia’s oldest and prestigious Dental Institution – Dr R Ahmed Dental College And Hospital, in the year 2001. He balances and juggles his professional career concurrently with the love and passion of his life — AVICULTURE. Along with his wife and 2 children he runs Sunshine BirdWorld Avian Breeding & Research Centre, his passionate dream child. Sunshine BirdWorld is an Exotic Bird farm and Research Centre located on more than 5 acres of land near Kolkata in India. Dr. Banerjee was uncannily attracted to nature and various life forms from a very early age and kept numerous pets from insects to lizards, fish, birds, mice, guinea pigs, rabbits and other animals since early childhood.
His introduction to exotic aviculture came about when he started keeping budgerigars in 1990. From then on there was no looking back and today Sunshine BirdWorld is responsibly caring for a formidable breeding collection ranging from finches, grass parakeets, Australian broad tailed parakeets , a wide variety of conures, multitudes of Quaker mutations, various sub-species of Eclectus parrots, caiques, African grey parrots, Pionus parrots, cockatoos, a variety of small and large macaws including hyacinthine macaws and also a vast collection of lories and lorikeets as well as various softbill species like toucans, turacos, aracaris and starlings.
At Sunshine BirdWorld, the focus is on developing ideal captive management protocols for sustained long term health maintenance and positive and active propagation of exotic birds and small primates. Dr Debashis Banerjee is a founder member of Avicultural Society of India (ASI). He is a consultant and advisor to multiple zoological gardens, governmental projects and private bird parks all over India. In his quest for gleaning and imparting knowledge and promoting aviculture, Dr Banerjee is a member of numerous avicultural organisations from all over the World including the American Federation of Aviculture (AFA) and the Loro Parque Fundacion (LPF). He has toured extensively over Europe, South-East Asia and Australia, visiting countless avicultural setups, bird parks and bird farms to gain experience and exposure to different avicultural management methods used at different places. He plans to continue on his worldwide tours in his quest for avicultural knowledge and exposure.
His focus today and for the future remains on popularising and promoting aviculture worldwide, as he strongly believes in captive breeding by aviculturists as one of the primary means of active conservation of birds.

A little bit about me. Like many bird breeders I got into this hobby through my Pa and my Dad. My Pa got into breeding birds from his dad and it has passed along the generations to me. Both my Dad and Pa were breeders of finches in Sydney. However when relocating to the Central Coast they downsized their collections. I’ve been keeping birds for 16 years, after being given my first ever pair of birds at the age of 8 by my father. They were a pair of orange headed Gouldians. I will always have a soft spot for these Gouldians.
I am by no means an expert nor have the years of experience of my peers however I have learnt a lot from those around me. I’m incredibly grateful for the knowledge and help I have been given. Over the last few years I have had the privilege of being the president of the Finch Society of Australia. I am really proud of what I achieved, being one of the youngest and first ever female presidents. I held the president’s role for 4 years and just recently stepped down in September of this year. It was a great few years and I enjoyed being a part of such a fantastic group. I have only ever kept finches and softbills. Softbills are a new challenge for me and in the last few years I’ve had superb wrens and crimson chats. My experience therefore is primarily with finches having kept them for a number of years. As I stated my first pair of birds were orange headed Gouldians. After receiving my first pair of my own I was hooked! Dad and I began building aviaries in our backyard and haven’t stopped since! The one bird I have consistently bred throughout the years is the Gouldians. Between Dad and I we have bred around 20 different types of finches and many many birds in the last few years. We have kept a wide range of finches including Ruddies, Cordons, Painteds, Weavers, Crismons, Cubans, different parrot finches and many more! My project bird at the moment is pink ruddies. I really love them and have spent a lot of time recently researching them and purchasing new stock. It has been very up and down over the last few years, my goal is to be breeding and producing good numbers and good quality pink ruddies with no pied. Thankyou for the invitation to present at your upcoming convention. I am looking forward to meeting you all and catching up with everyone.

We would like to thank Petcover for Sponsoring Maddy’s appearance at the convention.

Stacey has been an avian veterinarian for over 30 years and an aviculturist for over 40 years.
During his professional life he has worked up and down the east coast of Australia. He has lectured at Veterinary and Avicultural conferences both throughout Australia and overseas. He has contributed to several avian veterinary and avicultural textbooks and has been involved in the lecturing and examination of veterinary students and qualified veterinarians on the subject of avian medicine.
His avicultural interests are varied and include parrots, finches, softbills, pigeons and doves, pheasants and poultry. He has just completed a purpose-built aviary complex in which he is concentrating on breeding finches including weavers and whydahs and small Australian and Asiatic parrots.

Ashley has been keeping and breeding birds for 35 years since he obtained some Pekin Bantam at the age of six. Since then he has kept and bred poultry, peafowl, quail, pigeons & doves, finches and parrots.
Hayden Dix, Western Australia. Hayden’s love of birds started as an 8 year old during a trip to a department store where there was a display of free flying parrots. To this day he can remember being taken aback by the colours of the crimson rosellas. Over the next few weeks his dad, with help, had built 2 quarter pie shaped aviaries around one half off old tree stump. A move to the country saw more space and more opportunities and by the age of 14 had 55 aviaries. Some of these were donated by breeders and those getting out of the hobby.
He has a background in ecology &conservation biology and has carried out field studies of birds in the wild during positions held at Birdlife Australia and Monash University. He also holds an A-Class bird banding license with the Australian Bird and Bat Banding Scheme and has carried out many field trips banding birds in the wild for research.
Ashley currently manages a captive breeding population of the Critically Endangered Orange-bellied Parrot at Moonlit Sanctuary, a privately-run wildlife conservation park in Victoria, Australia. He is a member of the Orange-bellied Parrot Recovery Team and manages the national studbook for the species in captivity.
As an aviculturist, Ashley’s passion is with Pyrrhura conures and Neophema parrots and has a small bank of aviaries in his suburban backyard. He likes Pyrrhura conures for their bright colours, bold personality, and the breeding challenges they present. He likes Neophemas for their soft voice, gentle nature, ease of breeding and minimal space requirements, and it’s nice to have birds that don’t bite your fingers when you’re holding them.

Hayden’s love of birds started as an 8 year old during a trip to a department store where there was a display of free flying parrots. To this day he can remember being taken aback by the colours of the crimson rosellas.Over the next few weeks his dad, with help, had built 2 quarter pie shaped aviaries around one half off old tree stump. A move to the country saw more space and more opportunities and by the age of 14 had 55 aviaries. Some of these were donated by breeders and those getting out of the hobby.

Later in life a trip through the UK and Europe and Loro Parque with his now wife Annemarie really got his passion for birds and in particular parrots going .
These days Hayden and Annemarie own and operate Argyle Aviaries in the southwest of Western Australia. Around 80 aviaries house various native and exotic parrots. Highlights include success in green-wing, blue and gold and red fronted macaws, white, red and yellow tailed Black Cockatoos and both Caiques amongst various others. Successfully breeding mollis subspecies of major Mitchell’s has also been a highlight.