Kim Ritman

Favourite Thing: Finding out new things and how they work is always interesting. I particularly like maps which has lead me to specialise in computer based mapping and satellite imagery. Now I cover a lot of topics like biosecurity, farming, fish sustainability and forestry. In my early career I was able to go outdoors – lots – now I am mainly in an office, but I do go to meetings in my building, in other offices, in other cities and even overseas. Last year I went to a G20 meeting of agricultural chief scientis



I went to Canberra High in the mid 70’s and Hawker college ACT in 1978 and 1979


I did a Science degree with honours at ANU, a Diploma of Education and a Doctorate at the University of New England.

Work History:

I have worked in Armidale and Bathurst NSW, Victoria, Dunedin New Zealand and Canberra.


I work for the Australian Government in the Department of Agriculture Fisheries and Forestry in the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES)

Current Job:

I am the Chief Scientist in ABARES

Me and my work

I lead and provide information to non-scientists in a form that they can understand.

If I dont know something I know who to ring to ask. Sometimes I have to have an answer within hours especially when parliament is sitting. So other scientists in my work as well as CSIRO and state agencies are important people for me to know.

My Typical Day

I love coming into work. Sometimes I have things in my diary or inbox that are planned, but often I get random calls for information or problem solving.

What I'd do with the money

Probably donate it to do this sort of things again.

My Interview

How would you describe yourself in 3 words?

Funloving, energetic, interesting.

Who is your favourite singer or band?

Matt Finish – a singer and band from the early 1980s, although I do like songs I hear on Triple J but dont know the bands!

What is the most fun thing you've done?

Mountain biking one day in the snowy mountains through, snow, rain, fog, a bushfire and carrying my bike across a waist freezing deep river all in six hours.

If you had 3 wishes for yourself what would they be? - be honest!

1. Grow hair back on my head. 2. Keep enjoying my work forever as much as I do now. 3. Be as tough as Chuck Norris.

What did you want to be after you left school?

A forester and work outdoors.

Were you ever in trouble in at school?

Yes in infants school, I went to the shops before school to buy lollies and a teacher saw me so I got punished.

What's the best thing you've done as a scientist?

Mapped old growth forests in east Gippsland

Tell us a joke.

What is the last thing to go through the grasshoppers mind before it hit the windscreen? Its abdomen!

Sports followed

Cycling and Rugby Union

Favourite team