Our board

Our Advisory Board performs a variety of important roles including as ambassadors, conservationists, fundraisers and strategic advisors to the Australia Program. Members (Trustees) provide additional expertise in goal setting and subjecting our work to further critical thinking.

We are privileged to have the following Trustees on the TNC Australia Advisory Board:

Robert McLean AM - Advisory Board Chair

Since February 2006
The Nature Conservancy Asia-Pacific Council Member and Australia Board Chair, Rob is a private equity investor and company director. Rob had a long career with McKinsey & Company where he led the Australian and New Zealand practice of the Firm and remains a Senior Advisor. He is a member of the Reserve Bank of Australia’s Payment Systems Board. Rob was awarded the Order of Australia (AM) in recognition of his contributions to social welfare, to conservation and the environment, and to business.

Charles Carnegie

Since August 2015

For the past decade Charles has been an advisor to Boards, CEOs and senior executives on strategy execution, governance and leadership development issues. His engagements have been in the industrial, technology and services sectors in both the United States and Australia.

Prior to the Waypoint Group he worked as both an executive and a consultant with firms like Accenture, Procter & Gamble, Boral and Cincinnati Bell. At Boral he was General Manager running a series of businesses including asset leasing, manufacturing, contracting and construction. At Cincinnati Bell he helped to create the first major ADSL network in the United States in partnership with CISCO.

He holds an Honours degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Melbourne and a MBA from Harvard Business School.

Beyond consulting, Charles is an Australian Advisory Board Member of Room to Read.

Jock Clough

Since December 2013

Jock Clough has a background and involvement in the engineering, finance and aquaculture industries. His qualifications include a BE and MSc from the University of Western Australia.

Jock worked initially as an engineer and then entered the financial industry in 1982 joining McIntosh & Co, Stockbrokers in Melbourne. In 1988 he joined Hartley’s and was an executive director from 1990 and executive chairman from 1996.  In 2001 Jock left the finance industry and became executive director of Clough Ltd, engineers and contractors and was chairman between 2003 and 2007.

Jock is a former board member of the Fremantle Football Club and the Asia Society AustralAsia Centre, and former Chairman of the Santanol Group and Southseas Abalone Ltd. He is currently Chairman of the University of Western Australia’s Oceans Community.

Dr Gordon de Brouwer

Since July 2018

Gordon has over 30 years’ experience in public policy in senior leadership positions including at the federal Departments of Environment and Energy Department (Portfolio Secretary); Prime Minister and Cabinet (Associate Secretary); and Treasury (Visiting Professor, Assistant Secretary and First Assistant Secretary).  He has also held very senior positions at the Australian National University (ANU) and the Reserve Bank of Australia.

His areas of professional policy expertise are natural resource management; climate change and energy policies; macro, financial and international economics and policy; international organisations (especially the G20); institutional design and governance; and public-sector management and reform.

Gordon is a Fellow of the Institute of Public Administration Australia. He is on the Advisory Council of the 50/50 by 2030 Foundation, and is a Public Policy Fellow at the ANU and Adjunct Professor at the University of Canberra in the Institute for Governance and Policy Analysis. He received a Public Service Medal in 2011 for his work on the G20, and was made a Knight in France’s Legion of Honour in 2013 for G20 and public service.

Gordon has a Bachelor of Commerce with First Class Honours and a Master of Commerce with First Class Honours from the University of Melbourne. He is also a Doctor of Philosophy in Economics from the Australian National University.

Sandra de Castro

Since November 2016

An Oxford University Biology Graduate, Sandra started her career at global consultancy CVA, where she spent 15 years advising corporations on business strategy across a number of industries in Europe. Sandra left consulting for NAB in 2009 and was the Chief Marketing Officer from 2010 until 2015. Sandra led the design and execution of NAB’s award winning “break-up” campaign, which broke new ground in financial services marketing and secured awards at Cannes.

Sandra is currently at AGL in the position of General Manager Sales & Marketing.

Michelle Dixon

Since November 2015

Michelle is Maddocks’ Chief Executive Officer. She was appointed to the role following 17 years with the firm, including 12 as a partner and a period leading the firm’s commercial disputes team. Michelle works with the Board and partnership to set and deliver the strategic direction for the firm. Her career to date has been punctuated by numerous industry awards including being listed as a leading litigation lawyer in the 2014 and 2015 editions of Best Lawyers. She has also been recommended each year for dispute resolution in Asia Pacific Legal 500 – a client guide to the world’s best law firms since 2011. Under Michelle’s leadership, Maddocks has been recognised as an Employer of Choice for firms >500 employees by Australasian Legal Lawyer, and received citation as an Employer of Choice for Gender Equality by WGEA in 2014 and 2015. Michelle is a CEO ambassador for WGEA’s national pay equity campaign and was recognised by the AFR and Westpac as one of 2015’s 100 Women of Influence.

Michelle is also a champion of the Maddocks Women initiative, set up to help the firm’s female employees with their professional development as well as to promote the firm as an innovative and responsive employer for women. Maddocks has recently become a signatory for LGBTI employer support program Pride in Diversity.

Michelle is married to Chris, a mum to 2 young children and foster mum to a teenager.

Meg McDonald

Since November 2016 

Meg McDonald has extensive international career experience in business, and in government, as a senior career diplomat, in environmental policy and in philanthropy. She serves on the Board of Directors of the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) and on the Board of the Co-operative Research Centre for Low Carbon Living (CRCLCL). She also serves as a judge for the MacArthur Foundation #100andchange program.

Meg has had leadership roles in renewables and innovative clean energy financing as COO of the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) and as CEO of Low Carbon Australia (LCAL). She previously had senior global roles with Alcoa as President of Alcoa Foundation and Director, Global Issues, Alcoa, in New York and General Manager, Corporate Affairs for Alcoa in Australia. Before joining Alcoa, she was a senior Australian career diplomat, including serving as Australia’s Deputy Ambassador to the United States and as Australia’s Ambassador for the Environment, as well as having been senior adviser in the offices of three Australian Government Cabinet ministers.

In 1997-98, Meg was Australia’s lead negotiator for the Kyoto Protocol and played a key role in shaping those negotiations and with responsibility for international environment and conservation issues.

Meg holds an Honours Degree in Applied Science from the University of NSW.

Maria Myers AC

Since November 2016

Maria Myers is Chairman of the Kimberley Foundation Australia and a director of the Australian String Quartet and Dunkeld Pastoral Company Pty Ltd. She is a member of the State Library of Victoria Board and chairman of the Foundation of the State Library of Victoria. Maria is also a member of the Loreto College Ballarat School Council and a member of St Mary’s College Council, University of Melbourne.

Greg Paramor AO

Since January  2014

Greg became Managing Director of Folkestone in April 2011. He has been involved in the real estate and funds management industry for more than 35 years, and was the cofounder of Equity Real Estate Partners, Growth Equities Mutual, Paladin Australia and the James Fielding Group. Greg was the CEO of Mirvac Group between 2004 and 2008. Greg is a past president of the Property Council of Australia and past president of Investment Funds Association, a Fellow of the Australian Property Institute and The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors.

Greg is a director of a number of not-for-profit organisations, including the Garvan Institute of Medical Research and the National Breast Cancer Foundation. He is a board member of the Sydney Swans and the Chairman of LJ Hooker. Greg is also an adjunct professor of Bond University.

Julien Playoust

Since May 2008 

Julien is currently Non-Executive Director of Tatts Group Limited, Ventura Health P/L and MGB Equity Growth P/L; Trustee and Deputy Chairman of the Art Gallery NSW Foundation and Chairman of the Finance Committee; Director of the National Gallery of Australia Foundation and on the Advisory Board of UNSW Art & Design. Former Chairman of MCM Entertainment Group Limited and Non-Executive Director of Australian Renewable Fuels Limited, both ASX listed.

Julien’s professional career includes AMP, NAB, Andersen Consulting, Accenture & private equity ventures across a range of industries including property, professional services, media, agriculture, retail, consumer discretionary, energy and financial services.

He is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and a Member of the Australian Institute of Management and the Royal Australian Institute of Architects.  He holds a Master of Business Administration from UNSW (AGSM), Bachelor of Architecture (First Class Honours) and Bachelor of Science from Sydney University, and Company Director Course Diploma from AICD. He is a member of the UNSW Business School Alumni Leaders Group.

Emeritus Trustees

We would like to recognise and thank the following former Advisory Board members:

Max Bourke AM

Max is a Company Director and Director of a philanthropic foundation, The Thomas Foundation. He has had a long history of working and studying in the agriculture and conservation sector with a personal interest in the arts. Initially beginning his career as an agricultural scientist, Max has had a diversity of roles ranging from Federal government agencies and broadcasting before establishing Rural Funds Management Ltd. This business became one of the largest farming, horticulture and viticulture businesses in Australia with a strong commitment to environmental best practice. It was sold in 2007.

Max has been a member of many conservation-related bodies and remains active both on Boards and in practical ways in nature conservation. He is an Emeritus Trustee of The Nature Conservancy Australia. The Australian Government recognised Max’s contribution to conservation in 2004 in giving him the honorable distinction of a Member of the Order of Australia. Max currently lives in Canberra with his wife Margaret and their shared interests include garden history, management of a private arboretum, walking and music. Max is also an avid reader of American literature and history.

Gavin Bunning

March 2010 – February 2016

Gavin is the Chairman of the Cotswold Group of family companies based in Perth, with a primary focus upon land development projects in Perth, Melbourne, Newcastle and Brisbane. He joined Bunnings Limited in 1963 and was a director from 1973 until its acquisition by Wesfarmers in 1994. The Company had been primarily a forest products business, but in 1972 he was given responsibility for developing the building materials warehouse concept as a separate division. Since then he has been Chairman of Brightwater Care Group, and he and his family are principal sponsors of Adventure Club, a charitable organization which assists disadvantaged primary school children.

Lucy Carruthers

Lucy is an independent management consultant and organisational coach. Lucy spent nine years in the US during which time she worked for McKinsey & Company and served on the boards of Conservation Minnesota and Audubon Minnesota. She has a Bachelor of Architecture Hons from RMIT and an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management. She is an avid runner, swimmer and camper.

Professor Adrienne Clarke AC

Professor Clarke is the Chancellor at La Trobe University in Melbourne and formerly the Laureate Professor in the School of Botany at The University of Melbourne. She served as President of the International Society for Plant Molecular Biology (1997-1998). She is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science, Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering, Foreign Associate of the National Academy of Sciences (USA) and Foreign Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a Fellow of Janet Clarke Hall in Melbourne. Professor Clarke was appointed as an inaugural Fellow (2007) of the American Society of Plant Biologists. She served as Chairman of the CSIRO Board (1991-1996), Lieutenant Governor of Victoria (1997- 2000), Ambassador for Biotechnology for Victoria (2001-2004) and has served on many government committees.

Professor Clarke is a former Director of Hexima Limited, a company that focuses on agricultural biotechnology. She has also served as a Director on a number of public companies including Alcoa of Australia Limited (1993-96), Woolworths Limited (1994-2007), WMC Limited (1996-2005) and Fisher & Paykel Healthcare Limited (2002- 2008). She also serves on various scientific advisory boards including the Australian Research Centre for Urban Ecology (ARCUE) (2004-).

Gordon Davis

Gordon was Managing Director and CEO of AWB Limited from 2006 – 2011, Australia’s largest agribusiness. Prior to AWB, Gordon worked for Orica Mining Services in global marketing roles and as General Manager, Australia-Asia. He is Chair of the Vic Forests Board, a Director of Nufarm Limited, a Director of Primary Health Care Limited, and Chair of Greening Australia.

In his early career he worked as a Policy Advisor for the Leader of the Federal Opposition, and as a Research Forester for the Tasmanian Forestry Commission. His academic achievements include the Advanced Management Program, Harvard Business School, MBA Melbourne University Business School, MAg Sc, University of Tasmania, and B.Forest Science (Hons), University of Melbourne.

Graham Kraehe AO

Feb 2015 – Dec 2017.

Mr Graham Kraehe is Director of Djerriwarrh Investments and a member of  the ANU Advisory Board “China in the World”.

He was previously Chairman of BlueScope Steel, Brambles, National Australia Bank, and a Director of News Corporation and the Reserve Bank of Australia. Mr Kraehe’s executive career spanned 30 years as CEO of a number of businesses in the diversified industrial and wine sectors including Pacific BBA and Southcorp. In these roles he obtained extensive experience in manufacturing management and in companies with substantial, geographically diverse, industrial operations. He has had many business and community roles including national President of the Australian Industry Group and Chairman of the Future Directions Forum. In December, 2013 he was appointed to the Australian Prime Minister’s Business Advisory Council. In 2003 he was made a member of the Order of Australia for services to industry and the environment.

Alison Watkins

An experienced Chief Executive Officer and ASX 20 company board director, with wide ranging and international experience in the agriculture, food processing, consumer, retail, financial and professional services sectors. Ms Watkins is a member of the Corporate Governance Committee. Ms Watkins joined the Board in July 2010. Ms Watkins has held a number of executive roles, including Chief Executive Officer of Berri Limited, Executive Chair of Mrs Crocket’s Kitchen Pty Ltd, and Chief Executive Officer of the Bennelong Group, and is a former partner of McKinsey & Company. She was formerly a non-executive Director of Just Group Limited and Woolworths Limited, and is currently a non-executive Director of Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited. As well as an Emeritus Trustee of The Nature Conservancy Australia.

Hon Ros Kelly AO

Ros Kelly moved to Federal Parliament in 1980 after being elected to the ACT Legislative Assembly in 1974. Ros held several ministerial portfolios from 1987 through to 1994 including Minister for Defence, Science and Personnel; Minister for the Arts, Sport the Environment and Tourism and Minister for the Environment, Sport and Territories. She left politics in 1995 and worked as an environmental consultant, principally with Environmental Resources Management and has been Non-Executive Director of Thiess since 1998. Ros was a member of the International Advisory Council for Normandy Mining Ltd from 1995 – 2001 and was Chair of the Minerals Council of Australia’s External Advisory Group on Sustainability for five years. She joined the Board of Trustees of the National Breast Cancer Foundation (NBCF) in 2002 and was Chair from 2005 to 2010. In May 2011 she became a Trustee of the Global Girls Fund. Ros is also an Emeritus Trustee of The Nature Conservancy Australia.

Ros was awarded an Order of Australia in 2004 for her service to the community through promoting corporate environmental responsibility and fostering dialogue between business and conservation groups, to the Australian parliament and to women’s health.

Asia Pacific Council

In addition to the Australian Advisory Board, TNC Australia is also fortunate to be guided by The Conservancy’s Asia Pacific Council which consists of an unprecedented group of business, political and academic leaders from across the Asia Pacific region and around the world. A full list of Asia Pacific Council members can be found here, with Australian members listed below:

Mark Burrows AO

Mark Burrows has a long and distinguished career in investment banking, commencing with Baring Brothers in London. From the early 80s until the late 90s, Mark was the Executive Chairman of the iconic Investment Banking advisory business, Baring Brothers Burrows in Australia. Following the sale of Barings to ING Bank in the late 90s, Mark was appointed the Executive Deputy Chairman of ING Barings in London. In 2005, Mark joined Lazard in London as a Managing Partner and then returned to Australia as Lazard Australia’s inaugural Chairman. After a period of retirement from Lazard, Mark returned to investment banking in 2011 as Managing Director / Vice Chairman of Credit Suisse Global Investment Bank from which he retired in early 2017.

During his extensive Investment Banking career, Mark has been the principal financial advisor to some of the most significant and transformational corporate and government transactions in Australasia. Whilst in London, he advised Governments and institutions on sovereign debt/default, more recently on the emerging role on Green Finance.

Mark has served as Non-Executive Director of several Australasian/European public companies, most notably as the Chairman/Deputy Chairman of Brambles, Fairfax and Telstra.

Mark is the Senior Advisor to UNEP FI (United Nations Environmental Programme Finance Initiative). In this role, Mark has been working on advancing Green Finance to accelerate sustainable development which is aligned with the development of the Green Bond market where he is the Senior Advisor to the London-based Climate Bonds Initiative.

Mark is currently consulting to the Macquarie Group as a Senior Advisor. Macquarie Group, along with its manged funds, is one of the world’s largest investors in renewable energy, having invested or arranged more than £8.5 billion of investment into renewable energy projects since 2010.

Starting with the Forests Asia Summits in Jakarta, and the African Forests Summits in Nairobi, Mark became a leading advocate on initiatives within the B20 with respect to Green Finance and its place on the G20 agenda. He is a continuing member of the B20 Finance Taskforce which he joined as an Australian Treasury nominee at the B20’s inception as part of the G20 in 2010. Mark advised on the new initiative of the G20 Green Finance Initiative and he is a speaker and commentator at global environmental/sustainability events (including IMF and World Bank/Green forums and with CIFOR – the World’s leading forestry research group) at their Global Landscapes Forums. Mark is a Non-Executive Director of the Asia Pacific Council of The Nature Conservancy.

Mark has made a major contribution to the advancement of Public Policy in Australia where he led the development of Australia’s national uniform corporate law, which led to the creation of the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC). Mark has been widely recognised as the co-author of the Report on the Framework on the Australian system of Compulsory Superannuation and was awarded the Order of Australia (AO) for his contributions to public policy and the arts.

Mark is an occasional writer for the Australian Financial Review, the Adjunct Professor of Finance at Sydney University and an adjunct lecturer at a number of UK/USA universities on Green Finance and Sustainability.

Robert Hill AC

Robert is Chair of the Advisory Board to the Global Change Institute, University of Queensland, Adjunct Professor in Sustainability at the United States Studies Centre, University of Sydney and Chairman of the Cooperative Research Centre for Low carbon Living at the University of New South Wales. He serves as Special Envoy of the Australian Environment Minister on rainforests.

Robert was Australia’s Ambassador and Permanent representative to the United Nations in New York, 2006-2009. In his political career he was an Australian Senator from 1981-2006, Leader of the Government in the Senate 1996-2006, Minister for Defence 2002-2006 and Minister for the Environment 1996-2002. He just completed his term as Chancellor of the University of Adelaide.

Robert serves on many other organisations including the Global Oceans Commission, the Board of Climate Works and the Advisory Board of the Global Change Institute at the University of Queensland.

Robert holds a Law degree and an Arts degree from the University of Adelaide and a Masters of Laws from the University of London.

Robert McLean AM

The Nature Conservancy Asia-Pacific Council Member and Australia Board Chair, Rob is a private equity investor and company director. Rob had a long career with McKinsey & Company where he led the Australian and New Zealand practice of the Firm and remains a Senior Advisor. He is a member of the Reserve Bank of Australia’s Payment Systems Board. Rob was awarded the Order of Australia (AM) in recognition of his contributions to social welfare, to conservation and the environment, and to business.

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