Our team

To achieve great things, you need a great team! Meet some of our hard-working and experienced staff.

The Leadership Team

Richard Gilmore, Country Director

Rich is a passionate conservationist and is particularly enthusiastic about mangrove conservation (along with two of his three daughters Charlotte and Harriet, who like to get very muddy in them!). Rich revealed how a trip to an African mangrove forest opened his eyes to saving the environment in an exclusive interview by The Guardian. Read the article “Muddy start leaves rich environmental footprint for conservation head” to learn more about his dedication to conservation.

Prior to joining TNC Australia from Balibó House Trust where as CEO, he worked hard to bring together aid agencies, donors and the Government of Timor-Leste to drive community-lead, sustainable economic development in the western region of that country.

Prior to that, Rich was the CEO of Earthwatch Australia. During his time there, Earthwatch was awarded the Prime Minister’s Award for Australian Environmentalist of the Year, something which he is very proud of.

Rich graduated with a Master of Environmental Management from the University of New South Wales in 2015. He is an alumnus of both the Cambridge University Business and Environment Program and the Harvard Club of Australia Non-Profit Leadership Program. In 2011, in recognition of his role as a community leader in the State of Victoria, Rich was made a Williamson Community Leadership Fellow by Leadership Victoria

Rich is a Member of the Institute of Company Directors and a Board Member of the US-based NGO Mangrove Action Project.

Simon O'Connor, Director of Finance and Operations

Fitness fanatic Simon has worked for the past 15 years across roles in Government, Not for Profit and Corporates and joined The Nature Conservancy Australia in 2013.

Prior to joining us, he was responsible for managing internal and external audit programs, the preparation of the annual accounts and the management of the largest state banking contract for Victoria. In his early years as an Accountant he worked in financial systems development and for the Australian Red Cross’ Asia Pacific Program.

When Simon is not at work, he is usually exercising or thinking about exercising and more often than not, working out how he can do it away from the confines of the city!

Lina Di Prisa, HR Specialist

Lina is a people person with a warm personality. She has worked for many years across roles in professional services, banking, insurance and finance and has experience in managing people, human resources, leadership coaching and general management. Lina holds a Post Graduate Diploma in Human Resource management and is an ICF Certified Coach.

She enjoys working with people, having real conversations, and building genuine friendships along the way. Lina has always been interested in animal rights and animal welfare and has been passionate about these advocacy issues since she was a child.

Lina and her husband Darren love travelling overseas, experiencing different cultures, countries, people and animals. Their cat Rebel is the most loved cat in the world!

Dr. James Fitzsimons, Director of Conservation

James is our Director of Conservation, overseeing our conservation planning, science and policy functions. This includes the vast tropical savannas of northern Australia, the central deserts, the Great Western Woodlands (the world’s largest temperate woodland) and emerging marine and freshwater programs. Find out more about James.

Will McGoldrick, Director of Government Relations

Will is based in Melbourne, Australia, and is part of The Nature Conservancy’s Asia Pacific Region. He coordinates the Conservancy’s engagement with the Australian Government, as well as supporting public sector engagement across the region.

Will has worked in the not-for-profit sector for the better part of a decade, with a particular focus on international and Australian climate change policy and sustainable development in the Asia Pacific region. 

He has spent time living and working in a number of Pacific island countries, including four years in Samoa where he was an advisor to the Samoan Government on climate change policy.        

Will has university degrees in international law, science and humanities and has been published in a number of academic journals, including the in the Journal of World Trade and the Australian International Law Journal.

Tony Jupp, Communications and Marketing Manager

Tony has worked in conservation and communications for the last 30 years.  This has included working in government, the private sector and not for profits in areas as diverse as teaching, zoos, national parks, forestry, politics, animal welfare and electricity.  He loves telling stories and has a special interest in those related to protecting threatened species.  He’s been actively involved in conservation projects for threatened black cockatoos in his home state of WA for many years.

Begoña Vázquez Santos, Director of International Memberships

Begoña works from our worldwide office headquarters and is responsible for identifying and launching individual giving markets outside the USA – in Australia, Hong Kong, India and Indonesia. 
Before running the International Memberships program, Begoña managed the organisation’s USA one-million-member base and successfully introduced new fundraising channels including telemarketing, digital and face-to-face.  In 2012, her team won the DMA Organization of the Year Award for innovative and forward looking approaches in direct marketing in USA.

Prior to the Conservancy, Begoña served in a similar role with Spain’s Oxfam Intermón where she led a team that generated half of the private funds. 

 When Begoña is not at work, she enjoys spending time with her family across continents and travelling around the world to experience the variety of cultures, nature, food, wine along with some tunes for dancing.

Marla Edwards, Director of Development

The rest of the team

Laura Whitford, Director, Development Policy, Asia-Pacific region
Simon Branigan, Estuaries Conservation Coordinator
Eddie Game, Lead Scientist 
Chris Gilles, Marine Manager
David Hinchley, Northern Australia Program Manager
Amy Hirst, Campaign Manager
Natalie Holland, Conservation Projects Manager
Geoffrey Lipsett-Moore, Fire & Carbon Advisor
Kimberly Matousek, Data Manager
Helene Schwarz, Digital Manager
Christine Wood, Executive Assistant
Kylie Zhou, Assistant Accountant

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