Our board is a skills based board appointed by the state government. The board is responsible for the strategic and policy direction of the organisation.

Our board members

Mikaela Power

Mikaela holds qualifications in arts, education, business and company directorship. She has worked in the public and private sectors in Gippsland, Melbourne and overseas. Mikaela was a Baw Baw Shire Councillor from 2012-2020, and Mayor in 2019. During this time she was Deputy Chair of the Periurban Group Of Rural Councils and chaired the West Gippsland Library Board for four years. Her community involvement includes Landcare, education, sport and the arts. Mikaela and her family have lived in west, south and central Gippsland and now live on a small farm in West Gippsland.

Jane Hildebrant

Jane holds post-graduate qualifications in education, librarianship, environment and town planning. Jane was a councillor at Mornington Peninsula and Wellington Shire councils, President of Mornington Environment Association and Secretary of Maffra and Districts Landcare Network Board. She has expertise in governance, strategic planning, community development and teaching. Her community and environmental advocacy includes representing herself and others at VCAT. She was a VRC trainer for 16 years with provincial and city success. Jane had a lucerne cropping, beef and horse breeding enterprise in Canada and now manages a small farm at Briagolong.

Nick Murray

Nick holds an undergraduate degree in education, post graduate qualifications in Management, and Occupational Health and Safety and is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. Nick has worked in the public and private sectors and has extensive Board experience with for-profit, not-for-profit, and member-based entities. He is currently Chair of the Regional Tourism Board, Destination Gippsland Ltd, a former member of the Gippsland Lakes Coordinating Committee and the Gippsland Lakes Ministerial Advisory Committee. Nick is an experienced Chief Executive Officer and prior to retirement from full time work was CEO of Gippsland Ports from 2008 to 2018. He has a strong belief that positive conservation outcomes can be achieved through, and in conjunction with, sustainable regional development.

Shelley McGuinness

Shelley has over 25 years’ experience in the land and water management sector including roles in research, extension and policy.

She holds a Bachelor or Agricultural Science (Honours) and is a Sessional Member of Planning Panels Victoria. Previously she was a Director of Coliban Water and a Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Peter Jennings OAM

Peter is a farmer and chair of our board; he holds qualifications in farming, science, education, management and company directorship. Peter moved from NSW to farm at Giffard in 1981 after working as a science teacher and at Outward Bound. He has been involved with local government, both as a councillor and commissioner and with the Rural Financial Counselling Service, both as a counsellor and Executive Officer. Peter is a past member of the Gippsland Coastal Board, the Shire Of Alberton River Improvement Trust, the Corner Inlet Waterway Authority and was chair of the Gippsland Grammar Board. He has also had many years of involvement with the VFF, CFA and Landcare.

Liz Clay

Liz has operated as a certified organic farmer since 1991, working in the Gippsland region for over 32 years to bring transdisciplinary knowledge in her social, ecological sustainability and agriculture focus on local natural resources and ecosystems. She has recent and relevant industry experience and has contributed to numerous industry advisory committees including the Southern Rural Water Irrigator Advisory Committee and a previous term with West Gippsland CMA.  She holds formal qualifications in Applied Science (Systems Agriculture and Rural Development) and consults in ecological production systems.  Liz is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (GAICD).

Belinda Nave

Belinda is a primary producer involved in the family’s wagyu beef enterprise in Gippsland. She holds qualifications in Environmental and Marine Science and has extensive experience in NRM including managing on-ground environmental projects, strategic coastal projects, heritage projects and complex environmental assessments. Belinda has worked in the public and private sectors in Gippsland and Melbourne. She has proven experience in engaging with stakeholders at the State, local government and community levels. Belinda is passionate about improving the family farm through revegetation and protection of waterways and is an active volunteer in her local community.

Jodie Mason

Jodie has over 25 years’ professional experience in forest management, environmental auditing, research program management and industry engagement. She has worked in operational and consulting roles across the public and private sectors. Jodie holds a forest science degree and post-graduate business management qualifications (MBA), is a past board member of Australian Forestry Standard Ltd. and is a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.