Board

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 as of 1 October, 2021

Mikaela Power

Mikaela is the chair of our board and holds qualifications in arts, education, business and company directorship. She has worked in the public and private sectors in Gippsland, Melbourne and overseas and now works at TAFE Gippsland. 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.

Belinda Nave

Belinda Nave Vice Chair of the WGCMA Board

Belinda, is a primary producer involved in the family’s wagyu beef enterprise in Gippsland and the vice chair of our board. 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.

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. Nick has a strong belief that positive conservation outcomes can be achieved through, and in conjunction with, sustainable regional development.

Peter Jennings OAM

Peter is a retired farmer and former 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, as a counsellor, Executive Officer and currently as a board member.

Peter is a past co-chair of the Gippsland Lakes Coordinating Committee, 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.

Liz holds formal qualifications in Applied Science (Systems Agriculture and Rural Development) and consults in ecological production systems and is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (GAICD).

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.

Brian Stevens

Brian Stevens WGCMA Board Member

Brian is a proud Gunai man, originating from East Gippsland with a deep understanding and strong connection to his cultural heritage, identity and community. He has worked to support Aboriginal people and communities by leading and shaping government policy and strategies that focus on Aboriginal health, leadership and economic development.

With over 30 years’ experience in various Aboriginal leadership roles, Brian has contributed to the development of government policy and systems as well as corporate and business planning, change management, program design, evaluation and reporting.

Brian is an experienced board member, he has led the development of community organisations, and is currently the Chairperson for the Centre of Excellence for Aboriginal Health in East Gippsland and a member of the Bass Coast Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Advisory Committee. He is an Alumni of the Melbourne Business School, MURRA Indigenous Business program, a qualified and accredited coach and facilitator, trained in conflict management, adult education and training and completed the Australian Institute of Company Directors Training,

Susan Anderson

Susan Anderson WGCMA Board Member

Susan is a primary producer of beef cattle in Bunyip and has conservation qualifications and experience in beef and dairy farm renovation and management.

From 2015 to 2021 Susan was a board member of the Port Phillip and Westernport Catchment Management Authority and was deputy chair from 2018. She has extensive Landcare and community contacts in the Westernport catchment and is a life member and president of the Bunyip Landcare Group.

Susan is a member of Landcare Victoria’s Members’ Council of the Koo Wee Rup Flood Protection District Advisory Committee and a committee member of the Cardinia Environment Coalition and of the Environmental Farmers’ Network.

Jodie Mason

Jodie Mason WGCMA Board Member

Jodie has over 25 years’ professional experience in forest management, environmental auditing, research program management and industry engagement and 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.

PAGE UPDATED 24 January, 2022