Board & Management
The Reverend Vicky Cullen is Patron of the Peter Cullen Water and Environment Trust. Vicky has been an outstanding advocate for Peter’s work, a regular speaker at Trust Programs and, more recently, a generous donor, offering an Indigenous Scholarship.
Our Board: John Thwaites, Kaye Cavanagh, Suzy Nethercott-Watson, Susie Williams, Mark Wootton, Andrew Campbell, Katherine Daniell, Chris Arnott and Karlene Maywald.
Professor the Hon. John Thwaites (Chair) was Deputy Premier of Victoria 1999–2007, and a member of the Victorian Parliament 1992–2007, during which time he held several ministries including environment, water, planning, and climate change.
He has degrees in law and science, and before entering parliament he was a barrister practising in planning and administrative law. John is currently a Professorial Fellow at Monash University, and Chair of several bodies including the Monash Sustainability Institute, Climate Works Australia, and the Peter Cullen Trust.
The Hon. Karlene Maywald holds a broad portfolio of Board positions including Chair of the International Centre for Excellence for Water Resources Management (ICE WaRM), Chair of the CSIRO Land and Water Advisory Panel and Director of the Goyder Institute. She is also Strategic Advisor, International Water Opportunities with the South Australian Government, and the Managing Director of Maywald Consultants Pty Ltd, providing water policy and government relations advisory services.
Karlene was the Chair of the National Water Commission from 2012 to 2015 and served as Director on the SA Water Board for five years. Karlene was the representative for the seat of Chaffey in the South Australian House of Assembly from October 1997 to March 2010. During her tenure, from 2004 until 2010, she was South Australia’s Minister for Water Security and the River Murray during one of the worst drought periods in living memory. She has a proven, long-standing track record in water management and is passionate about water reform and leadership.
Suzy Nethercott-Watson CSM has had a diverse career in the military, private and public sectors. Her most recent public-sector positions were within the Commonwealth water policy and program arena in senior executive roles, leading areas that looked after water efficiency projects worth billions of dollars. For almost two years Suzy was head of the Office of Water Science which was involved in research and legislation programs, and which set up the statutory Independent Expert Scientific Committee to examine water-related impacts from coal seam gas and large-scale coal mining. Suzy holds a degree in Geography, an honours degree in Management, a Masters degree in Commercial Law and an advanced Diploma of Project Management, and she is an accredited Master Program Director.
Andrew Campbell is the Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) in Canberra, Australia.
His research interests span the interactions between climate, water, energy and agrifood systems, and the interface between knowledge, science and policy. He was previously Director of the Research Institute for the Environment and Livelihoods (RIEL) at Charles Darwin University, CEO of Land & Water Australia, Managing Director of Triple Helix Consulting, and Senior Executive in the Australian Government environment portfolio. He was instrumental in the development of Landcare, as Australia’s first National Landcare Facilitator. Andrew Campbell has written widely on landcare, knowledge management and sustainability issues for policy, science and general audiences. He trained in forestry at Creswick and the University of Melbourne, then in rural sociology and knowledge systems at Wageningen Agricultural University in The Netherlands. Andrew Campbell maintains an involvement in his family farm in Western Victoria, where his family has been farming since the 1860s.
Susie Williams is the Kimberley manager for the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation based in Kununurra, a remote northern town in one of the most rugged and beautiful parts of the country. Not only has Susie extensive and expert knowledge of resource management in northern Australia and how the region is placed, socio-economically and geopolitically, she is committed to its sustainable development. She has contributed to nationally significant public policy about indigenous rights to water, northern development, water allocation and ecological flow regimes in the Kimberley. She has diverse experience and unique insights into the future challenges and opportunities facing a remote and rural water sector.
Susie was one of the founding members of the National PCT Fellows Committee and as Chair, she effectively transformed a work program that was un-strategic and thinly spread, to one which was aligned, clear, and communicated to all stakeholders. She now continues this work as a Board Director for collaborative impact towards sustainable water management and NRM in Australia.
Kaye Cavanagh is the Principal Officer (Natural Resources) for Ipswich City Council, Queensland. She has been actively involved in the delivery of multidisciplinary natural resource management and environmental sustainability programs at local government level. Kaye has also been extremely active on behalf of the Trust and the Trust’s Fellows. Kaye joined the Board in the middle of 2015.
Chris Arnott has over 21 years of experience in public policy, extensive networks and a proven ability to lead teams of high-performing problem solvers. He has worked extensively for a range of state, federal departments and their associated agencies, particularly in the area of performance management, monitoring, evaluation and reporting (MER). Chris is regularly engaged across investment programs to help establish effective performance frameworks, including the use of investment logic models, as well as ex-post evaluations.
Chris led Aither’s systematic review of evaluations conducted by the Victorian Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources over the last 2 years. Spanning a diverse range of investments from transport to Creative Victoria, Chris and the Aither team identified factors that are critical to successful performance.
Mark Wootton is a geographer by training and a farmer by practice. He is the Principal and Manager of Jigsaw Farms, a family farm enterprise north of Hamilton in South West Victoria, covering 16,500 acres. He is also the founder and past Chair of The Climate Institute and of the Glenelg Hopkins Catchment Management Authority.
Jigsaw Farms is a high input grazing enterprise with large tracts of biodiversity plantings, wetlands and agroforestry plantations that act as a carbon sink. The mixed grazing operation consists of a fine wool sheep flock and a prime lamb operation. Mark’s approach to farming is to make use of current scientific research to adapt and be responsive to a changing climate.
Mark holds a Diploma of Agriculture, a Graduate Diploma of Education and a Geography Degree from Monash University.
Dr Katherine Daniell, BEng(Civil)(Hons)/BA (Adel.), PhD (ANU/AgroParisTech, France), MIEAust, is a Senior Lecturer in the Fenner School of Environment and Society at the Australian National University. Her research and practice focusses on collaborative approaches to policy and action for sustainable development. Her recent work in Europe and the Asia-Pacific includes projects on water governance, risk management, sustainable urban development, climate change adaptation and international science and technology cooperation.
Katherine is the author of the Cambridge University Press book “Co-engineering and participatory water management: organisational challenges for water governance”, published in the UNESCO International Hydrology Series, and over 80 other academic publications including papers, book chapters, reports and edited collections.
Katherine has received many awards and honours for her work including a John Monash Scholarship and graduating as a Fellow of the Peter Cullen Water and Environment Trust (2010). She has served on the ACT (2009-2011, 2015-2016) and National (2013-2014) Selection Panels for the John Monash Scholarships. Katherine is currently President of the Australian-French Association for Research and Innovation (AFRAN) Inc., member of the National Committee on Water Engineering (Engineers Australia), member of the Initiatives of the Future of Great Rivers and Editor of the Australasian Journal of Water Resources.
Our Staff & Volunteers
Tom Mollenkopf, CEO, joined the Trust in early 2017. Tom has held senior executive roles in the water industry for over twenty years and was CEO of the Australian Water Association for six years before joining Aither as a Senior Associate. He holds several non-executive Board roles, including Vice President of the International Water Association.
Kate MacMaster, Director, Programs has had responsibility for the Trust’s flagship Leadership Programs since early 2017. She is also responsible for growing and maintaining engagement with the Peter Cullen Trust Fellows Network. Her expertise includes leadership development, and program design and evaluation. She has worked cross-culturally in 15 countries across the Asia–Pacific, designing, implementing and evaluating capacity-building and leadership programs for organisations in many sectors.
Linda Cumming, Executive Officer, joined the Trust in 2019 after working as a full-time parent and living in New Zealand for several years. Her background is in the Museum and Heritage Sector, having worked as a Curator at Old Parliament House (now the Museum of Australian Democracy) and the National Museum of Australia. Linda has a Bachelor of Arts Degree from the Australian National University, majoring in History and Classics.
Ann Milligan has worked with the Trust since 2010. She compiles and edits the Trust newsletter BRIDGING, and helps with other aspects of the Trust’s work. Ann was formerly an agricultural scientist and science communicator.