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Board & Management

Our Patron

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.

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 each year.

Our Board:  John Thwaites, Kaye Cavanagh, Brett Tucker, Suzy Nethercott-Watson, Susie Williams, Mark Wootton, Andrew Campbell, Katherine Daniell and Chris Arnott.

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.

Brett Tucker has had a career in water resource management and agriculture that has spanned more than 25 years across a broad range of roles and organisations, including 15 years experience as a chief executive and board director in both the public and private sector. In 2016, he established Blackwatch Consulting, which provides advice to government agencies, state-owned and private sector corporations, industry groups and project consortia. Brett also provides mentoring and coaching support to senior managers and prospective industry leaders. He holds an Honours Degree in Rural Science and a Graduate Certificate in Accounting and Finance. Brett was awarded a Churchill Fellowship in 1998.

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 … coming

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.

Lindy Stein, Executive Officer, joined the Trust in 2014 after living overseas for many years in Switzerland, Solomon Islands, Vietnam and Fiji. She has worked in international development, with AusAID and in regional and non-government organisations as well as two federal government departments and an international company. Lindy has a Bachelor of Asian Studies (Honours) degree, majoring in Chinese, and studied in Beijing and Taiwan during her university years.

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.

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