Following an extensive recruitment process, the Board of the Peter Cullen Trust has announced the appointment of Rosie Wheen as its next Chief Executive Officer. Ms Wheen will succeed Darryl Day who has led the Trust for the past three years.

Chair of the Peter Cullen Trust, the Hon Karlene Maywald, said: “From an outstanding field of applicants, we are excited to confirm Rosie Wheen’s appointment as our next CEO.  Rosie is an exceptional leader with an enviable track record in the not-for-profit space.  The skills that she has honed throughout her years at WaterAid Australia, along with her understanding of the challenges we face in the sustainable and equitable management of water, position Rosie to lead the Trust through this next phase of its development.” 

Ms Maywald continued, “Rosie’s appointment heralds a new era for the Peter Cullen Trust.  As the Trust approaches its 15th Anniversary, the “what next” for leadership and change in our sector is front of mind.  The Board is confident that Rosie is the leader to take on that challenge and position the Trust to grow its role and extend its influence.  Rosie is passionate about our work and about the future of our sector, and she will continue the Peter Cullen legacy of speaking truth to power.”

Rosie Wheen’s background is most recently as CEO of WaterAid Australia from October 2016 to June 2023 where she was widely recognised for her inspiring leadership of the high performing team. Rosie led transformative change across WaterAid Australia, and within the WaterAid federation, such as spearheading WaterAid’s approach to innovation, safeguarding and diversity and inclusion. Over this time Rosie transformed WaterAid Australia’s relationship with key stakeholders, donors, and supporters. After six years working in Indonesia, Rosie commenced her career with WaterAid Australia in January 2004 and undertook a range of roles before her appointment as CEO.

In accepting the appointment, Rosie said, “We are living in a time of great uncertainty and change. We know how central water, environment and land management are to people and planet. Has there ever been a more important time for there to be a bridge between science, people and the environment, for courageous leadership?

I am excited to be joining the Trust, a community whose purpose is to foster courageous leadership to tackle these challenges. A community of leaders who embrace the Peter Cullen legacy of speaking with courage, saying what needs to be said and always with a way forward.

I look forward to building on the strong foundations of the Trust, whilst working in collaboration with the Board, staff, Fellows, Friends and partners to shape the next phase for the Trust. “

In farewelling outgoing CEO, Darryl Day, Ms Maywald said “On behalf of the Board, I take this opportunity to thank Darryl for his contribution to the Trust during his time as CEO.  Darryl’s warmth, humility and leadership have created a culture of kindness and optimism that make the Trust a special place to be.  Taking on the role during the height of the Covid experience, Darryl helped us navigate that very difficult time and emerge with our business, our networks and our future in very good shape. We wish him well on the next stage of his journey.”

Darryl Day steps down as Trust CEO on 30 January 2024.

The Peter Cullen Trust is a not-for-profit organisation that works to bridge the gap between science and policy in the water sector.  Our purpose is to foster courageous leadership to tackle big challenges in water and environment.

For further enquiries, please contact the Hon Karlene Maywald on 0412 445 865

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