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Our Board

Trust for Nature’s Board of Trustees bring a wealth of expertise to the strategic direction of our organisation, from business and scientific strategy to communications and marketing.

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Gayle Austen

Chair

BA (Media & Communications), Adv Cert App Language (Mandarin), Graduate AICD (from 8 December 2015)

Gayle is a communications specialist with extensive experience in strategic communications and community engagement. She has held senior executive positions at Seven Network, International CEO Forum and Fosters and was most recently Head of Marketing and Communications at ANZ Institutional. Her senior roles in journalism have been based in Australia, China and the UK including The Economist Intelligence Unit and The Age. She is currently Director of Gayle Austen Communications and a Director of Access Health and Community. As a former journalist with specialties in environment and rural affairs, and being from a farming family, Gayle has a particular interest in the way agribusiness can help conserve the environment. She believes there are opportunities to energise and involve farmers, communities and corporations in safeguarding our natural heritage for future generations. Gayle currently chairs Trust for Nature’s Fundraising and Marketing Committee.

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Dr Charles Meredith

Deputy Chair

BSc (Botany, Genetics), PhD (Zoology/Earth Sciences) (from 8 December 2015)

Charles is an ecologist and consultant with extensive experience in natural systems and conservation planning. After an early career in wildlife research, he founded Biosis Research, Australia’s largest ecological and heritage consulting firm. He was Chief Executive Officer there from 1984 until he retired in 2011. Charles is an inaugural Fellow of the Environment Institute of Australia and New Zealand. He is Chair of the Melbourne Strategic Assessment Land Protection Advisory Group, a member of the Course Advisory Committee for Wildlife and Conservation Biology Degree at La Trobe University and a board member of the Victorian Environmental Assessment Council. He says Trust for Nature’s significant role in contributing to the conservation of privately held vegetation and habitat is critical to the long-term conservation of Victoria’s biodiversity. Charles currently chairs the Trust’s Conservation Committee.

Nina Braid

Trustee

Nina is an Aboriginal woman from far north South Australia. Nina holds a Bachelor of Arts in Aboriginal Policy and Management and a Master of Management from the University of South Australia. She has eight years’ experience working in and with communities for conservation and environmental purposes as a Project Manager at the Indigenous Land Corporation. She also brings a wealth of experience from her roles with AFL SportsReady, Red Dust Role Models and National Indigenous Pastoral Enterprises, as well as the Australian Department of Health and Ageing and Department of Employment and Workplace Relations. Nina is currently working as an Aboriginal Partnerships and Business Development Manager with Yarra Valley Water. 

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Dr Sandra Brizga

Trustee

BA (Hons) (Geography, Psychology), Master of Environmental Law, Master of Applied Finance, PhD (Geomorphology), AFin, GAICD (from 23 August 2017)

Sandra has extensive experience in environmental and natural resource management. She has been an independent consultant in river, catchment and coastal management since 1995 and is also a sessional member of Planning Panels Victoria. She previously pursued a career in academia and has published a book on river management. Current and previous board and committee memberships include the Australian World Heritage Advisory Committee, Fraser Island World Heritage Area Scientific Advisory Committee, Central Coastal Board, Game Management Authority, Port Phillip and Westernport Catchment Management Authority, Regional Forest Agreement Modernisation Program Scientific Expert Panel and Victorian Catchment Management Council. She is a Fellow of the Peter Cullen Trust, President of the Australian and New Zealand Geomorphology Group and an Honorary Life Member of the River Basin Management Society.

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Binda Gokhale

Trustee

MBA, BEc, Grad Dip (Applied Finance and Investments), GAICD (from 23 August 2017)

Binda is Chief Financial Officer with Wyndham City Council, having previously held senior finance, planning and treasury positions at Telstra. A certified public accountant, Binda currently chairs Trust for Nature’s Audit and Risk Committee after serving on this committee as an external member since 2008. Binda also participates across a number of other organisations in a board and governance capacity including as a board member of the Satellite Foundation; a member of the CPA Public Sector and NFP Committee; and as Vice-President Professional Development at FinPro (representing finance professionals in the local government sector).

Dr Dominique Hes

Trustee

Dominique received a science degree from the University of Melbourne and followed this with a Graduate Diploma in Cleaner Production and a Doctorate in 2005 at RMIT University, Melbourne. The thesis investigates her practice in supporting the integration of sustainability in building projects. Her research interests are identifying and filling the knowledge gaps in sustainability practice and application in the built environment. She is currently a Director for Place Agency at the University of Melbourne and a Board member of Greenfleet, where she is a member of the revegetation working committee. 

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Matthew Kronborg

Trustee

Matthew is a multidisciplinary expert with particular expertise in governance, clean technology and sustainable development. His credentials include; a Master of Law in Energy and Resources from the University of Melbourne; a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, a Bachelor of Technology (Aviation), a Bachelor of Business and a Diploma of Sustainability. He is the founder and director of sustainable agri/foodtech business Grainstone. He was previously the National Executive Director (CEO) of the United Nations Associations of Australia and the top advisor for environment and community strategy to Qantas. He has been an advisor and board member to numerous NGOs, businesses and related bodies.

Matthew sits on the Trust for Nature's Finance & Investment board committee, and the Audit and Risk board committee.

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Nadine Ponomarenko

Trustee

Nadine holds a Bachelor of Business from RMIT University a Master of Environment from the University of Melbourne and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Melbourne and Instituto de Empresa Business School in Spain. Nadine is a Chartered Accountant and a Graduate of the AICD Company Directors Course.
Nadine is strategically and commercially focused with broad experience in chartered and industry accounting, consulting, and sustainability. She is currently working as a Finance Business Partner with the RSPCA, Melbourne and as an Associate Director at Futureye - a consultancy helping organisations align their values and operations to build their social licence in a rapidly changing world.

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Jennifer Wolcott

Trustee

Jennifer received a Bachelor of Forest Science (Honours) from the University of Melbourne and is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. She has had extensive experience within the public sector, including ten years as an executive with the EPA and Parks Victoria.  Jennifer is also an Institute of Public Administration Australia (Victoria) Board Member, and Board Director of Royal Botanic Gardens.

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