Our Board

Board members are elected from across 14 NRM Management Units (12 NRM regional body areas).

QWaLC board meetings are held four times a year. If you would like to have your views represented to the board or share a particular experience as a community NRM group or NRM volunteer, contact the board member for your region.

Our board is both representative and skills based and focused on organisational governance and listening to the members. Management tasks to deliver the strategic direction and to provide the services members need (e.g. grants, insurance, information, training) are delegated to the CEO and delivered by our great team of volunteers and contractors..  The board have subcommittees and working groups for various projects.

“QWaLC’s board is an integral part of its role as the peak body for natural resource management volunteers. The board consists of a community representative aligned with each of Queensland’s natural resource management regions. This makes QWaLC truly representative of the Voluntary Natural Resource Management groups across Queensland, as our board members highlight the issues in each region.”

Mary-Lou Gittins OAM

Chairperson and Condamine Representative

Mary-Lou has been a member in some form of landcare or catchment group for the last 25 years. MaryLou has entire page that covers some of the groups she has been involved in over this time at a local, regional, state and federal level.

Mary-Lou chaired the advisory group that created the current Queensland Water and Land Carers.

As a past representative of CCMA Marylou has sat around the Darling Downs Regional Landcare group table. Currently Mary-Lou is the secretary of the Condamine Catchment Management Association.

Mary-Lou is a strong believer in this movement and is working with QWaLC to ensure a future for volunteers in the environment. MaryLou was recognised with an OAM in 2019 for service to conservation and the environment.

Shelly McArdle

Secretary and Fitzroy Basin Representative

With 20 years’ experience in environmental projects and community engagement, Shelly is a passionate advocate for sustainable natural resource management and believes deeply in the concept of a more holistic approach to NRM management- Healing People- Healing Country.

Currently Shelly is the Woppaburra TUMRA coordinator working to support the aspirations of the Woppaburra People- custodians of the Keppel Islands, she is also a Tangaroa Blue Representative working locally and interstate as required.

Shelly is particularly interested in supporting First Nations people led projects that provide the opportunity for two-way learning about indigenous perspectives/ aspirations and innate connection to country.

Shelly is also a qualified Yoga Therapist and through her previous positions she has enjoyed using her knowledge of the environment and wellbeing to create projects in partnership with community that combine the two for a more holistic approach that leads to lasting resilient change on-ground.

Working to support young people to connect with country and to reach their personal potential both in the context of environmental work and more broadly, helping to create opportunities that play to an individual’s strengths is another deep passion for her.

Shelly has expertise in Horticulture, specialising in grafted Grevilleas and propagation of Australian native plants having developed these skills whilst working for many years in one of Queensland’s leading Australian native plant nurseries.

John Brisbin

Treasurer and Northern/Southern Gulf Representative

John is Secretary of the Mitchell River Watershed Management Group, and Secretary of JAMARR, which auspices a local landcare group for the Mount Molloy area.

He likes the “creative tension” between agriculture and conservation, and this led him to Landcare activities in the mid 90’s.  He has been cultivating gardens and tending to wild spaces since he was a child exploring his grandmother’s farm and bushland in the temperate foothills of Appalachia. These experiences set a course for a lifetime of making do with what’s at hand, “waste not, want not”, and many hands make light work…. in modern parlance that might be innovation, resource conservation, and community.

John is a strong believer in the value of a grass-roots reality providing the foundation for all organisational and institutional activity. He finds it useful while puzzling over a complicated bit of governance to be busy with his hands. John is also an active member on the Board of Community Gardens Australia.

Simon Warner

Board Member

Simon Warner is an experienced Director and corporate executive. Simon has history of successfully leading and managing both corporate and not for profit enterprise’s.  He is currently:

  • Executive Chairman of enterprise software company Tactiv Pty Ltd providing software solutions to support social and environmental for good programs,
  • Director of Healthy Land and Water an independent organisation dedicated to improving and protecting the environment,
  • Director of Queensland Water and Land carers which is the peak body for natural resource management (NRM) volunteers, and
  • Chairman of the Lockyer Community Consultative Committee on the Inland Rail Project.

Previously he was Managing Director of Tactiv and Chief Executive Officer and Director of SEQ Catchments Ltd.

Simon is a member of AICD and has a Business degree with a post graduate qualification in IT.  He has spent a good deal of his working career in executive roles ranging from IR to Logistics and Operations management. He has also worked closely with government on policy and regional planning issues including overseeing the development of the South-East Queensland Rural Futures Strategy and the first SEQ Regional NRM plan.  Simon is passionate about agricultural sustainability and innovative ways to fund and support social and environmental good outcomes.

He lives at Murphys Creek in the Lockyer Valley and operates a small grazing holding in addition to his corporate and community activities.

Craig Magnusson

Queensland Murray Darling Representative and Deputy Chair

A management and environmental professional with over 25 years of experience in the public sector, Craig is passionate about sustainable natural resource management and delivering effective organisational leadership.

Craig possesses a broad range of management expertise, spanning fields such as: compliance to environmental sustainability, planning and development assessment, contaminated land management to environmental health, invasive pest management, waste and public art. He has a strong track record of delivering excellent customer service in the most challenging, outward facing business areas of government services, often with complex legal and competing stakeholder interests. Craig has achieved this by understanding the community’s needs through effective consultation and an empathetic approach.

He has held technical, managerial and executive roles in State and local government and is currently the Chief Executive Officer of the Darling Downs-Moreton Rabbit Board.

Craig lives on a small farm with his young family near Stanthorpe and is an active member of the Granite Belt community.

Wal Mayr

Joint South East Queensland Representative

Wal has a business background having established an Australia wide GIS and mapping company.  He now works full time as a volunteer in the environmental sector. He is president of Watergum which delivers a wide range of programs that engage the community in meaningful environmental work. www.watergum.org   The Watergum Cane Toads program will expand their scope nationally.

Wal is co-ordinator of Austinville Valley Landcare which has restored much of the riparian vegetation, and developed a multi-tenure fire break network, across the catchment.

Over the last 40 years he and his wife Heather have restored their rainforest property from a degraded ex-banana farm to weed free habitat, protected as a Nature Refuge on title.  Wal believes in environmental organisations using business principles and partnerships to be as self-reliant as possible in an insecure world.

In 2022 Wal received the National Individual Landcarer Award.

Robyn Adams

Desert Channels Representative

After twenty five plus years in the creative arts, Robyn returned to her birth country to run a cattle grazing property in central west Queensland in 2002.  Through that quarter of a century in Melbourne, Perth and overseas, she acquired extensive and broad experience and unique combination skill set, in design, costumiery, fashion, theatre arts and tertiary education.

For the two decades since returning ‘home’ to this Wadjebangai Country, she has developed her grazing and beef production enterprise at Stratford, a modest breeder block in the southern Desert Uplands. Enjoying the ride of repurposing those skills, and learning and relearning all about rangeland management, Stratford is now a leading example of good ecological stewardship of its natural woodlands alongside grazing best-prac and award-winning bovines. That enjoyment has extended to voluntary positions within the boards of Desert Uplands Committee, Desert Channels NRM and QWALC where Robyn shares her love, understanding and knowledge of country, cattle and community, for a betterment of all (hopefully).

Extending these diverse skills into many community and public arts projects and programming empowered a cultural flourishing of sorts in inland Queensland, favouring costume and sculpture to speak of and for our communities. Robyn has learnt alot from Indigenous Cultural practice enabled on Stratford, its surfeit of Aboriginal assets therein expounded, and continue encouraging shared learning, especially regarding fire and flora in this desert, timbered grasslands.

Judith Wake

Burdekin Dry Tropics/Mackay Whitsunday Representative

Judith considers one of the key pathways to sustainable natural resource management is through positive engagement with stakeholders and community members, particularly Traditional Owners. As Deputy Chair of Pioneer Catchment Landcare Management Committee and Deputy President of the Mackay Branch of Native Plants Queensland (SGAP), she works to raise awareness of local environmental values and increase local management capacity.

Judith has an academic background, as well as doing a stint in the hospitality/tourism industry. Although recently retired as a Senior Lecturer in Applied and Environmental Science, she maintains her connection to Central Queensland University as an adjunct researcher with the Coastal Marine Ecosystem Research Centre.

Judith spends her spare time trying to replace a luxurious growth of weeds with native vegetation while thwarting the Brush-turkeys’ attempts to turn everything into compost, on a peri-urban block outside of Mackay.

Judith was elected as a director on the 3rd November 2021.

Maree Gillott

Burnett Mary Representative

Elected to the QWaLC board in 2021, Maree combines the experience from a 35 year career in law , business, and the management of not for profit organisations, with a  long held interest in  sustainable land management . Maree is also presently the president of Gympie and District Landcare.

Until 2017, Maree’s interest in regenerative agriculture, permaculture and land management generally was confined to sporadic, and generally unsuccessful organic herb & vegetable patches at home. 

Following her retirement from legal practice, she and her husband moved to Wolvi near Gympie, where they operate a small organic mixed cropping and cattle operation. 

Jeffery Baines

Wet Tropics Representative

Jeff was elected to the Board in November 2021.

Jeff is proud to call the Cassowary Coast his home for over twenty years with his family. 
He is a chef by trade and became a Councillor in the Cassowary Coast Regional Council to be ‘part of the solution’. A very wise individual once said that you can’t do anything standing outside and yelling in, you need to stand in the middle and be a part of it. He is motivated to get our region recognised as the most beautiful and vibrant place to live in the world, I really do ‘Love the place I Live’.

He is also focused on raising the profile of our region to encourage the sustainable development of our region improving the liveability of our home while respecting its unique natural beauty.

In my free time, I am heavily involved in our community. Some of my involvements include Innisfail Freemasons, RSL, Chamber of Commerce, President of the inaugural Feast of the Senses committee, Johnstone River Catchment Management Association and many other NRM groups.

Adma Sargood

South West Representative

Adma was elected to the Board in November 2021. 

Michael Bond

Joint South East Queensland Representative

Michael was elected to the Board in November 2022.

 

Temaleti Matasia

Cape York Representative

Temaleti Matasia was elected to the Board in November 2021.

Brian Venz

Brian Venz

Retired South East Queensland Representative

In November 2022 Brian retired as a Director representing the great region of South East Queensland for five and a half years since June 2017.

Thank you Brian for your contributions as Treasurer and Board member.