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Directors

Anthea Tinney

Chair (non-executive)

Ms Tinney is a former deputy secretary of the Department of Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts, and prior to retiring in 2008, had a distinguished career in the Australian Public Service including a period as the head of the Cabinet Office in the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet. She is an experienced Chair and Board member, and was recently appointed by the Minister for Foreign Affairs as the Chair of the Australian National Commission for UNESCO

Photo of Nick AustinNick Austin

PhD (Melb), MSM (Syd), BE(Agric) Hons (Melb), CIDGAICD

Director (non-executive)

Appointed to the Board of Land & Water Australia in July 2008, Nick Austin’s background is in agricultural and natural resource research and policy. A hydrologist by training, he has undertaken or managed research programs in most major irrigated commodities. He is currently Executive Director of the NSW Department of Primary Industries and leads the Department’s Agriculture, Biosecurity and Mine Safety Division. He formerly led the Department’s Science and Research Division. He has been a Director of the Value Added Wheat and Australian Sheep Industry Cooperative Research Centres, and sits on a number of national committees. 

Dianne Bentley, Director non-executiveDianne Bentley

BSc (Agric), MAICD

Director (non-executive)

Joining the Board of Land & Water Australia in July 2005, Dianne Bentley brought extensive experience in natural resource matters, particularly integrated catchment management. She is Assistant Commissioner of the Natural Resources Commission of New South Wales and has chaired the Liverpool Plains Land Management Committee.

She has served on the Northern Regional Panel of the Grains Research and Development Corporation and with the Cotton Catchment Communities Cooperative Research Centre as a director.

Stuart Blanch, Director, non-executiveStuart Blanch

Director (non-executive)

Appointed to the Board of Land & Water Australia in July 2008, Stuart Blanch is from a farming family on the NSW north coast and has worked in river and catchment management for the past 10 years. He is currently Coordinator of the Environment Centre NT. He has worked in land and water management for the Inland Rivers Network, Australian Conservation Foundation, WWF-Australia and NSW Department of Environment and Conservation.

He currently focuses on the significant opportunities for conserving and sustainably using Northern Australia’s globally important rivers and savannas. He has expertise and interest in the National Water Initiative and the National Water Plan. He is a member of the Northern Australia Land and Water Taskforce, and Secretary of the Natural Resource Management Board (NT). He lives in Darwin. 

David Eyre, Director, non-executiveDavid Eyre

MEnvS, BSc, (U Melb), GAICD

Director (non-executive)

Appointed to the Board of Land & Water Australia in July 2008, David Eyre’s background is in natural resource policy, research and information technology. He is currently Policy Manager with the NSW Farmers’ Association, Australia’s largest farmer representative body, and works closely with the National Farmers Federation on national policy issues including climate change adaptation and emissions trading.

He previously held senior policy and science roles with the NSW Government working on the NSW water, native vegetation and forestry reforms and directing the NSW Salinity Information Program. He is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and the NSW Premier’s Department Executive Development Program. His research interests include climate change, sustainable farming technologies, market-based instruments and opportunities for renewable energy in regional Australia.

Rowan Foley, Director, non-executiveRowan Foley

Director (non-executive)

Rowan Foley was appointed to the Board of land & Water Australia in July 2008, having had a strong connection with the land all his life and experience in land management and policies for the best use and protection of natural environments.

Currently the Chief Executive Officer with the Central Desert Shire Council in the Northern Territory, which covers 282,000 square kilometres and supports nine communities and significant mining and pastoral businesses, he has brought to the Board a high level of management skill. In addition, he has a valuable knowledge of Aboriginal tradition and values. Positions held during Rowan Foley’s career include ranger, environment officer, planning and research officer, and park manager. 

Ted Lefroy, Director, non-executiveTed Lefroy

PhD, BSc (Agric) (UWA)

Director (non-executive)

Ted Lefroy was first appointed to the Board of Land & Water Australia in July 2005. He trained as agronomist, working in Queensland, Papua New Guinea and Western Australia, before starting a research career focused on the environmental consequences of agriculture. In 2003 he was awarded a Eureka prize for research into the sustainability of grain production. Since 2005 he has been Director of the Centre for Environment at the University of Tasmania.

Michael Robinson, Executive DirectorMichael Robinson

PhD (U Melb), BSc Hons (ANU)

Executive Director

Appointed in November 2006, Michael Robinson has worked in research, communication, business development and policy, in Australia and New Zealand, and is passionate about research informing sustainable and productive landscape management. He currently leads the National Climate Change Research Strategy for Primary Industries and is a member of the Primary Industries Standing Committee Research and Development Subcommittee. 

Prior to joining Land & Water Australia he was Chief Executive Officer with the Cooperative Research Centre for Greenhouse Accounting. He has also worked with CSIRO in business development, management and communication roles, focusing on environmentally sustainable forestry, and with the Heartlands Initiative (a large, multi-agency research and land-use change project working with landholders in southern New South Wales and northern Victoria). Trained as a scientist, his PhD examined the sustainability of using wastes to fertilise plantation forests, and was completed in 1999 with CSIRO and the University of Melbourne.

Sharon Starick, Director, non-executiveSharon Starick

B Ag Sc Hons (U Adel)

Director (non-executive)

Sharon Starick was appointed to the Board of Land & Water Australia in July 2008. A cereal and pig producer from South Australia, Sharon Starick has combined her primary production interests with conservation and natural resource management. Her background includes time as a landcare officer with the South Australian Department of Primary Industries and Resources SA, and as Executive Officer to three Soil Conservation Boards and the Soil Boards CARE Committee.

She has also had advisory roles relating to rural adjustment and has participated in her local catchment management group. Service has been given on the Mallee Sustainable Farming Board, the Pork Industry Development Board, Natural Resource Management Council and the Community Advisory Committee for the Murray Darling Basin Ministerial Council.  She is a graduate of the Murray Darling Basin Leadership program and the Australian Institute of Company Directors.