Board, CEO and Committee
Wildcare Board and CEO
The Board oversees the strategy development and delivery and risk management of Wildcare Tasmania.
The following people are members of the Wildcare Board.
Donna Burton (Chair)
Elected Board Member
Donna spent over 30 years as a senior public servant, in Queensland and then Canberra, leading teams in sectors such as housing and homelessness, disability, international climate change policy, renewable energy and greenhouse programs, and Indigenous and public health. She also spent several years working for the Commonwealth Auditor-General, managing teams who examined government agencies’ performance and adherence to the standards and professionalism expected by the Australian parliament and public. Throughout her personal and professional life, she has worked closely with many volunteer-based community and environment groups, where she valued their expertise, community engagement, innovative approaches, and practical achievements.
She has always been a keen bushwalker, and since moving to Tasmania in 2018 became a Wildcare member. She feels that it is an honour to have been chosen to serve on the Wildcare Board for an inaugural period. Donna looks forward to contributing in this capacity to the highly valuable work that Wildcare has done for decades in Tasmania’s unique natural and cultural environments.
Sally Simco (Deputy Chair)
Elected Board Member
Sally is a keen bushwalker and kayaker and Wildcare volunteering well suits her interest in learning about the natural and cultural history of remote areas of Tasmania while making a contribution to conservation projects. Sally, and her husband Michael, first took up a Wildcare volunteer position as Cape Bruny Lighthouse Caretakers and Observers in 2013. Since then they have been involved in numerous Wildcare projects, including weed eradication on Deal Island, sea-spurge removal on the west coast (SPRATS), working bees with Friends of Freycinet, and the Orange-bellied Parrot Program (2014-16).
Closer to home on the north-west coast, Sally is involved with the Ulverstone Coastcare group and the volunteer trackworker program in Cradle Valley. She is an inaugural member of the recently formed Wildcare Cradle Mountain Volunteers and is the current President of that Branch. Sally has been a member of the North West Walking Club for 39 years.
Throughout her primary school teaching career, Sally placed an emphasis on developing children’s awareness of the natural world and promoted a responsible approach to caring for the environment. To enhance her teaching skills, Sally completed the Landcare for Teachers program designed by the University of Tasmania. Sally was appointed to the Wildcare Board in April 2016. With an interest in ‘Emerging Opportunities’ Sally will be working towards improving Wildcare opportunities for all sectors of the Tasmanian community in a time of changing conservation issues and technological advancement.
Elected Board Member
A senior research fellow at the University of Tasmania, Andy leads a team in trying to develop a vaccine to protect Tasmanian devils from the devil facial tumour diseases. His position allows him to merge two of his interests; conservation and immunology. Andy has also been involved in cancer immunology research at the Mayo Clinic and Johns Hopkins University. His Ph.D. was completed at Michigan State University, and he has spent time in the field collecting biological samples and behavioural data from spotted hyenas in the Maasai Mara, Kenya.
Andy moved with his wife (Dr. Emily Flies) to Adelaide in 2013, where together they created the volunteer organisation ‘Science in the Pub Adelaide’ a monthly scientific discussion panel. In 2015 they relocated to Hobart with their son and established ‘Science in the Pub Tasmania’. Andy is also chair of the ‘1st Derwent Sea Scouts’ group support committee.
As a permanent resident of Tasmania, Andy and his family love visiting the state’s wild places and plan to grow old on this spectacular island. He believes the Wildcare model of organising community members to care for Tasmania’s spectacular wild places, animals, and heritage provides not only direct care for the places but also works towards a stronger environmental ethic in the community.
Elected Board Member
Maree lives on the North West Coast of Tasmania where she is fortunate to be inspired by the wild places of Tasmania daily, with views out to the Bass Strait, Mt Roland, Black Bluff, and the Dial Range. She lives on a property that is also home to cattle, dogs, hens, 1 sheep, and a menagerie of native birds.
In her professional life, she has worked for many years in the health, education, and community sector with a particular interest in strategic program development and management, evaluation and research, and workshop facilitation and mentoring that complement these areas. Her passion for volunteering is expressed within her local community through her involvement in a number of programs mainly in education, literacy support, and mentoring of young people. She has also held management positions in strategic volunteer engagement and continues to be involved in this work through her consultancy business.
As a board member, she has an interest and experience in how good governance is demonstrated through the strategic intent and operations of organisations. She is particularly familiar with community engagement practices that enhance the role of partnerships to achieve meaningful outputs and outcomes for organisations, their people, and their purpose.
Being a member of the Wildcare Board gives her the opportunity to understand more about the unique and precious places in Tasmania and how we can honour the sacred places that our traditional owners have created for us to respect and care for.
Elected Board Member
Peter is a keen bushwalker and was introduced to the splendor of Tasmania on the Overland Track around 2000. He moved to the State in 2017 to work as a University Research Fellow in horticulture at the Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture. From that time, some fascinating walks in various parts of the State, in addition to those of earlier times in other parts of Australia and overseas, have confirmed his sense of the benefits that being in wild places can bring. Discussion with others he has met in some of those places, combined with observation of the manner in which flora and fauna are able to thrive when left undisturbed, underlie Peter’s passion for the preservation and enhancement of our wild environment.
Before entering the world of academia, Peter worked for 15 years as a farmer in central Victoria, participating in the work of the local Landcare group and the fire brigade. This period led to a greater appreciation of the problems caused by invasive species, particularly weeds. Peter also saw first-hand some of the threats posed to the natural environment and the tensions that could arise between agricultural production and the preservation of natural habitat. His academic work in more recent times has involved considerable work in greenhouse gas research, so gaining a deep understanding of the threat their continued emission poses to all global environments. Peter has great enthusiasm to use his knowledge and skills, as a member of the Wildcare Board, for the benefit of the Tasmanian community.
In his spare time, Peter’s other interests include swimming, photography, astrophysics, and basket-making. His first career, as a cane basket and furniture maker, included making hot-air balloon baskets. While now on a reduced scale, he maintains a great interest in handcrafts.
Elected Board Member
Stephen Mattingley has a long-standing interest in protecting Tasmania’s natural heritage, growing from bushwalking in the State many times since the early 1980s. At first, he channelled the interest into working on campaigns for reservations and World Heritage listing of areas. More recently, he focused on helping with the management of conservation reserves in Tasmania and elsewhere.
Over the last 2 decades, he has worked as a volunteer helping with the management of conservation reserves in Tasmania, the Australian Capital Territory, and New Zealand. This work has been with Wildcare, with land managers directly, and with other groups that work with land managers.
Elected Board Member
Tracey has called Tasmania home for the past 19 years, arriving here on placement as a student Dietitian. Tracey has always been drawn to Tasmania’s wild places and natural landscapes and over time her commitment to preserving and protecting this island has deepened.
During her career, Tracey has worked across many areas of the health and community services sectors including working with volunteers and volunteer-based organisations.
Tracey holds a Masters of Nutrition and Dietetics and a Bachelor of Science, Human Movement, and Sports Science. Tracey is a graduate of the Tasmanian Leaders Program and has completed the Dare to Lead course.
Tracey has an adventurous, tenacious spirit; she embraces opportunities and sets fairly audacious goals. Outside of work you would likely find her trail running, road cycling, gardening, and furthering her beekeeping skills.
Tracey brings a diverse mix of skills, knowledge, and experience to the Wildcare Board along with some unique networks and is looking forward to supporting the organisation to achieve our objectives.
Elected Board Member
Emma brings to the Wildcare Tasmania Board passion, energy, and a range of relevant skills and experience to support the organisation and its people in making a genuine difference to Tasmania’s wild places.
Originally from New Zealand, Emma’s association with Tasmania’s wild places began when she arrived here 15 years ago and has continued to be an integral part of her leisure time. It has also been maintained through a close connection to the sub-Antarctic via the Macquarie Island Pest Eradication Project and in particular, her gorgeous rabbit detection dog Hamish who worked there.
She also has strong Antarctic and Southern Ocean links. As Antarctica New Zealand’s Communications Director. Emma delivered a high-profile public awareness program that supported world-leading science and environmental protection. She also spent the summer at Scott Base as station leader responsible for the community cohesion of 85 staff and scientists on the ice.
Emma has worked alongside Chief Executives and Boards in government agencies, not for profits, and corporate entities to enhance their reputation and brand and improve their standing with shareholders, stakeholders, and members of the public. She had over 20 years of strategic communication and governance experience across the private and public sectors, nationally and internationally.
Integral to her current role is communicating Tasmania’s brand values and strengthening partnerships so that everyone can see what makes it such a unique and special place to live, work and explore.
As a Board member, Emma relishes the opportunity to support the organisation during the next stage in Wildcare Tasmania’s journey and looks forward to contributing her creative and innovative approach to its strategic direction.
Appointed Parks and Wildlife Service Representative
She has significant experience in policy and program development, statutory and strategic planning and contemporary heritage engagement. Hannah has worked in multi-disciplinary teams in the arts, town planning, and conservation, across urban and remote locations.
Hannah’s love of nature and respect for history has shaped her work with communities, to help grow appreciation for special places and stories. She grew up on Ngunnawal country (Canberra) and spent much of her working life on Whadjuk Noongar country (Perth). Hannah has been visiting family and exploring Tasmania regularly for years and now calls it home.
Hannah holds qualifications in Cultural Heritage Management, Future and Foresight Studies, and a Certificate 3 in Conservation and Land Management. Hannah manages NRET’s Community Programs section within Parks and Wildlife Service.
Appointed Natural and Cultural Heritage (NCH) Division Representative
Rosemary studied zoology and wildlife conservation and has worked in New Zealand, Canada, Antarctica, and Australia – including Macquarie and Heard Island. She has instigated and managed long-term programs monitoring the conservation status of penguins, albatrosses, seals, whales, and wombats. Rosemary has also been responsible for programs aimed at mitigating fisheries bycatch of seabirds and also convening a global group of specialists assessing the status of albatross species worldwide.
Rosemary currently manages NRET’s Natural Values Science Section of the Environment, Heritage and Land Division.
Chief Executive Officer
Sharon loves the outdoors and spending time helping nurture the Tasmanian environment. She runs a Landcare group which is very active in revegetating a wildlife corridor, tackling weeds and rubbish clean-up in the community, and engaging with the Council and local school in a ‘Bandicoot Bunker’ program. She is a member of the Clarence City Council NRM Committee and a former member of the Landcare Tasmania Board. She is a keen bushwalker in Tasmania and New Zealand.
Becoming the CEO of Wildcare brings together Sharon’s natural environment passions and work experience. Sharon has qualifications in economics, financial planning, and company directorship and many years of experience in strategy development, performance measurement, and marketing and communications. She is honoured to support the ongoing work of wildcarers and benefactors, working alongside our Government and corporate partners.
Wildcare Grants Assessment Committee
The role of the Wildcare Grants Assessment Committee.
Donations to Wildcare Tasmania are managed in accordance with our status as a Registered Environmental Organisation and Registered Charity. Grant applications are invited from Wildcare volunteer groups and organisational partners. Applications are assessed by the Wildcare Grants Assessment Committee, who are a group of highly qualified people passionate about Tasmania’s wild places and wildlife. This governance process means that donors are able to claim a tax deduction for donations.
The following people are members of Wildcare’s Grants Assessment Committee:
Leslie Frost (Chair)
Leslie began working for the Tasmanian Parks and Wildlife Service in 1984, doing two seasons as a summer ranger at Cradle Mountain, then one year as the WHA Interpretation Officer and then 18 years as a professional Scientific/Planning Officer. She wrote the first statutory management plans for Freycinet National Park, Mt Field National Park, the Peter Murrell Reserve, among others. Leslie has made many trips to Macquarie Island and the Australian Antarctic since 1989. She was also involved in establishing the Tasmanian Trail. After preparing the Macquarie Island WHA/Nature Reserve Management Plan, Leslie joined the Australian Antarctic Division in 2004 as an environmental policy officer before becoming the Environmental Manager for all Australian Antarctic operations until 2014.
Leslie has a Master’s in Environmental Studies from the University of Tasmania and an Honours in Environmental Biology from the University of Colorado and undertook the AICD Company Director’s course in 2016. She is currently the President of the Howden Progress Association, Vice President of the Kingston Tennis Club and occasionally volunteers as a guide at the Mawson’s Huts Museum. She has been a wildlife carer for about 30 years and continues a lifelong love of nature conservation through her participation on the Wildcare Grants Assessment Committee for the last three years.
Dr Rosemary Gales
Rosemary studied zoology and wildlife conservation and has worked in New Zealand, Canada, Antarctica and Australia – including Macquarie and Heard Island. She has instigated and managed long term programs monitoring the conservation status of penguins, albatrosses, seals, whales and wombats. Rosemary has also been responsible for programs aimed at mitigating fisheries bycatch of seabirds and also convening a global group of specialists assessing the status of albatross species worldwide.
Isaac grew up in rural Tasmania climbing trees and chasing wildlife. From here, his passion for the environment grew and he completed a Bachelor of Science majoring in zoology at the University of Tasmania. Isaac has extensive experience volunteering in a number of roles, including as a keeper at Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary, on projects with Conservation Volunteers Australia, Tasmanian Land Conservancy and at local cat and dog shelters.
Professionally Isaac has experience in aquaculture with both salmon and oysters, and in the dairy industry where he currently works in quality control at a microbiology laboratory. At present, Isaac is completing a Masters of Environmental Management through the University of Tasmania with his thesis in wildlife ecology.
Isaac is an avid backpacker and often travels with a focus on experiencing unique wilderness locations and spotting exotic wildlife. However, he is always glad to return to his home state of Tasmania where he enjoys bush walking. Isaac looks forward to the opportunity to bring his theoretical expertise in conservation to the Wildcare Grants Assessment Committee and to contribute to the protection of the Tasmanian wilderness.
Ann has been lucky enough to live on Flinders Island, on a hobby farm adjacent to remnant rainforest and to regularly spend time volunteering in the magic of the Simpson Desert. Retirement in March 2019 has meant the chance to spend more time volunteering in conservation and walking in wild places. Her volunteering has included weeding work with Conservation Volunteers and with Wildcare Tasmania on sea spurge and general maintenance in the Freycinet area. Ann brings to the Wildcare Grants Assessment Committee over 20 years’ experience practising in Tasmania as a commercial property lawyer and a commitment to conservation.
Jacqui is a keen bushwalker and nature lover, who recently moved back to Tasmania. She works for the Commonwealth Government in Parks Australia where she oversees management of the North Marine Parks Network which comprises eight marine parks, and the Coral Sea Marine Park. Jacqui has a background in marine ecology and environmental law. She spent many years as a child living in New Caledonia, where her interest in the environment began. She brings 20 years’ professional experience working on national environmental policy and program design, review and implementation, particularly in the fields of protected areas, natural resource and water resource management. She is thrilled to be contributing to Wildcare Tasmania as a member of the Wildcare Grants Assessment Committee.
Ciara has a passion for the outdoors, growing up on a 5 acre property in rural Sandfly. Her love of the outdoors led her to become a Trek Leader at the Tasmanian Walking Company, as well as completing a 850km walk across the Pyrenees in Europe. She holds science credentials through a Combined Bachelor of Arts and Science where she majored in Zoology. She also holds a Masters in Business Management with Entrepreneurship. Ciara’s work experience has since turned to business analysis in product development and renewable energy. She has been involved in the development and refinement of apps for customers to better manage their energy consumption. She is passionate about using her business and analytical skills to contribute to positive environmental outcomes and is delighted to be involved with the work of the Wildcare Grants Assessment Committee.