Our people

Our people

As a member-based organisation, we rely on the energy, dedication and generosity of everyday people to carry out our work.

We're powered by our community of volunteers, members, donors, supporters and staff around Australia. Our board and management team ensure that people power works effectively to protect the places we love.

If you'd like to volunteer, our local community groups are the best place to start. To see a list of available positions, please visit our careers page. Image above: Troy Beer.

Meet the Board

From travellers to childhood tree-planters, from university professors to economists, this group is bound by a life-long love of nature. They volunteer their time and expertise—and lots of it—to support our organisation as we support life.

All members are encouraged to join us at our Annual General Meeting (AGM), to receive reports from the current Board of Directors and be notified of the results of the election.

The annual Wilderness Society Members’ Forum also provides our Members with the opportunity to be updated on the activities of the organisation.

Karl Tischler

Convenor / Appointed 1 August 2021

Image: Noah Thompson

Karl comes to The Wilderness Society with a deep interest in how the Australian public values and views all aspects of nature. With a Bachelor of Business (UTS), Grad. Certificate in Public Relations and an MA in Communications Management, Karl also completed the Australian Progress Advocacy and Campaigning Fellowship in 2019.

With over 20 years of experience, Karl is the ‘Founding Director and Idealist’ of Marlin Communications, an agency providing branding, fundraising and creative services to the for-purpose sector.

Karl is a skills-based Appointed Director and was appointed as Board Convenor on 21 February 2023.

    Amanda Branley

    WA | Deputy Convenor, re-elected 25 November 2021

    Image: Noah Thompson

    Amanda holds a Masters degree in Leadership and Management and has graduated from the Australian Institute of Company Directors' Company Director Course. She is a member of The Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply (CIPS) Committee and has experience as a committee member of a number of Boards, including the Institute of Public Administration Australia WA.

    Currently, Amanda is head of procurement for the Public Transport Authority in WA. She has over 20 years of experience in the government sector.

    Amanda has been a Director on The Wilderness Society Ltd Board for four years, and prior to that held the roles of Convenor and Treasurer for The Wilderness Society WA Management Committee for three years.

    Amanda is a member of the Finance, Audit, Risk and Compliance Committee.

    Lisa Roberts

    VIC | Elected 28 November 2019

    Image: Noah Thompson

    Lisa has a Bachelor of Arts (BA), Public Relations and Politics Majors, and a Certificate of Technology, Civil Engineering from RMIT University. She graduated from the Australian Institute of Company Directors' Company Director Course.

    With an engineering background in catchment management, and experience in public affairs/relations in various sectors, including 16 years in local government, Lisa brings extensive experience and strong governance knowledge to the Wilderness Society. Through past engineering and civic experience, she has a comprehensive understanding of Australia’s social frameworks, infrastructure development and population growth issues, all of which significantly impact our environment.

    Lisa is a member and Convenor of the Governance Committee.

    Andrew Barker

    Vic | Elected 26 November 2020

    Image: Noah Thompson

    Andrew joined the Board after having been a supporter of the Wilderness Society for many years. He holds a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Melbourne. He is a fellow of the Institute of Actuaries of Australia and has attended INSEAD for multiple leadership programmes.

    Andrew has worked in senior financial management roles for over 15 years, including financial services and non-profit Board experience. He was a member of Asylum Seekers Resource Centre Board Finance Sub Committee (2015–2020) and is currently General Manager, Product and Strategic Business Delivery at AIA Australia. He brings financial, strategic, governance, leadership and analytical skills to the Board.

    Andrew is a member and Convenor of the Finance, Audit, Risk and Compliance Committee.

    Our leadership

    Matt Brennan

    Chief Executive Officer

    Image: Noah Thompson

    Matt lives in Sydney with his wife Nicky and daughters Rosie and Bridie. He is responsible for enabling the Wilderness Society's creative and communications, membership and fundraising, as well as operational areas including finance, administration, strategic planning, risk management, infrastructure management, governance and compliance.

    Matt graduated from the University of Technology in Sydney with a Bachelor of Business and Accounting in 1990. He is a Certified Practising Accountant (CPA) and has completed courses in leadership and transformational change.

    Prior to joining the Wilderness Society in 2011, Matt worked for Brookfield Multiplex Ltd for 12 years and held senior national executive roles including CFO Residential Property, and Commercial Manager, Developments.

    He is passionate about nature and how society can address the challenges required to ensure a healthy and thriving natural world.

    Amelia Young

    National Campaigns Director

    Based in Melbourne, Amelia has spent her life exploring Victoria's vast stretches of forest with her family, and the last two decades working with the Wilderness Society to protect them from logging and woodchipping.

    From boardrooms to parliaments and from logging coupes to courts, as Victoria Campaigns Manager, she’s been a tireless advocate for science to inform policy, for business and governments to lead, and for the need to collaborate with communities.

    Amelia has developed visionary proposals that put people at the heart of forest ecosystems and negotiated hard for these ideas to become reality. After years of considered, dedicated campaigning, Amelia helped secure the Victorian Government’s announcement to ban the logging of old-growth forests.

    Her extensive experience working on solutions that secure good outcomes for communities and safeguard ecosystems and the habitat of rare forest animals like the greater glider and the Leadbeater’s possum, made her an ideal appointment to the position of National Campaigns Director in 2020.

    She is now working with campaigners, organisers, volunteers and supporters to deliver the Wilderness Society’s national campaign strategy at what is a critical time for the environment in Australia.

    Jen Rowe

    Chief Financial Officer

    Jen joined the Wilderness Society in February 2020 as Chief Financial Officer. As a chartered accountant she has comprehensive experience in statutory reporting and financial management from positions she’s held in Australia and abroad, including time working for PricewaterhouseCoopers in the Netherlands.

    Jen has a particular interest in strategy and operational improvement, which she combined with a passion for the arts at Sony Music in Sydney. Following this role she joined the charity Support Act, which assists people struggling in the music industry due to a health or personal crisis. There she had sole responsibility for the organisation’s financial operations and saw the charity grow its support base exponentially.

    At Support Act Jen also managed a project investigating mental health issues in the music industry and the support people need. This resulted in a 24-hour mental health hotline.

    Her family has a personal connection to Crowdy Bay National Park, where her parents live and her children have spent plenty of summers. It has fostered a deep love of the environment and Australia’s unique wildlife in Jen and her family.

    Sadly, the national park was ravaged by the 2019-20 bushfires, just as she was set to start work at the Wilderness Society. In her new role, it made her even more determined to help the organisation realise a healthy future for Australia’s natural heritage.