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 more than 30,000 members, thousands of volunteers and around 150 staff nationwide. Our board and leadership team ensure all that people power is fully harnessed.

If you'd like to volunteer, our community organising program, Movement For Life is the best place to start. To see a list of available positions, please see our careers page.

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), where board members are elected by direct ballot. 

Leanne Craze AM

NSW and ACT | re-elected 22 November 2018

At the age of 11, Leanne established the Guildford Primary School Conservation Club and spent much time planting native trees, many of which are still standing. She has been a member of the Wilderness Society since the late 1980s, is co-founder of the Glen Alpine Bushcare Group and has contributed to Landcare and similar initiatives for many years. In 2017, Leanne received the award of member of the Order of Australia (AM).

Professionally, Leanne has qualifications in both Social Work (BSW, PhD) and Science (Grad Dip. Climate Change and Resource Management). She has run her own mental health and social policy consulting company since 1990, specialising in multi-stakeholder engagement and consultation, and been engaged by governments to provide advice and guidance with the establishment of a number of government-funded peak bodies.

Leanne has over 30 years’ experience with NGO committees of management—establishing and supporting the development of both fledging and established NGOs. She has experience with non-government sector governance through a number of organisations she has either helped to establish or has been on the board of—such as the NSW Association of Mental Health (current) and Victorian Mental Health Legal Centre.

Leanne is also a Board member of GroundUp, a not-for-profit organisation supporting Aboriginal community development in the Kimberley. She was elected to the Wilderness Society Inc Committee of Management for the first time at the 2015 AGM, and has been a Director of The Wilderness Society Ltd since its establishment in 2016; a Co-Convenor of the Board since May 2018; and a Wilderness Society member since the 1980s, with membership on the Governance Leadership Group, a collaboration of The Wilderness Society governance representatives.

Stuart Baird

Tas | re-elected 22 November 2018

Born in Victoria, Stuart moved back to Tasmania when still in primary school. His holidays were spent in and around National Parks adjoining deserted coastal beaches or in the central highlands of Tasmania, the Walls of Jerusalem and Lake St Clair. Through his high school years the battle for the Franklin River raged and the fights for iconic forests in Tasmania were beginning. 

Stuart attended the University of Tasmania and graduated with an engineering degree, which took him to mainland Australia and North America working on environmental clean-up projects for industrial operations. Stuart's project work allowed him to spend time in other remote wilderness areas around the globe. This perspective reminds him of the importance of continuing to fight to preserve and restore Australia's amazing wild places. 

Following a return to Tasmania, Stuart joined the Board of the Wilderness Society (Tasmania) in 2008 and was Convenor of the group for a year. Stuart joined The Wilderness Society Transition Board in 2014 and became a Wilderness Society Ltd Board member in 2016 under the transitional arrangements. 

Stuart has worked in engineering consultancy organisations in both Australia and Canada, with time also spent in the Tasmanian State Government in policy and planning. For the past decade he has worked in local government with a focus on settlement and transport sustainability.

Stuart believes the Wilderness Society has a major role in helping the Australian community rally for change against destructive activities which diminish this amazing continent.

His work on the Governance Leadership Group has helped the Wilderness Society Campaign Centres and the national body, The Wilderness Society Ltd, work together well.

Craig Zanker

Vic | re-elected 22 November 2018

Craig is an experienced Chief Financial Officer and governance professional, with work experience in grassroots and not-for-profit organisations in the health, community and Indigenous sectors—including land and sea management. He is a Chartered Accountant and has completed a graduate diploma in corporate governance. He has spent most of his career in management roles assisting not-for-profit organisations to achieve financial sustainability and improve governance and management systems.

Craig was appointed as The Wilderness Society Inc Treasurer to fill a casual vacancy in June 2015 by the Committee of Management. He currently serves on The Wilderness Society Ltd Board, and acts as Convenor of the Finance, Audit and Risk Committee. He is employed as the Director of Finance and Corporate Services and Company Secretary for a health promotion charity in Melbourne, Victoria. He has volunteered with and supported various environmental organisations outside of his paid roles, and understands the important role supporters and volunteers contribute to the driving force of these organisations.

Craig’s work has enabled him to experience extended periods in some of Australia’s amazing wilderness areas, including the Kimberley, Ningaloo Reef and the coasts and mountains of Tasmania. Craig resides in Victoria and currently enjoys getting out into the beautiful forests, coasts and mountains of his home state. He has a keen interest in the work of conservation organisations developed from a life spent outdoors, and a desire to contribute as a part of the Wilderness Society to the protection of these special places.

Coral Robinson

NSW and ACT | re-elected 22 November 2018

Coral is an Honorary Life Member of the Wilderness Society and has been a supporter for over 25 years. Her passion for the protection of nature and wild places is the driving force behind her long involvement with The Wilderness Society. 

She lives in Sydney and has 25 years' experience as a senior economist in policy, planning and finance in the NSW water and energy industries, where she was responsible for cost-benefit analysis (incorporating financial, economic and environmental values) for major projects. A key element of this work was embedding environmental values into organisational decision-making, which led to improvements in marine and riverine water quality across the Greater Sydney area. 

She has over seventeen years' experience on various Wilderness Society management committees, providing expertise in finance, planning and governance. Coral is currently a member of The Wilderness Society Ltd Board, and also serves on a number of organisational committees. 

Since being elected to the Committee of Management in June 2010, Coral has worked to build a strong and resilient organisation focused on delivering its environmental purpose. This commitment still stands, and Coral continues to contribute her skills for the benefit of the organisation and the protection of nature as part of the Wilderness Society Ltd Board.

Coral sees great opportunity for the protection of nature through the Wilderness Society’s work in building and sustaining support across the Australian community, in particular through the campaign to revolutionise Australia’s national environment laws and institutions.

Ben Holgate

Vic | appointed 12 September 2017

Ben Holgate is a skills-based appointed Director with marketing and fundraising expertise. He was Director of Fundraising at Plan International, a global child rights organisation, for six years before moving to Multiple Sclerosis Ltd as General Manager, Strategic Fundraising in mid-2017.

Ben has stood on boards for organisations such as Circus Oz and the Public Fundraising Regulatory Association (PFRA), and is a member of the Fundraising Institute of Australia’s sustainability and reputation reference group and conference advisory panel.

Having recently completed the FIA/AICD not-for-profit board governance course, Ben is keen to serve on the Wilderness Society Board—which is closely aligned with his values and interest in the natural world. He looks forward to assisting the organisation as it faces the challenges of a tightening fundraising market.

Sam Rando

NT and SA | elected 23 November 2017

A lifelong love of nature and wild places has shaped Sam’s private and professional worlds.

In the late 1970s, he was one of a small group of people who founded the Victorian branch of the Wilderness Society. Over the following five years, Sam worked as a full-time volunteer during the Franklin Dam and Tasmanian forestry campaigns. Upon completing a science degree, he embarked upon a professional career in nature conservation and protected area management that has spanned more than 30 years. This included working with parks and wildlife agencies in Tasmania, Victoria, NSW and and the NT, as well as the Australian Antarctic Division. He has also worked as a consultant, helping manage places and landscapes of national and international significance, including four World Heritage sites.

Sam has worked alongside Indigenous people in every state and territory. For the last nine years, he has been employed by the Central Land Council in Alice Springs. He manages a wide variety of cultural and natural resource management programs and staff, including Indigenous ranger groups and Indigenous Protected Areas. Sam has gained considerable expertise in staff, project and financial management.

Throughout this time, he has remained involved with various NGOs advocating social and environmental change—including the Wilderness Society. Sam hopes to be able to give back to the organisation that was so central in his earlier, formative years.

Sam believes a key challenge for the Wilderness Society is the need to balance working on multiple local fronts whilst also campaigning on global threats to wild places.

Larissa Zimmerman

Qld | elected 23 November 2017

With a BSc from the Australian Defence Force Academy and TAFE Competencies for Personal and Community Sustainability Projects, Larissa is a people-focused manager with recruitment and training experience in the community volunteer sector. Being in the Australian Regular Army and Federal Police, she has expertise in planning, staff supervision, business and financial management, along with well-developed communication skills.

Larissa is the Founder of National Financial Fitness (NFF), a small business that has been working with all levels of government, the private sector and community organisations since 2004. NFF was also selected for the ASIC Panel of Financial Literacy Experts.

Having sponsored a Wilderness Society Giant (tree) as a teenager, she has regularly donated to the organisation throughout her adult life—and even purchased 300 acres of land for conservation purposes. The intention is to keep the property pristine and run workshops in line with the Wilderness Society’s Purpose. Larissa has attended Movement For Life training, participated in door knocking and registered for phone banking. She is an active member of the Wilderness Society Brisbane Metro North Team and generously donated for the team’s launch.

Larissa believes the key issues facing the organisation are:

Raising brand awareness of the Wilderness Society and its causes; how it differs from other organisations and media traction; activating people who align with our values by growing our volunteer base and Movement For Life; and increasing membership and revenue.

Larissa is pleased to be part of a team that guides the Wilderness Society to success in accordance with its Purpose and Values.

Amanda Branley

WA | elected 22 November 2018

Amanda has a passion for this beautiful country of ours, and wants to protect it for future generations. She supports The Wilderness Society through governance and leadership.  

In November 2013, she joined The Wilderness Society WA Management Committee as its Treasurer and sat as Secretary for a short period in 2014, before holding the position of Convenor for three years. Amanda’s contributions delivered a stabilised period for the membership of that Committee, stronger connections to other campaign centres and The Wilderness Society Ltd, and improved governance and leadership through a period of broader organisational change. She is an inaugural member of The Wilderness Society Governance and Leadership group. 

Through paid work, voluntary board roles and professional development, Amanda has developed strong skills in leadership and governance, making her an effective member of The Wilderness Society Ltd Board. She is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and holds a masters degree in leadership and management.  

Amanda believes that, in the coming months and years, The Wilderness Society has great opportunities to effectively change the laws of the land, leading to better protection of wilderness and management of the long-term and devastating effects of climate change. She sees our challenge as preparing and resourcing our organisation to be a change leader in the environment movement, whilst still delivering on local campaigns and organising.

Our leadership team

Lyndon Schneiders

National Campaigns Director

Lyndon Schneiders was appointed National Campaigns Director for the Wilderness Society in 2011, following a lifetime of activism for the natural world—including more than a decade as the Wilderness Society Queensland Campaign Manager.

Lyndon is an experienced and well-connected advocate with extensive networks throughout all parties in the Australian Parliament and throughout a number of State Parliaments. He has deep relationships with corporate Australia, particularly through various peak industry associations, the investment and finance industry, and throughout the trade union movement.

The depth and breadth of Lyndon’s campaign expertise is attributed to his experience undertaking leadership roles in several seminal environment campaigns.

These include:

  • The protection of more than one million hectares of wilderness on Cape York Peninsula as national park and Aboriginal land in Far North Queensland.
  • As a lead negotiator in the historic Tasmanian Forest Agreement made between environmental groups, trade unions and the logging industry which gained World Heritage protection of the magnificent Florentine, Styx and Weld forests in south west Tasmania.
  • The successful campaign to stop the construction of the $40 billion gas plant at James Price Point in the western Kimberley, north of Broome.

Lyndon is an experienced media spokesperson and regularly writes columns for The Australian newspaper, The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald. He is a past Churchill Fellow and recipient of the Centenary of Federation medal for outstanding contributions to the protection of the environment. Lyndon now lives in Sydney with his partner Felicity Wade and their two children, Flynn and Juneau.

Matt Brennan

Chief Operating Officer

Matt is responsible for enabling the Wilderness Society's creative and communications, membership and fundraising as well as its 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. Matt lives in Sydney with his wife Nicky and daughters Rosie and Bridie (no dog yet).