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.

    Assoc Prof Jen Martin

    Vic | Appointed 10 January 2024

    The climate and biodiversity crises mean it has never been more critical for accurate scientific information to be clearly communicated to diverse audiences. With a PhD in behavioural ecology, Jen spent many years working as a field ecologist studying Australian native mammals. She is deeply committed to helping scientists develop the skills they need to be visible, make connections and have impact in the real world. To that end she founded and leads the University of Melbourne's acclaimed Science Communication Teaching Program and has been teaching other scientists how to be effective and engaging communicators for over 15 years.

    Jen also practises what she preaches: for 18 years she has been talking about science each week on 3RRR radio, writing for a variety of publications, hosting the Let’s Talk SciComm podcast and MCing many science-related events. She was named the 2019 Unsung Hero of Australian Science Communication and is a member of the Teaching Faculty for Homeward Bound, a global leadership initiative for women and non-binary people with a background in STEMM. Jen’s first popular science book, ‘Why am I like this? The science behind your weirdest thoughts and habits’ will be published by Hardie Grant in January 2024.

    Jen has been Ambassador for The Wilderness Society’s Nature Book Week since 2020 and is thrilled to use her skills to serve as a Director for The Wilderness Society.

    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.

    Natalie Warren

    NSW/ACT | Elected 29 November 2023

    Natalie is an actuary with 20 years of experience working in the insurance industry, with a current focus on climate risk and decarbonisation. She chairs an insurance industry working group, working to reduce emissions and support nature-positive solutions across the sector.

    Previously, Natalie served as a Councillor on the Northern Beaches Council (2017-2021), working and negotiating across the political spectrum to deliver environmentally and financially sound outcomes for the local community. She was Chair of the Environment Strategic Reference Group, advising the Council on matters such as waste, environment and climate strategy. This group spearheaded a 20-year environment plan for reducing emissions and water usage, as well as preserving bushland and biodiversity.

    Natalie believes the key issue facing The Wilderness Society is that of limited resources and prioritisation of work; there are many Australian natural wonders worthy of protection and only finite resources within the organisation to campaign for this. The Wilderness Society’s campaign to mobilise support for stronger environmental legislation, such as the revised EPBC Act and establishment of a national EPA, is key and would hugely aid the protection of natural places work already underway - for stronger environment laws that can be used to protect the environment rather than to enable development.

    Natalie has been a Wilderness Society Member and financial supporter for nearly 10 years and recently joined the Board to continue to use her leadership and financial skills to drive positive action on the climate and extinction crises and to protect our iconic Australian wilderness.

    Michael Gillam

    Qld | Elected 29 November 2023

    Michael has over 20 years of experience in financial services and not-for-profit organisations with a major focus on executive and senior management roles in Risk Management, Compliance and Governance.

    Having developed and assisted boards in creating risk mitigation and governance frameworks to ensure risk for reward is balanced, Michael sees this as a strong value-add for The Wilderness Society. His strong financial knowledge and Bachelor of Commerce with Accounting and Business Law majors have seen Michael appointed to several finance and property committees.

    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 | Re-Elected 29 November 2023

    Image: Noah Thompson

    Andrew joined the Board in 2020 after having been a passionate supporter of the Wilderness Society and its purpose 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’s Wilderness Society Board directorship includes being the Convenor of the Finance, Audit, Risk and Compliance Sub Committee. He has worked in senior financial and management roles for over 15 years, including financial services and non-profit Board experience, and brings financial, strategic, governance, leadership and analytical skills to the Board. He believes The Wilderness Society has a unique opportunity to drive change with a clear strategy to achieve this. The challenge lies in executing this strategy across all parts of the enterprise, including careful financial and risk management.

    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.

    Campaigns team

    Victoria Jack

    New South Wales Campaigns Manager

    Victoria is a dedicated advocate for environmental conservation, and with a background in journalism, communications, indigenous affairs, and academic research, she brings a wealth of expertise to the Wilderness Society. Victoria holds a Bachelors and Ph.D. in communications and serves as an adjunct lecturer at UNSW. Her passion lies in protecting our natural landscapes, and she specialises in campaigning for the conservation of NSW’s natural environment, improved community rights, combating deforestation in NSW and across the country, and ending offshore and onshore fossil fuel extraction.

    Peter Owen

    Director of Wilderness Society South Australia

    During Peter’s time at the Wilderness Society, he has worked tirelessly on greater protections for the Lake Eyre Basin, the Great Australian Bight, and the Murray-Darling Basin. He also works on marine conservation, offshore oil and gas issues, and conserving Ramsar wetlands. Peter has a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Adelaide, and an extensive conservation background that includes contributions to the Federal Marine Parks Committee and past involvement with the IUCN Australian Executive. With a passion for safeguarding our natural treasures, Pete leads our efforts in South Australia with dedication and a wealth of knowledge.

    Hannah Schuch

    Queensland Campaigns Manager

    Hannah is a dedicated advocate with a focus on combating deforestation in QLD, tackling the growing impacts of climate change, protecting continental forests, reducing corporate influence on decisions about nature, and campaigning against fossil fuels. She brings over seven years of experience advocating for nature in QLD, including serving as the State Coordinator for the Australian Youth Climate Coalition and as a community campaigner for PEW Charitable Trusts. Hannah holds a double major in international relations, and her dedication extends to professional development through programs like Change Agencies' Community Organising Fellowship and corporate campaigning with Australian Progress.

    Matt Landolfo

    Victorian Campaigns Manager

    Matt has worked for many years with First Nations organisations and in politics, working for organisations such as LEAN. He is a dedicated advocate for First Nations justice and environmental justice. At the Wilderness Society, Matt is committed to securing the protection of Victoria’s native forests, and the rights of communities to participate in environmental decision making. Matt is also integral to ensuring the work of the Wilderness Society is in alignment with the rights and aspirations of First Nations peoples.

    Adele Chasson

    Corporate Campaigner

    Adele is a passionate advocate for corporate responsibility and environmental sustainability. Her professional background includes EU lobbying for sustainable waste and water practices, as well as EU Right to Repair initiatives. Adele holds a Bachelor of Arts degree and a Master's in Public Policy from Sciences Po, specialising in energy, resources, and sustainability. Adele campaigns for improved continental forest protection, reducing the power of the fossil fuel industry, and improved environmental standards for Australia at the global level, in particular with the EU. Adele plays a crucial role in our mission to protect Australia’s environment from threats both domestic and abroad.

    Jenita Enevoldsen

    Senior Campaigner

    Jenita’s work with the Wilderness Society focuses on ending the extraction and use of fossil fuels, protecting marine ecosystems, and strengthening the rights of communities and First Nations peoples. Her extensive background includes work on the Great Barrier Reef and for the Australian Marine Conservation Society. Jenita holds a Bachelor of Science, majoring in Marine Biology and a Master's in Environment, specialising in aquatic resources and the improvement of catchments to impact Marine Protected Areas. As a Senior Campaigner, Jenita's expertise and dedication are invaluable to our campaigns to protect Australia’s environment.

    Sam Szoke-Burke

    Biodiversity Policy and Campaign Manager

    Sam is dedicated to the improvement of federal biodiversity policy and furthering the rights of communities and First Nations people. Sam spent eight years at the Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment, and has also worked for the Legal Assistance Centre in Namibia. Sam was an Associate to Justice Cavanough in the Victorian Supreme Court. He holds a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Laws from Monash University, as well as a Master of International Law from New York University.

    Fern Cadman

    Fossil Fuel Industry Campaigner

    Fern works to combat offshore fossil fuel and gas expansion, tackling the mounting impacts of climate change, and improving regulation around the fossil fuel and resources industry. Fern came to the Wilderness Society with a wealth of experience as an adviser to Victorian Greens MP Ellen Sandell, as well as to the Australian and Victorian Governments on climate change, agriculture and drug law reform. She holds a Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Science from ANU, as well as a Graduate Diploma in Public Policy.