Botanic Gardens Trust, Sydney, Australia

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Trust & Trustees

The Royal Botanic Gardens & Domain Trust is a statutory body established by the Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain Trust Act 1980. The Act was amended in 1983 to increase the number of Trustees from five to seven, and in 1985 to vest additional land in the Trust. The legislation defines the powers, authorities, duties and functions of the Trust and vests certain land and property in the Trust. It also governs the Regulations relating to all three Gardens and the Domain.

Trust objectives

  • to maintain and improve Trust lands, the National Herbarium of New South Wales and the collections of living and preserved plant life owned by the Trust

  • to increase and disseminate knowledge about the plant life of Australia, and of New South Wales in particular

  • to encourage the public use and enjoyment of Trust lands by promoting and increasing the educational, historical, cultural and recreational value of these lands.

Chairperson

Mr Ken Boundy MAgr Sc, MBA, FAICD (Appointed Chair 1 July 2012; Reappointed 1 July 2014, present term expires 30 June 2016)

Ken is a company director, business owner and executive coach with a keen interest in plants, conservation and biodiversity. He is Chairman of Regnan Governance, Research and Engagement and of Hydrasyst, a ‘clean tech’ water treatment business. Ken also sits on the boards of Horticulture Australia, Australian Bauxite and NetComm Wireless. In previous executive roles, Ken headed up Tourism Australia and held senior leadership roles in private sector businesses in the wine, food and building materials industries, after starting his career as a research agronomist - where he helped develop lupins as a grain crop. He is a part owner of Corinna Wilderness Experience, an ecotourism destination in the Tarkine region of north-west Tasmania.

Other Trustees

Ms Maria Atkinson B.A.Sc (Appointed 26 April 2014; present term expires 25 April 2017)

Maria is currently a Director of both Maria Atkinson Consultancy, through which she advises private and public sector clients and XO - an angel investment business with particular focus on impact investments. Maria also holds several Non-Executive Directorships and Advisory Board memberships. She has a Bachelor’s degree from University of Technology Sydney in Applied Science, Environmental Biology and a Biology Laboratory Technician Certificate from Newcastle TAFE. In January 2012, Maria was awarded a Member of the General Division of the Order of Australia for service to the construction and real estate sector, particularly as a leader and contributor to environmentally sustainable building development in Australia.

Ms Diana Eilert BSc, MCom (Appointed 19 June 2013; present term expires 18 June 2016)

Diana is a senior non-executive Director who brings three main skills to boards - extensive operational experience as a Group Executive/CEO running large businesses, a strength in strategy and, in recent years, significant work in digital business and models. She is appointed to the boards of ASX listed companies Veda and Navitas as well Networks NSW, Queensland Urban Utilities and AMP Life. Previously she was a director of digital businesses realestate.com.au and ‘onthehouse’. Diana’s significant P&L experience includes running Suncorp’s entire insurance business and, in her 10 years with Citibank, running the mutual funds business, the mortgage business and Direct Bank. She developed her strategy and digital skills as a Principal with AT Kearney, as a Partner with IBM and, recently, as Head of Strategy & Corporate Development with News Ltd. Diana holds a BSc (Syd) in maths and chemistry, a MCom (UNSW) in Finance and Marketing and is a member of Chief Executive Women.

Sandra Hook  GAIDC (Appointed 7 November 2012; present term expires 6 November 2015)

Sandra is an experienced non-executive director with extensive strategic, marketing and digital expertise gained over a 25 year professional career as a CEO and group executive. She is an investor and board advisor to digital businesses focused on disruptive technologies, and advises companies on strategy, commercialisation and navigating digital disruption. Sandra has previously managed businesses or divisions for Foxtel, Federal Publishing Company, Murdoch Magazines, and Fairfax and most recently, as the CEO, Sandra drove NewsLifeMedia’s (News Ltd) rapid transition from a traditional print operation to a successful multi-platform and digital business. Sandra currently serves on the board of the Sydney Harbour Federation Trust and the Sydney Fish Markets. She is chair of the Royal Botanic Gardens & Domain Trust’s public engagement committee and previously served 9 years on the board of Horticulture Australia Ltd. 

Dr Robyn McConchie BSc London MA(Ed) Macquarie PhD LSU (Appointed 1 October 2013; present term expires 30 September 2016)

Robyn McConchie is Head of the Department of Plant and Food Sciences in the Faculty of Agriculture and Environment. She has been involved in postharvest research and education for over 30 years working on minimising pesticide use, and more recently food safety.  Robyn has led many international research and capacity building projects in postharvest across SE Asia, the Pacific and Africa and from 2006-2010 was Director of the University’s Research Institute for Asia and the Pacific. For the past two years Robyn has been involved in the Australia Awards teaching postharvest of grains in Africa and is leading a collaborative project with the Australian horticulture industry, to establish a Fresh Produce Safety Centre at the University of Sydney, to drive research that will provide food safety solutions for the fresh food produce industry.

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