Parks Victoria Board
The Board is responsible for directing and monitoring the business of Parks Victoria and is accountable to the Minister for its overall performance. It delegates day-to-day responsibility for operations and administration to Parks Victoria’s Chief Executive and executive team.
Andrew Fairley (Chairman)
Mr Andrew Fairley has had a distinguished association with ecotourism, conservation, parks and resort management over many years and significant international tourism experience. He is a previous Director of Small Luxury Hotels of the World, a Director of world-class five star resort Turtle Island in the Yasawas for over 20 years and a past Director of International Ecotourism Society (Washington DC) and Ecotourism Australia.
Mr Fairley is a leading superannuation lawyer and has significant corporate governance experience. He is Chairman of Equisuper, is a fellow of the Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees, a fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and is a member of the Law Institute of Victoria.
Mr Fairley is involved in a number of charities including the Sir Andrew Fairley Foundation which focuses on providing opportunities in regional Australia, Chair of the national Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education and Patron of the Centre for Eye Research Australia.
Mr Fairley has been awarded a number of prestigious accolades in the tourism sector and is also the Consul General for Finland in Victoria.
Mr Dennis Cavagna has a background in business and accountancy and is currently a part-time Commissioner of the Essential Services Commission of Victoria. He is the former Managing Director of South East Water and has an extensive background in business and financial management. Dennis is a member of the Queensland Urban Utilities Board and the VicRoads Audit Committee.
Ms Deborah Cheetham is currently the Head of the Wilin Centre at the Victorian College of the Arts and the Music Faculty of the University of Melbourne. She is also Artistic Director of Short Black Opera Company Pty Ltd and a freelance performer, director, producer, writer, teacher and composer. Deborah has a strong understanding of Indigenous issues, which she contributes to the shared management model for many national parks. She has significant community links and community consultation experience. Ms Deborah Cheetham was recognised with an Officer of the Order of Australia award as part of the Queen’s Birthday honours in 2014.
Mr Andrew Grant has a background in natural resource management and business. Mr Grant has executive and board experience with organisations including the Royal Botanic Gardens, Earthwatch, the Cooperative Research Centre for Greenhouse Accounting and the Banksia Environmental Foundation. He has held several management positions in Parks Victoria and is a former Chair of the Port Phillip and Western Port Catchment Management Authority.
Ms Natalie O’Brien has a background in senior management in tourism and marketing and is currently the CEO of the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival. Ms O’Brien is a committee member on the Victorian Food Wine and Tourism Council, and a board member of the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Foundation and the City of Melbourne Hospitality Advisory Board. She has extensive knowledge in tourism, including an understanding of increasing visitation.
Ms Pru Sanderson is an architect and property professional who specialises in creating new benchmarks in urban planning and public infrastructure. Ms Sanderson has served as CEO of VicUrban, held senior roles in the development of Melbourne Museum and Federation Square and has worked internationally managing property affairs and the delivery of major infrastructure in South Africa and Malaysia. She is a member of the Federal Government’s Built Environment Industry Innovation Council and a fellow of Leadership Victoria.
Professor Andrew Vizard is a Principal Fellow, and previously Associate Professor of Veterinary Epidemiology, at the University of Melbourne. Professor Vizard is an experienced company director and has served on the board of numerous companies, statutory bodies, charitable foundations and scientific organisations. He is currently the Chair of The Vizard Foundation, a board member of Ridley Corporation Ltd, a director of the People and Parks Foundation, a trustee of the Australian Wool Education Trust and a member of the Research Committee of the Hermon Slade Foundation.
Professor Robert Wallis is Professor of Research Development at Federation University Australia. He has a background in natural resource management, sustainable development and environmental education. Robert has held senior academic positions including Pro Vice Chancellor (Rural and Regional) and Head of School (Ecology and Environment) at Deakin University. Professor Wallis has extensive board and committee experience, including currently serving as the Deputy Chair and Director of the Wannon Region Water Corporation, Deputy Chair and Director of Great South Coast Medicare Local and Chair of the Warrnambool City Council Audit and Risk Committee. Professor Wallis is a fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
Mr Ross Passalaqua is a Company Director and business consultant with broad commercial, operational, and technical experience across multiple sectors including the tourism, safety, services, petrochemicals, transport and logistics industries in Australia and overseas. Following an early career in consulting engineering, Mr Passalaqua undertook corporate roles involving safety and risk analysis, sales and marketing, business development, and senior operations and commercial management with primarily the Shell Group of Companies. Mr Passalaqua then developed tourism management and development expertise as CEO at Falls Creek Alpine Resort. Mr Passalaqua currently holds other Board roles with South East Water Corporation, the North East Victoria Tourism Board and with Disabled WinterSport Australia. He also provides independent safety consulting and coaching services through the DuPont organisation.