VNPA is governed by an Annual General Meeting elected volunteer Council or board which includes a President, Vice-President, an Honorary Secretary, Honorary Treasurer and up to nine councillors. A small number of councillors are appointed each year due to their specialist expertise.

Council establishes policy guidelines, approves annual budgets and undertakes strategic planning for the association. The Council appoints the Executive Director and approves an annual organisational plan that provides a clear statement of VNPA’s direction and priorities. Council is supported by a number of active sub-committees which harness the enthusiasm of members and staff on key areas.

Committees include:

  • Citizen Science and Nature Education Committee
  • Conservation and Campaigns Committee
  • Finance Committee
  • Governance, Policy and Legal Committee
  • Strategic Communications and Fundraising Committee

David Nugent, President

David has over 30 years’ experience as a management consultant. As a PricewaterhouseCoopers Partner and an IBM Executive, David worked across Australia and Asia Pacific with a range of organisations on programs relating to information technology transformation. David has a passion for the great outdoors, through family camping trips to remote bushwalking and camping David understands and appreciates the social and economic value of our natural environment and the need to invest in the development and management of our national parks.

Marilyne Crestias, Vice President

Marilyne is passionate about advocating for better environmental protection. She likes to bushwalk, trail run, scuba dive and rock climb. She has a Masters in Economics and Finance and experience in the Victorian public service developing policy in the environment and renewable energy portfolios.

Askin Morrison, Treasurer

Askin has a lifelong passion for nature and spending time outdoors.  He has 25 years of experience working with a global management consulting firm on topics including strategy, growth and organisational effectiveness. Most recently, much of his work has focused on topics related to sustainability and the energy transition to renewable forms of generation, he has also led several projects supporting a global environmental NGO on topics related to increasing conservation and biodiversity protection.  Askin is a keen bushwalker who has enjoyed many protected wilderness areas and national parks.

Chris Harvey, Secretary

Chris works as a management consultant helping both commercial and not-for-profit clients build their organisational capability. A keen bushwalker and cross-country skier throughout his adult life, Chris feels most at peace when amongst the snow gums. Chris is passionate about protecting our natural environment from inappropriate development and regenerating areas where there has been adverse impact. He lives in regional Victoria close to some of the national parks that he loves.

Lara Bickford

Lara works in clinical research. She has four children who love exploring and camping in Victoria’s national parks, and is passionate about preserving Victoria’s natural environment. Lara believes that VNPA is in a unique position to advocate for our native plants and animals.

Dr Jan Hendrik Brueggemeier

Jan is an artist, media producer and communications academic. In his media work he is particularly interested in cultural ecology and the intersection of art, science and politics. He produced and curated a number of international art projects and festivals including the art/science collaboration Nature in the Dark in partnership with VNPA and Parks Victoria. He has also produced VNPA podcasts about the Little Desert and marine national parks.

Dr Michael Feller

Michael is a semi-retired forest fire scientist/forest ecologist who lives near Healesville, but still commutes back to his workplace at the University of British Columbia in Canada (currently he is an associate professor emeritus there). He regularly recreates (bushwalking, mountain climbing, skiing, sea kayaking) in outdoor environments that usually need much better protection against development.

Dr Michael Feller died unexpectedly and peacefully just shy of his 78th birthday on Monday 22 January. We honour his legacy here.

Dianne Marshall

Dianne has a background in education, community engagement and public land management ranging across wetlands, Landcare, biodiversity, national parks, biospheres and Ministerial advisory committees. A geographer and keen bushwalker, she enjoys exploring natural places in Australia and the rest of the world.

Dr Bruce McGregor

Growing up in rural Victoria instilled a passion for the outdoors and nature in Bruce. He is an active research scientist with training in biology, land management and organisational leadership, as well as a Trust for Nature covenantor and a long-term volunteer in waterway management, environmental restoration and recreation. In 2015 he received a Best Friend Award from the Victorian Environment Friends Network, and he is also co-founder of the Victorian Nature Stewards training program. Bruce served as VNPA’s president from 2018-2022.

Gerard McPhee

Gerard first joined the conservation movement in the late 1960s, working with the Lake Pedder and alpine park campaigns. As a keen bushwalker, his loves are forests and mountains. After careers in education and social work, Gerard spent 20 years in IT positions with human services, hospitals and the ambulance service.

Dr Doug Robinson

Doug is a conservation biologist who has worked for the past 30 years in a research, extension and policy capacity across both public and private land.  He has had a particular focus on conservation in rural environments and woodland birds.  In his spare time, he likes to control pest animals and watch birds on the family’s covenanted property near Violet Town.

Michael Young

Michael has a background in arts management but earlier in his career he became involved with conservation issues via Australian Conservation Foundation action groups such as the Antarctica World Park program. Living in central Gippsland he is aware of the serious environmental and extinction concerns that particularly affect his region. He was a founding member of Wellington Climate Action Network and is an experienced bushwalker and kayaker who has ventured into most national parks in Victoria.