Matt Ruchel, Executive Director

Matt has been Executive Director of the VNPA since 2007 and has a strong background in environmental policy. He has worked in non-government environmental policy areas in the state, national and international arena for more than 30 years.

Matt has held senior positions in leading international and national conservation organisations and in local government. He brings exceptional strategic planning skills to his role at VNPA and his experience is invaluable in coordinating staff and campaigns, as well as liaising with government and industry at all levels and a range of interest groups.

(03) 9341 6500
Phil Ingamells, Park Protection

Phil runs the VNPA's Park Protection Project, aimed at radically improving management of Victoria's national parks and reserves, particularly in the face of climate change. He has a special interest in fire management and feral animal management across public and private land in Victoria.

03 9341 6506
Shannon Hurley, Nature Conservation Campaigner

Shannon's work focuses on protecting marine and coastal areas, as well as other land-focussed campaigns. Shannon loves getting out into the field visiting areas that need greater protection and working with local community groups.

Prior to joining the VNPA, Shannon worked as a campaigner protecting the Great Barrier Reef, and has also had several roles at Parks Victoria.

(03) 9341 6515
Jordan Crook, Nature Conservation Campaigner

Jordan's work focuses on the VNPA's campaigns to protect and care for our wildlife and wild places.

His background in conservation work ranges from the ocean to the tall forest of the Central Highlands, and he has worked with all levels of government to get results for the natural world for many years. Jordan also teaches conservation and land management at a tertiary level and has an academic background in conservation and land management, arboriculture and training and assessment.

(03) 9341 6512
Elizabeth Morison, Nature Conservation Officer

Liz joins the VNPA as an Anne Kantor Fellow from the Australia Institute, in the Young Women Environmentalists program. She has a strong commitment to environmental justice and is deeply motivated by climate change and conservation issues. Liz works across the VNPA’s teams and is proud to contribute to the protection Victoria’s national parks and reserves.

(03) 9341 6511
Adrian Marshall, Facilitator, Grassy Plains Network

Adrian campaigns for the protection of our critically endangered grasslands, with an emphasis on the Western Grassland Reserve and grasslands being impacted by Melbourne’s urbanisation. He strongly believes in the need to reimagine cities to support urban ecosystems for resilience and sustainability. He has a Masters in landscape architecture and a PhD in urban ecology. His position as Grassy Plains Network facilitator is hosted by Victorian National Parks Association on behalf of the Grassy Plains Network and the Indigenous Flora and Fauna Association.

(03) 9341 6500
Caitlin Griffith, Community Learning and Engagement Manager

Caitlin is currently on long-service leave, back in 2022!

Running community days, supporting our NatureWatch program and developing training opportunities for staff and volunteers are just some of the ways Caitlin is helping to improve the way we share nature with others.

She has worked with numerous local Victorian community groups, land managers and scientists in the development of citizen science projects, and brings with her a deep passion for ecology, conservation, social ecology and community development.

Sera Blair, Acting Community Learning and Engagement Manager

In Caitlin's absence, Sera has stepped in to cover her management role.

As a NatureWatch Coordinator Sera leads our land-based citizen science program NatureWatch. She has an extensive background in threatened species conservation and community-led projects. Sera has also completed a PhD investigating communication attitudes towards a range of issues in threatened species conservation in Victoria.

(03) 9341 6510
Rachel Nalliah, NatureWatch Project Officer

Rachel will be implementing the NatureWatch: Life After Fire project and conducting fieldwork to monitor for wildlife in the East Gippsland area. Her background and special interests are in fire ecology and threatened species conservation. She also completed a Master’s research project investigating how fire, habitat and introduced predators influence the endangered Heath Mouse.

(03) 9341 6508
Kade Mills, ReefWatch Coordinator

Kade has worked as a marine scientist throughout Australia and now focuses on working with Victoria's marine community and their input that can have an amazing impact on advancing our knowledge of the underwater world.

(03) 9341 6519
Nicole Mertens, Conservation Project Officer

Nicole runs our marine citizen science programs and has a PhD in marine ecology. Nicole sees citizen science as a valuable tool not just for plugging gaps in knowledge of Victoria's marine life, but for creating a connection to nature and a desire to protect it.

(03) 9341 6509
Meg Sobey, Publications and Online Coordinator

Meg joined us in 2017 to oversee our communications, including our website, emails and social media. She is also the editor of Park Watch magazine. Meg loves using creative ways to encourage connection with and care for our natural world.

(03) 9341 6500
Emily Clough, Fundraising Manager

Emily engages with our dedicated supporters including individuals, trusts and foundations. She finds using her skills to contribute to the protection of Victoria's amazing natural places extremely rewarding.

(03) 9341 6501
Amelia Easdale, Supporter Development

Amelia works with those generous individuals and organisations that support our work. She is proud to contribute to the conservation of Victoria's unique native plants and wildlife and the habitats they rely on through her work with the Victorian National Parks Association and our supporters.

(03) 9341 6505
Heath Rickard, Finance & Operations Manager


Heath oversees the day to day management of the organisation including finances, human resources for volunteers & staff, operations, office management, risk and IT. He has over 25 years experience in finance, IT and administration across all sectors with recent roles focusing on community grants management.

Simon O'Connor, Finance & Operations Manager

Simon is our acting Finance and Operations Manager whilst Heath enjoys his long service leave. Simon will oversee the day to day management of the organisation including finances, human resources for volunteers & staff, operations, office management, risk and IT. Simon is a Fellow of CPA Australia and has significant experience working in the not for profit, conservation and public sector.

(03) 9341 6500