Matt Ruchel, Executive Director

Executive Director since 2007, Matt has an extensive 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
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
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
Ben Gill, Nature Conservation Campaigner

Ben’s inability to stand by and let a problem go unsolved because people aren’t talking has led to a diverse career including in the film industry, improving worker conditions as well as, soil health and protecting nature.

These days he leverages his extensive networks, strategic collaboration, and investigation skills to bring together community environmental groups, government organisations and other stakeholders to campaign for Victoria’s forests

(03) 9341 6500
Blake Nisbet, Nature Conservation Campaigner

Blake’s work primarily focuses on the protection of Victoria’s forests and woodlands, and the flora and fauna within. He is extremely passionate about the conservation of threatened species.

Blake has been conducting on-ground surveys in Victoria’s forests for nearly 10 years, working hard to protect habitat for endangered species such as the Leadbeater’s Possum and Greater Glider. He has even defended Victoria’s forests in the Supreme Court.

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

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.

(03) 9341 6500
Consuelo Quevedo, NextGen Nature Program Coordinator

Consuelo has always maintained a deep connection with the natural environment from a very young age. Driven by curiosity and a desire to spend more time outdoors, she studied for a bachelor's plus an honour's degree in conservation biology in Chile. Towards the end of her studies, her fascination with the natural world began to take a new direction, motivated by a desire to increase environmental awareness, and share the wonders of nature with others, which led her to the path of environmental education.

Consuelo's professional background reflects her passion for being outdoors and facilitating experiences that connect people with nature. She has experience conducting ecological monitoring, science communication, and working on environmental education projects on a variety of topics.

She came to Australia to further her knowledge and skills and recently completed a Master's in Environment at the University of Melbourne. Consuelo loves being in the forest and the sea and is enthusiastic about conserving biodiversity and sharing nature with others.

(03) 9341 6500
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.

(03) 9341 6500
Jacob L’Huillier Lunt, Digital Campaign Producer

A design theory nerd through and through Jacob will be looking after the VNPA’s digital campaigns.

Jacob likes to utilise a combination of his Bachelor in Philosophy, his Masters in Communication & Design and his passion for the natural world to reach unique and thorough design solutions for the VNPA. Previously his design career centred around small business branding, layout design and print design. He’s now excited and driven to evolve his design solutions using more strategic approaches and in doing so have the opportunity to work with new creative tools in the conservation field.

(03) 9341 6500
Jane Crouch, Fundraising Manager

Jane oversees bringing in the support and donations that enable the VNPA to do its important work. Prior to the VNPA Jane has had over 20 years of fundraising experience with international development, health and environment not-for-profits.

Travel on all continents, plus work in outdoor education, energy conservation and adventure travel, has given Jane global perspectives. But now she’s very happy to ‘act local’ and bring her diverse experience to protecting the magnificent natural beauty of her home state of Victoria.

(03) 9341 6500
Jessie Borrelle, Digital Engagement and Communications Manager

Jessie's passion is helping nature-lovers get involved in protecting, restoring and advocating for Victoria's incredible natural heritage. She believes that a well-told story (with a dose of data) can change things for good.

She has a comprehensive background in campaigns, communications and community engagement. Unsurprisingly, she has a thing for trees, birds, fungi – actually all of it.

(03) 9341 6500
Jordan Crook, Nature Conservation Campaigner

Jordan's work focuses on protecting and caring for our wildlife and natural 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 6500
Kristian Lang, Philanthropy Executive

Kristian’s work in the fundraising team helps ensure that the VNPA is able to continue its important work protecting Victoria’s natural environment for many years to come.

With a long-term commitment to tackling the climate and environment crisis we are facing, Kristian has previously worked in the renewable energy industry and in environmental philanthropy. First and foremost, he loves hearing people’s stories and finding out about their connection with nature – something there is no shortage of at the VNPA.

(03) 9341 6500
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
Lucy Permezel, Office Coordinator

Lucy’s experience across a diverse range of roles in both the hospitality and NFP sectors ensures she is well placed to as the first point of contact into the VNPA office for our members and supporters, as well as the helping the VNPA team.

Lucy loves getting out into nature, particularly hiking and running along the trails in the Dandenong Ranges, and Falls Creek over the summer months.

(03) 9341 6500
Dr Maddy Willcock, Nature Stewards Coordinator

Maddy runs the Nature Stewards program. These community programs introduce participants to the wonderful and varied Victorian and local environment, offer a chance to meet like-minded people, and find out ways to help nature at home and locally through environmental volunteering.

Childhood family and scouting adventures ignited a great respect, love, and spiritual connection with the natural environment and supporting others in their connection with nature is a key passion. Maddy has continued to explore and learn in nature through her career spanning geological field research, STEM education program development, land management, and anthroposophical art therapy. It is a great pleasure to run the program and continue to learn and grow through the insights and expertise of the Nature Stewards family of facilitators, guest presenters, and participants.

(03) 9341 6500
Meghan Lindsay, Community Learning and Communications Officer

Meghan works on communicating VNPA's community learning and engagement programs. She is passionate about engaging people with nature.

She has a background in conservation and natural resource management and has completed a Bachelor of Environmental Science (Honours) and a Graduate Diploma in Environmental Law.

(03) 9341 6500
Paul Clifton, Publications Coordinator

Paul looks after all of VNPA’s publications, including ParkWatch, the annual report and other titles, as well as contributing to campaigns and marketing.

His background is in publications design, cartography, graphic design and editorial management in a broad range of industries: unions, travel, community festivals, arts industry and small business. His happy work place is transforming chaotic and confusing information into legible, useful and attractive products. His happy away from work place is on the beaches of the Great Ocean Road and in the cool temperate rainforests of the Great Otway National Park.

(03) 9341 6500
Sera Blair, NatureWatch Coordinator

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

(03) 9341 6515