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 the non-government environmental policy areas in the state, national and international arena for more than 20 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.

Amelia Easdale, Supporter Development

Amelia joined us in June 2016 and 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.

Caitlin Griffith, Community Education 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.

Chris Smyth, Project Manager / Marine and Coastal Coordinator

Chris returned to the VNPA in February 2015 having previously worked for us on campaigns for a marine national parks network and an integrated national park at Point Nepean.

His credentials include working as the Australian Conservation Foundation's Healthy Oceans Campaigner, where he focused on marine reserves, national oceans law reform and sustainable seafood.

Christine Connelly, NatureWatch/Community Projects Coordinator

Christine has been a volunteer Team Leader with NatureWatch since 2007 and has been coordinating the program since January 2014.

She has a diverse environmental background, but her strongest skills are in science and ecology. "I am particularly excited about the value of the NatureWatch program's 'citizen science' for nature conservation in Victoria."

Charlotte Kandelaars, Administrative Officer

Charlotte handles the processing of memberships, appeals and book orders. She also handles the accounts receivables and payables. Charlotte has a strong business background in accounting.

"I personally find it a privilege to be involved with such a proactive environmental organisation which is inline with my own values and interests."

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.

Kade Mills, ReefWatch Coordinator

Kade joined us in 2016 to work with all the 'underwater bushwalkers', who go diving to enjoy Victoria's unique plants and animals.

Kade himself has spent many hours of his life underwater talking to the fish, counting, photographing and filming them.

He has worked as a marine scientist throughout Australia and is excited about working with Victoria's marine community - their input can have an amazing impact on advancing our knowledge of the underwater world.