Senior management team

Last updated 29 May 2018 

Many of our staff share the same passion for nature and conservation that inspires our supporters to fund what we do. Meet some of our senior staff (led by CEO Gerard O'Neill) below. Find out what drives them to work in the conservation sector and what they believe are our biggest challenges.

Dr Jody Gunn

Executive Manager South East

Dr Jody Gunn

Dr Jody Gunn: Executive Manager South East

Dr Jody Gunn has over 20 years' experience working in wildlife ecology and research, land management, joint management planning and conservation strategy. She's worked in this field extensively across Australia, but also in Tanzania and the United Kingdom. Jody leads our conservation programs across four states in south east Australia, as well as our national Health Safety and Environment Program.

"I've been inspired by people’s stories and their reasons for supporting us. Their diversity and our shared values enable us to achieve significant conservation outcomes together."

Rob Murphy

Executive Manager North

Rob Murphy

Roby Murphy: Executive Manager North

Rob’s contribution to conservation spans 25 years. In his previous role as a Director of Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service he was responsible for over 45% of Queensland’s protected areas. Today he leads our passionate and dedicated team concerned with Queensland and Northern Territory landscapes. This includes the protection of some of Australia’s most iconic and threatened species, such as the Night Parrot and the Red-finned Blue-eye. Rob also leads our national fire management, volunteer and visitation programs.

"I'm privileged to be working with passionate people on exciting projects in some of Australia’s most spectacular Country”. 

Luke Bayley

Executive Manager West

Luke Bayley

Luke Bayley: Executive Manager West

Oversight of our West Region and National Aboriginal Partnership program is led by our Executive West – Luke Bayley. Before taking over leadership of our team in Western Australia, Luke was our Healthy Landscape Manager across the Western Rangelands and spent five years with his family on our Charles Darwin Reserve. Prior to this he held several positions leading Aboriginal and Pastoral land management programs across the NT and WA, and working on several wetland and farm conservation programs in regional Victoria.

"One of my favourite places is among the ancient York Gum woodlands on Charles Darwin Reserve. There's such a variety of plant and animal life and my children loved exploring these woodlands over the time we lived on Charles Darwin Reserve."

Rob Pratt

Executive Manager Corporate Services & CFO

Rob Pratt

Rob Pratt: Executive Manager Corporate Services

Rob is our Chief Financial Officer, providing leadership in the areas of Finance, Information Technology, People & Organisational Development, Legal, Governance and Planning. He's worked extensively in the not-for-profit sector, including as Deputy CEO at the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners, as well as advising corporate, government and not-for-profit clients during six years with Ernst & Young.

"Everything we do at Bush Heritage is for the long-term. My greatest motivation is to ensure we’re professionally and ethically managed and have the resilience and capability that will see our conservation impact last forever."

Dr Rebecca Spindler

Executive Manager, Science and Conservation

Dr Rebecca Spindler

Dr Rebecca Spindler

Dr Rebecca Spindler oversees an extensive Conservation Science Program, which informs everything we do. She has over 20 years' conservation science experience, working to improve the reproduction, health and conservation of rare and endangered species. Dr Spindler has managed extensive science programs in China, Brazil and the United States through the Smithsonian Institution and led an active, multi-disciplinary team at Taronga Conservation Society for 10 years. 

"I joined Bush Heritage to be part of the solution and work with passionate conservation experts. The things Bush Heritage achieves on a daily basis has given me new hope and renewed commitment to protecting our natural landscapes.”

Melinda Warnecke

Executive Manager Marketing and Fundraising

Cissy Gore-Birch

Melinda Warnecke

Melinda is an executive-level fundraising professional, with over 15 years' experience in leadership roles in the higher education and not-for-profit sectors. Previous positions include Deputy Vice President Advancement at Deakin University and Capital Campaign Director at Monash University. Melinda's role at Bush Heritage includes oversight of our Communications, Direct and Digital Marketing, Key Relationships and Bequests, and Supporter Services teams.

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