Independent Chairman 2013-
Prior to her appointment as Chairman of WAMSI in April 2013, Naomi Brown was the Chief Executive Officer of the Australasian Fire and Emergency Service Authorities Council (AFAC) from 2006 until her retirement in December 2012
During that period Naomi was a Director of the Bushfire Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) and the National Aerial Firefighting Centre (NAFC)
She was also a Director of Mackillop Family Services in Victoria and served as the chair of the Risk and Audit Committee for that organization.
Naomi took up the role of Director Community Safety at the Country Fire Authority (CFA) of Victoria in 2003. She had previously worked in her home state of Western Australia with the WA Fire and Emergency Services (FESA) for five years. She spent time there as Executive Director Community Safety and also Executive Director State Emergency Service and Volunteer Marine Rescue.
Her earlier work history was in the areas of human resource management, equal employment opportunity and teaching, particularly special education.
She is currently the Interim Chair of the new Bushfire and Natural Hazards Cooperative Research Centre which is in the process of being established
Naomi has a Diploma in Teaching, Graduate Diplomas in Special Education and Business and has completed the Australian Institute of Company Directors course.
Peter Millington is the Chief Executive Officer of the Western Australian Government statutory authority, ChemCentre.
ChemCentre has core responsibilities to the community in areas of public and environmental health, forensic science and emergency response. As CEO, Peter is responsible for ensuring the provision of high quality scientific services and information to clients from both government and the private sector. A significant component of ChemCentre’s output is the delivery of collaborative and contract research services.
Before taking up the ChemCentre appointment in 2009, Peter was the acting Chief Executive Officer at the Department of Fisheries. In that role, and in his preceeding Director roles in that department from 1992, he was responsible for new directions in policy and operations including implementing a series of State Government reforms to take WA’s fisheries into the future. He introduced management arrangements for most of WA’s commercial fisheries, implemented a framework for recreational fishing and increased the focus on habitat protection in the estuarine and marine environments.
During his time at the Department of Fisheries Peter was involved in policy development, monitoring and management of Commonwealth fisheries, and foreign fisheries operating in the Australian Fishing Zone. He also convened two international conferences and chaired many national fisheries and marine environment committees.
Peter obtained a biological science degree at Flinders University and pursued his marine interests by undertaking an Honours degree in marine science at James Cook University. He obtained a Masters Degree in Environmental Studies at Adelaide University before obtaining an overseas study scholarship to undertake a Masters Degree in Marine Science at the University of British Columbia, specialising in fish population dynamics. He is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
WAMSI Board member 2013 -
Science Director, Department of Environment and Conservation
Margaret Byrne is a Senior Principal Research Scientist and conducts genetic research for application in plant conservation and recovery, and in the utilisation of native flora in agroforestry and revegetation. In the area of plant conservation her research is focused on investigating genetic variation, genetic differentiation, gene flow, phylogenetic relationships, evolutionary lineages, and phylogeographic patterns in Australian plants. She uses the information resulting from this research to inform conservation strategies for rare and threatened plants as well as biodiversity conservation at community and landscape scales in relation to remnant viability and revegetation. Her studies on phylogeography and evolutionary patterns in the flora allow understanding of the impacts of climate change on the biota.
Dryland salinity is a driving force for agroforestry and revegetation in Western Australia. Margaret provides genetic research as a basis for the evaluation of potential species for revegetation, particularly for species complexes where there is some taxonomic ambiguity. Her current research in the area of revegetation is directed at evaluating the genetic risk to biodiversity from wide-scale plantings of native germplasm and exotic germplasm with native relatives. She also has experience in genetic and QTL mapping.
Chief Executive Officer, Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS)
John Gunn is the Chief Executive Officer of AIMS. John has significant experience in leading development of strategy, scientific research and capability, and stakeholder engagement across a research portfolio encompassing marine ecology, fisheries, coastal systems, physical and chemical oceanography, atmospheric chemistry and climate science. John joined AIMS from the position of Chief Scientist of the Australian Antarctic Program, where he played a key role in developing the new Australian Antarctic Science Strategy Plan: 2011 – 2021. Prior to this, John was Deputy Chief of CSIRO's Marine and Atmospheric Research Division, the culmination of 29 year career with the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation.
John has held a number of important advisory and policy development roles through his membership of the Scientific Steering Committee for the Global Ocean Observing System, the Australian Academy of Science National Committee for Antarctic Research, the Antarctic Climate and Ecosystems Co‐Operative Research Centre Board, the Oceans Policy Science Advisory Group (OPSAG), the Commonwealth Government's High Level Coordination Group on Climate Change Science, and Australia's Integrated Marine Observing System Board.
Alongside his executive experience, John has an extensive academic record. Having graduated from James Cook University, Townsville in 1978 with a first class honours in marine biology, John has authored over 150 peer-review publications, book chapters, papers to international commissions and technical reports, and has presented at more than 100 conferences and symposia, in many instances as the keynote speaker. He has an international reputation in the fields of pelagic fish ecology and in the development of marine biological observing technology and systems.
Having worked within and led a number of world-leading, multidisciplinary teams and programs, John is a passionate advocate for science, and in particular marine science, and its role in securing a prosperous and sustainable future for Australia. While addressing the needs and demands of a broad user community, he is determined to maintain and further enhance the scientific excellence for which AIMS has gained an enviable international reputation.
Chief Executive Officer Department of Fisheries (Western Australia)
WAMSI Board Member 2008-
Stuart Smith has a long career in State Government.
Before his appointment as Chief Executive officer at the Department of Fisheries in 2008 he spent six years as Deputy Director General and Acting Director General of the former WA Department of Industry and Resources (DoIR).
Stuart’s responsibilities at DoIR covered a diverse range of natural resource management and industry development issues during a period of unprecedented expansion in the resources sector.
As Deputy Director General for State Development Stuart was responsible for major project facilitation, investment attraction, trade promotion and economic expansion opportunities in WA.
He also led the regulatory functions of DoIR for several years as a Deputy Director General with responsibilities for promoting resource sector exploration, facilitating aboriginal economic development and regulating activity relating to mining tenements, petroleum acreage, royalties, native title, aboriginal heritage, mine health and safety, dangerous goods and environmental management.
Before joining DoIR in 2003, Stuart spent 14 years with the Australian Public Service in Canberra, Melbourne and Perth where he held regulatory and industry development roles at the Department of Industry, Tourism and Resources, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, the Department of Primary Industries and Energy and a secondment to the Office of a Federal Cabinet Minister.
Stuart holds a bachelor of economics degree from The University of Western Australia and post graduate qualifications in economics from studies at the Australian National University and the University of Melbourne.
Dr. Kenneth Lee is the Director of the Wealth from Oceans Flagship of Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO).
WAMSI Board Member 2014-
Ken is responsible for the development and leadership of national multi-disciplinary research teams that apply their expertise in a whole-of-ecosystem approach in areas as diverse as:
• sustainable use and conservation of marine resources and biodiversity
• multiple-use management of marine and coastal ecosystems
• sustainable development of offshore energy and mineral resources
• innovative ocean modelling and observing technologies
• the ocean’s role in climate change and variability
• climate change impacts on marine ecosystems, industries and coastal communities
Dr. Lee has over 35 years’ experience working in the field of aquatic science and is the author of more than 300 academic and technical publications. He has served as a Science Advisor to industry, academia and government in Canada, USA and Australia to establish national and international science agendas.
David Morrison is Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research) at Murdoch University.
WAMSI Board member 2013 -
David worked at the University of Western Australia from 1993. He commenced as a Senior Lecuturer and left for Murdoch as a Winthrop Professor. He was head of School of Psychology in the Faculty of Life and Physical Science from 2006-2012 and was the longest serving Head for 30 years. Prior to that his other leadership role was as the Director of the Industrial and Organisational Psychology program, which he undertook for 13 years.
Other academic appointments have been held in Schools of Psychology at the University of Queensland (Senior Lecturer), Murdoch University (Lecturer – Senior Lecturer) and the University of Wales Institute of Science and Technology. His early career as a research assistant commenced at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland.
Other career shaping academic experiences include being an invited Visiting Professor for 12 months in the School of Industrial Engineering at Purdue University (USA) and an invited subject matter expert for a similar period at the Melbourne Business School.
David is a registered Psychologist with Organisational Psychology as an endorsed specialty, Chartered Member of the Australian Human Resources Institute, member of the Academy of Management (US) and Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society..
Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President with the responsibility for leading research at Edith Cowan University (ECU).
WAMSI Board member 2013 -
Professor John Finlay-Jones brings to ECU a deep understanding of the Higher Education System in Australia. He has an extensive track record over three decades of personal excellence in teaching, research and community engagement, and enjoys an enviable reputation for leadership and facilitating personal excellence in others.
Prior to his appointment as Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) and Vice-President, Professor Finlay-Jones was Assistant Director at the Telethon Institute of Child Health (2003-2008), and Professor of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases and Head of the Faculty of Health Sciences at Flinders University (1998-2003).
Professor Finlay-Jones holds the degrees of Bachelor of Science with Honours and Doctor of Philosophy from the University of Western Australia.
He has an excellent track record in research with over 120 publications in the international literature and continuous financial support, as Chief Investigator or Co-Chief Investigator, through grants funded by the National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia.
WAMSI Chief Executive Officer 2013-
Patrick Seares joined WAMSI as the Chief Executive Officer on the 2nd April 2013.
Patrick has worked for the WA state government and as a consultant for the majority of his career. He has worked predominantly in the terrestrial water sector and has largely held positions responsible for linking research to policy outcomes.
He moved to WAMSI from the role of Director Water Assessment and Allocation at the Department of Water. There he oversaw the majority of the department’s hydrological and related environmental sciences. He was also responsible for overseeing this works translation into statutory allocation planning (resource sharing), and policy advice to government.
Previous roles with the Department included the Director of Reform Programs, management of the strategic policy and planning branch, and leadership of the water allocation planning program.
Through his various roles he has often worked with the Commonwealth government on policy matters and with research institutions both on major projects and advising on the scope of research proposals.
Patrick also spent six years in England with roles as a water and then management consultant to the UK Government.
Patrick holds a Bachelor of Science in Natural Resources Management from the University of Western Australia.