Board Members



John V. McCarthy is widely recognised as a multi-faceted industry leader. He has a wide breadth of experience in senior management and corporate governance.

John enjoys a close working relationship with major banks, superannuation funds, institutional investors, financiers and senior professionals and analysts, as well as numerous industry bodies.

He is currently Chairman of Australian Enterprise Holdings Pty Ltd (AEH), The Village Building Co. Ltd (VBC), LandMark White (LMW), Sustainable Built Environment National Research Centre (SBE NRC), Playoust Churcher Architects (PCA) and Catholic Care (NSW) Property Committee

John sits on the Board of EP&T Pty Ltd Advisory Board, McGrath Group, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) Advisory Board – New Embassies in Jakarta and Bangkok and the International Council for Research and Innovation in Building and Construction (CIB).

He is an Adjunct Professor at the Queensland University of Technology (QUT), School of Urban Development, Faculty of Science and Engineering and an Honorary Life Member of the Property Council of Australia and the Facilities Management Association.

In 2009 John was made an Officer in the Order of Australia.


Michael Williams (Deputy Chair)

Michael is the principal of Michael Williams & Associates Pty Ltd, a Sydney-based natural resource management, strategic planning, facilitation and communications company.

With qualifications in geology and geomorphology, Michael started his career tutoring in the School of Earth Sciences at Macquarie University, Sydney, and then worked with the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service in education, interpretation and natural area investigation. He has been consulting in natural resource management since 1986 and formed his own consultancy company in 1988.

Michael has had a long-standing commitment to private land conservation through his involvement and consultancies with South Australia’s Heritage Agreement Scheme, the Tasmanian Regional Forest Agreement, Wet Tropics of Queensland World Heritage Area and private and non-government organisations, natural resource management regional bodies, State, Commonwealth and US-based conservation and philanthropic organisations.

In 2009 Michael was instrumental in the collaboration and formation of the Australian Land Conservation Alliance - an alliance of all Australian States’ private land conservation covenanting organisations and was on its inaugural Board from 1999-2014.

Michael is a Fellow and former president of the Environmental Institute of Australia and New Zealand (NSW Division) and is a member of the IUCN’s World Commission on Protected Areas.


Russell Taylor

An Aboriginal Australian (Kamilaroi), Russell Taylor is the Principal of the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS) in Canberra. AIATSIS is the pre-eminent research, collecting and publishing institution in the field of Australian Indigenous studies.

Russell was born and raised in Sydney at Millers Point which forms part of the famous historic precinct known as ‘the Rocks’ however his career has involved diverse roles  in various locations throughout  Australia.

Russell has extensive senior managerial experience in the corporate sector as well as a significant career history in public administration of Indigenous affairs. Russell is a former CEO of the NSW Aboriginal Housing Office and has also worked at the state and national level in senior executive roles in the former Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission and its predecessor organisation the Aboriginal Development Commission.

Russell is currently a director of the Lowitja Institute and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Healing Foundation.

Russell has been a member of the governing Council of two universities being a former member of the Council of the University of Canberra and currently a member of University of Technology, Sydney. Russell is also a member of the national Indigenous Higher Education Advisory Council, Charles Darwin University Vice Chancellor’s Indigenous Advisory Committee and the National Museum of Australia’s Indigenous Advisory Committee.

A former (and founding) Director of the Australian Indigenous Leadership Centre, Russell is also a member of various other national institutions including the Australian Institute of Company Directors, the Australian Institute of Management, the Australian Rural Leadership Foundation, and the international Executive Global Network (CEO Group).

Russell’s tertiary qualifications include a Master of Business Administration (MBA) Degree as well as a Graduate Diploma in Public Sector Management from the University of Technology Sydney and a Graduate Diploma in Arts (Anthropology) from the Australian National University.

Russell has a life-long interest in cultural heritage and environmental protection and has been involved in various policies, programs and research projects involving land care, natural resource management and bio-diversity protection.


Scott Hawker

Scott joined the Board of the Nature Conservation Trust during 2012, to bring additional financial skills to the organisation. Scott’s background is in Australian and international investment and institutional banking.

Scott worked with a number of international investment banks over the past 25 years, and spent a decade with Commonwealth Bank in Sydney focussing on financing solutions in the complex telecommunications and media environment.  Most recently, Scott has been working at Perpetual, advising high net worth clients and not-for-profit organisations on investment structuring and strategy.

He has a Masters in Applied Finance from Macquarie University, a Bachelor of Commerce, a Diploma in Financial Services, and is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.  Scott is also a Board Member of the Cemeteries and Crematoria Agency of NSW. Within the NCT, Scott is Chair of the Finance and Risk Committee.


Virginia Malley

Ms Malley has 28 years’ experience in the investment and banking sectors, including 15 years’ experience as a company director. Her areas of expertise are: financial and environmental markets, risk management, corporate governance, regulatory compliance custody and trusteeship. She is a member of the Clean Energy Regulator, a non-executive director of Perpetual Superannuation Limited and ASX-listed Perpetual Equity Investment Company Limited, and a member of the Sydney Airport Trust Compliance Committee.

Ms Malley was previously the Chief Risk Officer at Macquarie Funds Management Group, and a member of a number of committees at Macquarie, with focuses on clean technology, the Asia Pacific and global private equity.  She also served on the boards of Macquarie Investment Management Limited and Bond Street Custodians Limited and was a staff-elected trustee of the Macquarie Bank Staff Superannuation Fund. She oversaw the risk management of portfolios worth more than $85 billion. She also managed industry regulator and ratings agency relationships.

Ms Malley is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. She holds a Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Applied Finance from Macquarie University, a Graduate Diploma in Environmental Law from the University of Sydney, and a Juris Doctor from the University of Technology, Sydney.


Matthew Toohey

Matthew Toohey brings to the Board more than two decades of property and business development experience having held senior executive roles at Jones Lang LaSalle Australia, McDonalds Australia, Wesfarmers Limited and Greencross Limited.

He was the General Manager of Property for Bunnings for over 10 years and has experience in mergers and acquisitions/business development as well as extensive property expertise in valuation, town planning, investment, acquisition, development, construction and asset management.

Mr Toohey is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, Fellow of the Australian Property Institute and a Certified Practising Valuer. He holds a Master of Commerce from the University of Western Sydney (UWS) and has completed the Advance Management Program at the European Institute for Business Administration (INSEAD, France), as well as an Executive Leadership Program at Harvard Business School.

Mr Toohey is currently the General Manager, Business Development AUS/NZ at Greencross Limited and has been a Non-Executive Director of the Nature Conservation Trust of NSW since 2012.

Previously, Mr Toohey was Executive Director of Bunnings Group Limited (2003 – 2011) and Secretary of the Large Format Retailers Association (2005 to 2008).


Jane Gibbs

Jane Gibbs is appointed as an employee of the Office of Environment and Heritage where she is Senior Manager, Environmental Program Services.  She is an experienced policy practitioner with over 20 years experience in both the public and private sectors, including with the United Nations Environment Program in Geneva, Switzerland.

Jane holds a Bachelor of Environmental Science (Honours) degree from the University of Newcastle, a Masters of Environmental Law from the University of Sydney and is currently undertaking an Executive Masters of Public Administration through the Australian New Zealand School of Government.