Staff Members

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Gary Wells, BSc (Dental)(Hons) LLB

Chief Executive Officer

Gary has qualifications in Science and Law from Sydney University and has had a wide ranging career over the last 25 years.   He started his career in international trade consulting for six years with Deloitte and Ernst & Young in Sydney.   Gary then moved to the family farm in Wagga Wagga where he joined the Wagga Wagga City Council as Director of Engineering & Technical Services and subsequently Commercial Strategy.  During this time he developed a passion for regional development and in 2004 established a private consultancy which led a number of key strategic regional initiatives across NSW.

Gary has been CEO of a number of private companies and is a director of Coast City Country General Practice Training, a not for profit company training young doctors for general practice in regional NSW.

Gary has also led a number of successful partnerships involving private companies and public entities and believes that partnering will be one of the keys to successful sustainable environmental management and conservation in the future.

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Kate Smillie, BLaw (Hons), CLMIII (Conservation Land Management), GCES (Graduate Certificate in Environmental Science)

Policy Manager

Kate began working with the Nature Conservation Trust in 2005, engaged to develop the NCT Covenant Programs. During Kate’s employment with the NCT, she has developed and managed private land covenant programs, coordinated regional partnerships, developed business partnerships and managed the Revolving Fund program. Kate was recently appointed as the NCT Policy Manager.

Kate has a hands-on approach to land management, having operated her own bush regeneration business, working on private and public lands. Prior to working with the NCT, Kate also spent six years working in local government where she worked in Legal Services, Compliance, and State of the Environment Reporting.

Kate was drawn to work with the NCT due to her strong belief in the importance of private land conservation for the protection of biodiversity, and for building a resilient environment in a changing climate.

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Adam Dawson

Revolving Fund Manager

Before joining the Nature Conservation Trust, Adam worked as a licenced Stock and Station Agent and Accredited Auctioneer specialising in rural and agricultural property sales whilst also carrying on a mainstream farming business including agricultural contracting. He has a long, diverse family farming background in both cropping and grazing. Adam's agricultural experience combined with his property industry qualifications and extensive market experience ideally places him as the NCT’s state based Revolving Fund Manager. 

Through the Revolving Funds Manager role, Adam is responsible for all the NCT’s negotiations of acquisitions and sales on rural properties for private conservation, negotiations of properties for biodiversity offsets, and also property management of all NCT properties throughout NSW.

One of Adam’s goals as a farmer and the NCT’s Revolving Funds Manager is ecological sustainability supported by agricultural sustainability. He believes that for farming to remain viable in our changing climate, it must be conducted with sustainable prescriptions to assist biodiversity endure market drivers.

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James Forbes – BA, Adv Dip (Marketing), Adv Dip (Management), PDC

Marketing Manager

James has two decades experience in sales, marketing and fundraising. Through international organisations like WWF and Daimler Chrysler to Australian icons such as the Sebel Town House and Lilianfels Blue Mountains to State focused charitable bodies like ACON and the Nature Conservation Trust, James has a reputation for delivering on organisational goals.

Educated at The King's School, University of Sydney, Milkwood Permaculture and more recently Proteus Leadership Centre, James passionately pursues his interest in contributing to globally important issues on the environment, human rights and the arts.

In 2013 James was invited to speak at the Blackbaud Fundraising Conference in Sydney and he was a finalist in a Speech Competition for International Human Rights Day in Melbourne.

James has served on the board of the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Business Association (SGLBA) and The AIDS Council of NSW (ACON). Beyond the NCT, James' production company is developing its first feature film.

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Nigel Jones, BAppSc (Parks, Recreation and Heritage)

Conservation Manager

Nigel joined the Nature Conservation Trust in 2007 and has a wealth of experience in conservation on private land, including three years with the Tasmanian Private Forest Reserve Program. Previously he has worked with the Holbrook Landcare Group, Bush Tender and Habitat Hectares (Vic), Greening Australia and Land for Wildlife.

Nigel is experienced in native seed collection and has conducted research into the pre-European condition and structure of woodlands in the NSW sheep-wheat belt. He is passionate about working with farmers and land managers to conserve threatened vegetation communities in fragmented landscapes.

In his role as Conservation Manager, based in Albury, Nigel provides input into conservation strategies and priorities for the NCT across NSW. He is managing the NCT’s role in the Hume Highway Biodiversity Offsets Program.

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Georgia Beyer, BAppSc (Hons)

Senior Ecologist

Georgia began working with the Nature Conservation Trust in 2007. She manages the covenant programs in northern NSW from our Lismore office, does ecological assessments for the Revolving Fund, has contributed to the development of the organisation’s plans of management for covenanted lands and has helped develop the conservation assessment methodology and general procedures for the State-wide covenant program.

Georgia has always had a passion for the environment and protecting it. Previously, Georgia spent years undertaking fauna assessments and research, and completed undergraduate and honours studies at Southern Cross University. Georgia served as a Research Assistant in fauna studies and tutor at Southern Cross University for Ecology, Wildlife and Plant Identification units.

Georgia has also worked as a community representative to help improve the National Reserve System in NSW. She served as a Regional Coordinator for the North East Forest Alliance and as a community representative for the North Coast Environment Council.

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Tiffany Mason, BAppSc, GradCertAppSci (Ornithology)

Conservation Officer

With a lifelong interest in wildlife, particularly birds, it was only a matter of time before Tiffany joined the Nature Conservation Trust. She has many years of experience in natural resource management, both in the workplace (including positions with the Department of Lands, NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service and the Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water) and as a volunteer (at the Capertee Valley Regent Honeyeater Recovery Group’s tree-planting events and on the Cowra Woodland Birds project).

Tiffany has taught ecology at Bathurst TAFE, guided birders through Queensland’s Channel Country, been a keen volunteer on a number of projects, including La Trobe University’s Mallee Fire Research, and assisted in numerous flora and fauna surveys throughout NSW. Most recently, Tiffany has been involved in recovery projects for threatened species on private property, working with landholders to protect vulnerable fauna in the Central West.

Tiffany works in the Orange office and is an active member of the Boundary Road Reserve Landcare Group, which manages the only remnant of native bush (a yellow box and Blakely’s red gum woodland community) within the city’s limits.

Eden Wyatt, BAppSc (Environmental Resource Management)

Project Manager, Pacific Highway Biodiversity Offsets Project

Eden brings to the NCT over ten years’ experience working for private consultancies in the environmental sector where he has been involved in delivering a range of projects including large scale infrastructure developments in New South Wales and Queensland. In addition to his project management experience; Eden has a well-developed technical background in ecology and has undertaken numerous flora and fauna surveys during his professional career. Eden has also prepared a range of management plans including habitat management plans and threatened species management plans.

Eden is based in the Lismore office where he is managing the NCT’s role in the Pacific Highway biodiversity offsets project in collaboration with the NSW Roads and Maritime Service. He is very passionate about achieving longer term conservation outcomes within a legislative framework. His knowledge of ecological functions and experience in the environmental sector places him in a good position to achieve his passion.

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Barbara Miller, BBus (Accounting) CPA

Accountant

Barbara joined the Nature Conservation Trust in 2005 and works in the Lismore office. During this time, she has established financial management systems that have enabled the NCT to operate as a professional not-for-profit conservation organisation.

Barbara is a CPA with 20+ years of accounting experience across a range of small to very large organisations. Before coming to the NCT, Barbara worked in the Mining industry which enabled her to work in some of the most beautiful and often remote places in Australia. Her roles have included financial reporting, management reporting & cost control, budgeting and planning, financial system management, human resources and administration management.

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Denise Allen, AdDip Event Mgt, DipBus HR Mgt, DipBus FL Mgt, DipBus WHS, Workplace Training & Assess (Cert VI)

Program Support Officer

Denise came to the Nature Conservation Trust in 2007 with extensive experience in various management administrative and management support roles within the health telecommunication and university sector. Her roles within NCT includes the Human Resources and Management practices. Denise has established and administers the WHSMS within NCT. Denise is a keen participant of her local Land Care and believes that private land conservation is a key element to ecological sustainability for the future. Denise lives on a small property on the outskirts of Orange and works from our Orange Office.

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Jennifer Simpson, Dip. Management, Adv. RTW Coordination, Adv. Cert Office Administration

Revolving Fund Support Officer

Having lived in rural Far Northern NSW most of her life, Jennifer has a passion for seeing the preservation of our land’s beauty and biodiversity. Jennifer commenced employment with the Nature Conservation Trust in 2013 having previously worked with a large financial institution for over 16 years. Based in our Lismore office, Jennifer initially brought support to the management of financial and administrative practices within the NCT before moving over to the Revolving Fund.

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Jacqueline Alinaitwe, BA Tourism, Dip. Management

Administrative Support Officer (RMS Project)

Jacqui has spent nine years working with not-for profit conservation organisations.

Born and raised in Uganda, Jacqui moved to Australia with her family in 2011. She began her career in conservation by volunteering with a local conservation organisation, Nature Uganda, after graduating from university. She was subsequently employed as their events and membership assistant. During this time, she worked closely with school children and other members of the organisation to help develop their appreciation for nature through nature walks, bird-watching excursions and various expeditions.

In 2006, Jacqui joined the Jane Goodall Institute, a leading global not-for-profit humanitarian and environmental organisation, as the Ugandan coordinator of its Roots & Shoots program. In this role, she engaged youth and young people in community development activities that promoted nature conservation, monitored and evaluated conservation programs, and developed funding proposals. She held this position for 6 years until she moved to Australia.

Jacqui joined the NCT team at the start of 2015. In her position as the Administration Support Officer for the Pacific Highway Biodiversity Offsets Project, Jacqui can realise her passion for conservation and utilise her wide range of administrative skills.

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Gabriel Anderson, BSC (Resource and Environmental Management) Hons

Conservation Officer (Pacific Highway Biodiversity Offsets Project)

After 16 years Gabe has ‘come home’ to the Northern Rivers to take up his current position with NCT. Born in the forest near the small village of The Channon, Gabe has had a love and respect for nature from an early age. He was present at the Terania Creek rainforest blockade in the 80’s (albeit as a baby in a backpack). His passion for the forest led him to start a rainforest nursery and then to study Resource and Environmental Science at ANU in Canberra where he attained first class honours.

Before joining NCT Gabe worked with OzGREEN as the Hunter Valley facilitator for the Great Eastern Ranges Initiative. He facilitated collaboration between diverse stakeholders, including industry, business, government, environment groups and landholders towards a more connected landscape. He also managed the Stepping Stones project, a $2.7M Australian Government funded project to re-connect isolated patches of native vegetation across the Hunter. In this role he engaged with over 900 landholders and delivered 99 ha of biodiverse plantings and 685 ha of restoration projects on 93 private properties across the Hunter Valley.

Gabe is pleased to join the pacific highway biodiversity offsets team in the Lismore office and looks forward to working with public and private landholders to help secure our biodiversity for the future.

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Liam Grimmett, B. Env. Sci, Master of GIS and Remote Sensing (current)

GIS Support Officer

With mapping as a key tool for NCT staff across all areas of the organisation, Liam provides support for staff at a statewide level using mapping software, creating maps and accessing data layers.

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Angie Goodfellow, B. Env. Sci (Hons)

Conservation Administration Support Officer (Casual)

Angie is currently assisting with the administration of the Hume Highway Offsets project and quality assurance of covenant documents. She brings great customer service skills and experience to the role having worked for local government, and other not-for-profit organisations.

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Victoria Graham, B. Vis Comm (Design), Certs II and IV Vet Nursing

Marketing Coordinator (Part time)

Victoria supports the Marketing team from Sydney with administration and graphics. Her background is in film, graphic design and veterinary science. She is interested in strategic solutions to the many issues facing biodiversity.