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Council Members

Mellissa Wood, Chairperson

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Mellissa Wood has 30 years’ experience in leading and providing scientific and strategic advice on food, land and water systems, sustainable development, resource and environmental management, agency and board governance and public policy. She has held senior leadership positions with the Australian Government and internationally, including UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and CGIAR. Her expertise covers Australia, Sub-Saharan Africa, SE Asia and the Pacific.

Mellissa has extensive domestic and international public sector governance experience. She recently moved to Victoria after retiring as General Manager, Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) and member of CGIAR’s System Council and System Management Board and as Chair of Asia Pacific Association of Agricultural Research Institutes (APAARI). She was Director of the Australian International Food Security Centre (2015-2012), worked at the FAO, Rome as a Director, Global Crop Diversity Trust (2012-2007) and 15 years at the Bureau of Rural Sciences, Federal Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries providing scientific advice to support natural resource management decision-making. 

Mellissa holds a Master of Public Policy (Development Policy) from Crawford School of Public Policy, Australian National University, Bachelor of Science (Resource and Environmental Management) from the Australian National University and is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (GAICD). 

Mellissa is a Visiting Scientist CSIRO, Food Systems and Global Change, Expert Evaluator for the international AGFUND, Independent Advisor, University of Queensland and a member of international and domestic Steering Committees.


Joanne Duncan


Joanne Duncan was elected to the Legislative Assembly seat of Gisborne in 1999 (later transferring to Macedon in 2002) which she represented until her retirement from politics in 2014.

During her time in Parliament, Joanne was a member of the Environment and Natural Resources Committee (1999 to November 2010 and May 2011 to November 2014).

Joanne is a member of the Victorian Bushfire Appeal Advisory Panel, a past board director of Western Water, and also chaired the stakeholder reference group for the review of the native vegetation permitted clearing regulations.


Anna Kilborn

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Anna Kilborn is a strategic environmental planner and stakeholder engagement practitioner, with 30 years' expereince across Australia in natural resource management, regional infrastructure and economic development, environmental strategy and policy.  In her career, Anna has provided professional advice to a wide range of oranisations, including private enterprise, three tiers of govenment, and community groups.

Anna has previously served as a Member for Regional Development Australia’s Gippsland Committee, as a sessional member for Planning Panels Victoria, and as a Board Director for South Gippsland Water Corporation. Anna is a graduate of the AICD’s Company Directors Course. 

Anna lives in regional Victoria, is active in her community, and strives to incorporate longterm vision and intergenerational needs into public land management.


Nicola Ward

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Nicola Ward has held senior positions in the state governments of New South Wales and Victoria, with extensive public policy experience in environment, natural resource management and land use planning. 

Nicola has also held diverse management positions at local government level. She has policy and program expertise in environment, sustainability and climate change; strategic planning, land use and development; community infrastructure planning; sport, recreation and open space planning.  She is experienced in organisation strategy, business transformation and risk and performance.  

Nicola consults on community and stakeholder engagement and is deeply committed to finding ways for all members of the community to engage in public debate and express their views on issues that matter to them. She holds a range of paid and volunteer positions including Sessional Member of Planning Panels Victoria, Board Director of the Port Phillip and Western Port Catchment Management Authority, Board Director of the Natural Resources Conservation League (Vic), Independent Chair of the Southern Brown Bandicoot Regional Recovery Group and committee member of various community groups.  

Nicola has a Masters degree in Social Science (Environment and Planning) with Distinction and an Honours degree in Social Science. Nicola holds memberships with the Institute of Public Administration Australia and the Australian Institute of Company Directors.


Nick Wimbush

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Nick Wimbush held the position of Deputy Chief Panel Member, Planning Panels Victoria (PPV) until recently and remains with PPV as a Senior Sessional Panel Member. He has strong public sector governance experience in senior roles with a focus on environmental planning and climate change. He is a highly experienced chairperson who has presided over many significant public inquiries with high levels of public interest. He holds a Master of Laws (Juris Doctor) from Monash University; a Bachelor of Science (Environmental Science) from Murdoch University; and a Post Graduate Diploma (Public Policy) from Deakin University. Nick is a fellow of the Victorian Planning and Environmental Law Association and a member of the Environment Institute of Australia and New Zealand and the National Environmental Law Association.

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