New CEO appointed

South West NRM has supported its move toward scaling up work with industry, government, community and landholders by appointing new CEO Dr Manda Page who has worked at the highest levels of environmental conservation across Western Australia and Queensland during a dedicated career spanning more than 30 years.

Dr Page arrived in Bunbury this month to take up the position following five years as the Director of Threatened Species Operations at Queensland’s Department of Environment, Science and Innovation.

Prior to her Queensland stint, Dr Page held various environment-related, lead roles within WA Government and private conservation agencies over a 10-year period.

In addition she has been a Lecturer at the University of Queensland, and an adjunct Associate Professor at both the Murdoch University and University of Southern Queensland.

Dr Page is also a Churchill Fellow, where she ‘explored, reviewed and documented case studies of successful private-public conservation partnerships in Rwanda, South Africa, Canada and USA’.

Her extensive publication record includes nearly 30 journal articles and contributions to books including:

  • Australia’s Megafires;
  • Recovery Australian threatened species: a book of hope;
  • Advances in reintroduction biology of Australia and New Zealand fauna;
  • The great mistakes of Australian history.

Among her contributions to conservation work in WA are:

  • WA Biodiversity Conservation Regulations;
  • Chair of Animal Ethics Committee
  • Operating procedures relating to use of animals for scientific purposes;
  • Operation and Corporate Policy for Recovery of threatened species through translocation and captive breeding;
  • Management Plan for commercial harvest of kangaroos
  • Development and implementation of over a dozen WA Threatened Species Recovery Programs.

South West NRM Board Chair Karen Boyce thanked outgoing CEO Sally Wilkinson for her service to the organisation over the past four years, who will remain in a new part-time role as Development Lead.

“Sally’s combination of savvy business management expertise combined with a passion for the land resulted in a myriad of achievements during her tenure including overseeing delivery of $13.5 million in environmental, conservation and sustainable agriculture projects between 2018 and 2023 as a preferred supplier of the Federal Government’s National Landcare Program,” Ms Boyce said.

“Through Manda’s appointment we are seeking to amplify the impact of our work while continuing to develop our influence as the region’s peak environmental experts with a proactive approach to co-designing solutions to significant challenges.”

Dr Page said it was a privilege to have the opportunity to apply her expertise and experience to creating change in a region located within an internationally-recognised global biodiversity hotspot.

“Having undertaken a great deal of work at a research, policy and strategic level, I am looking forward to the opportunity this role will afford of once again being closer to the ground level of action occurring to address the threats of climate change, biodiversity loss and ecosystem degradation in this precious location,” she said.