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The 2016 Executive Committee: (from left) Brendan Mackey (IUCN Regional Councillor); NGO member representatives: Graham Tupper (ACF) and Rachel Walmsley (EDO NSW); and government member representatives: Sean Sullivan (federal DoE) and Jo Hopkins (Parks Victoria).

The 2015-16 Executive Committee

The Executive is made up of four elected representatives from within the ACIUCN membership - two from government and two from non government members. In addition, the regional IUCN Councillor resident in Australia serves on the committee and a Treasurer may be seconded. The Executive is responsible for carrying out the administrative affairs of the Committee and attending to matters between meetings. The Chair is elected from the Executive and the role alternates every two years between government and non-government members.


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Sean Sullivan (ACIUCN Chair)

First Assistant Secretary, Policy Analysis and Implementation Division, Federal Department of the Environment and Energy

Sean has been in the Australian Government environment portfolio for over 20 years and prior to this, he worked in the Department of Primary Industries and Energy. During his time in the Environment portfolio he has worked on a variety of natural resource management issues including the regional forest agreement process, the establishment of the Australian Greenhouse office and the implementation of Australia’s Oceans Policy in the National Oceans Office. Sean is currently the First Assistant Secretary of the Policy Analysis and Implementation Division which includes responsibility for international environmental policy.

In addition to his domestic responsibilities, Sean has worked on a number of international issues including the Commission on Sustainable Development, international oceans policy, RIO +20, and more recently the Convention on Biological Diversity.

Before joining the Australian Public Service, Sean spent ten years at the Australian National University in undergraduate, postgraduate and research positions in science, ecology and environmental law.

Jo Hopkins

Manager Strategic Partnerships, Parks Victoria

Jo Hopkins is the Manager Strategic Partnerships at Parks Victoria and has extensive experience in park management. She is responsible for the consolidation of high level partnerships that deliver on Government policy and facilitates initiatives with mutually beneficial outcomes between partners. As a result of this work, Jo has a strong network of industry contacts at local, national and international levels.

Jo has a combination of substantial professional experience with a strong commitment to the vital role that parks and protected areas play in ensuring a healthy natural world.
Jo is also the Chair of Health Sciences Advisory Board for Deakin University, a member of the IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas and holds a B.A. in Recreation with Distinction from RMIT University. With experience in establishing two start-up not-for-profit organisations; People and Parks Foundation and Healthy Parks Healthy People Global, Jo has a proven track record with ensuring good governance, developing policy and proactive communications with membership.

Jo is a keen swimmer and enjoys spending time in nature, particularly in many of Victoria’s spectacular coastal parks.



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Rachel Walmsley

Policy & Law Reform Director, EDO NSW

Rachel Walmsley is the Policy and Law Reform Director at EDO NSW and on behalf of EDOs of Australia. Rachel has been a member of the ACIUCN Executive for the last 2 years and is currently the ACIUCN Public Officer.

Rachel has over15 years’ experience working on environmental law and policy in Australia and overseas. She has written extensive law reform submissions and discussion papers, and advised governments, NGOs, local communities and Aboriginal clients on a range of environmental law issues. Areas of expertise include laws regarding protected areas, world heritage, marine and terrestrial biodiversity, natural resource management and private land conservation.

Rachel is Co-consulting Editor of the Australian Environment Review, a member of the Australian Panel of Experts on Environmental Law, a member of ELAW and IUCN World Commission on Environmental Law; and guest lectures in environmental law. She is a practising lawyer with a Bachelor of Laws (Honours in International biodiversity law) and Masters in Environmental Science and Law.

Graham Tupper

Northern Australia Program Manager, Australian Conservation Foundation

Graham Tupper is the Northern Australia Program Manager for the Australian Conservation Foundation. He holds degrees in science and environmental studies. Graham has worked in a variety of roles over his 30 year career including Government Relations Manager for ACF for 8 years after 20 years in international aid and development including on reafforestation programs in Africa and 5 years as Executive Director of the Australian Council for International Development.

The focus of Graham’s current work for ACF in northern Australia is to protect and manage the outstanding natural and cultural values of Cape York and the Kimberley. This includes land tenure reform with the creation of new joint managed National Parks on Cape York, as well as the National Heritage Listing of the West Kimberley. Over the years at ACF Graham has worked to increase funding for conservation and land management including through the Biodiversity Fund and the Working on Country program. More recently Graham has helped foster new partnerships between Indigenous organisations and the tourism sector to develop new nature and culture based visitor experiences.
Graham has been a member of the governing boards of WaterAid Australia and Transparency International Australia and has helped forge a range of cross sector alliances and partnerships including the Australian Education for Sustainability Alliance. He has a passion for nature, the rights of Indigenous peoples and keeping country healthy.



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Prof Brendan Mackey

IUCN Councillor, Director of the Climate Change Response Program, Griffith University

Brendan Mackey is professor and director of the Climate Change Response Program at Griffith University which leads Griffith University’s research into climate change adaptation and mitigation. The program promotes a multidisciplinary approach to climate change research inclusive of the environmental, social, economic and governance dimensions. He is a member of the IUCN Council having been elected at the Jeju Congress as a regional councillor for Oceania. Brendan's areas of research and expertise include climate change, biodiversity and ecosystems, conservation science and policy, and natural heritage evaluation.



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Seeking volunteer Treasurer

ACIUCN is seeking a volunteer Treasurer.

For more information, please contact ACIUCN Director, Katherine Zischka at katherine.zischka@aciucn.org.au