Our Board

The South Coast NRM Board of Management is skills-based and supported by committees and reference groups, allowing for an inclusive approach to community engagement and the efficient use of time, as well as technical and skilled input. The organisation recognises close working relationships with its community are essential to ongoing success.



  • Andrew Bathgate

    I am a vegetable producer, lecturer and past researcher in agriculture and natural resource management with skills in recruitment, marketing, economic and financial analysis and strategic planning.

    I have had a long association with the South Coast over a 25 year career as an economics researcher with the Department of Agriculture and subsequently a consultant researcher. After my first project on managing wind erosion on the South Coast Sandplain, I was involved in a broad range of areas including new pasture species, waterlogging, dryland salinity, raised beds, improving livestock production and crop rotations.  I have also been a casual field assistant to my wife Jocelyn, who was researching the management of a fungal disease of the scarlet banksia (Banksia coccinea).

    With my family, I moved to Albany in 2005 after completing a contract with the NSW Department of Primary Industry where I supervised a project looking at the holistic catchment management and the implications for dryland salinity, biodiversity, carbon sequestration and farm finances.

    Being brought up in a coastal town in the North West of WA, I have a strong affinity with the ocean and coastal environment and believe careful management is necessary to retain its amenity value.

    My wife and I currently run a small vegetable farm, aimed at supplying a diverse range of specialist lines for local consumers and restaurants throughout the Great Southern, South West and Perth metro area.  We have a strong focus on limiting the impact of our farm practices on the environment, mainly through using biocontrol agents and minimising the use of chemical pesticides.

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  • John Ruprecht
    Deputy Chair

    I am interested in continuing to contribute to sustainable agriculture and resource management in Western Australia as I have recently left State Government after 35 years involvement across portfolios of Water, Agriculture and Food, and Primary Industries and Regional Development. Given I am spending more time in Denmark I consider it an opportune time to engage with the South Coast region.

    I bring experience in governance through being on boards of management in the not-for-profit sector (Armadale Redevelopment Authority and Engineers Australia) and more broadly across government executives. This governance experience has included financial management and budget proposals for a range of areas including digital farming, renewable energy, irrigation development, and agricultural resource management.

    I can also contribute national and state understanding of resource management issues and drivers within the context of a regional NRM group.

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  • Helen Tasker

    In 2007 I joined the staff of South Coast NRM to work in contract management. Throughout the 7 years on staff I came to appreciate the sector and the necessity that organisations such as this one are maintained. I firmly believe that natural resource management plays a much larger part in the health and wellbeing of the community than they are aware of.

    On leaving the staff of South Coast NRM in 2014 for family reasons I felt the need to maintain some involvement in the organisation and was fortunate enough to gain a seat on the Board in 2015. After completing my initial 3 year tenure, I felt I still had a lot to contribute and with the recent changes to location, funding and staffing levels I retained my position on the Board for a further 3 year term, where I hope to help provide some continuity and support over the next few years.

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  • Marilyn Connell

    I have lived and worked in Albany for over 30 years. My formal qualifications are in accounting, management, education and agriculture. Utilising these skills I currently lecture in accounting and coordinate the finance department at the South Regional TAFE. Prior to this I have had extensive experience in financial management and leadership roles across a range of sectors including not-for-profit and small business ownership.

    I have a lifelong interest in protecting our natural resources which has grown from my rural background. My family farmed south of Perth and then moved to Albany to farm beef cattle. My husband and I continued our love of the land and developed a dairy farm in the Porongurup Ranges. This started my association with South Coast NRM as we worked in partnership revegetating the waterways. I believe that my enthusiasm for the environment coupled with my management and finance skills will be a valuable asset to the position of Director on the Board of Management.

    My current role on the audit committee has given me a valuable insight into the strong sense of community and commitment at South Coast NRM. Whilst I am very keen to continue in this capacity, I am also excited at the opportunity to extend my contribution.

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  • Ricky Burges

    I have extensive experience working in leadership roles and am considered to have exceptional skills and abilities in building and sustaining relationships. After 20 years plus working in public service roles I was awarded a Public Service Medal in the Queen’s Birthday Honours.

    I have had the good fortune to work across a diverse range of organisations. There have been two main streams of interest for me. The first to do with community within my sphere of influence supporting and serving the community within which I live; the second has been a love of the natural environment, the flora and fauna. I am not an expert in this field, although I have a deep interest in it.

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  • Duncan Monro

    I have broad experience in financial matters, having worked mainly in corporate finance for over 20 years doing business valuations, due diligence, feasibility studies, business plans, etc. I have also worked in a financial mentoring role, assisting Indigenous businesses getting established, mainly in the Pilbara region.

    I gained experience working as a CFO of a small public company for about two years. This provided me with broad insight into the operational matters of an entity, from addressing human resource matters through to Board reporting and regulatory and compliance matters.

    I have been on the Board of the Autism Association of WA for many years, a not for profit organisation with revenue in excess of $65m. This is an extremely well-run organisation which operates very effectively and is underpinned by a strong governance framework. I was also one of the independent directors on the Board of Esperance Tjaltjraak Native Title Aboriginal Corporation for two years, ending in 2018. This was a start-up entity created after the native title determination in the Esperance region. I am a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

    Over the last 15 years I have undertaken numerous projects with Indigenous businesses throughout Western Australia. Some of this work was funded by industry (BHP, Chevron and Roy Hill) and some by Government agencies such as Indigenous Business Australia. These businesses operated in a wide-range of industries such as tourism, retail, mining services, transport, agriculture and hospitality. I have established some good connections in this sector.

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  • Marie Malaxos

    I am a qualified Director with extensive experience in the not-for-profit, Government, private and listed company sectors. I was formerly selected for and completed the Chairman’s mentor program run by the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

    I have a passionate interest in sustainable management of resources to allow all stakeholders to operate in the community. As a native Western Australian having worked in the resources sector for much of my career, I have an intimate understanding of the challenges of maintaining our natural environment whilst ensuring all stakeholders benefit.

    There are many passionate stakeholders, and we are fortunate that all of the community is interested in maintaining our unique environment. However, there is a continued need for providing information as there is a considerable amount of misinformation available, particularly with the current social media landscape. As a Board member of South Coast NRM, I have the skill set and passion to make a meaningful contribution.

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A great strength of South Coast NRM is its ability to reflect regional needs and involve stakeholders appropriately.

Our organisation is headed up by the Chief Executive Officer who has oversight of the organisation and reports to the Board of Management.  The Board are supported by expert Committees which have responsibility for specific areas of governance.

South Coast NRM uses both internal and external auditors to ensure fiduciary standards are maintained. Strategies are embedded in organisational planning to ensure good corporate governance, risk management, accountability and transparency.

November 2018