Our People

The Australian Committee of IUCN is run by the Director. The Director is supported by the ACIUCN Executive Committee, which is made up of four elected members - two government members and two non-government members. 

In addition, if there is an IUCN Councillor resident in Australia, they serve on the Committee, and a Treasurer may also be seconded.
ACIUCN works closely with other members of the IUCN constituency including local Commission experts, the IUCN Oceania Regional Secretariat based in Fiji and other Regional and National Committees.


Kate Profile.jpg

Kate Davey
Director, ACIUCN

Kate started with ACIUCN in July 2021.  Kate recently returned from from Fiji where she spent five years as Senior Marine Advisor in the Oceania Regional Office of IUCN working with senior government leaders and local and international NGOs across several countries (Fiji, Vanuatu, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga) to deliver on a range of conservation priorities within the IUCN program of work.

Kate may also be known to some of you when she was the Director of the Australian Marine Conservation Society (AMCS) from 2000-2009. There she built positive working relationships across the environment movement and with state and national governments, donors and the marine science community.

2021 Executive

Government House Representatives
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Cassandra Kennedy (Chair)

First Assistant Secretary, Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment.

Cassandra Kennedy is the First Assistant Secretary of the Biodiversity Conservation Division (BCD) in the Australian Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment. The Biodiversity Conservation Division identifies, protects and conserves Australia’s biodiversity and sustainable agriculture, through strategic policies, partnerships, regulation, community awareness raising and representation of Australia’s interests in biodiversity and natural resource management matters at international fora.  

​​Ms Kennedy joined the Australian Public Service – with the then Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry – in 2004, after completing degrees in science and law from the Australian National University. During her career she has worked across a number of leadership roles, including drought and regional finance policy, sustainable agriculture as well as fisheries, forestry and agricultural policy.’


Jo Hopkins

Manager National and International Engagement

Parks Victoria

Jo Hopkins is the Manager National and International Engagement 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 deep commitment to the vital role that parks and protected areas play in ensuring a healthy natural world.

Jo is the Chair of the IUCN/WCPA Health and Well-being Specialist Group, Chair of Health Sciences Advisory Board for Deakin University, Co-Chair of the World Urban Parks Advocacy Committee and holds a B.A. in Recreation with Distinction from RMIT University. With experience in establishing two start-up not-for-profit organisations, Jo has a proven track record with ensuring good governance, developing policy and proactive communications with a membership base.

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

Non-government Organisation Representatives

Basha Stasak
Nature Program Manager
Australian Conservation Foundation


Dr Rosalie Chapple

Independent Director, Blue Mountains World Heritage Institute

Rosalie has studied and worked in conservation for 30 years, with a key interest in wildlife and protected areas, and integrating knowledge into policy and management. Rosalie teaches in the Master of Environmental Management program at the University of NSW Sydney, and is developing the education and training program of the Blue Mountains World Heritage Institute, which she co-founded in 2004. Rosalie is also working closely with the Protected Areas Learning and Research Collaboration and currently works part-time on environmental policy development with the NSW government.

Rosalie is committed to:

  • Education and capacity building in conservation that moves beyond today’s dominant paradigms as they are conventionally understood and practiced

  • Building personal, societal and ecosystem resilience in the face of rapid and dramatic change

  • Valuing nature-based experiential learning and different ways of knowing

  • Integrating a wide range of knowledge into environmental policy and management for sound and innovative policy and decisions

Other Executive Members

Peter Cochrane

IUCN Regional Councillor

Peter has over twenty years experience in senior executive leadership and governance roles in the public and private sectors. He was elected in September 2016 to the IUCN Council to serve a four year term, nominated from Oceania. Peter is a member of the IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas and was a member of its Executive and Steering Committees (2014-2016).

He consults on environment and sustainability issues, and is currently an adviser to the national State of Environment Report 2016 focused on building its audience and utility, and its potential form post 2016.

He chairs the Steering Committee of the National Environmental Science Program’s Marine Biodiversity Hub and its Research Users Committee. He is a Director of Ecotourism Australia, TangaroaBlue Foundation, and chairs the Blue Mountains World Heritage Institute. He sits on the Steering Group of the Protected Area Learning and Research Collaboration. Peter is an Adjunct Fellow at the Fenner School of Environment and Society at the Australian National University. He is an associate with two consulting companies: Futureye and Empowering Engagements.

Peter was Director of National Parks and head of Parks Australia from 1999-2013. He was Deputy Executive Director of the Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association (1994-1999) and an adviser to two federal Ministers for Primary Industries and Energy (1990-94). He worked in the Australian National University Research School of Biological Sciences as a technical officer and departmental manager in plant ecology and physiology (1974-1990). He has a BSc (ANU) and a Masters Public Policy (ANU).


Blathnaid Byrne


Bláthnaid is currently Director of Sustainable Finance at the Commonwealth Bank and was previously the Group Treasurer at AGL Energy.


She is based in Sydney. Having started her career in Dublin, she has spent almost 20 years working in treasury roles across various industries including healthcare, travel, recruitment and energy.

​Bláthnaid holds the AMCT Diploma in Treasury from the Association of Corporate Treasurers, the Advanced Diploma in Management Accounting from the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants as well as a BA Degree in International Business & Languages (French & German) from Dublin City University.

​Currently, Bláthnaid is a member of the Finance and Treasury Association’s State Committee, with specific responsibility for Women in Treasury and sits on the Mobilising Capital technical working group of the Australian Sustainable Finance Initiative. Bláthnaid is a governor at WWF Australia.