VFA board of directors

Ms Gail Owen (VFA Chairperson)

Ms Owen is an experienced chairperson, a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, and an Order of Australia medal recipient. Ms Owen has been an inaugural member of two boards previously, so will provide the strong, integrity-driven leadership required in the VFAs establishment phase. Ms Owen's background has provided exposure to many of the areas relevant to the VFA and therefore has a broad knowledge to draw on for the specific issues which may arise.


Dr Bernadette Northeast (VFA Deputy Chairperson)

Dr Northeast's formal qualifications relate to aquatic science and aquaculture (including a PhD relating to Australian freshwater fish). Dr Northeast's science expertise is well complimented by a number of directorship and regional community activities. Dr Northeast brings a solid knowledge of governance from her board and chair experience and is currently a director on the board of South West Healthcare.


Ms Sophie Harris (VFA Director)

Sophie Harris has widespread professional involvement in project management, strategic planning and industrial relations and in the superannuation industry. She has experience developing and leading education and training programs for a wide range of stakeholders. Sophie Harris has highly developed stakeholder engagement skills and consistently builds productive working relationships. She has training and experience in budgeting and finance.


Mr Chris Rose (VFA Director)

Mr Rose brings 35 years' experience managing public land and recreational activities from a significant career with Parks Victoria including as Acting Chief Executive Officer (CEO). This background provides Mr Rose with a good working knowledge of fisheries and natural resource management, a solid understanding of government and extensive stakeholder engagement. Much of Mr Rose's work has been in areas of regional Victoria.


Mr Graeme Dear (VFA Director)

Mr Dear has had a long association with fisheries managers and research scientists, providing him with knowledge and expertise in the issues pertaining to recreational and commercial fishing decisions in Victoria. As CEO of East Gippsland Catchment Management Authority he has a thorough understanding of managing statutory authorities in Victoria, including engaging with and building partnerships with agency and community stakeholders.


Mr David Shirer (VFA Director)

Mr Shirer holds academic qualifications in Marine Biology and spent ten years in the fisheries industry in New Zealand, gaining experience in research and in commercial fishing operations and management. Further qualifications in business and finance provided Mr Shirer with the opportunity to move into the financial sector, establishing a career as one of Australia's senior investor relations practitioners, with experience in a wide range of industrial sectors. Mr Shirer has broad experience in international financial markets as well as having had significant exposure at Board level.



Mr Yorick Piper (VFA Director)

Mr Piper is an experienced advisor, having spent time in the Office of Premier and as a Ministerial Chief of Staff. He has a deep knowledge of government and stakeholder engagement, industrial relations and has been key in all his roles. In addition, Mr Piper is passionate about fishing, fishing policy development and the importance of education in this Authority.