VFA board of directors

Ms Gail Owen (VFA Chairperson)

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 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 Christine Cussen (VFA Director)

Ms Christine Cussen (VFA Director)
Ms Cussen has 15 years of board experience and brings extensive CEO, business and commercial skills from the corporate sector as well as knowledge in governance and strategic planning and experience in regulated industries including healthcare, industrials, water and public sectors. Additionally, from her time as CEO at the Smart Water Fund, Ms Cussen has knowledge of natural resource management and public administration, and knows the importance of understanding the needs of government.

Mr Chris Rose (VFA Director)

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 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 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.

Ms Rebecca Edwards (VFA Director)

Ms Rebecca Edwards (VFA Director)
As a qualified lawyer, Ms Edwards brings a strong understanding of the justice system, and has practised in, taught and developed courses in Environment Law. Ms Edwards was appointed in 2014 to the (now known as) Community Consultative Committee of the North Central Catchment Management Authority. Both this position and previous work brought her into contact with fishing and fisheries. Ms Edwards has a background in rural and regional Victoria and brings strong governance skills from current and previous chair and deputy chair positions.

Mr Yorick Piper (VFA Director)

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 new Authority.