Australian Marine Parks

The North-west Marine Parks Advisory Committee promotes the involvement, engagement and collaboration of marine park users, stakeholders and the community in the management of the 13 marine parks in the region.

The Committee brings together a wealth of knowledge and expertise across a range of topics relevant to marine park management, including tourism, fishing, sea country, marine transport, science, conservation, governance, communications and engagement.

Committee members will work with Parks Australia staff to shape the management of Australian Marine Parks, providing advice on marine issues at a regional level and strengthening our understanding of park user interests and issues.

This collaborative approach to management is critical to achieving our vision of healthy, resilient and well-managed marine parks that deliver benefits for all Australians.

There will be a minimum of two meetings per year. The next meeting is likely to occur in November 2020.


Committee Members are appointed for a two year term. The current members are:

Bianca Priest

Bianca Priest (Chair)

Bianca is the Director of the Marine Parks Management West Section in the Marine Parks Branch of Parks Australia. She oversees management of the North-west and South-west Marine Park Networks which include 27 Australian Marine Parks that lie in Commonwealth waters off Western Australia and South Australia.

Bianca has worked with the Federal Government for more than 10 years across a range of programs including marine park management, marine bioregional planning, marine policy development and protected species management.

In 2012, Bianca worked in the Solomon Islands with the Ministry of Environment, Climate Change and Disaster Management on the Coral Triangle Initiative. Prior to joining the public service, she worked in the environment not-for-profit sector.

Jeff Cooper

Jeff Cooper

Jeff brings extensive skills across a range of areas including aquaculture, fisheries, maritime and logistics. He currently works at North Regional TAFE where he oversees flagships including the Broome Aquaculture Centre and the Broome Maritime Simulation Centre.

In his role as Training Manager, Jeff oversees the development and implementation of training programs across the Kimberley and Pilbara regions.

Jeff is a former Board Member of the West Australian Marine Parks and Reserves Authority, has sat on a number of local and State wide recreational fishing clubs and is currently a Director on the Recfishwest board.

These roles have allowed Jeff to develop a deep understanding and appreciation of regional marine park management issues and stakeholder needs.

Peter Coote

Peter Coote

Peter currently owns and operates a game fishing boat and has spent over 40 years operating boats in State and Commonwealth waters along the Western Australian coastline.

Peter has previously participated in fishing advisory groups and is currently the Honorary Secretary for the Western Australian Game Fishing Club and Game Fishing Association of Australia. He is also a life member and current President of the Perth Game Fishing Club and is responsible for the Rottnest Trench FAD program.

His technical and commercial experience in the petroleum industry adds to his perspective on marine issues.

A long-time traveller to the North-west and Kimberley coasts, Peter is passionate about the north-west marine environment.

Tony Evans

Tony Evans

Tony has extensive board and committee experience and is currently a member of the Ningaloo Coast World Heritage Advisory Committee, a board member of the National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority, and the President of the Royal Automobile Club of Western Australia.

Tony also brings strong governance skills to the advisory committee, with executive management experience in a number of sectors including resources, education, property, government and not-for-profit.

John Harrison

John Harrison

John is the CEO of the Western Australian Fishing Industry Council, the peak body representing the commercial fishing, seafood, pearling and aquaculture industries in Western Australia.

John has worked around Australia in numerous recreational and commercial fishing industry roles. Having served two terms as a Director on the Fisheries Research & Development Corporation Board,

John will bring a strong understanding of research and development activities John is a passionate advocate for the North-west marine region.

Michelle Howard

Michelle Howard

Michelle is the co-owner of a fishing and boat charter business and has 20 years’ experience in the marine tourism industry. She operates eco-charter and live-aboard fishing charters off the coast of Western Australia.

Michelle has significant local knowledge of the Australian Marine Parks along the west coast and is the Secretary and Treasurer of Marine Tourism WA.

Michelle has extensive experience operating a small business and has a strong cross-jurisdictional understanding of compliance and authorisation requirements.

Keld Knudsen

Keld Knudsen

Keld is Policy Director for the Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association. He is an experienced policy, communications and government relations professional with an in-depth understanding of the upstream petroleum industry, energy markets and related policy issues.

Keld has extensive experience across a wide range of areas including environment, energy and climate policy, exploration, and regulatory reform.

Keld is committed to upholding the vision of protecting our unique marine environment, while acknowledging and supporting coastal communities and marine industries around the country.

Aaron Irving

Aaron Irving

Aaron is Chief Executive of the Pearl Producers Association and the Executive Chair of the National Aquaculture Council. He has a background in law and policy and international experience in the deep water fishing industry.

Aaron is passionate about the seafood industry, marine environment and the interface between the two.

As the Chair of the National Aquaculture Council, Aaron will bring valuable insights to the committee on the offshore aquaculture industry and fisheries across Australia.

Gina Lincoln

Gina Lincoln

Gina is a respected environmental practitioner with extensive networks in terrestrial and marine management, science and conservation across Australia.

Gina holds the role of Secretariat for the Kimberley Indigenous Saltwater Advisory Group (ISWAG) and helps facilitate knowledge sharing between local, State and Commonwealth Governments, researchers and research institutions.

She is the principle consultant for Kimberley-based Mosaic Environmental, having previously worked in regional conservation and leadership roles across the private and public sectors.

Gina brings a wealth of project management, operational and strategic development skills from her work with state departments and Indigenous Land Councils.

Dean Mathews

Dean Mathews

Dean is a Yawuru Traditional Owner, senior member of the Yawuru Land and Sea Team and co- chair of the Kimberley Indigenous Saltwater Advisory Group.

Dean has extensive knowledge and experience in saltwater country management, joint management and Indigenous science initiatives. His depth of cultural knowledge comes from a strong traditional connection to Yawuru saltwater country.

As a Director of the Australian Indigenous Governance Institute and Yawuru Prescribed Body Corporate,he also brings strong board and committee experience that will be very valuable for the advisory committee.

Sean McNeair

Sean McNeair

Sean is a Malgana man and is the Malgana Land and Sea Management Coordinator for the Yamatji Marlpa Aboriginal Corporation in and around the World Heritage listed Shark Bay area.

He previously managed the Murujuga Land and Sea Unit, with responsibility for National Heritage areas on the Burrup Peninsula and across the surrounding Dampier Archipelago.

Sean’s family has been involved in the commercial fishing and pearling business for several generations and he’s been involved from an early age.

Sean’s strong cultural connection to country in the north-west marine region will bring invaluable insights to the advisory committee.

Kellie Pendoley

Kellie Pendoley

Kellie is a highly committed marine scientist who specialises in marine turtle biology and ecology, and artificial light at night (ALAN) monitoring and measurement.

She currently works as a private environmental consultant and has over 30 years practical experience working in the north-west region of Western Australia with industry, regulators, nongovernment organisations and government clients.

She is very familiar with the West Australian north-west marine environment and the marine industries that operate there. Kellie also brings more than 20 years’ involvement with state, national and international boards and committees.

Jim Stoddart

Jim Stoddart

Jim brings over 30 years’ experience working on tropical and subtropical marine systems across Australia, including the Kimberley and Pilbara regions, the GBR and Torres Strait, and internationally.

He has an eclectic perspective, having worked with a range of organisations including CSIRO, AIMS, Rio Tinto, the University of Western Australia and most recently a marine consultancy.

Jim has specific experience in ecology, fisheries science, marine park management, resource development, oceans policy, and environmental policy. He is a keen boater and occasional fisherman. Jim is fascinated by the variety of Australia’s marine environments.

Mat Vanderklift

Mat Vanderklift

Mat currently works for the CSIRO as a marine ecologist and leads the Ningaloo Outlook project which is providing science to inform management of the Ningaloo Coast World Heritage Area.

His research activities span tropical and temperate ecosystems across Australia and internationally: a key research focus for Mat is translating his findings into management advice and community capacity building.

Mat will bring strong expertise on the blue economy, blue carbon, and the ecology of coral reefs, seagrasses and seaweeds.

Mat also works with indigenous ranger groups in the Kimberley to inform management of Indigenous Protected Areas.

Learn more about what’s being discussed at committee meetings and related content.

Meeting Communiques

After every meeting, we’ll summarise discussion topics and important points in a meeting communique.

The inaugural meeting of the North-west Marine Parks Advisory Committee (NWMPAC) marked the beginning of a two year term for the 13 newly appointed members. Individual members were selected from a large number of applicants who responded to a public expression of interest process open to all Australians last year.

Get in touch

Would you like to know more about the North-west Marine Parks Advisory Committee?

Are you interested in presenting at a meeting, providing information about a relevant issue, event or project, or contacting a member?

For all these inquiries and more, please email the Committee Secretariat.