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Our Board

Our Executive Committee is nominated and elected by members at the Annual Conference.

To contact executive members, email [email protected] or call (02) 9516 1488.

Chair: Prof. Don White


Don has been actively involved in the environment movement and with conservation issues his entire life. Though he semi-retired in 1998 from his life as an engineer, he now seem to be more active than ever with a part time position at the University of Sydney and environmental interests in Climate change, Sustainable living, Bushfire, Water (rural and urban), Forest conservation, waste and waste avoidance and local environment issues. As well as being an active member of many other organisations, Don has been Chair of the Nature Conservation Council board since 2005 and was Treasurer before this. 

Deputy Chair: Kathryn Ridge


Kathryn is an energetic and effective lawyer with a strong policy background and track record on delivering public interest outcomes across sectors. She has worked with consortiums of universities, environment groups, and aboriginal organisations to deliver landscape scale rehabilitation opportunities, and worked to design the first social impact investment in the environment, the Murray Darling Basin Balanced Fund. Kathryn has served on a variety of government and non-government boards, including North Head Sanctuary Foundation, State Water, National Parks and Wildlife Audit Committee. 

Treasurer: Carolyn Loton

In response to the 2019/2020 Australian Bush fires, Carolyn Loton and her husband Stephen Moir founded Professionals Advocating for Climate Action, a group aimed at supporting friends, colleagues and contacts to take tangible actions to address climate change. Carolyn originally trained and worked as an Occupational Therapist before undertaking an MBA in Edinburgh Scotland. In 2006, Carolyn founded Juntos Marketing, an award-winning content and marketing agency whose purpose is ‘marketing for good’. Carolyn is passionate about the environment and Australia’s biodiversity. She believes that immediate action to address climate change is imperative.

Secretary: Chris McElwain

Chris is a recovering environmental lawyer who worked for the New South Wales Environment Protection Authority (EPA) for more than 20 years. In helping to design and enforce NSW's main pollution control laws, especially in relation to waste dumping and waste recycling, he developed a keen interest in strengthening our environmental protections and promoting a sustainable society. He will contribute his legal skills and knowledge of the NSW public service to help the NCC drive important policy changes for the rewilding of NSW whilst also promoting a circular economy, one that rebuilds nature rather than destroying itHe is a member of the Total Environment Centre and is currently studying for a PhD at UNSW's Faculty of Law and Justice on reducing food waste in Australia.

Public Officer: Johanna Lynch


Johanna is 24-year-old Novocastrian hailing from Maitland in the Hunter Valley, passionate about biodiversity protection, the power of story-telling and a well-facilitated meeting. Johanna has been organising with Newcastle’s grassroots climate and environment movement since 2015, including the Break Free from Fossil Fuels Flotilla in 2016 and the Students of Sustainability Conference  in 2017.  Johanna has been the Coordinator at the Hunter Community Environment Centre since 2018, is the Secretary of the Hunter Jobs Alliance, and is an avid supporter of community led action and alliances for social change. 

Kate da Costa


First elected to the NCC Executive at the AGM in October 2017 and part of the Board since then, Kate has served as Deputy Chair for the last two years. She has a strong commitment to the protection and enhancement of our natural environment, and a passion for advocating for action to avoid damaging climate change. She's had professional experience in campaigning and management, and appropriate financial and governance literacy.  Kate has lived on the Central Coast for over 25 years, and recognises the particular pressures the large region (by size and population) faces. During that time, she has been part of several groups campaigning to protect natural and built heritage on the Coast.  

Jim Morrison

Jim has been resident of rural NENSW for more than thirty years and active in regional conservation issues for most of this time. He has an extensive communication network with conservation groups and individuals across the North Coast and Northern Tablelands and works closely with indigenous groups including the Firesticks Alliance on regional Natural Resource Management projects. In addition to being a Nature Conservation Council executive member 15 years, Jim is currently the president of North Coast Environment Council, Member of North East Forest Alliance, President of Northern Rivers Fire and Biodiversity Consortium, and the NCC representative on Clarence Valley Bushfire Management Committee.

Julie Taylor Mills

Julie has spent the last 20 years of her professional life working in the field of Environmental and Social Governance - assessing, monitoring and advocating for better sustainability practice by corporations globally, and in Australia. She has long held a passion for the forests of the South East and holds the firm belief that they should be left standing and this commitment was strengthened from lived experience in the 2019/2020 fires. Julie joined the NCC Executive after the fires in 2020 as representative for the South of the State but is also involved with a role on the Executive of WIRES and in a range of other environmental causes, ranging from impact investment, fostering independent candidates, committed to climate change outcomes, Australian Wildlife Conservancy support and membership of the Australian Environmental Grantmakers Network.  

Annie Nielsen 

Annie was a science teacher with biology as her major in both the city and the country for 20 years. She is a member of the Wilderness Society and the Australian Conservation Foundation and a supporter of, the Climate Council, Tipping Point, Environmental Justice Australia and the EDO. She has been a member of Reconciliation for Western Sydney for 20 years. In 2019 she went on the Yaama Ngunna Baaka Corroboree Festival in Western NSW to learn about the crisis of our rivers and to listen to the Aboriginal Elders in the communities on the Baaka (Darling River). She is the convenor of a local bush care group with the City of Parramatta Council and Parramatta Climate Action Network. Annie has been involved in the Urban Bushland and Forest Working Group committees within the Nature Conservation Council. 

Alix Goodwin

Alix has a deep commitment to Australia’s natural environment and has spent much time enjoying its diversity expressed in many National Parks including the Blue Mountains, Koskiuszko, Kakadu, Uluru-Kata Tjuta, Purnululu and Tasmania’s South West. Since 2008 she has been involved in organisations that promote Australia’s flora and fauna, and advocate for the protection and expansion of our protected area system such as the Australian Plants Society NSW, the NSW National Parks Association, and The Colong Foundation for Wilderness. Alix has a strong understanding of political systems and public administration in Australia having held senior executive roles in the NSW public service for 15 years. Alix is also the Executive Officer to the CEO, and Company Secretary for Yilabara Solutions, a wholly Aboriginal owned employment and training company. I am a Churchill Fellow (2014) and have completed the AICD Company Directors course. 

Brian Everingham


Brian has been actively involved in the development, writing, teaching and evaluation of both State and National curriculum and has led bushwalks all over NSW for 41 years and taught a course at TAFE level on bushwalking safety and navigation for professional guides (Certificate level). He has been highly involved with the National Parks Association of NSW since 1988 and is the current chair of the Greater Sydney RAC and Coordinator of NPA/NCC representatives on Advisory Committees, and is currently the Chair of the NSW NPWS Advisory Council Planning Committee and Member IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas (WCPA). 

Issac Astill

Raised in rural South Australia, in a small town called Yankalilia, Issac has lived in regional Queensland, Brisbane, Canberra, and has been living in Sydney on Gadigal land for five years. Isaac is a #StopAdani campaigner, and has worked for eight years to keep Galilee Basin coal in the ground. More recently, Isaac co-founded Tipping Point, an organization that supports the #StopAdani grassroots network. For his efforts, Isaac was awarded the Bob Brown Young Environmentalist of the Year. 

To contact executive members, email [email protected] or call (02) 9516 1488.