Melinda Bowen, Member

Melinda Bowen is a Program Officer in Victoria’s Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP). She works for the regional office for Greater Melbourne on climate change adaptation projects including the administration of associated grant programs, promotion of green infrastructure to reduce heat in urban areas and address climate challenges and also supports programs which improve biodiversity outcomes and help Victorians connect with and act for nature.


Helen Corney, Member

Helen works as an Environmental Project Officer for the municipality of Nillumbik. As a research affiliate at RMIT University she explores the relationship between human well-being and nature and the implications this has for environmental management. A passionate gardener and lover of wildlife, Helen is also on the Committee of Management for the Burke Rd Billabong Reserve.


Lee Harrison, Member

Lee Harrison is an urban ecologist with an interest in integrating ecological theory into city strategy and operations. She has a background in ecological consulting and research, with a particular emphasis on the impacts of urban and linear infrastructure on wildlife. She believes management of novel ecosystems requires novel thinking.


Ray Ison, Member

Ray is Professor of Systems, The Open University, UK and a Director of the Systemic Development Institute Australia. He has made significant research contributions with practical application in fields of systemic governance, environmental decision making, natural resource management, and agricultural/food systems. His interests include: Where do people and their social needs fit within economics? How can local governance work for local people?


Irene Kelly, Member

Irene is the vice president of the Knox Environment Society. She is a co-founder of the Knox Gardens for Wildlife Program and is a strong community champion and mentor for the network.


Anne Makhijani, Member

Anne is a community member with a strong commitment to nature conservation and biodiversity. She volunteers in many community groups and Council initiatives in the Whitehorse area. Anne is passionate about the potential and scope that habitat improvement on private land can make for biodiversity. This has driven her interest in Gardens for Wildlife Victoria and her role in helping to establish Whitehorse Gardens for Wildlife.


Teigan Allen, Member

Teigan Allen is a Senior Policy Officer in Victoria’s Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP). She has worked in biodiversity conservation and related fields in state government for 10 years, as well as in international NGOs and research institutions. Teigan is currently the policy lead for the Victorians Value Nature goal in the new State biodiversity strategy, Biodiversity 2037. This includes working across DELWP and with partners to help Victorians connect with and act for nature.


Nadine Gaskell, Chair

Nadine is the Biodiversity Coordinator at Knox City Council. Nadine worked with the Knox Environment Society to design and implement the highly successful Knox Gardens for Wildlife Program. Nadine is passionate about the value of urban biodiversity. She believes conservation of nature supports a happy, healthy and connected community and gardens for wildlife programs exemplify this.


Laura Mumaw, Program facilitator

Laura serves on the Victorian Environment Friends Network (VEFN) Committee. Her background includes scientific and executive roles in zoos/aquariums internationally and on boards responsible for environmental stewardship. Laura recently finished a PhD at RMIT about wildlife gardening and its role in building community capacity to care for local biodiversity and strengthen wellbeing. She is currently an RMIT postdoctoral researcher.


Philip Wallis, Vale

Phil was a project officer with the Victorian Catchment Management Council. He brought a practical approach to working collaboratively, as well as deep expertise in using systems thinking and social research methodologies. With deep sorrow we note the passing of Phil early in 2018 and thank him for his legacy in establishing our network and its foundation principles. Vale Phil.