Our People

Dr Peter Veenker ChairDr Peter Veenker

Dr Veenker has a long-standing interest in Natural Resource Management and the Environment. He is the Chair of East Gippsland Catchment Management Authority and the Chair of Vic Catchments, a network of the 10 State-wide Catchment Management Authorities in Victoria. He is also the current Co-Chair of the Gippsland Lakes Co-Ordinating Committee.

In addition to his work in Catchment Management Dr Veenker is a self-employed strategy, finance and business consultant and was previously Chief Executive of the Canberra Institute of Technology.

Dr Veenker has a Bachelor of Business (Accounting), Master of Education Studies (Management), Diploma of Business Studies and holds a range of certificates and numerous fellows and awards. He is a Fellow of the Australian Society of Certified Practicising Accountant (FCPA). His research interest is in the field of Leadership.

Dr Ms Sharyon Peart Deputy ChairSharyon Peart
Deputy Chair

Sharyon moved from Melbourne to the Mallee in 2005, where she lived on a large citrus, dried fruit and wine grape growing property at Nangiloc. Sharyon’s background in corporate business, sales, marketing and team management gave inspiration to the small business Sharyon currently owns and operates. She has been the sole director since she created the company in 2005, specialising in retail consultation, and managing women’s health and wellbeing.

Sharyon served on the Mildura Rural City Council as a Councillor for nine years and gained much experience as portfolio councillor for art and education, later community services and wellbeing, and governance and finance. Sharyon is committed to strengthening partnerships between community and government in the sustainable management of resources across our region. Sharyon is a member of the La Trobe University’s Mildura Regional Advisory Board; a Director of Lower Murray Water; and a member of the Victorian Agricultural Advisory Council.

John Riddiford
Executive Officer

John Riddiford has over thirty years’ experience in the water and natural resource management industry. John is currently Executive Officer of Vic Catchments, the Chair of the International Water Association’s Watershed and River Basin Management specialist group, and he is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.


CMA Representatives

CCMA – Corangamite
Alice Knight

Alice Knight is a primary producer and director of a 1,700 hectare fine wool pastoral property at Pittong. She is a recipient of an Order of Australia Medal (OAM) for her services to the community, Landcare, environment and the Country Fire Authority. This is her second term on the Corangamite CMA board and was previously a board member for six years from 2000 to 2006. She is also the Beaufort and Skipton Health Service board chairman, where she has been a board member since 1990. Alice’s passion is Landcare and the Woady Yaloak Catchment Group and she spends many hours working with and encouraging others involvement in landscape change.

GBCMA – Goulburn Broken
Adrian Weston – Acting Chair

Adrian, who previously ran a dairy farm,  owns and operates an irrigated prime lamb and cropping farm enterprise at Rushworth.  He is also Mayor of Campaspe Shire, representing the the Waranga Ward.
Adrian has a long-standing interest in natural resource management and believes the greatest challenge facing the Catchment community is balancing the demand for increased productive use of land (soil) and water resources with protecting and improving the condition of the region’s unique natural environment. He says the key to  building the Catchment’s environmental and social resilience relies on the willingness of business, industry and communities to embrace and adapt to change.

GHCMA – Glenelg Hopkins
Antony Ford

Tony chairs the GHCMA Board. He has over 35 years’ experience in Australian and international agribusiness, of which 25 years has been at senior executive level and on the boards of food manufacturing, horticultural and other institutions. Recently, Tony has been a senior executive and board member in production horticulture and food manufacturing at McCain Foods and as CEO at the largest amenity and vegetable nursery in Australia, Boomaroo Nurseries.
Presently consulting with the Korda Mentha advisory group he continues to work in the fresh vegetable, production glasshouse, fruit and broad scale agriculture, fruit and horticultural sectors. He has been involved in industry policy development and strategic planning across the industries, states and countries he has operated with.

NCCMA - North Central Julie Miller MarkoffNCCMA – North Central
Julie Miller Markoff

Julie is non-executive Director, change architect, and advocate for regional prosperity. Julie was first appointed as a Director of North Central CMA in 2013 and as Chairperson in October 2017. Julie has chaired the Audit and Risk Subcommittee, and the advisory Community Consultative Committee.

Julie is a highly experienced business and cultural innovator who creates value, builds social permission and engagement, and designs and leads transitions.

She has a Master of Applied Science in Innovation with post graduate studies in creative and transformative leading, and is a member of the AICD.

Julie is committed to making sustainable investments in NRM, creating shared benefits from water use, and broadening stewardship of catchments through communities and partnerships.

NECMA - North East Leanne MulcahyNECMA – North East
Leanne Mulcahy

Leanne chairs the North East CMA Board, and has a strong background in local and state government, predominantly in regional development and governance roles. She is a former CEO of Murray Dairy and is employed with CVGT as General Manager Corporate. Leanne has completed a Masters Business Administration and is a graduate of the Goulburn Murray Fairley Leadership Program. She has served on not-for-profit boards over more than 12 years.

PPWCMA – Port Phillip and Westernport
Tania Foster (BComm, FCA, MBA)

Tania chairs the PPWCMA Board, and has over 25 years of experience across different regions and industries, including mining, manufacturing, chartered accounting, transport, engineering, utilities and banking. She has spent the last 17 years working in Financial Services covering a wide range of roles, including Finance, ATM network, Strategy, Treasury, Product and Sales Management, Data and Operations. Tania is currently CFO Corporate and Institutional Banking at National Australia Bank Limited and is also Chair of BPAY Pty Ltd.

WCMA - Wimmera Peter HilbigWCMA – Wimmera
Peter Hilbig

Peter Hilbig was appointed Chair of Wimmera CMA in October 2017. He has lived at Halls Gap for most of the past thirty years employed locally as a teacher, education consultant then principal at Stawell Secondary College. He has also been a teacher at the Australian International School Malaysia and director of Shepherdson College in Arnhem Land, Northern Territory. He is currently a part time Teaching and Leadership Adviser with Teach For Australia, coaching early career teachers in south western Victoria. Peter’s particular interest in the Wimmera and passion for sustainable catchment management was developed through six years as manager of Project Platypus – UpperWimmera Landcare, where he was inspired by the commitment of a diverse range of stakeholders using science to monitor and inform improvement in land and water quality, and to enhance biodiversity.

Peter is a Lieutenant with the Halls Gap CFA and a Justice of the Peace. He is a member of the Royal Australian Chemical Institute and the Australian Council for Educational Leaders and is an accredited coach with Growth Coaching International. Peter is keen for the CMA to engage effectively with all stakeholders to achieve a healthy Wimmera catchment.

WGCMA - West Gippsland Peter Jennings OAMWGCMA – West Gippsland
Peter Jennings OAM

Peter is a farmer and chair of WGCMA’s board. He holds qualifications in farming, science, education, management and company directorship. Peter moved from NSW to Giffard in 1981 after working as a science teacher and at Outward Bound. He has been involved with local government, both as a councillor and commissioner and with the Rural Financial Counselling Service, both as a counsellor and Executive Officer. Peter is a past member of the Gippsland Coastal Board, the Shire Of Alberton River Improvement Trust, the Corner Inlet Waterway Authority and was chair of the Gippsland Grammar Board. He has also had many years of involvement with the VFF, CFA and Landcare.