Our People

Our People

Taronga is constituted under the Zoological Parks Board Act 1973 as a statutory authority owned by the people of New South Wales (NSW) and administered by the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment. 

Amended legislation in 1992 defined Taronga’s responsibilities in education, conservation, research and recreation. A minor amendment to the Act was undertaken in 2008 to formally recognise Taronga Conservation Society Australia as the official name, to better describe the work of the organisation.

Appointed Board

Section 6 of the Zoological Parks Board Act 1973 (NSW) stipulates the criteria under which the members are appointed to the Board. The Board meets six times during the year.

Ms Penny Bingham Hall

BA FAICD SF Fin

Ministerial Appointee. Board Chair and Member of the Performance, Audit, Risk & Safety Committee. Ms Bingham-Hall spent 23 years with Leighton Holdings (CIMIC Group Limited) including as Executive General Manager Strategy. She is a Director on the boards of BlueScope Steel, DEXUS Property Group, Fortescue Metals Group, Vocus Group, Supply Nation and the Crescent Foundation. Ms Bingham Hall has extensive experience in the building, construction and property industries. She also spent 10 years as a Director and Deputy Chair of the Tourism and Transport Forum.

Term expires 31 December 2023.

Ms Kristin Stubbins

Ministerial Appointee. Deputy Chair and Chair of the Performance, Audit, Risk and Safety Committee. Ms Stubbins is the lead auditor for some of PwC Australia’s largest audit clients and is proud to lead the audit business. She has a focus on driving quality and integrity and is always conscious of the broader role the audit profession plays in underpinning trust in the capital markets. She has a passion for innovation and bringing together diverse groups of people to effect change. She developed and leads a venture (InnoWell) between PwC and the University of Sydney to commercialise technology designed to transform the way mental health services are delivered both in Australia and globally. She is also leading a collaboration project across Asia Pacific to disrupt the external audit through technology. Ms Stubbins was named as one of the Australian Financial Review’s “100 Women of Influence” in 2019, having been nominated in the innovation category. She is a Board Member of Mindgardens (an innovative mental health alliance) and works with a group of senior female business leaders seeking to empower women in developing nations through education. 

Term expires 30 June 2024. 

Ms Laura Berry

Ministerial Appointee. Chair of the Community Engagement and Sustainability Committee. Ms Berry’s career has spanned both private and public sectors over two decades, most recently as the CEO of Indigenous business organisation, Supply Nation. Ms Berry has extensive experience across stakeholder management, risk mitigation and reputation management and working with Indigenous business and procurement. She is a founding director of the Global Supplier Diversity Alliance, and in 2018, Ms Berry was announced as one of the Australian Financial Review’s Top 100 Women of Influence. During 2020 she served as a Commissioner for the Prime Minister’s National COVID19 Commission and is currently the Australian Co-Chair of the Australian New Zealand Leadership Forum’s Indigenous Business Sector Group. 

Term expires 31 December 2025.

Ms Catherine Harris 

Ministerial Appointee. Member of the Wildlife Conservation Committee and Community Engagement and Sustainability Committee. Ms Catherine Harris is Chairperson of Harris Farm Markets Pty Ltd. She is on the board of The Australian School of Business UNSW and newly appointed to GreenCollar. Ms Harris has only recently stepped down as Consul General for Bhutan and as a Board member of the Australian Ballet. Previous roles have included Federal Director of Affirmative Action and Deputy Chancellor of the University of NSW, NRL Commissioner, Trustee of the Sydney Cricket Ground Trust, The Australian Defence Force Academy, The National Gallery of Australia, Museum of Contemporary Art, The Sports Australia Hall of Fame, and Chairperson of the Australia Japan Foundation. Ms Harris is an Officer in the Order of Australia and was awarded the Australian Public Service Medal, The Centenary Medal and has an Honorary Doctorate in Business from UNSW. 

Term expires 31 December 2025

Dr Ian Roth PSM

BVSc, MANZCVs, GAICD

Ministerial Appointee. Chair of the Wildlife Conservation Committee and member of the Community Engagement and Sustainability Committee. Director on the Board of RSPCA NSW, life member of the Australian and New Zealand College of Veterinary Scientists, member of the Australian Veterinary Association, Executive committee member of the Australian Veterinary Conservation Biology group and a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. Until January 2016, Dr Roth was the NSW Chief Veterinary Officer, Director of the Animal Welfare Unit within NSW Department of Primary Industries and a Director of Wildlife Health Australia. He has worked in the areas of animal health and animal welfare for 40 years and was honoured in the 2016 Australia Day Awards with a Public Service Medal "for outstanding public service to veterinary science, particularly animal welfare and biosecurity in NSW". 

Term expires 30 June 2023.

Joe David Dip Law (SAB)

Nominated by an organisation involved in providing financial or other support to Taronga Zoo Sydney and representing Taronga’s volunteer community. Member of the Performance, Audit, Risk and Safety Committee and Wildlife Conservation Committee. Mr David is a Special Counsel in the Property and Real Estate practice group of national law firm Corrs Chambers Westgarth. This role follows on from an extensive career in law, in private practice at other national and international law firms. He has also represented many of Australia’s leading property developers. Mr David was named in the 2019, 2020, 2021 and 2022 editions of Best Lawyers in Australia in Real Estate. He has been an active volunteer at Taronga Zoo in Sydney since 2017. 

Term expires 30 June 2025.

Ms Jennifer Cowley

Nominated by an organisation involved in providing financial or other support to Taronga Western Plains Zoo. Member of the Wildlife Conservation Committee and Community Engagement and Sustainability Committee. Ms Cowley has built a career in regional media and community development over many years – she is a journalist, editor and published author of a number of non-fiction and children’s books. Ms Cowley has significant experience working with at-risk youth, in the mental health, loss and grief spaces and has been involved with a number of humanitarian projects in Australia and around the world. She has also worked extensively with the remote Aboriginal communities of central Australia and western NSW. She is a devoted advocate for regional Australia, its communities and people. In 2019, Ms Cowley was awarded the Order of Australia Medal (OAM) for her services to regional communities through a range of organisations. 

Term expires 30 June 2025. 

Mr Murray Wood

Representing Dubbo Council. Member of the Performance, Audit, Risk and Safety Committee and Community Engagement and Sustainability Committee. Mr Wood is currently the Chief Executive Officer of Dubbo Regional Council, which has a population of approximately 55,000 people across an area of some 7,500km2, and maintains an annual budget of $230M. Mr Wood leads an Organisation of 538 staff with a wide range of operations and services to the community within the Local Government Area. This role follows on from an extensive career in government at both state and local levels, affording him the opportunity to develop a wealth of industry experience and knowledge across Regional NSW in addition to the establishment of national and international networks. 

Term expires 26 September 2023.

Ms Sarah Norgate

Representing Mosman Council. 

Term expires 30 June 2024. 

Taronga Executive Team

The Executive Team meets monthly as a collegiate group to guide implementation of Taronga’s strategies and review performance.

Chief Executive
Mr Cameron Kerr AO

Executive Director – Taronga Zoo Operations
Mr Simon Duffy AM

Divisional Director – People, Culture and Safety
Mr Stuart Marshall

Divisional Director – Corporate Services and Governance
Ms Narelle Beattie

Divisional Director – Marketing, Communications and Fundraising
Ms Leila Davis

Divisional Director – Welfare, Conservation and Science
Mr Nick Boyle

Divisional Director – Taronga Western Plains Zoo Dubbo
Mr Steve Hinks

Director – Capital Programs
Mr Brad Milner

Director – Education
Mr Paul Maguire

Director – Guest Experience & Commercial Operations
Mr Alex Emson

Director – Asset Management
Mr Rodd Stapley

Board committees

Performance, Audit, Risk & Safety Committee

Chair – Ms Kristin Stubbins

Monitors financial performance, including work health and safety, environmental sustainability, human resource management, capital works programs and infrastructure. Monitors and covers issues relating to internal control systems, risk management systems, financial reporting and other financial responsibilities. Consists of selected Board Members with representatives from the NSW Audit Office and independent auditors Ernst and Young:

  • Ms Penny Bingham-Hall
  • Mr Joe David
  • Mr Murray Wood 

Community Engagement & Sustainability Committee

Chair – Ms Laura Berry

Monitors all marketing activities including communications, Taronga Foundation, education, guest experience, community programs and tourism development. Consists of selected Board Members:

  • Ms Jennifer Cowley
  • Ms Catherine Harris
  • Dr Ian Roth
  • Mr Murray Wood 

Wildlife Conservation Committee 

Chair – Dr Ian Roth

Monitors population management, wildlife conservation, research and veterinary services.

  • Ms Jennifer Cowley 
  • Mr Joe David
  • Ms Catherine Harris 

Consists of selected Board members and external contributors from appropriate specialist fields: 

  • Prof Richard Kingsford, University of NSW
  • Prof Chris Dickman, The University of Sydney (until August 2017)
  • Ms Brooke Taylor
  • Mr Paul Sinclair, Mirri Mirri
  • Mr Steve Coleman, RSPCA NSW
  • Dr Simon Longstaff AO, The Ethics Centre (since October 2017)

Animal Ethics Committee

Statutory committee through which all research projects involving animal research must be approved. Constituted in accordance with the Animal Research Act 1985 and consists of the following representatives:

  • Dr Justine O’Brien, Chair
  • Dr Monique Van Sluys (Researcher) 
  • Dr Jo Day (Researcher)
  • Dr Frances Hulst (Veterinarian)
  • Dr Peter Johnson (Veterinarian) 
  • Mr David Roden (Independent representative)
  • Mr Harold Eagleton AM (Independent representative)
  • Dr Catherine Brett (Animal welfare representative)
  • Mr Aaron Purcell (Animal welfare representative)