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


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 AM


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

GradCert, MAICD

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 AO PSM 


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

Mr Michael Herring

B Comm LLM  

Ministerial Appointed. Member of the Performance, Audit, Risk & Safety Committee. Mr Herring spent 17 years as an Executive Director of Macquarie Group Limited, 12 years as Group General Counsel and 5 years as an investment banker with Macquarie Capital. Prior to Macquarie, Mr Herring was a corporate partner and a managing partner at King and Wood Mallesons for over 16 years. He is a Director of ASX listed Region Group Limited. Mr Herring has also been a Director and Chairman of The Skin Hospital and a director of Osteoporosis Australia Limited. 

Term expires on 31 December 2026. 

Vacant - Section 6(1)(b) of the Zoological Parks Board 1973 Act

Mr 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 OAM

BA, Dip.Soc.Sci, Dip.Man

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. 

Vacant - Section 6(1)(f) of the Zoological Parks Board Act 1973

Ms Sarah Norgate

BA LLM (UNSW); GradDip Applied Corporate Governance (GIA)

Representing Mosman Council. Member of the Performance, Audit, Risk & Safety Committee. Ms Norgate has been practising as a commercial and property lawyer in Sydney for many years. She currently manages the in-house legal team at Metcash, Australia’s leading wholesale distribution and marketing company supporting food, liquor and hardware independent businesses. Ms Norgate regularly advises on risk and compliance issues, mergers and acquisitions, tendering, contracting, property development and disputes and litigation.

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

Director – Information Technology
Ms Fresia Segovia

Board committees

Performance, Audit, Risk & Safety Committee

Chair – Ms Kristin Stubbins AM

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 KPMG:

  • Ms Penny Bingham-Hall
  • Mr Joe David
  • Mr Michael Herring
  • Ms Sarah Norgate

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 OAM
  • Ms Catherine Harris AO PSM

Wildlife Conservation Committee 

A/Chair - Mr Joe David

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

  • Ms Jennifer Cowley 
  • 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)
  • Mr Paul Sinclair, Mirri Mirri
  • Mr Steve Coleman, RSPCA NSW
  • Dr Simon Longstaff AO, The Ethics Centre (since October 2017)
  • Dr Ian Roth PSM

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)