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.

Mr Steve Crane BCom, FAICD, SF Fin

Ministerial appointee. Chairman of Taronga Conservation Society Australia Board.

Mr Crane is Chairman of nib Holdings Limited and Global Valve Technology, and a Director of Australian Pipeline Limited (APA Group) and SCA Property. Steve has more than 40 years of financial market experience, as well as an extensive background in publicly-listed companies.

Term expires 30 June 2021.


Clr Roy Bendall

Representing Mosman Council. Member of the Performance, Audit, Risk & Safety Committee.

Clr Bendall has broad experience working in international financial and capital markets, and project management specialising in the trade and maritime infrastructure sector. He is also a legal practitioner with experience in regulatory reform and the provision of regulatory advice to corporations and the Government.

Term expires 30 September 2021.


Ms Penny Bingham-Hall BA FAICD SF Fin

Ministerial Appointee. Member of the Performance, Audit, Risk & Safety Committee.

Ms Bingham-Hall has been a member of the Taronga board since 2013. She 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, Macquarie Specialised Asset Management, 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 Nancy Fox BA JD (Law) FAICD

Ministerial appointee. Deputy Chair of Taronga Conservation Society Australia Board and Chair of the Performance, Audit, Risk & Safety Committee. 

Ms Fox is a Director on the Boards of Perpetual Limited, ING Bank Australia and Lawcover. She is Chairman of the Perpetual Equity Investment Company and a former Director of the Australian Theatre for Young People and HCF Life. Nancy has more than 25 years of experience in financial services and risk management gained in Australia, the United States and across Asia.

Term expires 30 June 2021.


Ms Gretel Packer AM

Ministerial Appointee. Member of the Strategy & Engagement Committee.

Ms Packer is Vice-President of the Board of Trustees of the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Chair of the Advisory Board of Crown Resorts Foundation, Chair of the Packer Family Foundation, Director of the Sydney Theatre Company and Chair of the Sydney Theatre Company Foundation. Her philanthropic interests include a broad range of community activities and charities aligned to the arts, education, and environmental science. Ms Packer received an AM last year at the Queen’s Birthday Honours, in recognition to her commitment to the visual and performing arts and to conservation. Among her many interests, Ms Packer has been a long-term supporter of Taronga as a Founding Patron of the Taronga Foundation -  launched the Taronga Conservation Science initiatives and sits on the Taronga Science Advisory Council.

Term expires 15 December 2023.


Mr John Walkom

Representing Dubbo Community. Member of the Strategy & Engagement Committee.

Mr Walkom is Chair of Regional Development Australia Orana, Independent Chair Dubbo Regional Council Audit Risk Management Committee, Board member of Western Regional Local Health District and Company Director Techni-Clean Australia. He is an active and highly regarded member of the local community in Dubbo, having worked closely with a broad range of stakeholders including community, business, federal, state and local government representatives.

Term expires 1 September 2021.


Mr Graham Wackett

Representing Taronga’s volunteer community. Member of the Performance, Audit, Risk & Safety Committee and Strategy & Engagement Committee.

Mr Wackett has been an active volunteer at Taronga Zoo in Sydney since 2006 and has a strong background in hotel, resort and attractions ownership and management. Previous executive roles include Managing Director and CEO of Southern Pacific Hotel Corporation, and Managing Director Travelodge Australia and Travelodge Developments. Mr Wackett also has strong tourism industry experience, having previously served as a member of the Board of Tourism NSW, Tourism Training Australia and the Tourism Task Force.

Term expires 31 December 2021.



Ministerial Appointee. Chair of the Wildlife Committee. Director on the Board of RSPCA NSW and RSPCA Australia, life member of the Australian and New Zealand College of Veterinary Scientists, member of the Australian Veterinary Association 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.


The Hon. Robyn Parker GAICD

Ministerial Appointee. Chair of the Strategy & Engagement Committee.

Ms Parker has over 30 years of public sector experience which began with roles in child and family services across a number of disadvantaged communities. Ms Parker is a non-executive Director of several education and charitable organisations as well as Local Land Services Hunter Region. She was a specialist TAFE teacher for over 14 years before moving into the political arena, spending 12 years as an MLC, MP and Cabinet Minister in the NSW Parliament. Ms Parker was the CEO of Delphis Australia until March 2017.

Term expires 31 December 2021.


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

Divisional Director – Taronga Zoo
Mr Simon Duffy

Divisional Director – People, Culture and Safety
Ms Bettina Sammut

Divisional Director – Corporate Services and Governance
Ms Narelle Beattie

Divisional Director – Marketing, Communications and Fundraising
Ms Karen Madden

Divisional Director – Welfare, Conservation and Science
Mr Nick Boyle

Divisional Director – Taronga Western Plains Zoo Dubbo
Mr Steve Hinks

Director – Information & Digital Technology
Mr Paul White

Director – Capital Programs
Mr True Swain

Director – Taronga Foundation
Ms Leila Davis

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 (8)

Chair – Ms Nancy Fox

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:

  • Mr Roy Bendall
  • Ms Penny Bingham-Hall
  • Mr Graham Wackett
  • Meets 6 times per year


Strategy & Engagement Committee (6)

Chair – Ms Robyn Parker

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

  • Ms Robyn Parker
  • Mr Graham Wackett
  • Mr John Walkom
  • Ms Gretel Packer


Wildlife Committee (6)

Chair – Dr Ian Roth

Monitors population management, wildlife conservation, research and veterinary services. 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 (6) 

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 (Wiszniewski) (Researcher)
  • Dr Frances Hulst (Veterinarian)
  • Dr Michelle Campbell (Veterinarian) 
  • Dr Peter Johnson (Veterinarian) 
  • Mr Brendon Neilly (Animal welfare representative)
  • Mr David Roden (Independent representative)
  • Mr Harold Eagleton AM (Independent representative)