ACF Council

Representing ACF members and elected by the members, the council is ACF’s core representative body. It comprises 21 councillors, each of which is elected by electorate for a three-year term. Council has four main functions: it is responsible for the strategic direction of ACF; it appoints our board; develops ACF policy; and engages with our members.

Geoffrey Cousins (email:

Geoffrey Cousins is an Australian community leader, businessman, environmental activist and writer. As an environmental activist he is best known for his successful campaigns to stop the Gunns pulp mill in Tasmania and the proposed Woodside gas hub in the Kimberley. His interventions were pivotal in raising public and business awareness of the risks and dangers of both proposed projects. Geoff’s many achievements include leading the George Patterson Company while it was Australia’s largest advertising agency, and overseeing the building of the Optus network. He has served on many public company boards, founded the Starlight Children’s Foundation in Australia and was founding chairman of Sydney’s Museum of Contemporary Art and former director of the Sydney Theatre Company. In 2014, he was awarded an Order of Australia for his service to the community. Amongst many other activities, Geoffrey Cousins is a published novelist and was formerly a consultant to the Prime Minister of Australia.



 Jonathan Miller

Jonathan is a campaigner on climate change, sustainable economy, population, nature conservation and social justice. He has also worked as a diplomat, a Commonwealth and ACT public servant, and a Senator’s advisor. He is motivated by a deep love of the Australian bush and a passion for bushwalking.



 Jonathan King

Jonathan is a senior multimedia journalist, public speaker and former lecturer with a PhD in political science. He has extensive environmental campaign experience and once organised a 500-strong University of Sydney anti-Coal Seam Gas meeting to bring about a NSW government moratorium on CSG. Jonathan is the author of 30 books.


 Daisy Barham

Daisy is the Campaigns Director with the Nature Conservation Council of NSW, overseeing campaigns on coal and coal seam gas, native forest logging, marine conservation and native vegetation. She has a strong interest in organisational development, and hopes to help broaden ACF's support base and grow the visibility of the organisation amongst the Australian public.


Tim Chapman

Tim has spent his working life advocating for social justice as part of the union movement, helping to bring union organising and campaign skills to the ‘Say Yes’ campaign for action on climate change and the union coalition that supported putting a price on carbon. He is passionate about sustainable living and is as proud of his worm farm as he is of his professional achievements.



Jimmy Cocking 

Jimmy is an environmentalist and community leader based in Alice Springs. He is the Director of the Arid Lands Environment Centre and is passionate about desert Australia. He has a strong connection to his local community and is keen to represent the issues facing northern and central Australia.


David Morris

David is Principal Lawyer at the Environmental Defenders Office NT, a grassroots community legal centre, as well as a sessional lecturer at Charles Darwin University. He has been passionate about the environment since a visit to Mittagundi in Year 9 and enjoys surfing, kayaking, hiking and landscape photography.



David Hood

David is a civil and environmental engineer and a trained climate leader with Al Gore’s Climate Reality Project, who is currently serving as an Adjust Professor at the Queensland University of Technology. He is a Member of the Order of Australia in recognition of his contribution to engineering through industry associations, and for lifting public awareness of sustainability.


Michael Williams

Michael is a senior Goorang Goorang man, former member of the Queensland Heritage Council and former Director of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies Unit at the University of Queensland. He is currently a member of the board of SkillCentred – a not for profit job network provider and a strong community advocacy organisation.


Samara Cassar

Samara is a Law and Political Science student at the University of Queensland. She has recruited and coordinated volunteers for GetUp’s Save the Reef campaign in a state election, interned with World Vision, and founded Campus Advocacy for Refugees. She is a skilled public speaker, an active member of her local community and an advocate for social justice.



Nadia McLaren 

Nadia is a human ecologist and social change agent currently serving as the president of the Conservation Council of South Australia. She has an extensive history of work in the environment movement and 30 years’ experience with NGO governance. She is also Coordinator of the Friends of the Billabong, restoring the habitat of St Peters Billabong.


Susan Richardson

Sue is a semi-retired economist, currently serving as a Professor at Flinders University and an Expert Panel member of the Fair Work Commission. She has been a member of the National Sustainability Council and the President of the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia. She takes solace in the natural environment and is a keen sailor.


Andrew Reilly

Andrew is the Head of Impact and Evaluation for SYC Limited, a national not-for-profit based in Adelaide providing services for youth, employment and training. He has a strong background in implementing strategy and promoting growth in the not-for-profit sector. At the Nature Foundation SA, Andrew led the management and purchase of conservation reserves and negotiated the largest environmental watering agreement by an NGO with the Commonwealth, to improve Murray River wetlands. Andrew has been a Councillor since 2009.


Christian Bell 

Christian is the former CEO of the Tasmanian Conservation Trust and has been Tasmanian State Campaign Director for the Wilderness Society and Board Member of Greenpeace Australia (NSW). He is a recipient of the UN Association of Australia’s Award for Individual Achievement and the Professor Harry Bloom Award. Christian has particular experience with marine conservation and volunteer programs.


Wendy Heatley

Wendy is a lawyer with a passion for Tasmania’s wilderness. Her activism began in her teens when she campaigned to save the Franklin River, and she has since rallied against the Tamar Valley Pulp Mill and to protect the Tarkine Wilderness. She has been a Fulbright Scholar and is currently undertaking her PhD in Public Policy at the Australian National University.


Erika Avellaneda 

Erika came to Australia to study Zoology in 2005 and has called Tasmania home ever since. She now assists not-for-profits to use technology to facilitate community organising, including website development, campaign planning, database management and activist training. She is an expert on threats to marine life and passionate about habitat destruction and climate change.



Nicola Rivers

Nicola is an environmental lawyer and Director of Advocacy and Research at Environmental Justice Australia. She has completed a fellowship with the Centre for Sustainability Leadership and has extensive experience with campaign planning and community empowerment. Nicola also runs The Riparian Project with two friends, a public art initiative that raises awareness about the problem of riparian cattle grazing.


Jim Le Cornu

Jim is a retired chemical engineer with 38 years’ international experience in the oil, gas, coal and renewable energy industries. He has actively participated and in community organisations since he was nine years old, and is a 23 year member of ACF’s Mullum Branch. He has extensive technological expertise and experience collaborating with industry, government and the community.


Ian Penrose

Ian is a recently retired Yarra Riverkeeper, former Commissioner for the Victorian Environmental Water Holder, and former senior executive in the coal mining, natural gas and shipping industries. He is a recipient of the City of Melbourne’s Award for Contribution to the Environment and Environment Victoria's Volunteer Conservation Award. Ian is passionate about sustainability and living in harmony with nature.



Piers Verstegen 

Piers is the Executive Director of the Conservation Council of WA. He has been named as one of WA's 100 most influential people by the Western Australian newspaper for his environmental advocacy and community leadership. He has been a senior policy advisor and has diverse experience in environmental science, law, politics and economics. Piers is committed to community-based advocacy and change through democratic participation.


Anne Poelina

Anne is a traditional custodian from the Fitzroy River known as the Mardoowarra, in the Kimberley region of WA. She is also a social and biophysical scientist. She was the inaugural Chair of the First Peoples’ Water Engagement Council and has been elected to the Broome Shire Council. She brings over 30 years’ experience in Indigenous health, education, language, and community development.


Simon Whitehouse

Simon is a Director of thinkstep Pty Ltd, a global sustainability group, and has recently consulted on European Commission clean public transport projects. He has extensive policy and advisory experience, serving over 30 years with the Western Australian government. Privately, Simon and his wife are rehabilitating a block of land in the WA wheatbelt, having planted some 25 000 trees protected with a perpetual covenant.