ABOUT US

The Board

Our Board is made up of eight volunteer Directors who collectively guide the direction of the Foundation and liaise with project stakeholders.

Directors of the Board are appointed for terms of one to three years to ensure creative stimulus is maintained and the broadest range of community skills and experience engaged. One is an elected Noosa Shire Councillor, a requirement of the Trust.

Rex Halverson

Rex Halverson

Chair

Originally from Southern California, where he witnessed first-hand the consequences of poorly planned development, Rex has lived and worked in the US, UK and Australia with extensive business travel throughout Europe, Russia and China as well.

Having moved with his family to the Sunshine Coast region in 2008 they fell in love with the region and have since all become Australian citizens.

Previous roles have included Managing Director, Commercial Director and Vice President of Sales and Marketing, as well as serving on the Board, for several consumer technology manufacturers including Legrand Audio Video Australia as well as being the founder and principal of Truth Sells – a local small business focused on helping individuals and organisations clarify and communicate their mission and message more effectively.

Passionate about the Noosa region and its unique environment, he has also served as Chairman for local volunteer groups such as Queensland Koala Crusaders Inc. as well as being an active member of a diverse range of other local organisations including Noosa Parks Association, Noosa Arts Theatre and more.

Greg Schumann Noosa Biosphere

Greg Schumann

Deputy Chair

Greg has an engineering, project and business management background and is currently the Director of Transportation & Green Mobility for ENGIE Services, Australia and New Zealand. In this role his focus is the development of efficient public transport systems and the encouragement of low polluting vehicle alternatives that are becoming available through technology advances. He lives in Noosa and is a patrolling member of the Noosa Surf Lifesaving Club.

Greg has lived and worked in seven countries and travelled widely in his more than 25 year career, holding management positions that range from small teams to a business with more than 1,000 staff. Having worked for a top 50 ASX company for over ten years, he has experience in financial and contract governance and reporting.

Greg’s technical background covers a broad range of projects, including being the engineering design manager and construction superintendent on the first phase of Cranbourne Royal Botanic Gardens, Victoria.

He holds a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) and a Bachelor of Engineering, Civil.

Dr Tom Wegener

Dr Tom Wegener

Board Member/Noosa Council Representative

Cr Wegener brings his expertise as a sustainable surfboard manufacturer, academic and environmental lawyer to the NBRF Board as Noosa Council’s representative. For the past 20 years, Tom has run his internationally successful and multiple award-winning surfboard business in Noosa. His bespoke, highly sought-after boards have led the surfboard industry to greener manufacturing processes.

Tom holds a PhD in the sustainability of small manufacturers in Australia of which his findings were published in his book, Surfboard Artisans For The Love. Tom brought his real-world experience in sustainable manufacturing to academia and his body of work continues to grow through Australia and with projects in Papua New Guinea, Japan, Korea and Europe.

Prior to coming to Noosa, Tom graduated from the University of California San Diego with a BA in Philosophy and a Jurist Doctorate from the University of San Diego School of Law. Tom focused on environmental law and worked for Greenpeace as well as starting the Environmental Law Society.  His concentration was on good regulation in sustaining and improving the environment.

David Dique of the Nosa Biosphere

Dr David Dique

Board Member

David has an academic and research background and is currently a Partner and Principal Ecologist with global Environmental Consultancy firm, ERM. He has held various state government and private consultancy roles for almost 20 years. He brings a high level, technical understanding of biodiversity conservation and management, combined with a professional, solutions focused approach, to drive and deliver successful environmental outcomes.

David has provided high level strategic project support, including delivery of planning and prioritisation projects across regions, catchments and landscapes. David’s contribution to such projects has often been invited, as he is a recognised specialist in land management, research, survey and assessment, biodiversity conservation planning, and state and federal legislation and policy development.

David lives in Noosa and is ERM’s Queensland Office Managing Partner, sitting on the ANZ leadership team, responsible for the operation and management of 50 staff.

Prof Rod Smith

Board Member

Rod is a career academic recently retired from the University of Southern Queensland where latter appointments were as Dean of Engineering, and Chair of the University Academic Board. On his retirement Rod was awarded the honorary title of Professor Emeritus.

He was initially trained as an agricultural engineer and has a PhD in natural resource engineering. The early part of his career was spent with the Victorian government combatting shallow groundwater and salinization in the irrigation areas along the Murray Valley.

Rod gained international repute for his research on the emission and dispersion of odours from cattle feedlots and on improving the performance of on-farm irrigation systems. The common thread through this and other work on evaporation and soil salinity was the application of advanced fluid mechanics modelling. Most recently he led a team that successfully converted the inefficient furrow irrigation system used on cotton into a ‘smart’, automated, water efficient system. He has published 200 research papers and reports.

Rod and wife Jo settled in Noosa in 2015. He is an enthusiastic longboard surfer.

Jady Smith

Board Member

Jady Smith is an environmental professional that has spent the past 25 years designing, supporting and leading programs for sustainability through environmental and heritage management in Australia and the Asia Pacific.

His career started with significant ecotourism roles including World Heritage listed K’Gari (Fraser Island), where he gained a strong understanding of South East Queensland. Over the past ten years he has focused on leading heritage landscape management at Angkor World Heritage site in Cambodia. Rehabilitating and adapting Angkor’s ancient water system have mitigated flood and drought issues: also providing direct economic returns and enhancing resilience.

Jady lives in Noosa and the recent fires and drought classification have reinforced the need for water to be a priority resource for management. He hopes to bring some of his experience to support strategic water management of the Noosa Biosphere Reserve.

Duncan Thompson

Board Member

Duncan is a manager for the University of the Sunshine Coast’s (USC) Office of the Vice-Chancellor and President (OVCP) responsible for the University’s Enterprise Project Management Office (EPMO) and strategic government relations. He has been involved in a range of transformational projects including expanding the role of USC’s Research and Learning Centre on World Heritage Listed K’gari (Fraser Island). Prior to joining the OVCP, he had two international development roles. The first was with Lihir Sustainable Development Ltd, based on Lihir Island Papua New Guinea, the second with USC’s International Development Office.

Duncan has a record of achievement in governance, policy, and research and enjoys working with people from diverse backgrounds and varying disciplines. He has knowledge and experience in the areas of urban planning, project management, organisation development, and cross cultural communication.

He has lived in the region for 25 years.

Rowan Rafferty

Board Member

Born in Sydney, Rowan has lived in, and was formally educated in Canberra. Rowan spent 23 years, until 1988, in a variety of roles in the Commonwealth Public Service including considerable experience in Central Agencies, namely the Public Service Board and the Auditor-General’s Office – Efficiency Audit Division.

He has also lived and worked in Brisbane and Melbourne.

From 1988 he worked in the IT industry in a variety of roles with corporate and government clients and from 2004, operated his own business as a Management Consultant, specialising in taking businesses to the web, advising on existing web strategies and successfully specialising in Web Search Engine Optimisation.

Moving to Mallacoota in 2010, within the UNESCO Croajingolong Biosphere Reserve and National Park, he volunteered in several organisations/projects in Mallacoota. The most successful and exciting being the Kitchen to Compost (K2C), waste management system (Australian Innovative Councils 2013 Award-winner).

Rowan moved with his partner to Noosaville in April 2018.

Sharon Wright

Sharon Wright

Executive Coordinator

Sharon has over 15 years’ experience in management roles across the social enterprise, tertiary education and hospitality and tourism sectors. Most recently she held the position of Electorate Officer for Independent Member for Noosa, Sandy Bolton MP.

Sharon was a founding team member of Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen Foundation in London, a social enterprise setup to assist disadvantaged young people to become chefs, beginning her five-year journey as the Foundation Coordinator and ending her time as a Senior Project Manager for the alumni project Fifteen Ventures.

From 2009 to 2012 she was a member of the Noosa Biosphere Ltd Education, Research and Development Board and co-hosted the “Voices of the Biosphere” radio program with former NBL Chair, Michael Donovan, on Noosa Community Radio.

Sharon holds a BA in Community Development and Communications from the University of the Sunshine Coast, achieving a Faculty Commendation for academic excellence in 2016.

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