Our Team

The Werribee River Association has become a professional environmental agency, with a team of part-time staff and a board of management that is guided by strategic priorities, a business plan and has its sights on creating a new environmental hub for Melbourne’s West. If you are interested in joining our board of governance, please review our Board Charter, and contact us via admin@werribeeriver.org.au 

OUR BOARD

John Forrester - Riverkeeper and Board Secretary

John is a well-known community champion for the Werribee River and he has been instrumental in leading the way for the development of the Association. John has made a significant impact to the Werribee River catchment through direct action, advocacy and education. His involvement and support for waterways reform now spans over thirty years. When not at his desk, John can be found surveying the river environs, bird watching and platypus spotting.

Kathryn Williams – Chairperson

Kath is an environmental scientist who has worked in environmental assessment and management for over 15 years. Kath loves teamwork and is a calming force within the Association. She volunteers with a number of organisations including TreeProject and Rotary, is raising two beautiful children and enjoys attending WRA planting days and Beach Patrol.  

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Muthu Pannirselvam PhD - Treasurer

Muthu Pannirselvam has had a varied and international career, commencing as a scientist, then academic and now moving onto entrepreneur. Muthu has a Master of Science and PhD, Science & Engineering, and experience on projects in water purification, use of recycled materials, and in building and overseeing laboratories for academic research. Muthu has strong project management and business skills that have included consultancy work, construction projects, property investment and organising international conferences. Muthu’s current business is focussed on real estate, technology and wellness. He moved to Australia in 2005 and now lives in Werribee South.  

John Marks – Board Member

John is a long-time environmentalist and community activist. John is the guy you call when you want something done. John leads the Friends of Cobbledicks Ford and is a regular contributor to other clean-up groups and Landcare activities. His skills and contacts span business, gardening, and boating. John is passionate about getting more people on the waterways. 

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Jasmine Thomas - Board Member ​

Jasmine commenced studying a Bachelor of Wildlife and Conservation Biology in 2023. She has been volunteering with the Werribee River Association for over 10 years. She enjoys helping out with educational events and public speaking, previously presenting at AGM’s and leading guided nature tours. 
In her spare time, she enjoys researching more about wildlife and environmental issues, as well as creating a variety of artworks, writing and designs.
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Dr Will Buchanan - Board Member

Dr Will Buchanan is currently the Chief Scientist at a Victorian water corporation and manages a multi-disciplinary team with a wide range of responsibilities. Will’s background is in environmental science and has a doctorate in chemical engineering. Will understands the challenges and opportunities of urban, regional and rural water issues, and has held national industry roles as Chair of the Water Services Association Australia (WSSA) Water Quality and Health Network. He is currently an Executive Group member of VicWater’s Intelligent Water Network (IWN) and volunteers as a member of the Wyndham City’s Environment and Climate Futures Portfolio Committee. In 2023, Will completed the company directors course. 

Amrita Ahuja - Board Member

Amrita brings a wealth of expertise to the education sector, currently serving as the Head of Senior School at Westbourne Grammar School. With a robust educational background including a Master of Education in Leadership and Management, a Master of Commerce, and Bachelor degrees in both Education and Commerce (with Honors), she stands out as a versatile professional. Additionally, as a recent graduate from the Australian Institute of Company Directors, Amrita exhibits a keen focus on critical areas such as risk management, governance, strategic planning, and policy development.

OUR STAFF

Charlotte Williamson – Education Manager

Charlotte has over 15 years-experience as an environmental educator, and since August 2021 has been the inaugural Education Manager for the Werribee River Association – leading walks, talks, stalls and seminars for people of all ages and backgrounds. Charlotte has delivered the 1st year of the Association’s CALD programming, that is trialling the Waterways of the West CALD toolkit. Charlotte has built new relationships, new resources, and is supporting some great events and partnerships including on water events. If you want a presentation or to discuss a community environmental project, please reach out to Charlotte.

Lisa Field – Community & Business Development Manager

Lisa has worked extensively in community services and a history of environmental activism. Since November 2020 Lisa has overseeing the community programming, and business services, communications and key projects of the Association. Supporting staff, attracting ongoing funding and partnerships is a key part of Lisa’s role. Lisa welcomes contact from new partners, sponsors and benefactors, as she seeks to build the capacity and reach of the Association’s work. Lisa is also a volunteer, leading the Love Our Street 3030 clean-up group, hates plastic, loves composting, cooking and connecting with like-minded people. 

Maryann Weatherill – Regeneration Officer

Maryann has extensive conservation expertise, working with local government, land and water managers, and community organisations. Since 2021, Maryann has worked steadily to grow the Werribee River Associations Landcare programming. Maryann is also playing a lead role is monitoring our broad range of programs, in building partnerships and not just out in the field weeding, brush cutting, and digging holes. Maryann is the best person to reach out to for discussions on land management services or if you want to delve deep into nature discussions.

Jess Fairfax – Sustainability Officer

Jess is a creative scientific communicator and environmental programmer, working to build up our services and programs that promote sustainable living practices. Since 2021 Jess has been delivering on some short and medium terms projects that include immersive nature experiences, community connections, volunteer support and presentations on all things to do with waste and sustainability. Jess is also a sound artist and journalist and uses creative expression to inform environmental awareness and action.

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Other team members

The Association employs a range of casual team members to help with the delivery of our profession services, some as contractors, some as casual staff members. We also support students to undertake their internships.