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Meet the Board
John is a career Business Development, Information Technology and Retail Entrepreneur with over 30 years of diverse experience, covering several industries. John has worked across a wide range of organisations including start-ups, not-for-profit, government and multi-national enterprises. John has extensive board experience and has successfully raised several rounds on financing and exited a number of companies.
John pioneered the "technology self-service" industry in Australia and has successfully deployed these skills through Asia, Africa, Europe and USA. John is currently the founder and CEO of technology company - Eaziwaiver Pty Ltd - which revolutionises the way that facilities manage waivers, disclaimers and releases.
In "life before children", John founded and ran two dive stores and two dive resorts in South Africa and Mozambique. John has two children and currently resides on the Sunshine Coast, Australia.
Fiona Austin is a leading Brisbane safety and regulatory lawyer. She has extensive industry experience across onshore and offshore workplaces around Australia and has worked as in-house counsel in the energy sector. Fiona is employed as special counsel with a global law firm and was listed by Best Lawyers® in Australia 2016 for safety and health law. Fiona also lectures as a sessional academic within the faculty of health at Queensland University of Technology. Outside of work Fiona is a mother of two and enjoys kayaking.
Joe is an award-winning communications and advocacy specialist who has worked in more than 20 countries worldwide. He has raised over A$250 million for non-profit organisations in areas including international development, the environment and Australian Indigenous health and education. Joe has also worked as a journalist, covering events such as the Sydney 2000 Olympics and reporting for one of Australia's biggest newspapers. He helped write the Oscar nominated short film Miracle Fish and designed and produced a charity advertising campaign that was named the world's best by the International Fundraising Congress. He is based in Sydney.
Rachel Eberhard, Board Chair
Rachel Eberhard is an independent consultant who has helped facilitate partnership arrangements to improve water quality to protect the Reef. Working as a consultant since 2005, Rachel has worked closely with the Natural Resource Management groups and governments in Queensland and nationally to improve catchment management. Prior to consulting Rachel worked as a Queensland Government scientist in water quality and river health.
Her consulting work involves strategic planning, brokering collaborations, evaluating performance and enacting adaptive management strategies for regional natural resource management. She works with government, natural resource management groups, peak industry bodies and corporates.Rachel has qualifications in Agricultural Science, Natural Resource Management and Non-Profit Business (public benefit) business.
She has a passion for regional natural resource management, governance and planning. She also has a strong interest in innovative models for non-profit business. Rachel is an occasional diver, with a lifelong interest in conservation and sustainability. She also manages a conservation property in northern NSW.
Pete has been diving for almost 30 years and been involved with reef conservation since 1992, when he first went on expedition with UK based Coral Cay Conservation. Since then he has been involved with projects in Belize, Honduras, Fiji, Indonesia and The Philippines. He was Chairman of Coral Cay from 2005 to 2011 and is now Honorary Vice President.
Pete holds a BSc (Hons) in Banking & International Finance from the Cass Business School in London. Following a career in finance in the City of London Pete left the UK in 1996 to travel the world. Since 1999 he has been a PADI Professional and is currently a PADI Master Instructor. He has written three PADI Distinctive Specialities on Coral ID and Reef Surveying. Pete arrived in Australia in 2006 and immediately became involved with RCA; first as a surveyor and later as an instructor. In 2011 Pete stood in as Acting Managing Director of RCA for four months to facilitate the transition of HQ to Brisbane. He runs a business consultancy partnership with wife Ruth in Mission Beach and remains an active RCA instructor
Dr Diana James has more than 20 years' experience in strategic research and developing business, marketing and communications strategies. Her key areas of expertise include stakeholder and community relations, industry and market research. Diana's career began at the Royal Children's Hospital and other State Departments, then various corporate organisations. In recent years, Diana has combined a career as an academic in the Faculty of Business at Queensland University of Technology with consultancy research work for clients including Cardno Global Infrastructure Services, Office of the Parliamentary Leader, and Queensland Museum.
Diana integrates quantitative (survey based) and qualitative methods (interviews, focus groups) into research programs, with client reports
linked to clear strategy recommendations. She has qualifications in consumer behaviour (Doctorate), integrated marketing communications (Masters of Business), and public relations (Bachelor of Business). Passionate about individual empowerment, her community engagement experience attained through major organisational change and capital works projects delivered in metropolitan and regional areas.
Chris is a professional marine scientist with over 19 years of experience, including research positions, starting his own consultancy, and working for boutique and multinational consultancies. After finishing his BSc in marine biology in 1995 he spent the next seven years undertaking dive surveys of corals and reef fish along the length of the GBR. He started a marine biology consultancy in Townsville, which he worked in for several years before moving to Western Australia where he led a long-term monitoring program on the North West Shelf.
He moved to Brisbane in 2007 to start up the east coast marine biology business for a major multinational consultancy. He has led the marine components of some of the largest EIS' in Queensland, including baseline and ongoing monitoring of corals, seagrasses, mangroves, sediments and water quality. In recent years his work has primarily been on environmental assessment of offshore oil & gas projects, with a focus on risk assessment and maintaining preparedness to respond to oil spills. Chris is also a commercial diver, an OHS lead auditor and a member of two federal government panels providing advice and support on dredging issues, the EPBC Act and environment plans. He recently commenced studying law.
A huge note of thanks to Greg Bruce (Executive Manager of the Integrated Sustainability Services Department in Townsville City Council) and Dr. Terry Done (AIMS Associate, internationally renowned marine biologist and coral reef researcher) for their long and dedicated service as Reef Check Australia Board Directors. We wish them the best in future endeavours. (December 2015)