Who we are


Dr Wendy Craik AM, Acting Chair

Dr Wendy Craik was appointed Chair of the Authority on 1 May 2016 for a period ending 11 October 2020, extended as an acting appointment. Dr Craik was a member of the Authority from 12 October 2015 to 30 April 2016.

Dr Craik has over 25 years' experience in senior roles in public policy, including as Commissioner of the Productivity Commission, Chief Executive of the Murray- Darling Basin Commission, President of the National Competition Council, Chair of the Australian Fisheries Management Authority and Australian Rural Leadership Foundation, Executive Director of the National Farmers' Federation, Executive Officer of the Great Barrier Marine Park Authority and Chair of the NSW Marine Estate Management Authority and of the National Environmental Science Program Climate Science and Earth Systems Hub Steering Committee. She is currently Chair of the Steering Committee for the ten year program for the eradication of red imported fire ants and two committees providing advice on drought matters. She is also a board member of the Reserve Bank of Australia and Australian Farm Institute.

Dr Craik was invested as a Member of the Order of Australia in 2007 for service to the natural resource sector of the economy, particularly in the areas of fisheries, marine ecology and management of water reform, and for contributions to policies affecting rural and regional Australia.

Mr Stuart Allinson, Acting Member

Mr Stuart Allinson was appointed as a member of the Authority on 12 October 2015 for a term of five years, extended as an acting appointment. Mr Allinson was the acting Chair of the Authority from 12 October 2015 to 30 April 2016.

Mr Allinson's career has predominately focused on the energy sector, as a manager, consultant and company director in Australasia and Europe. In 2012, Mr Allinson co­founded BidEnergy and as Managing Director, took the company to an ASX listing in 2016. He is now a professional company director and is involved with a number of high growth businesses in the energy and sustainable technology sectors. Mr Allinson attended Imperial College of Science and Technology and holds a BSc Mathematics Upper Second Class Honours (Associate of the Royal College of Science) and Master of Petroleum Engineering (Associate of the Royal School of Mines). He also holds a Master of Business Administration, Royal Victoria University of Manchester, England. Whilst studying for his MBA, he attended Kellogg Graduate School of Management in Illinois as part of an international student exchange program.

Mr Allinson's early career was in oil and gas exploration and production. He later specialised in energy and environmental market deregulation. In 1997, he immigrated to Australia to work with Ernst & Young as an energy market specialist, consulting to governments, regulators and businesses involved with market reform.

Ms Kate Carnell AO, Acting Member

Ms Kate Carnell was appointed as a member of the Authority on 12 October 2015 for a term of five years, extended as an acting appointment. In March 2016, Ms Carnell became Australia's first Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman.

Ms Carnell was the CEO of the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) from May 2014 to February 2016. ACCI is Australia's largest and most representative business organisation, advocating for over 300,000 businesses across all industries.

Ms Carnell is well known and respected in the not-for-profit and business communities, having served two years as CEO of beyondblue and four years as CEO of the Australian Food and Grocery Council. Ms Carnell began her professional life as a pharmacist. She owned and managed pharmacies for some 20 years, was the inaugural chair of the ACT Branch of the Australian Pharmacy Guild and went on to become National Vice-President of the Pharmacy Guild of Australia. Ms Carnell served as Chief Minister of the ACT from 1995 to 2000.

In 2006, Ms Carnell was appointed as an Officer of the Order of Australia for her services to community through contributions to economic development and support for the business sector, knowledge industries, the medical sector and medical technology advances.

Hon John Sharp AM, Acting Member

Mr Sharp was appointed as a member of the Authority on 12 October 2015 for a term of five years, extended as an acting appointment.

Mr Sharp has a farming and business background. His political career commenced in 1980 at the age of 25 when he was elected to the Young Shire Council. In 1984, he was elected to the Federal Parliament as the National Party member for Gilmore. Following redistribution in 1993, he represented the seat of Hume. Mr Sharp served 14 years in the Federal Parliament, and from 1987 to the end of 1997 was a member of the Coalition's front bench as Shadow Minister and then Minister for Transport and Regional Development. He served as Federal Treasurer of the National Party from 2000-15.

During his parliamentary career, Mr Sharp became well known and respected for his role in promoting aviation safety and was responsible for numerous reforms, including a complete rewrite of the aviation regulations. He was also responsible for the reform of Australia's railways, creating the Australian Rail Track Corporation.

Mr Sharp is founder and director of Thenford Consulting, a high-level aviation and transport consulting company, Deputy Chairman of Australia's largest independent regional airline, Regional Express (Rex), Chairman of Pel Air, an airfreight business and charter operator, director of Luerssen Australia, and the Australian Maritime Shipbuilding and Export Group.

Mr Mark Lewis, Member

Mr Lewis was appointed as a member of the Authority on 1 April 2019 for a term of five years.

Mr Lewis has had a lifetime commitment to agriculture growing up on farms in Central Queensland and later owning cattle and sheep properties in South West Queensland. Mr Lewis spent many years with the Veterinary Services Branch of QDPI in the channel country and later in northern Queensland. He subsequently joined the Natural Resource Management division of QDPI where he first became exposed to agricultural climate variability as part of the Risk Management and Drought program. Mr Lewis has a Masters in Applied Science from UWS, and an Advanced Diploma in Management from the UWA.  He joined the Dept. of Agriculture in WA in 1996 and was involved in sustainable rural development and industry development. Mr Lewis was elected a member of the Western Australia Parliament in 2013 and later became Minister for Agriculture and Food. He now sits on a number of government and private sector authorities and boards and provides corporate advisory services to a range of companies.

Dr Russell Reichelt AO, Member

Dr Reichelt was appointed as a member of the Authority on 1 April 2019 for a term of five years. Dr Reichelt is the representative of the Australian Prime Minister on the High-Level Panel for a Sustainable Ocean Economy and a board member of the Great Barrier Reef Foundation.

Dr Reichelt's technical background is marine science, numerical modelling of ocean processes, ocean policy and management for conservation and sustainable use. In 2009 he led development of a new reporting mechanism for the Great Barrier Reef (the GBR Outlook Report) which was adopted by the national State of the Environment Committee and UNESCO’S World Heritage Centre for all World Heritage Sites listed for natural values.

Dr Reichelt was Chairman of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority from 2007 to 2018 where a high priority was to understand and report publicly on the ecosystem impacts of climate change on the Great Barrier Reef and tropical reefs worldwide. He has a PhD in tropical marine science (1980) and has served as CEO of the Australian Institute of Marine Science, Chairman of Australia’s Fisheries Research and Development Corporation, and as a member of Australia’s State of the Environment Committee.

Dr Reichelt has previously chaired Australia’s National Oceans Advisory Group advising a panel of 5 Australian cabinet ministers on creation of the world’s first Ocean Policy in 1998. He is an Adjunct Professor at the University of Queensland and Queensland University of Technology; and a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences & Engineering; Fellow of the Institute of Marine Engineering, Science and Technology.

In 2021 Dr Reichelt was awarded an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) for his distinguished service to marine conservation, Great Barrier Reef ecosystem management, and climate change research. 

Ex Officio Member: Chief Scientist; Dr Cathy Foley

Dr Foley commenced as Australia’s ninth Chief Scientist in January 2021 after a lengthy career at Australia’s national science agency, the CSIRO; where she was appointed as the agency’s Chief Scientist in August 2018, the second woman to hold that role.

While working at CSIRO, Dr Foley made significant contributions to the development of a patented high temperature superconducting Josephson junction, a nanosized structure that is the critical component of the most sensitive detector of magnetic fields. Dr Foley and her team’s most successful application is the LANDTEM™ sensor system used to locate valuable deposits of minerals deep underground, such as nickel sulphide, silver and gold. This has led to mineral discoveries worth more than $6 billion.

Dr Foley’s scientific excellence and influential leadership have been recognised with numerous awards and fellowships, including being elected to the Australian Academy of Science in 2020, along with an Order of Australia for service to research science and to the advancement of women in physics. She was elected as a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technological Science and Engineering in 2008 and was elected as an honorary Fellow of the Australian Institute of Physics in 2019.

Other awards include Agenda Setter of the Year in the Women’s Agenda Leadership Awards in 2019, the Australian Institute of Physics Medal for Outstanding Service to Physics in 2016, and the Clunies Ross Medal of the Australian Academy of Technological Science and Engineering in 2015. In 2013 she was named `Woman of the Year’ by the NSW Government.

Dr Foley has held various roles, including member of the Prime Minister’s Science, Engineering and Innovation Council, President of the Australian Institute of Physics, President of Science and Technology Australia, Editor-in-Chief of Superconductor Science and Technology journal and Council Member for Questacon.

Dr Foley is an inspiration to women in STEM across the globe and is committed to tackling gender equality and diversity in the science sector.