The Board

The Royal Botanic Gardens Board Victoria (the Board) is a statutory authority established by the Royal Botanic Gardens Act 1991.

The Board has seven members, appointed by the Governor-in-Council.

Royal Botanic Gardens Board Victoria Members

Mr Kenneth Harrison AM, MBA, BBus, FCPA, FAICD Chairman

Ken Harrison is an accountant and investment banker, and specialises in commercial property, pastoral and agricultural pursuits as Chairman of Collinsbank Pty Ltd. Keenly interested in the philanthropic sector, he occupies fundraising roles with several key institutions. He joined the Board in 2012.

Professor Rob Adams AM

Rob is Director City Design and Projects at the City of Melbourne and a member of the Cities of the Future Council of the World Economic Forum. Rob has made a significant contribution to the rejuvenation of central Melbourne over his 33 year tenure.

Professor Tony Bacic FAA

Professor Bacic is a plant biologist with an extensive background in research and research training. His primary focus is on understanding plant growth and development with a view to ensuring a secure food supply and sustainable agriculture. He was Director of the Bio21 Molecular Science & Biotechnology Institute (until 31 December 2014), The University of Melbourne, Deputy Director of the ARC Centre of Excellence in Plant Cell Walls, and was a long serving member of the Maud Gibson Trust Advisory Committee.

Mrs Penny Fowler GAICD, BBus

With a background in business and marketing, Penny is the Chairman of the Herald and Weekly Times Pty Ltd and the Royal Children’s Hospital Good Friday Appeal. She is also a board member of The Australian Ballet and the McClelland Sculpture Park & Gallery. Penny is actively involved in a range of community organisations and is an ambassador for Second-Bite. She joined the Board in April 2014.

Ms Jillian Riseley GAICD MSt BA

Ms Riseley has 20 years’ experience in sustainability and public affairs and is currently Managing Director of Meliora Group, a strategic advisory firm. Ms Riseley has held leadership roles in the corporate and public sectors and is currently also a Board member of Launch Housing and Heathcote Health. Qualifications include a Masters of Studies in Sustainability Leadership from the University of Cambridge. 

Susanne Williamson

For 25 years, Susanne has held senior marketing and fundraising positions at charities including the Heart Foundation, Arts Centre Melbourne and Monash University.  Winner of multiple awards for her work in the nonprofit and commercial sectors, she is currently Head of Fundraising at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research.

Ms Jennifer Wolcott GAICD

Jennifer is currently Executive Director Policy & Planning, Regional Development Victoria. Jennifer has more than 20 years’ experience in the Victorian public sector holding executive positions in Environment Protection Authority, the Department of Natural Resources and Environment, the Department of Primary Industries and Parks Victoria. She has been a member of the Victorian Coastal Council and led a number of major inquiries including the Independent Fiskville Investigation.