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 six members, appointed by the Governor-in-Council.

Ms Chris Trotman B.Bus (Acc), Grad Dip Ed (Health) MoE, GAICD

Chairperson – Appointed 9 April 2020   Appointed to the Board 9 April 2020   Ms Trotman has more than 20 years of executive experience, most recently as Chief Executive Officer of a public hospital in Gippsland. She has extensive experience serving as chairperson and member of a range of boards and committees. A former registered nurse, Ms Trotman holds undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in accounting and business and has expertise in finance, corporate governance and strategic planning. Living on a farm, she has a keen interest in agriculture and is committed to public health, public land management and conservation. 

Royal Botanic Gardens Board Victoria Members

Mrs Penny  Fowler GAICD, BBus

Deputy Chairperson – Appointed 9 April 2016, reappointed 9 April 2020                Appointed to the Board 8 April 2014, reappointed 9 April 2020 Mrs Fowler has a Bachelor of Business (Marketing) and is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and a CEW member. She has also been a member of the Royal Botanic Gardens Board Victoria since 2014 and is currently the Deputy Chairperson. She is also Chair of the Herald and Weekly Times and the Royal Children’s Hospital Good Friday Appeal. In addition, she is a director of the Australian Ballet, The National Portrait Gallery, Tourism Australia and is on the Advisory Boards of Visy and the Bank of Melbourne.

Professor Tony  Bacic FAA

Appointed to the Board 17 December 2013, reappointed 9 April 2020 Professor Bacic is a highly respected plant scientist. Previously he was Director of the Bio21 Molecular Science and Biotechnology Institute at 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. He is currently the Director of the La Trobe Institute for Agriculture and Food at La Trobe University and ARC Industrial Transformation Research Hub in Medicinal Agriculture. His primary focus is on understanding plant growth and development to secure a sustainable food supply with optimal nutritional and health benefits. He has been a member of the Royal Botanic Gardens Board Victoria since 2013.

Gillian  Hund OAM

Appointed to the Board 9 April 2020    Ms Hund is a graduate of Sydney University (Bach. of Ed), University of London (Grad Dip Teaching of ESN Children) and Swinburne University (Master in Social Investment and Philanthropy). She began her career in teaching, before co-founding and publishing a national magazine group. She currently holds several roles in the philanthropic sector, including Co-Founder of Melbourne Women’s Fund, and Foundation Officer at the Jack Brockhoff Foundation. She is also a member of Australian Institute of Company Directors and Philanthropy Australia and received an Order of Australia medal in 2020 for service to charitable organisations. She is currently Chairperson of the Royal Botanic Gardens Foundation Victoria, and has served on the Foundation for the past seven years.

Mr Tim Jacobs

Appointed to the Board 9 April 2020 Mr Jacobs holds a Bachelor of Arts (Honours). He has contributed in senior management roles to a variety of highprofile cultural organisations over the past 35 years. He was previously Director of Visual Arts, Craft and Design at the Australia Council, Director of Arts Victoria, and Chief Executive of both the Sydney Opera House and the Victorian Arts Centre. He recently served as Executive Director of Melbourne Festival, as a trustee of the Melbourne and Olympic Parks Trust, and as a director of The Myer Foundation.

Ms Susanne  Williamson GAICD

Appointed to the Board 9 April 2016, reappointed 9 April 2020  Ms Williamson has been a senior executive and fundraising professional, advising leading organisations in the not-for-profit sector for more than 25 years. Winner of multiple awards for her work in the non-profit and commercial sectors, she was formerly head of fundraising at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research, where she raised over $39 million in major gifts within five years. She is currently Senior Director, Development, Monash University, supporting a $500 million fundraising campaign. She joined the board of the Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria in 2016. She has a Graduate Diploma of Business, Marketing, and is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and a Certified Change Management Practitioner (APMG International).

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