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management committee biographies


EDO NQ's current Management Committee members are:

Mark Buttrose - President

  • Mark is an architect with 35 years of experience working on projects in Australia, India, England, Nauru, Papua New Guinea and the Marshall Islands. Since moving to Cairns from Adelaide in 1995 he has been a leading figure in the preservation of hill slopes in the Wet Tropics, particularly Cairns, and has a deep interest in environmental protection and urban planning which he believes are inextricably linked. Mark has been on the EDO NQ management committee since 2004.

  • He is currently Director of a Cairns based Architectural Practice ; Director of a not-for-profit social housing company ; and President of Save Our Slopes Community Action Group (SOS); and previously a member of the FNQ Regional Coordination Committee, which assisted with the development of the 2009 – 2031 FNQ Regional Plan, a board member of a Cairns theatre company and a community leader of a human rights NGO.

    Grant Fawcett - Vice-President

    Grant spent the last six years working in the NRM sector. He spent five years with the Northern Gulf Resource Management Group based in Georgetown Qld. He worked in a variety of management roles predominantly representing the company and community with Government and other key stakeholders. The last year he was based in Mount Isa assisting the Southern Gulf Catchments Group develop its profile.
    Although relatively new to the NRM sector he has extensive experience in managing large and small businesses. After a Sales and Marketing career with Australia Post he took a senior role with Telstra. After five years he moved on and helped build a fledgling Telco, introducing pre-paid mobile phones to Australia.

    Grant is a specialist in developing structures, processes and policies that ensure the optimum results can be achieved through minimum resources. This is important in these days of reduced funding this is being forced on most Not for Profits especially in remote and regional locations.

    A strong believer in developing partnerships to achieve shared outcomes Grant is going about building relationships with a range of service providers in the Northern Gulf region to ensure adequate representation is provided to his adopted community.

    Brynn Mathews - Treasurer

    Brynn has been an active environmentalist since the 1970s when he lived in Tasmania. Moving to Cairns in 1995 to work for the Queensland Environmental Protection Agency, he quickly became active in local environmental issues as a long term Cairns and Far North Environment Centre member, and on the management committee of the EDO NQ since 2010.

    He has an extensive career in environmental management, with almost 20 years in State government environmental protection bodies in Tasmania, Victoria and Queensland, based in Cairns for ten years. He also was almost 6 years with the Mitchell River Watershed Management Group, with the last 18 months as Chief Executive Officer, a position which made him well aware of Natural Resource Management issues and the funding problems of small organisations.

    Since retiring in 2014, Brynn has put in many hours volunteering at the EDO NQ Office to maintain our presence in the absence of funding for a solicitor.

    Paul Matthews- Secretary

    Paul is involved in several community activities: President of Stratford and Freshwater Community Association (SAFCA), a community based not for profit organisation, acting as an intermediary between local residents and the three levels of government, in particular the Cairns Regional Council (CRC) to monitor potential developments in the area that may impact on the environmental and social values of the area. The organisation has been responsible more recently for the establishment of two heritage trails in Freshwater and Stratford to raise awareness for locals and visitors alike of the cultural and historical heritage of the area.

    He is Secretary of the recently formed Barron Delta Action Group, an organisation that monitors and srutinises any proposed development in the environmentally sensitive and ecologically significant Barron River Delta.

    Paul is also a member of the Cairns and Far Northern Environment Centre (CAFNEC).

    Paul had a tilt at local politics by throwing his hat in the ring to represent the CRC Division 8 in 2004 & 2008 on the former progressive Mayor Val Schier's ticket. Although unsuccessful in these attempts, he was vital in elevating Val to the Mayoral position in 2008, which led to environmental sustainability being introduced to CRC's activities. In fact - all CRC policies are now underpinned by this philosophy.

    Paul is a patron of the local arts community.

    Renee Lees - CAFNEC Nominee

    Renee Lees is a solicitor with the Cairns Homeless Persons’ Legal Clinic, a project of the Queensland Public Interest Law Clearing House, and has previously worked for the Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Legal Service, various community organisations, university and government across NSW, Northern Territory & Queensland. She is passionate about social justice and the environment and has pursued this through employment, volunteer roles and community activism.

    She holds degrees in Arts and Law (1st Class Honours) completed at Sydney University in 2003. She loves the FNQ region for its spectacular nature and landscapes, offering us an opportunity to live more sustainably and fairly upon it. She has been on the EDO-NQ Management Committee since 2013 as the CAFNEC (Cairns and Far North Environment Centre) reserved nomination.

    Kate Galloway - JCU Law School Nominee

    Kate Galloway is an academic lawyer at James Cook University, and is the JCU representative on the EDO management committee. She has a background in legal practice in property law, and has also served on management committees of community legal centres in Far North Queensland. In her academic work, she teaches and researches in property law, focusing on issues affecting interests in land. She has a particular interest in social justice and environment, and in the intersections between environment and property. Kate blogs at kategalloway.net where you can find posts on land and environment issues, social justice and property.

    Rebecca Smith - North Qld Conservation Council Nominee

    Rebecca is the nominee of the North Queensland Conservation Council.

    Bob Frazer - Regional Natural Resource Management Group Nominee

    Bob is currently the Company Secretary and CEO of Cape York NRM Ltd., Cape York Region's designated natural resource management body. Bob commenced in those roles in 2010 when he worked with the inaugural Board of Directors to establish and obtain funding for that community owned not for profit company.

    Bob has a background of more than 20 years experience in executive management positions in the not-for-profit sector, including 11 years as CEO of community owned regional natural resource management organisations. Previous positions held include CEO of NQ Dry Tropics, the Reginal NRM body for the Burdekin Dry Tropics NRM Region, CEO of Burdekin Community Association and NQ Regional Manager for Endeavour Foundation.

    During his career Bob has gained considerable practical experience in community engagement , community development, strategic planning and governance training and support. He brings systems thinking and wellbeing approaches to his paid and voluntary work.

    Bob has a background of tertiary level study in the social sciences and has a Masters degree in Sustainable Regional Development. He is a Churchill Fellow, recipient of the National Service Medal and the Bicentennial Medal for service to Australians with disability.

    Bob is currently a member of the Cape York Statutory Regional Plan Advisory Committee (Department of State Development and Innovation), a Director on the governing body of the Indigenous Consumer Assistance Network, and a Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (MAICD). He is also a volunteer for his local Rural Fire Service.

    Peter McCallum - Mackay Conservation Group Nominee

    Peter McCallum is currently coordinator of Mackay Conservation Group. He has been involved with conservation issues for many decades. He reestablished Bicycle Queensland in the late 1980s and joined Mackay Conservation Group in the 1990s. He first became involved with EDO-NQ during MCG’s successful campaign to stop the construction of the East-West Connector Road through wetlands in Mackay in 1999. He was MCG coordinator from 2000-2003 during the commencement of the mining boom. After a long period of absence, Peter is working again at Mackay Conservation Group and focused on the issue of mine site restoration and rehabilitation.

    Stuart Worboys - Independent Member

    Stuart grew up in South Gippsland, Victoria and completed his first degree at La Trobe University in Melbourne. An unexpected opportunity lead to two life-changing years in Papua New Guinea, which piqued an interest in tropical environments. Further studies at James Cook University followed (at both Townsville and Cairns campuses), where he focussed on tropical rainforest ecology. After graduation, Stuart joined an environmental consultancy firm, participating in biodiversity surveys, vegetation assessments and botanical investigations across northern and eastern Australia. His work as an environmental scientist has taken him to many remote and beautiful locations, developing a detailed knowledge of the plants and animals that make up the north's complex landscapes. His work has also contributed to impact assessments on some of northern Australia's largest development projects.

    Nowadays, Stuart enjoys working at the Australian Tropical Herbarium, where he can be found teaching botany, helping curate Australia's largest research collection of tropical rainforest plants, or swiping ginger nut biscuits from the tea room.

    Stuart has previously sat on the CAFNEC management committee for a number of years, holding the position of secretary and ordinary member. He also maintains contact with local tree planting groups, edits the SGAP Cairns Branch newsletter and heads bush whenever possible.

    And thanks also go to:

    Many thanks also to the number of dedicated staff who have served EDO NQ over the years, members who have served on the Management Committee and volunteers who have generously given their time, skill and energy. It is only through the dedication and hard work of our staff, Management Committee and volunteers that we are able to continue our work.