Board, governance, policies & procurement
Zoos Victoria is a statutory authority, governed by the Zoological Parks and Gardens Board.
Learn more about the Zoological Parks and Gardens Act 1995, our board and the policies which Zoos Victoria adheres to.
The Zoological Parks & Gardens Act 1995
The Zoological Parks and Gardens Act 1995 (version incorporating Amendments as at 5 April 2005) aims to:
- Conserve, protect, manage and improve the zoological parks and managed land and the zoological collections
- Promote and increase public enjoyment of the zoological collections, zoological parks and managed land
- Increase public knowledge and awareness of the zoological collections and the zoological parks through publications, educational programs and advisory services and other activities
- Carry out an promote zoological research, the conservation of wildlife and natural habitats and the maintenance of biodiversity
The Werribee Zoological Park (now known as Werribee Open Range Zoo) was established by the board in December 1975 and opened to the public in September 1983.
Healesville Sanctuary (originally The Sir Colin MacKenzie Zoological Park) and Kyabram Fauna Park were placed under the management of the Zoological Board on 27 June 1978 and 1 October 2022, respectively.
Zoos Victoria's Board
The Zoological Parks and Gardens Board is our governing body.
Established in 1973 as a statutory authority, the board’s role is to protect and promote our zoos and their roles in conservation, research and education. We operate under the Zoological Parks and Gardens Act 1995.
The board is appointed by the Victorian Minister for Environment and Climate Change.
Rebecca McKenzie is an accomplished public sector leader with a successful career at executive level in Australia, UK and the Republic of Ireland. Rebecca joined the Zoos Victoria Board in July 2018. CEO at City of Glen Eira since February 2016, Rebecca has held CEO and executive roles across local and state government, and in the higher education sector. Rebecca is passionate about creating resilient communities with a sense of pride of place. A values-based leader who invests in her people, Rebecca builds strong relationships at all levels, and acts as a mentor and coach for emerging leaders. Rebecca also sits on the South East Water Customer and Community Advisory Council and Advisory Council and the Ministerial Advisory Committee on Gender Equality. Rebecca’s qualifications include a Bachelor of Arts, Masters of Science and she is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
Tony Hallam is a Chartered Accountant, whose career has included management and leadership positions over 20 years at PwC, including nine years as a Partner. He moved into the sports and major event industry in 2005 and has held senior executive positions within golf, football (FFA), and cricket, as well as his Chair and Board positions with Melbourne Stadiums Limited (Etihad now Marvel Stadium), Melbourne Boomers WNBL Club, and Yarra Bend Golf group of companies. He was one of the Founding Shareholders and Executive Chairman of Confirmations Asia Pacific that represented Confirmation.com (2013-2019) with offices in Australia, Singapore, and Hong Kong. He has also been a Board Director at the Brotherhood of St Laurence since October 2018 and is the Chair of its Financial and Investment Committee.
Dr Jennifer Beer
Dr Jennifer Beer (BSc BVMS MBA) is the head of 1800RESPECT at Telstra Health, working collaboratively with specialist organisations to eliminate violence and harassment in all settings. She is a proud Darlot woman with a family heritage from the Western Desert region of Australia. With a Masters in Business Administration from Melbourne Business School, she is a motivated, team-orientated leader with diverse experience including veterinary medicine and surgery; community development and engagement; international sport; and roles in strategy, transformation and product delivery at Telstra and, previously, as Head of Education and Health, Regional and Remote at NBN Co, focussing on leading the development and implementation of regional and remote education and health strategies nationally. She is also passionate about sport, and was recently inducted into the WA Hall of Champions for Volleyball.
Dr Teresa De Fazio OAM
Dr Teresa De Fazio has extensive experience in inclusion and diversity, and a strong background as an academic in the field of Education. She is the Director of Intersect Global Partners working with government, industry and community to lead and support a range of inclusive and equity practices. She served two terms as a Commissioner of the Victorian Multicultural Commission. She continues to be an Adjunct Fellow of the Institute for Sustainable Industries and Liveable Cities at Victoria University where she worked for over 22 years, and continues to supervise research students and undertake research. In the Australia Day Honours 2021, she was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for her services to tertiary education. Among other roles, she is a Board member of Multicultural Arts, Victoria, works as Editor-in-Chief for Segmento Magazine, Regional Advisory Committee Member for the Victorian Multicultural Commission, Member of the Centre for Resilient and Inclusive Societies Consortia, Melbourne Victory Football Club Ambassador, Asian Football Cup Ambassador and Love of Languages Ambassador. She is an advisor to the Society for South Sudanese Professionals Association and a past Board Member of the Edmund Rice Community and Refugee Services. She continues to work closely with community and refugee organisation and she is passionate about the protection of wildlife and contributing to a just and healthy world.
The Hon Marsha Thomson
The Hon Marsha Thomson is a former Member for the Victorian Parliament. She worked as a Research Officer, Electorate Officer, Manager and Ministerial Advisor. She was elected to the Legislative Council for Melbourne North Province in September 1999; and elected to the Legislative Assembly for Footscray in November 2006, November 2010 and November 2014. In her inaugural speech to Parliament, she said: “Government is responsible for providing social cohesion where everyone feels they have a place within”. She served as a Minister for Small Business and Consumer Affairs and was the first woman in Australia to hold the portfolio of Minister for Information, Communications and Technology; she was the first female Jewish minister in Australia and was Special Advisor to the Premier Daniel Andrews in the areas of trade and innovation. Since retiring from parliament in 2018, she has become a strategic consultant. She has been a Board Member of the National Ageing Research Institute since September 2019.
Prof Brendan Wintle
Brendan Wintle is Professor of Conservation Ecology at the University of Melbourne and the Director of Australia’s National Environmental Science Programme (NESP) Threatened Species Recovery Research Hub. He develops quantitative methods to support conservation decision-making and policy. He teaches Applied Ecology and Environmental Risk Assessment, publishes on monitoring design, cost-efficient conservation spending, actions for preventing extinction, and species distributions under environmental change. He has held numerous Australian Research Council (ARC) Fellowships and large grants, including as theme leader of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Environmental Decisions.
Marg Allan PSM
Marg Allan has public sector experience, having worked at executive levels in state and local government, largely in central Victoria. Her background includes specialist knowledge of governance, strategy, people leadership and stakeholder relationships. She is passionate about seeing communities thrive and supporting natural healthy environments.
Marg has extensive Board experience including on the Dhelkunya Dja Land Management Board, and former Chair of the Kyabram Fauna Park Committee of Management. She is currently a member of the Victorian Local Government Grants Commission. She joined the Zoos Victoria Board in 2023.
Marg’s qualifications include a Bachelor of Business, Graduate Diploma of Public Policy, Master of Public Policy and Governance and she is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
Dr Chloe Buiting
Dr Chloe Buiting is a veterinarian and wildlife conservationist, as well as the Director of Outreach at Loop Abroad, a veterinary conservation-based study abroad organisation, facilitating educational programs for students. She is also a conservation consultant for Fauna and Flora International, an international conservation organisation working to protect threatened species and habitats. She is presently a member of the Board’s Science Advisory Committee. She has completed a Bachelor of Science and Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, both at the University of Melbourne, followed by additional training in large animals in Africa, as well as the Foundations of Directorship course through the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
Erin Lightfoot is an experienced chief executive officer and board director, with a long standing and varied career across the private and public sectors of tourism, events, marketing, and advertising industries. Ms Lightfoot is General Manager of HERO and was formerly Chief Executive Officer of Magnum Opus Partners, as well as of Victorian Tourism and Events Industry Council. She is presently a non-executive director of GenConsolidated Holdings and Vice-Chair and Treasurer of Cultural Attractions Australia; an organisation showcasing experiences that offer a distinctive lens on Australia’s culture and life. Ms Lightfoot holds a Bachelor of Business, Tourism and Information Systems and qualifications through the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
Zoos Victoria's Patron
The Hon. Linda Dessau AC, Governor of Victoria
Zoos Victoria Foundation Advisory Board
The Zoos Victoria Foundation Advisory Board comprises a select group of Melbourne's influential community and business leaders, who play an ambassadorial role in the development of fundraising and partnership opportunities with individual donors and the corporate and philanthropic sectors.
Pareto Phone Data Breach
27 September 2023
Zoos Victoria has been advised by former third-party supplier Pareto Phone that some personal information from an animal adoption donor campaign in 2015 has been compromised in a data breach, which also affects many other charities in Australia and New Zealand.
Unfortunately, Pareto Phone used the wrong details to contact Zoos Victoria and we only received notification on 21 September 2023. Zoos Victoria utilised Pareto Phone in 2015 to contact lapsed donors, asking them to reactivate their regular gift. On becoming aware of the cyber-incident, we immediately requested details of the data that has been potentially breached and can confirm that the information collected was limited to Surname, City, Postcode, State and Email. A small number had the Date of Birth included. There was no financial information or personal identification information involved.
We have not used Pareto Phone since 2015. We were not aware that Pareto Phone had retained this historical data and this is a fundamental breach of trust where the data should have been properly disposed of after the campaign in 2015. We want to emphasize that our own systems have not been compromised.
We know this sort of incident can be stressful. We deeply regret that some of our donor information has been compromised in this breach. We are contacting affected supporters. Zoos Victoria has informed the Office of the Victoria Information Commissioner of the breach.
Making and Handling Public Interest Disclosure
The Public Interest Disclosures Act 2012 (Vic) ensures that people who report improper conduct and corruption in the Victorian public sector can do so in the knowledge that they will be protected. Zoos Victoria is not a public body able to receive public interest disclosure. You must make submit your disclosures to the Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission ( IBAC ). Refer to the procedures for making public interest disclosure.
Gifts, Benefits and Hospitality Policy
Zoos Victoria's Gifts, Benefits and Hospitality Policy incorporates the minimum accountabilities for managing gifts, benefits and hospitality at Zoos Victoria.
Looking for our annual reports? Please head to the About Us page.
See the below resources for more information regarding Zoos Victoria's status as a not-for-profit and tax-deductibility.
Zoos Victoria is a ZAA Accredited zoo-based conservation organisation dedicated to the continuous support of positive animal welfare through a science-based approach.
The ZAA accreditation involves a thorough process where zoos, aquariums, sanctuaries, and wildlife parks provide compelling evidence on their operations, policies and the experiences of their animals. This assessment goes beyond the minimum legal government requirements placed on zoos and aquariums, using the Five Domains model to reach a higher standard and continuously support positive animal welfare.