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) was placed under the management of the Zoological Board on 27 June 1978.
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 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 and began his career with a series of 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 which 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 Education and Health, Regional and Remote at NBN Co. Her role focuses on leading the development and implementation of the regional and remote education and health strategies nationally, which involves working with key industry stakeholders to define the critical role the nbn network plays in enabling the digitised future of both critical sectors. Jen is a proud Darlot woman and is proud of her family’s heritage from the Western Desert region of Western Australia. She is motivated, team-orientated leader with diverse experience prior to her role at nbn including veterinary medicine and surgery; community development and engagement; international sport; cofounding and chairing an NPO; and roles in strategy, transformation and product delivery at Telstra. Jen is known for her team-orientated leadership style and strong work ethic underpinned by values of integrity, excellence, and versatility. Her key capabilities include business strategy and transformation; customer-centric design; change management; portfolio design, delivery and measurement; team leadership; and executive team engagement”. She has a Masters in Business Administration from Melbourne Business School. Jen is unashamedly passionate about all things sports and was recently inducted into the WA Hall of Champions for Volleyball.
Dr Teresa De Fazio
Dr Teresa De Fazio has extensive experience in inclusion and diversity, and strong background as an academic in the field of Education - all of which complements her board experience. 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 (ISILC) at Victoria University (VU) where she worked for over 22 years. She continues to supervise research students and undertake research. She has worked in educational leadership at various universities across Australia and was the Manager, Cultural Diversity Office at Victoria University. 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, Ambassador, Melbourne Victory Football Club, Ambassador, Asian Football Cup 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 a number of community and refugee organisations. She is passionate about the protection of wildlife and contributing to a just and healthy world.
Professor Anna Meredith
Professor Anna Meredith (OBE MA VetMB PhD Cert LAS DZooMed DipECZM FRCVS) is Professor of Zoological and Conservation Medicine and Head of Melbourne Veterinary School. Before moving to Australia in 2018, she worked at the University of Edinburgh’s Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies, where she was Associate Dean International and Director of Postgraduate Taught Programmes for the College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine. An experienced wildlife veterinarian, she was Head Veterinary Surgeon at the Edinburgh Zoo in Scotland for many years and established and led the University of Edinburgh’s Exotic Animal and Wildlife Unit. Anna chaired the UK Government’s Zoos Expert Committee, leading a strategic review of the UK’s Standards of Modern Zoo Practice, and was a Council Member of the Royal Zoological Society of London. She is currently a member of the Management Committee of Wildlife Health Australia and Board member for the Centre of Biosecurity Risk Analysis (CEBRA). Her research in conservation medicine examines the interrelationship between ecosystems, animal and human health. She is a Fellow and Specialist in Zoological Medicine of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons and a Specialist in Wildlife Population Health of the European College of Zoological Medicine. In 2019, she received an OBE for services to animal welfare and the veterinary profession.
Greg Smith AM
Greg has had extensive experience in conciliation and arbitration, both in Australia and overseas, through his previous roles with the Conciliation and Arbitration Commission, Industrial Relations Commission and Fair Work Commission. His skills in resolving industrial disputes across a range of industry sectors through conciliation, mediation and arbitration span more than 30 years. His non-executive Director experience includes being the Board Chair of the Country Fire Authority, and a Director of Ambulance Victoria.
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 Adviser. She was elected to the Legislative Council for Melbourne North Province in September 1999; she was 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 worked as an economic forecaster for IBIS Research Services and in project management for the State Transport Authority. Before retiring from parliament in 2018, she was Special Adviser to the Premier Daniel Andrews in the areas of Trade and Innovation. Since retiring from parliament, she has taken on a role as a strategic consultant. She has been a Board Member of the National Ageing Research Institute (NARI) Board since September 2019. 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.
Vijaya Vaidyanath is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the City of Yarra in Melbourne since 2012. Prior to this role, Vijaya spent more than decade as CEO at Waitakere City Council, a very large metro City in New Zealand, and as the CEO of Rodney District Council in New Zealand. She is a highly experienced Board/Advisory group member that includes public, private, NFPs, universities and international Banks. She is currently a Board Member on Procurement Australasia and Parks Victoria. Vijaya has exemplary qualifications including a Senior Executive Fellow of the John F Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, MBA from JMKatz Graduate School of Business in Pittsburgh USA, Master of Arts (Economics) and a Bachelor of Arts (Economics) from the University of Bangalore. Under the leadership of Vijaya, Yarra has won global, national and local awards and recognition. Her belief in building coalitions and developing the capability of the community has been her avowed work philosophy. Vijaya is renowned for her innovation, integrity, inspiring leadership style and a unique ability to deliver results. She has enormous commitment to social justice and value-based leadership.
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. He publishes on monitoring design, cost-efficient conservation spending, actions for preventing extinction, and species distributions under environmental change. Brendan has held numerous Australian Research Council (ARC) Fellowships and large grants, including as theme leader of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Environmental Decisions.
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.
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.