Who we are

CEO and Governing Board

Chief Executive Officer – Dr Cathy Wilkinson

Dr Cathy Wilkinson became CEO of EPA on 3 September 2018. She is a senior executive with significant public sector experience leading the development and implementation of major policy and regulatory reforms for the Victorian Government in the planning, water and environment portfolios.

Between 2006 and 2013 she was based in Sweden, where she consulted to governments across Europe, completed a PhD at the Stockholm Resilience Centre and led projects with the Arctic CouncilRockefeller Foundation and the African Centre for Cities.

Since returning to Australia in early 2013, Dr Wilkinson has been an executive director with the Victorian Government, first leading major integrated urban water management reform and then leading regulatory, policy and applied science reforms at EPA.

Governing Board

Since 1 July 2018 EPA has had a new governance structure – ensuring we are better equipped than ever to protect Victorians from the harmful effects of pollution and waste.

The Governing Board was announced on 23 May 2018 and replaced the Interim Advisory Board that had operated since January 2017. You can read more in a media release from the Minister for Energy, Environment & Climate Change.

Strengthening and modernising EPA’s governance, and establishing the Authority as an independent environmental regulator is part of the Victorian Government’s vision for EPA, as outlined in its response to the Independent Inquiry into our role. 

EPA's governance arrangements are described in the EPA Governance Charter (publication 1453).

EPA Chairperson – Cheryl Batagol PSM

Cheryl Batagol PSM joined EPA as Chairman in September 2009 and has more than 40 years’ experience in the waste management, water and environmental sectors.

On 19 December 2017 Cheryl was appointed Chairperson of the EPA Governing Board until June 2020. Members of the Governing Board were announced on 23 May 2018 and officially commenced on 1 July 2018 under the Environment Protection Act 2017

Cheryl is also the Chair of the Cooperative Research Centre for Water Sensitive Cities and the Chair of the Heads of EPAs Australia and New Zealand.

Greg Tweedly – Deputy Chairperson

Mr Tweedly is the Governing Board’s Deputy Chair and has more than 20 years’ experience in regulation, governance, risk, audit and finance. Having been the CEO of WorkSafe Victoria for nearly 10 years, Mr Tweedly was responsible for the regulation of workplace safety in Victoria.

During his time as CEO, WorkSafe recorded the safest year on record, reduced premiums in seven out of nine years, and Mr Tweedly oversaw the implementation of the WorkHealth Initiative – a five-year program to offer and deliver health checks for Victorian workers.

Mr Tweedly is currently a director of Melbourne Health, Chair of Dorsavi Ltd and Chair of the Personal Injury Education Foundation.

He has a Bachelor of Commerce from Melbourne University, is a qualified Accountant (CPA), a graduate from the Australian Institute of Company Directors, and an Alumnus of the Stanford Executive Program and Harvard Leadership Program.

Professor Rebekah Brown

Professor Brown is the Senior Vice-Provost and Vice-Provost (Research) at Monash University. In this role she is responsible for leading the university-wide research agenda, contributing to the development and implementation of the research strategy and enhancing the university’s research performance, ensuring responsible research practice, integrity and compliance in accordance with the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research.

Professor Brown is also a Director of the RISE (Revitalising Urban Settlements and their Environments) Program, focused on South East Asia and the Pacific, which is funded by the Wellcome Trust.

She was formerly Director of Monash Sustainable Development Institute, Monash University (2014-2018), a leading interdisciplinary research and education centre working collaboratively with government, industry and philanthropists and to advance the knowledge, policy and practice of sustainable development and was the Chief Research Officer at the Cooperative Research Centre for Water Sensitive Cities (2011-2014).

Professor Brown holds a Bachelor of Civil Engineering (Honours) from Monash University and a PhD in Environmental Studies from the University of New South Wales. Professor Brown was also a member of the EPA Interim Advisory Board and Science, Engineering and Health Committee.

Monique Conheady

Ms Conheady is currently a Commissioner with the Taxi Services Commission, a Director with the Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation and a cofounder and director of DC Power Co. Previously, she was cofounder and CEO of Flexicar and subsequently held senior management roles at Hertz Australia after it purchased Flexicar.

Ms Conheady holds a Bachelor of Civil/Environmental Engineering (Honours) and a Bachelor of Arts (Human Geography) from the University of Melbourne, and is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and a Fellow of the Centre for Sustainability Leadership. Ms Conheady was a member of EPA’s Interim Advisory Board and chaired the People and Culture Committee.

Graeme Ford

Mr Ford has over 20 years’ experience advocating for rural and regional communities, having been the CEO of the Victorian Farmers Federation. For the past 20 years, Graeme has engaged with various government regulatory bodies on the design of regulatory regimes affecting the agricultural sector, and has held director roles with the Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show and FarmConnect, a not-for-profit company providing charitable support to the agriculture sector.

Mr Ford has a Master in Business Administration from the University of Ballarat, a Master of Applied Science from the University of Western Sydney, and a Graduate Diploma of Rural Resource Management from LaTrobe University. He is a graduate of the General Management Program of the Harvard Business School.

Ross Pilling

Mr Pilling is Chair of Swinburne University’s Industry Research Advisory Committee and the Victorian Government’s Advanced Manufacturing Advisory Council. He is also a member of the Innovation Investment Committee of the Innovative Manufacturing Cooperative Research Centre. Mr Pilling was formerly the Deputy National President of the Australian Industry Group, and a longstanding board member of the Plastics and Chemicals Industry Association.

His senior executive career with leading multinational companies BASF and BOC included several general manager and managing director roles in Asia, Australia and Europe. He brings an international, multicultural perspective to leadership and extensive experience of startups, post-merger integration and business transformation.

Mr Pilling has a Master of Science from Cranfield Institute of Technology and a Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) from the University of Liverpool. He is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and of the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering. In 2016, he was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Engineering by Swinburne University of Technology. Mr Pilling was a member of the EPA Interim Advisory Board and Risk and Audit Committee.

Debra Russell

Ms Russell is a member of the Department of Justice Audit and Risk Committee, the Surf Coast Shire Audit and Risk Committee and until recently was the Independent Member of the Essential Services Commission’s Compliance and Enforcement Committee.

She has a strong regulatory background, having been a senior executive with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission. For the past 16 years, Ms Russell has worked as a legal and regulatory risk consultant, including through PricewaterhouseCoopers, providing legal and regulatory risk services to clients. Her projects have included drafting the Privacy (Credit Reporting) Code registered by the Australian Privacy Commissioner in 2014 and a major role in the Independent Review of the Code of Banking Practice completed in 2017.

Ms Russell holds a Bachelor of Laws, Master of Laws and Bachelor of Arts (Honours) from Melbourne University, a Graduate Diploma in Education from Monash University and a Graduate Diploma in Applied Finance and Investment (Securities Institute of Australia). She was a member of EPA’s Interim Advisory Board and chair of its Regulatory Committee.

Professor Joan Ozanne-Smith AO

Emeritus Professor Joan Ozanne-Smith AO is the Head of Injury Prevention Research at the Department of Forensic Medicine at Monash University.

In 2016, she was appointed Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) in the 2016 Australia Day Honours List for her distinguished service to public health in the area of accident and injury prevention, to forensic medicine, and to higher education as an academic.

Professor Ozanne-Smith is currently a director of the Australian China Alumni Association and has previously been a member of the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT). 

Professor Ozanne-Smith has qualifications in medicine, public health and sociology, a research doctorate in injury epidemiology and is a Fellow of the Australasian Faculty of Public Health Medicine. She conducts interdisciplinary research and epidemiological data system developments in Australia and internationally, and has co-edited several World Health Organization global reports.

Page last updated on 1 May 2019