Board of Directors

The Australian Government and the Queensland Government are currently inviting expressions of interest from suitably skilled First Nations women interested in serving as a Director on the Board of the Wet Tropics Management Authority. 

To apply for this role please download the application form and the expression of interest details here

The Wet Tropics Management Authority Board of Directors is established under the Wet Tropics World Heritage Protection and Management Act 1993. The Wet Tropics Ministerial Forum comprises the Commonwealth and Queensland Ministers with responsibility for the respective environment portfolios.


The board consists of seven directors, including an executive director. The chair of the board and an Aboriginal director are nominated by the Wet Tropics Ministerial Forum. Two directors are nominated by the Queensland Government and two by the Australian Government—Commonwealth legislation requires that at least one Australian Government nominee is an Aboriginal person. 

These six directors are appointed by the Queensland Governor-in-Council for a term of up to three years and serve on a part-time basis. The Executive Director of the Authority is a full-time, non-voting board director. 

The Wet Tropics Management Authority Board’s key function is to implement programs to meet Australia’s international obligations for the World Heritage Area under the World Heritage Convention. Persons are qualified for appointment as directors if they have qualifications or extensive experience in a field related to the Authority’s functions.


The Wet Tropics Management Authority Board generally meets quarterly. In addition to advice from the executive director, the board receives advice from advisory committees and liaison groups that it appoints and through wider community engagement processes.                

The Authority's Board of Directors (L-R): Anne Clark, John Courtenay, Leah Talbot, Phil Rist, Leslie Shirreffs, Iain Gordon, Scott Buchanan.
Photographer: WTMA/Campbell Clarke


Ms Leslie Shirreffs is the Chair and Scott Buchanan is the 
Executive Director. 

They are joined by Professor Iain Gordon, Dr Sally Driml, 
Ms Chrissy Grant and Mr Phil Rist.

WTMA Board of Directors 2015-2020 (L-R): Anne Clark, John Courtenay, Leah Talbot, Phil Rist,
Leslie Shirreffs, Iain Gordon, Scott Buchanan.

Leslie Shirreffs—Chair

Ms Leslie Shirreffs PSM is a former senior Queensland public servant with 22 years’ experience in a range of positions relating to World Heritage management policy and programs across the state, biodiversity conservation, vegetation management, land planning and wildlife conservation. 

Professor Iain Gordon—Director

Professor Iain Gordon has a recognised international reputation in scientific excellence and leadership in environmental research.  Professor Gordon has over 30 years’ research experience on agriculture and environment issues across a range of continents as well as experience in engaging policy and industry stakeholders to ensure that research is relevant to the needs of those that will be using the knowledge. He chairs the Authority’s Scientific Advisory Committee.

Phil Rist—Director

Phil Rist is the executive officer of the Girringun Aboriginal Corporation and Deputy Chair of the North Queensland Land Council. Phil is a widely respected Nywaigi Indigenous leader whose skill and determination has played a key role in establishing Girringun Aboriginal Corporation as one of the most successful Indigenous community-based organisations in Australia.


Wet Tropics Board minutes

Wet Tropics Board Communiqués

Ministerial forums

  • Wet Tropics Ministerial Forum No 27 Communiqué  July 2017 
  • Wet Tropics Ministerial Forum No 26 Communiqué November 2016


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