Board of Directors
Martin Copley is the founder of AWC. More than 20 years ago, Martin purchased an area of land in southwestern Australia for conservation. From this small beginning, Martin has successfully promoted the development of AWC as a national conservation organisation dedicated to practical, on-ground conservation.
Martin’s objective for AWC was to make a practical contribution to conserving native fauna and habitats while raising awareness of Australia’s diverse natural heritage. In 2010, Martin was made a Member of the Order of Australia for service to conservation and the environment through the preservation of Australia's native species of flora and fauna. Martin passed away on July 30 2014.
Director since 2003. With a background in finance, Graeme was co-founder and Managing Director of Sealcorp Holdings Ltd (Asgard) until its sale to St George Bank. He is a director of several private companies and the founder of Wind Over Water, a family Foundation supporting conservation, medical research, the arts and social programmes.
His objective is to continue the development of AWC as a leading contributor to the effective conservation of Australia’s fauna and habitats and to reversing the decline of our threatened species.
Graeme is a member of the Board Executive, Remuneration and Audit Committees and a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
Ross E. Ledger is a Chartered Accountant in practice and company director. He is a past Board member of Sir Charles Gairdner hospital and a past District Governor of Rotary International. Ross is currently a trustee of the Stan Perron Charitable Trust and the Spinifex Foundation Inc.
Lea Ferris is a sculptor and yoga teacher by profession. She has 8 years experience as a director of Riverside Holdings Pty Ltd. She is also a qualified and experienced urban planner and has excellent interpersonal and communication skills which will assist with the development of business networks for AWC. She has a passion for wildlife and will assist with development of our vision and strategy.
Ross Grant is Chairman of Grant Samuel Group Pty Limited, an independent investment banking firm which he established in 1988. He was previously an Executive Director of Macquarie Bank Limited having joined Hill Samuel Australia Limited (the predecessor of Macquarie Bank Limited) in 1975.
Ross holds degrees in Mathematics (B.Sc (Hons) – Otago University), Economics (M.Com –Canterbury University) and Business Administration (MBA – University of NSW). He is a Director of The Centre for Independent Studies.
Appointed Director of AWC in December 2010. Andrew Clifford, BCom (Hons) (UNSW) is a Director of Platinum Investment Management Limited. Prior to Platinum Investment Management Limited, Mr Clifford was a Vice President at Bankers Trust Australia Limited.
Tim Flannery is one of Australia’s leading thinkers on environmental issues. An internationally acclaimed scientist, conservationist, explorer and writer, his books include The Future Eaters, The Eternal Frontier, Beautiful Lies: Population and Environment in Australia, and The Weather Makers: How Man is Changing the Climate and What it Means for Life on Earth.
Tim spent a year teaching at Harvard and currently serves as a board member of the National Geographic Society Research Grant Committee. In 2006 he co-founded and was appointed inaugural Chair of the Copenhagen Climate Council.
Named Australian of the Year in 2007, he quickly made that role an active one in the global arena, working with governments and business in North America, Asia and Europe to spur action on climate change.
Michelle Belgiorno is an exhibiting artist, a director of several private companies, as well as a Trustee of the Sir William Dobell Art Foundation. She possesses a Bachelor of Arts (Honours), a Master of Commerce and a BA in Fine Arts. Michelle has extensive experience in the philanthropic sector in Australia, particularly in arts and education, and has a background in corporate communications. She has had a lifelong love of our native wildlife and is passionate about preserving it for future generations. Michelle was appointed a director of AWC in 2012.
Mark Robertson OAM is based in Melbourne, Australia where he runs a family business incorporating property and hospitality interests. Mark has extensive experience in funds management, as both Director and Deputy Chair of HOSTPLUS and as a Member of the Industry Funds Management Advisory Board. He is founder and chair of Hotelcare, the charitable arm of the Victorian branch of the Australian Hotels’ Association.
Malcolm James McCusker AC CVO QC has practiced law for over 50 years. He was Chairman of the Legal Aid Commission of WA (1983-2011), inaugural Parliamentary Inspector of the Corruption and Crime Commission (2004-2009) and has received numerous awards. He was made an Officer of the Order of Australia for his services to law (2005) and a Companion of the Order of Australia for his services to the community (2012). He received two WA Citizen of the Year Awards and Honorary Doctorates from UWA, Edith Cowan, Murdoch, Curtin and Zhejiang University. He was the WA ‘Australian of the Year’ in 2011.
Malcolm has been patron of more than 100 organisations including the McCusker Foundation for Alzheimer’s Disease Research and is Chairman of the McCusker Charitable Foundation – his family foundation, which distributes substantial funds each year to worthy charities.
He has been involved in the surf lifesaving movement since 1955, and was awarded a Surf Lifesaving Bravery Award for the rescue of two people attacked by a shark in 1997.
He was the Governor of Western Australia from 1 July, 2011 until 30 June, 2014.
Sophie Chamberlain is the daughter of AWC founder, Martin Copley. She was born in Australia, brought up in the UK then returned to Australia where she has lived and worked since 1994. She has a BA(Hons) in Modern Languages and Information Systems and worked in the IT industry in both the UK and Australia. She is one of the founders and current committee members of Impact100 WA, a collective giving group with over one hundred members making high impact $100,000 grants to local WA not-for-profits. She has been involved with AWC since its inception through her father and strongly believes we need to do all we can to conserve the flora and fauna of Australia in their natural habitats.
Director since 2018. Dennis enjoyed a 48-year career in the Australian Public Service, including as Secretary of the Department of Defence, Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Director General of ASIO, Advisor to the Prime Minister and Ambassador to the United States. He currently serves on a number of boards, including those of Linfox, the National Capital Authority and his beloved Canberra Raiders. The 70-year-old is also Patron of the RSPCA in the ACT.