The Botanic Gardens and Parks Authority Act 1998 was proclaimed on 1 July 1999 to dissolve the Kings Park Board and rename the organisation the Botanic Gardens and Parks Authority. The Act clearly defines the functions and powers of the Authority and allows for the designation of other lands, such as Bold Park, to be placed in the care, control and management of the Authority.

The Botanic Garden and Parks Authority sits within the portfolio of the Hon Reece R Whitby MLA Minister for Environment; Climate Action. He was appointed to the position in December, 2021.

The Board of Management has been the governing body of the Botanic Gardens and Parks Authority since the Authority was established. Board members are appointed by the Minister and are eligible for reappointment at the end of their term. The members of the Board are appointed according to their experience in areas relevant to the Authority's activities and meet on a regular basis to consider issues of a strategic and policy nature.

The current Board membership is as follows:

Ms Gail McGowan

Ms McGowan was appointed to the BGPA Board as the Chairperson in 2022 and is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and member of the Western Australian Planning Commission Capital City Planning Committee. Ms McGowan was previously the Director General of the Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage and has been a member of the Infrastructure WA Board and held senior positions across Government including Worksafe and the former Department of State Development. Ms McGowan was awarded a Public Service Medal in the 2019 Queen’s Birthday Honours for her outstanding public service to land use, planning and industry development in Western Australia. Ms McGowan has been appointed for a three-year term until December 2024.

Ms Sheila McHale
Deputy Chairperson
Ms McHale has extensive experience in strategic management and governance. She was Chief Executive Officer of Palmerston Association Inc. for more than nine years, a Member of Parliament in Western Australia for 12 years and a Minister for seven years with responsibility for a range of portfolios including Arts, Disability Services, Youth, Women, Volunteers, Community Services, Consumer Affairs, Tourism and Aboriginal Affairs. Ms McHale is a member of the Governance Institute of Australia and a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. She is currently Chair of the WA Return, Recycle, Renew Ltd and Board director YMCA WA, non-executive director Y Services (Melbourne) as well as a member of the BGPA Board. Ms McHale was reappointed for a further one year term until May 2023.

Mr Trevor Hart
Mr Hart has more than 30 years’ experience with KPMG and over 20 years as an audit partner. Mr Hart connects KPMG’s mining expertise across all markets and his observations and insights have been sought and published by news feeds and print media and he provides commentary to mining forums and conferences. Mr Hart regularly consults with Audit Committees on matters of good governance, controls and financial reporting. Mr Hart was appointed to the Board for a three-year term to August 2022.

Ms Clare Hayman
Ms Hayman has more than 20 years’ experience in restructure and turnaround management and is an Associate Director at Deloitte in their Financial Advisory division, specialising in the public sector. Ms Hayman has assisted clients from both the public and private sector to manage complex appointments, address commercial risks, evaluate business cases, assess investment and credit risk, understand and improve financial performance. Ms Hayman was reappointed for a three-year term until October 2022.

Ms Nyomi Horgan
Ms Horgan has been a BGPA Board member since 2016. She has more than 25 years of strategy development, corporate communication, stakeholder management and investor relations experience gained in both the UK and Australia. Currently, Ms Horgan is the Manager Strategy with aged care provider Bethanie Group providing direction on asset optimisation, capital management, competitive position, and risk management and is responsible for business and strategic planning. Ms Horgan’s wealth of experience in strategy development, building strong reputations and engaging critical stakeholders was also established during several years with Bankwest, PWC and Alinta. Ms Horgan was reappointed for a further one-year term until January 2023.

Ms Sonia Nolan
Ms Nolan is an accomplished Executive and Board Member with cross sector experience within energy and minerals, education, social services, government, finance and geo-politics. Ms Nolan brings extensive experience in strategy, communications, social investment and partnerships, stakeholder engagement and governance. She has contributed to a number of Boards including the Catholic Education Commission of Western Australia where she led a significant structural governance review and chaired the sub-committee focused on system sustainability. Ms Nolan is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and holds qualifications in social impact, business (marketing) and arts (English and politics). Ms Nolan was reappointed for a three-year term until October 2022.

Ms Helen Rowe
Ms Rowe has worked across a range of fields in strategic fundraising, sponsorship and event coordination as well as running independent business advisory firms. She has held positions of Fundraising and Sponsorship Manager at one of Australia's largest providers of quality residential, rehabilitation and community care and was the WA Director of Development at the Lions Eye Institute. Ms Rowe is experienced in stakeholder relationship and management, strategic business advice and management, and the ability to raise awareness and build community engagement. Ms Rowe was reappointed for a three-year term until October 2022.

Professor Stephen van Leeuwen
Professor van Leeuwen is a respected South West Boojarah Wardandi Noongar leader. He has a profound respect for Country and engages and builds collaborative relationships with Traditional Owners and other land managers to co-deliver novel and enduring outcomes for biodiversity conservation, bio-cultural land management, and the stewardship of Country. Prof van Leeuwen is a botanical ecologist, research scientist and senior manager with a diverse research background extending from threatened flora survey, fire ecology and threatened flora and fauna management through to biological survey, arid zone ecology, plant taxonomy and pollination biology. He has worked for over 39 years across Western Australia, principally in the rangelands (Pilbara and Western Desert) and the Kwongan sandplains. Professor van Leeuwen has been appointed for a three-year term until December 2024.

Chief Executive Officer

Mark Webb PSM, BSc Agric (Hons), Post Graduate Certificate Cross-Sector Partnerships
Mark became the Director General for the new Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions on 1 July 2017. He now has combined CEO responsibilities for Perth Zoo, Rottnest Island and Botanic Gardens and Parks Authority and the former Department of Parks and Wildlife (renamed from 1 July 2017 as the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions). Mark was appointed Chief Executive Officer of the Botanic Gardens and Parks Authority in November 2004. He joined the BGPA in October 1998 as Director, Living Collections with extensive experience in horticultural research, public and private sector management and business.

Executive Director

Alan Barrett commenced as Executive Director of the BGPA on 23 July 2018. Alan Barrett comes to the BGPA from the Public Sector Commission, a central WA government agency that sets human resource management standards and ethical codes and provides leadership in governance effectiveness and integrity.

Page reviewed 08 Sep 2022