Committee Members

Barwon Coast has 9 volunteer members who are appointed by the Minister responsible for the environment at that time following a publicly advertised process calling for expressions of interest from the local community. Committee members are appointed on a staggered basis to ensure continuity.

The Committee generally meets on the third Tuesday of each month; except January. Meetings are held at the Barwon Coast office, off Ewing Blyth Drive, Barwon Heads. Meetings are open to the public, however intending attendees should contact the General Manager Gary McPike Ph: 5254 1118 prior to attending.

Membership as at September 2016:

Phil Emery (Chairman) Appointed in October 2014. A local resident since 1980, has worked locally and overseas as a business manager and CEO and also delivered science, environmental and technology education at secondary and tertiary levels. A keen daily beach user, founding the Ocean Grove Harriers in 1985 and is on the committee of the Ocean Grove Football and Netball Club.

Mark Rodrigue (Deputy Chairman): Appointed to the Committee in 2008, and appointed Deputy Chairman in 2013. A Barwon Heads resident having both personal and professional passion for the marine and coastal environments currently working as a manager of marine protected areas within Parks Victoria. He is an active member of Friends of the Bluff and the Barwon Heads Festival of the Sea, and can often be found with his head underwater in the Barwon Bluff Marine Sanctuary.

Ron Patterson: Appointed in September 2011. A resident of Ocean Grove for over 36 years with a professional background as a Consulting Engineer in building/civil engineering and environmental engineering. Ron has a close connection to the local area having been a member of Kindergarten and School Councils and as an inaugural member of the Ocean Grove Neighbourhood Centre. Many years of summer riverside camping and use of local beach areas motivate him to their care and protection. More recently appointed as a member of Barwon Water's Environmental Consultative Committee.

Sandy Gatehouse: B.Jur LLB has a strong history of community involvement and commitment. She grew up in Barwon Heads and has had a strong connection with it for over 50 years. A lawyer by training, Sandy has demonstrated capacity in legal practice, corporate governance, risk management, contracting, strategic planning, and stakeholder management. Sandy commenced her time on the Committee in July 2013.

Ross Middleton: Appointed in October 2014. A resident of Ocean Grove since 2013, following several years holidaying in the area, Ross is a consulting civil/environmental engineer, and brings over 30 years professional experience to the Committee. He is a member of Ocean Grove Coastcare, and enjoys beachcombing, and kayaking and bird watching along the Barwon estuary.

Briony Darcy: Appointed in October 2014, is an enthusiastic sustainability advocate, member of the Geelong Sustainability Group and is actively involved in Sustainable House Day.  Trained as an architect running a local practice, brings over 13 years experience in small business. A local resident passionate about preserving and enhancing our beautiful coastline for future generations.

Shelly Fanning: Shelly Fanning joined the Committee in September 2016. She is a practicing lawyer specialising in planning and the environment, as well as running her own planning consultancy - Coastal Planning. Shelly is a sessional lecturer at Deakin University (School of Architecture and Built Environment).

Peter Rankin: Peter was appointed to the Committee in September 2016. He has lived in Ocean Grove since 1986 and has a great interest in coastal development and the environment. He has had extensive experience in accounting and business advisory with over 30 years in public practice as CEO , Director, owner and business consultant. He is currently also the Treasurer of the Shell Road Pavilion, and has in the past been President or Treasurer of Ocean Grove Surf Life Saving Club, Geelong Swimming Club and Collendina Cricket Club.

Elisa Zavadil: Elisa joined the Committee in September 2016. specialises in fluvial and coastal geomorphology, and has a passion for the sustainable management of coastal zones. Elisa brings to the committee over 12 years’ experience in research and consulting in catchment and coastal zone dynamics, including technical investigations and stakeholder engagement. Frequently visiting the west Victorian coastline from childhood, Elisa has a strong connection to the region and is a keen open water swimmer.

Clockwise from top L: Phil Emery, Mark Rodrigue, Ron Patterson, Sandra Gatehouse, Ross Middleton and Briony Darcy.