Committee Members

Barwon Coast has 8 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 CEO Gary McPike Ph: 5254 1118 prior to attending.

Membership as at December 2021:

Sandy Gatehouse (Chairperson): Lawyer by training with a diverse range of management and legal experience in public sector governance and communications. Demonstrated capacity in risk management, contracting, strategic planning and stakeholder management. Active participant in community affairs and current secretary of the Barwon Heads Association.

Peter Farrell (Deputy-chair): Peter worked in natural resource management for his entire career, mostly in north east Victoria. There he was Regional Director responsible for the delivery of public land, forest and fire management, and environmental programs. Since retiring Peter has served on the Boards of the North East Catchment Management Authority and Goulburn Valley Water, bringing skills in strategic planning, corporate governance and community engagement. Peter is also Treasurer of Community Garden Ocean Grove.

Phil Emery: During his professional career, Phil has been appointed to a wide range of challenging positions in both science and technology education and several businesses including high level management and leadership roles as General Manager and CEO for a diverse range of local and overseas companies. Phil is also President of Ocean Grove’s Shell Road Pavilion Board of Management, a member of Barwon Health Human Research Ethics Committee (HREC), and Grand Master of Ocean Grove Harriers Running club since 1985.  

Meredith Blackstock: ​highly experienced Human Resources professional and a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, who has held a number of national Human Resources positions in large national and international companies in the Manufacturing, Distribution and Maritime Industries, working in both strategic and hands on roles. Since 2015 Meredith has been a Director of the Western Community Legal Centre (T/A WEstjustice).

Ben Carter: qualified environmental engineer and a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors with approximately 20 years professional experience in organisations including Melbourne Water, Barwon Water and the Transport Accident Commission. Currently holds the position of General Manager Corporate Services and Residential Independence Pty Ltd at the Transport Accident Commission.

Shelly Fanning: Director of Coastal Planning; sessional lecturer Deakin (School of Architecture and Built Environment).

Fiona Murray: A qualified lawyer with demonstrated expertise across land acquisition, retail development, property management and divestment. Fiona has held senior roles at Shell, Viva Energy and Wesfarmers and is passionate about sustainable land management and property development.

Peter Rankin: Extensive experience in Accounting & Business Advisory with over 30 years in Public Practice as Accountant, CEO, Director, Owner and Business Consultant. Community involvement includes Geelong Community Care Chemist, Shell Road Pavilion, Ocean Grove Surf Life Saving Club, Geelong Swimming Club & Collendina Cricket Club.

Clockwise from top L: Sandy Gatehouse (Chairperson), Peter Farrell (Deputy-chair), Phil Emery, Shelly Fanning, Peter Rankin, Ben Carter, Fiona Murray, Meredith Blackstock.