Committee Members

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

Membership as at July 2019:

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.

Sandy Gatehouse (Deputy-Chair): Sandy 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.

Meredith Blackstock: ​Meredith was appointed to the Committee in July 2019. She is a highly experienced Human Resources professional who has held a number of national Human Resources positions in large national and international companies  in the Manufacturing, Distribution and Maritime Industries. A past extensive user of Bayside and Coastal foreshores in the area as a recreational scuba diver, Meredith is interested in ensuring that our coastal resources are managed and maintained in a manner that balances current and future use & enjoyment while protecting ecological integrity. Since 2015 Meredith has been a Director of the Western Community Legal Centre (T/A WEstjustice).

Ben Carter: Appointed in September 2017. Ben is a qualified engineer with approximately 18 years experience in the delivery of major government initiatives for organisations including Melbourne Water, Barwon Water and the Transport Accident Commission.

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 Farrell: Peter joined the Committee in July 2019. 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 made the sea change to the Bellarine Peninsula late 2016.

Graeme Hanel: Appointed in September 2017. Graeme has been a Senior Project Manager with the Department of Economic  Development and held State and Regional Manager Positions in Fisheries and Agriculture portfolios.  During his career he has worked with Natural Resource Management agencies in the Northern Territory, South Australia and Victoria. He has played a lead role in establishing statewide and regional programs with a strong emphasis on stakeholder engagement.  Graeme is on the Board of the Barwon Heads Community Bank and is President of Barwon Heads Cycling Club.

Fiona Murray: Fiona joined the Committee in July 2019. Fiona is a qualified lawyer with demonstrated expertise across land acquisition, retail development, property management and divestment. She has held senior roles at Shell, Viva Energy and Wesfarmers and is passionate about sustainable land management and property development. 

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. Elisa 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 (Chair), Shelly Fanning, Graeme Hanel, Elisa Zavadil, Ben Carter, Peter Rankin, Sandy Gatehouse (Deputy-Chair).