Barwon Coast
Committee of Management

Barwon Coast Committee of Management is delegated to manage Crown land along 19km of the coast along Victoria’s Bellarine Peninsula. The Committee of Management consists of seven members who are appointed by the Minister responsible for the environment 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 meets once each month; except January. Meetings are open to the public. Please contact Barwon Coast if you have an interest in attending.

The current committee members are:

Sandy Gatehouse (Chair)

Sandy is a lawyer by training, with a diverse range of management and legal experience in public sector governance and communications. She has a strong background in risk management, contracting, strategic planning and stakeholder management.

Sandy grew up in Barwon Heads and has been a resident for over 15 years. She is an active participant in the local community and is a Committee member of the Barwon Heads Association and a representative on the Combined Bellarine Community Association.

Peter Farrell PSM (Deputy-chair)

Peter has a lifelong experience in the natural resource sector, particularly fire, catchment and public land management. Before retiring to the coast Peter was Regional Director for the Hume Region for the Department of Sustainability and Environment (now Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning). Peter has previously held Board positions on the North East Catchment Management Authority and Goulburn Valley Water and brings skills in strategic planning, corporate governance and community engagement. 

Peter resides at Point Lonsdale and is Treasurer of the Ocean Grove Community Garden.

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Meredith Blackstock

Meredith is an experienced non-executive director and has been a non-Executive Director of the Western Community Legal Centre (Westjustice). Meredith has worked in senior roles in Work Health and Safety and Human Resources in large multi-national organisations in the manufacturing, distribution and maritime industries. 

Meredith’s connection with and passion for the Bellarine Peninsula stems from time spent as a recreational scuba diver in the 1990s and early 2000s.

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Shelly Fanning

Shelly is the Managing Director of Coastal Planning Pty Ltd and a sessional lecturer in the Deakin School of Architecture and Built Environment. Her areas of expertise are strategic / statutory land use planning and litigation. Her extensive background has provided Shelly with a broad understanding of land use practices in both the public and private sector.

Shelly was a resident of Barwon Heads for 6 years and currently resides along the Great Ocean Road. She is passionate about caring for the coastal environment.

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Geraldine Keely

Gerry is a registered nurse with an extensive background in critical care nursing and health service management roles, including 6 years in the regional office of the department of health.  She has held a previous board role at Timboon District Health Service and currently works at Barwon Health. 

Gerry has lived in Barwon Heads for the past 19 years after moving with her family from Melbourne and is an active participant in the local community and a keen gardener.  

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Stuart Brown

Stuart is an experienced commercial finance leader with a diverse background, including non-profit, NYSE and ASX listed organisations, and has held finance leadership roles in many organisations across Australia, Asia and Europe.

Stuart has broad experience in corporate governance, is currently a Non-Executive Director at a community legal organisation, and leads the Finance function for a well-known charity.  He has a keen interest in conserving the natural environment along the Barwon Coast coastal reserves.

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Naomi Wells

Naomi specialises in community engagement, environmental education and graphic design and leads education and community engagement projects for the Bellarine Catchment Network. Naomi has a strong connection to the Barwon Heads area having worked closely with the Festival of the Sea and Friends of the Bluff on a variety of community projects. She is very passionate about biodiversity and the protection of our environment. 

Naomi also serves on the Geelong Field Naturalists Club as Minutes Secretary.  She is passionate about promoting and celebrating diversity and inclusion for all with a particular focus on Traditional Owners and the LGBTQIA+ community. Pronouns (she/her).

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