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Minister for Industry and Science welcomes new chair and members to marine council

24 December 2014

Minister for Industry and Science Ian Macfarlane says a new chair and three new members appointed to the Australian Institute of Marine Science Council represent a valuable new contribution to the body.

The Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS) is Australia’s premiere tropical marine research agency. It plays a pivotal role in providing large-scale, long-term and world-class research that helps governments, industry and the community make informed decisions about the management of Australia’s marine estate.

Former Queensland Governor and distinguished diplomat, the Hon Penelope Wensley AC, will take up her role as Council Chair from 1 January 2015, when the term of Mr Wayne Osborn expires.

In addition, Ms Diana Hoff, Dr Stephen Morton and Mr Roy Peterson have been appointed as part-time members of the Council.

“Dr Wensley will provide strong leadership and bring to bear her significant stakeholder relationships and experience including from her previous role as Ambassador for the Environment,” Mr Macfarlane said.

“Dr Wensley has a significant track record in building international connections and partnerships which will be highly relevant to AIMS and its strategic goal to strengthen its international footprint and impact.”

Mr Macfarlane said the three new members’ appointments would enhance the range of expertise on the council and help AIMS achieve its strategic goals for the decade ahead.

“With 25 years working with major and independent operators like Chevron and Amoco and as a scientist and a businesswoman with a wealth of experience in senior oil and gas industry roles, Ms Hoff will bring in-depth resources sector knowledge to the council,” Mr Macfarlane said.

“Dr Morton’s extensive expertise as a scientist and research executive dealing with conservation, land management and ecological sustainability issues, will be of major benefit as the Council works towards a long-term plan for the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area.

“And Mr Peterson has already made a substantial contribution to AIMS as an independent expert on the AIMS Audit Committee and will bring important governance and risk management skills to the Council.”

Mr Macfarlane said the new appointments would bring together world class expertise in coastal processes and marine technology, marine conservation, and experience in corporate governance.

“I congratulate Dr Wensley, Ms Hoff, Dr Morton and Mr Peterson and look forward to working with them closely as the Government further embeds science at the centre of Australia’s industry policy.”

Mr Macfarlane thanked the retiring council Chair, Mr Wayne Osborn, and members, Mr John Grace, Mr Nicholas Mathiou and Ms Elizabeth Montano, for their significant contributions to the Council.

Mr Osborn also wished the outgoing members all the best, praising “their leadership, enthusiasm and expertise, especially in business management, over the past decade.”

Media contacts: Mr Macfarlane's office 02 6277 7070

New member's biographies

The Hon Penelope Wensley AC

Dr Penelope Wensley AC completed a Bachelor of Arts degree with First Class Honours at the University of Queensland in 1967. She has been awarded honorary Doctorates by James Cook University, The University of Queensland, Griffith University and the Queensland University of Technology.

Dr Wensley has had a highly distinguished career as a diplomat, representing Australia in a wide range of overseas posts and senior policy positions. Her prestigious diplomatic appointments include serving as Australia's Ambassador to the United Nations for seven years, in both Geneva and New York, and as Ambassador for the Environment, High Commissioner to India and Ambassador to France.

In 2001, Penelope was made an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO), for her distinguished contributions to Australia's international relations.

In 2008 she became Queensland's 25th Governor.

On Australia Day 2011 she was appointed a Companion (AC) in the General Division of the Order of Australia "For eminent contribution to the people of Queensland, and to Australia's international relations through senior diplomatic representational roles and as a key contributor to initiatives of the United Nations”.

Ms Diana Hoff

Ms Diana Hoff is Vice President, Technical and Engineering at Santos, a major Australian oil and gas company supplying Australian and Asian customers. Ms Hoff is responsible for drilling and completions, major projects, surface engineering, safety and environment. She has 25 years’ experience with major and independent operators in the upstream oil and gas industry, including Chevron, Amoco and Questar. In 2010 Ms Hoff joined Santos in Australia as General Manager Drilling and Completions.

Ms Hoff holds a Bachelor of Science, Petroleum Engineering (Magna cum laude) from Marietta College, Ohio, United States of America. Her career in the oil and gas sector, primarily in the United States, has included engineering and management, and production management with significant focus on regulatory processes, including environmental approvals, stakeholder engagement and mitigations to lessen impacts to air quality, water quality and surface disturbance.

Dr Stephen Morton

Dr Stephen Morton has extensive expertise in conservation, land management and ecological sustainability issues. He is currently a CSIRO Visiting Scientist with CSIRO Ecosystem Services (formerly Sustainable Ecosystems).

Dr Morton holds a Bachelor of Science (Honours) and a Doctor of Philosophy in animal ecology, both from the University of Melbourne, and has published more than 140 scientific papers, book chapters, books, refereed reports and popular articles.

In March 2008, after three years as Chief of CSIRO Sustainable Ecosystems Division and three years as Group Executive, CSIRO Environment and Natural Resources (with responsibility for marine science), Dr Morton took up the role of Group Executive, Manufacturing, Materials and Minerals Group where he oversaw the development of long-term, multi-million dollar research and development alliances with General Electric, Orica and BHP Billiton.

Since leaving CSIRO in 2011, Dr Morton has worked as an independent consultant and has taken on a number of advisory roles, including as incoming Chair of the Arid Recovery Advisory Board (Roxby Downs, SA), Deputy Chair of the Territory Natural Resource Management (Darwin, NT), and member of the expert reference panel undertaking a formal review of the Water Act (2007) on behalf of the Department of Environment (Canberra, ACT).

Mr Roy Peterson           

Mr Peterson holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Queensland. He is a chartered accountant with strong governance and audit committee experience, including internal audit, risk management, process improvement and taxation. Mr Peterson has worked in audit and finance position for more than 32 years including 26 years as a Partner with PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) in Northern Queensland.

Mr Peterson is currently a member, in an independent expert capacity, of the AIMS Audit Committee.  He is a member of a number of Audit and Finance committees for clients, government bodies and not for profit organisations, has chaired the North Queensland committee for the Australian Institute of Company Directors, is a member of the Taxation Institute national taxation liaison committee and is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants and a Fellow of the Taxation Institute of Australia.