(BSc and BEd) Rachel is the Chief Conservation Officer at WWF-Australia. Rachel was previously an advisor to Australia’s Threatened Species Commissioner and former Chair of Centre for Sustainability Leadership and International Zoos Educators Association. Rachel sits on an Advisory Board to Parks Victoria and Melbourne University and has developed award-winning conservation programs. Rachel was awarded Sustainability Leader of the year by WME (2010) and was profiled in Melbourne’s Top 100 most influential people through The Age newspaper (2011). In 2016 the Australian Geographic Magazine named Rachel in Australia’s Top 30 conservationists list. In 2018 Rachel’s leadership contribution to conservation and gender equity in the workplace was recognised when she was awarded a position on the Top 50 Women in the Victorian Public Service by the Institute of Public Administration Australia. Rachel’s current focus at WWF is to lead a team that secures a New Deal for People and Nature whilst delivering an innovative $300M dollar program to catalyse Regeneration across Australia.
"I was the kid who knew exactly which trees were home to which birds along our nature strip, and if I heard a cicada calling, I wouldn’t rest until I found it. While completing my major in Zoology and co-major in Environmental Science (BSc) at the University of Melbourne I had an ‘ah-huh’ moment - conservation is as much a social challenge as a biological one. Consequently, I went on to complete a Bachelor of Education. I now call the west of Melbourne home, and enjoy sitting with my family watching animals such as swamp wallabies, echidnas and even brown snakes make their way along the Maribyrnong River from the comfort of our living room. It’s never dull in my front yard! Working for WWF-Australia as Chief Conservation Officer has helped me consolidate my optimism for the future. I now spend my days leading a team of forward-thinking, highly-skilled professionals who are determined to strive for a better world. And while it was my passion for wildlife that placed me on this conservation path, it’s my love for my children and my hopes for their future that keep me on it."