Our Board & Committees of the Board
The Gold Coast Waterways Authority is a statutory authority governed by a decision-making board appointed by, and accountable to the Minister for Main Roads, Road Safety and Ports.
The Board comprises seven members – all of whom are Gold Coast residents and leaders in the local community with expertise in sustainable planning and development.
The Board has three committees: the Audit and Risk Committee, the Science and Innovation Advisory Committee and the Waterways Projects Committee.
The Board is committed to setting priorities locally. Meet The Board sessions are held regularly throughout the Gold Coast to provide community members with the opportunity to provide their input on planning for the waterways now and into the future. Over the past 12 months, the Board has met with more than 1000 residents from diverse backgrounds and waterways interests. Information on upcoming community consultations can be found by subscribing to our e-newsletter or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Read the Board Charter.
Read more about our Board members below.
Chair (since 1 December 2015)
Mara Bún is a Company Director and digital strategy consultant.
A trained economist, Mara began her career in investment banking in Morgan Stanley’s Mergers and Acquisitions Group in New York and later specialised in high technology finance as a senior financial analyst in Morgan Stanley’s San Francisco High Technology Group. She has been a Director of The Allen Consulting Group’s Sydney practice, was Director of Business Development for the CSIRO and a member of CSIRO’s Executive Management Council, and was head of policy and public affairs at CHOICE. During the rise of the Internet and into the Dotcom boom Mara was Senior Equities Analyst leading Macquarie Bank’s Internet equities research team.
Mara moved to Tallebudgera Valley in 2006 and led research for Canstar. She was founding CEO of Green Cross Australia, a Mikhail Gorbachev charity addressing natural disaster resilience which was seed funded by Peter Beattie and Campbell Newman in 2008 after President Gorbachev participated in a seminal Brisbane Festival event.
Mara is currently a Non-executive Director of two commercial boards, and is strategy and development advisor to Food Agility Cooperative Research Centre, a federally funded research program dedicated to boosting the comparative advantage of the Australian agrifood sector through the use of digital technologies. Food Agility is led by UTS, QUT and Curtin University in collaboration with five state governments and multiple food and technology companies including CommBeef, Sydney Fish Markets, Bosch, The Yield, KPMG and NAB.
Mara was recently appointed honorary national President of the Australian Conservation Foundation, Australia’s national environmental non-profit with over 500,000 supporters and a 52 year history of protecting our environmental heritage. She serves as Industry Fellow of the Griffith Business School Centre for Sustainable Enterprise.
Mayor Tom Tate, City of Gold Coast
Tom Tate was elected Mayor of the Gold Coast in April 2012 and re-elected in March 2016.
Mayor Tate is a civil engineer by trade, having graduated from the University of NSW in the early ‘80s. He started his career in the construction industry and later moved into the tourism and hospitality industry.
With a strong business background, Mayor Tate has spent his time in office ensuring everyone knows that the Gold Coast is ‘open for business’. This has seen certainty return to the city, which in turn has boosted confidence and created significant investment across the Gold Coast.
With the Gold Coast now the next host city for the 2018 Commonwealth Games, Mayor Tate is also leading a city that is embracing change and dreaming big. Mayor Tate believes major projects currently in the pipeline will help transform the Gold Coast from a city with potential to a truly world class global centre. These major projects include: the Gold Coast Cultural Precinct; Gold Coast Chinatown and the creation of Southport as the city’s true Central Business District (CBD).
Mayor Tate is working to return that ‘have a go’ spirit back to the Gold Coast. He has committed to reducing the cost of living pressure facing residents, reform council, cut waste and broaden the Gold Coast’s economic base beyond its cornerstones of tourism and construction.
The multicultural Mayor was born in Asia and speaks three languages.
Appointed Member (since 1 December 2012)
Michael (Mike) Bartlett is retired with a background in marine, coastal and waterway planning. Mike served as a seaman, deck officer and master in both the Merchant Service and Royal Australian Navy Reserve, visiting over 30 countries before coming ashore. He then had a range of experience from labourer to Managing Director in private enterprise in manufacturing, mining and transport, while simultaneously gaining qualifications in engineering, production, transport and management.
He is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Transport and Member of the ports, marinas, marine authorities, tourism organisations and shipyards in Australia and overseas. Mike has small boat experience, both sail and power, on the Gold Coast and lives on the Nerang River. In the early nineties, Mike chaired the Darwin Port Services, was President of the Association of Australian Port and Marine Authorities and undertook the role of Chairman for Cruise Down Under and the Marine Board of Queensland. Mike has also been a member of the South Pacific Ports Association, Cairns International Trade Centre and Transport and Distribution Industry Training Board. Mike was also a member of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority’s Tourism and Recreation Advisory Committee.
Appointed Member (since 1 March 2018)
Loretta Lynch is the Managing Director of Keolis Downer Gold Coast; the company that operates and maintains the G:link. Originally from Brisbane, Loretta now proudly oversees G:link’s operational, customer service and maintenance teams providing world class light rail services to the people of the Gold Coast over the 20km line with 18 light rail vehicles and over 200 staff.
Loretta has more than 25 years of experience working in Australia and Argentina with transport, construction, mining and contracting companies in general management, commercial, treasury, and accounting roles. Her strengths are in developing corporate strategy, creating high-performance teams and corporate and financial oversight. Loretta is passionate about people and learning, is an AICD graduate and holds MBA, CPA (Fellow) and B. Bus qualifications.
Loretta chairs the GCWA Audit and Risk subcommittee, is on the Board of Gold Coast Central Chamber of Commerce, is a lay member appointee to the State Government Legal Practice Committee and was previously a director of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Service (Qld).
Leslie Shirreffs PSM
Appointed Member (since 1 December 2015)
Leslie Shirreffs has been a Gold Coast resident for more than twenty years, first taking up the position of General Manager of the David Fleay Wildlife Park and then District Manager for the Queensland National Parks and Wildlife Service, with responsibility for the world heritage listed Gondwana Rainforests of Australia. She also served as a park expert on the federal government’s Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Consultative Committee, the only non-Tasmanian appointee, and has held responsibility for world heritage policy in Queensland. Leslie has extensive experience in environmental, natural resource, land, valuation and wildlife management, planning, policy and legislation.
Significantly, she held responsibility for delivery of the end of broad scale clearing as Director of the State’s vegetation management legislation. Through numerous activities, including implementation of the Land and Sea Indigenous Ranger program across the Cape York Peninsula, Gulf of Carpentaria and Lake Eyre Basin, Leslie has extensive experience working with Aboriginal communities across Queensland. Her early career involved industry development, media and public affairs roles that exposed her to wider community and economic issues. In 2012, she was awarded a Public Service Medal in the Australia Day Honours for outstanding public service to environmental conservation and management in Queensland. She was recently appointed by the Australian and Queensland Governments as Chair of the Wet Tropics Management Authority.
Professor Rodger Tomlinson
Appointed Member (since 1 December 2012)
Professor Rodger Tomlinson is the City of Gold Coast Professor of Coastal Management and Foundation Director of the Griffith Centre for Coastal Management at the Gold Coast Campus of Griffith University. He also convenes the Coastal Node of the Australian Climate Change Adaptation Research Network for Settlements and Infrastructure. He has over 35 of experience in applied research and specialist consultancy in the fields of coastal and water engineering.
His early experience was in investigation and design studies with the Sydney Water Board, followed by academic and project appointments with the University of New South Wales Water Research Laboratory. Since 1992 he has been at Griffith University initially as Head of School of Environmental Engineering and since 2000 in his current position. Professor Tomlinson has also led the planning, management and restoration options theme of the National Coastal Cooperative Research Centre and the education program of the Catchment Hydrology Cooperative Research Centre.
His research interests are in the area of: tidal inlet dynamics; effluent dispersion and disposal strategies; the implications for open coastline and coastal waterway dynamics of extreme events; climate variability and climate change, and urban catchment management. The emphasis of this research is on providing advice to local municipalities on the sustainable management and planning of coastal settlements. He has published over 300 journal papers, conference presentations, applied research reports and seminars on coastal and estuarine engineering and management.
Appointed Member (since 1 December 2012)
Martin Winter commenced his career in the tourism and tertiary education sectors in 1972 and has since held senior executive and leadership positions in Europe, South America and Australia. For the past nine years Martin has been Chief Executive Officer of Gold Coast Tourism Corporation, and prior to this, he was CEO of the Adelaide Convention and Tourism Authority for eight years.
Before joining the Adelaide Convention and Tourism Authority, Martin was Europe-based as International Vice President marketing for Le Cordon Blue, the Paris-headquartered hotel and gastronomy sector multinational. He is a former Professor of tourism at the National University of Brazil and lecturer in Political Science with Deakin University. Amongst numerous other offices has been Chairman of the Adelaide Institute of TAFE Council; President of the Australian Association of Convention Bureaux; Chairman of the Regional Tourism Board of South Australia; Chairman of Conventions Australia; Chairman of ICCA Asia/Pacific; Chairman of Regional Tourism Queensland; and a government appointee to the Board of DestinationQ.
Martin has an Honors Arts degree, Diploma of Business and Masters degree in Management. His career has been recognized by the Universidad Anahuac Associación Mexicana de Hotels A.C. (Mexico City) and in 2011 he was Alumnus of the Year at Southern Cross University. Most recently, in 2014, was inducted into the IMEX Academy (Frankfurt) for his contribution to the global Business Events sector.