Who We Are

The NSW Biodiversity Conservation Trust (BCT) is a statutory not-for-profit body established under the Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016 (BC Act) on the 25th August 2017, to work with people to help support the protection of biodiversity on privately owned lands across NSW.

We manage a state-wide private land conservation program focussing on supporting landholders who commit to protect and manage areas of high environmental value on their properties under voluntary agreements.

We also play a key role in the NSW Biodiversity Offsets Scheme when developers choose to meet their biodiversity offset obligations by paying into the Biodiversity Conservation Fund.

The NSW Biodiversity Conservation Trust is a new organisation currently in its establishment phase over the next six months. The Trust will initially continue the private land conservation functions of the Office of Environment and Heritage and the Nature Conservation Trust. Over the next six months the Trust will become established and its Board will set out its approach and strategy for the Trust.

In addition to the Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH) and the Environment Protection Authority (EPA), the NSW Biodiversity Conservation Trust (BCT) is one of four trust entities that sit within the portfolio responsibilities of the Minister for the Environment and Minister for Heritage. The three other trust entities include Taronga Zoo (including the Western Plains Zoo), Western Sydney and Parramatta Park and Botanic Gardens and Centennial Parklands. The BCT’s Board reports to the Minister. The BCT also forms part of the NSW Government’s broader planning and environment cluster.

Board and Executive

The NSW Biodiversity Conservation Trust (BCT) has a Board which manages the affairs of the Trust. The Board members are appointed by the Minister for the Environment. Schedule 8 of the BC Act states the criteria under which the members are appointed to the Board. The Board reports to the Minister for the Environment.

The leadership and structure of the organisation is shown below.OurBoardSetup


The Board members of the NSW Biodiversity Conservation Trust are listed below.  

Hon. Robert Hill AC



Robert HillRobert Hill served as a Senator for South Australia from 1981-2006. He was Leader of the Government in the Senate, Minister for the Environment and later Minister for Defence. After leaving Parliament Mr Hill served as Australia’s Ambassador to the United Nations in New York. Back in Australia he was appointed Chancellor of the University of Adelaide, directed a sustainability program at the University of Sydney and was the first Chair of The Australian Carbon Trust. He chairs the Cooperative Research Centre on Low Carbon Living at UNSW, is on the Asia Pacific Board of TNC and a Governor of WWF Australia. Mr Hill is a Barrister and Solicitor

Virginia Malley

Deputy Chairperson


Who_we_are_VirginiaMalleyVirginia Malley has 30 years' experience in the financial services and banking sectors, including 16 years as a company director. Her areas of expertise are environmental and financial markets, stewardship, risk management, corporate governance and regulatory compliance.

Ms Malley was previously the Chief Risk Officer at Macquarie Funds Management Group overseeing the risk management of portfolios worth more than $85 billion that invested in clean technologies, publicly traded debt securities, listed equities, derivatives, currencies and private equity.

Ms Malley is a member of the Clean Energy Regulator, a non-executive director of Perpetual Superannuation Limited, Perpetual Equity Investment Co Ltd, Morphic Ethical Equities Fund Ltd and the Future Energy Fund Ltd and was previously a member of the Board of the Nature Conservation Trust of NSW.

She is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and holds a Juris Doctor from the University of Technology Sydney, a Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Applied Finance from Macquarie University, and a Graduate Diploma in Environmental Law and Master of Laws from the University of Sydney.

Renata Brooks


Renata BrooksRenata Brooks is currently deputy chair of the Fisheries Research and Development Corporation, an Australian Fisheries Management Authority Commissioner and a member of the NSW Joint Regional Planning Panel for the Southern region. She also undertakes policy and program reviews through her consulting business, StratagemDS.

As an Executive Director and Deputy Director General in the NSW Department of Primary Industries, her responsibilities included land and natural resource management, agriculture and science and research programs.  Ms Brooks has a deep appreciation of the importance of working closely with landholders and a strong evidence base to achieve successful governance and biodiversity outcomes.

She holds an honours degree in veterinary science, a graduate certificate in bioethics and is a graduate and fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.


Duncan McGregor


Who_we_are_DuncanMcGregorDuncan McGregor has 30 years' experience as a specialist environmental and planning lawyer. He was a partner of a major Australian law firm for 17 years, and continues as a Legal Consultant.

Mr McGregor has significant experience across a broad range of eanvironmental and planning issues including the identification of planning and environmental approvals pathways for various types of development and infrastructure, working with technical experts in assessing major development impacts, advising on environmental regulatory regimes including threatened species protection, environmental licensing, remediation and redevelopment of contaminated sites, infrastructure development and environmental incident management.

Duncan was the inaugural chair of the Domestic Offsets Integrity Committee, part of the Carbon Farming Initiative, and has advised widely on a broad range of climate change and renewable energy issues.


Hon. Gary Nairn AO


Gary NairnAfter a 25 year career in the spatial sciences including as Managing Director of his own surveying mapping company, Gary Nairn was elected as the Federal Member for Eden-Monaro in 1996. His 12 year parliamentary career included being Parliamentary Secretary to Prime Minister John Howard with responsibility for water reform and as Special Minister of State with responsibility for e-government, Australian Electoral Commission and five government business enterprises. Subsequently, he has operated his own consultancy in the spatial sciences including as a consultant to leading company AAM Group.

Mr Nairn was the inaugural Chairman of the Northern Territory Planning Commission and a Board member of the NT Environment Protection Authority from 2013 to 2017; Chairman of the Tasmanian Spatial Information Council from 2010 to 2016; National Chairman of the Spatial Industries Business Association from 2012 to 2014; and has been the Chairman of the Advisory Committee for the Centre for Spatial Data Infrastructure at Melbourne University since 2011. He was appointed Chairman of the Mulloon Institute in January 2016 after serving as a member of its Advisory Council. He joined the Board of the NSW Biodiversity and Conservation Trust in August 2017. Mr Nairn was appointed an Officer in the Order of Australia (AO) in June 2015 for his contribution to the spatial sciences, communities of NSW and the NT, Federal Parliament and disability support services.


Russell Taylor AM


Who_we_are_RusselTaylorRussell Taylor is a highly respected senior Indigenous Australian with extensive experience in corporate governance and a long history of advocacy with particular passion for education and social welfare.

Mr Taylor is a member of several boards including the University of Technology Sydney, The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Healing Foundation, Wentwest Limited and the Indigenous advisory firm, Moreton Consulting. Russell has a wealth of senior executive managerial experience and is a former CEO of the NSW Aboriginal Housing Office and the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies.

In 2015 Mr Taylor was made a member (AM) of the Order of Australia in the Queen's Birthday Honours for 'significant service to the community as a cultural leader and publicly senior executive in the field of Indigenous affairs' and in 2016 was awarded the inaugural UTS Indigenous Australian Alumni Award for Excellence.


Executive Team

Paul Elton

Executive Director

Paul EltonIn July 2017, Paul Elton was appointed Executive Director of the NSW Biodiversity Conservation Trust.

Paul commenced his career in the private sector and has since had 24 years’ experience working in portfolio and central agency roles with the NSW and Commonwealth governments. In the mid-2000s, Paul was Executive Director, Natural Resources and Economic Development Policy with the Department of Premier and Cabinet. He then spent four years working with the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet supporting the COAG Reform Council.

In NSW, Paul has worked across numerous sectors. Throughout his career, Paul has had a significant focus on environmental protection and biodiversity conservation, including climate change policy, and the intersection of environmental policy with policy and programs in areas such as energy, resources, forestry, water management, infrastructure, land use planning and development assessment.

From 2012 to 2017, Paul was Executive Director Policy with the Office of Environment and Heritage. As part of this role, Paul led the development of the land management and biodiversity conservation reforms across government. He was instrumental in designing the role of the Biodiversity Conservation Trust (BCT), the private land conservation program (PLC) and the biodiversity offsets scheme (BOS).