Russell was an inaugural member of the NSW Biodiversity Conservation Trust Board and a member of the Programs and Delivery Committee, positions he maintained until February 2023.
He had a long history of work in environmental advocacy, as a former Board member of the Nature Conservation Trust.
Russell played an invaluable role in the development of the NSW Biodiversity Conservation Trust’s strategy, including expanding indigenous participation in our programs. His commitment, keen focus on governance and robust, measurable outcomes shaped the NSW Biodiversity Conservation Trust's reputation as a credible, innovative and sustainable organisation.
Russell had a passion for education and social welfare and experience in corporate governance. He held many vital roles, including Chair of The Burbangana Group, Board Member of Beyond Blue, The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Healing Foundation and Batchelor Institute of Indigenous Tertiary Education.
He was Chief Executive Officer of the Healing Foundation, the NSW Aboriginal Housing Office and Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies, and Founder of the Australian Indigenous Leadership Centre.
Russell was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia in the 2015 Queen’s Birthdays Honours for his significant service to the community as a cultural leader and public sector executive in the field of Indigenous affairs. In 2018, he was awarded the NAIDOC Male Elder of the Year.
Russell leaves a remarkable legacy and will be sorely missed by his fellow Board members and staff at the NSW Biodiversity Conservation Trust.