Our People

Nature Foundation SA is a non-political and mainly voluntary organisation governed by a council of experienced conservationists, scientists and business and professional people.

Our Staff

AlexNankivell.jpgHugo Hopton – Chief Executive Officer

Before joining Nature Foundation SA in February 2016, Hugo's most recent role was Regional Manager at Natural Resources SAMDB based in Murray Bridge where he led delivery of the programs of both the SA Murray-Darling Basin NRM Board and DEWNR for the community and government. After completing a Bachelor of Science (Forestry) at the Australian National University, Hugo began his career as a forester in the South East and Fleurieu Peninsula, moving on to work as the manager for State Flora and revegetation program manager within Primary Industries SA. Throughout his career he has worked with and for communities and industries in land conservation, primary production, native vegetation management and water management. Hugo also has strong relationships with government departments within South Australia and the Commonwealth, and with local government and the NGO sector.

AlexNankivell.jpgAlex Nankivell – Conservation Programs Manager

Alex has been with Nature Foundation SA since 2008 and adeptly handles both the strategic and operational sides of Nature Foundation SA business operations, from writing management plans to expertly overseeing their on- the-ground implementation. Alex has a Bachelor of Applied Science in Environmental Management and a Masters of Project Management.

NatalieStalenberg.jpgNatalie Stalenberg – Water For Nature Programs Manager

After completing a Bachelor of Environmental Management at Flinders University, Natalie spent over 10 years working in various South Australian government agencies on water quality, on the program Water Proofing Adelaide, and then as a Senior Policy Officer on the Western Mount Lofty Ranges Water Allocation Plan. Natalie later completed a Masters in Applied Anthropology and Participatory Development, which led her to the Murray Darling Basin Authority where she worked with Traditional Owner organisations on cultural water issues. Natalie joined Nature Foundation in June 2016 and her position heralds the coming of age of our Water For Nature program.

CarolineNefiodovas.jpgCaroline Nefiodovas – Industry Engagement Manager

Caroline has 15 years’ experience in business development, marketing and project office roles and has worked closely with the private sector and all tiers of government. Along with strong customer service skills and experience, Caroline has studied Environmental Science and holds a Diploma in Project Management.

PatrickMentzel.jpgPatrick Mentzel – Philanthropy Coordinator

Patrick leads grant opportunity liaison with corporate and philanthropic organisations. Patrick has a background in marketing, sales, event management, communications and fundraising in the not-for-profit sector. He has an affinity with the environment, having travelled extensively through Australia’s outback and to remote places in the world.

NatashaHarper.jpgNatasha Harper – Office Manager & Events Coordinator

Natasha’s planning and logistical skills are critical in delivering results in the donor, events and marketing functions of NFSA. She has worked for over 15 years abroad and was a regular volunteer with the Wandle Trust in London and spent time at the Tortugero Biological Station in Costa Rica volunteering for the Sea Turtle Conservancy.

GeorgieFiedler.jpgGeorgie Fiedler – Accountant

Georgie is CPA qualified and brings a wealth of experience in the not-for-profit accounting field as well as the commercial and government sectors. Georgie loves the outdoors, especially bushwalking and camping in South Australia’s national parks.

Katie-photo-(3).jpgKatie Perry – Youth Programs Coordinator

Katie comes to Nature Foundation SA with 20 years' experience working with a variety of language groups across SA in community engagement, health, events and education. Kids on Country will bring together Aboriginal young people, Elders and scientists/researchers, provide culturally appropriate practical conservation activities and support young people to get out on country to learn about preserving natural habitats, protecting nature, and keeping the planet green. Katie has a Cert IV in Training & Education, a Diploma in Narrative Approaches and a Cert IV in Community Services Work.

Gretta-photo.jpgGretta Koch – Marketing & Communications Manager

Gretta has a background in professional writing and communication, and has worked as an editor, tutor, and lecturer across many different subject areas and environments.  Most recently she was a Communications Coordinator for a peak body, developing national communications and delivering integrated campaigns via events, social media, public relations, and promotions. Gretta has a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in Professional Writing & Communication, and a PhD in Cultural Studies. 


Our Executive


Bob Lott is an owner and Director of Venue*Tix, Weslo Staff, Thebarton Theatre and Quorn Quandongs. He is also a biochemist, producer and manager of major events and a theatrical entrepreneur. Bob has served on numerous boards and councils including SA Jubilee 150 Board (Deputy Chair), the Adelaide Festival of Arts, the Royal Adelaide Show, Come Out Children’s Festival and the Australian National Kennel Council. He is an enthusiastic environmentalist and supporter of Indigenous artists. He has been a NFSA Council Member since 2003.



Suzanne Ridding is an experienced executive, board director, company secretary and consultant. She has held leadership positions in private, public and not-for-profit sector organisations, internationally and in Australia. Suzanne has also managed her own sustainability consultancy business since 2008 specialising in environmental sustainability, in particular carbon management. Key experience and skills Suzanne brings include sustainability, risk management, governance, audit, financial management and strategic planning. Susanne has been a NFSA Council Member since 2014 and is Chair of the Carbon Capture and Carbon Credits Working Group.


Susie Herzberg OAM has worked as an urban, environmental and strategic planner in private practice, with all levels of government and as a lecturer at the Architecture Faculty, University of Adelaide. Susie is a past president of the Australian Institute of Urban Studies (SA) and the Civic Trust (SA).

Susie is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and has served on numerous boards including the Botanic Gardens and State Herbarium (which she chaired), the SA Housing Trust, the Patawalonga Water Catchment Board, KESAB Environmental Solutions, the State Cycling Council and the SA Wine Industry Association Environment Committee. As well as her work with NFSA, Susie is on the board of the Playford Memorial Trust and of several private companies. Susie has been a NFSA Council Member since 2006.


Doug Ransom has lived and worked in Germany and has worked as an English and German language teacher. After returning to Australia he obtained qualifications as a CPA and as a Certified Informations Systems Auditor and later completed a Graduate Diploma in Applied Finance and Investment.

His work experience spans local government, transport, health and finance in the not for profit sector. Prior to retiring Doug worked as General Manager for the Commissioners of Charitable Funds in Adelaide managing their investment portfolio generating income to finance medical research mostly at the R.A.H.

Apart from NFSA Doug holds a Pilot Certificate and enjoys flying and keel boat racing. 


Our Council Members

Chris-Daniels.jpgProfessor Chris Daniels researches and teaches in life sciences and conducts Natural Resource Management consultancies and other environmental leadership activities focused on conserving wildlife and connecting people with nature. He is currently Professor of Biology at UniSA and has previously held academic positions at the University of California, Flinders University and the University of Adelaide. Chris has been extensively involved in many community, conservation and science committees, groups and societies and is currently presiding member of the Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges NRM Board and chair of the Nature Play SA Board, among others. Chris has an obsessional interest in all animals, especially lizards, and has published nine books, one DVD and over 250 scientific and community publications. Chris won the South Australian Premiers Science Award for Communication (2007) and the Medal for Natural History from the Field Naturalists Society (2010).

Nicholas Edwards is a practising lawyer, chartered accountant and Principal of ND Edwards & Co. He began his career in Melbourne at Coopers & Lybrand before moving to a role as an investment manager with ANZ Private Bank and work in Sydney as a corporate tax consultant. Nicholas returned to Adelaide in 2010 to be closer to his wider family. He has an enthusiasm for the   environment and enjoys contributing to the work of NFSA.


Chris Reed has a long-term passion for the land and environment. He is a fourth generation farmer from Burra and still runs a farm that has been in his family since 1866. On leaving school, in addition to working the farm, he became a professional woolclasser and worked in many pastoral sheds across the rangelands of Australia. After spending 10 years in local government, he became involved in landcare through the Eastern Districts Soil Board. He completed two terms as the Presiding Member of the SA Arid Lands Natural Resources Management Board. Chris has been a NFSA Council Member since 2010 and is chair of both the Property Management and Ecotourism committees.

Millie Nicholls has been a partner in a family farm all her life and involved in environmental work since she completed a Science degree in 1994. She has been a member of the Native Vegetation Council, the National Parks and Wildlife Council, several regional boards in the Northern and Yorke Region, and is a director of several private companies. She was instrumental in forming two Landcare Groups and a private conservation company. Millie was the winner of the South Australian Individual Landcarer of the Year Award in 2011, and has a passionate interest in native grasslands and the sustainable management of our natural resources. Millie has been a NFSA Council Member since 2015.

Tony Sharley is a passionate Riverlander who recently completed four years as the general manager of Destination Riverland, the Riverland's regional tourism body. Tony grew up on the Murray River at Renmark and has completed degrees in natural resources management and a Masters in Applied Science. His career has included positions within PIRSA and the Murray Darling Basin Commission where he played key roles in water reforms. More recently Tony was manager of Banrock Station Wine and Wetland Centre and led the process of listing the Banrock Station Wetlands as a Ramsar Wetland of International Importance. Tony also serves as a director on the boards of the RAA, RiverSmart Australia and the Conservation and Hunting Alliance of SA.

Jan-Ferguson-OAM.jpgJan Ferguson OAM is a leader and strategist for the 21st Century. Her deep experience in innovation, knowledge and enterprise management is fused with a passion for people, teamwork, social justice and especially for rural and remote Australia. She has a flair for building large, effective partnerships across industry, government, academia and the community to understand and solve major challenges. Jan now works as a company director with organisations that reflect her broad range of interests.

Having lived in Beltana in northern SA, and Alice Springs, NT, she has a particular, heartfelt commitment to building a better future for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and all remote Australians. In 2017, Jan was awarded Medal of Order of Australia for service to the Indigenous communities of the Northern Territory.


Philip-Weinstein.jpgProfessor Philip Weinstein sits on the Science and Conservation Committee of Nature Foundation SA, to help ensure that our research effort underpins both our management of our reserves as well as our community engagement. He holds a full-time research position in the School of Biological Sciences at the University of Adelaide, and is a Research Affiliate of the South Australian Museum.  

 Phil holds dual qualifications in ecology (PhD) and public health medicine (MBBS, FAFPHM), focusing his current research on the ecosystem services provided by biodiversity conservation – including human health benefits. Phil has lectured zoology at James Cook University, was Professor of Public and Environmental Health at the University of Queensland, and Head of School of Population Health at the University of Western Australia. He has over 250 publications on insect ecology, water quality, and mosquito-borne disease. He was a member of the Board of Review Editors for the global Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, sits on the Editorial Board of EcoHealth, served as Co-Chair of the International Medical Geology Association, and is currently President of the Australian Entomological Society.
Phil has led major research programmes through Cooperative Research Centres, has served on several NGO Boards, and is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. 

Our Rotational Managers

NFSA is grateful for the dedication, hard work and enthusiasm of the Witchelina Rotational Managers who undertake both maintenance and conservation work at the property on a roster basis.

Chris and Maria Reed
Greg and Janet Bannon
Kevin and Shirley Fahey
Brenton and Nanette Arnold
Phil and Susan Cole
Marina Louter
Barry and Maureen Wright
Vic Breeding and Penny Shepley
John Schulze
Fred and Petra van der Heiden
Paul Drummond
John Ovenden

Our Fellows of the Foundation

Clive Armour*
Avis Bonnin*
Dr Mark Bonnin AM*
Warren Bonython AO*
David Cleland*
Mr Dene Cordes PSM
John Daenke
Barbara Hardy AO
Allan Holmes
Eric Jackson*
Elizabeth Law-Smith
Betty Lewis*
Bob Lewis*
David Moyle AM
William (Bill) Nankivell
Reg Nelson
Julian Reid
Dr Bob Sharrad AM
Dick Smith AC

Our Honourary Life Members

Robert Gerard AO
Bernd Stoecker*