Rob Cocco

Rob Cocco from Reef Catchments NRM in Mackay

Position: Chief Executive Officer (CEO)

Phone: (07) 4968 4201

Mobile: 0400 588 785


As CEO, Rob manages and builds the business of Reef Catchments and its subsidiaries, motivates staff and proactively engages with stakeholders, members, partners and clients. Rob is responsible for:

Coordinating implementation of the Reef Catchments Strategic Plan and associated operational plans and sub-program strategies, including delivery, review and investment

Leading business development activities that align with the strategic plan and the outcomes it seeks for the Mackay, Whitsunday and Isaac Communities
Fostering continuous improvement in the governance, operations and delivery of Reef Catchments activities to generate efficient use of business resources and capital while delivering effective service delivery outcomes aligned to sustainable use and management of natural resources.
Rob has tertiary qualifications in Applied Science and Business Administration. In 1994 Rob commenced his working career as a rural extension officer working within the sugar industry in North Queensland. In 2000 Rob took on the role of general manager for Burdekin Canegrowers where he managed supply and commercial services contracts and provided agri-political representation on behalf of the 800 producers of the region.

In 2004 Rob moved to Mackay where he held the position of Regional Area Development Manager for BSES Ltd, a role that involved the development of new business and services support activities within and outside of Australia for the provision of research, development and extension services.

In 2009 Rob joined what was then the Mackay Whitsunday NRM Group where he held the position of Operations manager. In late 2009 Rob took on the role of CEO of Reef Catchments. In this role Rob now leads a highly motivated team focused on the sustainable use and management of natural resources within the region and across key initiatives that operate on state, national and global scales. In this role Rob currently holds key director and committee positions aligned to sustainable food supply chains, sustainable economic development and growth and conservation of the Great Barrier Reef.

Sally Young

Sally Young from Reef Catchments NRM Mackay

Position: Corporate and Business Services Manager

Phone: 07 4968 4203

Mobile: 0488 718 018


Sally is the Company Secretary and Manager of the Corporate Services team. She holds a Bachelor of Business majoring in Accounting and recently completed a Cert IV in Frontline Management.  Sally has significant experience in senior accounting and commercial management roles in a range of organisations, from both the non-profit and commercial sectors.

Julie Boyd

Position: Chair

Phone: 07 4968 4200



Julie-Boyd-website2Julie Boyd was elected Chair of Reef Catchments Limited in 2016. As a former long-serving Mayor of Mackay, the role is an excellent fit for Julie, who has always had an interest and involvement in the natural resources sector.

Julie is Reef Catchments first Chairwoman and is excited to have a hand in protecting our natural environment while supporting the growth aspirations of the regional community.

“Nearly every person wants to protect natural assets but they don’t always know what that means or what they might be able to do. Sustainability is essential to everything that we do. It is not just environmental sustainability but also social and economic sustainability,” Julie said.

“We must be cognizant of our surroundings and the people with whom we interact to ensure that we continue to have a great quality of life without destroying communities and the natural environment.”

Julie was elected as the first female Mayor of the City of Mackay and retained that role for 11 years from 1997 to 2008 when she chose not to recontest the election. She has been involved in Local Government for 16 years.

In her time as Mayor, Julie was involved in and championed many projects linked to the natural resources sector. From the establishment and construction of the effluent reuse scheme, to building new solid waste and recycling facilities, introducing a wildlife/bush land levy, producing a vegetation management plan with extensive mapping, and constructing the botanic gardens to showcase native vegetation, to name a few.

Julie is an experienced company director and has expertise in strategy, governance and the Not for profit sector. She is a Director on several Boards.

Julie lives on a property close to Mackay, where she has undertaken revegetation works, planting 750 trees that are particular to the notophyll vine forest. The property has had a Nature Refuge status for a decade.

Katrina Dent

Katrina Dent from Reef Catchments NRM in Mackay

Position: Reef Catchments Manager

Phone: (07) 4968 4207

Mobile: 0438 115 086


As Manager of Reef Catchments Limited, Katrina oversees all facets of Reef Catchments projects and strategic operational planning to optimise natural resource management outcomes in the Mackay Whitsunday Isaac (MWI) region. With more than 20 years planning experience, Katrina has a strong background working within both local and state government. She has been heavily involved in strategic planning for regional growth, including in the drafting and release of the Mackay Whitsunday Isaac Regional Plan, which outlines a 20-year strategic vision for the wider region. Katrina is passionate about the role of NRM as a key contributor to a sustainable community and industries. She coordinates Reef Catchments’ wide range of diverse teams to deliver integrated and tangible NRM outcomes and programs.


Chris Dench

Chris Dench from Reef Catchments NRM in Mackay and the Whitsundays

Position: Coordinator for Water and Waterways Program

Phone: (07) 4964 6110

Mobile: 0407 538 724


Chris joined Reef Catchments in 2010 to support and then lead the delivery of Reef Rescue.

Since 2013 Chris has supported delivery of Water programs including Systems Repair, Reef Catchments basin repair projects. Chris is the regional Paddock to Reef Coordinator providing data on the adoption of improved agricultural management practices and leads the intensive agriculture pest management projects.

Chris has experience in project management, ecosystems restoration, project monitoring and evaluation and data management systems.

Michael Boland

Michael Boland from Reef Catchments NRM in Mackay

Position: Coordinator Sustainable Agriculture

Phone: (07) 4968 4215

Mobile: 0419 191 373


Michael has over 14 years experience working in the agricultural and resource sectors in project management and advisory capacities as well as practical farming applications. Michael has a Bachelor of Applied Science and is passionate about sustainable agriculture, particularly in relation to our grazing lands.

Throughout his career Michael has liaised with a wide range of stakeholders including farmers, consultants, community groups, and government agencies.

Michael works with farmers in the Mackay Whitsunday Isaac region to facilitate improved sustainable agriculture.

Stefanie Wabnik

Stefanie Wabnik from Reef Catchments NRM in Mackay and the Whitsundays

Position: Coordinator - Coasts and Biodiversity

Phone: (07) 4964 6123

Mobile: 0409 677 117


Stefanie has worked in the waterway industry for over seven years and has extensive experience in riparian system management. Having previously worked for the Melbourne Water Corporation, Stefanie has experience in planning, coordinating and delivering waterway, wetland (constructed and natural), estuarine and coastal environment improvement works within urban, peri urban and rural environments.

Stefanie’s professional qualifications include a Bachelor of Science from Melbourne University and a Graduate Certificate in River Health Management from Melbourne University. She has completed further studies in Lowland Wetland Ecology, Water Sensitive Urban Design and Habitat and Conservation Management – Coastal Ecology.

Stefanie delivers Reef Catchments urban program within the Mackay Whitsunday and Isaac region and coordinates Reef Catchments Coast and Biodiversity team. Working in partnership with Councils, NRM agencies and organisations and in collaboration with the community, Stefanie plans and implements urban stormwater improvements and coastal biodiversity objectives across the region.

Cass Hayward

Position: Projects Officer - Coasts

Phone: (07) 4968 4206

Mobile: 0429 155 841


Cass graduated from the University of Queensland in 2016 with a Bachelor of Environmental Management (Hons) and a Major in Natural Systems and Wildlife Management. She was born and raised in the Whitsundays, but has undertaken flora and fauna research in a number of regions throughout Queensland stretching from Fraser Island and SEQ through to Townsville. Her experience lies largely in natural resource management and coastal ecosystems. Cass has worked and volunteered for Reef Catchments’ Coasts and Biodiversity team in the past, during which time she produced Beach Plans/Local Coastal Plans for a number of beaches throughout the Mackay region.

As the Coastal Projects Officer, Cass is responsible for implementing the regional coastal program and participating in Coastcare and Marine Classroom events. She works closely with the local government and community stakeholders to improve coastal ecosystem outcomes and to deliver on state and national targets.

Charlie Morgan

Charlie Morgan of Healthy Rivers to Reef

Position: Executive Officer for the Mackay Whitsunday Healthy Rivers to Reef Partnership

Phone: (07) 4964 6130

Mobile: 0457 306 152


Charlie is an environmental scientist and project manager who is passionate about all things aquatic. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science (Hons) and a Masters of Applied Science in Protected Area Management. She has spent close to the last 10 years in Queensland (mostly in northern Queensland) working in the environmental sector in both consulting and research roles, with a strong focus on natural resource management in the coastal and marine domain.

Prior to this she was working for the IUCN in Thailand as a project consultant on a number of developing coastal resilience to climate change projects.

Charlie has strong stakeholder engagement capabilities developed during her career to date and she has worked with a number of key Queensland stakeholder groups on whole of catchment issues including representatives of the agricultural, fisheries, industrial, NRM and regulator sectors.

Charlie will be overseeing the implementation of projects, reports and any contracted works associated with the Mackay Whitsundays Healthy Rivers to Reef Partnership including communications, governance and technical support.

Debbie Legge

Debbie Legge from Reef Catchments NRM in Mackay and the Whitsundays

Position: Administration Officer

Phone: 07 4964 6102



Based in Reef Catchments’ Proserpine Office, Debbie is an experienced Office Administrator and has worked for ten years in diverse organisations, including for state government. Prior to that, Debbie looked after accounts and payroll for the family business She is currently studying Cert IV in Business Administration.

Deborah Wilkinson

Deb Wilkinson from Reef Catchments NRM in Mackay

Position: Administration

Phone: (07) 4968 4200



Deb is part of the Corporate Services Team and provides administrative support in the Mackay office. Deb has more than 20 years experience in administration.



Emily Wood

Emily Wood from Reef Catchments NRM in Mackay and the Whitsundays

Position: Project Officer – Pests and Weeds

Phone: (07) 4964 6121

Mobile: 0419 778 402


Emily holds a Bachelor of Environmental Science and Management, with a background in conservation land management and applied sustainability. Over the last four years, she has actively engaged with the natural resource management sector through a number of paid and voluntary positions.

Prior to joining Reef Catchments, Emily worked as Program Support Officer for Conservation Volunteers’ northern NSW office. This role built on three years experience in on-ground invasive species management as a student volunteer coordinator for Adventure Conservation projects with Landcare and National Parks and Wildlife Services NSW.

As Project Officer of Pests and Weeds, Emily is responsible for supporting the development and delivery of Reef Catchment’s pest and weed management projects. She also represents Reef Catchments as Coordinator of the Mackay Regional Pest Management Group (MRPMG), working in partnership with regional stakeholders to achieve pest and weed management outcomes for the region.

Emma Carlos

Emma Carlos from Reef Catchments NRM in Mackay

Position: Technical Officer for the Mackay-Whitsunday Healthy Rivers to Reef Partnership

Phone: 07 4968 4208

Mobile: 0439 308 179


Emma is an environmental scientist with experience in flora and fauna monitoring and research, project management, tertiary teaching and environmental management. Emma holds a PhD in ecology, and over the last three years she has worked in a research role in northern Queensland, which has taken her across arid and tropical ecosystems.

Emma now works to coordinate the implementation of projects and the requisition and analysis of technical data required to deliver the Mackay-Whitsundays annual report card on waterway health and associated reports.

Jason Andrews-Reid

Jason Andrews-Reid from Reef Catchments NRM Mackay

Position: WHS & Quality Assurance Officer

Phone: (07) 49684218

Mobile: 0428 955490


Jason holds a Diploma of WHS and is a registered Emergency Medical Technician. He has managed WHS/Compliance portfolios in various fields including the Emergency Services. Jason has spent time in the mining sector and also the agriculture sector. He has served as a board member for a local school lending his risk management/WHS knowledge to the Board and is still called upon by various personnel seeking advice regarding WHS. Jason holds a Cert IV in Training and Assessing and uses these skills to educate the workforce in safety and risk management.

Joanne Gibbs

Joanne Gibbs from Reef Catchments NRM in Mackay

Position: Senior Administration Officer

Phone: (07) 4968 4216

Mobile: (07) 4968 4228


Joanne provides support for administration and accounts with over 26 years of experience in the field.

Juliane (Julia) Kasiske

Juliane Kasiske from Reef Catchments NRM in Mackay

Position: Regional Landcare Facilitator

Phone: (07) 4964 6111

Mobile: 0488 730 021


Juliane has a Bachelor of Science (Earth & Environmental) and is enthusiastic about making a significant contribution to managing and protecting natural resources.

Prior to joining Reef Catchments, Juliane worked for seven years in an engineering consultancy where she liaised with a wide range of stakeholders including consultants, government agencies, landowners, and the general public. Site and survey fieldwork, data recording, AutoCAD concept designs, and report preparation were all part of her role as the Environmental Assessor. With regards to natural resource management, she was engaged in various paid and volunteering positions including mine rehabilitation, dune rehabilitation, maintaining and restoring native bushland, and fauna monitoring.

After moving to Queensland from New South Wales in late February 2016, she was involved with GRMPA Marine Parks before she started to work for Reef Catchments in June 2016 initially supporting the coasts and biodiversity sector. Since September, she has been working as the Sustainable Agriculture Project Officer, where she has been involved with sugar cane, grazing, forestry, fisheries, and horticulture industries. Juliane was able to build strong connections, and, together with farmers, promoted sustainable agriculture, and soil health, as well as improving water quality in the Mackay Whitsunday Isaac region. In February 2017, Juliane took on the role of the Regional Landcare Facilitator for the Mackay Whitsunday region where she will continue to support sustainable production within the five industries. Her focus will be on advising, facilitating, and coordinating various stakeholders in the planning and implementation of strategic projects and the promotion of NRM activities.

Lauren Withers

Lauren Withers from Reef Catchments NRM in Mackay

Position: Project Officer - Healthy Waterways

Phone: (07) 4968 4217

Mobile: 0488 730 020


Lauren is a member of the Water and Waterways team. She currently works on the National Landcare Programme Inland Sub-project. She also provides technical field support to the End of Catchments Loads Monitoring Program (DSITI) and the Marine Monitoring Program (GBRMPA).

She has completed a Bachelors of Science (Hons) majoring in physical geography. She has previously worked in the private and public sectors, including environmental consultancy, and state and local governments. Her background is in water monitoring, testing, and treatment, environmental assessments, compliance, and contaminated land.

Her previous role at at Reef Catchments was project management of the Plane Creek Systems Repair Project.

For more information on these projects please contact Lauren or follow the links below:

National Landcare Programme Inland Sub-project
End of Catchment Loads
Marine Monitoring Program
Plane Creek System Repair

Mandy Jeppesen

Mandy Jeppersen from Reef Catchments NRM in Mackay

Position: Grazing Project Officer

Phone: 07 4968 4234

Mobile: 0407 171 046


After completing a Bachelor of Agriculture Science at UQ St Lucia, Mandy worked for seven years at BSES Proserpine. During her time there she was Project Officer for the Rural Water Use Efficiency Project and Extension Officer for Proserpine Cane Protection and Productivity Board and Sugar Services Proserpine. In 2005 she became a Regional Sales Representative for Nufarm Australia, finishing in 2007. Mandy then accepted a role with Canegrowers Proserpine as PPC for the Reef Rescue Cane project until starting with Reef Catchments in 2016 as Grazing Officer.

Matt Schembri

Matt Schembri from Reef Catchments NRM in Mackay

Position: Project Officer - Agriculture Extension and Data Management

Phone: (07) 4968 4225

Mobile: 0437 344 851


Matt is an Agricultural Engineer with experience in sugar industry research and development mainly in the areas of harvesting, cane cleaning and milling. Matt has also worked in the mining industry as a project engineer, organising and assisting contractors to deliver small scale projects in the wash plants. Prior to tertiary studies, Matt was a cane grower as a part of the family farming business in the Mackay district.

Matt will be working with regional Precision Planning Consultants on water quality improvement initiatives as part of the next round of the Australian Government Reef Programme.

Olivia Brodhurst

Olivia Brodhurst from Reef Catchments NRM in Mackay and the Whitsundays

Position: Coastal Project Officer for the Whitsundays

Phone: (07) 4964 6120

Mobile: 0429 033 541


Olivia has over ten years experience in environmental consultancy in which she has worked on pastoral lands in the west to coastal lakes and river systems. She has vast experience in surveying and monitoring land condition, vegetation and fauna. One of her main areas of interest is building resilience to climate change, facilitation of climate change adaptation and mitigation and she brings this into all projects.

Olivia’s professional qualifications include a Bachelor of Science with masters in marine biology and ecology, a Diploma in Project Management and she is currently completing a Certificate III in Public Safety (Biosecurity Operations).

Olivia delivers Reef Catchments coastal programs in the Whitsunday Region. Her role involves community engagement and awareness raising. She is currently working on formalising management of beaches throughout the region.

Rachel Clancy

Rachel Casey from Reef Catchments NRM in Mackay

Position: Coordinator - Business & Administration

Phone: (07) 4968 4224

Mobile: (07) 4968 4228


Rachel is responsible for administration and accounts.

Rachel has 20 years experience in administration.

Rochelle Atkinson

Position: GIS and Knowledge Management Officer

Phone: (07) 4964 6129

Mobile: 0448 016 158



Rochelle provides GIS support across all Reef Catchments programs and activities. Rochelle has a BA in International Relations from UQ, and worked for three years as a Geospatial Analyst for the Department of Defence in Canberra. Rochelle is providing the project officers of Reef Catchments with advanced GIS support, covering everything from geospatial processing and modelling to basic mapping.

Sophie Glasser

Position: Project Officer - Sustainable Agriculture

Phone: (07) 4968 4226

Mobile: 0408 904 036


Sophie grew up on a cattle property near Goondiwindi where the family business involves breeding, fattening and processing of branded beef through their family owned abattoir.

She completed a Bachelor of Business Management through UQ, St Lucia and a Master of Agriculture through UNE, Armidale.

Sophie has worked in State Government as an HR Consultant. She was the Livestock Health Supervisor at Grassdale Feedlot, Dalby ensuring 50,000 head of cattle were happy and healthy. Most recently she managed marketing and distribution for the family branded beef business where she helped to develop new markets by offering carton beef as an alternative product to whole carcass beef.

Tegan McBride

Position: Communications and Media Officer

Phone: (07) 4968 4213

Mobile: 0438 726 226


As Communications and Media Officer, Tegan combines experience as a professional communicator, in government and the advertising industry, with an interest in the natural environment.

Tegan holds a Bachelor of Business (Marketing) and post graduate qualifications in Regional and Community Development.

Vikki Stepan

Vikki Stepan of Reef Catchments NRM in Mackay

Position: Accounts Officer

Phone: 07 4968 4230



Vikki, who has a Bachelor of Accounting degree,  spent 15 years in the automotive and mining sectors. She is experienced with all facets of the administration and finance processes.