Parks Australia supports the Director of National Parks, the federal park agency, in managing six Commonwealth national parks, the Australian National Botanic Gardens, and Australia’s network of Commonwealth marine reserves.
Parks Australia staff are part of the federal environment portfolio, in the Department of the Environment. The Director of National Parks is a statutory officeholder, charged under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (the EPBC Act) with helping to conserve Australia’s biodiversity and cultural heritage.
You can find more information about Parks Australia in the Director of National Parks Annual Report and the State of the Parks report.
Senior management team
Director of National Parks
Peter Cochrane was first appointed Director of National Parks in October 1999 and has since been reappointed three times by successive governments. As Director he places a strong focus on stakeholder relationships, especially with the traditional owners of jointly managed parks, the tourism industry and scientific researchers. In managing Parks Australia, Peter continues to place a high priority on the way the agency works: improving accountability and risk management, performance and reporting, and corporate governance. Emerging priorities include the links between healthy parks and healthy people and conservation at a whole of landscape scale.
Peter is a member of the IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas and an inaugural member of the World Protected Areas Leadership Forum.
He has worked for the oil and gas industry on national environment and competition policy issues and as an adviser to two Australian Government ministers on environment and natural resources issues.
Peter has a Masters degree in Public Policy and a Bachelor of Science degree. He has a background in field ecology and the eco-physiology of native plants.
Assistant Secretary, Parks Business and Policy
Mark Taylor brings 25 years experience in the Commonwealth government agencies to his current role overseeing the strategic policy direction of Parks Australia. He has long worked in complex sectors with many stakeholders, in Australia working closely with Indigenous communities, the commercial sector and third parties, and overseas, negotiating international treaties and trade and cultural agreements. He has delivered innovative programs in the Indigenous arts, the National Reserve System and Indigenous Protected Areas and now oversees the management of two national parks. As well as a range of corporate functions, Mark has particular responsibility for implementing Australia’s commitments under the Nagoya Protocol. He has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Literature and a Graduate Diploma in Education.
Mark oversees the following parts of Parks Australia:
- Booderee National Park
- Norfolk Island National Park and Botanic Gardens
- World Parks Congress
- Strategic Policy
- Business and Financial Management
- Legal and governance
- Public Affairs and Web
Dr Judy West
Dr Judy West
Assistant Secretary, Parks and Biodiversity Science
Executive Director, Australian National Botanic Gardens
Judy West oversees Parks Australia’s science and natural resource management activities. Judy has more than 25 years experience in scientific research and policy, as a research scientist in CSIRO Plant Industry and as Director of the Centre for Plant Biodiversity Research and the Australian National Herbarium. She holds an adjunct professorial position at the Australian National University. For her contributions to Australian plant systematics and Australia’s Virtual Herbarium , she was awarded the Nancy Burbidge Memorial Medal in 2001 and an Order of Australia in 2003. Judy’s scientific expertise is in plant systematics and phylogenetics, biodiversity informatics and conservation biology. Her skills developing partnerships linking science and policy are deployed in building an active science and knowledge management network in Parks Australia.
Judy oversees the following parts of Parks Australia:
- Science and Knowledge Management
- Christmas Island National Park
- Pulu Keeling National Park
- Australian National Botanic Gardens
- Australian Biological Resources Study , including Bush Blitz
- Centre for Australian National Biodiversity Research, in partnership with CSIRO
Assistant Secretary, Parks Operations and Strategic Partnerships
Anna Morgan oversees the management of Australia’s World Heritage listed national parks, Kakadu and Uluru- Kata Tjuta, both jointly managed with their traditional owners. Anna joined the federal environment department in 2000, having worked as a cultural heritage consultant and a conservation officer in Queensland. Anna has held a variety of positions in the department, gaining extensive policy and program management experience in heritage conservation, legislative reform, stakeholder engagement and the deliver of protected area programs. Prior to her current role, Anna established the Working on Country Program in the Northern Territory and led the implementation of the Australian and Northern Territory governments’ bilateral agreement—Healthy Country Healthy People. Anna has a Bachelor of Arts with Honours in History and Archaeology and a Masters degree in Cultural Heritage Studies in Anthropology and Archaeology.
Anna is based in Darwin, and oversees the following parts of Parks Australia in the Northern Territory and Canberra:
- Corporate Projects
- Strategic Partnerships and Planning, including National Landscapes
- Kakadu National Park
- Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park
Assistant Secretary, Commonwealth Marine Reserves
Charlton has responsibility for the effective management of Australia’s network of Commonwealth marine reserves. Before moving to marine reserves in 2008, Charlton managed the aviation operations at the Australian Antarctic Division, including establishing an air service between Australia and Antarctica. He has a background in program and risk management, having spent 10 years in a variety of logistics, operations and management roles in the Australian Army, both domestically and overseas. Charlton has a Bachelor of Arts degree with honours and a Graduate Diploma in Business Administration.
Based in Hobart, Charlton oversees the following parts of Parks Australia:
- Commonwealth Marine Reserves policy
- Coral Sea and North Network
- South-west and North-west Networks
- Temperate East and South-east Networks