Our Board & Staff

Trees For Life is an incorporated association and is run by a Board of Management which meets 10 times a year. The Board is elected by members at our AGM and all Board members work for the organisation in a voluntary capacity.

Our 2023-2024 Board members are:

John Virtue


“Trees For Life is a South Australian icon. I’m proud to be President of such a dynamic and respected organisation that professionally conserves and restores our state’s landscapes.”

John is a biosecurity consultant, working nationally to provide strategic, policy and technical services to government, industry and community organisations. Previously he had a long management career in invasive species and biosecurity in the South Australian government. He was awarded the 2021 Dr David Banks Biosecurity Lifetime Achievement Award, particularly for his national contribution to weed management. John has been a Trees For Life board member since October 2018. His broader Trees For Life involvement goes back over 20 years, as a Bush For Life site volunteer and more recently as a Tree Scheme volunteer grower. He has had a lifelong interest in and commitment to the environment and conservation. He and his partner Peter are restoring biodiversity on their grassy woodland property at Rockleigh, in the eastern Mount Lofty Ranges.


Phil Donaldson

Vice President

“I want to bring my interests and experience in the not for profit sector and Government to deepen the relationship between urban and rural communities in delivering the Trees For Life mission.”

Phil is passionate about working locally to create global impacts. He is currently Director of Sustain SA, and co-facilitator of Adelaide Design Link, The Australian Living Lab Innovation Network and Green Cities Global. Phil aspires to see urban communities playing a larger role in tackling climate change impacts and keeping our cities cool. Phil is Chief Executive Officer at Bioregional Australia Foundation.


Marina Deaville


“I look forward to this opportunity to share my experience in managing financial sustainability, risk mitigation and strategic direction for the benefit of Trees For Life.”

Marina has been responsible for corporate finances across many sectors - construction in Hong Kong, automotive manufacturing in the UK and USA and, most recently, for environment and healthcare not for profits in Adelaide. She lives in the Adelaide Hills and has a desire to reconnect with nature and expand her contribution to protecting and preserving the local environment.


Bryce Winter


“I am proud to be associated with Trees For Life. It is a wonderful community of people who passionately restore and protect South Australian landscapes."

Bryce is a management consultant with expertise in strategic planning, governance, organisational development, and technology. He has worked at the highest levels with many institutions in Australia, Asia, Africa, and throughout the Pacific. Bryce has a Masters degree in International and Community Development, and has Bachelor degrees in Business Management and IT.


Martin Breed


"I hope to bring my scientific expertise to Trees For Life to help repair humanity's relationship with nature.”

Martin is a dedicated university educator and scholar of restoration ecology, ecosystem health, and genomics at Flinders University. He runs a close-nit research group that works on pressing global issues, such as climate-ready seed sourcing, links between biodiversity and human health, and plant-soil-microbe interactions.


Jason Size


"I want to ensure our land is not just sustainable, but in a better position for the children and generations into the future. It takes lots of small steps to make a large change, Trees For Life helps us do this."

Jason is from Bookpurnong in the Riverland where he owns a small mixed fruit orchard and works as a vocational trainer in horticulture. Jason is committed to conservation and land management in the regions and has worked with Trees For Life to help accomplish goals on his own land. Jason is Chair of Summerfruit SA and is a member of the Murraylands and Riverland Landscape Board.


Michael Cornish


“Trees For Life has so much to offer our community, and I am so proud to be part of their shared journey.”

Michael is a public policy professional with specialist skills and degrees in economics, law, advocacy, and conflict management. He has worked in economic consultancy and international aid project management roles, as a policy advisor for a Federal Parliamentarian and lecturer in economics and social sciences. Michael is passionate about public service and the environment.


Cheryl Lierton


“I believe in the importance of the Trees For Life mission, and I’m excited that I can use my skills and knowledge to ensure its great work continues and grows.”

Cheryl is the Executive Manager of Community Services at Uniting Communities and has worked in the not for profit sector for over 20 years. Cheryl brings experience in government relations, tendering and reporting, advocacy, risk management, financial management and volunteer management. Cheryl is also a landholder in the Adelaide Hills.


Sheree Brooks


"I am excited to be a part of the Trees For Life Board and look forward to the opportunity to combine my professional skills with my interest in the survival of South Australia’s natural landscapes despite our changing climate."

Sheree brings strategic experience from the health sector and holds a Master of Business Administration. She has been a volunteer grower with Trees For Life since 2018, and is passionate about ensuring the survival of flora and fauna in South Australia.


Frances Carter


"I am passionate about the restoration and conservation of South Australia's natural heritage. Trees For Life has been and will continue to play a vital role in preserving our unique landscapes, and I am honoured to be part of this legacy."

With qualifications in Science, Business and Accounting, Frances is a sustainability professional and was a Director at Conservation Capital, with expertise in natural capital financing, natural resource management and nature-based solutions as well as a passion for protecting the environment.


Our Management Team are:

Natasha Davis


“Over nearly four decades, Trees For Life has meant so much to so many South Australians. In this time we have made a lasting impact on our landscapes by getting people involved in practical ways. I want to make sure Trees For Life continues to deliver practical, relevant projects and services and stays connected with people in both urban and regional areas.”

As CEO, Natasha helps turn the environmental ‘big picture’ into action. She takes a hands-on approach to her role across strategic issues, finance and organisational management; building partnerships with individuals and groups to create change. Natasha is deeply committed to continuing the tradition of Trees For Life as a ‘family’: a great place to work, work with, or volunteer in.

Natasha’s lifelong interest in environmental issues, bushwalking and exploring the landscapes of Australia led her to start her Trees For Life journey as a volunteer grower. She has worked as Director of a sustainability business and managed community engagement programs in water and biodiversity issues. Natasha holds a Masters of Environmental Management (Flinders University), a Graduate Diploma in East Asian Studies (Australian National University) and a Bachelor of Economics (University of Adelaide).    

Contact Natasha
08 8406 0500
[email protected]


Vicki-Jo Russell

Revegetation Services Manager

“I want to further the wellbeing of both people and nature. The best way to do that is a lifetime spent looking after nature and connecting people to it, creating outcomes where both benefit.”

Vicki-Jo has worked in strategic and advisory roles for non-government-organisations (NGOs) including WWF-Australia, Conservation SA and Zoos SA. She brings skills in team management, partnership development, strategic foresight and program management, and a strong commitment to volunteer support and customer service.

Vicki-Jo holds a Bachelor of Arts in Biological Sciences with a double major in Biology and Psychology (Flinders University) and a Bachelor of Applied Science, Conservation and Park Management (University of South Australia). Vicki-Jo was awarded the AM for her work in threatened species conservation.

Contact Vicki-Jo
08 8406 0500 or 0499 400 545
[email protected]


Rebecca O'Leary

Bush For Life Manager

“Being in nature brings me such a deep sense of curiosity, awe and peace, that I have dedicated my life to highlighting it’s value and connecting people to this joy.”

Rebecca has over 25 years of knowledge and experience working in state, federal, international government agencies and non-governmental organisations. This includes being the first female Chief Ranger of Operations at Uluru Kata Tjuta National Park and leading a team on the remote Raoul Island for NZ Department of Conservation for 12 months. Rebecca has recently returned to Trees For Life after previously being an Outreach Officer in the Revitalising Private Conservation Program in SA.

She has a Bachelor in Applied Science (Roseworthy Agricultural College) and is continually seeking out learning opportunities, such being selected and completing the Leading Australian Resilient Communities leadership course.

Contact Rebecca
08 8406 0500
[email protected]


Maureen McKinnie

Fundraising and Marketing Manager

Maureen has had a varied career, originally training as a general registered nurse and psychiatric nurse, she continues to have a keen interest in connecting people to nature to promote health and healing.

A change of direction 20 years ago led her to work in Fundraising and Marketing roles within the welfare and disability sectors; helping them to grow community support and achieve greater financial security. Maureen joined Trees For Life in early 2019 and believes that storytelling is a key ingredient to successful fundraising.

Contact Maureen
08 8406 0500
[email protected]


David Hein

Direct Seeding Manager

“Our work in revegetating large areas with local native species is so rewarding. We’re now seeing the positive landscape changes from the revegetation work on our older sites.”

David brings over 40 years’ experience in revegetation to his role as Direct Seeding Manager.  He worked in land and environmental management for the State Government and for private enterprise until 2001 when he took up the challenge to found the Direct Seeding program at Trees For Life. David holds a Certificate in Land Management and a Pest Management Technicians Licence.

Contact David
0429 310 263
[email protected]


Julie Holloway

Office Manager

“I love encouraging people to find new answers to old problems … like how to reduce waste and how to improve our services and, of course, how to make a few resources go a long, long way.”

Julie has lived and worked in Australia, Europe and Africa, in jobs as diverse as managing a call centre in London to pumping petrol in Nundroo. Joining Trees For Life in 2015, Julie leads a team of six staff responsible for administration, finance, ICT, membership services and reception. Her team also plays a key role in volunteer administration.

Julie’s expertise includes HR and WHS, developing administration management systems, and policy development. She holds a Bachelor of Arts (University of Adelaide) and a Diploma of Business – HRM (TAFE).

Contact Julie
08 8406 0514
[email protected]


Stuart Gonda

Works Team Manager

“It’s a pleasure to help conserve and restore South Australia’s amazing plant communities which sustain many other forms of life and provide so many critical functions.”

Stuart has grown up in South Australia fascinated by nature and ecosystems. After 10 years in the corporate sector he decided to follow his passion and move into the environmental sector. Combining his skills and passion for the environment has led to opportunities to work on a range of exciting projects and to his current role as Manager of the Works Team whose focus is on minimal disturbance bush care.

Stuart has Certificates in Business Management and Conservation and Land Management plus over 8 years of experience in the field.

Contact Stuart
0428 931 716
[email protected]