Organisation and Governance

Our organisation

Wetlands International has currently around 150 members of staff, stationed at our headquarters, 12 national and regional offices and several project offices all over the world. Our network of approximately 1000 specialists advise [ link to main site page], and help us on different issues. Around 15.000 volunteers help us by providing data through monitoring and counting millions of waterbirds.

The Oceania branche operates in Australia and the Pacific Islands from offices in Canberra and Brisbane (Australia) and Suva (Fiji).

From these offices in Oceania, Wetlands International works towards wetland conservation outcomes in 10 countries within the region and several neighbouring countries in Asia. Within the Oceania region, Wetlands International has conducted activities in Australia and New Zealand, as well as in eight Pacific Island countries. In the Pacific, effort has been concentrated in Melanesia, especially Papua New Guinea and Fiji.

Flyway countries

Staff based in Australia have also worked in Flyway countries such as China, Thailand and Malaysia, providing support to local offices of Wetlands International. In all countries, Wetlands International operates cooperatively with national conservation agencies, non-government organisations and wetland managers/owners. The scope of work undertaken is broad and falls under the four global goals of Wetlands International. Refer to the separate menu items for details. [hier linken plaatsen, of juist dit allemaal weg]

Canberra, Australia (headquarters of operation in Oceania).

This office was hosted by the Australian Government's Department of the Environment and Heritage (DEH) from 1995 to 2006, but recently relocated to commercial premises within walking distance of DEH. Wetlands International works closely with the Australian Government on implementation of the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands, migratory shorebirds and other strategic wetland conservation initiatives. At present this office accommodates two staff and they work on projects mainly in Australia and the Flyway countries of East Asia.

Doug Watkins - Manager / Canberra Office
Warren Lee Long - Senior Program Officer / Canberra Office

Brisbane, Australia

This office has been hosted by the Queensland State Government's Environmental Protection Agency since 2000. Wetlands International supports the Queensland Government by providing technical advice on wetlands and their biodiversity and collaborates on relevant projects. At present this office accommodates one staff member, working on projects mainly in Australia and providing some support to Pacific Island projects.

Roger Jaensch - Senior Program Officer / Brisbane Office

Suva, Fiji

This office has been hosted by the University of the South Pacific (Marine Studies Programme) for several years. Wetlands International supports the University in contributing to post-graduate training on wetlands and their biodiversity and assists the Government of Fiji by providing technical advice on wetlands, their biodiversity and implementation of the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands. At present this office accommodates one staff member, working on projects mainly in the Melanesia sub-region (Pacific Islands), especially Fiji and Papua New Guinea.

Aaron Jenkins - Senior Program Officer / Suva Office 

Wetlands International - Governance

Our Oceanea office is part of the global not for profit organisation Wetlands International. This global organisation is supported by government and non-governmental organisations from all regions of the world.

Wetlands International is an organisation with government and non-governmental members. About 35 governments are members and their numbers are growing. The Association of Members is made up of delegates of our members, partners, Specialist Group coordinators and Counsellors of Honour. The Association of Members appoints the Board of Directors and approves the strategy of the organization.

The Association of Members appoints a Board of Directors. The members of this Board are at the same time the Supervisory Council. The Supervisory council oversees the implementation of the strategy and appoints the CEO.

 The CEO is responsible for the day to day implementation of our Strategy, working together with Heads of Office and a Global Support Team.

See more about the governance of our global organisation on the global website..

Governance of our office

Wetlands International - Oceania is a legal entity registered in Australia as a 'public company limited by guarantee' and is a non-government organisation (NGO). It is subject to the Corporations Law in Australia and must meet governance, reporting, financial and other requirements administered by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission.

Wetlands International - Oceania is governed by a board of directors who are based in the Oceania region.

There are five members (three bodies corporate, all being wetland NGOs, and two natural persons) of the company who meet annually to elect the board of (three) directors. Under Australian law, these directors are personally liable for the proper conduct and performance of the company.
The current directors, all of whom live in Australia and are actively involved in nature conservation, are:

          Christine Prietto (Chair)
          Alison Russell-French
          Peter Cochrane.

At the executive level, Wetlands International - Oceania is led by a Manager who reports to the company's board of directors.

The constitution of Wetlands International - Oceania dictates that it is a not-for-profit organisation and there are no shareholders. Any financial surplus that may be generated from activities must be used to further the organisation's objectives as described in its constitution.

On a self-assessment basis, Wetlands International - Oceania is currently exempt from company income tax having received a ruling from the Australian Taxation Office that it can be classified as a 'scientific institution'.

The constitution of Wetlands International - Oceania harmonises closely with that of the global Wetlands International entity registered in The Netherlands. Through common objectives and use of the global name and logo, Wetlands International - Oceania is thereby part of the worldwide Wetlands International family.

Alison Russell French, a member of the governing body of Wetlands International - Oceania