Deakin graduate elected to new fishing authority

07 June 2017

A Deakin University Warrnambool Campus trained fisheries scientist has been elected to a senior role in Victoria’s peak fisheries authority.

Dr Bernadette Northeast has been named as Deputy Chair of the new Victorian Fisheries Authority (VFA) which starts on 1 July 2017.

Dr Northeast graduated from Deakin’s marine science course in 1999, completed her honours in 2002 and finalised her PhD in 2014.

The appointment is the culmination of years of study and work in the field and an interest that dates back to childhood.

“I’m the daughter of a fisherman and I’ve seen how policy can influence practice for commercial fishermen,” Dr Northeast said.

“I’ve also seen what it looks like from a licensing and marine park development perspective during my consulting for the aquaculture industry over recent years.”

Dr Northeast said the Board would provide an important engagement mechanism to represent and support people connected to fisheries.

“The Board will provide governance and oversight for everything done by the Fisheries Department, across education policy, licensing, commercial and recreational fishing, aquaculture, Indigenous and cultural fishing.

“This role is the perfect opportunity to combine my scientific research and governance experience to ensure Victoria’s fisheries resources are managed sustainably and positioned to take advantage of growth opportunities,” she said.

The VFA will support the development of recreational and commercial fishing and aquaculture in Victoria, regulate fisheries and provide advice to government on a range of fisheries management opportunities.

The new VFA will drive jobs and export growth in Victoria’s commercial fishing and aquaculture sectors.

It will continue delivery of the State Government’s recreational Target One Million initiative, aimed at getting more people fishing, more often.

Minister for Agriculture Jaala Pulford announced that Order of Australia Medal recipient Gail Owen will Chair the new Authority. Ms Owen has previously been an inaugural member of two boards and will provide strong leadership to establish the Authority.
The other Board members include Christopher Rose, Christine Cussen, David Shirer, Yorick Piper, Graeme Dear and Rebecca Edwards.

The Board, appointed through a public process, will ensure the VFA’s objectives and functions are achieved and will explore new opportunities for fisheries in Victoria.

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