The Council

The Council is chaired by Anthony Boxshall, who is the Principal and Founder of Science into Action, which aims to improve the use, understanding and uptake of science, technology and technical expertise. Dr Boxshall was the Inaugural Chairperson for the Marine and Coastal Council and has been reappointed for a second term. He brings outstanding experience and expertise in marine ecology, conservation and climate adaptation science.

Jacquie White has been appointed as Deputy Chairperson and is highly experienced in environmental science, conservation and stakeholder engagement.

The five existing members, Ms Jennifer Fraser, Dr Anna Grage, Dr Ian Knuckey, Professor Alistar Robertson and Dr John Sherwood have been reappointed together with two new members, Ms Marianne Atkinson and Dr Rohan Henry.

Marianne Atkinson is expert in developing policy and strategy, providing advice to regional and strategic partnerships, and understanding of issues relevant to Aboriginal people. Rohan Henry is an expert in marine and coastal ecology, aquatic science, stakeholder engagement and facilitation.

The Council members bring extensive expertise in a range of important areas, including business and financial management, community relations, marine conservation, marine ecology, marketing, public sector governance, and sustainable fisheries.

The terms of appointment for members will be staggered enabling continuity of existing expertise and experience while broadening the capacity to bring new perspectives and experience to the Council and provide for succession planning.

Two members identify as Aboriginal, three members live in rural Victoria and two members live in regional Victoria ensuring local issues are represented and diverse perspectives are considered.


Dr Anthony Boxshall - ChairDr Anthony Boxshall is a marine ecologist who has worked in Australia and the USA across Government, academia and private industry. He is the Founder and Principal of Science into Action Pty Ltd, a science impact company turning great science into greater actions. He is a Board Director of Parks Victoria, and was the valedictory Chair of the Victorian Coastal Council. A former National President of the Australian Marine Sciences Association (AMSA – the largest learned society for professional marine scientists in Australia), he has worked at UC Santa Cruz USA, Deakin University, and has been on several innovation Boards. A current Melbourne Enterprise Fellow in the School of Biosciences at the University of Melbourne, he ran the Science area at the Environment Protection Authority (EPA) in Victoria for nearly a decade.
He is a problem solver and strategist. As a hobby, he has communicated the wonders of the marine environment to a broad audience through the award-winning “Radio Marinara” on 3RRR-FM in Melbourne for 25 years. He is a dad to 4 children who continually amaze, inspire, frustrate and leave him in awe of the potential of the future and hence more determined to leave a positive coastal and marine legacy.

Jacquie WhiteJacquie White has over 20 years’ experience working in the environment sector across coastal management, catchment management, integrated water management, community and stakeholder engagement, organisational change and capacity building, and social research and evaluation. She is currently the Executive Officer of the Association of Bayside Municipalities and runs a consultancy providing event management and stakeholder engagement services.
Jacquie's previous professional roles include: General Manager of the Environment Institute of Australia and New Zealand, Manager Community Programs at Melbourne Water, Director at the Office of Living Victoria, and Manager of Organisational Transformation with the Country Fire Authority.

Dr Ian Knuckey - Deputy ChairDr Knuckey is the Director of Fishwell Consulting, a company that provides expert research advice and consulting services to encourage and promote sustainable fishing practices. He has a PhD in fisheries population dynamics, a BSc (Hons) in Marine Ecology and over twenty-five years of experience in temperate and tropical fisheries research and management, encompassing a wide variety of invertebrate, finfish and shark fisheries.  
Dr Knuckey has worked with many fisheries around Australia and in SE Asia, providing research advice and running various fishery-independent surveys, monitoring programs and bycatch reduction projects. More recently, he has been leading capacity building programs to ensure that Indigenous, recreational and commercial fishers can have greater understanding and input into fisheries research and management.

Jennifer Fraser has several governance and advisory roles. In addition to membership of the Victorian Marine and Coastal Council, she is a Commissioner with the Victorian Environmental Water Holder. Previously she was a board member of the East Gippsland Catchment Management Authority, a sessional member of Planning Panels Victoria, a member then Chair of the Medley Hall Council at the University of Melbourne and a member of the board of Westside Community Circus.

She has consulted to different levels of government and has 20 years policy, legislative and management experience across the Victorian public sector. In addition to a range of senior water and natural resource management roles within the (then) Department of Sustainability and Environment, Jennifer has worked in the Departments of Premier and Cabinet, Health, and Education.

Jennifer has qualifications in Geography and Law and is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Anna GrageDr Anna Grage has a background in marine environmental law and planning, and statutory (urban/environmental) planning. She has a Bachelor of Laws, a Bachelor of Planning and Design (Hons), and a PhD (University of Wollongong) that focuses on Australian legal frameworks for marine environmental impact assessment. In the past, Anna has worked as a lecturer at the Australian Maritime College/University of Tasmania, teaching in the areas of international ocean governance, environmental advocacy, and marine environmental and fisheries law and policy.
Anna has also worked in Victoria and Western Australia as a statutory planner for local government, and as a solicitor in the areas of planning and environmental law; with her most recent local government role being with Mornington Peninsula Shire. Anna is currently a Visiting Research Fellow at the University of Adelaide, is on the Deakin University Environmental Science Advisory Board, Principal Consultant of Earth-Sea Planning, and a volunteer for the Sea Search (Parks Victoria) program/Friends of Mushroom Reef Marine Sanctuary, and the Peninsula Community Legal Centre.

Dr John SherwoodDr Sherwood holds qualifications in science, education and environmental studies, with extensive experience as a research scientist in freshwater, marine and estuarine systems and environmental management. He is Honorary Associate Professor in the School of Life and Environmental Sciences at Deakin University in Warrnambool. John is chair of the Glenelg Hopkins Catchment Management Authority’s Coast and Marine Working Group, an informal advisory and networking group for agencies and local government.
Dr Sherwood has chaired the former Fisheries Co-management Council, served as National President of the Australian Marine Sciences Association and has been a member of the Western Coastal Board and the Victorian National Parks Advisory Council. John was recognised as Warrnambool City Council’s 2017 Citizen of the Year and holds a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Victorian Coastal Council.

Emeritus Professor Alistar RobertsonProfessor Alistar Robertson has had extensive field research experience as a marine and freshwater ecologist in Victoria, NSW, Queensland, Western Australia, Canada, USA, Papua New Guinea, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam. He has worked in universities and research agencies in Australia, Canada and the USA. At the Australian Institute of Marine Science he was Senior Principal Research Scientist and leader of the Coastal Processes and Resources Program. At the University of Western Australia he was Dean of the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences and then Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research) before retiring in 2013.
Awards have recognised his commitment to multidisciplinary and collaborative approaches to research on marine and coastal research and the translation of that research into action. He has been a member of many state, national and international committees providing advice on the management of terrestrial, marine, coastal and catchment habitats in the face of local and global change. He also provides advice to universities and government agencies on research, research collaborations and research impact.

Image of Marianne AtkinsonMarianne Atkinson's professional history captures the areas of Government, Human Services, Education & Training, Family Violence Policy, Systems & Reform, Aboriginal Affairs, and community organisations. Ms Atkinson is expert in developing policy and strategy, providing advice to regional and strategic partnerships, and understanding of issues relevant to Aboriginal people.  She has expertise in working with community members and professionals to co-design and develop effective processes for the evaluation and validation of programs, systems, and structures.

She has broad experience leading, coordination and liaising with community groups and preparing and facilitating state-wide strategies in response to community needs, working towards improving outcomes to adapt new practices and system of change progressing ideas and transforming thoughts into action driven solutions.

Ms Atkinson is currently in partnership as a business owner specialising in creative design, innovation, and development of a range of products.  Also is employed at RMIT University Melbourne in the role as VE Co facilitator delivering the Diploma of Community Services.

Her fields of study include Business, Business Analytics, Education, and Data Analysis.

She is currently the Co-Chairperson Aboriginal Torres Strait Islander Advisory Group (National representatives), Australian War Memorial. Gunaikurnai Traditional Owner Land Management, and the subcommittee Audit and risk committee for 8 years.

Council staff

The Victorian Marine and Coastal Council is supported by a Secretariat.

Page last updated: 24/05/23