Bill’s first involvement with the Penguin Foundation began in 2005 after an approach by the then Phillip Island Nature Parks' CEO, Mark Manteit. Bill had been a Director and Chair of Newhaven College and had chaired their first Foundation committee, hence Mark’s approach.
Prior to 2005, there had been discussions by the Phillip Island Nature Parks Leadership Team that a Foundation should be established. Thanks to the perseverance of Dr Peter Dann (PINP Research Director and Penguin Foundation Board member), David Beattie (PINP Chair) and John Laurie (retired PINP Chair) and Mark Manteit, the Penguin Foundation became a reality.
In 2006, Bill was appointed among the first independent Directors, together with Margaret Hancock and Ian Baker. John Laurie was the inaugural Chair.
In those early days, no one had envisioned that the Penguin Foundation would become such a widely known and respected environmental organisation. While funding is always highly sought after and not always easy to secure, the Foundation can leverage off historical performance and expansion into new areas and partnerships. A major milestone is ahead in just three years, with the Penguin Foundation twenty year anniversary to be celebrated.
Bill is very comfortable with his decision to retire and has always seen his involvement to have been a privilege. He says, “I am of the view the current Board have the best range of skills in our history and with Simone Clancy as Chair, I expect great things in the future. I’m also excited by what Georgia Symmons (Executive Officer) brings to the skills matrix”.
Bill reflects that he has “gained so much knowledge about conservation and environmental research and has had the opportunity to meet so many dedicated researchers and conservationists”.
A highlight of Bill’s tenure was being appointed as a member of the Animal Ethics Committee (AEC), thanks to a nomination from Peter Dann. Bill says he intends to continue in that role “for as long as they can put up with my lack of scientific knowledge. It has given me a real insight into the rigours required of animal researchers”.
Penguin Foundation Chair, Simone Clancy extends her thanks and best wishes to Bill on behalf of the Board. “Bill has played a key role in the development of the Penguin Foundation into the widely recognised and well-respected organisation it is today. He’s been witness to some of our greatest accomplishments and his transformative work as Board member and Chair has positioned us well for future growth and continued success. He leaves a proud legacy. His commitment, generosity and infectious positivity will be missed by all, and we wish him all the very best for his well-deserved retirement.”
Bill extends his sincere thanks to the Board for the privilege of serving and to all the staff of Phillip Island Nature Parks for their support and tireless work to further the success of the Penguin Foundation.
Photo: Bill is pictured with his grandchildren