Our Board


Tony Ricciardi

Tony Ricciardi in addition to serving for many years as a BMRG Director also has a long history of service in Local government with seventeen years as an Isis Shire Councillor and post amalgamation was elected seven years ago to the Bundaberg Regional Council and for the last four years he has been Deputy Mayor.  He is also a third generation cane farmer and has also diversified into other crops including avocados and peanuts.  His wealth of Local government experience, rural farming skills and previous experience as a Board member make him the ideal person to take up the role of Chair of BMRG. 


Elizabeth Shanks

Elizabeth (Beth) Shanks operates two grazing properties with her husband Ross in the South Burnett.  Her passion for natural resource management began when she worked to preserve habitat for the vulnerable Brush Tailed Rock Wallaby and Greater Glider found on one of her properties.  She has a Diploma in Business and is President of the South East Burnett Landcare Group and sits on BMRG's Regional Landcare Facillitator Committee.  She is passionate about NRM and believes in employing Best Management Practices and a holistic management approach to production that is environmentally sustainable and commercially viable.


Dr Tanzi Smith

Dr Tanzi Smith has twenty years experience in a range of natural resource management related fields and currently works for the Mary River Catchment Coordinating Committee (MRCCC).  She is the founder of the Greater Mary Association and has been president of this organisation for four years.  She holds a PhD in Sustainable Futures, A Graduate Diploma in Social Science, Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Environmental Engineering (Hons1).  She has strong leadership skills and her skills set includes research, planning, facilitation and community engagement and building networks and a culture of community collaboration.


Vanessa Elwell-Gavins

Vanessa Elwell-Gavins was CEO for six years of NRM South, the southern Tasmanian equivalent of BMRG.  She has worked extensively with government in policy and program development and water planning management.  She has also worked with the Institute for Aboriginal Development and Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies giving her a broad Indigenous cultural understanding.  She is currently secretary of the Wildlife Preservation Society - Fraser Coast Branch and an active member of the Lower Mary River Land and Catchment Care Group.  She has a passion for conservation and believes in delivering strategic onground conservation works and the efficient and effective engagement of the community in NRM.


Prof Phil Brown

Professor Phil Brown has an Honours degree in Agricultural Science and a PhD in Horticultural Science.  He is currently the Professor of Horticultural Science at CQUniversity.  His research work in agricultural and environmental science research projects have focussed on the translation and application of research outputs into practices that are adopted by agricultural industries to improve productivity and sustainability.  He is familiar with the work BMRG does through his involvement on steering and assessment committees and was recently acknowledged by the Queensland Government as a Science Champion in recognition of his work.