26 May 2014 — Mark Wakeham has been appointed Environment Victoria’s chief executive.

Following the departure of Kelly O’Shanassy to the Australian Conservation Foundation in February, Mr Wakeham had filled the role of acting chief executive.

He had previously been Environment Victoria’s campaigns director since 2008.

“We had an extremely strong field of candidates for the role, but we’re very pleased to appoint Mark who is a well-recognised and highly respected leader in the Australian environment movement,” board president Amanda Nuttall said.

“Over the past two decades he has been at the forefront of some of Australia’s biggest and most successful environment campaigns and a key part of Environment Victoria’s supporter growth and success in recent years.

“We’ve been very fortunate to have the benefit of Mark’s experience and energy leading our climate and nature campaigns. He has been a key architect of the innovative and bold strategies that Environment Victoria has become known for.”

Mr Wakeham said he’d worked with Environment Victoria for the past six years because he thought it “one of the most vital, dynamic and respected environment groups in the country”.

“We’ve seen an incredible upsurge of support in recent years from Victorians taking action with us to safeguard our environment,” he said. “Environment Victoria’s supporter base has grown five-fold to 60,000 supporters in the last four years, and I look forward to continuing to grow our supporter base and impact.

“This is a crucial time for Victoria’s environment, with our ecosystems under enormous pressure and our state ill-prepared for climate change.

“Victorians are ready and waiting for leadership from government and business to restore and protect our environment and clean up our energy supply. Our task is to support and focus this community appetite and ensure that our political representatives, from all parties, have no choice but to make Victoria a leader in environmental protection and sustainability.”