Meet the Board

WEBColleen Colleen Gates

Colleen is currently serving her second term as councillor at Hobsons Bay City Council,  whilst also working as an environmental professional. Colleen has a 20 year career that includes seven years of direct experience within the landfill, waste and organics sector, and three years’ experience working with accredited EPA auditors on statutory auditing of waste operations.  

She has a detailed understanding of the Victorian environmental legislative framework, a ‘coal-face’ appreciation of the issues and challenges associated with the waste sector including community concerns, as well as an awareness of emerging technologies and initiatives in the market.   


WEBSam Alessi H Res Portrait2 Sam Alessi

Sam has extensive experience with waste and resource recovery within a  local government context.

Serving previously as a Chair and delegate of the Metropolitan Local Government Waste Forum, Sam worked actively to establish the Forum’s Strategies and Policy Advisory Group (SPAG). Prior to the formation of the Forum he served as the City of Whittlesea Council’s representative on the former Northern Region Waste Management Group.

A councillor for over 20 years, Sam has served three terms as Mayor of the City of Whittlesea, nine years as a Municipal Association of Victoria (MAV) Board member (including four years as Vice President and a short term as Interim President), two years as an Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) Board member, two years as a member of the Australian Packaging Covenant and Chair of various other local boards and committees.

Sam holds a Bachelor of Arts (Social Sciences) degree and a Bachelor of Education degree from La Trobe University and a Post Graduate Diploma in Computing from Deakin University.


WEBGeoffrey Geoffrey Carruthers

Geoffrey is a Chartered Professional Civil Engineer who has held CEO positions at two Regional Development Organisations and the West Gippsland Catchment Management Authority.

He is a sessional Member of Planning Panels Victoria (since 2003), VCAT sessional Member (Planning & Environment), and has been appointed to a broad cross section of Ministerial Advisory Committee matters.

He has operated at the government / private sector interface in Australia, SE Asia, and USA, and is committed to helping maintain a balance between development and sustainability in global communities.

He is a past President of the Association of Development Executives Victoria, National Councillor of the Regional Science Association of Australia and New Zealand, a Member of the College of Civil Engineers, a Fellow of Engineers Australia and a member of the Victorian Planning and Environmental Law Association.

WEBMargaret Margaret Donnan

Margaret is a strategic and skilled chair and non-executive director, experienced in working with government, commercial and not for profit boards, and in providing advice to Boards and CEOs on addressing a diverse range of issues.

Margaret earned a strong reputation as a leader in both government and industry for her role as Chief Executive of PACIA, the peak body representing Australia’s $40 billion chemical industry and as a senior executive in WorkSafe Victoria.

Margaret is committed to sustainability and to industry and government leadership. She has a strong track record in public policy, effective stakeholder relations, organisational representation and advocacy, and in working with ministers, governments, industry, and community to deliver outcomes.

Margaret currently chairs a global safety board and is an active Director on two Victorian Government boards and a NFP board. Margaret has recently completed an independent review of WorkSafe Victoria’s OHS activities for the Minister for Finance.

Margaret holds a Master of Science degree in Chemistry, is an Associate Fellow of the Institution of Chemical Engineers and is a Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.


WEBJan Jan Fitzgerald

Jan joined the MWRRG Board in 2014 and brings diverse experience from senior roles in operations, accounting and finance, corporate sustainability, and waste/resource management. She is a Certified Practising Accountant and a Graduate of the Institute of Company Directors, with qualifications in commerce and environmental management.

Jan is an experienced, values-driven non-executive director, and has contributed her strong governance, finance, strategic, risk and stakeholder engagement skills to the greater long-term benefit of many organisations, as well as society more broadly. Her board experience spans the government, waste, sport, health, refugee settlement and not-for-profit sectors.

Jan is committed to building a more sustainable world for future generations, and believes one path to this is unlocking the value in our ‘waste’. Jan is excited to be a member of the MWRRG Board and contributing to the future direction of the region’s waste and resource recovery outcomes.

WEBDavid 1 David Gibb

After 15 years chairing the Mornington Peninsula Regional Waste Management Group David was appointed to the MWRRG Board by the Minister on 1 August 2014. David still operates the beef cattle farm at Red Hill upon which he was raised.

David was a Councillor at Mornington Peninsula Shire 1997 - 2016 where he served twice as Mayor.

David holds a Bachelor of Science degree and is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. He is a member of the Victorian Planning and Environmental Law Association (Fellow), Planning Institute of Australia (PIA), Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD), Victorian Farmers Federation (VFF) and the National Trust.

David chairs the Land Use Planning committee of the Board, is a member of the VFF Land Management Committee, National Farmers Federation Natural Resources Management Committee, and was appointed by the Victorian Ministers for Planning and Agriculture  to the Sustainable Animal Industries Implementation Reference Group.

He is a former director of Toorak College (Mt Eliza), a former Chair of the Municipal Association of Victoria - Melbourne 2030 Advisory Committee, a former member of Urban Development Institute of Australia and a founding member of the Dunns Creek Landcare group


WEBTom Tom Melican

Tom was elected as a Banyule City councillor in March 2003 and served as Mayor in 2009, 2012 and 2017. He has been a player, coach, President, volunteer and committee member in several sporting and community groups. He is on Council’s Arts and Cultural Advisory Group and Banyule Bicycle Advisory Committee.

He has a passion for good environmental management and has been involved in several successful environmental and transport-related committees including the Metropolitan Transport Forum, on the board of the  Municipal Association of Victoria, Northern Melbourne Regional Development Association and the Northern Alliance for Greenhouse Action. Tom is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and has a Diploma in Financial Management. He has retired from paid employment to focus on community work and council responsibilities.


WEBCollin Collin Ross

Collin has been the Cardinia Shire’s delegate to the Metropolitan Local Government Waste Forum for nine years – including two terms as Chair. He has served as a member of Forum’s Strategies and Policy Advisory Group.

Collin has a real passion for the waste sector and has a strong desire to make sure the Forum has strong representation on the MWRRG Board. He is committed to seeing resources dedicated prudently in the sector and a desire to have new streams of waste (such as food waste) taken out the landfill.

Last updated: 04/07/2017