Executive committee

The executive committee is the peak body of the governance structure for the concept feasibility phase of the Reef Restoration and Adaptation Program. Its functions include:

  • strategic oversight of the program, facilitating resolution of matters beyond the terms of the steering committee

  • strategic planning and program governance 

  • reviewing and approving the RRAP Investment Case.


Chair: Dr Paul Hardisty, CEO, Australian Institute of Marine Science


Dr Peter Mayfield, CSIRO

Anna Marsden, Great Barrier Reef Foundation

Margaret Johnson, Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority

Professor Chris Cocklin, James Cook University

Professor Andrew Bradley, Queensland University of Technology

Professor Bronwyn Harch, The University of Queensland

Professor Mary Spongberg, Southern Cross University

Paul Hardisty (Chair)

Dr Paul Hardisty is the Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Institute of Marine Science.  An honours graduate in geological engineering from the University of British Columbia, Canada, he has a masters in hydrology, and a PhD in environmental engineering, from Imperial College, London. He has been a visiting professor in environmental engineering at Imperial College, London, since 1999, and is an adjunct Professor at the University of Western Australia. Paul has worked extensively in marine and coastal environments and on marine research projects. He was the founder, owner and leader of successful international environmental consultancy Komex Environmental Ltd, and has held senior leadership positions with Worley Parsons and CSIRO. Paul chairs the Reef Restoration and Adaptation Program executive committee and sits on both the Great Barrier Reef Foundation’s International Scientific Advisory Committee.


Andrew Bradley

Professor Andrew Bradley is a Chartered Professional Engineer, Engineering Executive, Fellow of Engineers Australia and Registered Professional Engineer (RPEQ). He is also a Senior Member of the IEE in the Engineering in Medicine and Biology and Signal Processing societies. He is the Associate Dean, Research, for the Science and Engineering Faculty at Queensland University of Technology and was previously: an ARC Future Fellow at The University of Queensland; Chief Technology Officer for Ausonex - a company specialising in designing and developing hearing instruments; and Principal Biomedical Engineer for Maxwell Plus - a company developing the next generation of diagnostic tools powered by artificial intelligence technology. Professor Bradley has published more than 150 peer-reviewed papers and is a named inventor on 20 granted patents.

Anna Marsden

Anna is Managing Director of the Great Barrier Reef Foundation (GBRF) where she has charted the development of a refreshed portfolio of Reef programs and led the organisation to achieve fundraising growth, bringing together corporate and private philanthropy with government, science and communities. Anna has worked in leadership roles across the not-for-profit and creative industries for almost  20 years. She was CEO of Queensland Ballet, leading a major change program that achieved enormous growth. Other previous roles include General Manager – Creative for corporate communications agency Rowland, Development Director of the Queensland Art Gallery and GoMA, and General Manager at the Institute of Modern Art. She has also held board positions with the Brisbane Festival, Brisbane Powerhouse and Circa. Anna was awarded the Australian Institute of Management’s Not for Profit Manager of the Year (2013), a Winston Churchill Memorial Fellowship (2003) and Young Arts Manager of the Year (2001). Anna sits on the GBRF’s International Scientific Advisory Committee and the Reef Restoration and Adaptation Program executive committee.

Bronwyn Harch

Professor Bronwyn Harch is Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) and Vice-President (Research) at The University of Queensland. She is an applied statistician with 22 years’ experience leading and undertaking research focused at the nexus of agriculture and environmental systems. Bronwyn is passionate about making an impact by generating knowledge, technology and practices that make our world more sustainable, secure and resilient. She is a member of Innovation Science Australia (ISA) and The Great Barrier Reef Independent Science Panel (ISP) among other programs. Bronwyn sits on the Reef Restoration and Adaptation Program executive committee. For more information: http://www.uq.edu.au/about/dvc-research

Chris Cocklin

Professor Chris Cocklin is Provost and Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research and Innovation) at James Cook University, with oversight responsibility for the six colleges of the university, and line management responsibility for the two academic divisions in which the colleges are situated. He also holds portfolio responsibility for the Division of Research and Innovation, Division of Student Life and the Indigenous Eudcation and Research Centre. He is Director of the North Queensland Commercialisation Company and of JCU Enterprises Pty Ltd, and a member of the following committees and boards: Great Barrier Reef Foundation International Scientific Advisory Committee; ARC Centre of Excellence for Australian Biodiversity and Heritage Executive Committee; CRC for Water Sensitive Cities Research Advisory Committee and Townsville Industrial Development Board and Reef Intergrated Monitoring and Reporting Steering Group.

Margaret Johnson

Margaret Johnson is the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority General Manager, Reef Strategy. Her  responsibilities include developing the Great Barrier Reef Outlook Report, providing strategic input into the Australian and Queensland Government Reef 2050 Plan, developing and implementing the Reef 2050 Integrated Monitoring and Reporting Program, international engagement and managing strategic governance. Margaret joined the authority in 2008, and has worked in the Australian Government for more than 25 years. She has also served as a senior adviser and chief of staff to Commonwealth ministers and a parliamentary secretary.

Mary Spongberg

Professor Mary Spongberg is Deputy Vice Chancellor of Research at Southern Cross University. She is a cultural historian who has an established international research career in two major and distinctive fields of humanities and social science research: historiography and medical history. AT SCU she provides strategic oversight to the university’s research activities across campuses at Lismore, Coffs Harbour and the Gold Coast. She has held roles at the University of Sydney, Macquarie University and the University of Technology, where she was Dean of Arts and Social Sciences and established the Centre for the Advancement of Indigenous Knowledges, the Centre for Climate Justice and the History Lab. She sits on the Board of the Northern Rivers Legal Centre and is committed to securing social justice for vulnerable populations.


Peter Mayfield

Dr Peter Mayfield is CSIRO’s Executive Director – Environment, Energy and Resources. He oversees approximately 1400 researchers working to provide science and technology solutions to increase the value Australia derives from its vast energy and minerals resources, while maintaining and enhancing our unique environment. He holds a PhD in chemical engineering from The University of Queensland, and has worked in research and development for more than 25 years in both industry and government. During his 20 years at BHP (later BHP Billiton), he was responsible for delivering research solutions across the company’s global businesses. His senior research management roles at CSIRO include: Chief of Technology and Director of the Energy Business Unit. Under his leadership, CSIRO research has made a range of contributions from developing technologies for more greenhouse-effective ways to use fossil fuels, to developing and integrating renewable technologies - such as solar and wind, and finding more efficient ways to generate, distribute and use energy. Peter sits on Reef Restoration and Adaptation Program executive committee.