Meet our board members

Board profile - Sharon Starick

Sharon Starick

Presiding member, South Australian Murray-Darling Basin Natural Resources Management Board

In partnership with her husband, Sharon runs a 1,500 hectare dryland cropping property and a piggery near Cambrai on the plains to the west of the River Murray. In addition to her farming experience Sharon also has 19 years of involvement in natural resources management and community organisations. In addition to primary production, Sharon’s experience includes water resources management, soil conservation, conservation and biodiversity management, pest, animal and plant control, and community and industry development at state and national levels. In 2003, Sharon was awarded the RIRDC Rural Women’s Award.

Sharon is a board member of the Royal Automobile Association of SA and Animal Health Australia as well as Chairing the Board of Rural Business Support. In the past, Sharon has been the Presiding Member of the South Australian Natural Resources Management Council, the state’s peak NRM advisory body and a member of the Community Advisory Committee of the Murray-Darling Basin Ministerial Council. She has also served on the Board of Land and Water Australia, Grains Research and Development Corporation, Australian Landcare Council and the National Rural Advisory Council.

Mike Williams - Regional Director

Mike Williams

Regional Director, South Australian Murray-Darling Basin Natural Resources Management Board

Mike started work in the Environment & Natural Resources sector in 1976 as a Ranger in the Kosciuszko National Park. He spent 23 years working for the NSW National Parks & Wildlife Service in the Riverina, Cobar, Baronga and Broken Hill regions.

In 2000, he moved to SA to establish what is now DEWNR’s state wide Fire Management Program. Since 2008 Mike has worked in the Director Regional Coordinator role, Manager Parks & Sustainable Landscapes in the Adelaide and Mount Lofty region and more recently as the Director of Major Projects.

Mike’s experience include Sustainable Landscape Management, Protected Area Management, Fire Management, Wildlife Management, Recreation Management and working with rural communities.

 Ashley Chabrel

Ashley Chabrel

Ashley has been growing wine grapes for the past 14 years and prior to that he spent 4 years working in a range of horticultural jobs. More recently he has also diversified his business by developing a dried grape property.

He is connected with the Barmera Agricultural Bureau and has a good understanding of integrated pest management, plant physiology, irrigation design and management, and risk management. Ashley is also involved in the organisation of the annual Riverland Field days.

Ashley holds several directorships on CCW Cooperative, CCW Wines, and the National Irrigators Council. He is also the Deputy Chair for the South Australian Murray Irrigators Inc. Ashley has previously served as a Director of Vinehealth Australia (formerly the Phylloxera and Grape Industry Board of South Australia).

Ashley holds a Bachelor of Science majoring in Environmental Biology from the University of Adelaide, and enjoys camping and spending time with his family.  

 Board profile - Peter Duggin
 

Peter Duggin

Board member, South Australian Murray-Darling Basin Natural Resources Management Board

Peter Duggin is a winegrape grower based in Renmark where he grew up on his parents’ property as a third generation irrigator. He is the current chair of the Renmark Irrigation Trust Board, a position he has held for the last seven years. This has led to numerous other commitments in the Riverland and in the irrigation and vine industry.

  • South Australian Board Representative of the National Irrigators Council
  • Deputy Chair of Riverland Vine Improvement
  • Chair of SEE Renmark 2024
  • Member of SAMI 
Liz Frankel

Liz Frankel

Board member, South Australian Murray-Darling Basin Natural Resources Management Board

A visual artist and creative writer, Liz operates an art studio/gallery on the banks of the River Murray in the Riverland. Liz and her husband create kiln-fired glass artwork, and Liz writes children’s books that promote a healthy environment. Liz believes the arts can be utilised as a powerful driver for positive cultural change, and aims to create community driven improvement in conservation of our natural assets, and to ultimately have thriving regional communities with sustainable environmental outcomes.

Liz is particularly interested in working to preserve the River Murray and is passionate about nature based tourism and regional revelopment. Liz has served as a CSIRO Energy Mark Community Climate-Change Convener, a Board Member of Country Arts SA, a MDB Healthy Rivers Ambassador, and is a Director on the Board of their Regional Tourism Organisation, Destination Riverland. She has been named a Nature Foundation SA-Water for Nature Champion and received a Landcare Award for her wetland volunteer work. Liz has won various Arts/Literacy awards.  

 Lian Jaensch Board Member

Dr Lian Jaensch

Lian’s career started out in STEM working in plant cell physiology before finding a role with Quality Assurance systems and a fortuitous introduction to the wine industry. That was more than 15 years ago having taken on the role as Executive Officer for the Langhorne Creek wine region’s grape grower and winemaker association (Langhorne Creek Grape and Wine Inc.).

During the millennium drought Lian was an industry representative to the drought liaison group, is a past contributor to the water allocation planning process for the Angas-Bremer Water Management Area, has been involved in community consultation for the Murray Darling Basin Plan.

With a rural upbringing, having grown up on a dairy farm at Bull Creek/Paris Creek, South Australia, Lian still enjoys the farming life on a small holding at Langhorne Creek.

Board profile - Owen Love

Owen Love

Board member, South Australian Murray-Darling Basin Natural Resources Management Board

Mr Love made his career in theatre and the arts as a playwright and toured Australia with his  own play for eight years. Raised on 160 acres belonging to his grandfather on the banks of Lake Alexandrina, Mr Love’s formative years were all about soil, land, plants, animals and water.

Having grown up in Wellington, Mr Love has a solid understanding of the way the entire river system operates: the wildlife, flora, the overlapping of land, water, community, and the changes impacting on them.

Mr Love runs workshops in schools for students and teachers in the art of storytelling. Communication and sharing stories is critical in understanding and describing the natural world to children who live in the suburbs and are unfamiliar with the larger system.

Board profile - Deana Mildren

Deana Mildren

Board member, South Australian Murray-Darling Basin Natural Resources Management Board

A passion for sustainable farming brought Deana and her husband Greg to purchase a small farm near Tungkillo.  Her small business background enables them to successfully produce and market their olives and continue developing their plan to maintain and improve the sustainability of their farm through balancing production needs with those of the environment.

As chair of Tungkillo Landcare Group, Deana has led the group through planning and implementing numerous projects throughout the region including hosting Guilford grass field day, plant propagation workshop, bird watching mornings, feral olive control, soil pit workshop and gaining several small and medium grants to improve local patches of remnant.

With two young girls, Deana has particular interest in developing children’s love of and connection with their environment and has been proactive in helping her local schools develop programs within and outside of the classroom. This has culminated in an annual visit to a local remnant where children gain first-hand knowledge of what their backyard may have looked like years ago and why biodiversity is critical in maintaining sustainable farming.

Board profile - Gioia Small

Gioia Small

Board member, South Australian Murray-Darling Basin Natural Resources Management Board

Gioia Small from Adelaide is Regional Manager, Sustainability with Treasury Wine Estates. In that role she leads and supports a range of technical and sustainability initiatives for the world's largest pure play listed wine company. This includes working with primary producers to facilitate the adoption of environmental management systems for winegrape production. Prior to joining Treasury Wine Estates, Gioia spent five years working with producers in an agricultural extension role with the Department of Agriculture in New South Wales.

Gioia's background includes working with multiple stakeholders and organisations on a range of collaborative, cross functional projects. She is also the current Chair of the South Australian Wine Industry Association Environment Committee and a member of the Winemakers' Federation of Australia Environment Committee. Gioia brings to the Board skills and knowledge in business administration, horticulture and the wine industry.