Meet our members


Deb Agnew

Community Member, South East Natural Resources Management Board

Deb is a passionate and enthusiastic advocate for the environment, for rural life and Regional Communities. Living in Mount McIntyre in the Limestone Coast, Deb and husband Chris operate a prime lamb farming business.

Deb has a vast employment history with strong links and experience in primary health, recreation and sport and community development within both government and not for profit organisations.

More recently she has been the OPAL (Obesity Prevention and Lifestyle) Manager for the City of Mount Gambier and is currently working within the Social Services Sector.

Deb has held positions on a number of government boards and numerous volunteer committees and has formal qualifications in Human Resources and Management.


Nick Hunt

Community Member, South East Natural Resources Management Board

Nick runs beef cattle, an apple orchard (certified 'organic') and has some farm forestry – aimed more for its environmental enhancement than income!

Nick has previous involvement with the Soil Conservation Board, Native Vegetation Council, Southern NRM Group, and Australian Forest Growers Association.

Nick's hobbies are photography (particularly of our natural environment), and his new passion vintage cars.


Michael Bleby

Community Member, South East Natural Resources Management Board

Michael Bleby is a Registered Professional Forester who graduated in Forest Science from the Australian National University and has worked in South Australia’s radiata pine industry for the past 40 years, mainly in the south east, but also in the mid north of South Australia and the Mt Lofty Ranges. His employment with ForestrySA spanned all aspects of forest establishment and management, fire protection, nursery management, harvesting, sales, and distribution of round wood to customers in the Green Triangle.

Michael was a District Forester at Mt Crawford, and at Mt Burr during the 10 years of the Ash Wednesday fire replant. Subsequently, he had a role in operations development, which involved the transfer of research outcomes and new technology into operational practices and procedures to improve forest productivity.

Michael was Chairman of the Forest Industries Training Network and a member of the SA Forestry Industry Training Advisory Board during the introduction of the Nationally accredited Forest Growing and Management Training Package.

Michael has lectured in Forest Operations for the Southern Cross University undergraduate Forest Science degree course, and for various other Forestry technical training courses. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Foresters of Australia, and the Regional Coordinator for the SE Asia/Pacific Region of the Commonwealth Forestry Association.

Michael's community involvement includes Musical Director of Millicent Choral Society, Lions Club member, volunteer work as a JP, Chairman of the Board of  (Anglican Community Care Inc). He was presented with a local Australia Day Citizen of the Year Award in 2007.



Kerry DeGaris

Community Member, South East Natural Resources Management Board

Born in Naracoorte and raised at Killanoola, Kerry lived at Bool Lagoon until moving to Adelaide to  study Agricultural Science. After graduation, she moved to the Riverland then on to Griffith in NSW to work in the wine industry.

 Kerry returned to Naracoorte in 2004 to work at Stonehaven wines as a viticulturist and complete a Masters degree in viticulture. She has also completed a PhD with a focus on irrigation management using moderately saline water and how to influence ion movement in grapevines. 

Kerry and her father now manage their Bool Lagoon sheep and cattle farm. Kerry also works in the local wine industry part time. With an interest in water management, she hopes to be able to provide valuable input into the management of natural resources.


Peta Crewe

PIRSA Representative, South East Natural Resources Management Board

Peta has extensive experience in the Limestone Coast region, beginning over 13 years ago as a farm forestry extension officer working with farmers in the mid and upper south east. She has a deep understanding of communities’ needs, of collaboration and engagement, and of government processes and planning systems.

Peta has previously worked as a Forestry Development Adviser for PIRSA, developing policy and networks across government agencies and facilitating working relationships with forestry companies in the private sector. She now works as PIRSA’s Regional Manager – Limestone Coast for the Agribusiness and Regions Division. In this role Peta offers the Limestone Coast a unique and valuable contact point to strategically facilitate, plan, and engage with key issues and opportunities, to encourage and support innovation and sustainable growth, and maintain and promote South Australia’s clean environment, and the premium produce we manage from it.

Peta has formal qualifications in Agricultural Science and Forest Science.


Kerry Gilkes

Community Member, South East Natural Resources Management Board

Kerry lives at Avenue Range and works with her husband Chas to run a prime lamb and beef enterprise on their 1215ha property.

Over the past seven years Kerry has worked as the extension contractor for the ‘Cockies helping cockies helping cockies’ project working with local landholders to protect and revegetate vital feeding and nesting habitat for the SE Red-tailed Black Cockatoo. As part of this commitment Kerry supports the popular ‘Kids Helping Cockies’ education and nursery program which runs across 15 schools in the region.

Kerry has enjoyed roles with the Nature Conservation Society of SA working with local landholders and local government to identify and manage native grassy ecosystems in the upper South East. She was also with the Westpac Banking Corporation for 15 years.

Kerry has had a long involvement in her local school and netball communities and is currently coaching for the SE Netball Academy and Lucindale.

Passionate about achieving sustainable natural resource management in the region, Kerry recognises the valuable role of community in making decisions for a healthier landscape. 


Tim Collins

Regional Director, Natural Resources South East

Tim first worked for the South Australian government in environmental management in the south east region in the late 1980s. Prior to this he worked in the wine industry at Coonawarra for 10 years.

Tim has formal qualifications in environmental management and has worked in a number of different regions in the state as well as 12 months on a exchange program in Ireland.

Most recently, Tim was Regional Conservator for the Northern and Yorke region, a large region taking in Yorke Peninsula, the mid-north agricultural district, southern Flinders Ranges and the north-east pastoral lands. These experiences have helped form Tim’s view that working with communities on a landscape scale is vital to managing the state's environment and natural resources.

As Regional Manger, Natural Resources South East, Tim's focus will be providing leadership and direction for the Minister for Sustainability, Environment and Conservation's integration agenda for managing natural resources in the region.