Outdoors Great Southern brings together the very best strategic thinkers with significant experience in the government and non-government sectors. Our staff bring a breadth of skills and experience in tourism, outdoor recreation, natural resource management, and social research.
Simon Barras is the Outdoors Great Southern Trails Program Manager, responsible for the implementation of the Great Southern Trails Master Plan. Simon has spent the past 11 years with the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries and has worked on a range of projects across the sport and recreation industry. Simon previously worked with the Western Australian Cricket Association where he was responsible for delivering participation programs and developing the capacity of organisations and volunteers.
Simon has spent many family holidays in the Great Southern Region and has recently relocated his young family to Albany to take advantage of everything the region has to offer. Simon enjoys being active across a range of sport and recreation activities, in particular, anything that involves a bike.
Dr May Carter has joined the Great Southern Treasures Bobtail Project as an Interpretation Officer.
May brings substantial experience as she has worked in the recreation and community sector for almost forty years. She began her career as an outdoor guide in south west WA, and then returned to university to complete post graduate studies in social science and environmental management. Over the past two decades, May has worked with, and in, local governments in community development, recreation planning and project management roles. May has also held senior policy and planning roles in state government, and been involved in numerous government-led working groups and project teams.
May lives between Denmark and Kalamunda (at opposite ends of the Bibbulmun Track) and spends her time away from work in her garden, photographing wildflowers, and walking in the bush and at the beach with Benson, the black Labrador.
Karl is the Program Manager (Volunteers) responsible for our volunteer trail maintenance program – Great Southern Trail Carers. Karl has a Natural Resource Management background managing biodiversity projects on Western Australia’s South Coast for the last nine years. Prior to that he has coordinated school and community education projects with the Department of Environment, and has managed projects involving conservation trainees.
Karl knows that a benefit of living in the Great Southern is the amazing choice of outdoor environments and activities which he shares with his family. Camping, hiking and canoeing are favourites of this family!
Lenore Lyons is now our Senior Research Associate. Prior to joining Outdoors Great Southern, Lenore held positions in the public, private and community sectors. She worked as a research professor in the university sector for over 15 years and during that time was Director of an Australian Research Council (ARC) Key Centre for Teaching and Research. In 2006, she co-founded a successful eco-tourism business in the Great Southern. That business was inducted into the Western Australian Tourism Hall of Fame in 2015.
Lenore currently serves on the Board of Australia’s South West (ASW) and has previously served on the Boards of Management of Trails WA, Denmark Tourism Incorporated, the Munda Biddi Trail Foundation, and Outdoors WA.
Lenore is an enthusiastic hiker and kayaker and takes every opportunity to explore the amazing Great Southern region on land or on the water.
Robbie Miniter OAM has joined the Outdoors Great Southern team as a Cultural Heritage Engagement Officer. His passion for developing better communication and understanding on a cultural level means he is ideally suited to working with regional and rural communities on projects such as the Great Southern Treasures Bobtail Trail.
Robbie knows the Great Southern well, having been born in Gnowangerup, where he lives with his wife and four daughters. Robbie is currently chairman of the Gnowangerup Aboriginal Corporation Advisory group, and a representative for the South Coast Natural Resource Management landscape renewal project. Robbie is the recipient of numerous awards for his work in community, including receiving the Medal of the Order of Australia for service to the Indigenous community of Western Australia.
Brett has a background in construction and trail construction, with over 10 years’ experience as a boilermaker. Brett previously worked in the trail building sector for World Trail, and created video content for the mountain bike industry globally for over six years.
After moving from Melbourne to settle in the Great Southern in 2016, Brett immersed himself amongst the local community and has actively advocated for trails the area. Brett spends much of his time in the great outdoors, particularly in the mountains. Beginning racing downhill MTB in 1999, he still enjoys racing to this day and competes often, if he isn’t acting as race director.
Andy is our Skills Development Officer and is responsible for increasing community participation across the region through the development of workshops, training, and grassroots instruction within the Outdoor Recreation sector. After 11 years coordinating accommodation and recreation programs in recreation camps in Perth, Andy had the opportunity to relocate to Denmark in early 2018 and immediately saw the benefit to living in the region, for both his family and himself.
Andy and his family love camping and being outdoors, and they are excited to explore more of the areas the Amazing South Coast has to offer.
Karen Timmins is our Digital Engagement Coordinator. Karen has lived in Albany for more than ten years, working with organisations including the City of Albany, Great Southern Grammar, various small businesses and not-for-profit organisations in communications, incorporating graphic design, photography, website editing and design and community relations services. Prior to that, she roamed much of the southern part of WA as a freelance Farm Weekly correspondent.
Karen is a great addition to the team, bringing a genuine interest in writing, photography, sustainable and ecologically responsible regional development, and in keeping kids and adults active.
It’s quite likely she will try to introduce you to her number one passion – sailing the extraordinary waters of the Amazing South Coast.
Greg Mair works for the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions as a Fire Projects and Planning Officer. He has had a long career with State government agencies, including as the South Coast Regional Manager for the Parks and Wildlife Service in Albany, and postings in Walpole, Kirup, Manjimup, Busselton and Bunbury. While the area manager at Walpole Greg was a member of the project team involved in the development of the Valley of the Giants Tree Top Walk. Greg has been actively involved in athletics and yachting and has State and National achievements in both sports. He was the Commodore of the Walpole Yacht Club and Secretary of the Geographe Bay Sailing Club at Busselton. These days the fitness pursuit is more aligned to walking the many trails around Albany.
“I strongly believe that getting people out into the natural environment has beneficial outcomes for both their well-being and their greater appreciation, respect and valuing of it”.
Matthew is an experienced corporate lawyer and company secretary with over 25 years’ legal experience. Matthew has a strong corporate governance background and has worked for a number of companies, including Alcoa, Bankwest and Shell. Having just moved to Albany he is now a Special Counsel with the HHG Legal Group.
Matthew also loves the outdoors. He is a keen fisherman, camper and golfer and, after a 30 year hiatus, has also recently made a cricket comeback in Albany with the Many Peaks C-Grade cricket team.
Anne has worked in Local and State government for over 40 years including roles as Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director of Community Development. She currently runs her own management consulting business. Her experience includes community, economic and regional development and she has had responsibility for recreation as part of her Local Government portfolios. Anne represented the sector on the development of Strategic Directions for the Western Australian Sport and Recreation Industry 2006-2008 (SD4) and sat on the Department of Sport and Recreation’s Community Sport and Recreation Facilities Fund assessment panel for 10 years.
Her contribution to Local Government has been recognised by Local Government Professionals (WA), having received a Meritorious Award, and being conferred a Fellow. In 2018 Anne was made a Member of the Order of Australia for her contribution to gender equality.
Anne has a Master of Business Leadership, is a qualified Company Director, and an experienced non-executive Board Member. She currently sits on the Board of the Albany Youth Support Association.
Anne and her husband grew up in Collie and Mt Barker respectively and have lived in Perth and the Pilbara. They have now settled in Albany to be closer to family. They enjoy the beauty of the natural environment and exploring regional WA in their camper trailer. A keen swimmer, Anne is now an early morning regular at Middleton Beach.
The Outdoors Great Southern Board welcomes Laura Bird to the team.
Exploring and adventuring with a sustainability focus drives Laura. She completed a Bachelor of Arts at UWA (Environmental Anthropology) and headed to the Kimberley to manage APT’s Ungolan Safari camp, guiding tourists through the Michelle Falls.
Drawn back to the amazing South Coast to raise her family, she completed a Diploma in Sustainability and Graduate Certificate in Education for Sustainability while teaching Cert 4 Sustainable Business units at TAFE. Laura sat on the Regional Capacity Reference group for SCNRM and most recently was State Manager of the not-for-profit organisation Green Skills, overseeing projects on revegetation, weed management, waste reduction and sustainable skills.
Her personal goal is to raise awareness of sustainable living to increase her community’s resilience and enable future generations to continue to enjoy our spectacular outdoors environment. Hiking is one of Laura’s favourite outdoor pursuits growing from her Timbertop school days exploring the Victorian Alps. She later ventured overseas to Nepal, Peru, Japan, Botswana and Borneo; scaling whatever peaks she could find. Laura now enjoys discovering the hidden gems throughout the Great Southern, Peak Charles being one of her favourites.
After many years living and working overseas in Senior Management roles for the likes of the UN, APT and Qatar Airways, Kristen has recently launched her own Business Coaching practice in Albany. Kristen holds a B.Comm in Sports Admin and Commercial Law, a Graduate Certificate in Migration Law, Masters in Business Leadership (MBL), Masters in Business Administration (MBA) and a Graduate Certificate in Applied Coaching. Her passion lies in leadership development and in making leaders and organisations the best possible places they can be for their employees.
Kristen is a keen sports person and loves being in the great outdoors. From abseiling and rock climbing to camping, SUP-ing or heading out on one of the many beautiful trails around the region, there is no end to the exploration.