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05 Oct 2023

BGANZ announces new CEO

BGANZ Announces the Appointment of Cassandra Nichols as Chief Executive Officer


The Board of Botanic Gardens Australia and New Zealand Ltd (BGANZ) is thrilled to announce that Ms Cassandra Nichols has been appointed to the position of CEO of BGANZ, commencing on Monday 9 October.

With a passion for the environment, Cassandra brings deep expertise in executive leadership of for-purpose organisations, strategic planning, financial management, cross-sectorial partnerships and stakeholder engagement. She was most recently CEO of Earthwatch Institute Australia. Ms Nichols has also worked as a research coordinator and site manager for the James Cook University Daintree Rainforest Observatory.

Her drive to raise the profile of nature’s relevance has led to worthy achievements including collaboratively developing and securing Australia’s largest biodiversity project, Bush Blitz, establishing numerous long-term industry partnerships internationally and nationally, and raising millions to support environmental projects across climate change, biodiversity and cultural heritage. Ms Nichols brought businesses together to discuss the relevance of natural capital at Oceania’s first ecosystem services conference and her strategic plan for a world-class rainforest research centre resulted in a $10 million site upgrade for the Daintree Rainforest Observatory.

‘The Board looks forward to working closely with Cassandra to guide the long-term future of BGANZ, advocating for plant conservation, and supporting members to contribute their knowledge and expertise to national discussions on biodiversity and environmental issues’, said Marianne Cullen, Chair of BGANZ.

Ms Nichols said, ‘I am very pleased and excited to have been appointed as the CEO of BGANZ. The role of botanic gardens has never been more vital than it is right now. The challenges our planet and its plants face are well documented, and botanic gardens are leading the way in plant conservation. I look forward to meeting and working with BGANZ members, staff, Friends and volunteers. I also look forward to working with the BGANZ Board in further defining and realising the strategic and business objectives of the organisation for the benefit of members.’

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