New look board to help guide future of Kings Park

  • New Chairperson for Botanic Gardens and Parks Authority named
  • Experienced public sector leader Gail McGowan new Chairperson
  • New Deputy Chairperson and board member also appointed
  • Respected public sector leader Gail McGowan has been appointed Chairperson of the Botanic Gardens and Parks Authority, which oversees the operation of Kings Park and Bold Park.

    Ms McGowan brings a wealth of experience in public sector governance and management.

    Ms McGowan recently retired from her role as the Director General of the Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage, has been a member of the Infrastructure WA Board and has held other senior positions across government including WorkSafe and the former Department of State Development.

    Current board member Ms Sheila McHale has been elevated to the role of Deputy Chairperson.

    Ms McHale was Chief Executive Officer of Palmerston Association Inc for more than nine years and a Member of Parliament in Western Australia for 12 years, being a Minister for seven of those 12 years in Parliament.

    Professor Stephen van Leeuwen is a respected Boojarah Wardandi Noongar leader and has been appointed to the board for a three-year term.

    Professor van Leeuwen is a well-regarded botanical ecologist, research scientist and senior manager. Professor van Leeuwen has a diverse professional research background in flora and fauna ecology, taxonomy and management across WA.

    As stated by Environment Minister Reece Whitby:

    “This is a really exciting time for both Kings Park and Bold Park with a number of exciting projects on the horizon, and I congratulate Ms McGowan, Ms McHale and Professor van Leeuwen on their appointments.

    “The Botanic Gardens and Parks Authority Board will undoubtedly benefit from new expertise in planning, cultural heritage and conservation which complement the extensive existing skills and knowledge already present on the board.

    “My sincere thanks also go out to former Chairperson Richard Simpson, who stepped down in 2021 after nearly two decades in the position.”

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