Picture of Peta Leahy

Peta Leahy


Peta Leahy works at the Griffith Centre for Coastal Management and spends her ‘spare’ time running around after two little beach babes (her children), organising family vacations and managing the accounts for ACS.

Originally from Sydney, Peta was lured to the sunny Gold Coast for study after her earlier work with National Parks and Wildlife in NSW. It was here on the Gold Coast that her passion for our iconic coastline started and continues today.

You can contact Peta at  austcoastsocchairman@gmail.com

Picture of Nick Harvey

Nick Harvey

Vice-President and Lifetime Member

(Professor) Nick Harvey is the Vice-President of ACS. Nick’s vast experience in all aspects of coastal management means that he can never switch off when he hits the beach. Originally from Sussex by the Sea, Nick’s first memories of the beach were shingle pebbles and chalk cliffs. If you want some commentary on coastal management issues for the media, get in touch with Nick via austcoastsoc@gmail.com

Picture of Jess Berryman

Jess Berryman


Jess is a coastal and environmental scientist, presently completing postgraduate studies in education and marine science. Jess is passionate about environmental conservation and spends her time working in STEM and environmental education programs. Always eager to explore the outdoors, in her spare time you can find her sailing, diving or hiking in the beautiful Gold Coast Hinterland.

With more than 6 years industry experience, Jess has worked across the natural resource management sector to protect and enhance coastal, island and catchment systems. You can contact Jess at austcoastsoc@gmail.com

Picture of Jemma Purandare

Jemma Purandare

Queensland Chair

Jemma is a coastal and environmental scientist passionate about the world’s oceans and rivers. An ocean explorer and beach regular, she dedicates much of her time to the sandy shores, whether through her day-to-day work as a coastal scientist, or through her many hobbies including diving, surfing, trail hiking and running.

With more than 12 years’ experience in monitoring and managing impacts on coastal and catchment systems, Jemma has a deep appreciation for the complexity of the environment, and the importance to protect and conserve its beauty. You can contact Jemma at austcoastsocqld@gmail.com

Picture of Kurt Laboyrie

Kurt Laboyrie

NSW Chair

Kurt is Operations Manager and Senior Environmental Officer (consult) for the Soil Conservation Service's Cronulla Coastal Management Centre.

Kurt has managed numerous civil and environmental construction works in coastal areas and is a Certified Professional in Erosion and Sediment Control.

A keen waterman and all round outdoors type he loves nothing more than exploring Australia's fantastic natural landscapes above and below the waterline. Always keen for a discussion on anything coastal he can be reached at austcoastsocnsw@gmail.com

Picture of Sue Mudford

Sue Mudford

Victorian Chair

Sue is the current President of the Australian Coastal Society Victorian Chapter,

Sue’s love for the coast was ignited as a child growing up in Beaumaris, a coastal suburb south-east of Melbourne. Sue has used her knowledge and experience from teaching and Board appointments to serve as a local government councillor, on regional development boards, catchment management authorities, Western Coastal Board and the Victorian Coastal Council. Sue believes that critical decisions about our coast demand robust scientific research combined with genuine engagement. Contact Sue at austcoastsocvic@gmail.com



Picture of Jo Ludbrook

Jo Ludbrook

Western Australia Chair

Jo Ludbrook is the Australian Coastal Society Western Australian Coordinator.

Jo’s work and recreational interests revolve around the coastal and marine environment and has 15 years’ experience working with coastal managers and community groups to respond to the local and global challenges that face coastal communities.  Currently the Falcon Coastcare Group Coordinator, a committee member on both the Mandurah Coastal Advisory Group and Winjan Cooperative, Jo also works as the Coastal Adaptation Coordinator for the Peron Naturaliste Partnership in South Western of Western Australia and in Aboriginal Land Management as a Training Provider and Program Manager with the Woolkabunning Kiaka Corporation. Jo can be contacted at austcoastsocwa@gmail.com

Picture of Chris Rees

Chris Rees

Tasmania Chair

After mapping Seagrass around Tasmania in 1993 Chris worked for the Tas government implementing the State Coastal Policy (1996), and coordinating Coastcare and other Commonwealth programs from their inception.

Although he left the bureaucracy in 2011 he has remained passionate about Tassie’s coast, in particular lobbying for a new and better coastal policy through ACS and an affiliated group TasCA (Tas Coastal Alliance) specifically formed for the purpose.  Chris is currently a (very) part-time research fellow at IMAS (UTAS) and interests include coastal leadership. Share your thoughts, find out what’s going on, or even get involved by contacting Chris at austcoastsoctas@gmail.com

Picture of Bev Clarke

Bev Clarke

South Australia Chair and Lifetime Member

In her spare time from learning and teaching environmental management at Flinders University, the always-smiling and ever-happy (Dr) Bev Clarke provides underpinning knowledge for ACS. Bev was awarded a Lifetime Membership for ACS in 2014 for outstanding foundational support in establishing the organisation.

Bev can be contacted at austcoastsocsa@gmail.com

Picture of Bruce Thom

Bruce Thom

Patron and Lifetime Member

Known as the founding father of ACS, (Emeritus Professor) Bruce Thom is a member of the Wentworth Group of Concerned Scientists and Emeritus Professor at the University of Sydney.

In 2010, Bruce was awarded a member of the Order of Australia for his significant contribution to the ecological management of the coastal zone and as a contributor to public debate on natural resource policy. If you want some commentary on coastal management issues for the media, get in touch with Bruce via austcoastsoc@gmail.com

Picture of John Hudson

John Hudson


John is the Australian Coastal Society communications contact. 

John is a geologist specialising in coastal and marine environments. He also has many years experience as a senior manager in state government where he has led coastal and landuse planning programs.  He is interested in all things coastal and marine.

John likes surfing, snorkelling, fishing and just being around the ocean.

If you want to get in contact with John, send him an email at austcoastsoc@gmail.com

Picture of Dave Anning

Dave Anning


Dave is the memberships officer for the ACS. 

Dave is a coastal generalist with degrees in marine science, tourism management and environmental economics.

He is particularly interested in the economic benefits associated with the use and appreciation of beaches and the surf zone.

Dave likes fishing, surfing, snorkelling, windsurfing and making epic sandcastles with his kids.

If you have any questions about membership, send him an email on austcoastsocmembership@gmail.com

Picture of Greg Stuart

Greg Stuart


Greg Stuart has had a long history with Australia's coasts. As a kid he enjoyed family holidays on Bribie Island in South East Queensland and went on to graduate in coastal engineering and marine science.

Greg has gained professional experience at all levels of Government and the private sector. His technical skills have been honed on projects ranging from beach erosion assessments, coastal protection strategies, reef management, offshore conditions, and water quality impacts on receiving waters. Greg is an adjunct lecturer at the Griffith Centre for Coastal Management and lives on the Gold Coast.

Greg can be contacted via austcoastsoc@gmail.com