Our Staff

Bruce Elliot, CEO

Bruce has a background in government and protected area management and was a General Manager at the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority for 12 years. During this time, he worked across all areas of park management and service delivery including leading permitting, biodiversity conservation and sustainable use, engagement and corporate services. He also led the Authority’s commercial edu-tourism operation, ReefHQ Aquarium. Bruce started his career with the Australian Army, retiring as a senior officer before joining the Australian Public Service, initially with the Tax Office in Melbourne where he was an Assistant Commissioner for risk and intelligence.

Wayne Coots, Business and Finance Manager

Wayne has a Bachelor of Commerce (Accounting & IT) and qualified as a Chartered Accountant with the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia. He has over thirty years’ experience in the not-for-profit sector within Australia and overseas.

In his most recent role, Wayne was the Finance Manager for the Give Where You Live Foundation in Geelong. Wayne held this position from 2012 to 2019.  Prior to this Wayne has worked at the Marine & Freshwater Discovery Centre in Queenscliff.  His overseas experience included nearly nine years with Plan International in the UK and West Africa. In his last posting he was based in Senegal for three years as the Regional Administrator for West Africa.  Originally from Geelong and educated at Deakin University, Wayne has a strong affinity for the Bellarine Peninsula.

Rod Newnham, Holiday Parks Manager

Rod has over 30 years’ experience in National Park and Marine Reserve management in Victoria. He previously held a broad range of operational roles across Victoria at a Senior Management level and was Regional Director for Parks Victoria – West for several years. Rod has also held corporate roles and established the Capital Infrastructure Branch for Parks Victoria, delivering a number of high profile projects. He has a background in change management and led the structural reform of the organisation in 2014 which resulted in a number of significant business efficiencies.

Rod has a strong background in tourism and has managed some of the State’s major parks, including the Grampians and Great Otway National Parks as well as the iconic Twelve Apostles on the Great Ocean Road. He has been a member of tourism boards and was a member of the judging panel for the Tourism Victoria Awards for four years. Rod has a Diploma of Agricultural Science and is currently studying an MBA at Deakin University.

David Goldie, Operations Manager 

David has over 20 years’ experience in Operations Management in horticultural and civil environments. He started his career in the golf course industry, maintaining and building world-renowned links-style golf courses at Barwon Heads, Thirteenth Beach Golf Links, The Dunes, Harbour Town Golf Links USA and St Andrews Scotland. A move to Barwon Heads with his family allowed David to shift careers to local government at the City of Greater Geelong where he held several roles over 12 years including Capital Projects Manager and Manager Infrastructure Operations. Two award-winning projects managed by him were the reconstruction of the arena at GMHBA Stadium in Geelong and the Eastern Park Stormwater Harvesting Lake, and was responsible for a workforce of 120, a 30M budget and 2,500km of roads. David has Diplomas in Horticulture and Project Management and further training in Business Management, Leadership, LEAN 6 Sigma, Design Thinking and Workplace Law.

Justin Smith, Planning and Environment Manager

Justin has a background in environmental management, monitoring, planning and compliance. He was a senior environmental and compliance specialist for approximately eight  years within the private sector, working on oil and gas and mining construction projects in Western Australia, particularly focusing on the environmental monitoring and management of marine and coastal environments.

He also has approximately 10 years’ experience employed by government, working with the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority in approvals and planning positions, as a marine parks and coastal nature reserve ranger and coordinator for the Western Australian Department of Parks and Wildlife, and in statutory compliance roles with Queensland Fisheries.

Justin has a Bachelor of Science in natural resource management and marine sciences studying at both Deakin University in Warrnambool and at James Cook University in North Queensland.