The Government is delighted to announce that the Australian Government has appointed Ms Sally Barnes as Director of National Parks. 

Ms Barnes brings with her nearly 20 years experience in the environment field. She is currently the Chief Executive of the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage with responsibilities for national parks and reserves, including the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service and the Royal Botanic Gardens. Ms Barnes also oversees the management of biodiversity and threatened species and the protection of Aboriginal and non Aboriginal heritage.

Since her appointment in 2010, Ms Barnes has been responsible for transforming her agency’s approach to tourism, business planning and asset and fire management. Among her achievements are an increase of five per cent in visitation to the state’s parks, and new opportunities for traditional owners to manage their lands and employ their young people. 

Ms Barnes has a strong customer focus and a track record developing strategic partnerships with tourism bodies. She was a key player in securing for Australia the prestigious IUCN World Parks Congress, to be held in Sydney next November. 

The Director of National Parks is a statutory officeholder, responsible for six Commonwealth national parks, three of them managed jointly with their traditional owners; the Australian National Botanic Gardens; and the Commonwealth network of marine reserves.

Ms Barnes succeeds Mr Peter Cochrane, who held the position for 14 years. On behalf of the Government, we thank him again for his long and distinguished service as Director of National Parks.

Ms Barnes will take up her position on 12 February 2014. The Government looks forward to working closely with her to deliver sustained conservation achievements across our terrestrial and marine parks, along with economic and social benefits for the communities that rely on them.