Executive Officer, Heritage Council – Damien Welch

Damien joined the Secretariat in 2014, and as Executive Officer leads a high-performing team to support the operations and governance of the Heritage Council. Damien is responsible for leading the delivery of the Council’s statutory obligations under the Heritage Act 2017, including oversight of the Council’s regulatory processes, strategic projects and communications. Damien has qualifications in law, history, languages and education and has experience working in governance roles with statutory authorities.

Senior Stakeholder Relations Officer – Kerry Taylor

Kerry has more than 16 years communications experience in Australia and the United Kingdom. She has a broad range of experience including media relations, event management, government relations and issues/crisis management. In her current role she is responsible for stakeholder relations and communications for the Heritage Council of Victoria.

Senior Program Manager – Michelle Glynn

Michelle joined the Secretariat in 2017 following an extensive career in the publishing industry. She has qualifications in archaeology, publishing and editing, and high-level project management and business operations skills through her work at Lonely Planet, Penguin Random House and Pearson. Michelle is responsible for managing Heritage Council strategic projects and contributing to the development and communication of Council initiatives.

Hearings Manager – Katerina Axiarlis

Katerina joined the Secretariat as the Council’s Hearings Manager in 2022. Katerina is a solicitor with extensive practicing experience giving advice to government and government entities in the planning law jurisdiction. She is responsible for the Council’s statutory work, works with members to ensure the Council’s statutory obligations are met, manages hearings and reviews and provides high-level advice in relation to statutory matters.

Heritage Communications Officer – Kathleen Rowbottom

Kathleen joined the Secretariat in 2020, providing communications support to the Secretariat and Council. Kathleen has a Master’s Degree in Cultural Materials Conservation and has previously worked in social media, communications, legal support and academic administration. Kathleen’s passion is to be involved in the promotion and protection of history and culture for the enjoyment and understanding of current and future generations.

Project Officer – Hannah Fairbridge

Hannah has a Graduate Diploma in Cultural Heritage and qualifications in human geography and ecology. Hannah joined the Secretariat in 2022, after previous roles at Heritage Victoria and in the museum industry. Hannah has experience in the management and governance of World Heritage, and in working with heritage legislation/regulation. Hannah contributes both to Heritage Council strategic project work and to the Council’s regulatory work on hearings and reviews.

Business Support Officer – Carmen Rosca

Carmen joined the Secretariat in March 2023 and provides high-level administrative support to the Secretariat and Heritage Council members. Carmen has extensive experience in customer service, qualifications in Media Studies and is currently completing a Graduate Diploma of Museum Studies.

Rhonda McLaren (Executive Officer) *Currently on long service leave

Rhonda has worked in cultural heritage management in New Zealand, the UK and Australia and has a specialist background in maritime archaeology. Rhonda joined the Secretariat as Hearings Manager in February 2014, overseeing Heritage Council meetings and hearings, providing high-level support and advice to the Permit and Registration Committees and contributing to the development and implementation of policies and strategic projects.