Parks Australia staff are part of the federal environment portfolio, in the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment. The Director of National Parks is a statutory officeholder, charged under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (the EPBC Act) with helping to conserve Australia’s biodiversity and cultural heritage.
You can find more information about Parks Australia in our publications.
Senior management team
Jody Swirepik was appointed Acting Director of National Parks in March 2021.
Previously, Jody was appointed as the Commonwealth Environmental Water Holder in February 2018. In her role as the Commonwealth Environmental Water Holder, Jody was responsible for the management of around $4 billion of water licences managed in the public interest to restore the environmental health of rivers in the basin whilst having regard to Indigenous Cultural values.
Jody also spent 3 years with the Clean Energy Regulator working on carbon farming and emissions reduction (reverse auctions), National emissions reporting, and liability acquittal for Australia’s Renewable Energy Target. Jody has over 25 years of experience in the water sector where she has been responsible for driving a range of initiatives at the state and federal level including state water reforms, The Living Murray and parts of the Basin Plan. In her earlier career, Jody worked for NSW EPA for a decade and for the ACT Government in planning, policy and regulatory roles .
Jason is currently Acting First Assistant Secretary of Parks Australia. He is responsible for managing Australia’s Marine and Terrestrial parks. These include 58 Australian Marine Parks, Kakadu and Uluṟu-Kata Tjuṯa National Parks in the Northern Territory, Booderee National Park, Island Parks in Norfolk, Christmas and Pulu Keeling Islands and the Australian National Botanic Gardens in Canberra.
Previously, Jason was General Manager, Strategies Branch at the Australian Antarctic Division from 2011 until January 2016. Prior to that, he worked for the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade on overseas postings in the Philippines and Thailand, and positions in Canberra, including Director, China Political and External Section.
Jason also worked as a Senior Adviser in the Office of the Minister for Foreign Affairs and as a senior adviser in the International Division of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. He holds an MA (International Relations), a Graduate Diploma (Foreign Affairs and Trade) and did his first degree, a Bachelor of Arts and Law (with First Class Honours in law), at the University of Tasmania.
Judy West – Executive Director, Australian National Botanic Gardens (ANBG) | Assistant Secretary, Strategic Partnerships and ANBG
As Executive Director of the Australian National Botanic Gardens, Judy provides direction and leadership for this national institution and is the Ex-Officio board member for the National Parks Conservation Trust (NPCT). She is also responsible for developing and implementing a program of Parks Partnerships and oversight of Science Policy for Parks Australia.
Judy has more than 30 years’ experience in scientific research and policy as a research scientist in CSIRO Plant Industry and Director of the Centre for Australian National Biodiversity Research and the Australian National Herbarium. She holds an adjunct professorial position at the Australian National University. For her contributions to Australian plant systematics and Australia’s Virtual Herbarium, she was awarded the Nancy Burbidge Memorial Medal in 2001 and an Order of Australia in 2003. Judy’s scientific expertise is in plant systematics and phylogenetics, biodiversity informatics and conservation biology.
Using her skills developing partnerships that link science and policy, Judy is building an active science and knowledge‑management network in Parks Australia.
Adam oversees Parks Australia’s corporate services and the Booderee National Park, a park managed between the Wreck Bay Aboriginal Community and the Director of National Parks. The corporate services for Parks Australia including Finance, Assurance and Governance, Human Resources, Visitor Experience and Tourism, Legal and Executive Support.
Adam has over 20 years’ experience in the Public Service across a range of policy, regulatory, corporate and evidence-based roles and most recently was responsible for leading the department’s communication and media functions. With almost seven years as an SES Band 1, Adam has led economics, research, evaluation and corporate branches.
Prior to the last machinery of government change, Adam was responsible for leading the department’s strategic approach to partnerships, international engagement, Commonwealth-State relations and the Indigenous Advisory Committee, while also holding a statutory position as the National Environment Protection Council Executive Officer.
Adam has completed the Australia and New Zealand School of Government Executive Master of Public Administration and has a particular interest in public sector reform including regulatory reform, public service delivery, leadership and performance and accountability.
Dr Barbara Musso is Assistant Secretary for the Marine and Island Parks Branch, with responsibility to manage the 58 Australia’s Marine Parks, Christmas Island and Pulu Keeling Marine Parks and the Norfolk Island Marine Park. Barbara is on secondment from the CSIRO, where her position is Program Director for the Marine National Facility.
Barbara has worked for 25 years at the interface between marine and environmental science and policy, planning and conservation. Before joining the CSIRO in 2017, Barbara was with the Australian federal Department of the Environment where she worked primarily in marine planning and conservation and in the Office of Water Science.
Barbara has a PhD in Marine Biology from James Cook University and a Master of Public Administration from the Australia National University.
Karl oversees the Uluṟu-Kata Tjuṯa, a park jointly managed between Aṉangu traditional owners and the Director of National Parks.
Karl has had nine years working and living in remote communities in the Northern Territory, the last three years as Chief Executive Officer of the Bawinanga Aboriginal Corporation in Maningrida. Karl has had extensive experience in engaging with Indigenous communities, working with traditional owners, ranger groups and other stakeholders to achieve social, economic, health and environmental outcomes for Indigenous people.
In the past Karl has worked for both the Northern Territory and Australian governments in a range of roles including business management, accounting, system implementation, strategic planning and corporate services.
Helen Badger is the Assistant Secretary of the Asset Infrastructure Branch, responsible for the planning and implementation of capital works. Predominantly funded through NPP for Critical Asset Renewal Program and the Growing Tourism in Kakadu NPP.
Helen is an experienced executive manager having recently returned from the role of Operations Manager for Australias largest civil infrastructure project in Papua New Guinea. Helen has previously held the role of Executive Director at the National Capital Authority managing the National Capital Estate. Over the past 20 years Helen has project managed a diverse range of civil infrastructure and construction projects for various state and territory governments and Commonwealth agencies.
Helen actively encourages and mentors women to seek careers in the construction industry and is a Director of the National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC).