Executive Team

Director and Chief Executive (2013)

Professor Timothy J Entwisle PhD, BSc (Hons).

Leads and promotes Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria to achieve the highest standards in horticulture, science, financial management and a broad range of visitor and education programs. Professor Entwisle is a highly respected scientist, scientific communicator and botanic gardens director. He took up the role of Director and Chief Executive of Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria in March 2013, following two years in a senior role at Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, and eight years as Executive Director of the Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain Trust in Sydney. Professor Entwisle is an Honorary Professorial Fellow at The University of Melbourne, and a regular contributor to print, radio, television and social media. You can visit Tim at his blog, Talking Plants.

Executive Director Science (2006)

Professor David Cantrill PhD, BSc (Hons).

Responsible for leading research into plant biodiversity, systematics, conservation, and management of the State Botanical Collection, with statutory responsibility under the Royal Botanic Gardens Act 1991 and the Drugs, Poisons and Controlled Substances Act 1981. Professor Cantrill worked as a senior research scientist in Europe for 15 years, first for the British Antarctic Survey in Cambridge and later at the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm. He has published over 120 scientific articles; is an editor of Grana, an international journal for pollen studies; and sits on a number of international editorial and scientific advisory boards. His research interests focus on integrating information from fossil and living floras to understanding the origins of patterns of diversity in the southern hemisphere. He holds an honorary professorship with the School of BioSciences at The University of Melbourne.

Executive Director Melbourne Gardens (2010)

Chris Cole Dip Hort (Kew).

Responsible for horticultural planning and operations, including landscape planning, management and development of living plant collections and nursery operations at Melbourne Gardens. Mr Cole is also responsible for arboriculture and management of site facilities and infrastructure at Melbourne and Cranbourne Gardens. He provides direction for managing the development and implementation of Integrated Water Management and Landscape Succession projects at Melbourne Gardens. He has over 15 years’ experience in public and botanic gardens management and has worked at Hampton Court Palace, National Trust, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew and Townsville Botanic Gardens.

Executive Director Cranbourne Gardens (2001)

Chris Russell BSc (Hons), Grad Dip Land Rehab.

Responsible for the leadership, management and operation of Cranbourne Gardens encompassing the Australian Garden and significant conservation areas, including horticultural planning and operations, natural areas research and management, and development and implementation of the site Master Plan. Mr Russell is also responsible for delivery of capital works projects, strategic input into land-use planning and relationship management in the region, as well as organisational OHS and aspects of environmental systems management across Cranbourne and Melbourne Gardens. Prior to joining Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria, Mr Russell had experience in environmental management and capital projects with Parks Victoria (formerly National Parks Service Victoria), the building industry, and scientific research.

Executive Director Corporate (2019)

Fiona McLaughlin BA GAICD.

Responsible for leading a collaborative and service orientated approach to corporate governance across financial management and planning, people and culture management, information services, project management, and legal, legislative and contractual matters. Ms McLaughlin is also responsible for supporting the effectiveness of the Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria Board and its committees. She has over 15 years’ experience in public sector governance, financial management and strategy, having held previous senior management positions at the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning, Victoria Legal Aid and the Department of Premier and Cabinet.