Board of Directors
Nick Butcher - Chairman
Nick has a lifelong passion for the environment and its conservation. He is involved in a range of environmental causes in Australia and internationally, including as a board member of Australian Wildlife Conservancy, and a member of the National Council of World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and the BirdLife International Advisory Group.
Nick is a Senior Managing Director and Vice Chairman of Infrastructure and Energy at Macquarie Capital. He focuses on investment banking and the development of infrastructure and renewable energy projects globally. He has a Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Commerce (Finance) from the University of New South Wales.
John Harrison Streicker is the Chairman of Sentinel Real Estate Corporation, a real estate investment advisor serving institutional investors in America, Australia, Europe and the Middle East. Sentinel is headquartered in New York City and has 12 offices throughout the US, as well as Amsterdam, Melbourne, Munich and Singapore. The firm was founded in 1969.
In addition to his duties at Sentinel, Mr. Streicker is the founder and a board member of Friends of Australian Wildlife Conservancy, and owner of Streicker Wines and Clairault Wines, both based in the Margaret River region of Australia. He is also a director of the Australian American Leadership Dialogue.
Mr. Streicker is on the board of trustees of The Graduate Center Foundation of the City University of New York, and Temple Emanu-el of the City of New York, where he also has been President. He has served on the board of The Association of Foreign Investors in Real Estate, as Chairman of Manhattan's Community Board #5 and has been a member of the adjunct faculty of the Yale School of Organization and Management. From 2001 to 2005, he served as a member of the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board.
For over a decade, Monika McLennan has been an ardent advocate and supporter of the Australian Wildlife Conservancy as the Director of the US Board of the AWC in New York.
Her philanthropy and collecting span four continents, ranging from art, architecture, supporting living artists, innovation in global health and environmental conservation.
Educated in Australia and Japan, Monika has lived in Poland, London and New York for over twenty years. Monika’s philosophy is to engage with organizations that touch her and her family as well as places close to her heart and heritage such as Australia and Poland. With her expertise, generosity and ability to connect people to ideas, Monika strives to make a difference and leave institutions in a better place than when she found them.
Sid Ray is a professor of English and Women’s and Gender Studies at Pace University.
She is married to an Australian and like-minded conservationist, Philip Kearns and have three children and two dogs. The family spent Sid's sabbatical year, 2010-2011, living in the Northern Beaches of Sydney. They have been actively involved with AWC since 2008 and have visited several AWC sanctuaries including, indelibly, Mornington in the Kimberley.
Having received her BA from Wesleyan University and her MA and PhD from the University of Rochester, Sid has published two books on Shakespeare’s plays, Holy Estates: Marriage and Monarchy in Shakespeare and his Contemporaries (2004) and Mother Queens and Princely Sons: Rogue Madonnas in the Age of Shakespeare (2012), and has co-edited multiple essay collections.
Christine has served on the board of Friends of Australian Wildlife Conservancy for over ten years. Born and raised in Queensland and now based in New York with her husband and two daughters, Christine was educated at the University of Queensland and Harvard Law School (Fulbright and Harkness fellowships) and became a partner in the corporate department of a New York law firm.
Christine has also served as a trustee of Metamorphosen Chamber Orchestra and the Aurora Foundation and is currently on the board of Resurrection Episcopal Day School.
Working for Australia through the US friends of Australian Wildlife Conservancy has been the perfect cure for homesickness.
Skye is passionate about environmental sustainability and biodiversity and has spent the last 12 years working in climate policy, renewable energy and sustainable finance for private, government and non-profit organizations.
As a Senior Vice President in Macquarie’s New York office, Skye leads investor coverage for the Green Investment Group in the Americas where she manages relationships with infrastructure and private equity funds, sovereign wealth funds, pension funds and strategic investors. In prior roles, she developed and managed a sustainable infrastructure finance program for a global network of megacities and also advised the Australian Government on climate policy and renewables. Skye has a Master of International Finance, a Bachelor of Science and a Bachelor of Business.
Odaria has been an active global philanthropist for the last 20 years. Her philanthropy is focused on the environment, education, the arts, and medical research.
Born and raised in Sydney, she is a committed conservationist and advocate for biodiversity loss and has served as a Director on the Board of Friends of Australian Wildlife Conservancy in both the UK and the US for over ten years.
Odaria holds a BA from the University of Sydney, a BLaws from the University of Technology and a Master in Environmental Law from Pace University, NY. She is a solicitor admitted to practice in NSW.
She is currently the Ambassador for Advance – Connecting Australian Globally based in New York.
Director of Development
Venessa Merrin translated her life long love for wildlife and conservation by volunteering and supporting AWC's efforts in the United States for the past fifteen years. In 2017, Venessa officially joined the Friends of AWC team as a development executive where she has worked to promote AWC's message of conservation.
With an extensive background in business management and production,
Venessa Merrin has been a driving force behind the growth and success of Madison Media Group since its inception in 2010. During her time with MMG, Venessa has maintained a portfolio of a diverse range of clients and eventually assumed the position of Managing Director.
In 2020, Venessa was named President of Madison Media Group.
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