Our Board

Gippsland Ports Board

Gippsland Ports is a statutory organisation. Gippsland Ports Board is appointed by the Minister for the Environment to provide strategic direction for the management and operations of Gippsland Ports, and plays an important role in the sustainable management and development of maritime operations and activities along Victoria’s east coast from Inverloch to Mallacoota.

Directors’ responsibilities include the management and administration of crown lands, two waterways and five local ports with varying imperatives, risks and opportunities, and covered by different pieces of legislation administered by several different government departments and Ministers.
Individuals on the Board act in the best interests of the public entity; with integrity; in a financially responsible manner; with care, diligence and skill; and in compliance with all relevant and applicable laws and regulations.

Board Member Profiles

Geoff Hocking – Chairman

Geoff Hocking has formal qualifications in Business and Management and over thirty years experience in Public Administration with federal, state and local governments.

He has extensive skills and experience in financial management, waterway management and asset management. Geoff is also a Commissioner with the Victorian Environmental Water Holder and he is a born and bred Gippslander with strong ties to the whole region.

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Chris Cook

Chris is a resident of Eagle Point and a Civil Engineer with almost 20 years of experience. In his spare time he has three young children and is President of the Paynesville Junior Football Club.

He is passionate about Gippsland and its waterways and spends much of his spare time touring and exploring in local waters.

Having previously been the Gippsland Regional Manager for multinational consultant AECOM and owner of Bulls Cruisers, Chris and his wife (Tamara) now own management rights at Captains Cove Resort and he is General Manager and partner of Briag Engineering, who design and construct large welded steel tanks and steel infrastructure throughout Australia.

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Richard Elkington

Richard Elkington joined the Board of Gippsland Ports in 2014.

Richard is the Chair of the Regional Development Australia – Gippsland Committee and while currently on the Board of East Gippsland Water, is also a past Chair of Gippsland Water.

Having previously held executive positions in the Latrobe Valley power generation industry Richard now provides management and strategic planning consultancy to Gippsland businesses as well as engaging in a range of community activities including community radio.

Richard is a member of the Clean Coal Victoria Advisory Committee and the Gippsland Tertiary Education Council and is a long-term member of the Executive Council of the Victorian Employers’ Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

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Dick Ellis

Dick Ellis is a long standing resident of East Gippsland.

He brings to the Board wide ranging management experience in both private and state government service over many years.

Dick is a Councillor and past Mayor of East Gippsland Shire and also a member of the Gippsland Regional Waste Management Group Board and member of several Audit Committees.

He also Chairs and is a member of a number of Shire related Advisory Boards. Dick resides in Lakes Entrance with his wife Kim.

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Richard Mostard

Richard Mostard lives in Paynesville and is a retired member of the Victoria Police after 35 years of service.

Richard was the Officer in Charge of the Gippsland Water Police from 1985 until 2010 and has an extensive knowledge of maritime safety for both recreational and commercial users. Richard holds numerous maritime and search and rescue qualifications.

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Rod Thomas

Rod Thomas has been a Coastal Engineer for over 40 years.

Educated At Melbourne University and Delft University of Technology, Netherlands, he spent 20 years in applied coastal research with Ports and Harbors at the Marine Models Laboratory working in Victoria as well as interstate and overseas in Indonesia. He then spent 9 years as the Gippsland Regional Manager for the Port of Melbourne Authority, setting up Gippsland Ports and managing the east coast Associated Ports.

For the past 17 years Rod has operated Tibar Services, a Coastal Engineering and Port Management Consultancy, contracting in maritime design and construction and building various coastal facilities around Victoria.

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Nicola Watts

Dr Nicola Watts is a passionate Gippslander.

Nicola’s diverse career has been across the education, natural resources management, telecoms and food sectors. Her career has also included more than a decade across nearly twenty countries as a management consultant.

Nicola is currently the Executive Officer of East Gippsland Food Cluster Inc. She is a member of the East Gippsland Catchment Management Authority Board and the Regional Development Australia Gippsland Committee. Nicola is also a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Nicola lives in Paynesville with her partner Hardy and is a keen sailor.

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