Recognising the women in our team: International Women’s Day 2021

To mark International Women’s Day 2021, we decided to take some time out to hear insights from just some of the great women in our team.

International Women’s Day is commemorated on March 8 and is about celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women all over the world. It is a day to recognise how far we’ve come towards gender equality, and also how far we have left to go.

The theme for 2021 is Choose to Challenge: Collectively, we can all help create an inclusive world. From challenge comes change, so let’s all choose to challenge.


The Healthy Land and Water approach

Healthy Land and Water prides itself on its strong multifaceted team of men and women, who bring an impressive set of complimentary skills and capabilities to deliver for the environment and liveability of South East Queensland.

For International Women’s day, we take a quick look at insights and achievements from a cross-section of women on our team – from our board, to our leadership team, to our committed Healthy Land and water team.


Our Board

Healthy Land and Water is fortunate to have strong experienced representatives sitting on the Board, of whom five of the seven are female. We would like to acknowledge the achievements of our female Directors Mayor Karen Williams, Nadia O’Carroll, Nikki Poteri-Collie, Amanda Creevey and Melissa Impiazzi.

Karen Williams is an experienced leader and manager and currently the Mayor of Redland City Council. She is dedicated to improving service delivery, finding cost savings and improving operational efficiencies.
Nadia O’Carroll is a qualified accountant and was a Division 2 Councillor for the Scenic Rim Regional Council from 2012 to 2020. She has a strong interest in the natural environment, science and biodiversity and is driven by her passion for issues facing the Scenic Rim.
Nikki Poteri-Collie has more than 25 years’ experience building the strategic and financial success of organisations across the water, energy, mining and industrial sectors. Nikki is driven to apply her experience and skills to ensure the enduring success of Healthy Land and Water so that it continues to deliver for future generations.
Amanda Creevey has 20 years’ experience leading teams to deliver results and sustainable organisational change. Amanda is a former Officer in the Australian Army who is passionate about business transformation and capability development
Melissa Impiazzi has over 20 years’ experience in Australia and the United Kingdom in financial services, asset management, recruitment and change management. Melissa is excited to be working towards Healthy Land and Water’s strategic goals of sustainability and growth for the future.


Our executive

Three out of the five members on our executive are female, our CEO Julie McLellan, CFO Michele Clatworthy and Corporate Affairs General Manager Suzie Christensen.


Julie McLellan has been the Chief Executive Officer of Healthy Land and Water since its inception in 2013. Julie has over 25 years’ experience leading high-performance organisations and is an expert in waterway management, governance, strategy, risk and company finance. Julie is passionate about working closely with all levels of government, industry groups and community members on initiatives that ensure South East Queensland is protected for future generations.
Michele Clatworthy has over 25 years of executive and board level experience across the commercial and not for profit sectors. Michele is an expert at leading strategic development, governance frameworks and financial management and has a passion for supporting the considerable contributions of the not-for-profit sector.
Suzie Christensen is an experienced executive, having led non-profit organisations across the environment and social services sectors for 15 years. Suzie is passionate about stakeholder engagement, collaborative partnerships, and evidence-based decision making for a sustainable future.


Our team is made up of scientists, engineers, project managers, team leaders, communications experts, accountants, finance professionals, and an amazing corporate services team.

Healthy Land and Water would not be able to achieve what we do without the support of our dedicated, passionate and hard-working team of women.

Hear below from some of the fantastic women in our team:

We asked some of the women in our team to share their thoughts in recognition of International World Women’s day. Below we profile a selection of quotes and a short video.


Julie McLellan, CEO

“Here at Healthy Land and Water we have a really diverse range of women who work in the team, there’s never a dull moment and it’s really exciting.

You can really feel the strong sense of passion they all bring to the organisation, and it is a huge privilege for me to lead such a great group of women.”



Emily Saeck, Principal Scientist

“In my field (ecology), it was very female dominated at an undergraduate and post-graduate level. I met many wonderful passionate women while I was studying at University.

But for the first ten years of my career outside academia, every time I walked into a company’s ‘science committee’ or ‘expert panel’ meeting, there was rarely even one woman sitting on the committee as a formal member – the only females in the room were there for their administrative role.

It didn’t make sense to me. Where did all those extremely intelligent, passionate women disappear to?! Healthy Land and Water has made a concerted effort to create a balance over the last five years or so and that leadership has come from a few clever men and women who recognised this issue, and knew that we couldn’t be our best unless we considered men and women equally as experts.

Submitting my PhD was hands down the hardest thing I’ve ever done, but one of the best, and is an achievement that had made me proud.

I see how hard it is for women in leadership to be strong and successful, without also being considered overly tough and unfriendly. While our male counterparts are celebrated for it and considered ‘good blokes’ and strong leaders, who is just doing what needs to be done. I would love to see this change. “

Follow Emily on LinkedIn.


Susie Chapman, Senior Scientist and Regional Agriculture Landcare Facilitator

“March 8 also happens to be my mother’s birthday, and this year she turns 98. I am inspired by her tough resilience, her curiosity about people and plants and her kindness and gratitude.

I like to think I carry that through my work with Healthy Land and Water, for it’s all about building resilience, maintaining our sense of wonder, and working with people across the catchments with a generous spirit.”

Follow Susie on LinkedIn.



Hannah McDonald, Administration Officer

“My favourite thing about working with the women of Healthy Land and Water is that every day I get to work as part of a team of intelligent, passionate, dynamic, funny, awesome women who work incredibly hard to make this world a better place.

I am honoured to work with them and am eternally grateful for the lessons I learn from them.”



Rachel Quinn, Executive Assistant to CEO and Human Resource Coordinator

“I am honoured to work for an organisation that has a formidable and inspiring group of accomplished career woman on the team.

We celebrate each other, we support each other and we lift each other up. We are all strong individually, but as a collective, we are remarkable.”

Follow Rachel on LinkedIn.



Daniela Yamaguti, BA & Project Support Officer

“My experience working with women in leadership positions has been to have someone efficient and able to multitask and deliver goals. These women have a delicate approach while being firm and practical at the same time.

A woman can be a mother, wife, housekeeper, nurse, chef, teacher, psychologist, best friend and also work. I would like to see women paid the same wages. This is not only about money, but about respecting what is achieved by women daily.”

Follow Daniela on LinkedIn.



Noeme Evans, Assistant Company Secretary

“My favourite thing about working with the women of Healthy Land and Water is that you can be yourself.

Overcoming communication barriers with different personality types and becoming more confident in my own professional skills and knowledge is something I have achieved that has made me proud.”

Follow Noeme on LinkedIn.



Rachael Nasplezes 

“I feel so privileged to be able to work in a field that I know is contributing to a better world. As a mother of two boys, it has been such a gift for me to be able to involve them in my work and share my love of scientific enquiry and discovery with them.”

Follow Rachael on LinkedIn.








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