"I believe that above all, the Trust needs to be the strategic authority for advocacy and conservation, and we need to arm ourselves with resources, knowledge and experts to ensure that. Whenever or wherever there is an important heritage issue we need to be at the forefront of best practice and to be sought out as the providers of information and as the ultimate aficionado."

Mr Simon Ambrose, CEO

Related content section

Simon Ambrose

Chief Executive Officer

Simon brings to the Trust an essential mix of heritage experience, arts management and commercial understanding.
With such a broad range of sites, Simon’s early Farm Management studies at Muresk Agricultural College and his work at the WA Department of Agriculture bring an informed and sensitive understanding to his role at the Trust.
Further Arts Management study at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts led to a role as Director of the Asia Pacific Multimedia Festival and then as Director of McClelland Gallery and Sculpture Park.
With extensive experience in farming, the arts and finally Tourism, through his roles as Director of the Blue Mountains Cultural Centre in Katoomba, CEO of the Margaret River Tourism Authority and CEO of Visit Sunshine Coast, Simon can ensure that the Trust continues as a strong, powerful, relevant organisation.

Sherredan Maher

Executive Manager Assets & Conservation

Sherredan joined the Trust in 2007 as a volunteer at Rippon Lea after completing a Bachelor of Arts at La Trobe University. After holding various property managers roles, in 2016 Sherredan became the Trust’s Asset Manager and became responsible for all sites across Victoria.
Recently Sherredan was appointed Assets and Conservation Manager and now looks after repairs and maintenance, conservation projects and operations across various sites.

Felicity Watson M.ICOMOS

Executive Manager, Advocacy

Felicity joined the National Trust of Australia (Victoria) in 2013, and has more than 15 years of experience in public history, heritage management, and advocacy.
She is passionate about connecting people, places and stories, and working with communities to protect special places for future generations to enjoy.
In 2016, Felicity was appointed manager of the Advocacy Team, leading the development of strategic programs and campaigns to ensure our diverse heritage is protected and respected, contributing to strong, vibrant and prosperous communities. She coordinated the successful nomination of Federation Square in Melbourne to the Victorian Heritage Register, and is also currently leading a campaign to strengthen local heritage protections in Victoria.

Samantha Westbrooke

Conservation Architect

Samantha joined the Trust in 2014 as the Victoria’s Heritage Restoration Fund (VHRF) Conservation Architect. She is a registered Architect with over 20 years experience of working in the heritage industry. Samantha has been engaged in all aspects of professional heritage architecture services and has worked in State and Local Government as well as private practice.
In 2016 Samantha was appointed the Conservation Architect for the Trust, working in the property team to provide conservation advice and project management with regard to the Trust portfolio as well as maintaining her role as the VHRF Conservation Architect.
Samantha is passionate about conserving and maintaining the National Trust’s diverse property portfolio; nurturing heritage trades; providing leadership and education in conservation processes; and re-activating Trust heritage properties in innovative ways.

Justin Buckley

South City Properties & Gardens Manager

Justin joined the Trust as a Qualified Gardener in 1999. In that time he has held various roles across the organisation, including Manager of Horticulture and Projects and Rippon Lea Head Gardener.
Currently, Justin oversees the management of all National Trust gardens across Victoria while also managing the heritage sites Rippon Lea, Como, Labassa and Glenfern. Justin is particularly interested in building close connections with the local community to develop the key role heritage will play in our cities and towns of the future.

Emily Howells

Executive Manager, People & Culture

Emily joined the Trust in 2015 and believes in connecting passionate people with passionate work. In 2019 Emily was appointed the Executive Manager of People & Culture in 2019 and is responsible for developing and executing human resources strategies aligned to the business’ overall objectives. Emily has a passion for building high performing teams and has been in charge of leading transformational change initiatives, employee engagement, and best practice HR strategies, and has contributed to improved and sustained results for these businesses.
The People & Culture team is committed to producing an inclusive, talented, healthy and safe workplace. Overseeing both staff and volunteer management, we consider our people to be at the heart of what we do.

Anna Daniow

Executive and Strategic Advisor

Anna joined the Trust in 2018 as the Executive Assistant to the Chief Executive Officer, Simon Ambrose. In less than a year, Anna moved into the newly created Senior Management position as the Trust’s Executive and Strategic Advisor. Anna acts as a strategic partner to, and advisor for the CEO and Executive Team, as they work to execute key strategic Initiatives, while importantly increasing the CEO’s reach of engagement with imperative Political, Philanthropic and Industry based leaders.
Anna brings a diverse wealth of arts, cultural and administrative experience with her, having completed a Master of Arts Administration, Curating and Cultural Leadership, a Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts, majoring in Photography, along with having worked in both private and public galleries, and arts and cultural institutions.

Dr Annette Shiell

Executive Manager Collections & Cultural Projects

Annette joined the Trust in 2020. A qualified historian, museum curator and art educator, Annette has extensive managerial and curatorial experience within the heritage and cultural sectors.
She curated major exhibitions for the National Centre for Australian Studies, Monash University and the Australian Racing Museum and is the author of numerous publications including ‘Samples to Showbags: The Creation of an Australian Icon’, Bonzer: Australian Comics 1900 – 1990s and Fundraising, Flirtation and Fancywork: Charity Bazaars in Nineteenth Century Australia. Annette is a Board Member of the History Council of Victoria and Vice President of the Ephemera Society of Australia, and was a Committee Member of Museums Australia (Victoria).
Annette is passionate about connecting and empowering people and communities to create investigative and inclusive projects, which will see the Trust’s collections, places and stories enriched for future generations.

Justin Forrester

Executive Manager, Commercial

Justin joined the Trust in September 2021 as Executive Manager, Commercial. Responsible for leadership across the Fundraising, Memberships, Bookings and Retail teams, Justin is also responsible for delivering key strategic projects for the Trust.
Justin possesses a depth of experience unique in the commercial sector with a distinct focus on visitor businesses and the hospitality and retail sectors. With over 30 years’ experience across a broad cross section of visitor, food, beverage, retail and events businesses, Justin has delivered many successful projects for a variety of stakeholders across Local and State Government and the private sector. With a passion for the arts and cultural heritage, Justin has held commercial roles at the State Library Victoria, Arts Centre Melbourne and in his own business across Zoos Victoria properties. Justin has also led numerous consulting projects across many cultural and sporting institutions.
Justin is a people focused leader with a solid grasp of business operations including complex contract management developed through senior executive and ownership experience in a variety of organisations.

Philip Martins

Chief Financial Officer

Philip is a commercial CFO with a diverse range of experience across many industries, SME and corporate organisations. CPA qualified since 2002, he holds both a Bachelor of Business degree from La Trobe University and a Bachelor of Sports Science degree from Victoria University.
Having started his career in chartered accounting in his hometown of Bendigo, he then spent several years working in Europe in senior finance positions at organisations including Universal Pictures and Marsh Insurance, before returning to Australia in 2006 where he spent ten years at NAB in both senior finance and business transformation roles.
In April 2017, he became the APAC CFO of the Swedish private equity backed payments company Bambora where he led the transformation of the finance function in Australia, and transition of that team to new owners in France upon sale of the business in November of that same year.
Before joining the National Trust, Philip spent three years as the CFO of Brad Teal Real Estate in Melbourne, where he helped guide that business through the challenging market downturn in 2018 and played a crucial role in helping the business navigate its way successfully through the COVID-19 pandemic and sale of the business in April 2021.
Philip also plays an active role in the community in his pro bono role as founding board member and CFO of the Live for Lily Foundation, a local not-for-profit charity which has raised over $1.2m for childhood cancer research and awareness since 2016, something he is extremely passionate about. He is also a passionate photographer, and uses his photography to raise money for local charities and worthy causes.
Outside of work, Philip has a passion for travel, loves spending time with wife and three young boys and loves to keep active and leading a healthy lifestyle.