The National Trust of Australia (NSW) is governed by a Board comprised of 12 elected members and the Trust’s Chief Executive Officer. The Board elects its President, Deputy President and Treasurer.


Meet our Board:

Debbie Mills, CEO

Ms Mills is a Chartered Accountant and spent many years as a Director at PricewaterhouseCoopers.

From PricewaterhouseCoopers Ms Mills moved to Caltex Australia. During this time she took a lead role in Caltex’s Climate Change team working on the strategy and implementation plan to ensure Caltex was ready to meet its obligations under any proposed and existing Climate Change legislation.

Ms Mills has also been on the Board of Directors of a charity that looks after re-homing lost and abandoned animals.

After moving to Friends of the Botanic Gardens Inc. as the Executive Officer she became significantly involved in the merger of Friends with the Royal Botanic Gardens Foundation and was appointed CEO of Foundation and Friends of the Botanic Gardens Ltd in July, 2012. This role gave Debbie exposure to many environment and heritage issues and importantly experience with members and volunteers.

She joined the National Trust of Australia (NSW) in August 2017.



Mr Brian Powyer, President

Brian Powyer is an Education Consultant who was appointed a Member of the National Trust Board (NSW) in 2014. He is also Chair of the Education Committee, member of the Conservation Policy Taskforce, Chair of the Parramatta Branch of the National Trust (NSW). Outside the National Trust he is Chair of the Bidjigal Reserve Trust Board, Chair of the Parramatta Historical Society, Chair of the Parramatta Community College and member of the Parramatta Council Heritage Advisory Council.

Mr Powyer has had a long career in education, including positions as Principal, Assistant Director Curriculum NSW and Secretary of the NSW Primary Principals Association. He is interested in advancing advocacy issues, forming strong community alliances and working with Government to align the National Trust’s education programs to the National Curriculum.


Mr Neil Wykes OAM, Treasurer

Neil Wykes is a chartered accountant who has been a National Trust (NSW) director and treasurer since July 2010. He is also Chair of the Finance, Audit and Risk Management Committee to present.

Mr Wykes is the Director and Treasurer of the International Board of children’s charity, Variety and Company Secretary of Variety Australia.


Susan Hunt, Deputy President

Susan Hunt is fundraiser and a former Deputy Directory of the Historic Houses Trust (now Sydney Living Museums) and Head of the Museum of Sydney.

She currently occupies a casual vacancy on the National Trust Board, is a former member of the Curatorial Committee, National Trust. She is also a former Board member of The Dictionary of Sydney, former chair of the Power Institute Alumni Committee and member of the Alumni Council, University of Sydney.


Ms Kate Dezarnaulds, Board Director

Kate Dezarnaulds is a marketing and buiness development consultant and is on the National Trust Marketing Committee and S.H Ervin Committee. Ms Dezarnaulds is Head of Partnershops for TEDxSydney and a business development and marketing consultant in the cultural sector and creative industries.


Mr Keith Parsons, Board Director

Keith Parsons is a retired science high school teacher and has been a National Trust Board Member since 2012 (2012-13, 2014-15). He is a Board representative on the Built Heritage Conservation Committee and Policies Taskforce, a Member of the Hunter Regional Committee since 1974 and Chair 1999-2004 and 2008-2015, Deputy Chair from the late 1970s until mid 1980s. He is also a Member of the former Hunter Region Historic Buildings and Urban Conservation
Sub-Committee, and a former member and Chair of Miss Porter’s House Management Committee.

Mr Parsons has represented the National Trust on numerous local government heritage and urban design-related committees and panels.


Ms Meredith Hutton, Board Director

Meredith Hutton is an historical archaeologist and heritage consultant. She has been a Trust Board Member since 2011 and Board representative on the Trust Museums and Galleries/Marketing Taskforce, a Member of the National Trust Collections Committee, Heritage Awards Committee and Honours Committee. She has also been the Chair of the National Trust Illawarra/Shoalhaven Branch 2005-2015.

Outside the National Trust Meredith Hutton is a Member of the Wollongong Council of Heritage Advisory Committee and the Old Court House Management Committee.


The Hon Garry Downes AM, Board Director

Garry Downes has been a member of the National Trust Historic Buildings Committee for more than 10 years. He has held positions on administrative boards, including Cancer Council (NSW), International Association of Lawyers (World President), and Save the South Steyne Committee. He has a lifelong interest in the preservation and protection of the built and natural environment, as well as our cultural heritage.


Mrs Elaine Lawson, OAM, Board Director

Elaine Lawson is a heritage and curatorial consultant and has been a member of the Women’s Committee (ACT) since the 1980s.

She was formerly Senior Curator of Historic Places in the Cultural Facilities Corporation (ACT). She has been a Trustee of the Historic Houses Trust, of the Official Establishments Trust, a Director of Open Gardens Australia and a member of the National Management Committee of the Australian Garden History Society.


Mr Alan Kerr, Board Director

Alan Kerr is a Director, Chartered Accountant and Business Advisor. He has been Director of the National Trust since September 2013 and is currently Chair of the Marketing and Fundraising Committee.


Mr Ian Stephenson, Board Director

Ian Stephenson is a museum curator and has been Director of the National Trust (NSW) since 2010. He is also chair of the Properties Committee (2014 to present), Convenor of the Properties Task Force (2011-2013), a member of the Museum Task Force (2012-2013) and Saumarez Advisory Committee (2010-present).

Mr Stephenson is also Trustee of the Copland Foundation, and was CEO National Trust (SA) from 2007-2009.


John Richardson, Board Director

John Richardson is an architect who been involved in saving our heritage since 1968 when he joined the RAIA Historic Buildings Committee as a student member. He has been a National Trust Board Member since 2011 and has been part of the Finance, Audit and Risk Management committee and was chair of the Conservation Policies Task Force from 2013-2016.


Dr Clive Lucas OBE, Board Director

Dr Clive Lucas is a restoration architect who was previously National Trust of Australia (NSW) President. He was a founding partner of the firm Clive Lucas, Stapleton & Partners – Architects and Heritage Consultants now known as Lucas Stapleton Johnson, which specialises in the field of architectural restoration. He is a current Board Member and member of the Trust’s Properties Committee; previously Vice-President of the Trust and Founder, former Chairman and Trustee of the Historic Houses Trust of NSW (now Sydney Living Museums). Restoration Architect – Clive Lucas, Stapleton & Partners, Sydney. Member of the National Trust of Australia (NSW) since 1961.