The EPA Board

Meet the EPA Board members.

The current Board members have expertise in environmental law and science, corporate, financial and risk planning and management, as well as established ties to business and community groups. 

Rayne de Gruchy AM PSM, Chairperson of the Board

Photograph of Rayne de Gruchy

Rayne brings to the EPA strong experience in the field of regulation acquired as chief operating officer of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, and as executive director of the Australian Financial Institutions Commission where she set the policy direction for regulation of Australian non-bank financial institutions and co-ordinated effective State regulatory supervision.

Rayne’s 25-year executive career in State and Commonwealth public service also included a decade as CEO of the Australian Government Solicitor. Her leadership of the AGS was integral to its successful evolution to a high performing and responsive law firm supporting the Commonwealth government.

A lawyer by training, Rayne has considerable experience working with lawyers and organisations to achieve effective regulatory outcomes. She has experience in the corporate world stemming from practice as a commercial and banking and finance lawyer in her earlier days and experience as a non-executive director of two public companies.

Rayne has bachelor’s degrees in Arts from the University of Queensland and Law (with honours) from the Australian National University.

Rayne was awarded the Public Service Medal in 2003 and made a Member of the Order of Australia for her contribution to public administration in 2008.

Tony Chappel, Chief Executive Officer

Headshot of Tony Chappel, EPA CEO

Tony joined the EPA in August 2022 with strong experience in highly regulated industries and a commitment to the environment. His experience across the public and private sectors, and in regulated industry means Tony brings a useful understanding and perspective of what is required of licensees, as well as the community impact of industry actions.

Prior to joining the EPA, Tony was Executive General Manager, Corporate Affairs, Legal Risk and Governance at the Australian Energy Market Operator. His role included responsibility for stakeholder engagement, regulatory strategy and policy, working with all Australian governments to ensure the delivery of safe, reliable and affordable energy, and to enable the energy transition in the interests of consumers.

Tony holds a master’s degree in Environmental Change and Management from the University of Oxford and a master’s degree in Environmental Technology from Imperial College, London. He has also worked as a researcher at the Smith School for Enterprise and the Environment in Oxford.

The CEO is a non-voting member of the Board.


Carolyn Walsh

Thumbnail image of Carolyn Walsh

Carolyn is a specialist in industry policy, safety, risk and regulation, with 35 years experience.

Carolyn consults to government and the private sector on regulation, safety and risk management, and has previously worked with the NSW Environment Protection Authority on risk and regulation. Other clients have included Transport for NSW, BHP and the Australian Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development.

Carolyn is the Chair of the NSW Asbestos Advisory Committee, Chair and Commissioner of the National Transport Commission and Commissioner at the Australian Transport Safety Bureau; she is the Chair or a member of a number of audit and risk committees including for the Law Enforcement Conduct Commission and Ministry of Health.

In the wake of the 2003 rail tragedy at Waterfall, Carolyn led a project team to establish the Independent Transport Safety and Reliability Regulator and was its Chief Executive from January 2004 until May 2009.

Carolyn has represented the Australian and NSW Governments in national and international fora, including as Minister-Counsellor Industry, Science and Technology at the High Commission in London from 1996-99. Carolyn was Acting Chair of the EPA from July 2019 to September 2020.

Carolyn has a Bachelor of Economics and qualifications in risk management and auditing, and is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Elizabeth Wild

Photograph of Elizabeth Wild

Ms Wild is a solicitor of the Supreme Court of NSW. She holds a Master of Environmental Law, and has over 25 years' experience in environmental law. Ms Wild is currently a Partner and Board member of the law firm Norton Rose Fulbright. She is also a member of the Law Society of NSW, and a member of the Australasian Land and Groundwater Association.

Ms Wild has particular expertise managing issues relating to contaminated land and remediation law. Her understanding of the various contaminated land regulatory systems across Australia has enabled her to provide strategic advice to a range of private sector, Commonwealth and State government clients. Ms Wild is also an expert in pollution law and has assisted clients in managing potential and actual environmental incidents. This depth of experience has given her a unique insight into the regulatory framework against which government agencies and departments operate.

Michael Rennie

Photograph of Michael Rennie

Mr Rennie is a Rhodes Scholar, holding a Master of Arts from Oxford University, as well as bachelor’s degrees in Jurisprudence (Honours) and Law. He is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Mr Rennie was CEO of McKinsey & Company in Australia and New Zealand for five years and a member of the Global Board of the firm until his retirement in late 2017. He has worked extensively for many of Australia’s large industrial companies, as well as mining, oil and gas, telecommunications and government.

As a reflection of his strong interest in environmental issues, Mr Rennie was the founding sponsor of McKinsey’s environment practice in Australia.

He is Deputy Chairman of the Centre for Independent Studies, and board member of the Australian talent ecosystem technology company Livehire

Functions of the EPA Board

The EPA Board

  • determines the EPA's policies and long-term strategic plans, including policies and plans relating to organisational governance and risk management
  • oversees management of the EPA
  • determines when the EPA should prosecute for serious environment protection offences under the Protection of the Environment Administration Act 1991
  • produces guidelines about criminal prosecutions and related legal proceedings
  • advises the NSW Minister for the Environment on any matter relating to the protection of the environment
  • provides the NSW Minister for the Environment with an annual Regulatory Assurance Statement about its performance as the leading NSW environmental regulator

Disclosure of interest

For more information about the EPA’s governance, including rules about disclosure and conduct, see the EPA Annual Report.

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