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Government of Western Australia - Department of Fisheries

Corporate Executive

Our Corporate Executive is responsible for establishing the strategic directions of the Department. 

It considers a range of information in establishing strategic priorities, including risks derived from our risk register of ecological and organisational assets, stakeholder priorities, and government policy. This direction is reflected in our Strategic Plan.

The Corporate Executive comprises the Director General, the Deputy Director General, the Executive Director of Regional Services, the Executive Director of Fisheries Research and the Executive Director of Corporate Services.

Heather Brayford BSc, MBA
Director General
photo of Heather Brayford

Heather Brayford was appointed Director General in April 2015, having acted in the position since late 2014. 

Heather has almost 30 years of experience in fisheries management, having held a number of senior policy and management positions in the Department including Deputy Director General and Director, Aquatic Management. She has also held the position of Executive Director of Fisheries in the Northern Territory.

Heather is also a Director of the Fisheries Research and Development Corporation.

Darren Foster BA, Grad. Dip. Arts (History)
Deputy Director General

In late 2015 Darren was appointed Deputy Director General of the Department of Fisheries, with responsibility for aquaculture, fisheries management, legal services, environment and biosecurity.

He has been a senior policy and strategy adviser in Commonwealth, State and local governments for 30 years in areas as diverse as Environment, Treasury and Finance; Energy; Health; Education and Training; Tourism; Racing and Gaming and Native Title.

Prior to joining the Department, Darren was  Director of Strategic Policy and Planning in the Office of the Environmental Protection Authority (OEPA).

Dr Rick Fletcher, BSc (Hons), PhD
Executive Director, Research
photo of  Rick Fletcher

Dr Rick Fletcher was appointed as Director, Research in 2006. The position of Executive Director, Research is responsible for the overall management and strategic direction of the Department’s research group, which provides the information that underpins the Department’s successful natural resource management programs. 

Rick has over 25 years of experience conducting and managing research on fisheries and aquaculture-related issues across four jurisdictions in Australia and the South Pacific, including Director of Research of Fisheries in NSW. His recent research focus has been in the development of ecosystem-based management frameworks for marine and coastal systems, for which he is the leader of a number of State, national and international initiatives.

Bruno Mezzatesta, BBus MBA FCPA
Executive Director, Regional Services
photo of Bruno Mezzatesta

Bruno Mezzatesta is responsible for the Department’s Regional Services Division including community education and compliance, licensing and communications. Prior to this position, Bruno was the Director of the Department’s Corporate Services Division. He has more than 25 years experience in the public sector, including periods with the Office of the Auditor General and the Department of Treasury and Finance.

Kieth Van Dongen, BA, Grad. Dip.,  Grad. Cert.
Executive Director, Corporate Services
photo of Kieth Van Dongen

Kieth Van Dongen joined the Department in August 2004 as the Compliance Manager, Gascoyne Region, becoming Regional Manager, Gascoyne Region in 2009.  Kieth joined Corporate Services in June 2012, with responsibility for People Services, Finance and Information Communication Technology. He is also instrumental in managing the integration of  the Fish Eye online project  and commissioning  the New Wave project to bring all corporate services back in-house.

Kieth comes from an investigation background having spent 15 years with the Northern Territory Police Service and five years with the Office of the Public Advocate.

Last modified: 28/10/2016 3:30 PM

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