Meet the inspiring women shaping the future of the Great Ocean Road

March 8, 2024 BY

The Great Ocean Road Coast and Parks Authority leadership team.

The coast and parks along the Great Ocean Road are so special, and so important to Victorians, that the Victorian government established the Great Ocean Road Coast and Parks Authority as a dedicated coast and parks manager.

The significance of this region reaches far and wide, touching millions—from the Eastern

Maar and Wadawurrung Peoples who have safeguarded this land for millennia to the global travellers traversing its breathtaking landscapes from across the world.

At the helm of this ambitious endeavour are the formidable duo of Libby Mears, Chair of the Authority Board, and Jodie Sizer, Chief Executive Officer, who are leading the charge to transform and simplify the complex system of public land management across the region.

“Thriving as one integrated, living entity. That is our vision for the Great Ocean Road region,” Libby said.

Their vision goes beyond public administration; it aims to strengthen the Great Ocean Road region into one integrated, living ecosystem – a mission that transcends the ordinary.

“This is not for the faint-hearted. It requires a united and dynamic workforce committed to doing the right thing, not the easy or popular thing,” Libby said.

At the heart of this dynamic organisation beats a diverse and talented team of passionate women, each bringing a unique blend of experiences and perspectives to the table every day.

The Board boasts gender parity with six women and five men, while the Executive team comprises an impressive 71 per cent females. Within the broader workforce, the organisation maintains a near-equal gender split between 106 women (78.92 FTE) and 90 men (81.47 FTE).

“Our ambitious body of work requires authentic, inclusive and purposeful leaders; women, men, all people equally committed to our vision and empowered to deliver on it,” Jodie said.

This significant responsibility is not just about managing land and assets; it’s about honouring the deep connection between the environment, it’s culture and history and the wellbeing of the communities it serves.

“We exist to drive transformative change…. change that will ensure this world class coastline can be enjoyed now, and for generations to come,” says Sizer, underscoring the organisation’s commitment to sustainability and legacy.

“In our first two years of operation alone, we’ve reinvested over $40 million into the region,” Sizer said, highlighting the tangible impact the Authority has already made.

With its present reach spanning more than 100,000 hectares and hosting more than 8.6 million visitors annually, the Great Ocean Road region remains a breathtaking and cherished area.

“And we have plans to go even further, through collaboration with our local councils, Traditional Owners, visitors and communities to regenerate local ecosystems and transform visitation management,” Libby said.

As of November 1, 2025, the Authority will oversee an impressive 150,000 hectares of parks and coastal reserves, including 355 kilometres of stunning coastline from Point Impossible to Warrnambool.

“I take immense pride in the solid foundations we’re building across the region. It’s truly inspiring to work alongside such talented people, and together, we stride purposefully towards the promising future that lies ahead,” Jodie said.

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