Director and CEO

RiverSmart Australia was established by Dr Bill Phillips.

He was born in Lake Cargelligo, in central NSW, and grew up in the farming communities of Trundle, Harden-Murrumburah and then Tocumwal on the Murray River. He attended Finley and then Bowral High Schools before completing a Bachelor of Science and PhD in Zoology at the Australian National University in 1985.  Bill then joined the Australian National Parks and Wildlife Service (ANPWS). 

While employed by the ANPWS, Bill worked across a range of program areas including the National Koala Conservation Program, Ocean Rescue 2000, Save the Bush and One Billion Trees.

Bill Phillips was also a key player in the establishment of Waterwatch Australia - a community education program focused around water quality monitoring and promoting integrated catchment management.

In 1989 Bill led the establishment of Australia's National Wetlands Program, and then served as Deputy Secretary General of the Ramsar Convention based in Switzerland from 1997-2000. 

Upon returning to the Federal Environment Department in early 2000 Bill was promoted to Assistant Secretary with responsibility for water programs - an area of specialisation he has developed through his 25 years of Australian and international experience. 

Since 2000, Bill Phillips has worked at the 'coal face' of river management issues; facilitating a range of community-based solutions to river and wetland management challenges, and gaining a first hand understanding of the needs, issues and concerns of Australia's river managers.

RiverSmart's other Directors

Mr Stephen Crowe

After graduating from UNSW with a Bachelor of Engineering (Mechanical) Stephen pursued a rewarding corporate career with Honeywell working throughout Australia with clients from both the government and private sectors.  During this period he clearly demonstrated strong and effective leadership in both sales and operational environments. 


Returning in 1994 to his home-town of Canberra, Stephenís business acumen and entrepreneurial talents were applied to founding and managing businesses in software development, system and network support and IT training for government and private sector clients.  More recently he has been involved in the recruitment industry playing advisory roles in mergers and acquisitions, corporate structure, strategic planning, sales management and governance.


Stephen is strongly committed to sustainable environmentalism, and is a founding director of Riversmart Australia, a not-for-profit organisation supporting stakeholder-based management and restoration of Australiaís river systems.


Having worked for multinational corporations and run his own businesses for many years Stephen has a strong empathy for enterprises of all sizes.  He understands they all have different challenges to attract, acquire and retain the right people.  His belief in giving clients an outstanding product and service with a proven return on their investment will infuse Challenge Consulting as it offers our clients a comprehensive outsourced HR and recruitment service.




Mr Tony Sharley

Tony Sharley graduated with a Masters Degree in Science in 1992 from Monash University following attainment of a Degree in Applied Science from Canberra College of Advanced Education (now Canberra University) in 1981.

Tony has spent the past 33 years working in natural resource management roles with emphasis on water management helping to sustain Australian rivers and wetlands.

His roles have included Research Assistant in the Alligator Rivers Region in Kakadu National Park, Technical Officer in soils and irrigation management in the Riverland of South Australia, Catchment Scientist with the Murray Darling Basin Commission in Canberra, Manager of Banrock Station Wine and Wetland Centre in South Australia where Tony established an international wetland conservation program reaching out to more than 100 projects spread across 14 countries, Principal Consultant with Flow on Business providing services in wetland management planning, ecotourism development and business and strategic planning, and General Manager of Destination Riverland, promoting tourism and tourism development in the Riverland of South Australia.

He is a recent graduate of the Governorís Leadership Program in 2009 (Leadership Institute of South Australia) and has most recently completed and graduated in the Australian Institute of Company Directors course.

His professional career has broadened recently to include roles in community economic development and governance through Regional Development Australia, Destination Riverland Incorporated and the RAA of South Australia.

Click here for details of the other two Directors

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