Our Directors, Administrator and Chief Executive Officer work on a pro-bono basis and are united in our commitment to achieving the objectives of the Foundation.
The Waubra Foundation Board
- Sarah Laurie, BMBS (Flinders), Chief Executive Officer
- Charlie Arnott, B. Ru Sci (Hons)
- Dr Michael Crawford, B Sc, B A (Admin), M Admin Studies, PhD
- Tony Edney, LL.B, BA, Grad Dip Ind Rels
- Hon. Clive Tadgell, AO
The Waubra Foundation currently has one Patron: Hon. Clive Tadgell, AO a founding director of the Foundation who retired in December 2014.
The Late Alby Schultz, former Federal Member for Hume was the Foundation’s inaugural Patron. Peter Mitchell, AM chaired the Foundation from its inception until January 2015, then served as Patron until March 2016. Mr Mitchell resigned as Patron when the NHMRC announced it was funding multidisciplinary research into the impacts of wind turbine noise on sleep and physiology. This was precisely the research the Foundation had long been advocating, and was the reason Mr Mitchell had originally established the Foundation in 2010.
The original Board guided the Foundation through the start-up and establishment phases, positioning the Foundation as a key organisation in the world dedicated to protecting people from excessive industrial sound and vibration, through improved evidence based noise pollution regulations, and improved planning decisions with respect to the siting of industrial developments.
Vale Alby Schultz, Inaugural Patron of the Waubra Foundation
The Board of the Waubra Foundation was deeply saddened to learn that Alby Schultz, our first Patron, had died in July 2015. Alby’s commitment to seek justice for those whose lives had been severely damaged through the absence of appropriate industrial noise pollution regulation, and his encouragement and strong public support for the Waubra Foundation and its Chief Executive, will always be honoured.
Vale Peter Mitchell, AM
The Waubra Foundation is saddened to announce the death this month of our Founder, Peter Mitchell, AM.
After graduating with B.Chem.Eng from Melbourne University from 1958-87 Peter’s corporate career involved the engineering and resources sectors, chairing or as a director of publicly listed companies in Australia, the UK and USA.
During that time he acquired Mawallok in western Victoria, and spent decades developing a fine wool business whilst enhancing the historic garden. The family welcomed large numbers of people through the garden and it was often used to fundraise for philanthropic causes.
Peter’s interest in indigenous affairs contributed to an invitation to construct a wilderness resort on indigenous land in Arnhem Land, Northern Territory, which property was developed in conjunction with and support from the indigenous owners of the land.
He chaired The Queen’s Trust for Young Australians for seven years, during which time innovative leadership seminars were developed encouraging young Australians from all walks of life to understand the complexities and opportunities in this comparatively young democracy. His motto for these fora: “We don’t mind what you think, only that you do. Surprise us.” Millions of dollars were granted each year to young people to reach excellence in their field, and to organisations whose work focused on disadvantaged youth.
Peter was President of the National Stroke Foundation for 12 years, during which time it developed into a significant national research, educational and advocacy neuroscience organisation. The National Stroke Research Institute eventually merged with other research organisations to become the new Florey Neurosciences Institute. Peter was a Governor of the Florey from its inception until his health deteriorated.
He was a board member of World Wildlife Fund for six years, and Patron of Children First Foundation.
Hearing of health issues suffered by rural residents once wind turbines were erected, and facing a proposal for a wind project near his country home, in 2010 Peter formed the Waubra Foundation, quickly finding Sarah Laurie, a rural GP from South Australia, who was also learning of reported health issues around the world.
The Foundation set about educating the medical profession, politicians and bureaucrats of the need for serious, well funded and independent research to explore the risks surrounding infrasound and low frequency noise [ILFN], and find ways to avoid damaging human health through a hurried run out of wind turbines. Over time the Foundation also looked into complaints surrounding IFLN in other industries.
Peter retired as Chairman in 2015 shortly after the National Health & Medical Research Council allocated $3.3 million to two research projects, which are ongoing.
Peter continued to assist many rural families trying to protect their homes and livelihoods, stopping only when his health began to deteriorate.
Sarah Laurie, BMBS (Flinders) Chief Executive Officer
Having lived and worked in a variety of locations and occupations in rural and remote communities in Australia for most of the last 25 years, Sarah is fully aware of the many challenges residents in rural and remote communities face.
In 1995 she graduated from Flinders University, South Australia with a medical degree, after which she undertook post graduate clinical work and training, resulting in her achieving her post graduate Fellowships of the Royal Australian College of General Practice, and the Australian College of Remote and Rural Medicine. Sarah maintained a very busy workload as a full time rural general practitioner in private practice, with additional responsibilities for providing emergency care at the local rural hospital as a visiting medical officer.
In April 2002 Sarah was suddenly diagnosed with a serious medical condition, requiring urgent surgery. Following prolonged recuperation Sarah and her husband started their family. Subsequent unanticipated extended family caring responsibilities necessitated a prolonged break from her clinical medical career. In 2006 because of overwhelming domestic responsibilities at the time, Sarah decided not to continue with her registration as a medical practitioner until she was in a position to return to clinical work.
In mid 2010, Sarah was in the process of preparing to do the private study required to re-register as a medical practitioner, to enable her to work again clinically as a rural general practitioner. She became aware that a wind energy project was proposed for the hills near her home in regional South Australia. Being concerned about climate change and the environment, and the need for renewable energy, she was initially supportive of the local project and unaware of any health concerns.
It wasn’t until a neighbour alerted her to Dr Amanda Harry’s study of health issues with wind turbines, that Sarah realised there were some serious health problems. She decided to look into the matter fully and became aware that despite the health problems being described around the world for some years, there was a lack of research particularly by clinical researchers and nothing planned in the way of multidisciplinary research with acousticians and health researchers working collaboratively.
As a result of publicly expressing her concerns about the reported adverse health impacts and the urgent need for research, Sarah was approached by Peter Mitchell to help set up the Waubra Foundation as a national organisation. She has dedicated her time voluntarily to this since 18 July, 2010.
Sarah attended the International Symposium on Global Wind Energy & Adverse Health Effects (Ontario, Canada) in October 2010 and was able to meet with the key health and scientific researchers around the world currently working in the area. Speakers and attendees included medical practitioners such as Drs Nina Pierpont (USA), Chris Hanning (UK), Michael Nissenbaum (USA), Robert McMurtry (Canada) and Noel Kerin (Canada), and other concerned researchers and academics such as Professors Arline Bronzaft (USA), Alec Salt (USA) and John Harrison (Canada); and acousticians such as Mr Rick James (USA). Sarah is now in regular contact with these researchers and others, sharing information and planning future research initiatives.
Sarah is very keen to return to her chosen profession as a Rural General Practitioner, and is currently doing the private study required prior to her re-entering the medical workforce again as a registered medical practitioner.
Sarah’s credentials and experience include:
- Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery, Flinders University (Australia), 1995
- Former Fellowship of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP), awarded 1999
- Former Fellowship of the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (ACRRM), awarded 2000
- Former Examiner for the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners
- Former Councillor on the South Australian Australian Medical Association State Council
- Former General Practitioner in rural towns in mid-north South Australia
- Former Locum Tenens, Nganampa Health Council in far-north South Australia
- Former Mid-North Division of General Practice representative, regional Mental Health Advisory Committee
- Co founder Mid-North Rape and Sexual Assault Service
Charlie Arnott, B. Ru Sci (Hons)
Charlie is a farmer in NSW, and a keen environmentalist. Charlie has a long and ongoing involvement with Landcare in his region, and has received a number of Natural Resource Management and farming awards for his commitment to the environment of his property. He is a strong supporter of renewable energy that is environmentally responsible, economically viable, and safe for humans.
Dr Michael Crawford B Sc, B A (Admin), M Admin Studies, PhD
Michael Crawford is principal of Corex Pty Limited, a management consulting firm that advises senior executives, predominantly in large corporations. He has held an adjunct position at the Australian Graduate School of Management in the School’s Research Centre on Corporate Change, teaching on the School’s Executive Programs.
Dr Crawford has a Science degree (majors in mathematics and physics); a Masters in management from the Australian National University; a BA in administration and a PhD in organisation theory and management from the University of New South Wales. He is a recipient of the US Academy of Management’s award for best paper based on a dissertation in Organisation and Management Theory.
He is co-author of a book Change Power: Capabilities That Drive Corporate Renewal. The book is based on insights arising from a six year study of 243 Australian and New Zealand cases of corporate change.
Tony Edney LL.B, BA, Grad Dip Ind Rels
Tony has been a solicitor and mediator, in Melbourne and country Victoria, for many years and has filled different roles during his legal career, including responsibilities administering professional standards and practice receiverships at the Law Institute of Victoria, and associate partner positions in country law firms. He was a Federally registered Family Dispute Resolution practitioner and a president and treasurer of the onetime Australian Family Mediation Association.
An active CFA member, Tony was awarded the National Emergency Medal for his work during the 2009 fires. He is a keen amateur naturalist and historian, and has written on pre-colonial Victoria, and while living in Ballarat retains family farming interests and long standing connections in South Gippsland.
Administrator, Susan Richmond
The pro bono work of the directors and the CEO is supported by our volunteer administrator, Susan Richmond.