Dr Andrew Rowland
Chief Executive Officer
Andrew has long been avid fisher and enjoys many types from marron, trout and redfin to offshore species and everything in between. He loves getting on the water at all opportunities and will be found in his boat or kayak or wading the flats most weekends.
Andrew studied at Murdoch University and has a Ph.D. in Fisheries Science. Andrew is currently the Chief Executive Officer of Recfishwest, a role he has filled since 2012. Andrew is a Director for Fishability (formally Fishers with Disabilities Association). Andrew is also a member of the Recfishing Research Steering Committee, which provides advice to the FRDC. Andrew also sits on the Certification Advisory Body the WA MSC initiative and is a member of the Premier’s Marine Science Roundtable.
Andrew believes that recfishing provides significant social, cultural, health and economic benefits to WA and is passionate about maintaining and building this value for the benefit to the whole community.
He understands that natural resource management requires striking a balance between competing user groups, and various (often diverse) stakeholders in protecting the resource which they value. A key component to achieving the right balance is ensuring the interest and values of West Australians who enjoy fishing are effectively represented to protect and develop great fishing experiences.
Leyland started at Recfishwest as a Research Officer in 2012, before being appointed to Principal Policy Officer in 2013. This position transformed into Operations Manager in 2016. As Operations Manager, Leyland is responsible for ensuring Recfishwest’s day to day business activities are running smoothly and providing the best possible outcomes for the State's estimated 750,000 recreational fishers.
Leyland has a Bachelor’s Degree with Honours in Aquaculture and Seafood Science and has managed aquaculture training facilities in both Western Australia and the Northern Territory. Leyland has spent more than ten years as a lecturer at various universities and has practical experience in the culture of a number of tropical and sub-tropical species.
In addition to tertiary postgraduate qualifications, Leyland also possess an unrestricted Coxswain Certificate, Certificate IV in Training and Assessment, Certificate IV in Small Business and Frontline Management and is a recent graduate from the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
Fishing has always been a passion for Leyland and he finds the challenge of helping to protect the rights of the recreational fishing community and improving fishing experiences to be very rewarding.
Partnerships and Business Development Manager
Tim is Recfishwest’s Partnerships and Business Development Manager and looks for solutions and new developments that help make fishing better – ‘more places to fish, more fish to catch.’ Tim started with Recfishwest in 2014 as our Community Engagement Officer and held the role of Communications Manager from 2015 to 2018.
Tim has six years experience as a water resources expert and spent time as a Senior Water Planner at Department of Water, WA State Government, and Queensland State Government’s Department of Natural Resources and Water. Tim also has vast experience within the AFL and WAFL systems, coaching at WAFL level while spending time in Tonga, South Pacific, as an AFL Ambassador for game development and community engagement.
Tim has a Bachelor of Science in Aquatic Resource Management and Aquaculture from Central Queensland University. A mad-keen fisher and Queenslander, Tim spends his time off searching for new fishing grounds across the State, with yearly trips north always on the cards.
Business Support Manager
Vanessa is the Business Support Manager for Recfishwest and holds a Bachelor of Business Degree from Edith Cowan University.
A member of the Institute of Public Accountants, Vanessa is currently studying towards her CPA qualification.
Vanessa views her work for Recfishwest since 2012 as a pleasure as well as a privilege.
Her previous experience has provided Vanessa with the acumen required to assist the Finance, Audit and Risk Committee, the Board and Management with the necessary analysis, information and forecasts to successfully navigate a way forward that ensures growth of the organisation, risk is managed and there is alignment with the strategic plan.
Vanessa strives to maintain good financial control whilst remaining flexible to the demands of Recfishwest.
Having grown up in a small South West community, Matt had a strong community spirit instilled in him from a young age.
His love of fishing was borne out of family trips to Denmark on the south coast, and later with time spent on Christmas Island in the late 90s. Matt has fished in almost every corner of WA and believes that the fishing opportunities on offer here are world-class.
Matt attended the Recfishwest Future Leader program in 2008 and has been involved with Recfishwest in some capacity ever since. On completion of a one-year term on the Board in 2009, Matt joined the Recfishwest team as a staff member in October 2010.
He took on the Regional Policy Officer position in 2013 before becoming Recfishwest's Fishing Development Officer. In July 2019, Matt became Recfishwest's Operations Lead and he enjoys his work visiting regional communities, providing solutions and promoting increased fishing opportunities across the State.
Ben Carlish is a passionate writer, communicator and fisher with more than 20 years’ experience in journalism and public relations. One of Ben’s stated reasons for emigrating to WA from the UK being “for the awesome fishing here”.
A senior journalist with a post-graduate diploma in journalism and extensive experience in the UK media industry, Ben worked for 10 years in the Department of Fisheries’ communications team promoting sustainable fishing initiatives such as the west coast demersal scalefish recovery, Send Us Your Skeletons and developing the State-wide recfishing rules guide. In addition, he has written for a wide range of fishing publications including the Department’s Western Fisheries magazine, Western Angler, Fishing Western Australia, the West Australian newspaper and WA Fishing Monthly.
Ben’s a big shore-based fishing fan with a particular soft-spot for tailor – although reckons boat-fishing for pinkies in Geographe Bay on sunset with whales breaching in the distance is as close to heaven on earth as you can get – he’s certainly come a long way from his days of chasing tiny roach and gudgeon on grimy canals in Birmingham!
Having joined the Recfishwest team in August 2019, Ben reckons he’s found his dream job “working with fellow fishing nuts” and helping to communicate and promote initiatives that is making fishing even greater for all in the WA community.
James started at Recfishwest in 2013 after completing the Young Future Leadership program, working part time while completing a Marine Science Degree at Murdoch University. In 2014 James took part in the National Seafood Industry Leadership Program, completed a Diploma in Fisheries Compliance and Management from the Kimberley Training Institute and started Honours studying citizen science as a tool for monitoring artificial reefs.
He graduated in mid-2015 with a Bachelor of Science with Honours in Marine Science and started fulltime employment with Recfishwest. In the office, James assists with the administration of the Recreational Fishing Initiatives Fund (RFIF), conducts research into citizen science monitoring methods and the development of Habitat Enhancement Structures and assists in recreational fishing research around WA.
Growing up in Esperance, James has a passion for the marine environment and in particular fishing. Surface fishing for pelagics and jigging for demersals is James’ favourite ways to spend a weekend and after fishing all his life James enjoys working at Recfishwest to do his part for fishing in WA.
Research and Development Lead
Born and raised in Esperance, Sam developed a passion for fishing and the marine environment following countless camping and fishing trips along WA’s southern coastline.
Sam enjoys the variety of land-based fishing experiences on offer; whether he’s chasing schools of salmon on reef platforms, catching herring and squid from the local jetties, or sitting on a remote beach next to the campfire waiting for the mulloway to bite.
He also enjoys getting in the water and observing the diverse and unique marine life WA has to offer, and finishing the session with some freshly-caught abalone for lunch is an added bonus.
Sam decided to pursue his passion for the marine environment further, moving to Perth and enrolling at the University of Western Australia in 2015. He completed a Bachelor of Science majoring in Marine Science and Zoology in 2017, and a Master of Biological Science specialising in Marine Biology in 2019.
During this time, he studied the assemblage of fish on the Perth Fish Towers and how they compare to the fish found in the surrounding natural habitats.
Through his studies, Sam became involved with Recfishwest. He is a graduate of the Young Future Leaders program, has shared his fishing knowledge at Troutfest, and helped conduct biological sampling at GAMEX fishing tournament. Sam is now part of the research team at Recfishwest and is keen to contribute to creating better fishing experiences around the State through artificial reefs.
Research and Development Officer
Growing up in the coastal town of Rockingham, Danielle has always had an interest in, and respect for, anything to do with the marine environment.
With a drive to pursue her passion, she has completed a Diploma of Marine Studies, a Bachelor of Aquatic Science (Coastal Zone Management) and a Master of Environmental Law. Throughout her studies, Danielle was able to work on tug boats in Dampier, go to Indonesia for the 2009 World Ocean Conference and experience the unique coastline of WA.
After working in State Government for nearly 10 years as an Aquaculture Management Officer, Danielle joined Recfishwest’s artificial reef team in March 2021 and enjoys working with the community to make fishing better in WA.
In her spare time, Danielle will always find an excuse to get outdoors and explore, whether it is to fish from her kayak, scuba dive or hike.
Artificial Reefs Approvals Officer
Eligh is a keen recreational fisher with a primary interest in lure fishing.
Growing up in Perth, he developed his fishing skills through yearly trips to Exmouth, chasing tropical topwater and demersal species, and closer to home chasing Dhufish and Samsonfish on metal jigs and soft plastic.
He has spent time honing his light tackle skills fishing for black bream in the Swan and southwest river systems and Eligh’s passion for fishing has taken him to many prime fishing locations around the world including California, New Zealand, the Rowley Shoals, and other renowned parts of Australia.
Some core catches for Eligh include landing Permit and Bonefish in consecutive days in the Cape Range National Park, Sailfish in the Exmouth Gulf, a 12lb Steelhead trout from the Eel River system in California and multiple 20+ kg Giant Trevally in WA’s northwest.
Eligh studied Marine and Freshwater Biology at Edith Cowan University and graduated in 2016. He has since gained professional experience in the Energy Sector in client facing roles, liaising with major stakeholders, and completed a research internship with Recfishwest.
He has obtained managerial experience in the customer service and retail industry and his good eye for detail and his professional experience in research and customer facing roles make him an asset to Recfishwest’s reefing team.
Aaron discovered his love and passion for fishing and the marine environment at a young age, following a move to Perth from India. Growing up, he spent countless hours reading fishing magazines and online articles in order to build his knowledge on his favourite pastime.
Aaron completed his degree in Marine Science at Murdoch University in 2017, while also volunteering at Fremantle Tafe with their aquaculture program.
Aaron took part in and completed the Young Future Leadership program in 2018, along with assisting at fishing events where he represented Recfishwest. In late 2018, Aaron joined Recfishwest as a member of the policy team, where he looks into the background information and decision making processes that go into fisheries management.
He has a great passion for fisheries management and acknowledges the many benefits recreational fishing can bring to an individual or the community. Making sure the views of the State’s recreational fishers are justly represented in management is a challenge that he finds gratifying.
Being a very keen fisher, Aaron loves walking the beaches casting surface lures for tailor and during summer finds himself often wading the flats where he enjoys chasing predominantly yellowfin whiting and other sportfish willing to engulf a top-water offering. He has also enjoyed success in fishing for pelagics from shore and top-water fishing for GTs.
Through his position at Recfishwest, Aaron strives to do his part in ensuring that all West Aussies have the same opportunities that he’s had and give them a better chance of getting that fish of a lifetime.
An avid spearfisher and light tackle angler, John brings a wealth of fishing experience and knowledge to the Recfishwest team.
Growing up in Albany, John loved fishing Emu Point jetty for whiting, herring and bream. However, when he was 13 years old, John became enthralled with spearfishing and ducking beneath the surface to explore the south coast from a different perspective.
For John, nothing beats immersing himself in the ocean and being at one with WA's aquatic environment.
A 32kg dogtooth tuna off Cocos-Keeling Islands and a 57.05kg yellowfin tuna off Christmas Island, which was only 3kg shy of the Australian record, are among John's most memorable catches.
While not spearing, John spends majority of the summer chasing flathead and giant herring in the Swan River — a fishing gem on the city's doorstep.
John has a Diploma in Conservation and Land Management, a Diploma in Sustainable Living and a double-major in Environmental Science and Conservation and Wildlife Biology at Murdoch University.
Growing up in Collie in the State’s South West, Sam developed a love for freshwater fishing at a young age catching redfin perch, trout and marron in local streams and dams.
His love for all things fishing continued to grow on family holidays to Augusta where he caught a host of bread-and-butter species.
In 2005, Sam moved to Australind, which opened up a wide range of new fishing opportunities spending countless days catching tailor, whiting and blue swimmer crabs in the Leschenault Estuary.
After finishing high school, Sam decided to pursue his love for the marine environment at university, enrolling in coastal and marine science at Curtin University.
Soon after finishing his degree Sam began his honours working alongside Recfishwest on the monitoring of King Reef in Exmouth.
These days, Sam spends his free time exploring all parts of Western Australia in search of exciting new fishing opportunities.
Membership and Events Officer
Ruth joined Recfishwest in August 2014 as the administration officer, however, her strengths in events and customer service shaped this position to that of Memberships and Events officer and she enjoys the varied nature of her role and meeting the members.
Ruth's experience as a previous business owner in the retail sector, as well as having worked in both a wide variety of Government and Non Government organisations, has provided her with the skills and experience required to deliver quality customer service outcomes.
Ruth has been instrumental in helping the Purple Fly Fishing Program become a great success for women recovering from breast cancer. Raised by a very keen fisher with the mantra “the only right you have is the right to be useful and make a difference”. Ruth enjoys cricket, AFL and cooking desserts.
Sedin began with Recfishwest as a work experience employee before joining the Operations Team in 2019.
Currently undertaking a Bachelors of Science majoring in Computer Science and Data Science, Sedin's strengths lies in video editing, developing social media content and assisting staff with IT issues.
Sedin has fished almost every beach in the north metro region chasing tailor, snapper and mulloway. Making use of bait, surf rods and heavy sinkers to cast out and letting it sit while using smaller rods to catch whiting and herring.
Sedin spends most of his time either studying or fishing with his mates from school and work. He has a keen interest in recreational fisheries management and also doesn’t shy away from experiencing new adventures and traveling for community events and research.