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.
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.
Partnerships and Business Development Manager BSc, GAICD
Tim is responsible for developing and managing Recfishwest’s major partnerships and relationships.
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’s State Government’s Department of Natural Resources and Water. Tim has a Bachelor of Science in Aquatic Resource Management and Aquaculture from Central Queensland University and is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors course (AICD) in 2022.
With almost a decade of experience with Recfishwest, Tim has assisted the organisation to become the largest fishing peak body in Australia, expanding its operations, its team and internal expertise. Tim has spent considerable time over the last few years working closely with artificial reef partners, including important contributors from the resources sector, local governments and communities. With Tim’s intimate understanding of the artificial reef development process and his vast network of valuable connections in the resources sector, Recfishwest is poised to be a major provider to the developing offshore decommissioning industry in Australia, providing immense benefit to marine users and the marine environment over decades to come.
Programs Manager BSc (Hons)
James is the leading expert in habitat enhancement in Australia, with more than ten years of experience in this field. He has successfully created a framework for the development of habitat enhancement initiatives that has a strong focus on long-term benefits driven by industry and community partnerships. This framework has since been used to develop the first integrated artificial reef in Australia (King Reef) and is now being used to explore opportunities with several major industry operators to provide community based and nature positive solutions to decommissioning challenges.
Since his involvement in the first artificial reef installations in Western Australia (the South West Artificial Reef Trial), James has been pivotal in artificial reef development in Australia and was the lead project coordinator responsible for the successful installation of King Reef in the Gulf of Exmouth, WA – the fastest developing artificial reef in the southern hemisphere. Thanks to James’ innovative way of thinking and passion in this space, Recfishwest has also been successful in gaining environmental approvals through the Commonwealth Government to enable the installation of multiple artificial reefs incorporating the alternative decommissioning of offshore assets on the North West Shelf.
James has extensive experience in the consultation, design, configuration, permitting and monitoring of artificial reefs and other habitat enhancement, restoration and retention activities. In addition to a Bachelor of Science (Hons), James has completed a Diploma in Fisheries Compliance and Management and the National Seafood Industry Leadership Program (NSILP).
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.
Jarrad discovered his love and passion for fishing as a child, spending every spare day on a weekend exploring new fishing spots along the Western Australian coastline.
A former professional swimmer, Jarrad was a marathon swimmer and open water specialist, winning two Australian titles in the 5km and 10km open water as a teenager and winning the Rottnest Channel Swim as a solo swimmer in 2012 at the age of 21. He also dabbles in swim coaching and was the Head Swim Coach for the West Coast Eagles.
Jarrad completed a Bachelors Degree in Exercise & Sport Science in 2012, before completing a Post Graduate Diploma in Broadcasting from the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA) in 2015, winning the Lillian P Cavanagh Award for Excellence in Broadcasting. He has worked for numerous radio stations such as Nova937 and 6PR as an announcer and producer and worked previously as a reporter and content writer for numerous platforms including the West Australian.
A very keen fisher, Jarrad will happily dive into any type of angling. He mixes it up from fishing off his Hobie kayak in the ocean for squid, King George whiting and other deep sea species, to paddling the freshwater dams and rivers for trout and redfin perch or freediving for crays and spearfishing around the Abrolhos Islands.
Through his Communications Coordinator position at Recfishwest, Jarrad hopes to educate and introduce as many people as possible to the joys that fishing brings, along with ensuring the sustainability of this great lifestyle for generations to come.
Projects and Systems Coordinator
Sedin embarked on his journey with Recfishwest as an enthusiastic work experience recruit, eventually becoming an integral part of our Operations Team in 2019 before moving into the communications area, until currently solidifying his role as the organisation’s Projects and Systems Coordinator.
Furnished with a recently completed bachelor's degree, majoring in Computer Science and Data Science, Sedin brings a unique blend of technical expertise, a passion for project management and fishing to Recfishwest. His expertise lies in data analytics, system implementation, and designing solutions that contribute significantly to the overall success of the projects he undertakes.
Beyond the realm of project management, Sedin has carved out a niche as Recfishwest's Fishing Clinic Coordinator. With a deep love of fishing, he has explored the shores of almost every beach in the north metro region in the pursuit of species such as tailor, snapper, and mulloway.
Extending beyond his personal pursuits, he has developed a keen interest in recreational fisheries management. Sedin readily embraces new adventures, jumping at the chance to travel for community events and research and the opportunity to put into practice his dedication to both professional growth and engaging with the community to help make fishing better for all in the WA community forever!
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.
Levi De Boni
Growing up near Fremantle, Levi has loved fishing ever since he can remember. As a kid, he was spoilt for choice living so close to the coast especially since his dad always had a boat, so targeting skippy, herring and squid in Cockburn Sound as well as sunset snapper fishing around the islands were a regular occurrence, even on school nights.
Once he turned 12, Levi began fishing at the Ammo Jetty most nights after school where he would target a variety of species including Spanish mackerel, mulloway and sharks. It was here he found a group of life-long mates that still fish together off the boat and land. Levi enjoys jigging for demersals, topwater lure casting, game fishing and inshore snapper fishing. Over the years, Levi has landed spectacular fish at the Abrolhos and Montebello Islands along with Exmouth. His favourite captures would have to be the metro land-based Spanish mackerel he has caught, mainly due to the ridiculous hours and many years between fish. When he’s not fishing, he enjoys freediving for crayfish or spearfishing around Rottnest Island along with taking road trips up the WA coast.
Levi has worked in both the charter and commercial fishing industry and it wasn’t long before he realised he wanted to pursue this passion for the ocean in an academic sense. He recently completed his Bachelor of Science majoring in Biology and the Environment at Notre Dame in Fremantle as well as his Coxswain Grade 1.
As a team member at Recfishwest, Levi hopes to ensure a social license for sustainable recreational fishing can remain for generations to come and that fishing can continue to get even better in our state.
Research and Development Lead MBiolSc
Sam specialises in artificial reef research and development. In pursuit of his passion for the marine environment, Sam 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. Sam wrote his dissertation on fish assemblages associated with the Perth Fish Towers.
Sam has extensive experience at Recfishwest in the research and development of artificial reefs. He currently consults on all of Recfishwest’s artificial reef projects, including multiple proposals involving alternate decommissioning of offshore infrastructure. Sam has expertise in artificial reef ecological development, permit application drafting, and risk and impact assessments. As an outstanding graduate of Recfishwest’s Next Wave Young Future Leaders Program and the National Seafood Industry Leadership Program (NSILP), Sam has solidified his position as a key contributor and leader in the habitat enhancement field.
Thanks to Sam’s expertise in marine habitat enhancement and retention, he has played an essential role in many successful artificial reef installations in the state of Western Australia. Beyond artificial reefs, Sam has an in depth understanding of marine ecology, fisheries policy and legislation. As a multifaceted team member of Recfishwest, Sam Bock provides outstanding value in his field and executes his role specific tasks with high attention to detail and integral consideration to health and safety impacts and risk mitigation.
Artificial Reefs Approvals Officer BSc
Eligh’s knowledge and understanding of artificial reefs and habitat enhancement processes is hard to rival with his experience in this space beginning in early 2019. Following the completion of a Bachelor of Science Degree in Marine and Freshwater Biology in 2016, Eligh has since held valuable roles at Recfishwest and in the energy sector as part of a Quality Coordination team, providing him with great insight into industry standards and development processes.
As an avid recreational fisher and strong advocate for sustainable fishing practices, Eligh has naturally gravitated toward the artificial reef field and understands the importance of retaining nature positive manmade marine infrastructure and the ecological benefits of installing new habitat enhancement structures. Eligh’s skills in scientific research, obtaining environmental approvals and his strong focus on quality and execution make him an ideal fit in the Recfishwest team.
Eligh was a standout participant in Recfishwest’s 2021 Next Wave Young Future Leaders Program and has continued to refine his professional skills in the habitat enhancement space in his current role as Artificial Reefs Approvals Officer. His unique understanding of marine organisms and their interconnectivity with specialised habitat niches makes his input into artificial reef design, layout and dimensions invaluable.
In his role as Artificial Reefs Approvals Officer, Eligh has been pivotal in the approval of multiple artificial reef permits and has effectively liaised with State and Commonwealth Government, industry and community groups to improve outcomes for marine biodiversity, marine users and recipient communities.
Policy and Approvals Officer MEnvLaw
Danielle is a habitat enhancement expert with a Master of Environmental Law. With more than nine years in the WA public sector, and experience in policy, regulation and government processes, Danielle is a major asset to the Recfishwest team. With highly developed skills in interpreting and explaining legislation, Danielle has been key to many of Recfishwest’s successes, enabling the smooth navigation of complex consultation and approvals processes.
With great drive and determination, Danielle completed a Diploma of Marine Studies, a Bachelor of Aquatic Science (Coastal Zone Management) and a Master of Environmental Law, attending major conferences and gathering real-world experiences.
Danielle joined Recfishwest’s artificial reef team in March 2021 and enjoys working with the recreational fishing community to make fishing better in WA. Her connection to community, highly developed professional skills and experience continue to benefit Recfishwest, ensuring the best outcome for marine habitat retention and enhancement across Australia.
Some of Danielle’s major successes in the artificial reef field include effectively navigating the comprehensive conditions and providing invaluable input for multiple State and Commonwealth Government policies which had the potential to adversely impact positive artificial reef outcomes in Australia. Danielle has also developed valuable relationships in the energy sector which have directly benefited habitat enhancement outcomes in the state of Western Australia.