At our Special General Meeting on 10 March 2022, various changes to BirdLife South Africa’s Constitution were accepted by the members who were in attendance. Importantly, the revised Constitution allows for our members to elect four Members’ Directors onto BirdLife South Africa’s Board. This allows for greater representation of our membership on the Board of Directors.
We invited nominations for the four Members’ Director positions, and we were delighted to receive nominations for very good candidates. At the AGM on Saturday 28 May, members had the opportunity to vote electronically for four Members’ Directors to serve, for a four-year term, on BirdLife South Africa’s Board of Directors.
Short biographies of the four new Members’ Directors are included below.
Please contact Dr Isabel Human at firstname.lastname@example.org or 011-7891122 if you require further information, including BirdLife South Africa’s revised Constitution and more detailed biographies of the four Members’ Directors.
Matthew is an avid birder, and passionate conservationist. He has a Business Science degree and an honour’s degree in finance from the University of Cape Town. He also has an MSc in Environmental Sciences from Oxford University. He spent four years at one of London’s leading corporate advisory boutiques where he advised on mergers, acquisitions and restructuring and disposals for both listed companies and private equity owned assets. Matthew is currently the Chief Executive Officer of the Royal Portfolio (a collection of luxury hotels and private residences in South Africa) and a trustee of the Royal Portfolio Foundation. Additionally, he serves as an Alternate Director of the Thornybush Nature Reserve. Matthew has good business acumen and extensive financial experience in the UK and in South Africa.
Dr Louise Coetzee
Louise is a long-standing and loyal member of BirdLife South Africa and BirdLife Free State, and she has been involved with bird club activities for many years, including in various leadership roles. She is the current Chairperson of BirdLife Free State, and editor of the bird club’s newsletter, Sakabula. Louise is an Acarologist and obtained a PhD in zoology from the University of the Free State in 2015. She is a very good communicator and has excellent organisational skills, and her diverse skill set would help advance BirdLife South Africa’s presence in the central region of our country.
Nicolette (Nicky) Forbes
Nicky is the current chairperson of BirdLife eThekwini KZN. She is a trained ecologist, has a MSc degree, and is a knowledgeable birder. Her company is actively involved in estuary management, habitat restoration and environmental compliance. She has extensive IT experience. Nicky is a member of a number of national and international bodies. She has superb strategic vision and has excellent organisational skills. She has almost single-handedly grown BirdLife eThekwini’s membership base, and it is now one of the largest and most active bird clubs in South Africa. Nicky has received several awards, including a WESSA Conservationist of the Year Award and a BirdLife South Africa Owl Award.
Yvonne has made a sterling contribution to BirdLife South Africa over many years. She has been involved with Sandton Bird Club for thirty years, including in leadership positions. Yvonne has served as a co-opted Board member of BirdLife South Africa from July 2015 to March 2019 and, from 2019, Yvonne was appointed to the Board as the representative of the Northern Regional Bird Club Forum. She is also Chairperson of the BirdLife South Africa Fundraising Committee. Yvonne has worked as an assistant to a legal adviser, as a PA to the CEO of a major South African company, and consulted extensively on strategy, leadership development and grantmaking. She is a wildlife enthusiast, keen and knowledgeable birder, and has travelled the world, including in her capacity as social investment specialist and business consultant.