Board - Australian Earth Science Education


Ryan Noble

Ryan Noble

Chair, Executive Committee

Senior Research Scientist, CSIRO
Board Member since 2014

Ryan is a Principal Research Scientist and the Group Leader of Predictive Mineral Systems Science with CSIRO. He has a BSc and MSc in Soil Science from the University of Tennessee and a PhD in Applied Geology from Curtin University. Following his PhD, Ryan joined CSIRO 15 years ago and has worked on numerous regolith and groundwater geochemistry projects related to gold, base metal, Ni and U mineral exploration. Ryan is the Past-President and a Fellow of the Association of Applied Geochemists. He is a Board member of the Australian Geoscience Council and Elements journal.

Dr Natasha Hendrick AM

Vice Chair, Executive Committee

Geoscience Manager, Santos Ltd

Board Member Since 2020

Natasha is a scientist, volunteer, adventurer, mentor and advocate for women in leadership.  She has her PhD in geophysics and is the recipient of a Rhodes Scholarship and Churchill Fellowship.  In 2024 Natasha was invested as a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for her service to youth and geosciences.  Natasha has 25 years’ experience working in technical and leader roles across the energy industry, and currently leads the geoscience team for Santos’ WA, NT and TL assets.  She has served on the World Board for Girl Guiding and Girl Scouting as Vice Chair, and acted as a Board Advisor and leadership facilitator for Women Who Code.  In 2021 she joined the Homeward Bound global leadership initiative for women in STEMM, and is a co-founder of b.bold – an organisation focused on helping women in STEMM step boldly into leadership to help solve humanity’s most pressing challenges.

Angela Riganti

Secretary, Executive Committee

Content Manager, Geological Survey of WA, Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety

Board Member Since 2018

Angela graduated from the University of Milan (Italy), then completed the MSc in Economic Geology at Rhodes University and a PhD at the University of Natal (Pietermaritzburg) in South Africa. She joined the Geological Survey of Western Australia in 1997, working first as a regional geologist mapping in the Yilgarn Craton, and later as a Content Manager designing geological databases. Throughout her career, she has collaborated in various geotourism and educational projects with different organisations (within and outside government) to foster interest in geoscience and to promote community awareness of the role and importance of the earth sciences in everyday life.

Damien Beng

Treasurer, Executive Committee
Finance, Risk & Audit Committee Chair

General Manager, Treasury, Woodside Energy
Board Member Since 2022

Damien is the Assistant Treasurer at Woodside Energy, Australia’s leading natural gas producer, committed to providing sustainable energy solutions. Damien has a Bachelor of Engineering (Mechanical) with first class honours and a Bachelor of Science (Information Technology and Applied Mathematics) from the University of Western Australia and a Post Graduate Diploma in Applied Finance & Investment from the Securities Institute of Australia. Since joining Woodside in 2001, Damien has held a number of Strategy, Marketing and Commercial roles before leading the Woodside Treasury team since 2018.

Joanne Thompson

Board Member
Finance, Risk & Audit Committee Member

Committee Member, Science Teachers’ Association of Western Australia
Science Teacher, Department of Education, Western Australia

Board Member Since 2022

Joanne Thompson is a secondary science teacher, specialising in Environmental Science and Chemistry. Prior to joining the teaching profession, she worked as an environmental scientist and consultant and has more than 15 years’ international experience in all stages of mine life, from exploration to mine closure and reclamation. She serves on the committee of the Science Teachers’ Association of Western Australia and is a member of the WA School Curriculum and Standards Authority’s Earth and Environmental Science Curriculum Advisory Committee.

Gareth Wright

Board Member
Governance and Strategy Committee Chair

Woodside Energy

Board Member Since 2024

Gareth is the Head of Climate Strategy & Engagement at Woodside Energy and is responsible for providing strategic leadership on climate-related matters across its global business. 

During a 19-year career in the energy industry with Woodside, he has worked in various technical, strategic and leadership roles across the company’s value chain. In addition, he’s led the development and implementation of global industry initiatives and projects through the likes of the International Association of Oil and Gas Producers (IOGP). 

Before joining Woodside, Gareth started his professional career at the Geological Survey of Western Australia and has a passion for the role earth scientists will play through the energy transition. 

To compliment his experience, Gareth holds a BSc from Curtin University and is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (GAICD).