Elaine Bensted

EB Quokka flower

Elaine Bensted

Elaine Bensted is Chief Executive, Zoos South Australia commencing in 2012.  Since being in the role Elaine has led an improvement in the financial position of this conservation charity and an increase in Zoos SA membership base from 26,000 to over 50,000.  She also led the work that culminated in the release of a 20 year Master Plan for Adelaide Zoo and Monarto Safari Park.

Prior to being appointed as Chief Executive, Zoos South Australia Elaine held the position of Chief Executive, Office of TAFE SA. Elaine has previously held senior positions in State and Local Government, and the private sector in the finance industry. 

Elaine’s qualifications include an MBA and a Masters in Public Policy and Management as well as qualifications in finance.  She has experience in both the private and public sector in management, marketing and community engagement. Elaine was the recipient of the 2014 Australian Institute of Management Not for Profit Manager Award. Elaine is the recipient of the Telstra South Australian Business Woman of the Year Award for Purpose and Social Enterprise 2017.

Elaine is also Vice President of the Zoos & Aquarium Association Board (ZAA), Chair ZAA Finance, Audit & Risk Committee, Children’s University Advisory Board, the Uni SA Business School Program Advisory Board, The Australian Rhino Project Board, the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA) Membership & Ethics Committee, and Environment and Sustainability Committee, Treasurer and Board member of the Regional Development Australia Murraylands and Riverland Board, Environment Institute Advisory Board and the Thylation Ltd Board.

She describes this role as her dream job with the best office in South Australia.