Speakers and Presenters

Dr Jayanath Ananda

Jayanath is a lecturer at the School of Economics, La Trobe University, Albury-Wodonga Campus. His research interests focus on water institutions and policy making, efficiency and productivity analysis and sustainability. He has numerous articles in internationally reputed journals and several book chapters in authoritative volumes. He is involved in several projects relating to enhancing the performance of water institutions and climate change adaptation.

Professor Kate Auty

Kate became Commissioner for Environmental Sustainability in June 2009. She has worked in agriculture and academia, as a solicitor in her own law firm, and as a barrister. She was a senior lawyer for the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Victoria, Tasmania and Western Australia. In 2008 and 2009, she held the Chair of the Ministerial Reference Council on Climate Change Adaptation and was a member of the Premier’s Reference Committee on Climate Change. Kate recently accepted an appointment as Adjunct Professor in the LaTrobe Institute for Social and Environmental Sustainability Centre.

Anne Barker

Anne graduated in law from the University of Melbourne and after 12 years in legal practice, she took up management positions at Myer Stores, then the ANZ Banking Group. She then became Executive Manager of the Commercial/Reset Team at SPI Powernet. Anne was appointed Managing Director of City West Water in 2002. Anne has a strong interest in sustainability and enjoys being obliged to apply triple bottom line considerations to management of the business at City West Water.

Professor Harry Clarke

Harry is Professor of Economics at La Trobe University. He is an environmental economist with specific interests in climate change. He received hits PhD from the Australian National University.

Nicholas Croggon

Nicholas is a solicitor at the Environment Defenders Office, Victoria. He has expertise in environmental law, including biodiversity protection, forestry, mining and planning at a State and Federal level. Prior to working at the Environment Defenders Office, Nick was a solicitor in the Planning and Environment team at DLA Piper.

Patricia Fitzsimons

Patricia Fitzsimons is a Senior Social Researcher with the Department of Primary Industries and an Honorary Senior Fellow with the University of Melbourne. Patricia’s research includes: institutional capacity to adapt to climate change; the socio-economic impact of change on Victorian landscapes; the role of social networks in adaptive governance; and regional strategic planning. Patricia is a former Board Member and Chair of the Environmental Planning Chapter of the Planning Institute of Australia (PIA) and the recipient of awards from PIA and the Surveying and Spatial Sciences Institute. She has postgraduate qualifications in urban planning and a degree in cultural studies.

Professor John Freebairn

John holds the Ritchie Chair in Economics at the University of Melbourne. He has a bachelor and masters degree in agricultural economics from the University of New England and a PhD from the University of California, Davis. His current research interests are in environmental economics and taxation reform.

Dr Hartmut Fünfgeld

Hartmut is a Research Fellow with the Climate Change Adaptation Program at the RMIT Global Cities Research Institute. His research focuses on approaches and frameworks to facilitate planning and decision-making for local and regional climate change adaptation. Hartmut has several years experience working on climate change and sustainability issues with local government and communities in Australia and abroad. He has a PhD in human geography from the University of Heidelberg, Germany.

Rob Gell

Rob began his career teaching Geography and Environmental Science at Melbourne State College and Melbourne University, then for thirty-one years presented television weather. He is now a Director of the consultancies World Wind Pty Ltd, bhive Group Pty Ltd and the International College of Environmental Sustainability; Chairman of the UNESCO Western Port Biosphere and Wildlife Victoria, is a member for the Victorian Coastal Council and the Commissioner for Environmental Sustainability’s Reference Group.

Graeme Gillespie

Graeme is the Director of Health Protection at the Victoria Department of Health. After 34 years working in the New Zealand health sector, he is currently responsibility for population health protection activities. He is a solicitor of the High Court of New Zealand, an associate member of the Law Institute of Victoria (LIV) and a member of the Victoria Planning and Environmental Law Association (VPELA).

Michael Hopkins

Michael is the Executive Director of Policy and Communications in the Department of Transport with responsibility for broad transport policy, sustainable transport and communications. He took up his current role in 2008 after working in a number of agencies in the ACT Government and the former Victorian Department of Infrastructure. He has a background in strategic policy and planning and environmental policy.

Jay Horton

Jay is the Founder and Managing Director of Strategis Partners, a management consultancy advising corporations and Governments in Australia and South East Asia. Recent projects include long-term strategy in the agri-foods sector, pandemic scenario planning, the future of energy resources and climate change, and Hong Kong in the year 2025. Jay works with clients helping leaders and their organisations foster innovation, and make better decisions in the face of risk and opportunity.

Greg Hunt

Greg was a teacher, a bureaucrat and a professional environmentalist before his current role in implementing responses to climate change with the South East Councils Climate Change Alliance.

Libby Hynes

Libby started off in the private sector but has now spent 20 years in local government. Over that time she has held senior roles encompassing the strategic and regulatory sides of environment sustainability. In her current role as Manager Environment and Natural Resources, she works across Darebin Council to improve environmental outcomes. Libby has championed, developed and coordinated the implementation of Darebin’s Climate Change and Peak Oil Adaptation Plan and is happy to share Darebin’s experience and learning with others.

Professor Roger Jones

Roger is a Professorial Research Fellow at the Centre for Strategic Economic Studies (CSES) at Victoria University. At Victoria University he applies an interdisciplinary focus to understanding climate change risk, bridging science, economics and policy. His methods for managing climate change risks through adaptation have been used widely in Australia and internationally, contributing to the Australian Climate Change Adaptation Strategy, the United Nations Development Program Adaptation Policy Frameworks and individual projects. He is a coordinating lead author on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Working Group II Fifth Assessment Report.

Professor Rod Keenan

Director of the Victorian Centre for Climate Change Adaptation Research and Head of Department of Resource Management and Geography at the University of Melbourne, Rod has a B.Sc. (Forestry) from the ANU and a PhD in forest ecology from University of British Columbia. he was research program leader at the Bureau of Rural Sciences in Canberra and has research interests in climate change adaptation, forests carbon cycling, ecosystem services, environmental policy and sustainable forest management. He has undertaken research in Canada, Japan and Papua New Guinea. He is a member of the UN-FAO Advisory Group for the Global Forest Resource Assessment.

Kirsten Larsen

Kirsten's work at the Victorian Eco-Innovation Lab focuses on understanding and awareness of innovations to develop more sustainable, resilient food systems. She has a Masters in Strategic Foresight and has used a variety of foresight methods to inform research and policy. Kirsten¹s policy background includes work in the Victorian government, most recently in the Department of Premier and Cabinet on climate change and food policy.

Elizabeth McKinnon

Elizabeth undertook a degree in Law and Environmental Science at Flinders University in Adelaide, before a short stint in private practice, and then commencing work as a solicitor at the Environment Defenders Office (Victoria), and not-for-profit organisation of public interest environmental lawyers. Elizabeth has expertise in all areas of environmental law. She is currently undertaking a research project at the EDO on environmental justice – the fair distribution of environmental risks and benefits through society. Elizabeth is also Vice President of the Board of Environment Victoria Inc, Victoria's peak environmental community organisation.

Kate Nelson

Kate has worked in Local Government for more than 20 years and is currently Director of Planning and Community at East Gippsland Shire. She holds qualifications in Planning, Rural Resource Management, Business Management and Public Policy development. She is focused on strategic community development and is responsible for strategic planning, community and social planning, environmental sustainability and community programs. Kate is also responsible for Emergency Management, which is a key community planning and development function at the Shire.

Carmela Parris

Carmela has been the Manager, Environment at the Department of Justice since February 2007, and has worked to improve the department’s environmental sustainability and climate change preparedness. In April 2010, Justice won the Victorian Premier’s Sustainability Award (State Government category) for the expansion of its environmental program to departmental regions and operations. For consecutive years (2008-2012) the department has been recognised by Victorian Commissioner for Environmental Sustainability for its environmental leadership and performance.

Burke Renouf

Burke has worked in a range of local government positions including Environmental Planner within the Strategic and Statutory Planning Departments, coastal planning, and Sustainability Coordinator at Geelong City Council. Burke managed the development and implementation of environmental strategies in sustainable water use, climate change adaptation, greenhouse reduction and sustainable procurement. His qualifications include a Diploma in Environmental Science and Certificate 4 in Renewable Energy. Burke currently represents Geelong City Council on the Local Coastal Hazard Assessment for the Bellarine Peninsula and Corio Bay and coordinates climate change adaptation and sustainability programs within the City of Greater Geelong.

Leon Soste

Previously a surface water hydrologist, academic and consultant, Leon is now a senior researcher in the Future Farming Systems Research Division at DPI. He collaboratively engages primary producer and regional stakeholders in scenario planning exercises. The process involves facilitating a carefully selected, diverse group of stakeholders to formulate scenarios which regions may face, explore the likely systemic impacts of those scenarios, consider the implications of those impacts for the region, and develop appropriate response plans from the insights gained.

Dr Marcus Spiller

Marcus is a Principal, Partner and Director of SGS Economics & Planning. His extensive consulting experience covers regional economic development, business innovation and infrastructure funding. He has been a lecturer in urban economics at the University of Melbourne and a senior official in the Victorian, Queensland and Commonwealth Governments. Marcus is an Adjunct Professor at the University of Canberra and a former National President of the Planning Institute of Australia.

Karl Sullivan

General Manager for the Policy, Risk and Disaster Planning Directorate, Karl is responsible for the facilitation of industry policy and initiatives regarding emerging risks, and coordinating industries response and partnership with government following a significant disaster event. He has significant experience in the disaster planning and risk management field. Prior to joining the Insurance Council, Karl was responsible for global Disaster Planning, Response and Mitigation for the Qantas Group of Companies. He was active in international and domestic forums focussed on a wide range of disaster events and emerging risks.

Dr Leanne Webb

Leanne works at CSIRO, offering tailored climate projection services to many Australian clients. This position involves exploring climate change impacts and their associated risk for a range of diverse projects. Leanne is also undertaking a climate change impact study with the University of New South Wales, exploring the impact of climate change on indigenous health. Past research includes studying observed climate and climate change as it impacts the wine industry and other agricultural sectors. Much of her post-doctoral work was focused on identifying adaptation options for these important sectors.

Dr Nicholas Williams

A senior Lecturer at the University of Melbourne, Nick is an ecologist with a particular interest in the maintenance and enhancement of biodiversity and ecosystem service in urban areas. He and his colleagues have established a substantial research program at the University’s Burnley campus that aims to develop and evaluate vegetated roofs and other green infrastructure suitable for Australian conditions. Green infrastructure has great potential as a socially acceptable, low cost climate change adaptation strategy that can provide benefits to urban communities. Nick has published 28 papers in peer reviewed scientific journals and regularly presents at national and international conferences.

Professor Tony Wong

Tony is Chief Executive and director of Monash University’s Centre for Water Sensitive Cities. Internationally recognised for his research and practice in sustainable urban water management, he gained his expertise through national and international consulting, research, and academia and he has led a large number of award-winning urban design projects in Australia and overseas. He has been commended for defining a new paradigm for design of urban environments that blends creativity with technical and scientific rigour.

Professor Jens Zinn

Jens is Associate Professor in Sociology at the University of Melbourne. He worked in a number of collaborative research centres and networks on risk in Germany and the UK before joining the University of Melbourne in 2009. He is an expert in interdisciplinary risk research, which includes risk perception and communication, risk governance and regulation, and socio-cultural approaches to risk.