Global Town Hall: Sustainability
The Global Town Hall on Sustainability on 11 May 2022 featured 10 diverse contributors for a timely discussion about environmental sustainability challenges and opportunities for Australia. Check out the highlights or the full discussion to learn from the fantastic conversation that took place!
The distinguished panel of Advance GameChangers and Australian industry experts discussed the many opportunities Australia should seize for a roadmap towards a more sustainable future. This insightful and thought-provoking event emphasised the far-reaching aspects of the sustainability challenge, and the steps Australia can take to reduce the severity of the looming crisis, and our vulnerability to climate change.
Our live contributors
Dr Saul Griffith
Winner, Advance Manufacturing Award 2012
Saul is an Australian American who has claimed success as an inventor, author, and founder of multiple companies and non-profits. Within his distinguished career, Saul has been responsible for leading projects for a range of agencies such as NASA, DARPA, and the National Science Foundation, and has also founded and co-founded various successful companies, some of which have been acquired by large corporations such as Google, Autodesk and Toyota. Saul was awarded a Macarthur Fellowship in 2007 that recognised and commended his inventions in the service of humanity. Find out more about Saul here.
Prof Veena Sahajwalla
Professor Veena is an internationally recognised materials scientist, engineer, and inventor revolutionising recycling science. She is renowned for pioneering the high temperature transformation of waste in the production of a new generation of ‘green materials’ at the UNSW Sustainable Materials Research and Technology (SMaRT) Centre, where she is Founding Director. She is the inventor of polymer injection technology, known as green steel, an eco-friendly process for using recycled tyres in steel production. Veena is the director of the ARC Industrial Transformation Research Hub for ‘microrecycling’, and has also been appointed hub leader of the national NESP Sustainable Communities and Waste Hub. In 2021 she was featured in the ABC’s Australian Story and named the 2022 NSW Australian of the Year. Find out more about Professor Veena here.
Advance Awards Sustainability Category Finalist 2020
Caroline is a senior energy and environmental industry executive who is an experienced C-Level Officer & Non-Executive Director in Energy, Resources, Sustainable Infrastructure & Environmental Markets. Caroline has over 25 years of experience, both domestically and internationally, in business building, transformation, strategy, ESG, operations, project and asset management, investment, project finance and M&A. Caroline currently leads GreenTao, a specialised business growth, project development, financing, strategy and execution firm, and holds a number of board member positions. Caroline specifically has expertise in building & running clean energy and sustainable infrastructure businesses and funds. Find out more about Caroline here.
Prof Quentin Grafton
Quentin currently works as a Professor of Economics and Director of the Food, Energy, Environment and Water Network at the Australian National University. Since 2010, Quentin has been the Chairholder of the UNESCO Chair in Water Economics and Transboundary Water Governance, and since 2013, Quentin has been the Executive Director of the Australian National Institute of Public Policy (ANIPP) and a Fellow of the Academy of Social of Sciences of Australia. Quentin is the recipient of several prestigious awards and has published more than 160 scholarly articles in some of the world’s leading journals, books and encyclopedias. Find out more about Quentin here.
Fiona is the current Executive Manager, Environment and Climate for Suncorp and currently sits on the board for Climate Kic Australia. Fiona is a passionate communications consultant with deep expertise in media relations, reputation management and employee engagement experience. Her focus has been on providing multinational and local companies strategic communications advice around M&A related activity, large scale organisational change programs and crisis situations in both Australia and the UK.
Our video contributors
Ronni Kahn AO
Ronni Kahn AO is a social entrepreneur, founder and CEO of food rescue charity OzHarvest. Ronni is a passionate advocate and activist renowned for disrupting the food waste landscape in Australia. She appears regularly in national media, serves in an advisory capacity to government and is a sought after keynote speaker. Her mission to fight food waste and feed hungry people is supported by some of the world’s finest chefs. Ronni is an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) and was named Australian Local Hero of the Year. Her journey is the subject of a feature film, Food Fighter and her memoir, A Repurposed Life, has recently been published. Find more about Ronni here.
Athena is the Sustainability and Projects Manager at the leading Australian menswear brand, M.J. Bale. In 2021 M.J. Bale became certified by Climate Active as Australia’s first fully carbon neutral fashion brand, certified for both products and organisation. At M.J. Bale, Athena is responsible for leading the charge on Sustainability, transforming policies and practices by working collaboratively with the entire business. Prior to her work at M.J. Bale, Athena spent over six years working in Cambodia on humanitarian aid through volunteer explorations and direct grassroots work with the local community in remote villages. Athena has extensive experience in philanthropy and is committed to showing businesses the benefits of doing right by people and the planet. Find more about Athena here.
Hudson is the Founder and Director of Presync, a company that synchronises new and emerging technology with client needs. Presync’s focus is centralised on planning, designing and implementing customised sustainable solutions, with a particular focus of power and water. Hudson leads engagement and built environment planning, climate change risk assessment and adaption, with strong experience in sustainable development. Hudson was the former National Sustainability Manager for Stockland’s residential business and energy sector business consultant with Arthur Anderson, and was a former research associate at the Queensland University of Technology with the faculty of Engineering. Find out more about Hudson here.
Sophie is a school student and climate justice activist helping to fight for change in world issues such as climate change and social equity. Her interest in these issues started at a young age, seeing the unjust impacts of climate change on people around the world. The political failure to take action has encouraged her to not stay silent. In the future, she aspires to combine this passion with her interest in technology to help create a bigger impact for a fair and just world free of climate change related disasters. Find out more about Sophie Fox here.
Sasha Titchkosky is the co-founder and Director of Koskela, one of Australia’s most innovative and well-respected furniture and homewares design businesses. Koskela was the first Australian furniture company to be awarded B Corp certification and proudly supply furniture solutions for the spaces we live, work and learn. Sasha’s prior experience in the corporate world fuelled her passion for the creation of a business with a unique purpose-driven culture. As pioneers in their field, both Sasha and Koskela co-founder Russel Koskela have supported local manufacturing for over 21 years. Sasha was the originator of Koskela’s Impact activities which focus on using Koskela’s design skills to create income-earning opportunities for Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. To date this work has returned over $1.1 million dollars to First Nations communities and artists. Find out more about Sasha here.