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Speaker Profiles


Stay tuned as we continue to announce speakers for the AEGN Conference 2017.


Lisa Abbott - Photo - ThumbnailLisa Abbott – Kentuckians for the Commonwealth / Empower Kentucky (USA)

Lisa Abbott has over 20 years experience as an organiser with Kentuckians For The Commonwealth (KFTC), a statewide social justice organisation which is part of the Appalachian Transitions Initiative. For 13 years Lisa was the Organising Director at KFTC and she has led many campaigns to improve Kentuckian society, responding to the particular needs of people living in a coal region. <Read More>


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Kirsty Albion – Co-Director AYCC and team member of Project Survival Pacific

Through Project Survival Pacific, she helped to start a Pacific Youth Climate movement. Kirsty has been involved in programs including AYCC’s Switched On Schools, Parks and Wildlife’s Discovery Program, Melbourne Museum’s School Holidays Program and the online resource Ecomedia. In 2010 Kirsty was awarded Young Australian of the Year Tasmania. <Read More>



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Jon Altman – Research professor, Alfred Deakin Institute for Citizenship and Globalisation, Deakin University

Jon Altman is an economist and anthropologist who has collaborated in research with Kuninjku-speaking community in west Arnhem Land since 1979. From 2008 to 2012 he headed the People on Country, Vital Landscapes, Indigenous Futures project and coedited a book by that name based on collaborations with a number of IPAs.  <Read More>


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Tim Buckley – Director of Energy Finance Studies, Australasia, Institute of Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA)

Tim has 25 years of financial markets experience and joined the US based IEEFA as the Australasian representative in 2013.  At IEEFA, Tim specialises in the analysis of global electricity markets, with a focus on Australia, China and India. <Read More>



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Peter Cosier – Director and a Founding Member of the Wentworth Group of Concerned Scientists

Peter has a very broad background in science and public policy.  Peter spent 6 years as a Policy Advisor to the Australian Environment Minister, Senator Robert Hill AC, where he was responsible for overseeing the government’s  natural resource management, water reform, biodiversity conservation and international greenhouse policies. <Read More>


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Geoffrey Cousins – Australian community leader, businessman, environmental activist and writer

Geoff is best known for his successful campaigns to stop the Gunns pulp mill in Tasmania and the proposed Woodside gas hub in the Kimberley. Geoff lead the George Patterson Company and oversaw the building of the Optus network. He founded the Starlight Children’s Foundation in Australia and was founding chairman of Sydney’s Museum of Contemporary Art and former director of the Sydney Theatre Company. <Read More>


Andrew Cox – CEO, Invasive Species Council

Andrew Cox is a respected participant in Australia’s conservation sector. He seeks to elevate the importance of the growing damage caused by invasive species – an under-appreciated threat to the environment – and find smart and effective ways to address it. He is a member of advisory committees advising the NSW and Queensland governments on biosecurity and the federal government on feral cats. He is vice chair of Environmental Justice Australia and president of 4nature.  <Read More>


Fabian Dattner - Photo - ApprovedFabian Dattner – Cultural/change strategist, facilitator, teacher, ethicist, author and social entrepreneur

Fabian is one of Australian’s best-known female entrepreneurs, speakers and leadership commentators with a considerable number of both commercial and community achievements to her credit.  Her insights into leadership and her fearlessness in challenging leaders to consider more inclusive, and indeed more profitable forms of leadership are well acknowledged.  <Read More>

Bob Debus - Photo - SmallerThe Hon Bob Debus AM – Chairman, The Great Eastern Ranges Initiative

Bob Debus is a former lawyer, ABC radio producer, publisher and national director of an NGO,The Australian Freedom from Hunger Campaign.  Previously he was the Member for Blue Mountains in the New South Wales Parliament, Federal Member for Macquarie and Federal Minister for Home Affairs.  In 2012 Bob chaired the consultative committee which prepared The National Wildlife Corridors PlanA framework for large scale connectivity conservation for the Commonwealth Government.  <Read More>


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Sean Dooley – Melbourne author, conservationist and birdwatcher

Sean is currently editor of Australian Birdlife, the membership magazine of Birdlife Australia, writes on matters from bird conservation to footy tipping in publications such as The Age and The Monthly and appears on radio across the country where he has become known as “The Birdman”. <Read More>



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Joshua Gilbert – Co-founder of Australian Farmers for Climate Action

Josh is a Worimi man who uses Indigenous wisdom and values, alongside his environmental and agricultural knowledge to shape modern society. He was awarded the Australian Geographic Young Conservationist of the Year, Pro Bono Australia’s Impact 25 as one of the top 25 most influential people in Australia and NSW Office of Environment and Heritage’s Young Sustainability Champion.  <Read More>


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Professor Brendan Gleeson – Director of Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute

Professor Brendan Gleeson has made significant scholarly contributions in urban and social policy, environmental theory and policy, urban planning and governance, and disability studies. As Director of the Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute, Brendan leads research, and research translation on future city sustainability, climate transformation, and resilience at every socio-economic level.  <Read More>


Anne Grindrod 30Sept15

Anne Grindrod – AEGN Board Member

Annie has been involved in many aspects of environmental philanthropy for over twenty years. She has a keen interest in nature conservation in particular habitat restoration on the Grindrod farm in central Victoria. Planting trees while looking across the valley to the clear felling of mountain ash forests! Annie is on the board of the AEGN and the Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal. <Read More>



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John Hepburn – Executive Director, The Sunrise Project

John Hepburn is the founder and Executive Director of The Sunrise Project whose mission is to support social movements to hasten the transition from fossil fuels to clean energy. Prior to founding The Sunrise Project in 2012, John spent ten years running campaigns for Greenpeace in Australia and internationally.  <Read More>



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Mark Horstman – Science Journalist

Mark Horstman is an award-winning science journalist. With a degree in zoology, he moved from environmental research with Aboriginal communities in the Kimberley to science journalism at the ABC, producing programs for Radio National and Catalyst. Now based in Tasmania, he works as a freelance science communicator. <Read More>


Lesley Hughes - Photo - ApprovedProfessor Lesley Hughes – Distinguished Professor of Biology and Pro Vice-Chancellor Research at Macquarie University and a Councillor with the Climate Council of Australia.

Lesley Hughes is a Distinguished Professor of Biology and Pro Vice-Chancellor Research at Macquarie University and a Councillor with the Climate Council of Australia. She is an ecologist whose research has focused on the impacts of climate change on species and ecosystems.  <Read More>

Doug Humann - Photo - SmallerDoug Humann – Chairman, Landcare Australia

Doug runs his own consultancy and has 30 years experience in the NGO sector across Australia. Doug is Chairman of Landcare Australia, Convenor of the National Parks Advisory Council (Victoria) and Deputy Chair of Dhelkunya Dja Traditional Owner Land Management Board (Vic). He was CEO of Bush Heritage Australia (1997-2011) and led the Victorian National Parks Association (1990-97). <Read More>

Jane Hutchinson - Photo - SmallerJane Hutchinson – CEO, Tasmanian Land Conservancy

Jane is the CEO of the Tasmanian Land Conservancy (TLC), a dynamic, non-for-profit, non-government, a-political, science and community based environmental organisation with a vision for Tasmania to be a global leader in nature conservation. In 2016, Jane was awarded the honour of being Tasmanian of the Year.


Professor Ian Lowe – Emeritus Professor of Science, Technology and Society at Griffith University

Prof. Ian Lowe AO FTSE is emeritus professor of science, technology and society at Griffith University, where he was previously Head of the School of Science. He has published extensively, served on many advisory bodies to all levels of government and received many awards for his work. <Read More>


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Victoria Marles – Chief Executive Officer, Trust for Nature

Victoria joined Trust for Nature as CEO in 2009. Victoria has a legal background, and is on the steering committees of the International Land Conservation Network and the Australian Business Biodiversity Initiative.  <Read More>




Sue Mathews - PhotoSue Mathews – Trustee, The Mullum Trust

Sue Mathews is a Trustee of The Mullum Trust, a small family foundation which focuses exclusively on environmental issues.  As a small foundation, The Mullum Trust is always looking to achieve effective strategic outcomes.  Sue’s background is in radio, television and documentary film production, policy and management. <Read More>



Justin Maxson March 2016 pink treesJustin Maxson – Executive Director of the Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation (USA)

Justin leads a philanthropic foundation with a mission to help people and places move out of poverty and achieve greater social and economic justice. Recognising that poverty is complicated, the Foundation supports systemic change, as well as concrete assistance, to lift people out of poverty.  <Read More>


Jessica Meeuwig - PhotoProfessor Jessica Meewig – Centre for Marine Futures, University of Western Australia

Jessica leads the Centre for Marine Futures at the University of Western Australia where they conduct research on the ecology of reef and open-ocean shark and fish assemblages. Jessica’s commitment to outreach has been recognised by the West Australian newspaper that listed her as one of its “100 Most Influential West Australians” and as a Finalist for WA Science Ambassador of the Year. <Read More>


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Elena Mogilevski, Program Manager, The Myer Foundation and Sidney Myer Fund

Elena manages an extensive portfolio of funding programs that includes Education, Sustainability and the Environment, Myer Innovation Fellowships and Social Finance. Prior to this appointment, Elena worked at the Monash University, Department of Political and Social Inquiry. <Read More>


Australian Conservation Foundation

Kelly O’Shanassy – Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Conservation Foundation

Kelly O’Shanassy is the CEO of the Australian Conservation Foundation and a sustainability leader, experienced in executive roles in business, government and the community sector. In her career, Kelly has led the charge to boost clean energy, save water and protect Australia’s rivers, reefs, forests and wildlife. She believes strongly in utilising ‘people power’ and ‘un-usual’ partnerships to advocate for a better future. <Read More>


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Jessica Panegyres – National Nature Campaigner, The Wilderness Society

Jessica has worked as a forest and climate campaigner with Greenpeace.  She also worked as an advisor to WA Greens MP Giz Watson, as a tutor and researcher in the Law Faculty at the University of Western Australia and worked across the community legal and advocacy sector for organisations including Legal Aid, CASE for Refugees, the Deaths in Custody Watch Committee and the Unity of First Peoples of Australia. <Read More>


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Dr Jamie Pittock – Associate Professor in the Fenner School of Environment and Society at The Australian National University

Dr Pittock works on better governance of the interlinked issues of water management, energy and food supply, responding to climate change and conserving biodiversity. He leads research programs on irrigation and water management in Africa, and on hydropower, food and water in the Mekong region. <Read More>


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Alex Rafalowicz – Movement Strategist, Climate Action Network of Australia (CANA)

Alex comes from working with international climate justice coalitions, including assisting in the founding and coordination of the Global Campaign to Demand Climate Justice with fisher and farmer organisations, Indigenous first nations, unions, faith groups, anti-extraction campaigners, and renewable energy pioneers. <Read More>


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Mark Randazzo – EDGE Funders (USA) 

Mark has supported the development of local, national and global civil society organisations and networks in the US, Europe, Asia and Africa for over three decades, with organizations including the Peace Corps, Save the Children Federation, United Support of Artists for Africa, Oxfam America, JustAct/Youth Action for Global Justice and the Funders Network on Trade and Globalization. <Read More>


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Anna Rose – Myer Foundation Innovation Fellow

Anna Rose is an Innovation Fellow with the Myer Foundation who previously co-founded the Australian Youth Climate Coalition and ran Earth Hour with WWF-Australia. She is a Director of Solar Citizens, the Australian Geographic Society, the Aussie Farmers Foundation, and University of Queensland’s Global Change Institute. <Read More>


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John Spierings – Reichstein Foundation

John was appointed as the Foundation’s Executive Officer in 2013 after more than four and a half years experience as a senior adviser in the Office of the Prime Minister, Julia Gillard. He had responsibility for higher education, skills, industry, innovation, science, research and employment policy issues in the Office....<Read More> 


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Professor John Thwaites – Chair Monash Sustainable Development Institute and Co-Chair UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network Leadership Council

John Thwaites was Deputy Premier of Victoria 1999–2007 and a member of the Victorian Parliament 1992-2007 during which time he held several Ministries including Health, Planning, Environment, Water and Climate Change. Prior to being elected to Parliament he was a Councillor and Mayor of the City of South Melbourne.  <Read More> 


Barry Traill - PhotoDr Barry Traill – Director, Outback to Oceans Program, Pew Charitable Trusts

Barry is a leading Australian conservationist.  He heads up work to protect the Outback and adjacent remote seas. Recent successful campaigns have included creation of the Great Kimberley Marine Park and the adjacent Kimberly National Park, and establishing Country Needs People which supports Indigenous land management.


Marion Verles – CEO, The Gold Standard FoundationMarion Verles - Photo - Smaller

Marion Verles is the CEO of The Gold Standard Foundation, a standard and certification body that works to ensure every dollar of climate and development funding goes as far as it can. Marion brings to the Gold Standard her deep knowledge of the carbon markets and her passion for pioneering new approaches to financing climate and development interventions. <Read More>