Leaders in every section of society. Annual Report 2008
Annual Report 2008
Purpose and Vision There are hundreds of thousands of young people across the globe who can imagine a different, more sustainable future, but don’t know how to go about creating it. The Centre for Sustainability Leadership is designed to bridge this gap by empowering young people to make their communities more sustainable.
We’ve tried to get people in positions of power to care; now we’re going to get people who care into positions of influence. The Centre for Sustainability Leadership is a Melbourne based not for profit established in 2006. The Centre offers one of only a few courses in the world, and the only Australian program, to combine leadership training with sustainability education. The Future Sustainability Leaders program is innovative — as recognised by the United Nations Environment Program. What was needed was a way in which to build practical applications of sustainability ideas into existing socio–cultural, political and economic frameworks. The Future Sustainability Leaders program bridges the gap between knowledge and action. We see our role as pivotal in gathering together people who see the possibilities for a better world. We equip participants with the tools and skills required to make their vision reality. 2
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4 Chairâ€™s report 6 Executive Directorâ€™s report 8 Inside the Future Sustainability Leaders program 14 Our global vision 16 Participant profiles 32 Project profiles 36 Sustainability and the media 38 Alumni profiles 46 Staff and volunteer profiles 50 Board profiles 52 Governance and structure Annual Report 2008
Our generation is in danger of being the first in history to inherit a world pushed beyond its limits — a world defined by catastrophic climate change, resource scarcity, and drought. However, our generation is also preparing for the fight ahead, motivated by the challenge of becoming a generation characterised by the problems it solves, rather than those it leaves behind. This challenge requires more than sustainability knowledge. It demands a new form of leadership: the ability to integrate sustainability into the strategic and operational activities of every sector in society. Alarmingly, leadership is a concept critically absent from school and university curricula. We learn about a myriad of environmental problems the world is facing. We learn about technical and policy-driven solutions to these problems. But we rarely learn how to translate this knowledge into tangible environmental and business outcomes.
This leaves us facing a situation where people are aware of the problems, without knowing what to do. The Centre for Sustainability Leadership has stepped up to fill this void. Over the past four years, we have demonstrated the powerful outcomes that result from equipping those who are passionate about sustainability with leadership skills. In doing so, we feel we have created something unique, innovative, and, above all, critically necessary. Now, the Centre’s challenge is to take a program that has developed 100 new sustainability leaders in Melbourne, and build a suite of programs capable of reaching and empowering 100,000 leaders throughout the world. Over the coming 12 months the Centre for Sustainability Leadership will: • develop a pilot for the online Future Sustainability Leaders program that will capture the transformational power of our in-person training • expand our in-person training to Sydney, in partnership with corporate, philanthropic and government partners • develop a condensed, short-course version of our training program for corporate and government clients • expand the reach of our already successful Speakers’ Bureau, and • continue to strengthen the organisation — financially, structurally and culturally. 2008 was a landmark year for the Centre for Sustainability Leadership — highlighted by awards, sponsorship, growth in applications, and extensive media coverage. Yet, as an organisation, we consider these achievements as the first step on a long journey towards empowering hundreds of thousands of sustainability leaders. Over the next year we look forward to working with course participants, mentors, partners, and sponsors, who share our belief in the need for sustainability leaders in every organisation and community throughout the world.
Cameron Brown Chair
Annual Report 2008
Executive Director’s report
There’s an old African proverb that the future belongs to those who prepare for it today. The Centre for Sustainability Leadership was established partly on this philosophy: if my generation wanted to inherit a planet in good shape, we would have to create it ourselves. The Centre has the vision of building a bridge to a more sustainable future, not by agitating for change on the outside, but by becoming part of the solution: by creating real and systemic change through sustainability leadership and innovation. In making that vision a reality, 2008 was, in many ways, a “leap year” for the Centre. As our business and community profile continues to grow, our momentum increases; as our foundations take root, we can see the bridge to the future beginning to emerge.
In 2008, the highlights of this pathway are: • a record 250 applicants for the 25 available places in the Future Sustainability Leaders program • volunteer numbers grew to more than 100, with volunteers and guest speakers coming to us from senior ranks of ASX Top 50 companies, academia, the IT industry, the consulting profession and from overseas. The value of this pro bono support, comprising more than 15,000 volunteer hours, is valued at around $1 million. • approval to launch the Future Sustainability Leaders program in Sydney in 2009, which will effectively double the size and reach of our flagship course • ongoing renewal and modification of our Future Sustainability Leaders curriculum to ensure it remains the best sustainability leadership training available in the world • major progress on ambitious plans to launch an Australian pilot of the Global Future Sustainability Leaders program, which is an online, short-course version of Future Sustainability Leaders
• growing external recognition, with a significant increase in media coverage of the Centre. I was also delighted that the Centre’s work was recognised when I was named Young Environmentalist of the Year at the prestigious Banksia Awards • building stronger links with the community through activities such as the Centre’s Speakers Bureau, which saw speeches delivered to a wide range of business, community and school groups, and • establishing stronger relationships with Governments, the business world and other key stakeholders. In particular, I would like to thank our valued sponsors and donors, particularly the Environmental Protection Authority of Victoria, the British Council, the Myer Foundation, Foster’s Community Grants, MECU, City of Melbourne, The Trust Company, the George Alexander Foundation, and the Ian Potter Foundation. We value your support and look forward to working with you in the future.
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” Margaret Mead
2008 was also a watershed year in ensuring that the Centre practised what it preached — that its own rapid growth was sustainable. By that, I mean that as an organisation we had the structures, resources and processes in place to cope with the challenges ahead. Some operational achievements in 2008 are: • building a sustainable funding model, based on corporate and government funding, sponsorship of corporate places in the Future Sustainability Leaders program, and a plan for participants to meet a larger portion of the cost of the program • successful fundraising events such as the September film night, Run Melbourne and the Spring Clean for Sustainability • rollout of an exciting new brand for the Centre • creation of a formal organisational structure for the Centre • development of policies such as a Code of Ethics and Conduct; a Media Policy
Our core office staff worked tremendously hard to make these things happen and I am deeply grateful for their efforts. I would particularly like to thank Chief Operations Officer Josh Chralowicz for his selfless dedication to the Centre this year. I would also like to express my appreciation to the Board for their guidance, patience, wisdom and support. To our growing community of volunteers, mentors, alumni, sponsors, supporters, guest lecturers and friends, a huge thank you. Our bridge to a sustainable future is taking shape and I have you to thank for it.
• production of procedures such as the volunteer manual and green manual • approval for establishment of an advisory board, and
• ongoing development of a strong alumni program.
Executive Director Australian Young Environmentalist of the Year
Annual Report 2008
Inside the Future Sustainability Leaders program Creating sustainability leaders in every sector of society The Future Sustainability Leaders (FSL) program is the foundation of the Centre for Sustainability Leadership’s mission statement. This is where future leaders in sustainability are developed. Each year, 25 participants are selected from hundreds of applications. Participants are selected from diverse backgrounds including marketing, environmental science, law, engineering, accountancy, business, built design, health care, social science and political science. Those selected have all demonstrated leadership potential. This diverse community is bound by a shared passion for social and environmental sustainability, and creates a dynamic ‘marketplace of ideas’ to explore comprehensive strategies for tackling complex issues. The program is designed to forge crossdisciplinary relationships between participants, in an expanding interdisciplinary network of mentors and current leaders. Rather than providing students with an overview of the problems and possible solutions, the Future Sustainability Leaders curriculum ensures students come up with their own answers to the goal of sustainability. In this way, it is unlike any other program currently available. The Future Sustainability Leaders program takes a unique approach to positively influencing sustainability issues in the community and is unique in its: • Approach: In training sustainability leaders, rather than educating them about the problems, it challenges people to take the initiative and work towards real solutions. • Structure: Centre for Sustainability Leadership is a youth–led organisation and is highly collaborative. • Curriculum: The focus is on key leadership skills and developing strong, dynamic networks so that graduates have a solid foundation on which to build their ideal career and lead their community toward sustainability. • Scope: The vision of the organisation and the courses it delivers is no less than to change the world. Results so far show that individuals and the projects they undertake as a result of the Future Sustainability Leaders course are doing just that.
The Future Sustainability Leaders course offers weekly seminar sessions, as well as practical group assignments and one-on-one contact with a mentor with the aim of providing students with a broad range of business leadership skills. At the end of seven months, graduates are equipped with high–calibre business skills, from media training to creative and strategic thinking. This will enable them to start their own sustainable businesses, to exert influence within their existing work roles to promote sustainable solutions, and to drive sustainability projects in the community. So far we have helped young professionals from a diverse range of backgrounds to become Future Sustainability Leaders. Participants have included construction managers, lawyers, health professionals, entrepreneurs, advertising professionals, government officials, management consultants, economists and climate change scientists. The Future Sustainability Leaders program has been running successfully for the past four years. It is now entering its fifth year. The Centre’s success in running the Future Sustainability Leaders program is demonstrated by the direct impact its graduates are having in the community. Greg Bourne, CEO of WWF, expresses the success and importance of the program. “Empowering leaders is an effective, proven method of creating change in the world. The FSL program has already achieved measurable success in this regard.”
Leadership retreats: out of the comfort zone An integral part of the Future Sustainability Leaders program are the residential retreats. Comprising of two weekends and one eight– day residential “getaway”, the retreats develop skills introduced in workshops. During the retreats, participants receive intensive coaching by experts in a variety of skills vital to successful sustainability leadership. A large emphasis is placed on improving skills in the areas of environmental communication and effective media strategies. Participants engage with leaders in communication — media consultants, journalists and public speaking experts — to learn how to convey a powerful message. During the eight–day retreat, each participant makes a formal presentation, and sharpens their media skills through an intensive set of mock interviews with media professionals. The residential retreats are a unique and rewarding experience: the intense training combined with the close proximity of participants creates close personal and professional bonds. This year, participant Roland Dillon found the retreats “incredible,” in terms of the teaching, but also, because “it forced you to get out of your comfort zone.” For Roland, the residential retreats were “some of the most useful days of the entire course.”
Inside the ‘Green MBA’: a snapshot In FSL session five, participants learned about the importance of networking from Marcus Godinho, CEO for Fair Share. Godinho describes Fair Share, a successful organisation that takes food that would otherwise be thrown out and turns it into free meals for the hungry and homeless, as the “best networked in the sustainability industry,” and says the strongest professional relationships are those built over time. In the session, Godhino urged participants to connect on a personal level with contacts, and nurture those relationships on an ongoing basis. “The worst time to start networking is when you need something.” Specific advice on improving networks included seeking out knowledgeable mentors, developing interest in others’ work and interests, asking for help, and being able to recognise the value you’re able to give to potential partners. 2008 participant Rachel Lowry, Community Conservation Manager for Zoos Victoria, found Godinho’s tips “extremely useful”. “So many people think that the challenge to networking is making the original contact; however Marcus stressed the importance of following up and touching base every six or so months to ensure that networks remain fresh. I have really tried to make a point of following up on old contacts, even if it is simply dropping a line here and there.”
One of the biggest parts of Future Sustainability Leaders’ curriculum is actively encouraging participants to develop a “creative solution to sustainability challenges” through a community project. Participants develop and implement a project using skills learned in workshops. Session nine presenter Jason Clarke, from Minds at Work, suggested that sometimes it is easier to look at what you do not like, and to think creatively about how to fix it. Do you hate leaf blowers and electric hand dryers like Jason? What are some alternatives? Rachel Lowry stressed that Jason’s tip about always asking “why” is important. “So many people head straight into a project without properly understanding why they are doing it.” So Rachel now ensures that she knows the ‘why’ before she embarks on the ‘how’. “Jason’s tip to make an idea ‘water proof’ is also one that I used. I imagined every possible crack it may have that the media would use as an angle to derail it, and have tried to fill the gaps with putty. I have since encouraged friends to tackle the cracks also and feel that I now have a solid and meaningful project.”
Annual Report 2008
Our guest speakers
The participants in the 2008 Future Sustainability Leaders program were fortunate to have access to some of Australia’s best thinkers as part of their eight–month course.
The Centre for Sustainability Leadership would like to thank the following people for their dedication and commitment to our vision: • Jason Clarke, founder, Minds At Work • Dan Atkins, General Manager, Shaper Group • Marcus Godinho, CEO, Fair Share • Don Henry, Executive Director, Australian Conservation Foundation • Lisa Smith, Minds At Work • David Kelly, founder and Director, One Free Bike • Mike Hill, board member, Sustainability Victoria • Danielle Bendall, former Centre for Sustainability Leadership participant; inaugural CSR manager, PZ Cussons • Daniel Epstein, former Centre for Sustainability Leadership participant and founder of Conservo • Daniel Almagor, CEO, Engineers Without Borders • Arron Wood, Managing Director, Firestarter; former Young Australian of the Year • Brett de Hoedt, communications consultant • Laura Mumaw, former CEO, Zoos Victoria • Dan Adams, organiser, Make Poverty History concert; Young Victorian of the Year 2008 • Veronica Allardice, Founding Director, The Theatre of Leadership and Business Voice Studio • Nic Frances, MBE, Chairman and CEO, Cool nrg • Andrew Baker, co-founder, Mobium Group • Phillip Sutton, Governor, Greenleap Strategic Institute • Liz Minchin, former Age Environment Reporter
• Graham Crist, founder, architecture firm Antarctica • Peter Cock, sociologist and environmentalist • Alex Fearnside, Team Leader Sustainability, Melbourne City Council • Terry A’Hearn, Director, Sustainable Development, Victorian Environment Protection Authority • Ian Porter, senior consultant, The Nous Group • Brad Shone, Energy Policy Manager, Alternative Technology Association • Kimberley Dripps, Executive Director, Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services, Department of Sustainability and Environment • Dr. Paul Mees, Senior Lecturer in Planning and Environment, RMIT • Stephen Ingrouille, Principal, Going Solar • Serenity Hill, advisor on climate change adaptation; 2020 summit participant • Kelly O’Shanassy, CEO, Environment Victoria • Peter Ellyard, Chairman, Preferred Futures Institute and the Sustainable Prosperity Foundation • Dr. Peter Christoff, Coordinator of Environmental Studies, University of Melbourne; Vice-President, Australian Conservation Foundation • Tim Sonnreich, advisor to Victorian Premier John Brumby.
A critical part of the Future Sustainability Leaders course is the mentorship program. The Centre is proud to have had the strong support of the following people who have acted as mentors to the next generation of leaders in our society: • Frank Fisher, inaugural Australian Environmental Educator of the Year (2007–8), Adj. Prof. & Convenor, Graduate Programs, National Centre for Sustainability & Faculty of Design • Lelde McCoy, Managing Director, Reputation Group • John Thwaites, Former Deputy Premier, Minister for Environment and Water, Victoria • Frank Fitzgerald-Ryan, Principal, Vox Bandicoot • Dr. Ian McPhail AM, Commissioner for Environmental Sustainability • Dr. Peter Christoff, Coordinator of Environmental Studies, University of Melbourne • Arron Wood, Director, Firestarter Pty. Ltd. • Fraser Brindley, Melbourne City Council • Harry Blutstein, Connexus • Ian Porter, Senior Consultant, Nous Group
• Dr. Annie Bolitho, Iprimus • Grant Blashki, Senior Research Fellow, University of Melbourne • Marcus Godinho, CEO, Fair Share • Kane Thornton, Thornton • Gilbert Rochecouste, Managing Director, Village Well • Romilly Madew, Chief Executive Green Building Council Australia • David Risstrom, Barrister-at-Law LLB • Jan Trewhella, Acting Chief Executive Officer, Sustainability Victoria • Mike Hill, board member, Sustainability Victoria • Brett de Hoedt, Mayor, Hootville Communications
• Dan Atkins, General Manager, Shaper Group
• Steven Bowman, Managing Director, Conscious Governance
• Catriona MacDiarmid, EcoProperty / The Eco Real Estate Network
• Rupert Posner, CEO, Climate Group
• Dan Atkins, Director, Sustainable Business Practices
• Frank Hytten, CEO, Reconciliation Victoria
• Philip Sutton, Director of Strategy, Green Innovations Inc.; Convener, Greenleap Strategic Institute; President, Sustainable Living Foundation • Mathew Albert, Founder, Sudanese Australian Integrated Learning (SAIL) program • Simon R. Molesworth AM QC, Queen’s Counsel; Chairman, Greenearth Energy Limited; Chairman, INTO Executive Committee, International National Trusts Organisation • Pranav Nahar, Environment Trader & Business Accelerator; Independent Consultant & Investor • Dr. Linda Williams, Director, Arts and Sustainability Cluster, RMIT
• Leon Kempler OAM, Chairman, Australia–Israel Chamber of Commerce • Amanda McCluskey, Sustainability Manager, Colonial First State • Robert Larocca, Landscape Architectural and Environmental Planning
Annual Report 2008
Spreading the word
Currently there is an enormous amount of publicity about climate change and environmental issues, but it is often hard for people to find information that is credible and relevant to their area of interest. The Centre has established the Speakers’ Bureau as a way of sharing our passion and knowledge of sustainability solutions with the general public. Comprised of Future Sustainability Leaders alumni, the Speakers Bureau offers the community a broad range of experience and expertise. So far, alumni have addressed schools, councils, community organisation and businesses (large and small) with tailored presentations on issues of specific interest to each group. Speakers’ Bureau Manager Antastasia Lambadaridis said alumni of the Future Sustainability Leaders program were capable of engaging audiences on a wide range of topics. These include business and sustainability, leadership and sustainability, wildlife conservation, sustainability in the home, climate change, environmental law and rural communities and sustainability. “The Speakers’ Bureau was established because we identified there is a strong market out there for fresh, credible and relevant information on sustainability.” “Our speakers are passionate about spreading the word on sustainability and have honed the skills to do so through the program.” Revenue from the Speakers Program assists the Centre for Sustainability Leadership to develop its core Future Sustainability Leaders program and other community sustainability projects. Centre for Sustainability Leadership Speakers’ Bureau — contact firstname.lastname@example.org, 0433 887 118.
“Future Sustainability Leaders brings young environmentalists together with leading thinkers and influencers to create the next generation of environmentally responsible leaders” The Hon. Peter Garrett, Federal Minister for the Environment
The Future Sustainability Leaders program curriculum aims to develop participants in the following key sustainability leadership areas:
Philosophy of leadership:
Gaining improved understanding of key moral and philosophical aspects related to sustainability leadership.
Appreciating the value of the individual in creating high performance small teams.
Sustainability in Australia:
Understanding key local sustainability issues and developing a vision of a sustainable Australia.
Identifying personal strengths and weaknesses and targeting transformation accordingly.
Being a sustainable individual:
How to have a tiny ecological footprint and a large cultural footprint.
Developing the ability to network and maintain productive professional alliances.
Sustainability Leadership: Understanding the strategies of the world’s most effective sustainability leaders and developing a vision and plan for yourself as a sustainability leader.
Changing hearts, minds, and behaviour: Understanding social change and the different approaches to influencing people.
Understanding political and societal structures: Analysing systems and institutions to understand the ways in which sustainability leadership can influence the status quo.
History and dynamics of social change: Appreciating the development of social change movements and the historical circumstances within which they arose.
Communication and advocacy skills: Making an impact with presentations and using the media to convey effective environmental messages.
Project Management: Developing, implementing and evaluating projects.
Creative thinking and problem solving: Analysing complex problems effectively and finding creative solutions.
Personal effectiveness: Managing time, prioritising competing demands, and maximising personal resources.
Emotional intelligence: Building an emotionally intelligent foundation that fosters confidence to lead.
Mentorship: Understanding the value of mentorship and building relationships with established leaders.
Accessing financial and other resources: Developing the tools to attract project funding and non-financial support.
Career development: Exploring career options and methods to make the transition between and within organisations.
Thinking strategically: Understanding strategy and using systems thinking to lead successfully.
Annual Report 2008
Our global vision
“We are creating a network of sustainability leaders working collaboratively towards powering global change.”
“The global program now provides us with a platform to reach out to those who wish to take action on sustainability issues in their community, but who don’t have direct access to the Future Sustainability Leaders program.” Josh Chralowicz, Chief Operations Officer, Centre for Sustainability Leadership
Imagine hundreds of thousands of young people around the globe working collaboratively to create a more sustainable future. That is the vision of the Centre for Sustainability Leadership’s latest venture, the Global Future Sustainability Leaders Program. The global program is an innovative online version of the successful Melbourne Future Sustainability Leaders program. Instead of the intensive, eight-month “real-time” course, global FSL is an online short-course that can be delivered to anyone — anywhere in the world — who has access to the internet. The global program offers a powerful way to build the skills, motivation and capacity of people across continents who are looking to build more sustainable communities. The key is in developing sustainability leaders in all types of global communities — from grassroots to corporations. Global Future Sustainability Leaders offers the opportunity to enact significant global change. The online program will empower individuals who do not have access to the riches of knowledge and experiences we have been lucky to harness through Future Sustainability Leaders Melbourne. By training hundreds of thousands of people around the world, we can change the way each community, each sector in society, incorporates sustainable practices into everyday life. The GFSL course model comprises of 13 weeks of two-hour online learning modules, supplemented by three optional real-world workshops. The global program maintains the same curriculum competencies of the Future Sustainability Leaders program. The power of GFSL is in its transformative potential — the potential of hundreds of thousands of emerging sustainability leaders.
The journey of an individual through the program can be summarised as: Week
What I’ll learn
What I’ll feel
You as a leader
Principles and examples of sustainability leadership.
That sustainability leadership is something I can do in my own life.
Your vision for a sustainable world
Sustainability issues facing Australia and the world, and how I can get involved in them.
Connected to sustainability issues, and motivated to take action to create the sort of future that I want.
Getting your life sorted
How to break and build habits; how to work with mentors.
Confident in my ability to develop the skills and contacts to be an effective leader.
History and dynamics of political and social change; how to think strategically and promote behaviour change.
Grounded and knowledgeable; equipped to create change in my community.
Stories of success
The techniques, approaches and challenges that have been overcome by successful sustainability leaders.
Inspired and motivated by the example of others, and reaffirmed in my belief that change is possible and desirable.
Project planning workshop
Create and implement project plans, including objectives, timelines, budgets, risk management.
Confident and equipped to think creatively to solve problems and make things happen on my project.
As above — with consolidation.
As above — with consolidation.
Where and how to gain funding, services and support, and how to deliver value and recognition.
Confident in my ability to gather and utilise resources effectively.
Elective: Emotional intelligence
The causes and nature of basic emotions, and how to spot them.
More self-aware and empathetic in relating to others.
Elective: Building relationships
The practices of professional and personal relationship management. How to control your own image.
Comfortable in networking situations, confident of being able to create win–win situations.
How to facilitate an effective meeting and group discussion. How to manage teams in varying moods and contexts.
Confident in building and maintaining trust based relationships with team members.
When to use different communication techniques; how to run a campaign and pitch.
Inspired and equipped to take others with you on a journey of change.
Elective: Media and Public Speaking
How to communicate your message effectively through the media and public speaking.
Confident to speak in public and prepared to engage with the media.
Evaluate, Celebrate & Beyond
How to evaluate action. How to create new jobs or organisations that lead on sustainability.
Confident in my ability to create change, and aware of areas for learning.
That I am part of a community of future sustainability leaders.
Successful, powerful, and ready to take on a new challenge.
Connected to the group and cause.
A large portion of the content for the program is already available, with Centre founder Larissa Brown having interviewed (and recorded) more than a hundred sustainability leaders across 30 cities and five continents. In early 2009 Larissa is travelling to the United Kingdom to conduct further interviews. The Centre for Sustainability Leadership has developed a staged approach to rolling out the Global Future Sustainability Leaders program. In 2009, a pilot program will run in Australia, with a target of 200 participants in metropolitan and regional areas. Global Future Sustainability Leaders will then expand Australia–wide and worldwide, working with program and funding partners in each overseas country to make the content relevant. The global program has already received the backing of one of the world’s leading sustainability organisations, the United Nations Environment Program. Annual Report 2008
Participant profiles Each year 25 talented individuals take part in the Future Sustainability Leaders program. Here we profile some of our participants.
Alison Dodd For environmental lawyer Alison Dodd, the Future Sustainability Leaders program has proven to be a winning combination of inspiration and practical insights. Background I graduated from the University of Queensland in 2006 with a degree in law and environmental management (sustainable development), before moving to Melbourne to work with DLA Phillips Fox in their environmental and climate change area. I had wanted to be in environmental law since high school. Why Future Sustainability Leaders? I had heard a lot about it through word of mouth. One former participant described it as the best experience of their life, which is high praise. I saw it as providing me with a combination of inspiration and practical insights — a way of learning the kinds of things you don’t pick up formally at university or in the workplace.
What specific skills have you learned/developed? Most of all, new ways of thinking. How to approach innovation and creativity and how to come up with expansive ways of problem solving. Meeting people from a variety of backgrounds has also been a great advantage. I have developed fantastic communications skills, particularly around public speaking and the media. I have learned how to tailor messages to specific audiences and have been able to put that into practice already.
What is the best thing about the program? Bringing together amazing, like– minded people from different backgrounds really creates synergies, a sense of electricity. The inspirational force behind that is quite powerful.
What is your current project? My vision is to create sustainable law firms. By that, I mean getting them to sign up to principles of sustainability, to commit to operating in sustainable ways.
Describe your mentor relationship I have been incredibly lucky to have Simon Molesworth QC as my mentor. He is one of Australia’s leading environmental lawyers and a real campaigner for the environment. He has been very generous with his time. We meet about once a month when we can manage it, or I email him with questions, or bump into him at conferences. We often end up talking in general and he has given me a real insight into how environmental policy and law is developed. He is also very helpful in terms of general career advice.
What change do you hope to create? Most of all, Future Sustainability Leaders has given me the ability to create change, even if I’m not exactly sure what that will look like now. I have learned how to raise new ideas in meetings at work, to question how things are done, and how to promote sustainability in a confident, credible way.
What will you be doing/have achieved in five years’ time? My ambition is to be a leading climate change lawyer. Before doing the course, I think I would have felt embarrassed saying that. One of the most empowering aspects of Future Sustainability Leaders is that it teaches you to aim high and arms you with the skills to get there.
Annual Report 2008
Joel Leske Former trolley boy Joel Leske has worked his way up the ranks of Coles Group. Now, inspired by what he’s learnt through the Future Sustainability Leaders course, he is creating the first sustainability strategy for retail giant K-Mart. Background I started as a trolley boy at Coles in South Australia and worked in a number of different hands–on roles. Then I did the traineeship program and entered the Coles Excellence Awards, where I chose to write a report on the issue of a national packaging covenant, which was a major environmental initiative. Eventually I was named Young Retail Executive of the Year and after a while ended up moving to Melbourne to take up the inaugural role of sustainability manager for K-Mart. Why Future Sustainability Leaders? I had not gone to uni, so everything I had learned up until then I had to teach myself. Future Sustainability Leaders was a sustainability course and a leadership course, which was perfect because I wanted to increase my environmental knowledge and my leadership skills.
What specific skills have you learned/developed? The key has been the leadership training. There have been so many “light bulb” moments, it’s been incredible. The course also makes you think in a broader sense, rather than just focusing on your own issues. The media skills have been invaluable and primarily because it is an area that I just have not had any previous exposure to. I will probably be exposed to the area in the future so it’s been a great skill to learn. What is your current project? Developing and introducing a sustainability program for K-Mart. My goal is to make the business more sustainable, but also, in the long-term, to offer sustainable products and services which help our customers and suppliers reduce their environmental impact. K-Mart has a very specific customer base, which is largely lower–income earners, so it is really important that everything we do in terms of sustainability does not disenfranchise our customers. What change do you hope to create? I want to make K-Mart renowned everywhere as a sustainable business. No-one in retail in Australia is really going down that path yet. When you look at what’s happening overseas with companies like Wal Mart and Sainsbury’s, we have a huge opportunity here to make some really progressive changes. I want to help people understand that sustainability is the right thing to do not just from an environmental perspective, but also from a business perspective. Describe your mentor relationship My mentor, Dan Atkins, is helping me set out a personal business plan — how I am going to manage my career as well as my personal life. I had not really wanted to do one — I am not really big on those long–term goals — but Dan really pushed me into it and I’m so glad he did. I have learned that it is really important to start planning for my career. What is the best thing about the program? I have had exposure to so many great people — great facilitators, great presenters, great participants. Without the course, there is no way I would have had access to such a fantastic network of people or be able to tap into so much shared knowledge. What will you be doing/have achieved in five years’ time? My goal is to be the sustainability manager for the whole of Wesfarmers (the industrial conglomerate which now owns the Coles Group). Wesfarmers is massive in terms of its environmental footprint. It is in mining, energy, chemicals, hardware and retail.
Annual Report 2008
Dougal McInnes What does a former terrorism and security advisor to the Prime Minister’s office do when he wants to have a bigger say on what goes on in the world? Dougal McInnes quit his job in Canberra and signed up for the Future Sustainability Leaders course. Background I completed an Arts degree in Melbourne and then a Masters in international relations at ANU. I joined a think tank, the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, and then joined the Office of National Assessments (ONA) analyzing security and terrorism issues. More recently, I became interested in how environmental, resources and energy issues were affecting our security. The security and intelligence industry is a bit insular, so I decided to come back to Melbourne, joined the course and got a job as senior policy officer at Cool nrg International, a company focused on a delivering carbon trading projects in developed and developing countries. Why Future Sustainability Leaders? I saw it as a way of reconnecting with Melbourne’s private sector and networks — and learning about sustainability, which is a relatively new space for me. While I had well developed skills in policy and writing and public speaking, I did not have a good anchor on some of the sustainability issues. The fact the course is for young people and new ideas was also refreshing for me. What specific skills have you learned/developed? I have gained a greater appreciation of the spectrum of sustainability issues, that not everything is about carbon emissions or trading schemes which I work on day to day. It has been terrific working with an eclectic group of people who understand and are passionate about sustainability and leadership. I developed some good skills in how to more effectively communicate, understanding how you can influence people and change their behaviour. What is your current project? Our project, Just Change, focuses on one specific aspect in the residential energy efficiency market: low income rental households. Through bringing people to the table who normally would not talk to each other, we are brokering an outcome that delivers household savings and reduces emissions. It’s all about empowering other parties and leveraging relationships, it will be a success if we don’t have to play an ongoing role. What change do you hope to create? Firstly, I can see how Future Sustainability Leaders is helping me effect change on a day to day level in meetings, articles, communication, etc. More broadly, I see myself being able to play a part in influencing key government climate change policies, both state and federal. The skills and networks I have gained through Future Sustainability Leaders are key to this advocacy.
Describe your mentor relationship I have two mentors. Kane Thornton, the head of policy at Hydro Tasmania, and who is also involved in the Clean Energy Council and Alternative Technology Association. He is great because in many ways he is similar to me. He comes out of a policy background and is right into the minutiae of advocacy and policy. My other mentor is Pranav Nahar, a successful businessman who has worked with Ecosecurities one of the largest carbon firms in the world. He is very business orientated and goal focused and has an amazing ability to think with creativity and discipline. What is the best thing about the program? The opportunity it gives you to reflect on what mark you want to leave in your career. Also, the actual day to day skills of speaking and thinking and arguing and writing. Most of all it’s the diverse group of people you work with and meet — it is great working and talking to people who have different perspectives on the same issue. What will you be doing/have achieved in five years’ time? Ideally, I will be working on climate change foreign policy and security issues to bring together both my previous job and my current job. It is such a large public policy issue. The challenge is to make the key people in Australia see climate change as an opportunity — as they do in Europe — as opposed to simply being a risk to ‘business as usual’ profits.
Annual Report 2008
Rachel Lowry Wildlife expert Rachel Lowry sees education as a powerful tool to create change around the world. Her first project is to help Australians understand how they can save endangered gorilla habitats in Africa. Background I have always been interested in animals. After completing a zoology degree at Melbourne University, I began a bachelor of education. To pay my way through uni, and to get a foot in the door at the zoo, I started working part–time as a “live encounters” officer. This meant dressing up in a butterfly outfit and dancing around. I am now Community Conservation Manager — my dream job. Why Future Sustainability Leaders? My vision is about using education as a tool for conservation and my job gives me the opportunity to develop this. However, I wanted to make sure I was not becoming too focused and insular in my approach — I wanted to be more strategic and holistic. I also wanted to know more about specific issues such as global warming and carbon trading. What specific skills have you learned/developed? I feel much better informed and have a much better understanding of all the issues we face, not just the crisis facing wildlife. The networks I am developing are also invaluable. I have learned the specific leadership skills, mostly, and understanding what motivates people and why. I have also learned a lot about advocacy and the political hierarchy and its structures. When Dan Atkins (founder of the Shaper Group) spoke to us, he taught us about the power of difference one person can make. It was one of those moments I stopped feeling anxious about the future, and started feeling hopeful about it. I was really energised by the fact that all the people in the room had the potential to make a really big impact on the world. What is your current project? My project is a partnership formed between Melbourne Zoo, the Jane Goodall Institute and the Aussie Recycling Project to promote conservation by donating mobile phones. The project exposes issues around coltan mining and its impact on gorilla populations in Africa and provides people with simple ways to take action. What change do you hope to create? I would love to start an NGO to protect bio-diversity hot spots around the world. It is all about driving knowledge, skills and behaviours to conserve wildlife and recognising that these campaigns and programs can genuinely influence people to do things.
Describe your mentor relationship My main mentor is Dr. Peter Christoff, Melbourne University Professor and Vice-President of the Australian Conservation Foundation. He has been fantastic. He’s really immersed in the area of sustainability; he is also a global warming expert and I wanted to understand the science of that better. My secondary mentor is Arron Wood (2007 Prime Minister’s Environmentalist of the Year) who has created a business around the role education can play in creating change. What is the best thing about the program? For me it is a combination of things — the advocacy skills, the networking, the mentoring relationships, the greater awareness of all sustainability issues — but most importantly the friendships I have made. What will you be doing/have achieved in five years’ time? I will be involved in best practice wildlife education where we can really be strategic about how we influence people and I will know what change I am driving because I will be implementing well designed behaviour change campaigns and conducting behavioural mapping to monitor my impact. More than 1.6 million people came through our Melbourne zoos last year, and 600 million through all zoos around the world. Zoos have huge sphere of influence so I imagine that I will remain in the zoo system for as long as I feel I can effectively drive change.
Annual Report 2008
Roland Dillon Passionate about social justice and sustainability, lawyer Roland Dillon is learning that ideas without activity are worthless. The Future Sustainability Leaders program is helping him create real change. Background I studied politics and law — I was very passionate about debating and public speaking — and worked at the Australian Government Solicitor before moving to a legal policy role at the EPA. Why Future Sustainability Leaders? I had always felt very strongly about social justice issues, probably more so than sustainability. It was when I saw the incredible waste involved in law offices that I became more “dark green” and I started getting involved in efforts to make the law more sustainable. (Amongst other things, Roland writes a sustainability column for the Law Institute Journal.) I applied to join Future Sustainability Leaders because I wanted to be better at the things I loved to do. I wanted to be able to network with like–minded people and be able to make a difference.
What specific skills have you learned/developed? It isn’t enough just to talk. There is a surplus of information and not enough action. Ideas without activity are worthless. In one workshop, we were shown a “value for effort” graph. It was simple enough — it plotted activities that were high value and low effort; high value and high effort; low effort and low value; and low value and high effort. It really helped me focus on the areas where I could make the most difference. What is your current project? Our project, Just Change, is promoting energy efficient retrofitting of low income private rental properties. At the moment, there is a split incentive between the tenant and landowners which is stopping energy efficiency measures being implemented. We are trying to facilitate the process so there is no cost to the tenant and no cost to the landlord. What change do you hope to create? The course allows participants to go back to their place of work and manage “up and down” with sustainability messages. The change we are creating is that sustainability is not just some appendage to business practice — it has to be an integral part of best practice in everything an organisation does. Describe your mentor relationship My mentor is John Thwaites (former Victorian Deputy Premier and Environment Minister). I was introduced to him through a mutual friend. His mentorship has been invaluable. He is on top of the hill in terms of energy and equity and political expertise. Our relationship is quite informal. We had an initial meeting and I have bumped into him at a number of conferences and he has been able to introduce me to a lot of people. John has also agreed to chair the Just Change advisory panel. His direction and organisational expertise is incredible. He also knows how to ask the most difficult questions, which is one of the most important things any project needs. What is the best thing about the program? It is the unexpected benefits. I expected to learn more about sustainability and a bit more about project expertise and to have a mentor relationship. What I wasn’t expecting was that I’d be able to part of an incredibly highly skilled and dedicated project team working on this very difficult but exciting issue. It is also the friendships, the world–views, the life experiences you take away. Plus the learning that there is no excuse not to have high goals. What will you be doing/have achieved in five years’ time? I want to be looking at smart policy solutions that integrate economic, environmental and social policies — with social policies underlined.
Annual Report 2008
Miyuki Jokiranta Miyuki imagines a world where artists — whose lives are all about leaving a big cultural footprint — can learn how to minimise their ecological footprint. Future Sustainability Leaders is helping her dream become a reality. Background I studied communications and journalism in New York and have worked in media relations, marketing and broadcast journalism. I have a strong interest in international affairs and social issues. I have been a radio arts reporter and, most recently, an environmental science reporter. Why Future Sustainability Leaders? It gave me an opportunity to develop my professional networks, situated within a strong bunch of up and coming leaders. The fact the course was located in Melbourne was a carrot for me to come here. I regard Melbourne as a bit of a hub for not for profit organisations and cultural groups. What specific skills have you learned/developed? Three big things, equally weighted. Firstly, a much deeper and broader understanding of sustainability. Secondly, networks and understanding how they operate and fit in. Thirdly, it’s given me balls. The balls to go up to people and say this is an important issue and you need to listen to me. The fact that I’m surrounded by energetic and energised people gives me the confidence to do so. There was also a lot around patterns of thinking, how to communicate to different audiences. It also invaluable in helping me understanding the political process and knowing the nuts and bolts of how those processes work. What is your current project? Sustainability is a big issue for the arts. One Melbourne theatre company, for example, spends $5 million each year on steel for stage sets. I have started a not for profit organisation called 7000 Oaks, which is an online repository of green information for the arts. It will be a portal for sustainability information such as supplier databases, arts databases, publications, news and events. I also hope to run a sustainable arts festival in parallel.
What change do you hope to create? The creative sector seems to have been left out in the cold in terms of sustainability, while other sectors flooded with information. I will be trying to put the arts on an equal footing with other groups and giving them the tools and opportunities to improve. Describe your mentor relationship Linda Williams is the head of the Art and Sustainability Department at RMIT. She has been just amazing, from helping with my writing, improving my communication skills generally, introducing me to a new network of artists. It has been an extremely productive relationship. What is the best thing about the program? It has been the interactions with participants and guest speakers, the opportunity to have conversations you would not get anywhere else, no matter how much you networked. Future Sustainability Leaders brings together such a specific and unique community. What will you be doing/have achieved in five years’ time? I want to have established a global network of practising artists who address sustainability actively in their work. I want the cultural component of our life, whether it’s theatre, movie theatres, museums, to come on board with sustainability.
Annual Report 2008
Rupert Baker University taught wildlife vet Rupert Baker the technical skills to operate on injured animals, but he realised that fixing animals one at a time was a slow way to protect endangered species. The Future Sustainability Leaders program is now giving him the tools and networks to take action on a much bigger scale. Background I graduated as a vet in 1995 and always wanted to work at Healesville Sanctuary, but it took me a while to get a full time job there. Over the years I have worked with horses, cows, small animals, and with a specialist practice in the UK working with eagles and owls. On returning to Australia I got a temporary job at Healesville and eventually secured the senior vet position. Why Future Sustainability Leaders? To me, sustainability is not so much figuring out what the problem is, it is figuring out the solution, and working out where we go from here. I realised that a bigger effort needs to be made to get to that space and that the Future Sustainability Leaders course could help me. What specific skills have you learned/developed? A greater perspective on the wider issues around sustainability. I am a specialist in the biodiversity area, but through the program, I get to work with people who are lawyers, litter champions, people working for the EPA, people in business. Meeting these people and having those networks gives me a more rounded exposure. I have particularly enjoyed the skills around decision making which I have used quite a bit day to day. The coaching around media skills — interview techniques and understanding what journalists may want from a particular meeting — has also been really useful. What is your current project? Scoping the rollout of a short–course, regional version of the Future Sustainability Leaders program, so that people from regional and remote areas can learn about sustainability leadership. What change do you hope to create? Firstly, I think the course has helped me broaden my horizons in terms of the change I can actually create. The skills I have learnt this year are setting me up for future years — next year I will sit down and re-write my goals and tackle it from there.
Describe your mentor relationship My mentor is Ian McPhail, Commissioner for Environmental Sustainability, and he has opened up my mind as to what I can achieve. Within just a few minutes of meeting me, he talked about a whole vision of where my job and career could go. He was suggesting that, rather being known simply as a vet, I could become a spokesperson for biodiversity. What is the best thing about the program? It has really focussed my commitment. I can now clearly think about what it is I want to do, the changes I want to see in my lifetime for myself and my kids, what has to be done and how I can contribute to that. What will you be doing/have achieved in five years’ time? When I first worked at Healesville, I remember fixing the leg of a particular bird. I was quite proud of the work I did on it. When I came back from England five years later, the population of this bird — the helmeted honeyeater — had dropped by a third. It is a story about sustainability — yes, I could patch up injured animals, but the real benefits would come from learning how to tackle the bigger issues: developing an endangered species program, management of land around the animal, management of societal change. So it is all very well being a technical specialist but if I want to make a bigger impact, it will be in a managerial position and I would love to eventually be director of Healesville Sanctuary.
Annual Report 2008
Sadia Haque Bangladesh has been identified as one of the countries most vulnerable to the ravages of climate change. Bangladeshi Future Sustainability Leaders participant Sadia Haque hopes that one day she can return to her homeland to help improve the lot of climate change refugees. Background Since university I have been actively involved in environmental organisations. I was the Vice-President of Earth Club, a not-for-profit environmental group in Bangladesh, which has worked with more than 1000 members and worked for the UN. I also organised awareness campaigns, raised funds for indigenous communities and built partnerships to protect forest areas while working with USAID. I moved to Australia with my partner and I am now a permanent resident. Why Future Sustainability Leaders? Two things that appealed to me were that it was targeted largely at younger people and that it billed itself as different from university courses — I already had a Bachelor of Science. But to me, the biggest attraction was the networks that came with it, particularly having just arrived in the country.
What specific skills have you learned/developed? Everything! Coming to a new country, I was like a child — I did not know anything about the environmental scene here. The program has helped me immensely. I have learned how to develop our personal visions. All of us in the group want to do lots of things but we don’t always have a focus. The course shows us how to be focused on what we want and what we are passionate about. I am now working as sustainability officer at the City of Port Phillip and I would not have been able to get there in such a short time without everything I have learned. What is your current project? I am doing a report on the feasibility of running a short-course version of the Future Sustainability Leaders program in regional Victoria. The course material is very practical and effective. It is something I would like to take back to Bangladesh. Trialling it in the regions is the first step. What change do you hope to create? My ultimate aim has always been to help climate change refugees in developing nations such as Bangladesh. It is already a reality for many people back home, but I need to increase my expertise before I can see that happening. Describe your mentor relationship I have two mentors, Mike Hill (Sustainability Victoria Board Member) and Marcus Godinho (CEO of Fair Share). Mike has helped me incredibly from the first day I met him. He has been great in terms of introducing me to his networks, which is what I needed so badly. Marcus was involved in our Future Sustainability Leaders project and gave great advice on a lot of the practical issues, such as where to go for funds, how to get good speakers and so on. Best thing about the program? The first thing it does is give you much more confidence in yourself. It also shows you the range of possibilities open to you, the different places you could work and the people you can meet. Unlike a university course, it gives you real life experience and connections. I was invited by the Environment Minister, Gavin Jennings to advise on his Green Paper and it was made possible by my mentor and, of course, Future Sustainability Leaders. Future Sustainability Leaders participants are now part of major decision making processes. What will you be doing/have achieved in five years’ time? Ideally, I’d like to be running my own not-for-profit organisation which is actively helping climate change refugees in developing countries. Climate change is a global issue and I envision that there will be greater partnership between nations to work for better changes.
Annual Report 2008
Project profiles One of the key challenges for participants in the program is to develop and implement a sustainability project that makes a tangible difference to their community. Here we profile a small selection of this year’s projects.
Generous Victorians have donated nearly 60 “pre-loved” bikes to be used in the program, two-thirds of those coming after Jai was interviewed about the project on ABC Radio 774. Georgina, Jai and a team of volunteers renovate the bikes to ensure they are safe and then distribute them to participants. “It’s been an amazing experience,” said Georgina.
On the path to a better future Learning to ride a bike is almost a given for most Australians. For a refugee from a war–torn nation, it can be a life changing experience. Anyone wandering past the Dandenong tennis courts on Saturday mornings this spring might have noticed groups of Sudanese children learning how to stay up on two wheels. The joyous smiles and raucous laughter of the 10 and 11 year–olds would have left onlookers in no doubt that the kids were enjoying the experience. But for Future Sustainability Leaders participants Georgina Morrow and Jai Allison, the “Spokes In The Wheel” project is about much more than good times. For refugees, access to a bike can transform their lives, giving them access to a sustainable and affordable
form of transport, connecting them to other communities and promoting healthy living. “Many of these Sudanese families don’t have any income apart from welfare, so transport is a big part of their weekly costs,” said Georgina. “Compounding the problem is that a number of Sudanese communities are located in areas poorly serviced by public transport.” Georgina, a physiotherapist with an interest in health and sustainability, and Jai, an environmental engineer and avid cyclist, teamed up to form Spokes in the Wheel because of their passionate belief in the ability of cycling to improve lives and the environment. Spokes in the Wheel, working with the Sudanese Australian Integrated Learning (SAIL) Program, not only teaches Sudanese students about cycling, safety and maintenance, but also provides each SAIL family with a bicycle to keep.
“The kids just love riding bikes and the whole community has come along to see what’s going on. Many of the mothers — who aren’t used to bikes or cycling were a bit nervous at first, but we spoke to them about the safety aspects and now they are really enthusiastic. “Once a kid can control a bike, we step things up a bit and focus on manoeuvring skills, changing gears, emergency braking, all the skills that will be needed to safely be on the roads. “We also teach them basic maintenance skills so they can keep the bikes in good condition.” “The project has been a lot of hard work but it’s been great, it’s been so worthwhile. The hard work doesn’t seem to matter when you see the smiles on their faces.” Georgina and Jai eventually hope to get the students to take part in major community cycling events such as Around the Bay in a Day. If the scheme proves successful, they hope to extend it to other communities. Contact Spokes in the Wheel: Georgina 0405 136 487 Jai on 0439 471 749
Bright Sparks Seeking a Just Change
Everyone from Prime Minister Kevin Rudd down has identified that one of the biggest political challenges of an emissions trading scheme is the impact it will have on low income earners. One group of Future Sustainability Leaders participants is taking great strides in developing a program to counter this problem. Their project, “Just Change”, has been developed to reduce barriers to residential energy efficiency for low income renters. There are an estimated 500,000 low income rental households in Victoria alone. While these households use comparatively less energy, they spend a much higher proportion of their overall income on it — a problem likely to be exacerbated by the introduction of an emissions trading scheme. Just Change member Roland Dillon said they were hoping to assist this disadvantaged group adapt to climate change, while promoting social equity through energy efficiency.
Even if they could afford it, installing insulation — the most effective form of energy efficiency — requires the consent of the landlord. Compounding the problem is that information on the financial assistance available for energy efficiency can be difficult to access. Just Change aims to bring landlords and tenants together in a win–win situation. “This issue of split incentives is a world–wide one and it’s only ever really been tackled well in the UK,” said Roland. “There is a lot of funding available for energy efficiency measures. Our job is to bring the two groups together — tenants and landlords — to help them access these funds and to set up formal structures and arrangements to make it easier for both sides.” Roland said the response from the Tenants Union of Victoria and the Real Estate Institute of Victoria had been very encouraging. Just Change is piloting a project involving ten low income households. With subsidies, it is expected to cost $1000 per household to retrofit the homes with insulation, carbon–fluro light bulbs, draught stoppers and water–saving shower heads. The group hopes that if the pilot is successful, it will pave the way for a much wider rollout of the program, with significant environmental and social justice benefits. Just Change comprises Roland, Michaela Lang, Kathryn Bowen, Bonnie Learmonth, Kati Thompson and Dougal McInnes. The Just Change Advisory Board includes former Deputy Premier and Environment Minister John Thwaites, Ian Porter, Senior Consultant at Nous Group and Sustainability Victoria Board Member Mike Hill.
“Energy efficiency is the most cost effective way to reduce emissions in the residential sector,” said Roland. “It is also the easiest way to reduce the financial impact of electricity price increases that will flow from an emissions trading scheme. As a percentage of income, low income households spend twice as much on electricity as average households.” The problem is that landlords have little incentive to retrofit their properties as they incur all the upfront costs and don’t directly benefit from the savings. At the same time, low income households are less likely to be able to find the money to meet the upfront costs, even if the payback period is quite short.
Annual Report 2008
Calling on you to save the gorilla Did you know that by recycling your mobile phone, you can help save endangered gorillas in Africa? Each time your mobile phone rings, a tiny piece of metallic ore known as coltan is making this call possible (coltan is used to coat the phone capacitor). The mining of coltan the Congo River Basin is contributing to forest loss and unrest in the region and is accelerating the loss of mountain gorillas at an alarmingly fast rate. Now, because of a campaign established by Future Sustainability Leaders participant Rachel Lowry, Australians are being asked to help save the gorilla by recycling their old mobile phones.
The “They’re Calling On You” mobile phone recycling program was launched at the Melbourne Zoo by internationally renowned primate expert Jane Goodall in October. By donating their old phones, donors are: • lessening the demand for coltan mining by providing the coltan coated capacitor in their old phone a second life • helping Melbourne Zoo raise money to support the Jane Goodall Institute’s primate conservation work through the sale of refurbished phones • diverting their mobile phones from landfill.
Participant Rachel Lowry with renowned primate expert Jane Goodall at Melbourne Zoo
Rachel, Melbourne Zoo’s Community Conservation Officer, is passionate about the idea of using education to help people emotionally connect with wildlife conservation efforts.
“People can donate their old phones at the zoo or go to our website and print off a postage paid recycling label, meaning that the phone can be returned at no cost to them.”
She believes that helping Australians understand the implications of their individual actions — in this case the purchase of a new mobile phone — will open their eyes and hearts to the need to take action.
The corporate sector is also encouraged to support the program and can donate a fleet of mobile phones by calling a free collection service listed on the campaign website.
“People generally aren’t aware of the consequences of their actions, that someone living in Australia and buying a mobile phone can be having an impact on an endangered species in Africa,” said Rachel. “The beauty of the They’re Calling On You campaign is that it not only makes it easy for Australians to understand the implications of their purchasing, but it makes it easy for them to take action.
Rachel said she hoped to be able to collect 50,000 mobile phones in the first 12 months of the campaign. So how does coltan affect the gorilla population? Rachel says that 80 per cent of the world’s coltan reserves are located in Africa, most in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Despite coltan mining being illegal in the DRC, it is estimated that in 2004 alone, more than 10,000 people moved into the Kahuzi–Biega National Park
to work in the illegal mining industry. Thousands of wildlife were being killed and sold as bush meat to the miners and rebel armies that control the area, thus wiping out an entire population of elephants and decimating more than ninety percent of the Mountain Gorilla population. This has left the species on the brink of extinction. Launching the They’re Calling On You campaign has been a lot of hard work for Rachel, but it’s also been incredibly rewarding. It also gave her the chance to meet one of her heroes, the legendary Jane Goodall. Contact We’re Calling On You: www.zoo.org.au/melbourne.
Annual Report 2008
Centre Stage: Spotlight on Sustainability Leadership
As an organisation, we understand the importance of sustaining a media presence. A component of the Future Sustainability Leaders course is based around dealing with and using the media to promote issues of sustainability.
Participants in the Future Sustainability Leaders program are expected to have at least three mentions in the media. They can be in any form, from a letter to the editor, profile, or news article. For the Centre for Sustainability Leadership this is not only part of the curriculum, it is a strong belief that in order for change to happen, media is one of the tools needed to bring about this change.
“Greening by Example” The Age, March 24 2008
This article focuses on Larissa Brown, founder of the Centre for Sustainability Leadership and her journey to a more sustainable future. This was a personal profile of what motivated Larissa to establish the Centre for Sustainability Leadership and what the Future Sustainability Leaders program involves. It also profiled several graduates.
“Gambling the future?” WME Magazine May 2008
This article outlined how established leaders in the business community can encourage young people to actively make a difference. Cameron Brown, Chair of the Centre, wrote this piece that was published in May this year. It also reflected on the ways the Future Sustainability Leaders graduates have already made a positive impact on business.
9am with David and Kim, August 19, 2008
“Green collar careers” The Age, May 3, 2008
Danielle Bendall is one of the Future Sustainability Leaders program’s alumni, and was profiled about her career changes as a result of her involvement in the program. Through her participation in the program and with the help of her mentor, Mike Hill, she helped create a new sustainability and corporate responsibility role in her company.
“Training in sustaining” The Green Lifestyle Magazine, May 2008
The magazine included a feature of Larissa, the Centre for Sustainability Leadership and the success of a Future Sustainability Leaders graduate. This was another large feature article; the journalist reporting was in awe of the achievements and vision of Larissa and the Centre as an organisation.
In August Larissa and Professor Rob Adams, the Prime Minister’s Environmentalist of the Year, appeared on 9am with David and Kim. They discussed their awards and what they were doing for the environment. This was a substantial interview on the show and gave them both the chance to share “their passion and vision for the environment”, as the 9am website describes. There have been many other mentions of the Centre for Sustainability Leadership, Future Sustainability Leaders, our participants, graduates, mentors, speakers and volunteers. This is an ongoing mission to raise the profile of the Centre for Sustainability Leadership and in doing so help share our knowledge and passion for a sustainable future.
Banksia Awards, July 18, 2008 One of the biggest successes of the year was at the Banksia Awards in July this year. Future Sustainability Leaders was a finalist in the Education section, and Larissa Brown was the winner of the Environment Minister’s Young Environmentalist of the Year. This had substantial coverage in the media, with television coverage of the award ceremony, and multiple print and online news stories. The Banksia Awards are the most prestigious environmental award in Australia, and aims to promote environmental excellence and sustainability.
Annual Report 2008
Since starting in 2005, around 100 people have graduated from the Future Sustainability Leaders program. Here we profile a selection of some of our alumni and highlight the change they are creating in our community.
Emily Tyson Drought and climate action officer, Northern Grampians Shire Council
Sustainable Cities Research Officer, VEIL (Victorian Eco-Innovation Lab) “The media skills I learnt were just invaluable.” Ferne Edwards was already active in sustainability before joining the Future Sustainability Leaders course, but saw the program as a chance to help her make a real difference. “I thought the program would provide me with some useful skills to fully develop my involvement in the environmental field — and it did. In particular, the media skills I learnt were just invaluable.” After being introduced to radio broadcasting in the course, Ferne went on to broadcast a number of environmental radio programs. Ferne now works full time as a Sustainable Cities Research Officer as part of the Victorian Eco-Innovation Lab (VEIL) project. The program is a Victorian government-funded initiative that aims to identify and promote emerging technical and social innovations that could form part of future sustainable systems. “My role in the program is to research and map current social and environmental innovations that could build towards achieving such visions, so the Future Sustainability Leaders course has stood me in great stead.” Ferne also went on to teach an elective subject at RMIT University called Meals in Metropolis, which explores the idea of more sustainable urban agricultural models.
“The Future Sustainability Leaders program has helped to sharpen my skills, increase my confidence and boost my enthusiasm and motivation to achieve big things” Emily Tyson is working at the frontline of rural Australia’s battle against drought and the impact of climate change. It’s a tough task that she may not have been ready to tackle if not for her participation in the Future Sustainability Leaders program. “The program helped to sharpen my skills, increase my confidence and boost my enthusiasm and motivation to achieve big things.” Coming from rural Victoria, Emily felt the need to connect to other young people with similar passions.
“I was also keen to learn about other leaders and career paths to help me make decisions about what directions I wished to pursue,” she said. Emily is now working at the Northern Grampians Shire Council as drought and climate action officer. She works directly with rural communities, farmers and the council to help them adapt to climate change. Emily is also using her new found leadership confidence to set up a climate change network for young people in the Western and Wimmera districts. She is also active in raising community awareness on climate change through various local campaigns.
Serena De Kretser
Environmental, Social and Governance Analyst, Monash Sustainability Enterprises
Communications director, Republic of Everyone
“Future Sustainability Leaders opened my eyes to a whole new world of sustainability and I’m very grateful I had the opportunity to do the course.” Serena De Kretser now sits in the powerful position of assessing how ASX200 companies perform on sustainability: her advice can determine how billions of dollars in funds is invested. It’s a far cry from her days as a graphic designer and she believes she has the FSL program to thank. “The program opened my eyes to a whole new world of sustainability and I’m very grateful I had the opportunity to do the course.” When Serena applied for the program in 2005 she was studying business and law. “Future Sustainability Leaders gave me a really good overview of the concepts of sustainability and exposed me to the thoughts of a variety of different people from different disciplines. Afterwards I was very sure of my future path and spent the last couple of years in my degree and my elective subjects in the School of Geography and Environmental Science.” Serena now works as an Environmental, Social & Governance (ESG) Analyst at Monash Sustainability Enterprises. “My analysis gets fed into the large superannuation fund managers and mainstream financial analysts and forms the background research for Ethical and Sustainability Investment,” she said. Following the assessing process, Serena’s job is to engage with the bad performers in an attempt to help them improve their ratings. Her passion for sustainability doesn’t end at work: Serena helps run the sustainability program at her child’s kindergarten.
“Future Sustainability Leaders gave me a sense of independence and the confidence to act on turning my dream into reality.” Matt Perry’s dream of setting up his own sustainable advertising agency has come to fruition, thanks to the Future Sustainability Leaders program. “My personal vision had been to set up an advertising agency that ultimately contributed to social or environmental good. But for years it had remained only that — a vision. The program gave me a sense of independence and the confidence to act on turning my dream into reality.” His new agency, Republic of Everyone, only works with brands who want to make green, ethical and sustainable an everyday part of what they do. “We describe ourselves as a sustainability agency, not so much an advertising agency. It is about ultimately helping clients make better profits but they have to be doing some kind of good elsewhere — environmentally, socially or ethically.” Matt is using the skills learnt in the program to build his business. Already he is working with leading brands such as Toyota and is excited about working with more and more leading brands and companies.
Will Tait Performing artist, Our Planet Enterprises “Future Sustainability Leaders was a very inspiring experience. It has been critical in helping me articulate my personal motivations and vision in regard to sustainability” Artist and actor Will Tait performs weekly skits and shows with a twist — the subject matter is sustainability. Will’s theatre company, Our Planet Enterprises, stages shows in schools and at environmental functions with sustainability as the main theme. “Our goal is to find fun, meaningful and accessible ways of spreading our knowledge about sustainability,” said Will. “The key is to leave students with fond and lasting memories, without them feeling like they have been preached to.” Will says the course was instrumental in clarifying his purpose. “Future Sustainability Leaders was a very inspiring experience,” he said. “It has been critical in helping me articulate my personal motivations and vision in regard to sustainability. In a sense it helped me rediscover my sense of direction. I have been able to achieve so much more in the time since completing the course.”
Annual Report 2008
Alumni profiles Ragnar Habjoeern OzGREEN program coordinator “Future Sustainability Leaders has transformed me into the ecologically minded professional deep down in my heart I always wanted to be.” Former science teacher Ragnar Habjoeern saw the Future Sustainability Leaders program as the perfect vehicle to take his career down the sustainability road. “Future Sustainability Leaders has transformed me into the ecologically minded professional deep down in my heart I always wanted to be. The program introduced me to the crème de la crème of Melbourne’s young, up and coming sustainability leaders. Every Tuesday I felt I was part of a team, part of something exciting and part of the change that needed to be happening.” Ragnar now works at OzGREEN, which aims to empower people and their communities to engage with sustainability challenges and create positive changes. Ragnar recently travelled more than 5000 kilometres conducting OzGREEN’s MYRiveR Murray program. “MYRiveR builds the capacity of hundreds of young people, their families and communities to be informed and active participants in restoring landscapes to health and building sustainable ways of living and working,” Ragnar said. As part of the program, Ragnar issued press releases and conducted radio and TV interviews. “It was great to be able to walk in front of a camera and microphone and be prepared and confident all due to the program’s media training,” he said.
Michael Chew Organiser, Walk against Warming “It has given me a broader network of people and wonderful experiences discussing important ideas.” Michael Chew has always been passionate about sustainability but felt he needed the skills to be able to make a difference. Enter the Future Sustainability Leaders program.
“It has given me a broader network of people, wonderful experiences discussing important ideas, and I learnt core skills such as problem solving and ideas evaluation,” he said. Michael’s particular passion is how art can be used to communicate strong messages about sustainability. In early 2008, he ran the future vision quilt project at the Sustainable Living Festival in Melbourne, which encouraged festival–goers to solidify their future visions of a better world in colour and ink. It was then collected and assembled onto a large quilt — the “Positive Future Visions” quilt. Michael also organised Future Lab, a two day workshop for young people exploring future progressive visions of Melbourne. Michael now works part time at Environment Victoria organising yet another significant environmental event: Walk Against Warming, which is being held in Sydney and Melbourne.
Jo Bidwell Researcher, Building Commission “The mentorship program gave me a fantastic sounding board and was really invaluable.” Jo Bidwell is using the skills and confidence she learnt in the Future Sustainability Leaders program to help thousands of Victorians live greener lives. As a researcher at the Building Commission, Jo is working on a number of projects to help Victorians make their homes more green– friendly. She is also a member of the Commission’s sustainability committee. “Before the course, I needed to increase my knowledge about sustainability and I didn’t know how much I could achieve as an individual. Now, I am more confident and determined to make a niche for myself and feel better prepared to do something about it.” Besides being thankful for the skills she learnt through Future Sustainability Leaders, Jo is extremely grateful for the mentorship experience. “The mentorship program gave me a fantastic sounding board and was really invaluable,” she said.
Steph Smith Youth leader and student “Future Sustainability Leaders introduced me to a diverse community of inspiring, motivated people with whom I can work to achieve a sustainable future.” For Steph Smith, the appeal of the program was simple. “I was really interested in Future Sustainability Leaders because it was a program that attempted to address the imbalance between the importance of environmental sustainability and its low priority on the leadership front.” A year after completing the course, Steph is practising what she preaches. Steph has joined the national steering committee of the Australian Youth Climate Coalition and is heavily involved in their policy and international working groups. Steph has also started an internship with World Vision Australia, developing a leadership program for young volunteers. She is also continuing her work with Vision Generation, a youth social justice organisation. “Future Sustainability Leaders introduced me to a diverse community of inspiring, motivated people with whom I can work to achieve a sustainable future,” Steph says. “I still keep in touch with my project group mates to discuss potential ideas and solutions. It is such a fantastic network.”
Ben Heard Senior Consultant, Maunsell Sustainability and Climate Change group “Future Sustainability Leaders helped me to consolidate a career change into sustainability work.” Occupational therapist Ben Heard used the Future Sustainability Leaders program as a springboard for his new career in sustainability. Now he’s advising a wide range of organisations, including private companies and local, state and federal governments, on sustainability issues. “I had graduated in 2001 in occupational therapy but after a few years was looking for opportunities
to begin moving in the sustainability professional circle. I wanted to develop my skills, knowledge and networks in order to be a more qualified and effective sustainability consultant.” It was then that Ben came across the Future Sustainability Leaders course and decided to give it a go, hoping it would help him in his change of career path. “The course was an invaluable networking and professional development experience. It helped me to consolidate a career change into sustainability work,” he said. Now a senior consultant at Maunsell, Ben still keeps in touch with his former program colleagues. “I still have friends and professional contacts from Future Sustainability Leaders and my current job and career path developed out of the Future Sustainability Leaders network.”
Huong Truong Student, Masters in Environment and Planning RMIT “I learned a lot about Melbourne’s sustainability scene through the course and I keep learning new ways to shape and share the world as I see it.” Prior to joining Future Sustainability Leaders, Huong Truong was cynical about the possibility of dealing with the many complex sustainability issues we face. Now she’s convinced that change can happen — and she’s working hard to be part of the solution.
Manager, Conservo & Sustainiversity
Industry Adviser (water), Australian Industry Group
“Future Sustainability Leaders was a great opportunity to polish the skills that I’d need to become a real sustainability leader.” Like a lot of young people, Daniel Epstein was confused about where to take his career. When he came across the Future Sustainability Leaders course, he realised the potential in it and how it could help him in deciding on a career path. “The course came at a perfect time for me,” he said. “Future Sustainability Leaders was a great opportunity to polish the skills that I’d need to become a real sustainability leader. The mentorship program is a very positive experience and an important part of the course. My relationship with all my mentors was really open, honest and productive.” Most of all, Daniel was thankful for the group of friends he made through the course.
At the 2007 Federal election, Huong ran as a Greens candidate and she is now working at the not-for-profit community group Beyond Zero Emissions, as well as completing her post-graduate study.
“I went from not knowing many people in the sustainability industry to knowing many through the course.”
“I applied for the course on the chance that I might learn about how other people wanted to change the world — young, old, corporate, idealistic or otherwise. I saw the program as an opportunity to see if I could do more than be cynical about our chances of dealing with climate change and politics as usual.” The course ended her cynicism.
In June 2007, Daniel set up Melbourne’s first biofuel service station, Conservo, and is setting up more outlets offering sustainable fuel. He is also working on Sustainiversity, the education arm of Conservo, working with auditors and branding specialists to assist companies become more sustainable and on how to communicate the results.
“I learned a lot about Melbourne’s sustainability scene and I keep learning new ways to shape and share the world as I see it,” she said.
“University taught me a lot about the problems but I didn’t know how to make any changes. Future Sustainability Leaders really gave me the skills I needed to create change.” A uni student, scout leader, outdoors enthusiast and passionate environmentalist, Gordon Young was disillusioned. “University had taught me a lot about the problems but I didn’t know how to make any changes. I’d become used to getting a lot of emails about different courses and programs that promised to help me get there.” Then he received an email with information about the course. “The Future Sustainability Leaders course matched exactly what I was looking for at the time — the skills and leadership ability to communicate really well. In the end, the course really gave me the skills I needed to create change.” After graduation, Gordon joined the Australian Industry Group as the water management action plans (waterMAP) industry adviser. “I run a project to help industry implement water management action plans, including state-wide seminars, feasibility and investigative studies, capital assistance and a series of fact sheets and case studies,” he said. In September, Gordon and his ex– Future Sustainability Leaders course mate, Stacey Bloomfield ran the Sustainability Youth Forum at RMIT’s Storey Hall. “We had 40 delegates and it was a great success,” Gordon said. Annual Report 2008
Alumni profiles Wyan Carter Project Co-ordinator, Oxfam Australia and Alumni Director of CSL “Being a leader means taking responsibility for the change I want to see.” To Wyan Carter, leadership is all about personal responsibility. Having benefited from the Future Sustainability Leaders program, he’s now helping other young leaders as Alumni Director of the Centre for Sustainability Leadership.
Forestry and Climate Change Consultant
Researcher, Philanthropy Australia; Delegate, Australian Youth Climate Coalition
“The course prompted me to pursue a completely new career path.” Samantha Citroen’s motives for taking part in the Future Sustainability Leaders program were mixed — a combination of curiosity and enthusiasm and a desire to learn more about sustainability. It turned into a life changing experience. “It prompted me to pursue a completely new career path that I would not have otherwise and to undertake further study in a new area.” The course had given her the drive and confidence she needed to pursue her ideas and tackle everything related to sustainability and the environment. And the icing on the cake for her is the network of like-minded people she met through the program. Samantha is now working for an international consultancy firm as a Forestry and Climate Change Consultant. “I work on projects throughout the Asia–Pacific for companies that either want to sell or invest in carbon offsets through tree plantings; on climate change and forest policy development; and illegal logging and timber trading.” A recent highlight was being selected as the Youth representative for the Australian Government Delegation to attend the United Nations Forum on Forests in New York. 42
“(Future Sustainability Leaders) really filled the gap in teaching me project management skills which I didn’t learn at all in University” A trip to East Timor and then participation in the Future Sustainability Leaders course completely changed Jack Fuller’s life. The neuroscience student had planned a quiet life in academia — now he is an active and passionate campaigner for sustainability. “It’s been a big turnaround for me,” he said. “I changed my degree from neuroscience to looking at climate change adaptation. And Future Sustainability Leaders really filled the gap in teaching me project management skills which I didn’t learn at all in university.” Since completing the course in 2007, he had been heavily involved in the sustainability field, setting up his own projects and leading organizations towards sustainability visions. He is currently on the policy team of the Australian Youth Climate Coalition and is in charge of developing climate policies. Jack is a delegate to the United Nations Climate Change negotiations in Poland.
“The Future Sustainability Leaders program changed me from someone who was frustrated at my lack of ability to address problems with the world into someone who takes responsibility for these problems and engages with them,” he said. “To me being a leader means taking responsibility for the change I want to see, which is what I’ve set about doing since completing the course.” Today, he works full–time at Oxfam Australia, an international aid and development NGO. But he still finds time to volunteer for other organizations, including the Centre for Sustainability Leadership. “As Alumni Director, I’m responsible for keeping the alumni connected, as well as providing further training and development opportunities.” Wyan had also started a company that aims to promote sustainability knowledge, Get Earthed, with two other Future Sustainability Leaders participants, Gemma Harbutt and Siska Waddington.
Julienne Hortle Research Associate, Victorian Court of Appeal “The mentorship with Julian Burnside was life changing and paradigm expanding.” For law student Julienne Hortle, having esteemed QC Julian Burnside as her mentor during the Future Sustainability Leaders program was a life changing experience.
Alumni profiles “The mentorship experience was amazing, and somewhat surreal,” she said.
“Throughout the year I caught up with Julian several times and sat in on one of his cases. I can definitely say that the mentorship was life changing and paradigm expanding. We got along so well that the mentorship has continued post–Future Sustainability Leaders.”
“Future Sustainability Leaders was the course I had always dreamt of doing.”
The other main benefit of the program was the connections she made with other participants. “The main way in which the program influenced my life was by allowing me to meet so many interesting people, all of whom expanded my mind and helped me to see the world through greener–coloured glasses,” she said. After finishing her Arts/Law degree, Julienne began working as a research associate at the Court of Appeal. She believes the skills she learnt will be put to good use one day soon. “I am still hoping to save at least one rainforest before I die, or prevent at least one pulp mill from being built,” she said.
Co-ordinator, Fair Trade Fortnight
For Victoria Schladetsch, the Future Sustainability Leaders program was a chance to complement her theoretical understanding of sustainability with some hard-edged practical experience and skills. “Future Sustainability Leaders was the course I had always dreamt of doing, yet had never thought existed,” she said. “When I look at what I am doing now, I don’t feel I’m at all the same person I was a year ago (prior to joining the course). There is no way I would have had the guts to do half the things that I do now.” In fact, that passion prompted her to quit her full-time job this year to concentrate on the project she developed a year ago as a part of the Future Sustainability Leaders program — The Fair Trade Fortnight.
The event was the Fair Trade Association’s biggest celebration and promotion of fair trade products across Australia and New Zealand. Victoria was in charge of co-ordinating the event, including activities such as a Fair Trade latte art challenge and an ethical no-sweat fashion parade. Thanks to Victoria’s great planning skills and the confidence she gained from the program, the audience numbers skyrocketed from 500 in 2007 to almost 10,000 in 2008.
John Conallin PhD Fellow, Roskilde University, Denmark “Future Sustainability Leaders showed me there were others my age who believed in change.” Three years ago, John Conallin was despairing at his inability to get people to take sustainability seriously. Then he decided to join the Future Sustainability Leaders program and everything changed. “The program showed me that there were others my age that believed and were also trying to incorporate this into their lives. It was comforting and inspiring at the same time.” Not only did John graduate from the program with renewed faith in sustainability issues, he left a valuable contact book too. “I gained a strong network of very good friends that I still keep in contact with and we get together whenever I am in the country to discuss sustainability issues,” he said. Since graduating from Future Sustainability Leaders, John has become involved in various environmental causes. He has stepped up a carbon neutral biodiversity program on his parents’ farm, fencing off 20 hectares of river, creek and billabong frontage, planting 10,000 understorey shrubs and trees and restocking the creeks with native fish. John has also joined WWF’s Australian division and donated to the Rainforest Rescue Foundation. Now a PhD fellow at Roskilde University in Denmark working on native fish habitats, John says he uses what he learnt from the program in “every aspect of my life, every day”. Annual Report 2008
Alumni profiles Anna Lohse Project manager, ResourceSmart, Sustainability Victoria “I am now more self aware and confident in my skills as a leader and feel better equipped to use my strengths to create change.” For Anna Lohse, the Future Sustainability Leaders program felt like the beginning of a new life. “Before the course, I felt entirely helpless about the state of the world and the pace of change. I wanted to take more control and responsibility.” The eight month course made a world of difference. “I am now more self aware and confident in my skills as a leader and feel better equipped to use my strengths to create change,” she said. “I am more focused on what I want to achieve and how to be most effective.” The most inspiring aspect of the course was her mentorship with environmentalist Rob Gell and Ian McPhail, Commissioner for Environmental Sustainability. “They provided inspiration, a sounding board, wise and thought provoking advice, amazing experience and useful contacts,” she said.
Anna is a project manager with Sustainability Victoria on the ResourceSmart program. Her job is to train up and support state government agencies to adopt sustainable practices within their organisations. Anna is also working on her very own sustainability project, affectionately named NannaTechnology. It is a networking and information program to promote a more sustainable lifestyle — the way Nanna used to live. “It is about promoting simpler living that is better for the planet, communities and individuals,” she said.
Kam Ho Consultant, Expiscor Solutions; Student, Masters in Environmental Engineering, Melbourne University. “The Future Sustainability Leaders course assisted me in making positive career–changing decisions.” At just 23, Kam Ho is finalising his Masters degree in Environmental Engineering and has set up his own five–person consultancy, which aims to transform businesses big and small into sustainable organisations. The idea for the sustainability consultancy, known as Expiscor Solutions, came because of the Future Sustainability
Leaders course. Expiscor is set to be one of Australia’s first not-for-profit consultancy firms with products and services in energy, environment and sustainable computing. “The Future Sustainability Leaders program helped seal my interest and passion in the environmental sector and it assisted me in making positive career-changing decisions. With an extensive list of mentors, innovative workshop sessions and the ability to improve on numerous skills, it was a fantastic learning opportunity.” Kam says the program also opened his eyes to his role as a responsible engineer and a citizen of the world. “I honestly believe that deep down, everyone has a connection to our environment, regardless of whether they would pursue a career in that path,” he said. “However, the course helped me understand that as engineers, who are typically seen as ‘problem solvers’, are really ‘opportunity creators’ and it is our responsibility and ability as engineers to create a more sustainable world.”
Curtis Riddington Evaluator, Clear Horizon and Tutor, RMIT “Future Sustainability Leaders inspired and motivated me to get out and do something — anything… To act and make the world a better place.” Curtis Riddington joined the course at a time when he was entering a new phase of his life. “I figured building on my leadership skills was a key area that would enable me to have the greatest impact in my life,” he said. And Future Sustainability Leaders proved to be a right choice for Curtis. Through the course, he was given inspiration and motivation to make a change in the world. He also gained a valuable network of like minded people who provided him with support in his actions. But to Curtis, the most important thing he learnt through Future Sustainability Leaders was to believe in himself.
Gemma Harbutt Completing a Masters in Ecotourism “I now have the confidence to create change on my own and I’m not scared of other people’s negative opinions.” The word passionate is not strong enough to describe Gemma Harbutt’s commitment to the environment. However, she realised her enthusiasm made her the odd one out among her peers. “I felt that caring so much isolated me a bit from people and (I) wanted to meet a group of others who felt the same,” she said.
“Through practice — through getting up and speaking and testing my ideas — my confidence in my own abilities became stronger,” he said. Curtis is currently working at a monitoring, planning and evaluation company, Clear Horizon, which comprises a group of enthusiastic and passionate professionals who also share a passion for corporate social responsibility. The work is mainly directed at environmental and community based programs. In addition to his dream job, Curtis has also started tutoring natural resource management at RMIT.
Emily Blyth Volunteer, The Ripple Effect “Future Sustainability Leaders has increased my knowledge and concern for the environment, encouraging me to think about my environmental actions more in depth than in the past.” Emily Blyth’s passion for social justice led her on the path to sustainability and
to the door of the Future Sustainability Leaders program. As a volunteer with the not-for-profit aid organisation The Ripple Effect, Emily saw the link between poverty and sustainability. “I felt I needed to expand my knowledge and meet people involved in sustainability. It was time for me to challenge myself and my own understandings of environmental issues,” she said. Emily was rapt with the outcomes. “Future Sustainability Leaders has increased my knowledge and concern for the environment, encouraging me to think about my environmental actions more in depth than in the past.” Since graduating, Emily has expanded her role with The Ripple Effect, which works with schools to develop projects that change the lives of young Thai children and their communities. She has also used her skills and knowledge to build and encourage more sustainable methods in the aid the organisation supplies.
Having completed the Future Sustainability Leaders program, she graduated with life long friends who shared the same dreams as her. “I now have the confidence to create change on my own and I’m not scared of other people’s negative opinions. I have found direction in my life and have now forged an exciting career path for myself.” Having a former Environmentalist of the Year as a mentor during the program helped a lot too. “My mentor, Arron Wood, was inspirational but very, very busy! He helped me realise that most of the barriers to change we create in our heads and all of them are weak enough to break,” she said. Determined to continue her mission in sustainability, Gemma is now doing a Masters in Tourism in order for her to be able to shape the future of Ecotourism. She and two other Future Sustainability Leaders participants, Wyan Carter and Siska Waddington, also transformed their group project into a company, Get Earthed, which aims to translate sustainability to the general public. Annual Report 2008
Staff and volunteer profiles
Joshua Chralowicz Chief Operations Officer As Chief Operations Officer, Joshua is responsible for administration, recruitment, technology, training and development, as well as ongoing liaison with all of the Centre’s volunteers. Joshua is an expert in Client Services and Project Management having spent the past 10 years working with companies including Computer Sciences Corporation, IBM, Optus and SAP on various implementation and integration projects.
Ken Wright Book-keeper Ken Wright brings a lifetime of financial experience to his role as the Centre’s accountant. Ken graduated from the University of Melbourne as a Bachelor of Engineering and Doctor of Commerce. He is a Fellow of the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia and a Fellow of CPA Australia. Following his retirement from the Fitzgerald Chair of Accounting at Melbourne University in 1989, he worked as a financial planner till 2002.
Tony Robertson Communications Manager Tony Robertson, former Group Manager of Corporate Affairs at national energy infrastructure company Alinta Limited, operates at the intersection of business, politics and the media. A former political advisor, communications consultant and journalist, Tony brings a wealth of real world experience to the Centre’s media, communications and stakeholder relations efforts.
Geoffrey Denans Sustainability Manager With a Masters degree majoring in both Environmental Sciences and Sustainable Planning, Geoffrey has supervised several projects across Europe. His field of expertise lies particularly in sustainable project management which he developed within not-for-profit organisations, governmental agencies and consultancies. As Sustainability Manager of the Centre for Sustainability Leadership, Geoffrey oversees the implementation of sustainable practices and policies within the office.
Cory Mathieson Summer Internship Program Manager In leading the inaugural Centre for Sustainability Leadership Summer Internship program, Cory drew upon his rural roots, Certificate IV HR Traineeship and course knowledge from the Arts/Commerce degree he currently studies. Cory’s involvement in numerous successful teams, including the winning team at the 2004 Australian Business Week Finals, enabled Cory to orchestrate a cohesive and enjoyable program.
Annual Report 2008
Staff and volunteer profiles Anastasia Lambadaridis Speakers’ Bureau Manager Anastasia, who runs the Centre’s Speakers Bureau, is a creative and practical individual with a passion for marketing communications used to advance a social cause, idea or behaviour. She has more than 12 years marketing communications experience and holds a Bachelor of Commerce, Certificate in Direct Marketing and a Certificate in Horticulture. Anastasia has worked with organisations such as Mayne Health, Sussan and the Essendon Football Club.
Bonnie Learmonth FSL Course Administrator Bonnie has a Bachelor of Arts and Science Degree, majoring in environmental geography. Her role is to oversee the Future Sustainability Leaders program, ensuring participants are happy and that the course runs smoothly. “I add to the organisation’s already large pool of passionate people wanting to see stronger leadership in creating a more sustainable future.”
Vicki Jaeger Documentarian Vicki is bringing years of experience in television and design to help raise the profile of the Cetnre for Sustainability Leadership. Now retired, Vicki has volunteered to film the Future Sustainability Leaders students over the 2008 year for documentary purposes. She volunteers her time because she believes the Future Sustainability Leaders course provides a major contribution to a sustainable future.
Lauren Watson Graphic Designer Lauren Watson is a Melbourne-based designer with over seven years’ experience working in branding, print and web design. Lauren is responsible for the design of the Centre’s new logo and brand materials and brings a creative and practical approach to marketing and communications.
Tessa Mudge Media intern Tessa, a journalism student at RMIT, has been juggling her studies and work with her media internship at the Centre for Sustainability Leadership. Tessa has been helping with the annual report and other communications projects.
Staff and volunteer profiles Marlies van der Meulen Overseas intern Marlies is pleased to be able to give practical application to the skills she is learning as Business Administration student in the Netherlands. “My work is varied and challenging, which is a great opportunity for me to experience and execute different roles. I have been involved in research on the Global Future Sustainability Leaders program, organising several events and the grant application funding process.”
Online Program Volunteer
Mentorship Program Manager
Bojun, who has first class honours in zoology as well as a graduate diploma in journalism from RMIT, has combined his passion for the environment with his media skills to produce a short documentary profiling three Future Sustainability Leaders program graduates. Bojun is currently Media Manager at the Alternative Technology Association, Australia’s leading not-for-profit organisation promoting sustainable technology and practice in the home.
Mathias joined the Centre for Sustainability Leadership in April 2008 to develop a business plan for the Global Future Sustainability Leaders program which will serve as a key document to establish partnerships and obtain funding to take the Future Sustainability Leaders program global. He brings a wealth of experience from his consulting role with Sustainable Business Practices, an MBA and previous work experience as an engineer in Chile.
A graduate of the inaugural Future Sustainability Leaders program, Lauren has coordinated the Mentorship component of the course since 2006. Over the last two years Lauren has managed a successful sport and recreation program in a remote community of the Western Desert Lauren was a participant in the 2008 Brightest Young Minds summit, an Australian delegate to the 2007 UNESCO General Conference in Paris, the rapporteur of the drafting committee of the Pacific Youth Charter, and is the current editor of the Red Cross Youth e-Zine.
Robin, who recently graduated from secondary school in Germany, is spending his gap year in Australia studying English and doing a six month internship with the Centre as operations assistant. Robin believes proficiency in foreign languages will be an important precondition for his tertiary studies in politics and business.
Scott Whiffin was until recently the general manager of media relations at Coles Myer. Prior to that, he was a State Government press secretary with responsibilities across a range of portfolios including Police and Emergency Services, State Development, Small Business, Tourism and Fair Trading. His abiding interest is in making a positive contribution to the development of a more sustainable and responsible world.
Carene Chong Media intern Carene Chong brings to the Centre for Sustainability Leadership a passion for writing and for the environment. A second year journalism student at RMIT, Carene has helped with the Centre’s annual report and a range of communications projects.
“Leadership is critical in tackling climate change and water scarcity. I’ve witnessed first hand how the Future Sustainability Leaders program is empowering the next generation of business, government and community leaders to address these key issues of our time.” Mick Bourke, Chairman, EPA Victoria Annual Report 2008
Cameron Brown Chair Cameron has been working to develop the Centre for Sustainability Leadership since 2006. As Chairman, he has focused on developing the board, creating sustainable funding models and setting the strategic direction for the organisation. Cameron is a Team Leader within EPA Victoria’s Business Sustainability Unit. He participated in the Federal Governments Australia–Korea Young Leaders Exchange Program in 2007 and was a recipient of a 2008 Future Summit Leadership Award.
Phillip Kingston Vice Chair Phillip Kingston is the CEO of Flogd and serves on the advisory boards of a number of Australian internet start-up companies. He is currently in his fifth year studying a Bachelor of Science/Bachelor of Commerce at the University of Melbourne and has research interests in mathematical finance, mathematical physics and behaviourial economics. He also volunteers at the Oaktree Foundation, previously as the Head of Networks, and now in a consulting capacity. He is particularly interested in developing mutual benefit between not-for-profit organisations and businesses. Phillip hopes to use his experience in fundraising, and his unique perspective on business affiliation to help enhance the impact of tomorrow’s sustainability leaders.
Larissa Brown Executive Director Larissa Brown is the 2008 Australian Young Environmentalist of the Year. She is the founder and executive director of the Centre for Sustainability Leadership, recipient of the 2006 British Council award for Communicating Climate Change and the 2006 Brian Robinson Fellowship. Larissa has personally interviewed 100 of the world’s greatest sustainability leaders across 20 countries and five continents on what it takes to cause real systemic change towards a sustainable world. Larissa was named as one of Melbourne 100 most influential people and one of Melbourne’s ten most influential environmentalists by The Age Magazine in 2007.
Sarah Roache Secretary Sarah graduated from the University of Melbourne in 2006 with degrees in Law (Hons) and Arts. During her studies, Sarah worked as a political intern, researching the regulation of materials recycling in Melbourne’s Green Wedges and the broader environmental impacts of industrial recycling techniques. Sarah is a lawyer in the Project Litigation department at Slater & Gordon, with experience in shareholder class actions and trade practices litigation. Sarah is also part of the team pursuing justice against big tobacco. Sarah brings to the Centre for Sustainability Leadership her experience and knowledge in the areas of litigation, environment and planning law and Australian politics.
Nisansala Peries, Treasurer Nisansala Peries is an Assistant Manager at KPMG. She is a Chartered Accountant, is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia, holds a Graduate Certificate from the Insolvency Practitioners Association of Australia and a bachelor degree in Commerce and Science from the University of Melbourne. Nisansala works with a range of businesses and industries, including consumer markets and retail, manufacturing, professional services and investment entities. At the Centre for Sustainability Leadership, Nisansala’s role is to make sure that from a financial standpoint, the Centre is beyond reproach. Nisansala has put in place operational improvements and financial internal controls to effect a smoother running of the Centre’s operations, updated the Centre’s cashflow model and put into place initiatives to improve the Centre’s financial system.
James Gifford Board Member James Gifford is the Executive Director for Principles for Responsible Investment, a joint project of UNEP Finance Initiative and the UN Global Compact. He has lead the initiative since its inception in 2003, and was also a member of the Global Reporting Initiative Working Group that developed environmental indicators for the finance sector. Currently completing a PhD in Economics at the University of Sydney on the effectiveness of shareholder engagement in changing corporate behaviour. James has a background in law, IT and environmental protection.
Retired in 2008 Joe Grant, Vice Chair With the aim of becoming a successful ‘ecopreneur’, Joe is undertaking a Bachelor of Business (Entrepreneurship) at RMIT, where he is learning the practical aspects of undertaking a new venture. Through his course, Joe is also working with Environment Victoria to gain sponsorship for an initiative promoting sustainable transport. Joe believes he can best contribute to this future through instigating change within the business world. Through both the establishment and assistance in development of businesses based upon concepts of natural capitalism (placing proper value upon ecosystem services), he hopes to hasten the spread of both environmental technology and knowledge to the areas where they are needed most.
Robert Krigsman, Treasurer Robert is the principal of RBK Tax Services, a chartered accounting and business advisory firm based in Melbourne. He is a Chartered Accountant, a Fellow of the Tax Institute of Australia, a Registered Tax Agent and a Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. Robert also holds a Graduate Diploma from
the Institute of Chartered Accountants and an undergraduate in Computer Science/Commerce from Monash University. Robert works with a diverse range of businesses including retail, manufacturing, professional services, property development and investment entities. Robert also devotes time to helping “start up” businesses get off the ground, ensuring that they receive all the support, concessions and direction they need to be sustainable.
Jason Clarke, Board Member Jason is one of the most sought after creative thinkers in the country, whose career reads more like a series of improbable adventures. After beginning in the performing arts, Jason worked as a creative and strategic consultant to a wide range of government and corporate institutions by day and as unorthodox media lecturer at the local TAFE college by night. In 1994, AAV Australia (the nation’s largest multimedia production network) offered Jason the role of Creative Director, and for the next six years he lead the company to pioneer new directions in environmental interpretation and science education. By the beginning of the new century, Jason’s unique insights into group innovation and
the creative process had made him one of Australia’s most consulted creative thinkers. In 2000, he founded Minds at Work, a commercial collective of talented thinkers and problem solvers dedicated to awakening the intellectually unemployed and firing up the minds of the world.
Meg Fricke, Board Member Meg has a degree in both Commerce (Economics and Finance) and Agricultural Science (Honours) and has completed a Master of Environment (1st class honours). Meg joined Ernst & Young’s Risk Advisory Services group in Melbourne in 2004, specialising in Sustainability Assurance & Advisory Services. Prior to joining Ernst & Young, Meg worked as a research analyst in an economic consulting firm where she was involved in a number of projects across the energy and utilities industry for both private sector and government clients. Meg’s recent experience covers both assurance and advisory services across energy, mining, packaging, financial and manufacturing industries in the areas of sustainability reporting, corporate social responsibility, environmental risk, greenhouse gases, carbon markets and emissions trading, regulation and strategy. Annual Report 2008
Spotlight on James Gifford Centre for Sustainability Leadership board member and Executive Director of United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment James Gifford is typical “There wasn’t anything else like it of those who end up around and I decided to offer my volunteering their time for services as a mentor,” said James. the Centre for Sustainability The following year he attended the Leadership. Hearing about Future Sustainability Leaders retreat the Centre and its young and decided to make his involvement with the Centre for Sustainability founder, Larissa Brown, Leadership more permanent by James was so impressed he becoming a board member. decided to pitch in and help. James said the highlight of his time with the Centre for Sustainability Leadership has been seeing the progress of the participants during their training and seeing their visions turn into reality.
“I would encourage young people who are passionate about creating change to participate in the Future Sustainability Leaders program,” James said. “I‘ve never seen anything, even internationally, that is as intense or as effective at empowering young people to become effective agents of change.” James, who is the Executive Director for Principles for Responsible Investment, a joint project of UNEP Finance Initiative and the UN Global Compact, continues to be involved with the Centre for Sustainability Leadership, even though he is based in London.
Governance and structure The Centre for Sustainability Leadership is a registered, not-for-profit company limited by guarantee governed by the Corporations Act. We are an Income Tax Exempt Charity with tax deductibility status. We are not politically-aligned. The Centre places major importance on governance issues. Operation of the Centre is overseen by a high quality independent board (see page 48). 2008 has seen a strong focus on securing the Centre’s financial sustainability, on high-level strategic planning and on developing the policies and procedures to support the Centre’s planned expansions.
Some of the major policies and procedures implemented this year include: • Code of Ethics and Conduct • Media and communications policy • Human resources recruitment, intern and volunteer policies • Complaints and dispute resolution procedures • Administration and office procedures • Operations management protocols • Financial management procedures • IT management procedures The Centre for Sustainability Leadership’s financial results are audited every year.
Thank You The Centre for Sustainability Leadership would like to thank the following past and present volunteers for their contribution to our journey: Alamdeep Singh Ali Brown Andrew Delboy Angela Wu Anna Kealey Anne Mellino Ben Margetts Beverley Scheepers Bruce Matheson Cecilia Biemann Charlie Wood Cherif Ramoul Christine Greiser Co Pham Danny Tran Dave Clark Denise Mercuriou Dickson Kwok Duncan Colyer Elise West Eliza Muirhead Elysa Whelan Eric Xu Faye Tamani Fiona Guo Gabrielle Zlotin Gemma Harbutt Gordon Young Hannah Teo
Holly Watson-Reeves Jack Fuller Jack Giles James Goldsmith Janjarat Piyapromdee Jason Chen Jemi Chrysostom Jenika Rivera Jessica Deery Jigisha Sadadiwala Jillian Dent Jimmy Su Juliano Hui Jun Wei Tong Katrina Jiang Kam Ho Katy Mackay Kaye Montebello Kayt Edwards Kirill Blake Kranthi Chakilam Kristy Liu Lauren Baird Lawrence Yu Leanne Hopkins Long Zhao Mattia Anesa Mengyi Zhang
Mimi Icard Nikki Gunawardana Olga Kotnowski Ovilianty Hendrawan Pamela Nangoi Paul Campobasso Rahul Grover Raja Avetisjana Raymond Janala Rekha Amar Richard Evans Rory Sullivan Sally McGeoch Samantha Analytis Sandra Gleeson Sean Breasley Sean Wee Sheryll Licup Simon Moss Sinead Blessing Siska Waddington Syed Muhammad Taariq Bousaleh Tien Nguyen Toona Berwick Wyan Carter Yonas Regau Yuen Yu
Credits Editorial Committee Tony Robertson Larissa Brown Nikki Gunawardana Designer Lauren Watson Photography Mila Robles Writers Tony Robertson Carene Chong Tessa Mudge Annual Report 2008
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