Global Speakers



Professor and Associate Dean of Sustainability and Urban Planning

RMIT University

Dr Scott Valentine is a Professor and Associate Dean of Sustainability and Urban Planning at RMIT in Melbourne. For the past 6-7 years, he has spearheaded circular economy strategy and policy research projects in Denmark and the Netherlands and now is a core member of RMIT’s CE Hub. As an academic, he is author of Wind Power Politics and Policies (Oxford University Press), Life in the Balance (Infinity) and co-author of the National Politics of Nuclear Power (Routledge) and Fact and Fiction in Global Energy Policy (Johns Hopkins University Press) and Empowering the Great Energy Transition (Columbia University Press). Scott has also published more than 30 book chapters and journal articles and is on the editorial boards of the journals, Energy Research and Social Science, AIMS Energy, Sustainability Science and CSR and Environmental Management. In academia, he was formerly Associate Professor and Assistant Dean of Research at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy within the National University of Singapore and Associate Professor and founding Associate Director of the International Master of Public Policy program at the Graduate School of Public Policy, University of Tokyo.




Director Resource Recovery

Sustainability Victoria

Matt Genever is Director of Resource Recovery at Sustainability Victoria, a statutory agency that seeks to promote the sustainable use of resources. Matt has spent more than 17 years working across the waste and resource recovery sector, in government, industry and not-for-profit roles. A recognised leader in the sector, Matt brings knowledge across a broad range of waste and recycling issues, from policy and regulation, through technology, materials efficiency and markets for waste-derived commodities. Matt will be talking about the state of the recycling industry in Victoria and what it means to schools and the community.

Panel: Government Grants and Incentives For Driving Australia’s Commitment to Sustainable Practices and Innovations in Circular Economy




Senior Project Officer, Business Recycling Energy, Climate Change & Sustainability

Department of Planning, Industry and Environment

Educated with a Masters in Sustainable Development,  Lesley began her sustainability career working with Unilever before establishing her own consultancy. In 2013, she left Ireland for Australia to work for both the private and public sector before joining the NSW Environment Protection Authority in 2015 to help deliver the EPA’s Bin Trim Program.  Lesley now manages Bin Trim Grants which provides free help and support to business to reduce their waste and maximise their recycling. Lesley also manages the $150,000 Circulate grant which provides funding for industrial ecology type projects.

Panel: Government Grants and Incentives For Driving Australia’s Commitment to Sustainable Practices and Innovations in Circular Economy

Department of Planning, Industry and Environment




Managing Director

Plastic Forests

A self-confessed ‘eco-industrialist’, David is the owner and Managing Director of Plastic Forests, the first company globally to commercialise a dry-cleaning process to recycle contaminated plastic film – without using water.  David is passionate about rescuing plastic film from landfill and recycling it into sustainable, value added products.

The huge amount of ‘unrecyclable’ plastic film going to landfill due to its contamination, such as plastic bags from the food industry and agricultural silage wrap, motivated the team at Plastic Forests to develop a solution to this complex problem.

Today, Plastic Forests’ super-site at Albury recycles used plastic film and re-purposes it into a range of sustainable GreenMongrelTM products, creating a circular economy for plastic film here in Australia.

With 5 start-ups, and 30 years’ experience in manufacturing and management, David has a successful history of commercialising engineering processes that turn ‘waste’ into sustainable products.

Plastic Forests is winner of the NSW Green Globe ‘Innovation Award’ 2018, Inside Waste’s ‘Circular Economy Award’ and ‘Outstanding Recycling Facility Award’ 2018, the Westpac ‘Businesses of Tomorrow Award’ 2017 and the Endeavour Award for the ‘Most Innovative Manufacturing Company’ 2015.

Topic: Making the Circular Economy a reality: How innovator, Plastic Forests, is recycling problematic contaminated soft plastics and delivering tangible circular economy solutions

Interactive Roundtable Discussion: Global Innovations in Sustainability Best Practices

fresh movement version 5 (editable source file for printers)




Close The Loop

Steve is a successful serial entrepreneur and the inventor of numerous patented processes for complex recycling solutions. In late 2015. He has over 20 years’ experience in the circular economy, starting a small cartridge recycling business in 1993. In 2000 he founded Close the Loop®, an Australian and US eWaste recycling success story and he remains a shareholder and director.

As a renowned industry innovator, Steve was a member of the Waste Management & Environment magazine’s Leaders List of 2014, a finalist in the 2011 Entrepreneur of the Year Awards, a past winner of a Victorian Enterprise Workshop “Award of Excellence”, and winner of the 2006 UN Environment Day awards for innovation. In 2016 Close the Loop® was inducted into the Victorian Manufacturers Hall of Fame largely due to pioneering work led by Steve to turn waste toner powder into a valuable additive to asphalt road.

Topic: Australia’s Leadership in Circular Economy: How Close the Loop and Downer are building roads from plastic bags and printer cartridge toner

Close The Loop



Sustainability Coordinator


Francesca is a Sustainability Professional at Veolia Environmental Services, who specialises in developing and delivering strategies to maximise outcomes across the three pillars of sustainability – environmental, social and economic. Francesca has a keen interest in, and thorough understanding of contemporary sustainability topics, which, in addition to her previous engineering education enables her to bring a holistic approach to any task. In her role with Veolia, Francesca enjoys working with a range of well-loved brands, businesses and events to minimise waste from their supply chains and close the loop using recycled products. Having only graduated from university 18 months ago, Francesca believes that she has the best job in the world, and pinches herself every morning just to check that her daily reality isn’t still just a dream.




Group General Manager - Marketing & Innovation

Detmold Group

Tom Lunn is the Group General Manager – Marketing & Innovation at the Detmold Group, where he is responsible for positioning Detmold’s brands in global markets and leading product innovation and industry partnerships to create customer value.

Regularly working with brands like McDonalds in the US, Starbucks in China, Jollibee in the Philippines, Warner Brothers in the Middle East and KFC in Australia keeps Tom at the forefront of global packaging and foodservice trends. Tom is focused on sustainability in packaging and is the driving force behind Recycle Me™, Australia’s first commercially recyclable takeaway coffee cup. He is proud to have helped customers reduce the environmental footprint of hundreds of products, saving thousands of tonnes of raw materials and diverting millions of used items from landfill every year.

Although Tom has lived and worked overseas and continues to travel regularly, he is proud to work for a successful South Australian business.

Topic: Recycling One Billion Takeaway Coffee Cups in Australia: Sustainable Packaging Best Practice

Detmold Group



General Manager Retail Services

Yarra Valley Water

Steve has a background in finance but has spent the last ten years in customer service roles.

Steve is responsible for the customer facing operations of both residential and commercial customers, including connection, billing and collection, responding to customers’ enquiries, as well as the development and implementation of support programs for customer experiencing financial difficulty.

Steve is also responsible for the operations of Yarra Valley Waters Waste to Energy Plant.

Topic: Yarra Valley Water – Converting Waste to Energy

Yarra Valley Water




Fight Food Waste Cooperative Research Centre (CRC)

Dr Steven Lapidge is the inaugural CEO of the Fight Food Waste Cooperative Research Centre (CRC). He has spent much of his 20-year career working for or with agribusiness CRC’s, with a strong focus on New Product Development and commercialisation. Steve led the development of the FFW CRC bid and in recent years has represented Australia at G20, OECD and national food waste forums. He is a member of the National Food Waste Strategy Steering Committee and a Non-Executive Director of the Australian Institute of Food Science and Technology. Steve’s qualifications include a BSc(Hons), PhD and an MBA. He is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and European Summer School for Advanced Management (Denmark). Steve’s previous research saw him awarded the prestigious Fulbright Professional Business/Industry (Coral Sea) Scholarship in 2010. 

Topic: Fighting food waste using the circular economy: The role of the Fight Food Waste CRC




A/Director of Waste and Resource Recovery

Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning

Angela Hoefnagels is the Acting Drector of Waste and Resource Recovery at the Victorian Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning. She is currently leading the development of a circular economy policy for Victoria.

She has over 15 years of public policy experience and is a strong advocate for effective and efficient environment policies. Prior to her role in the Department, Angela led reviews of Australian and international policies and action on climate change for the Climate Change Authority and provided advice to the Australian Government.

Angela holds a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Laws from The Australian National University and a Master of Public Policy and Management from the University of Melbourne.

Topic: Victorian Government’s Strategic Vision for a Circular Economy

Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning



Program Coordinator - Directorate Strategy and Projects

Metropolitan Waste And Resource Recovery Group

Gayle is responsible for developing and managing complex waste and resource recovery projects through expert advice, strategies and stakeholder consultation that contribute to MWRRG’s objectives to reduce waste to landfill and maximise resource recovery in metropolitan Melbourne.

Current work includes coordinating organics projects such as supporting councils to develop and implement kerbside food and garden organics collection services through development of guidance, resources and training programs and supporting businesses to reduce food waste.

Gayle also coordinates and facilitates MWRRG’s Waste Education Network and Resource Recovery Centre and Transfer Station Network, holding regular events and industry tours to build the capacity of stakeholders including local government officers, service providers and government grant recipients to deliver successful waste and recycling education and engagement programs and increase their understanding of waste and resource recovery systems.

With tertiary and professional qualifications in environmental science, environmental management, environmental education and organisational leadership, Gayle has worked and consulted with a wide range of organisations across the environmental sustainability sector, both in Australia and overseas.

Career highlights include executive management of Keep Australia Beautiful Victoria and senior management and consulting roles with SCR Group, Barwon Regional Waste Management Group, RMIT University, Australian Environment Business Network, Surf Coast Shire, and Citywide Service Solutions where Gayle provided leadership on business development, corporate sustainability, environmental management and community sustainability and engagement programs.

As an environmental education, community engagement and communications expert Gayle developed and managed school/community education and training programs for Visy Recycling, Department of Education (Science and Technology schools television series), City of Melbourne, CERES, Gould League and Live & Learn International.

Gayle has also held honorary positions as President of the Association for Waste and Resource Education (AWARE) and Victorian Association for Environmental Education (VAEE), Vice President of the Australian Association for Environmental Education (AAEE), and management positions on boards and committees of professional associations such as the Environment Institute of Australia and New Zealand (EIANZ), Environment Business Australia (EBA), Environment Defenders Office Victoria (EDO Vic), Waste and Resource Recovery Association of Australia (WMRR) and Australian Organics Recycling Association (AORA).

Gayle holds a Masters of Education – Science and Environment from Deakin University as well as a Graduate Certificate of Applied Science in Environmental and Heritage Interpretation and a Bachelor of Education – Environmental Science.

Topic: Supporting Councils to go Circular With Organics

Metropolitan Waste and Resoure Recovery Group




Business Council for Sustainable Development Australia (BCSD Australia)

Keynote: Circular Business Model Design – How Sustainability and Eco-Innovation Can Boost Bottom Line

Business Council for Sustainable Development Australia (Sydney)



Chief Sustainability Officer

Australia Post

Susan Mizrahi is a senior sustainability strategist and has almost 20 years’ experience working in Asia, Europe, North America, as well as domestically, on international, business and human rights issues. She is committed to leading positive, systemic change on social and environmental issues and has achieved this through working collaboratively across and within the private, public and not-for-profit sectors.

Susan is the Chief Sustainability Officer at Australia Post and acts as Chair of the London Benchmarking Group. She is also a member of the UN Global Compact Human Rights Leadership Group and GCNA’s Modern Slavery Community of Practice.

Topic: Positive Tomorrow, Means Circular Today

Australia Post




Chief Executive Officer

Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation

Brooke Donnelly has spent her career working in product stewardship, recycling and sustainability, spending her formative years managing her third-generation family business, specialising in the recycling of industrial packaging. In her current role of CEO at the Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation (APCO) Brooke develops and leads APCO’s strategic direction and vision. APCO enables businesses, government and industry to design and utilise more sustainable packaging throughout the supply chain to reduce the environmental impact on Australian communities. Brooke is also the co-founder of the Product Stewardship Cluster, a voluntary group working to accelerate Australia’s journey to a circular economy through product stewardship.

Topic: Towards 2025 National Packaging Targets

Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation




Planet Ark Environmental Foundation

Panel: Government Grants and Incentives For Driving Australia’s Commitment to Sustainable Practices and Innovations in Circular Economy

Planet Ark Environmental Foundation



Executive Director, Climate Change & Sustainability

Department of Planning, Industry and Environment

Kate has had a career in science leadership and application.  Her scientific background is in molecular biology. She has worked for a UN agency, and came to Australia to co-found a not-for profit research organization, CAMBIA, that developed molecular tools for application to agricultural research in the Asian region. She then switched to marine science, becoming research leader in tropical aquaculture at the Australian Institute of Marine Science (Townsville) before joining the CSIRO in 2005 where she was Director of the Wealth from Oceans marine science Flagship.

Kate joined OEH in 2009 and was Executive Director of the OEH Science Division until 2018, instilling a culture of valuing and using rigorous scientific evidence across the agency. She now leads a program delivery division which draws extensively on the scientific evidence. Kate has a doctorate from Harvard University and a Bachelor of Arts with First Class Honours from Cambridge University.

Visionary Keynote: From the Global to the Local – A Government Perspective

Department of Planning, Industry and Environment



Managing Director

DyeCoo Asia

Topic: DyeCoo: Delivering Sustainable Apparels By Eliminating Toxic and Reducing Water Wastage Associated with Textile Manufacturing

DyeCoo Asia




Global Urban Forest

Mathew Daniel is a leading internationally experienced Plant Health Care Arborist. With a demonstrated history of working in the environmental services industry and skilled in soil and Plant Science, Sustainable Development, Advanced Compost Production, Natural Resource Management and Environmental Awareness, Matthew is leading a developing Plant Health Care Industry.

Matthew has a diverse background with Arboriculture roots. A scholarship arborist of 23 years, with 3 years of PHC experience in Boston, USA. and over a decade of developing soil and plant health methodology based on measurable parameters and specialising in soil microbiology, Matthew is now working collaboratively on international research projects with colleagues at Michigan State University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Matthew can deliver a detailed and practical working adaptation of the essential relationship between soil health and plant health and the application of new state of the art environmental sensors and web-based platforms.

Optimal tree and soil health can be achieved by applying a unique data collection method and approach in order to understand soil health parameters that are fundamental to plant health.

By approaching environmental assessment through a process of measuring complex plant and soil relationships between photosynthesis, soil biology, chemistry and physical structure a more accurate and sustainable understanding and management of natural assets can be achieved.

Armed with an elaborate collection of site sourced laboratory information, and environmental measures and sensor data, Matthew can develop remediation and maintenance programs based on natural processes to reduce decline and return the plant to an optimum level of vigour.

Come listen to Matthew and hear about the new – Swinburne Uni  – School of Plant/ Soil Health and Environmental Sensing Technologies and  talk about some of his latest projects, at this year’s QAA Arbor Camp.

Interactive Roundtable Discussion: The truth about green waste: An insight from the Urban Forest industry

Global Urban Forest



Chair / Consultant

Farm Forest Growers / World Bioenergy Association


Andrew Lang has had 40 years involvement with farming and forestry. He is a Churchill and Gotstein Fellow.  From 2008-2018 he represented Australasia-Oceania on the board of the World Bioenergy Association, for five years was a vice president, and now is a WBA senior consultant.

His work with the WBA has taken him to countries in Europe, North and South America, Africa and Asia, looking at bioenergy, development of the bio-economy, and waste recycling, minimisation and waste-to-energy. In 2017 he attended the First World Circular Economy Forum in Helsinki in 2017, and he has recently attended the third World Forum.

Topic: What Australia can learn from Finland, the world’s first country to legislate a national policy of circular economy development, to achieve zero-net GHG emissions by 2050, an estimated 100,000 new jobs by 2030, and increasing exports in technology and expertise

Interactive Roundtable Discussion: New Circular Economies Business Models

World Bioenergy Association



Director, Packaging Development Asia Pacific

Campbell Arnott’s

Case Study: Campbell’s Soup’s sustainable environmental practices and social responsibility initiatives makes it one of the 100 most sustainable corporations in the world

Campbell Arnott’s



Founder and Executive Director

Circular Economy Alliance Australia (CEAA)

Hemant is an acclaimed expert in the area of sustainability and the Circular Economy and works extensively on global initiatives with the UN, World Bank and international agencies. He has worked with large corporations, governments, peak industry bodies, municipal corporations, community groups and venture capital investors. Notable entities include the UN, World Bank, Government of South Australia, BHP Billiton, Santos, SA Water, Worley Parsons, Deloitte, City of Salisbury, Siemens, and the University of Adelaide.

Hemant is founder of Circular Economy Alliance Australia (CEAA), a global coalition for leadership and capacity building in the Circular Economy. CEAA delivers the iconic ‘Global Leadership Program on the Circular Economy’, in collaboration with UNCRD and the South Australian Government.

Topic: Tacking UN Sustainable Goals #6 – Providing Clean Water and Sanitation With Waterless Composite Toilets

Circular Economy Alliance Australia



ARC Laureate Fellow / Director

ARC Green Manufacturing Research Hub / Centre for Sustainable Materials Research & Technology

Australian Research Council (ARC) Laureate Professor Veena Sahajwalla is an internationally recognised materials scientist, engineer and inventor revolutionising recycling science. She is renowned for pioneering the high temperature transformation of waste in the production of a new generation of ‘green materials.’

In 2018 Veena launched the world's first e-waste microfactory. As the founding Director of the Centre for Sustainable Materials Research and Technology (SMaRT) at the University of New South Wales, Sydney, she is producing a new generation of green materials and products made entirely, or primarily, from waste. Veena also heads the ARC Industrial Transformation Research Hub for ‘green manufacturing’, a leading national research centre that works in collaboration with industry to ensure new recycling science is translated into real world environmental and economic benefits. In 2018 she was elected as Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science. In 2016, Veena was named one of Australia’s Most Innovative Engineers and in 2015, Veena named Australia’s 100 Most Influential Engineers, both by Engineers Australia. In 2013, Veena received the ‘Howe Memorial Lecture Award’, Pittsburgh, USA in appreciation for her lecture on ‘The Power of Steelmaking – harnessing high temperature reactions to transform waste into raw material resources’.

Topic: Sustainability in Managing E-Waste with the World’s First Electronic Waste Microfactory: UNSW Innovations (or HYLA Mobile)





CRC for Low Carbon Living

Distinguished Professor Deo Prasad AO is an international authority and recognised as a national leader in the field of sustainable buildings and cities and among the leading advocates for sustainability in Australia. His contributions having been widely acknowledged at all levels of government and professions in Australia. Elected as a Fellow of the Royal Australian Institute of Architects in 1991, he has been a highly influential, driving force for sustainable design in both academia and professional practise and in 2006 he received the Royal Australian Institute of Architect’s National Education Award for contribution to ‘sustainability education, research and design’. In 2004 he received the NSW State Government’s individual GreenGlobe Award for ‘leadership and commitment to the supply of renewable energy’ He has also won the Federal Government’s national award for ‘outstanding contribution to energy related research’. He is a regular contributor to debate in this area in local and international media.

Deo is the Chief Investigator and CEO of the Co-operative Research Centre for Low Carbon Living (CRCLCL: This is the largest ever industry-government-professions-research collaboration spin-off in Australia (built environment sector) and is leading to transformative impacts – enabling Australian industry and professions to compete globally in a low carbon future.

Topic: Low Carbon Living – Reducing Construction Wastes and Improving Sustainability with Circular Economy Modular Building

CRC for Low Carbon Living




Business Council for Sustainable Development Australia (Sydney)

Keynote: Circular Business Model Design – How Sustainability and Eco-Innovation Can Boost Bottom Line

Business Council for Sustainable Development Australia (Sydney)





The Last Straw Australia

The Last Straw is a movement to change the way we think about plastic waste, especially plastic straws. Started in 2015, The Last Straw works with venues across Australia to become straw responsible. As of 2019, in conjunction with a sister campaign on the Great Barrier Reef, there are over 1000 Last Straw venues around the country, including the Melbourne Exhibition Centre and the Sydney Opera House. In 2018, campaign stopped over 13 million straws from entering the waste system. The Last Straw was founded by Eva Mackinley, a campaigner and public speaker with ten years’ experience in the social change sector.

Topic: Changing hearts and minds: the power of movement building in the fight against single use plastics’

the last straw




Institute for the Development of Environmental-Economic Accounting (IDEEA Group)

Topic: Next Generation Sustainably Reporting
Interactive Roundtable Discussion: Governance & Measurement Framework to Support Sustainability

Institute for the Development of Environmental-Economic Accounting (IDEEA Group)



General Manager, Australia


After a brief sporting career in Australian Rules Football at VFL Club Port Melbourne, Andrew graduated from Swinburne University with a Bachelor of Business Marketing & Business Law. Using his sporting industry knowledge, Andrew joined premier Sports Marketing Agency, Elite Sports Properties quickly establishing himself in the Sports Marketing industry, specialising in Licensing and Intelectual Property. 

After a gap year in 2012 spent travelling, Andrew landed back in Australia with alcoholic drink distiller Diageo, where he rose to lead to Events and Sponsorship team based in Sydney. After 5 years leading sponsorship negotiations,  brand activations & partnerships, in late 2018 Andrew joined Globelet as General Manager, leading their push into Major Stadiums and Festivals in Australia. 

Topic: Fighting Single Use Plastic: How Globelet Will Track All Plastics to End Waste