Global Speakers



ARC Laureate Fellow Director

UNSW (Centre for Sustainable Materials Research & Technology)

Topic: Solving The World’s E-waste Problem: How The World’s First Electronic Waste Microfactory Is Capturing Value Into Waste

Panel Discussion: Driving Australia’s Circular Economy Growth With Help Of Government Grants And Incentives

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’.




Manager/Principal Environmental Scientist

Sutherland Shire Council

Keynote: How New South Wales Is Turning Plastic Waste Into New Roads

Ian Drinnan is the Principal Environmental Scientist at Sutherland Shire Council. He has over 30 years’ experience as an environmental scientist working in both the public and private sectors.  Ian has published papers at both the national and international level in areas ranging from design criteria for conservation networks and management of threatened species, to environmental risk based land use planning.

At Sutherland Shire Council Ian is responsible for the development of policies, systems and procedures to manage and conserve the natural environment of the Sutherland Shire.  Ian leads a team of dedicated environmental scientists who work to complement and support the activity of other areas within Council to deliver long term sustainable environmental outcomes.  His current projects include the development of a 20 year Waste Strategy and a Climate Clean Council 2030 Strategy.

Sutherland Shire Council




CRC for Low Carbon Living

Panel Discussion: Addressing The Challenges And Tapping Opportunities Of Urban Sustainability

Panel Discussion: Driving Australia’s Circular Economy Growth With Help Of Government Grants And Incentives

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.

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Advanced Plastic Recycling

Open Space Solutions For Local Government And Councils: How APR Is Providing Long-term Infrastructure Assets That Are Fit for Community Purpose From Plastic Waste

Innovative Chief Executive Officer with 17 years’ experience working as an Australian manufacturer in the recycling industry.

Ryan started in the family business as a 20-year-old learning from the production floor up. Passionate to change the perception of waste and reusable plastics, demand has driven innovation his entire career.

Advanced Plastic Recycling (APR)

Advanced Plastic Recycling (APR) are an Australian manufacturer of recycled wood plastic composite (WPC) products made from approx. 45% post-consumer waste plastic (from kerbside recycling), 40% post-industrial reclaimed timber from sawmills, and 5% additives.

WPC is a sustainable timber alternative made from locally sourced waste materials with the following benefits:

  • Removing harmful plastic from the environment (landfill and oceans)
  • Creating long term solutions
  • Turning Australian waste into reusable materials that last

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Byron Shire Council

Case Study: The Zero Emissions Byron Project

Simon and his family live in Federal. His goal is to support the youth of the Shire to have a voice and a place within the overall vision of the Shire. With many challenges ahead, he is determined to provide leadership to ensure our Shire truly embraces sustainable living, working and social practises, while embracing the diverse and unique cultural flavour of the area.

Byron Shire Council in NSW is leading the pack on developing and implementing zero emissions solutions, partnering with Beyond Zero Emissions on the Zero Emissions Byron Project. The project involves Byron Shire transitioning to zero emissions over 10 years, adapting BZE’s Zero Carbon Australia plans across the energy, buildings, transport, land use and waste sectors.

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Monash Energy Institute

Topic: Case Study: The Indra Monash Smart City’s Net Zero By 2030 Initiatives

As Director of the Monash Grid Innovation Hub and Associate Professor at Monash’s Faculty of Information Technology, Ariel leads Monash’s Digital Energy initiatives. He brings together researchers from across disciplines such as AI and Electrical Engineering to help integrate new and energy technologies into the system. Ariel is also feputy Director of the Monash Energy Materials and Systems Institute (MEMSI), whose mission is to bring together Monash researchers together to help tack grand challenges in the energy and climate space together with Industry and Government.

Ariel is an energy markets specialist with more than 20 years’ experience across most aspects of the electricity supply chain, incorporating modelling of deregulated power markets and generation investment planning, network regulation analysis, and commercial retail portfolio energy trading and risk management (ETRM).




CEO | Co-Founder


A Case Study On Randwick City Council: RecyleSmart Pickup – An Innovative Waste Collection Solution For Residents

Giorgio Baracchi has worked as a Manager for Bain & Company and for BC Strategy on a number of corporate growth strategies, business unit strategies, commercial due diligence engagements and market reports.

His experience spans across several industries such as Waste management, Financial Services, Education and Telecommunications. He studied in different countries, such as Australia, China, Europe and the USA, where he gained his MBA from University of Texas.

He has experience in managing teams that work directly with senior executives by undertaking data collection, analysis, modelling and data presentation. He has work experience within Australia and overseas, specifically in the USA and Europe.

He is active in the start-up community as an advisor and angel investor.

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Licella Holdings

Solution To Australian’s Plastic Recycling Problem: Recycling Plastic Into Fuel Or New Plastics

Dr Len Humphreys was instrumental in the conception and development of Licella’s technology and is the inventor of a number of patents around the Catalytic Hydro-Thermal process, Cat-HTR.

Len is a chartered chemist and the former Director and Managing Director of several renewable energy companies including Novera Energy, a renewable energy company now listed on the AIM in the UK and also the ASX listed company IBA Health (now I-Soft), a healthcare IT software provider.

In addition Len held Managing Director and Regional President roles inside the European Invensys Group of companies.

Invensys is one of the world’s largest IT, process control and industrial process automation conglomerates. In Europe, Len was a senior executive inside the Mannesmann Group, the German multinational specialising in engineering, manufacturing and telecommunications; in particular he was CEO of the Hartmann and Braun process Analytical Division based in the UK.

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Solution Design Lead, Policy and Legislative Solutions

Transport Canberra and City Services Directorate | ACT Government

Topic: Waste Avoidance In The Nation’s Capital – Small, But Mighty

Kate Brennan is an Acting Assistant Director in the ACT NoWaste Waste Policy team within the ACT Government. Sitting within the City Services arm of the Transport Canberra and City Services Directorate, ACT NoWaste is responsible for local and Territory-level waste management and resource recovery – from household collection services and landfill management and developing legislation to phase out single-use plastic. Waste Policy also represents the ACT at national strategic forums. Originally from a social policy background, Kate has experience across policing and emergency services, diversity and inclusion, education, and integrity-based bodies. Aligning her passion for sustainability with her professional career, Kate joined ACT NoWaste in April 2019 and is currently leading the legislative process for the ACT’s phase-out of select problematic single-use plastic items. Kate’s other areas of interest include sustainability in fashion and textiles, the circular economy, and packaging.

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Roberts Day

Topic: Towards A Circular City: Place As Living System

Stephen Moore is a Principal of Robertsday, based in Sydney.  As creative director and lead designer on major projects in Australia and abroad, Stephen believes great places can be profitable and playful.  Projects with his involvement have received a variety of awards, including the Australian Award for Urban Design Excellence and Royal Australian Institute (NSW) Premier’s Award.  Stephen also co-leads RobertsDay’s research and development unit.

Alongside his practice commitments, Stephen has taught at the University of New South Wales and Sydney University.

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Community Sustainability Lead

Veolia Australia and New Zealand

Panel Discussion: Driving Australia’s Circular Economy Growth With Help Of Government Grants And Incentives

Hannah Franklin is Veolia’s Community Sustainability Manager and is responsible for spanning the boundary of social and environmental initiatives to ensure Veolia is an active and positive member in the communities in which we operate. Working in conjunction with our charity partners, communities and other key stakeholders, Hannah works to coordinate Veolia’s Reconciliation Action Plan and key social and charity sustainability actions. Hannah has an honours bachelor degree in Geography from the London School of Economics and Political Science and has a keen interest in the environment, the power of community, gender rights and volunteering.

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Group General Manager Marketing & Innovation

Detmold Group / Detpak

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.

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Associate Professor, Empathic Environments, School of Architecture, Faculty of Design, Architecture and Building

University of Technology, Sydney (UTS)

Panel Discussion – Addressing The Challenges And Tapping Opportunities Of Urban Sustainability

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Waste Strategy Coordinator

Lake Macquarie City Council

An Award-Winning Case Study: How Lake Macquarie City Council’s Food Organics And Garden Organics (FOGO) Service Diverts 111kg Of Waste From Landfill Per Person?

Hal is a project management professional with 12 years of experience developing and delivering strategies, projects, programs, and contracts in the local government, NGO and private sectors.

He joined Lake Macquarie City Council in 2017 following 5 years in the City of Sydney’s Resource Recovery team where he managed major service contracts and the award-winning Zero Waste program team. Before starting in local government, he was National Manager for Materials and Certification at the Green Building Council of Australia.

Hal is currently responsible for developing and implementing strategic projects to deliver Lake Macquarie’s waste strategy and manages the city’s recycling, and food and garden organics collection and processing contracts.

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Circular Centre

Circular Textile Systems: From Biodegradable Stretch Fabrics To Australian Circular Textile Waste Service

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Director & Senior Circular Economy Specialist

KPMG Australia

Forum Chairperson

Dr Scott Valentine is a Director & Senior Circular Economy specialist at KPMG, and was a former Professor and Associate Dean of Sustainability and Urban Planning at RMIT in Melbourne, with over 30 years of diverse international business experience. Scott is responsible for coordinating circular economy work within the firm and for providing expert support for projects around the circular economy. He has led major research projects in Denmark and Holland around the circular economy with an emphasis on corporate strategy and public policy design and implementation. He represents Standards Australia on international development of an ISO standard for the Circular Economy and is the incoming chair of the Australia Circular Economy Hub’s advisory committee.

  • National Circular Economy Coordinator– Scott heads up a number of KPMG engagements with Councils and corporations including the development of a vanguard online circular economy training program delivered in alliance with Hume and Kingston city councils. This is the first program of its kind in Australia, bringing together a network of corporations to build a collaborative network around the circular economy.
  • Economic Development Work: Scott is an advisor to the Hume City Economic development team. He has also provided advice and guidance to LGA Tasmania, Green Industry South Australia, Hunter Joint Organisation and other precincts around Australia and overseas.
  • RMIT University – Prior to KPMG, Scott was a Professor and Associate Dean of Sustainability and Urban Planning. Scott was responsible for a department generating $12 million annually, line managing 20 personnel and managing a team of 60 in total. Scott also led a circular economy research cluster that was the largest in Victoria.
  • Scott is a globally known sustainable development researcher. 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). The latter two books were with Nobel laureate Marilyn Brown. He has also published more than 30 book chapters and journal articles and is on the editorial boards of the journals, AIMS Energy, Sustainability Science and CSR and Environmental Management.





City of Sydney

Opening Keynote

Jess was elected to the City of Sydney Council as part of the Clover Moore Independent team in 2016.

Part of her motivation for being on council was to help ensure that the views of younger people were being represented in local Government (especially with regard
to the 24 hour economy). She also wanted to help the City to set a global example of how to deal with the changing climate.

Jess’s key areas of expertise are in environmental systems, specifically urban ecology and urban forestry, and local food systems. She is an advocate for a slow city with lots of active and public transport, character, community, sport, colour and creativity.




Communications and Stakeholder Manager

UNSW Sydney

Panel Discussion: Driving Australia’s Circular Economy Growth With Help Of Government Grants And Incentives

Stuart has over 30 years’ experience in business. He is a corporate affairs professional with extensive experience in strategy and reputation management, having worked for large commercial organisations in finance as well as large and complex government agencies and in higher education.

Stuart is working as a consultant and non-executive director after periods as Executive Manager, Public Affairs and Communications, at Commonwealth Bank, and previously leading the corporate affairs function of Australia’s largest life insurance company, TAL, and as Head of Public Affairs at the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority. A former journalist, he is currently Chair of Your Side Australia, was a non executive director for three years at Road Sense Australia and was instrumental in establishing a robust governance structure and charting a successful growth strategy.

He had worked across various areas of UNSW Sydney and currently collaborates with the UNSW SMaRT Centre on a variety of projects, initiatives and programs to help its team and leader, Professor Veena Sahajwalla, achieve their work with industry, global research partners, not-for-profits, local, state and federal governments, on the development of innovative environmental solutions for the world’s biggest waste challenges.

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Founder and Director

Teaspoons of Change

Workshop A: Personal Practical Actions In A Collective Context – Teaspoons Of Change And The UN SDGs

d’Arcy Lunn’s dreams and daily life are dedicated to see a world with access and opportunity for everyone, everywhere!

For the past 20 years d’Arcy has experienced more than 90 countries, given over 1600 presentations to 140,000+ people and worked with leading development, environmental, social justice and global education organisations and people.

His self-initiated concept and organisation, Teaspoons of Change, focuses on the personal choices, decisions and actions that have a positive impact on people and the planet.

d’Arcy is often seen each year around the world facilitating youth empowerment programs, supporting global citizen education and working with leading development organisations and projects including as a communications specialist with UNICEF.

Among other things d’Arcy has also built two self-sufficient Happy-simply tiny homes and in 2014 started Teaspoons of Change with a 1000km walk and 1500km bike ride in Japan.

In June 2018 he completed a Master’s in Peace Studies in Tokyo, Japan through the Rotary Peace Fellowship and now also gives Teaspoons of Peace presentations and workshops.

d’Arcy is currently the Group Head of Sustainability and Global Citizenship with the Dulwich Group of Schools and is also an ambassador, advocate and enthusiast with many organisations including: World’s Largest Lesson, JUMP! Foundation, Global Citizen, End Polio Now, UNICEF, WHO, Gates Foundation, RESULTS, the Global Education and Leadership Foundation, Live Below the Line and many others.

Teaspoon of Change



Founder & Principal

Think Sustainability

Workshop B: Principles And Practice Of Managing Sustainability Risks

Paul is Principal at Think Sustainability, launched by Paul in 2020 following almost 40 years working in sustainability, communications, consultancy and science. Before launching Think Sustainability, Paul provided sustainability advice to Telstra, Westpac, Sydney Metro, Newmont, Newcrest, Hydro Tasmania, Brambles, Sydney Airport, Macquarie Bank, Select Mutual, Nestle Oceania, Stockland, Mirvac, Fuji Xerox, Charter Hall, BUPA and other well-known companies.

For two years, Paul was Head of Market Capability at the Infrastructure Sustainability Council of Australia (ISCA). Prior to this, Paul was on the Leadership Team at Northwest Rapid Transit, responsible for delivery of the Sydney Metro Northwest rail link, Australia’s largest infrastructure project. Paul was also the Senior Sustainability Manager.

Paul has worked in strategy and risk management, sustainable supply chains, and sustainability auditing. He is a regular commentator, writer and speaker on contemporary sustainability issues, and a trainer in infrastructure sustainability, sustainable procurement, change management, reporting and auditing.

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Founder and Managing Director

Circular Economy Alliance Australia

Workshop C: Global Leadership Programme

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.




Sustainable Development Planner Buildings and Property Division

Monash University

Topic: Financing Sustainability: How Monash University Demonstrated Its Commitment To Circular Economy By Issuing World’s First University Climate Bond

Kendra has over 20 years of combined industry, government and academic experience as a sustainability specialist in the built environment sector. As the Sustainable Development Planner in the Buildings and Property Division of Monash University, she leads the development and delivery of the University’s Sustainability Strategy. Kendra’s expertise and experience in renewable energy focuses on the client-side, including developing net zero implementation plans, business case development, low carbon financing (climate bonds) and procurement of renewable energy. She was project lead on Monash University’s Power Purchase Agreement with the Murra Warra Wind Farm.

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Sustainability Manager

Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation

Topic: APCO And The Development Of The Circular Economy For Packaging In Australia

Having commenced her career delivering analytical market research tools and services to the consumer packaged goods industry globally, Jayne has worked with some of the world’s largest retailers and manufacturers on everything from new product development to category management, loyalty programs to shopper insights, through to strategic store layout design.  Jayne developed a deep understanding of the packaged goods sector and the challenges presented by a constantly shifting shopper landscape.

After a series of remarkable coincidences that resulted in a ‘summer job’ as Hotel Manager aboard an Antarctic expedition vessel, Jayne took the professional leap to environmental sustainability.  Working on a diverse range of sustainability topics over more than a decade, Jayne’s recent focus has been plastic waste and pollution and its impact on the environment and the health of the world’s oceans.  Jayne’s FMCG experience provides a solid foundation in consumer products and packaging, over which she applies the sustainability lens, bringing the two sides together to support APCO’s work of delivering on the 2025 National Packaging Targets.

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Managing Director and Principal Planner

SKY Planning

Panel Discussion: Addressing The Challenges And Tapping Opportunities Of Urban Sustainability

Melissa is an environmental town planner, community builder and sustainability specialist. She is the Managing Director of Sky Town Planning a purpose-driven town planning consultancy based in Sydney. She has developed and implemented award-winning sustainable development projects across Australia, and is on a mission to activate sustainable forms of living in urban spaces. She is a tutor at Sydney University where she teaches emerging leaders the essential skills needed for ‘building a sustainable world’.

Melissa regularly consults to companies and councils, and presents at major fora including TEDx, on the innovations, trends and forces that are shaping urbanism and defining our communities. She believes in a 21st century that works for every one, and every thing, and that cities will be at the heart of that revolution.

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National Partnerships Director - Circular Economy

Planet Ark

Topic: Designing The Urban Renewable Energy Zone

Steve Walpole (Planet Ark National Partnerships Director – Circular Economy) brings a fascinating fusion of experience and knowledge. Steve’s day to day work is collaborating on projects in Circular Economy design, Renewable Energy, Mental Health and Leadership. For this forum Steve will be sharing a compelling road ahead for Urban Renewable Energy Zones. Urban Power Stations that represent so much more than just the generation, utilisation and sharing of Renewable Energy. Urban Renewable Energy power generation minimises carbon emissions, minimises transmission losses, minimises transmission line started bushfires via smart Circular Economy design and optimising resource use.

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