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ACF Council

Representing ACF members and elected by the members, the council is ACF’s core representative body. It comprises 35 councillors, each of which is elected by electorate for a three-year term. Council has four main functions: it is responsible for the strategic direction of ACF; it appoints our board; develops ACF policy; and engages with our members.

Geoffrey Cousins (email: g.cousins@acfonline.org.au)
President
NSW

Geoffrey Cousins is an Australian community leader, businessman, environmental activist and writer. As an environmental activist he is best known for his successful campaigns to stop the Gunns pulp mill in Tasmania and the proposed Woodside gas hub in the Kimberley. His interventions were pivotal in raising public and business awareness of the risks and dangers of both proposed projects. Geoff’s many achievements include leading the George Patterson Company while it was Australia’s largest advertising agency, and overseeing the building of the Optus network. He has served on many public company boards, founded the Starlight Children’s Foundation in Australia and was founding chairman of Sydney’s Museum of Contemporary Art and former director of the Sydney Theatre Company. In 2014, he was awarded an Order of Australia for his service to the community. He is now chairman of The St James Ethics Foundation. Amongst many other activities, Geoffrey Cousins is a published novelist and was formerly a consultant to the Prime Minister of Australia.

 

Irina Cattalini

Irina Cattalini (email: I.Cattalini@acfonline.org.au)
Vice President
WA

Irina is the director of social policy with the Western Australian Council of Social Service. Irina is passionately committed to developing a sustainable energy future for Australia, and is keen to strengthen alliances between Australia’s social and environment sectors. Prior to joining WACOSS in March 2005, she spent three years working at the Conservation Council of Western Australia, on various energy and greenhouse related policy and projects.

 

Robert Fowler

Robert Fowler (email: r.fowler@acfonline.org.au)
Vice President
SA

Rob is an adjunct professor of environmental law at the University of South Australia. Since retiring from full-time employment in 2008, he has devoted himself largely to voluntary work. He is also currently the international chair of the IUCN Academy of Environmental Law (a global network of environmental law academics); President of the Conservation Council of South Australia; and a member of the IUCN environmental law commission. In 2011, he was appointed by the SA Government to the board of the SA EPA.

 

Peter ChristoffPeter Christoff (email: p.christoff@acfonline.org.au)
Board Member
VIC

Over the past three decades, variously at local, state and national levels, Dr Peter Christoff has fought to save the forests of East Gippsland, for effective hazardous waste management, for nuclear disarmament and against uranium mining, and to stop global warming. He has served in government as the assistant commissioner for the environment, and on various Victorian government committees on climate mitigation and adaptation. As an academic at the University of Melbourne, he teaches and writes about environmental and climate politics and policy. He has been on ACF’s council and board since 2000, and a vice president from 2006 to 2009 and again in 2011 and 2012.

 

James (Jimmy Cocking)James (Jimmy) Cocking (email: j.cocking@acfonline.org.au)
Board Member
NT

Jimmy is the coordinator of the Arid Lands Environment Centre (ALEC) based in Alice Springs. He has been instrumental in its growth from a small environmental lobby group to becoming a central player in major sustainable development initiatives in Central Australia. Jimmy holds a Bachelor of Science (biomedical) Honours at Monash University and has completed his Master of Social Science (international urban and environmental management) at RMIT. He is an active board member of the Olive Pink Botanic Gardens and a founding director of Wide Open Space Music Festival.

 

Ellen SandellEllen Sandell (email: e.sandell@acfonline.org.au)
Board Member
Leave of absence
VIC

Ellen has 10 years experience in campaigning, and two years as CEO of the Australian Youth Climate Coalition. She was recognised as the Banksia Awards Young Environmentalist of the Year in 2009. In 2007 she was elected environment officer in the University of Melbourne student union where she led a three year campaign to get the university to become carbon neutral. The campaign was successful in getting the university to commit $3.5 million to environmental initiatives. Ellen was employed in the Victorian Department of Premier and Cabinet where she helped develop a whole-of-government climate change strategy including a green paper.

 

Piers VerstegenPiers Verstegen (email: p.verstegen@acfonline.org.au)
Board Member
WA

Piers has a diverse range of experience in environmental policy, law, politics, and economics. In 2012 Piers was named one of Western Australia’s 100 most influential people by the West Australian newspaper, for his work in the environment and sustainability fields. He is currently the director of Western Australia’s peak environment and sustainability advocacy organisation, the Conservation Council of WA. Piers has worked as a senior policy advisor for four WA environment ministers, and been a government advisor on science, climate change, emissions trading, waste management, air quality, environmental law, environmental education, industry regulation and pollution control.

 

Christian BellChristian Bell (email: c.bell@acfonline.org.au)
Councillor
TAS

From August 2007 till March 2009, Christian the CEO of the Tasmanian Conservation Trust (TCT. He is currently self employed and engaged with projects which are largely focussed on coastal and marine environment. In 2005 he received the United Nations Association of Australia's Award for Individual Achievement in the Environment (for marine conservation). In 2009, he was appointed as a member of the World Commission on Protected Areas (WCPA).

 

Jonothan KingJonathan King (email: j.king@acfonline.org.au)
Councillor
NSW

Dr Jonathan King has spent much of his professional life bringing Australian history to life through books, films and live events. He graduated in international relations and political science from London School of Economics and University of Melbourne where he lectured in Australian politics. He embarked on a series of historical re-enactments including the $11 million privately funded 1988 London to Sydney wind-powered Bicentennial First Fleet Expedition of Tall Ships which attracted two million spectators on arrival in Sydney; earning him the Australian Achiever Award from National Australia Day Council presented by then prime minister Bob Hawke.

 

James Le CornuJames Le Cornu (email: j.lecornu@acfonline.org.au)
Councillor
VIC

Dr James Le Cornu is a professional chemical engineer with 38 years experience in the oil, gas and coal industries. This includes the technical management of a Shell oil refinery. He regards the pursuit of effective climate change responses, biodiversity preservation and the development of sustainable cities as the key initiatives where the community can make a difference. Jim is honorary secretary of the ACF Mullum branch and played a leading role in the direction of the community campaign which led to tunnels being built to save the species diverse remnant bushland in the Mullum Valley.

 

Paul LeadbeterPaul Leadbeter (email: p.leadbeter@acfonline.org.au)
Councillor
SA

Paul is an environmental lawyer by training having spent 30 years in private practice. Since 2010, he has been teaching and researching in the environmental law area at the University of Adelaide Law School. He is currently vice president of the Conservation Council of SA, and chairperson of the Environmental Defenders Office (SA). He is the presiding member of the City of Burnside’s Development Assessment Panel, deputy presiding member of the state government’s local heritage advisory committee, chair of the executive committee for the Fleurieu Peninsula Swamps and Southern Emu Wren Recovery Program and a faculty representative on the University of Adelaide’s sustainability committee.

 

Stephen LightfootStephen Lightfoot (email: s.lightfoot@acfonline.org.au)
Councillor
NSW

Stephen is a Sydneysider who grew up in Newcastle. He studied medicine at Sydney University and currently works as a specialist anaesthetist. In 2006 he graduated from the UNSW with a Master of Environmental Management. Stephen developed a passionate interest in the environment and its conservation through his family, scouting adventures and after religiously following the Franklin River 'No Dams' campaign as a high school student. He is a keen bushwalker and birdwatcher who has travelled extensively in Australia’s remote and rural areas giving him first hand knowledge of the massive environmental problems faced by this country.

 

Nadia McLarenNadia McLaren (email: n.mclaren@acfonline.org.au)
Councillor
SA

Nadia is a human ecologist working with businesses, governmental agencies, NGOs and communities to accelerate the transition to a healthy and sustainable society. She has previously held NGO governance roles for Green Cross Australia and European Partners for the Environment.  She has convened in South Australia the national conference Greenhouse 88: Planning for Climate Change; in the 1990s, participating in the UNCED process – the Rio Earth Summit / Global Forum / Agenda 21 – and managed European Commission funded projects concerning knowledge management, biodiversity conservation and environmental health and pollution reporting.

 

Geoff MosleyGeoff Mosley (email: g.mosley@acfonline.org.au)
Councillor
VIC

Geoff began teaching environmental conservation in 1956 in the Royal Air Force and has continued to do so ever since. In 1965 Francis Ratcliffe, the founder of the ACF recruited Geoff to join ACF and in 1966 he moved to Canberra to perform that task and also to lecture at the ANU on the conservation of natural resources. He was ACF’s CEO from 1973 to 1986 and a council member since 1987. He has also been closely involved with the World Conservation Union and served on its governing body throughout most of the 1980s. Geoff is also currently the Australian director of the Center for the Advancement of the Steady State Economy.

 

Mark O’ConnorMark O’Connor (email: m.oconnor@acfonline.org.au
Councillor
ACT

Mark is a professional writer and poet, with a special interest in environments. He has published several books of biologically-knowledgeable poetry on regions including the Barrier Reef, Blue Mountains, Eastern Rainforests, Pilbara, High Country, Desert Centre, and Top End. He has taught at James Cook University, University of Aarhus (Denmark), and the Australian National University, as well as being a writer-in-residence at several others. He has been the ANU’s H C Coombs Fellow, and thereafter a visiting scholar in its department of archaeology and natural history. He has also been the Museum of Victoria's Thomas Ramsay science and humanities fellow.

 

Kim PetersonKim Peterson (email: k.peterson@acfonline.org.au)
Councillor
NSW

Kim started his environmental journey on the Myall Lakes committee in the 1970s. He has an Honours degree in physical chemistry and graduate diplomas in environmental studies and adult education and is a fellow of the Royal Australian Chemical Institute. He has recently retired from the position of program manager, chemical and environmental industries with TAFE NSW. He has been a member of the TAFE NSW education for sustainability reference group, the National Water Industry advisory committee, the NSW waste educators working group and the Water Educators Network.

 

Andrew ReillyAndrew Reilly (email: a.reilly@acfonline.org.au)
Councillor
SA

Andrew has 25 years experience in strategy, economics and marketing gained across the international corporate, small private company and state government sectors. He has extensive experience in global product development, communications and international market development, particularly within Asia, gained with Carl Zeiss Vision. With an economics degree and MBA, he has operated since December 2008 a sustainable business consultancy with projects in the non-profit environment sector, university research, state government and private consulting firms. His focus is strategies to assist organizations to grasp actions needed to re-engineer for sustainability.

 

John RollsJohn Rolls (email: j.rolls@acfonline.org.au)
Councillor
SA

John spent most of his professional life in the South Australian public service in various aspects of water resources management. He also worked in energy policy, with particular reference climate change response. As adjunct senior research fellow at University of South Australia’s Barbara Hardy Institute, he investigates the psychological and other social barriers to societal response to climate change. His voluntary conservation activity includes terms as secretary of Town and Country Planning Association, president of Nature Conservation Society, and vice president of Conservation Council of SA in the mid 1980s. He is currently vice chair of SA branch of Australian Solar Energy Society.

 

Richard SandersRichard Sanders (email: r.sanders@acfonline.org.au)
Councillor
QLD

Richard is an ecological economist (the economics of sustainability), futurist, environmental scientist and community activist and has actively contributed to the cause of achieving a sustainable society through academia, government and the community sector for over 20 years. His greatest achievement as an activist was in initiating and coordinating the national 'Stop MAI' campaign which succeeded in reversing the Howard government’s position on the MAI which in turn led directly to the collapse of the MAI internationally.

 

Wayne SmithWayne Smith (email: w.smith@acfonline.org.au)
Councillor
ACT

Wayne is one of Australia’s leading renewable energy consultants. He established his consulting firm, Clean Economy Services, in 2010 to provide government and community relations advice and assistance to Australia’s clean technology industry. He has extensive experience in government relations and policy development with particular expertise in clean energy and clean technology. Wayne was an adviser to two federal shadow environment ministers, and played an important role in developing Labor’s climate change and environment policies for the 2007 federal election. From 2001-2004, Wayne was ACF's the national liaison officer.

 

Philip SuttonPhilip Sutton (email: p.sutton@acfonline.org.au)
Councillor
VIC

Philip is the founder and manager of RSTI (Research and Strategy for Transition Initiation) working on how to galvanise society (in years, not decades) to fully engage in rebuilding the economy to restore a safe climate at emergency speed. He developed the Victorian Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act and initiated the campaign that led to nuclear power being outlawed in Victoria. He worked on Victorian Government strategies in the 1980s (conservation, energy, wood Pproducts). Between 2005 and 2008, in collaboration with Adrian Whitehead and David Spratt, he initiated the safe climate approach to climate campaigning.  He also co-authored the book Climate Code Red.

 

Ross TzannesRoss Tzannes (email: r.tzannes@acfonline.org.au)
Councillor
NSW

Ross is a solicitor and is currently one of six ambassadors appointed to communicate the Clean Energy Future Plan to non-English speaking Australians. He has a particular interest in involving ethnic communities in conservation and has been involved in a number of environmental awareness programs targeting those communities. He has previously been a board member of the National Population Council and currently sits on Sydney Water's  customer council.

 

Jocelyn UiboJocelyn Uibo (email: j.uibo@acfonline.org.au)
Councillor
NT

Jocelyn was selected as one of the Northern Territory’s representative to train with Al Gore on The Climate Project in Melbourne in 2007. She has since then delivered many presentations tailored to suit an Indigenous audience who speak English as a second and third language. She is currently lobbying for her local shire to start including recycling. She is also planning to educate the school students by holding the new slide show including the Our Choices slides. Jocelyn has recently commenced studying for a teaching degree.

Gemma Plesman
Councillor
QLD
Gemma is the founder of the Southern Cross University AYCC Action Group as well as founder of a youth group opposed to CSG mining in the Northern Rivers: 'The Girls Against Gas'. In 2012 she was the campaign coordinator for AYCC’s Queensland ‘Youth Decide’ campaign. Currently Gemma is the AYCC Queensland State Coordinator. Her experience working in a Brisbane environmental education centre, along with her vision that Australia’s youth must be engaged in the climate activist conversation has enabled her to effectively empower her generation on an anti-coal port campaign.

Peter Dart
Councillor
QLD
Peter has worked in Universities, Government and International Organisations in several countries developing sustainable systems for agriculture, forestry and integrated environmental management at operational and policy levels. Currently he works on CSG and coal mining effects on climate change, loss of good quality agricultural land and their agro-ecosystems and fugitive emissions.  Peter also brings experience from working with the AusAID Climate Change and Coastal Ecosystems Program in the Mekong, Vietnam, as well as water reuse projects with Land Care groups, Councils, and the Queensland Government.

Kees Hulsman
Councillor
QLD
Dr Hulsman has been involved with the conservation movement since 1973 as an active member of  the Australian Coral Reef Society, the Australian Marine Conservation Society campaigning for the protection of seabirds and their habitats on the GBR. This activism came as a direct result of his research on seabirds of the Great Barrier Reef. Dr Hulsman helped to developed an approach to saltmarsh management in SE Qld based to make it unsuitable for mosquito breeding and minimise the effects on non-target species. The method was highly successful in managing these ecosystems and now, his research is focussed on understanding ecosystems structure and function and how biological hierarchy follow simple rules and give rise to complex outcomes. The principles of this research reflect significant parallels into transforming our economy, society and environment.

Margaret Killen
Councillor
TAS
Margaret has a scientific background in microbiology initially in the CSR Research Laboratories in Sydney. For the last 25 years she has worked in the brewing industry and is currently the Technical Manager at Boags Brewery with the Lion Organisation. As a member of the Australian Organisation for Quality she held both Tasmanian and National roles.  She was elected the Organisation’s first female National President. Being a long time active member of the Australian Plants Society in Tasmania she has held many Council positions.  During her term as President she represented the Tasmanian organisation at a National level and also, as part of the Organising Committee when the Biennial Conference was held in Launceston. Following this Conference she was instrumental in establishing the Annual Grant Scheme.

Christine Materia
Councillor
TAS
Christine brings over fifteen years work experience in the field of environmental management, NRM, sustainability and climate change which include advising on and developing of implementation of strategy reviews on policy for environmental program. She has worked with the Tasmania Climate Change Office and Tasmania’s 29 Councils to develop and deliver climate change, sustainability and NRM programs. Christine was responsible for negotiations with State and Federal Governments on behalf of Tasmanian  Local Government and delivering outcomes through a Statewide Partnership Agreement on Climate Change. She helped established the Tasmanian Local Government Carbon Emissions Reduction Program which resulted in Tasmania being the first Australian State/Territory to have all councils independently monitoring, benchmarking and reporting on greenhouse gas emissions.

Erika Celis
Councillor
TAS
Erika brings a background of  Zoology and Environmental Science from the University of Tasmania.  She has been involved in an organisations investigating sea otter deaths and how their relation to human activities in the area as well as community protection projects of sea turtle populations. Erika was also an avid volunteer on the Obama Campaign which thrived on the strength of organising people and resources to make good ideas into tangible actions.  Furthermore, she is a self-employed web designer and rising expert on the utilisation of social media to communicate important issues and generate discussions.

Simon Whitehouse
Councillor
WA
Simon has worked in the Environmental Management and Sustainability areas for more than thirty years, which began by leading a research programme on dingo biology. He subsequently has worked on Rottnest Island Management issues, including the economic and social aspects, pest animal and plant management, and public transport policy and planning. Simon has also been a senior policy officer in Government agencies and advisor to Ministers. Currently Simon is now a Director within the PE International  environmental group which consults to the public and private sector. For the last six years he has been Consulting on European Commission projects on clean public transport. His role has involved technical and policy assessment of options, social assessment and community acceptance, and engaging with policy makers at industry, NGO and Government level.

Robyn Gulliver
Councillor
WA
Prior to moving to Australia , Robyn  was a key member of the Christchurch Eco Market team negotiating the consent, environmental criteria and zero waste policies. In Karratha she founded and currently manages the Karratha Enviro Group which undertake a variety of local environmental  projects. In 2012, The Karratha Enviro Group won the Shire of Roebourne Environmental Award as a result. Robyn is currently a Water Efficiency Project Officer for the Water Corporation . In the Pilbara and Kimberley regions, she works across numerous stakeholder and community groups to promote water conservation and has been highly successful in contributing to the Water Corporation's vision of 'Water Forever, Whatever the Weather', in the North West.