Executive team

Meet the members of our executive team who work together to help shape and deliver our environmental goals in leaps and bounds.

Chief Executive Officer — Kelly O'Shanassy

I came to ACF after several years as the Chief Executive Officer of Environment Victoria, the state’s leading independent environment group. 

In past roles I established world-first environment protection policies, authored Victoria’s Framework for Environmental Sustainability and set ambitious water conservation and sustainable supply actions for Melbourne. 

At Environment Victoria, I led the charge to boost clean energy, make homes more energy and water efficient and make recycling cheaper and easier. I worked to safeguard fragile ecosystems like Victoria’s rivers from over use and successfully stopped environmentally destructive new coal plants being built in the Latrobe Valley. 

I believe strongly in the power of people to advocate for a better, safer environment and future, I worked to build a 50,000 strong supporter base at Environment Victoria. Under my leadership, Environment Victoria was awarded the coveted Eureka Award in 2011 for communicating climate change and I was recognised amongst the top 100 business women in Australia in the 2013 Telstra Business Women’s Awards. 

I have advised a number business organisations on their journey towards sustainability, created The Future Economy Group in partnership with CEOs of responsible businesses, chaired environment and community committees for government, and I am a member of the Commissioner for Sustainability’s Advisory Board and a Director of Tipping Point Australia. 

When not advocating for the environment, I love travelling and kayaking along Victoria’s rivers.

Director of Environment Campaigning — Dr Paul Sinclair

I love the beauty of ordinary places. Growing up in a small town taught me how tough and necessary it is to go against the flow when things aren’t right.

For over a decade now I have been working with non-government, philanthropic, government and business sectors to create policy and law reform across issues of drought, nature conservation, natural resource management, rural water allocation, environmental flows, urban water supply, and nature-based solutions to carbon pollution mitigation and climate adaptation.

During this time I wrote The Murray: A River and its People (Melbourne University Press), an environmental and cultural history of the Murray River; and worked with two of Australia's leading artists, Mandy Martin and the late John Davis, on collaborative art projects exploring the importance of arid rangelands and river environments to Australian national identity.

I am currently a member of the Community and Industry Advisory Board for Environmental Programs at the University of Melbourne and the World Commission on Protected Areas; and was recently a member of the Australian Government’s National Wildlife Corridors Plan Advisory Group.

My work at ACF involves thinking a lot about how and what we can do to help places and species have the best chance of adapting to the impacts of climate change. I am lucky to work with a talented campaign team who build community, business and government support for initiatives that conserve and restore Australia's safe climate and ecosystems.

Director of Media and Public Relations — Lucy Farmer

Journalism, London College of Printing

I began my professional life as a journalist in London but changed direction after three formative years in frontline conservation in Africa. I’ve specialised in environmental communications ever since and believe educating the community is pivotal to securing positive environmental outcomes wherever you are.

I lead a team that seeks to inform and influence the community to create the space needed to achieve bold sustainability solutions.

When I’m not at work, I’m usually out enjoying our fabulous natural environment on my bike or on foot, preferably with my two boys. I also enjoy writing children’s books with themes that aim to nurture interest and curiosity in the natural world.

Director of Finance — Mal Lewis

CPA qualified, Degree in Business (Accounting), Monash University

I have 14 years of not-for-profit experience in senior finance roles, including international aid for five years (such as CARE International), national diabetes charities in the UK and Australia, membership bodies and Melbourne University.

I’ve worked in the UK for five years, and on aid projects in Papua New Guinea, Vietnam and Cambodia, and travelled to Bolivia to review a CARE project.

I’m a finance person who works well with people, and my aim is to ensure our donors funds are accounted for accurately and appropriately, and make the expenditure as clear and easy to understand as possible.  Within ACF, I’d like to lift the financial management skills of all staff, and make reporting and monitoring easier.

I’ve been married to my partner Matt for four years, and would like to see our marriage recognised in Australia one day soon, so our dogs have parents to be proud of!