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Meet the members of our executive team who work together to help shape and deliver our environmental goals.
Kelly O’Shanassy is a sustainability leader who has valuable experience in executive roles in business, government and the community sector.
Kelly comes to ACF after several years as the Chief Executive Officer of Environment Victoria, the state’s leading independent environment group.
In past roles she 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, Kelly led the charge to boost clean energy, make homes more energy and water efficient and make recycling cheaper and easier. She 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.
Believing strongly in the power of people to advocate for a better, safer environment and future, Kelly worked to build a 50,000 strong supporter base at Environment Victoria. Under her leadership, Environment Victoria was awarded the coveted Eureka Award in 2011 for communicating climate change. Kelly was recognised amongst the top 100 business women in Australia in the 2013 Telstra Business Women’s Awards.
Kelly is highly experienced at persuading political and business leaders to think differently and adopt solutions that return social and natural capital, as well as economic outcomes and jobs.
She has 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, is a member of the Commissioner for Sustainability’s Advisory Board and a Director of Tipping Point Australia.
When not advocating for the environment, she loves travelling and kayaking along Victoria’s rivers.
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.
Bachelor Science, Diploma Education, Master of Environment
My working life has included careers in teaching, publishing, digital advertising and marketing, health promotion, food manufacturing and environmental activism. I’ve worked in government and NGOs, and owned and operated several of my own businesses. My roles have ranged from creative, to strategic, to administrative. They have included postings as CEO, Creative Director, Product Development Manager and Publisher/Editor.
I’m still not sure what I want to be when I grow up.
But I do know I have a lifelong passion for driving reform particularly in the arenas of social justice and ecological sustainability. And in institutional reform that enables people and organisations to achieve their absolute, optimal best.
I’m still learning how to be good at it.
Bachelor of Social Studies, Wesleyan University; Juris Doctor, Yale Law School; Master of Laws, University of Frankfurt
After working as a lawyer in private practice, I was ACF's in-house lawyer for four years, before shifting to my current position in 2007.
I'm responsible for leading ACF's development of new strategies for creating the deep shifts needed to build a sustainable Australia. That includes work on rethinking economics, stabilising population, and improving our democracy. Another of my major goals at ACF is to ensure that we are professionally curious, actively seeking the best knowledge and insights of others about our issues and always challenging ourselves.
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.
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!