Our Committee

Geelong Sustainability Group Incorporated is managed by a committee elected by members at the Annual General Meeting. The President, Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer form the Executive.

Geelong Sustainability 2021 Committee

The current committee was elected at our AGM held on 12 November 2020:

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VICKI PERRETT - President

Vicki enjoyed a long career in tertiary education as a teacher, instructional designer, program manager and business development manager. A seachange retirement to the Bellarine aroused her passion for sustainability and the imperative to protect our natural environment for future
generations. Vicki joined the GS committee in 2011 and was Treasurer before becoming President in 2016. She’s developing the organisation’s strategy, capacity and viability whilst expanding our networks, reputation and influence. Born and bred in Geelong, she’s advocating strongly for our region to decarbonise, localise and equalise. Her qualifications include a BAppSc (Textile Chemistry), DipEd, MEd (Online Education), Dip Sustainability.

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Jennifer Jarrard - Vice President

Jennifer has an extensive corporate background working in telecommunications, commercial and contract management and leadership development.  She has a masters degree in Entrepreneurship and Innovation and has lectured at universities across the globe.  Her travels have heightened her awareness of the planet’s beauty and vulnerability.  Now based in Geelong, as a Director of Mindwerx International, she’s helping organisations (including GS) to think more strategically and creatively in these rapidly changing times. Jennifer is interested in donut economics, modern slavery and circular procurement.

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VIVIENNE BURKE - Secretary

Vivienne worked for many years in adult, community and further education, neighbourhood houses and teaching. She enjoys the often complex administrative tasks of her roles as Secretary, Public Officer and Membership coordinator and the challenges of running our store. Vivienne conducted the extensive research for both editions of our Sustainability Directory. She is interested in travel, real food, architecture, gardens and schools.

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Amy White - Treasurer

Amy is Partner at Sustainalize, a Dutch sustainability and CSR consultancy firm.  She has a PhD in Life Cycle Assessment and has held multiple roles in industry and academia over the past 14 years from which she has gained extensive experience with designing and implementing sustainability strategies and projects.  After years of working in Europe, Amy returned home to Australia in 2018 to set up the Australian office of Sustainalize in Melbourne.  She lives in Geelong with her husband and 3-year-old daughter who love visiting the beautiful beaches in the region. 

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TIM ADAMS - Committee Member

Tim has 44 years’ experience as a building designer. As Principal of F2 Design he has a reputation for cost effective, high performance houses.  He is an Accredited Energy Rater, a Life Member and Past President of Design Matters National (formerly BDAV Building Design Association of Victoria) where he initiated the inspirational 10 Star Challenge.  Tim presents frequently at public events, radio shows and industry conferences. He also writes for several technical publications.  The House with No Bills in Renew 120 was a description of Tim’s own high performance house which has delivered carbon neutrality and costs nothing to run. Many of Tim’s houses, including his own have featured in Sustainable House Day, locally and nationally.

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DAN COWDELL -  COMMITTEE MEMBER

Dan is passionate about sustainable living, organic gardening, real food and renewable energy. Dan joined Geelong Sustainability in late 2013 and was elected President in 2014. In 2016 he stepped down to assume the role of Project Coordinator for our CORE Geelong project. Dan chairs the CORE (Community Owned Renewable Energy) Geelong task group and has been the driving force behind our new website. He is an electrical engineer formerly employed by a local solar installation business and has also worked as a field organiser for GetUp, mobilising people on issues like climate change. In his spare time he is busy developing a permaculture property and building a straw-bale house..

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Sal Fisher - Committee Member

Sal grew up on the land and has qualifications in Nutrition and Dietetics, Public Health and Horticulture. Sal has long recognised the threat that climate change is to our food systems and the impact of food systems on the climate and environment. After working across three states in community health and health promotion roles, Sal moved to Geelong in 2017 and joined Geelong Sustainability. She is now the Climate Action Coordinator, which allows her to advocate for Geelong, Victoria and Australia to take stronger action on climate in response to the Climate Emergency. She now leads the Geelong Renewables Not gas campaign which is aims to ensure that neither proposed floating gas import terminals are built in Corio Bay.

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FRED RITMAN - Committee Member

Fred has worked in education for his entire career and holding senior positions in TAFE, State Government and the private sector. He is passionate about sustainability and enabling the transition to a carbon neutral future. Fred seeks to live his life with minimal environmental impact through renewable energy, growing vegetables, supporting low energy, organic, carbon neutral, and minimising waste. He’s developing a business plan for our new social enterprise.

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Dr. Sanja Van Huet - Committee Member

Sanja is the Exploration Manager (Australia) for an Australian-based mining company specializing in electric vehicle metals. She is also a lecturer in Geology, Environment and Geography at ACU and a visiting and research academic at Deakin University.  Sanja’s interests are geo-historical climate change, landscape evolution and quaternary extinction events. She loves surfing, hiking, camping, music, art and laughing with friends and family and when she can combine them all -she is in ultimate heaven. Sanja’s concern is that the Earth has already passed one major tipping point that will create a catastrophic ecological cascade effect.  

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JONATHAN WRIGHT - Committee Member

Jonathan has 21 years experience in the engineering sector, initially in the UK automotive industry and more recently in Australia specialising in water infrastructure installation and upgrades. Jonathan has been a volunteer member of the Geelong Sustainability Community Owned Renewable Energy (CORE) project since its inception in April 2015 and is interested in sustainable building and technology.



Our Coordinators

The Geelong Sustainability committee is strategically supported by a number of key volunteers, contractors and staff.

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TRINA BUTKO - Executive Officer Greenlight

Trina is the executive officer of our social enterprise GreenLight.  A business management expert whose career has included posts in the UK and Australia, she brings extensive experience in business consulting, project management and community development to this key role. She's looking forward to exploring new business opportunities that align with Geelong Sustainability’s strategy and key objective to hasten the region’s transition to a low carbon circular economy.”

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NOREEN NICHOLSON - Events & Special Projects Coordinator

Now ‘retired’, Noreen had a long career in tertiary education as a project coordinator and departmental manager at Deakin, Karingal and The Gordon. She is now involved in mentoring, event coordination, justice networks and is passionate about sustainability. Noreen is the passion behind our Clever Living Seminars and Life Learning project. She is committed to working to preserve our natural environment for her grandchildren and generations to come.

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James Rourke-Dunkley - Co-Chair CORE Task Group

James brings technical expertise in contemporary and future renewable energy technologies to Geelong Sustainability. Since joining in 2019, James has primarily contributed his experience with electricity networks, Australian Standards and energy transition to the CORE Task Group. James is impassioned by community driven change and the strong belief that groups such as Geelong Sustainability can shape Australia’s future energy landscape by driving lasting incremental changes to our energy systems. Starting small James has employed high energy efficiency principles to his sustainable home as reducing consumption is one of the most effective tools in living sustainably. He looks forward to employing more sustainable strategies in 2021. 

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Behzad Falahati - Energy Assessor & VRES Coordinator

Behzad is passionate about supporting families and businesses in making informed sustainable choices by capitalising on his 7 years experience in energy efficiency and sustainability upgrades in residential and commercial/industrial settings. He holds a Masters Degree in Mechanical Engineering from Melbourne University, a Masters Degree in Biomedical Engineering and a Bachelor Degree in Mechanical Engineering. Behzad is an accredited Residential Efficiency Scorecard assessor. He has also received Green Star training for the sustainable design and operation of buildings. Behzad is a member of Engineers Australia and is Greenlight’s accredited energy assessor.


In addition, Geelong Sustainability would like to acknowledge the many past committee members who have donated their time, energy and expertise to support the organisation over its ten plus year journey.