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:
VICKI PERRETT - President
Vicki enjoyed a long career in tertiary education as a teacher, instructional designer and program manager. A seachange retirement to the Bellarine aroused her passion for sustainability and the importance of protecting our natural environment for future generations. Vicki was Treasurer from 2012-2016 before becoming President. Vicki is developing our networks and campaigning for legislative change. She coordinates local events including Sustainable House Day and is advocating for a pilot micro eco village for Geelong.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Louise Beames - Committee Member
Louise has 19 years-experience in the field of ecology, including 14 years working within not-for-profit organisation Environs Kimberley. She established the long-running Kimberley Nature Project and co-manages a team of ecologists and field naturalists who collaborate widely with Aboriginal rangers and communities, scientists, government, community groups and land managers to deliver effective, multi-year projects that document, manage and protect significant Kimberley eco-cultural values. Louise grew up in the Bellarine, moving back in 2015, and lives sustainability through her off-grid home, farm to plate lifestyle, and addiction to growing and establishing native plants. She is very pleased to join the Geelong Sustainability committee and contribute to local, sustainable projects where she and her family live.
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..
Sal Fisher - Committee Member
Sal has background and qualifications in Nutrition and Dietetics and Public Health. Originally from a farm in western Victoria and working in regional areas until moving to Geelong in 2017, Sal is keenly aware of the impact of climate change on food systems and food producers and how consumers food choices influence climate and sustainability issues (eg diets and food waste and packaging). Sal is a keen gardener with a passion for nutritious, sustainable native Australian plants and has been broadening her palate and skills by cultivating indigenous bush foods in her garden and for commercial purposes. Sal is currently leading GS in the Food component of the Responsible Consumption and Production Action Area and also supporting members to advocate for effective Climate Action.
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.
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.
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.
The Geelong Sustainability committee is strategically supported by a number of key volunteers, contractors and staff.
DAVID SPEAR - Executive Officer Greenlight
David is the inaugural Executive Officer of GreenLight, the Geelong Sustainability Group's social enterprise offering a range of new sustainability services. David is an accomplished senior executive, having set up, run and led regional development organisations in Victoria, Queensland and Canberra. He now brings his experience, knowledge and passion for creating a better world to the Geelong Sustainability Group, leading the development of new revenue streams to support the organisation's success implementing its overall vision, mission and value.
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.
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.
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.