• Ali Abbas
    Associate Professor, The University of Sydney

    Session: Panel Discussion: Unleashing the power of AI to manage Australian waste

    Associate Professor Ali Abbas received both his Bachelors and PhD in Chemical Engineering from University of Sydney, Australia. He held a lecturing contract at the Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Sydney before joining, in 2004, the new School of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. He was appointed, in 2007, to the lecturing position at UNSW Asia in Chemical Engineering in the Division of Engineering Science and Technology. Associate Professor Abbas returned to the School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at the University of Sydney later in 2007.

    His engineering research is in the area of Process Systems Engineering with emphasis on model-based optimal operation of particulate, energy and bio- systems. He has strong interests in education and teaching with particular focus on curriculum design and integration as well as on experiential e-learning and virtual worlds (such as the University's Second Life world).

  • Vikas Ahuja
    Sustainability Director, Tetra Pak

    Session: Panel Discussion: Driving Australia’s Transition to a Circular Economy for Packaging

    Vikas Ahuja is the Sustainability Director for Tetra Pak Oceania, Japan and Korea. Vikas is responsible for delivering on Tetra Pak's sustainability ambitions, which are focused on circularity, climate impact and biodiversity. Vikas has more than 20 years of experience in the energy and sustainability management. Prior to joining Tetra Pak, Vikas was the Head of Energy & Sustainability at Coles Group.

  • Amanda Bombaci
    Regional Waste Coordinator – Team Leader, Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC)
  • Kathryn Cassidy
    Group Sustainability Manager, Downer Group

    Session: Opening remarks from the Chair

    I am the Group Manager Sustainability at Downer and was previously National Sustainability Manager for the Property & Asset Management business at JLL.

    I have a Bachelor and Master’s in Environmental Engineering and have worked in sustainability in property, local government and corporate reporting for more than 15 years in Australia and the UK.

    Downer designs, builds and sustains assets, infrastructure and facilities and we are the leading provider of integrated services in Australia and New Zealand working in transport, utilities, facilities asset services.

    Downer is known in the waste industry for producing various road pavement products from recycled materials for example Reconophalt; our Reconomy business which operates a recycling facility at Rosehill that recovers materials from street sweepings for use in our road pavements; and we hold a 50 per cent shareholding in Victoria-based waste-to-resource business Repurpose It.

    The Environment and Sustainability team embeds sustainability into business strategy, is responsible for the Sustainability Corporate reporting and provides functional support to the operations.

  • Brooke Donnelly
    Chief Executive Officer, Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation
  • Kylie Douglas
    Senior Landfill Engineer, City of Greater Bendigo

    Session: Best practice strategies to reduce the use of landfill in disposing of waste products

    I studied at LaTrobe University Bendigo and graduated in 2009 with a double degree in Environmental Engineering and Biochemistry. Upon graduating, I became a committee member of the Bendigo Engineers Australia Committee, a position I still hold. Over the next 8 years after graduation, I lectured across all years of the Civil Engineering degree in various subjects, both in Bendigo and Bundoora and was awarded the Pro-Vice Chancellor’s Award in July 2017. In September 2017 I took up the role of Senior Landfill Engineer with the City of Greater Bendigo. Few can say that they have landed their dream job, however this job is the reason I studied Environmental Engineering and Biochemistry. It is the ultimate combination of use of my qualifications and allows me to work in an area that I am deeply passionate about – Resource Recovery and Education. This role allows me to work with the staff on the ground and actively explore ways that diversion from landfill can be achieved. With the Eaglehawk Landfill having an expected life dependency of only 1.5 years, exploring ways to divert and prolong the life of the landfill are paramount. It is a constantly changing role, challenging and incredibly rewarding.

    In addition to my role with the City of Greater Bendigo, I am also an active member of WMRR Victoria Landfills Division and I am the current Chair of the Loddon Mallee Waste and Resource Recovery Technical Committee. I also participated as an active member of the consulting working groups on the new EP Act and subsequent Regulations due to be implemented in Victoria, July 2021.

  • Nicole Garofano
    Head of Circular Economy Development, Planet Ark

    Session: Is Australia ready to develop a circular economy?

    Nicole Garofano is the Head of Circular Economy Development for Planet Ark. In her role, Nicole is leading the ongoing strategic development of the Australian Circular Economy (ACE) Hub, building on her passion for creating change in how we generate and manage resources.

    For more than 15 years, Nicole has worked in environmental education with a focus on waste management. She has designed and managed community-based initiatives to increase sorting, collection and processing of a range of packaging materials, including plastic. Nicole’s dedication to reducing environmental footprints led her to develop a range of activities including a green business program, national clean up campaigns, and climate change adaptation educational tools to support community, schools, businesses, and government agencies.

    Most recently prior to joining Planet Ark, Nicole completed a PhD focused on the plastic food and beverage packaging value chain, identifying both local and global innovation to improve chain activities and outcomes.
    Nicole also holds a Master of Development Practice and a Graduate Certificate in Environmental Management and is an Associate of the Australian Institute of Packaging.

  • Yasmin Grigaliunas
    Chief Executive Officer & Co-Founder, World’s Biggest Garage Sale

    Session: Resource recovery partnerships powering the transition to a circular economy

    Yasmin Grigaliunas, CEO and Co-founder of the World’s Biggest Garage Sale (WBGS), is a circular economy pioneer in Australia, driving this industry forward by innovating, collaborating, connecting and mobilising
    multiple stakeholders towards a shared vision, all while providing social good.

    An accomplished TEDx Brisbane speaker, Yas also led her team to winning the 2018 Lord Mayor's Business Award for Sustainability, and the Cleanaway Waste Innovation Award. Yas is an inaugural SheEO Australian Venture, and 2020 winner of the Queensland Chief Entrepreneur's Innovation award for ‘Brand of the Year’.

    In 2017 she ditched a lucrative salary to commit to her role as CEO and Co-founder of WBGS, a Brisbane based organisation, designing innovative solutions to commercialise the circular economy through the activation of dormant goods for good. Via WBGS she wants to provide a platform for positive impact for people, planet and profit for purpose on a global level.

  • Tim Hackett
    Quality, Safety and Environment Manager, Henschke

    Session: 2025 National packaging targets – how the Australian wine industry is using a collective impact model to achieve the 2025 targets

    Tim has an Advanced Diploma in Environmental Management and over 15 years of experience Managing Environmental Risks for Businesses including Electrical Contracting, Commercial and Industrial Building, Animal Feed and Wine Growing and Manufacturing.

    Tim was recognised as an Environmental Champion in 2012 when completing his Advanced Diploma, and again as a finalist this year for the APCO Sustainable Champion Awards.

    Tim is a Quality, Safety and Environment Manager for Henschke and under his management Henschke have been recognised for their sustainability work several times by APCO and SAWIA in recent years.

    He has worked for Henschke for 8 years and in that time has been involved in many Sustainability projects and initiatives including light weighting of packaging, freight reduction, substitution of non-recyclable packaging with sustainable alternatives, reduction of in business packaging, assessment of wine industry packaging materials alternatives for case studies and most recently the Barossa Region Recyclability Project working with two local Councils, the Regional Development Association, Industry bodies and a local recycling depot as well as conducting a study on Wine Industry waste streams. This project is already achieving improved recycling in the region and is looking to use some materials locally in a circular economy approach.

    Tim serves on the Environmental Committee at the SA Wine Industry Association (SAWIA) and is chair of the Wine Industry Sustainable Packaging Alliance. In this capacity Tim has been involved in many sustainable projects and is proud to be able to say he has made a difference in this key area of sustainability.

  • Ian Hansel
    Director , Verge Labs

    Session: Panel Discussion: Unleashing the power of AI to manage Australian waste

    Ian Hansel is a Director of Verge Labs, a company empowering businesses through Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence. Verge Labs bridges the gap between business and cutting-edge research applications.

    Ian has led data teams in corporations across many industries including insurance, retail, marketing, and technology. He also teaches data science and is a distinguished faculty member of General Assembly, provides mentoring to UTS students and guest lectures at Melbourne Business School.

  • Dr Britta Denise Hardesty
    Principal Research Scientist, CSIRO Oceans and Atmosphere

    Session: Panel Discussion: Unleashing the power of AI to manage Australian waste

    A research scientist in CSIRO’s Oceans and Atmosphere, Denise has been actively focusing her research on plastic pollution and illegal fishing for the last 14+ years. Her team takes a risk-based approach to addressing impacts on wildlife, people, and economies from waste, focusing on drivers for litter losses into the environment, and waste policy effectiveness. Increasing, the team is using AI for multiple applications, including to identify and quantify waste leaking to the environment, and to identify vessels and on-water activities. She believes strongly in the contribution of communities, having worked with more than 8,000 citizen scientists to help tackle global challenges.

  • Ricki Hersburgh
    Executive Director, Plastic Oceans Australasia

    Session: Interactive roundtables

    Session: The role of local government in the circular economy

    Ricki is a dynamic executive manager with over 25 years’ experience in environmental sustainability, waste resource management and the not-for-profit sector. An avid ocean lover, Ricki is passionate to imbue generational change to ensure our blue planet can endure the ongoing impact of human activity on aquatic life.

  • Terrie-Ann Johnson
    Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer, Clean Up Australia

    Session: Interactive roundtables

    Terrie-Ann Johnson joined Clean Up Australia in 2003 as Corporate Affairs Manager.

    Since then she has held several management positions developing and leading the delivery and evaluation of all of Clean Up Australia’s campaigns and projects including Clean Up Australia Day, Clean Up the World, Clean Water and Towards Zero Waste.

    In 2007 Terrie-Ann was appointed Chief Executive, responsible for strategic planning, advocacy, people management, fundraising, compliance, communication and stakeholder management, financial controls and business ethics.
    In 2012 she was appointed to the Board of Clean Up Australia Limited as Managing Director.

    During the span of her 30 years as a professional communicator, Terrie-Ann has worked with a vast array of specialist services organisations including Rubicon Point, Perpetual Trustees, Lend Lease Corporation, MLC Limited, Business Men’s Assurance, Mercantile Mutual Insurance (Australia) Limited and The Scout Association of Australia (NSW).

    She has also held multiple Board and Committee Memberships including the NSW Government Sports Advisory Committee, International Association of Business Communicators, the United Grand Lodge of NSW and ACT, Surf Life Saving Australia, the Westpac Helicopter Rescue Service and most recently Clean Up Australia Limited.

    Terrie-Ann is a graduate of the University of Technology, NSW, Australia (Bachelor of Arts), and Charles Sturt University (Master of Arts).

  • Robert Kempton
    Team Leader Project Management, Cardno

    Session: Design considerations for advanced public waste facilities

    Robert specialises in leading multidisciplinary design teams for complex, high risk, and large scale projects, in the waste, industrial and transport infrastructure sectors. With 20yrs experience across the full project life cycle (initial concept to operations), he understands the importance of planning for long term value, managing risk, designing with the end in mind and collaborating for success.

  • Sarah King
    Senior Research Consultant – Circular Economy, CSIRO

    Session: Unlocking the economic potential of the circular economy

    Sarah is a Senior Research Consultant working at CSIRO, Australia’s National Science Agency. Research interests are innovation networks, industry transformation and industrial symbiosis. Sarah developed and delivered ASPIRE (Advisory System for Processing, Innovation and Resource Exchange), an award-winning, Australian innovation. ASPIRE is an internet marketplace that helps firms find alternatives for waste or by-products, create new business to business collaboration and gain access to innovation partners.

    Sarah has almost twenty years of innovation and entrepreneurship experience in business development, managing and delivering industry research in Manufacturing, Forestry, Agriculture and IT sectors. Bachelor of Forestry Science from Canterbury University and a Masters in Corporate Environmental Sustainability Management from Monash University. Currently a part-time PhD candidate at the University of Technology Swinburne, researching innovation networks and sustainable transitions.

  • Janet Leslie
    Manager – Sustainability, Canon Australia

    Session: Interactive roundtables

    Janet Leslie is the Sustainability Manager for Canon Oceania. Canon is well known for its commitment to research and development and innovative, high quality products. Probably less well known is its long- term investment in recycling technology and the development of materials and products that are easy to recycle and reuse.

    Janet was involved in the development of the National TV and Computer Recycling Scheme. She was instrumental in establishing the Australian New Zealand Recycling Platform (ANZRP) as an independent, not for profit industry- run product stewardship organisation.  Janet remains a Director of ANZRP and has been active for over 15 years in the Cartridges for Planet Ark Program and ABRI the Australian Battery Recycling Initiative. Canon is also a member of the Australian Packaging Covenant and the Battery Stewardship Council.  Janet is the Chair of the Australian Information Industry Corporate Social Responsibility Policy Advisory Network (CSR PAN) and is a strong advocate for National, multi stakeholder product Stewardship Schemes.

  • Tanya Lewis
    The Eco Organiser / Author , Ecoorganiser.com / Stuff Off & Ethically Declutter Your Home in 30 Days

    Session: The psychology of waste: Creating behavioural change to reduce waste and recycling our carbon footprint

    Tanya Lewis aka The Eco Organiser® Motivational Speaker, Waste Coach, Author and Sustainable Interior Designer has a simple philosophy borrowed from Gandhi

    “Live simply, so others can simply live”

    Tanya Lewis created Eco Organiser® after realising her passion was helping people reduce waste, organise their time and space- and to do it in an environmentally responsible way.

    Founder of The10R’s© Tanya helps society rethink and organise their way to a sustainable future and more time for the really important things in your life.

    Tanya is on a mission to teach people that being organised won’t cost the earth.

    From the Australian bush to big city corporates, state and local government to the UK and Sydney Opera House over 8000 people have attended her interactive workshops and webinars, demonstrating how easy it is to reduce waste, save time, money and help protect the planet.
    Since starting her business Eco Organiser® has helped divert an estimated 44 000 kg of waste from landfill.

    Rethink Responsible Refuse Repurpose Reorganise Repair Reduce Reuse Recycle Reward

  • Soko Made
    City Government Zero Waste Senior Coordinator, San Francisco Department of Environment

    Session: International keynote (live virtual presentation): Creating a citywide zero-waste culture

    Ms. Soko Made has over fifteen years of experience in zero waste and is hoping to make a difference. She is the City Government Zero Waste Senior Coordinator at the San Francisco Department of the Environment, where she plays an integral role in the city government sector to increase awareness and compliance of City environmental ordinances and regulations. Ms. Made assists with several zero waste programs including promoting reuse of City owned surplus materials through the City’s online exchange system, implementing recycling and composting programs for City Departments, and developing contract specifications that support responsible production and consumption. She also educates City employees on the importance of leading by example when it comes to zero waste principles. Ms. Made received her Bachelor of Arts (BA) Degree in Geology from Saint Louis University and Master of Science in Environmental Management (MSEM) degree from the University of San Francisco.

  • Lisa McLean
    Chief Executive Officer, NSW Circular

    Session: Putting the circular economy to use in supporting a healthy environment

    Lisa is a circular economy and zero-carbon business transformation leader. She has been successfully advising industry and governments in developing new policy frameworks and regulations that bring about market change to enable the circular zero-carbon economy over the past 14 years.

    This work has covered the energy, water, waste and mobility sectors in the UK and Australia.

    Lisa established and led the Open Cities Alliance, a peak industry association with unique membership from government to private sector and research organisations. Open Cities advocates for the circular economy, prosumer rights and new local utility and mobility precinct approaches.

    In Australia, Lisa initiated and established the Australian Solar Thermal Association (AUSTELA), advised electric mobility providers, and worked with Flow Systems from a start-up sustainable water utility to its major role in shaping a new sustainable water and now multi-utility market.
    Starting her career as a political journalist working in the national press gallery, Lisa moved to advising ministers and premiers on education and climate policy, before heading to the UK to help establish the Clinton Climate Initiative.

  • Julie Morgan
    Executive Director - Environment & Sustainability, Transport for NSW

    Session: Opening remarks from the Chair

    Julie has over 25 years’ experience in the NSW public sector developing and implementing strategy, delivering large and complex projects, and managing operations. 

    She is a lawyer and spent a decade in legal practice at the NSW Director of Public Prosecutions and Legal Aid NSW before moving to the health sector to work with NSW Ambulance. 

    Julie joined Transport in 2017 in the Safety, Environment and Regulation Division and is now the Executive Director Environment & Sustainability.  She is a strong advocate for sustainability and ensuring that early project decisions translate into sustainable outcomes. Julie is also a member of the Infrastructure Sustainability Council of Australia (ISCA) Board.

  • Blaise Porter
    Director Responsible Business – Oceania, Fujitsu Australia

    Session: Panel Discussion: Unleashing the power of AI to manage Australian waste

    Blaise believes technology can deliver inclusive and sustainable benefits for society – and as Director of Responsible Business at Fujitsu Australia and New Zealand, she gets the job of putting it into practice! She directs Fujitsu’s sustainability, community and Indigenous programs; ensuring Fujitsu delivers value to customers and society.  The wide-ranging sustainability practice includes both internal and external ICT sustainability consulting, energy, waste, product stewardship and employee engagement across the region.  A passionate advocate for diversity in the ICT industry, she sits on Fujitsu’s D&I council and has chaired their Reconciliation Action Committee since 2016, and is currently completing her Masters in Sustainability & Climate Policy.

  • Camille Reed
    Founder and Chief Executive Officer, ACTA – Australasian Circular Textile Association

    Session: Interactive roundtables

    Camille Reed is renowned in the industry for her can-do attitude and feverous passion for sustainability. Camille has proudly aligned herself through partnerships with National and International circular economy experts founding and leading Australia's newest and largest textile association, the Australasian Circular Textile Association (ACTA). ACTA is here to support and facilitate the acceleration toward a circular economy for the textiles sector. And, never one to sit back and wait for change,

    Camille is recognised as a world leader in fashion sustainability founding The Australian Circular Fashion Conference (ACFC) – a unique, annual event, collectively supporting Australia and New Zealand's apparel and textiles industry to build sustainable and circular businesses underpinned by best practice. The next 2-day ACFC event will be held September 2021

  • Mike Ritchie
    Managing Director, MRA Consulting

    Session: Workshop A: Drafting a strategic waste management plan

    With 25 years experience in environmental policy and business development, Mike is currently Chair of the Carbon Division and AWT Working Group and Director of Environment Business Australia.
    He has previously been General Manager with several major waste companies, National Vice President and NSW President of WMAA, and Sessional Commissioner of the Land and Environment Court NSW

  • Lauren Roman
    Business Development Director - Metals & Minerals Ecosystem, Everledger

    Session: The battery passport

    Lauren develops Everledger’s business in metals and minerals, focusing on engagement with industry associations, brand owners and stakeholders in supply and value chains.

    Lauren has spent most of her career working with enterprises, governments and NGOs on electronics lifecycle issues and played a central role in USEPA initiatives on electronics lifecycle management. She now serves on the Global Battery Alliance Technology Working Group, chairs the NAATBatt Recycling Committee’s Exchange & Tracking Subcommittee and is the New Technology Lead for FISITA’s Battery Cluster. She is also active with the Supplier’s Partnership for the Environment’s Responsible Battery Working Group and a number of other industry organizations.

    LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/laurenroman

  • Graham Ross
    Co-Founder, BlockTexx

    Session: Case Study: Addressing waste in the textiles industry

    Graham Ross is an entrepreneur and environmentalist with a world-leading focus on textile sustainability and innovation. 

    Graham is co-founder of BlockTexx, an Australian clean technology company that has developed patent pending technology to recover value from unwanted clothing through its separation of fibre technology (S.O.F.T.™) 

    Graham is also founder & CEO of Kusaga Athletic, creator of the Greenest T-shirt on the Planet which needs just 1% of the water used to make a regular cotton tee. Kusaga Athletic has been awarded
    B Corp - Best for the World in 2017, 2018 and 2019.

    Graham’s determination to drive positive change in the textile industry comes down to one question: If not us, then who?

  • Judith Schinabeck
    Standards & Technical Manager, Good Environmental Choice Australia (GECA)

    Session: Addressing construction and demolition waste; the issues, barries and solutions

    Judith has extensive experience in green building and sustainable construction materials. She has always been inspired by holistic sustainability concepts.

    As an environmental engineer, she combines expertise in low carbon solutions in the built environment and a profound background in life cycle assessment. She has previously worked for European green building labels and is a Green Star Accredited Professional. During her time as a university researcher and throughout her whole career, she has collaborated with various architects, civil and building services engineers, councils and state departments. In her opinion, engineering is as much about finding the best technical solutions as it is about creating an equitable and just society.

  • Andrew Smith
    General Manager – Sustainability, PACT Group

    Session: Panel Discussion: Driving Australia’s transition to a circular economy for packaging

    Andrew has accumulated more than 25 years’ experience in the packaging, recycling and sustainability industry. Before Pact Group, Andrew spent ten years at Visy where he was instrumental in the development and rollout of national kerbside recycling systems. For the past 15 years Andrew has led Pact’s Sustainability division and grown it into the largest recycler and user of post-industrial resin across Australia and New Zealand.

    With broad industry knowledge, Andrew views partnerships and collaboration central to successful end-to-end solutions and he is currently leading Pact’s scale post-consumer recycling capability build.

  • Richard Smith
    Director of Sustainability, Amcor

    Session: Panel Discussion: Driving Australia’s transition to a circular economy for packaging

    Richard Smith is the Director of Sustainability for Amcor Flexibles Asia Pacific.

    Richard is a Chemical Engineer and has worked in the packaging industry for over 30 years focused heavily on innovation and enabling customers’ to becoming more circular through responsible packaging solutions.
    In 2013 Richard was made a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Packaging for significant contribution to the development of innovative plastics packaging.
    More recently, in 2020 Richard was appointed as a non-executive Director of the Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation (APCO).

  • Dr David Soldani
    Chief Information and Security Officer (CISO), Rakuten Symphony

    Session: Panel Discussion: Unleashing the power of AI to manage Australian waste

    David Soldani received a Master of Science (M.Sc.) degree in Engineering with full marks and magna cum laude approbatur from the University of Florence, Italy, in 1994; and a Doctor of Science (D.Sc.) degree in Technology with distinction from Helsinki University of Technology, Finland, in 2006. In 2014, 2016 and 2018 he was appointed Visiting Professor, Industry Professor, and Adjunct Professor at University of Surrey, UK, University of Technology Sydney (UTS), Australia, and University of New South Wales (UNSW), respectively. D. Soldani is currently at Huawei Technologies and, since 2018, he has been serving as Chief Technology (CTO) and Cyber Security Officer (CSO) within the ASIA Pacific Region, and, since 2020, as Chairman of the IMDA 5G task force, in Singapore. Prior to that he was Head of 5G Technology, e2e, Global, at Nokia; and Head of Central Research Institute (CRI) and VP Strategic Research and Innovation in Europe, at Huawei European Research Centre (ERC). David can be reached online at https://www.linkedin.com/in/dr-david-soldani/

  • Margaret Stuart
    Head of Corporate Affairs and Sustainability, Nestlé Oceania

    Session: Taking on the challenge of soft plastics in Australia

    Session: Panel Discussion: Driving Australia’s transition to a circular economy for packaging

    Margaret is Head of Corporate Affairs at Nestlé Oceania, where she is responsible for communications and public affairs across the region. In this role, Margaret works in areas as diverse as nutrition, human rights and environmental sustainability, working across a portfolio of iconic food and beverage brands. She has a broad corporate affairs background, particularly in the healthcare, food and agribusiness sectors.

    Most recently, Margaret has been involved in developing Nestlé’s vision for a better future for soft plastic packaging in Australia.

  • Jonathon West
    Executive General Manager - Strategy & Joint Ventures, Pact Group
  • Zoe Wood
    Senior Environmental Scientist, Cardno

    Session: Design considerations for advanced public waste facilities

    Zoe specialises in managing environmental matters on complex water and catchment management, road and waste projects. She has over 14yrs experience in both the public and private sector delivering timely development approvals, environmental integration with concept design, detailed design and construction, and robust and comprehensive impact investigations.

  • Phil Woods
    Strategy Manager – Resource Recovery and Circular Economy, Sydney Water