Doug Parsons, Director of America Adapts Media and host of America Adapts – The Climate Change Podcast

Doug first started in the adaptation field in Queensland focusing on the impacts of climate change on the agriculture sector.  Upon returning to the United States, Doug joined the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and quickly assumed the duties of their first Climate Change Coordinator – the first such position in the Florida state government.  In that position, Doug developed a first of its kind climate change training course that has since been modelled by both the US Federal Government and the State of California. Doug then took a position as the Climate Change Liaison with the US National Park Service’s (NPS) Climate Change Response program.  In that role, Doug contributed to some of the earliest federal approaches to adaptation.  After NPS, Doug assumed the role of North America Policy Director at the Society for Conservation Biology, working on climate change adaptation, endangered species and science communication issues. Doug speaks regularly to different groups, trying to bring awareness to the emerging issue of climate adaptation.

Jill Fagan, Manager Water Sector Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation, Victorian Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning

Jill has led water sector programs in climate change, research and innovation, integrated water management and strategy. She led over 70 stakeholder organisations to develop the first ever National Urban Water Research Strategy, chaired and provided leadership for eight organisations to deliver the national Water Research Access Portal, and initiated and convened the Melbourne Water Industry Climate Change Committee. She has a Bachelor of Chemical Engineering, a Bachelor of Arts, and a PhD in which she built a computer model to assess innovations in water, wastewater and stormwater systems.

David Putland, Acting Manager of Science and Reporting, Climate Change Policy branch in the Queensland Department of Environment and Science

Dave led a small team developing the Queensland Climate Adaptation Strategy that was released in July 2017, and is now coordinating the development of Sector Adaptation Plans and the monitoring, evaluation and reporting framework for the strategy. Dave previously worked as the Climate Program Manager with the Queensland horticulture industry, and as a researcher in climate change and biodiversity.

Julie Harris, Executive Officer at Enviroment Education Victoria

Julie has been Executive Officer at Environment Education Victoria, the professional association for environmental education in Victoria, for almost three years. Her career of over 30 years has included, and been influenced by, primary teaching, project management and environmental education/behaviour change in the formal, informal and non-formal sectors and state government. As well as largely working in Victoria, Julie has also been involved in environmental education projects in South East Asia.

Wendy Steele, Associate Professor in Cities, Sustainability and Planning with the Centre for Urban Research, RMIT Melbourne

Wendy Steele is an Associate Professor in Cities, Sustainability and Planning co-located in the School of Global, Urban and Social Studies (GUSS) and the Centre for Urban Research (CUR) at RMIT University, Melbourne. Her current research focuses on cities in a climate of change with an emphasis on critical urban governance. She is the principal investigator for an Australian Research Council grant on ‘Enabling social innovation climate adaptation at the local scale’.

Jon Barnett, Professor in the School of Geography at The University of Melbourne

Jon is a political geographer whose research investigates social impacts and responses to environmental change. His research has helped explain the impacts of climate change on coastal communities, cultures, food security, migration, and water security. He is particularly focused on adaptation solutions that contribute to social justice and peace. Jon has conducted fieldwork in several Pacific Island Countries, and in Australia, China and Timor-Leste. He was Lead Author for the 2015 IPCC Assessment Report and co-edits the journal Global Environmental Change.

Rob Turk, Australasia Sustainability and Climate Change Leader, Arup

Rob is Arup’s Australasia Sustainability and Climate Change Leader. He has over 20 years experience in delivering sustainability and climate change projects in Australia, New Zealand, UK, Singapore and Abu Dhabi. He has qualifications in Environmental Science and Environmental Law and recently completed a Resilience of Urban Systems Master Module through MIT.

He was on inaugural Board of the Infrastructure Sustainability Council of Australia and is Deputy Chair of the Steering Committee of the Australian Government funded, Clean Air and Urban Landscapes Research Hub. Rob has been working with Resilient Melbourne Delivery Office to apply the City Resilience Index to Melbourne.

Rob was the Sustainability Manager for the concept design stage of the $5 Billion, Regional Rail Link project, Sustainability Advisor for the Sydney CBD and South East Light Rail Project, for Transport for New South Wales and leading the infrastructure sustainability approach for the successful Cross Yarra Partnership Melbourne Metro Tunnel and Stations PPP.

Climate change adaptation examples include his role as Project Manager for the preparation of eight adaptation plans for the councils of Barwon South West and leading the Department of Health and Human Services, Community Sector Climate Resilience Program for two years. He also led the climate change risk and vulnerability assessment of Melbourne’s North, ‘Adaptation in the North’ and was Project Director of a climate risk and vulnerability assessment for the City of Whitehorse to assess the susceptibility of building stock to projected climatic changes and provide this as an input to asset management processes.

Rohan Hamden, Director of XDI: The Cross Dependency Initiative

Rohan is a Director of XDI: The Cross Dependency Initiative, which provides infrastructure risk assurance services based on climate change science, infrastructure engineering and advanced statistical methods.

Rohan began his career in Government as a fire fighter. After nearly 15 years, his last role in Government was as the Director of the Climate Adaptation Program for South Australia.  He designed and led the implementation of the States multi-award winning climate change adaptation program.  This program has seen a transformation in how communities and industries work together to adapt to climate change. 

For two years he was the inaugural chair of the international Adaptation Working Group of The Climate Group States and Regions Alliance.  Since 2014 he has run his own company and works with governments in Australia, the Americas, the Pacific and Europe on their climate change policies.  He works in areas as diverse as indigenous communities in the tropics through to state and commonwealth governments globally.

He has several degrees, and over 20 years of experience in risk management, business impacts and climate change.

Kirsty Bauer, Case Manager – VIC, ACT and Operations Manager, Infrastructure Sustainability Council of Australia

Kirsty joined ISCA as part of the Technical Team in August 2015. She is primarily responsible for supporting Infrastructure Sustainability (IS) registered ratings through the rating process and facilitating the use of the IS rating scheme for projects in Victoria. Kirsty project managed the development of the IS Operations rating scheme.

Kirsty has over 13 years of experience delivering environmental, energy and sustainability project support in a range of sectors.

Kirsty is one of two South Africans at ISCA (aside from Ainsley), and has also lived in the UK. She enjoys solving problems, playing supball at Manly Wharf, and caring for her beloved dog, Jock.

Bridget Tehan, Senior Policy Analyst – Emergency Management, Victorian Council of Social Service

Bridget has a background in corporate affairs, communications and policy analysis. She has been involved in emergency management since 2009 when she worked with the State Government to provide coordinated services to assist people, families and communities to recover from the Black Saturday bushfires.  Bridget continued to work with the State Government to assist with recovery following the widespread 2010-11 Victorian floods. Since 2012 Bridget has worked with the Victorian Council of Social Service to explore the role of the community sector in emergency management. Bridget also works to highlight the needs of vulnerable and disadvantaged people before, during and after emergencies as well as their needs in the mitigation, transition and adaptation to climate change.

Bronwyn Gresham, Clinical psychologist and volunteer with Pschology for a Safe Climate

Founded in 2010, Psychology for a Safe Climate is a not-for-profit Melbourne based organisation that formed in response to the lack of individual and community engagement with climate change. Our group acknowledge we need strong and urgent action. Using our professional knowledge as psychologists and helping professionals, our aim is to increase understanding and engagement with climate change. Through our contribution, our hope is that people will become free to act, rather than react or withdraw in despair. With so many psychological challenges associated with accepting and responding to climate change, Bronwyn has a deep appreciation of the therapeutic power of community and togetherness in responding. In her own work, and as a mum and volunteer, she values nature, self-care and self-compassion. With a growing strong evidence base these resources are considered vital for responding to emotional stress, nourishing connection and informing effective actions.