Keynotes 2014

Paul Edwards, Group General Manager, Sustainability, Mirvac

Paul EdwardsPaul returned to Australia in June 2013 to take up the recently created role of Group General Manager of Sustainability at Mirvac after spending the last six years as the Head of Sustainability at Hammerson.

In this role he is responsible for all environmental, social challenges and opportunities across the whole business. The diversity of the Mirvac portfolio means that he is responsible for both development and existing assets and projects ranging from new towns to commercial buildings. In his first six months based on benchmarking, internal and external stakeholder engagement and a materiality study he launched 'This Changes Everything' Mirvac's plan for a sustainable future. Mirvac has for many years been a leader in sustainability including the first 6 Green Star Shopping Centre at Orion, Qld, the first 6 Green star Educational building at Bond University and more recently the latest 6 Green star office building at 8 Chifley, Sydney.  Mirvac is also very proud of their industry leading performance in transforming its existing portfolio to achieve 4.7 star NABERs energy and 3.5 star NABERS water.

Paul is the current Co- Chair of the Better Building Partnership Sydney, having previously been Chairman of the UK BBP.  He is the ex-chairman of the British Council of Offices sustainability committee and participated in various working groups including EPRA sustainability committee, BCSC, NSA, UKGBC and GBCA.  Paul has been involved with Australian Green Building Council from the start including Chairman of the Green Star Interiors tool.  He previously worked at Arup and Lend Lease, responsible for delivering leading edge green buildings including The Bond and RAAF Richmond in Sydney as well as involvement in ANZ and The Gauge at Docklands.  He led Hammerson to be top in sector for FTSE4Good, CDP and GRESB. Paul was named 28th most influential person in sustainability by Building Magazine, UK.

Greg Mackie, CEO, Place Leaders Asia Pacific

Greg MackieGreg Mackie is Chief Executive of Place Leaders Asia Pacific - an international network committed to creating great public places for people. A long-time arts and cultural advocate, for 23 years he co-owned Adelaide's most-loved indie bookstore - Imprints Booksellers. A former city councillor w he founded the Adelaide Festival of Ideas, and went on to a head up Arts SA from 2004-08.

He was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for services to the arts, and received the 2007 Dame Elizabeth Murdoch Cultural Leadership Award. As Deputy Chief Executive for former SA Premier Mike Rann, Greg's stewardship extended to the many great initiatives that emerged from the Adelaide Thinkers in Residence Program, and he chaired the SA Premier's Communications Advisory Group for a number of years. He became the SA Government's 'ageing provocateur' as head of the Office for Ageing. Still active in the arts and culture, Greg serves on a range of arts and community sector boards as well as undertaking consultancy.

Place Leaders Asia Pacific - 
Wikipedia site - 

Penelope Coombes, Managing Director, People for Places and Spaces

Penelope Coombes, Managing Director, People for Places and Spaces Penelope is co-founder and managing director of The People for Places and Spaces. Her work is collaborative, people-centred and place-based. She is an Adjunct Professor, University of Canberra, Faculty of Health.

She has acted as advisor to individuals, all sectors of government, the private sector and not-for-profits throughout Australia and in New Zealand, Asia, Europe and USA. She has been a Consultant to the Hong Kong Government, United Nations and World Health Organisation.

Over the last 30 years she has worked with clients to transform places and enhance liveability and health outcomes in capital cities, metropolitan, regional and rural areas.

Prior to founding PPS, when Foundation Head, School of Occupational Therapy, Cumberland College (now University of Sydney) she led the establishment of the first degree in occupational therapy in NSW and Hong Kong.

As a Fulbright Scholar and WHO Fellow, Penelope completed post-graduate studies in USA. She holds a Masters Degree majoring in organisational change.

Penelope is currently a Councillor of HCF of Australia and is on the Advisory Board of Partners for Liveable Communities, Australia.

Ms Kerryn Wilmot, Research Principal, Institute for Sustainable Futures, UTS

Ms Kerryn WilmotKerryn Wilmot is a highly experienced architect with particular expertise in sustainability in the built environment.  Kerryn co-leads the Cities and Buildings research area at the Institute for Sustainable Futures at UTS and supports the coordinator of the Sustainable Digital Cities Network in investigating the impact of new ways of working on the urban environment.

Prior to joining ISF, Kerryn had a 30-year career as a consultant architect.  Formerly an Associate at Spowers, Kerryn was the project leader for the industry-leading 60L Green Building in Carlton, Victoria that won a Banksia Award and influenced today’s commercial buildings and sustainable development tools.  When at Williams Boag Architects, Kerryn was the Accredited Green Star Professional for the 5-star green Star Gungahlin College campus in ACT.

She has been a guest lecturer at several universities and tutored in Sustainable Buildings and Environmental Building Services.  Kerryn was an active member of the Public Transport Users Association, lobbying for improved public transport in Victoria, in recognition of the need to for good sustainable transport options for liveable urban environments.  She represented PTUA on the Metropolitan Transport Forum and on the Minister for Transport’s Station Users Panel.

Professor Marcus Foth, Founder and Director, Urban Informatics Research Lab.
Professorial Fellow, School of Design, Creative Industries Faculty, Queensland University of Technology

Marcus FothProfessor Marcus Foth is founder and director of the Urban Informatics Research Lab, and Professorial Fellow in the School of Design, Creative Industries Faculty at Queensland University of Technology.

Marcus’ research focuses on the relationships between people, place and technology. He leads a cross-disciplinary team that develops practical approaches to complex urban problems. He adopts human-computer interaction and design methodologies to build engagement around emerging issues facing our cities.

Marcus’ recent work has examined:
Urban planning – new approaches to community participation and engagement Environmental sustainability – new strategies for energy monitoring in domestic settings Food futures – new ideas to re-think eating, cooking and growing food in the city Collaboration and co-working spaces – new aspirations for libraries in the 21st century

Marcus has received over $3 million in national competitive grants and industry funding. He received a Queensland Young Tall Poppy Science Award 2013, and was inducted by the planning, design and development site Planetizen to the world’s top 25 leading thinkers and innovators in the field of urban planning and technology.

Marcus has authored and co-authored over 110 publications in journals, edited books, and conference proceedings. He is the editor of the Handbook of Research on Urban Informatics (IGI 2009), co-author of Action Research and New Media (Hampton Press 2009), co-editor of From Social Butterfly to Engaged Citizen (MIT Press 2011), and co-editor of Eat, Cook, Grow: Mixing Human-Computer Interactions with Human-Food Interactions (MIT Press 2014).

He was the co-chair of the Oxford Internet Institute’s Summer Doctoral Programme 2009, conference chair of OZCHI 2009 and the 5th International Conference on Communities and Technologies (C&T) 2011.

Marcus has been invited to give presentations at leading research institutions, including MIT, Harvard, Emerson, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Tsinghua University, University of Oxford, University of Manchester, Helsinki Institute for Information Technology, University of Oulu, IT University of Copenhagen, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, Cape Peninsula University of Technology, and the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST).

Ruth Spielman, Executive Officer of the National Growth Areas Alliance (NGAA)

Ruth SpielmanRuth Spielman is Executive Officer of the National Growth Areas Alliance (NGAA) which incorporates 25 of the  fastest growing municipalities on the outskirts of the capital cities around the nation, where over 3.3m people are housed.  These Councils formed a group in 2007 to input into policy at the Federal level and to advocate for needed infrastructure and services for growth areas. 

Qualified in both social work and urban planning, Ruth has over 20 years experience working in growth area councils across social planning, strategic planning and community services.  She has also worked for a regional organisation of local governments on housing policy, in the non-government sector in community health and planning, in private practice and for state government in community services and transport. 

Tim Bennett, Founder and Principal at RED Primary™

Tim BennettTim Bennett, Founder and Principal at RED Primary™ (previously known as Garden of Villages™) is an agriscientist with vast experience in launching small and large scale agricultural development projects  -  from partnerships with established family farms, to start-up ventures, listed investment companies, retail financial products, and institutional investment funds.
Tim is a rare blend of technologically savvy entrepreneur, property specialist, investment analyst and an agriscientist with passion for developing sustainable, resilient and diversified agricultural projects. Tim takes holistic approach to creating a commercial success out of making a positive difference for the developing parts of the world, and recently he has been invited as an expert consultant to UN Centre for Alleviation of Poverty by Sustainable Agriculture (CAPSA), Bangkok.

"Shake the hand that feeds you" is the tagline of RED Primary™, Tim’s most recent project. “We work in partnership and stand shoulder to shoulder with our partner farmers. We help with know-how, education, integration, diversification, compliance, technology, and administration, processing and marketing. Our tagline highlights our commitment to partnerships between producers and their markets, orchestrated by RED Primary” – says Tim.

Claire Johnston, Lend Lease Project Director for Victoria Harbour

Claire JohnstonClaire Johnston is the Lend Lease Project Director for Victoria Harbour. Claire has been with Lend Lease for 18 years and has a variety of roles, including four years as General Manager (Victoria) The Hornery Institute and four years as Project Director Island Palm Communities – Actus Military Housing (Hawaii, USA).

In her current role, Claire’s focus is leading the Project into its next stage through the creation of a vibrant urban community that integrates residential living and commercial workplaces with a world class public realm and retail experience.

Claire has a Bachelor of Commerce and a Masters Degree in Business. She is a Board Member of Destination Docklands and is passionate about delivering vision led, sustainable urban renewal outcomes in a commercially sensible manner.

Steven Burgess, Principal, MRCagney Pty Ltd

Steven BurgessSteven Burgess is one of Australia's leading contributors to the planning, design and development of liveable cities. A Principal with boutique Australasian transportation consultancy MRCagney, Steven brings 25 years' experience as an engineer and urban strategist to the development of long-term relationships between urban form, mobility and vitality. Steven has worked on many village, town and city transformation projects in Australia, New Zealand, Africa and the Middle East.

Steven authored "Complete Streets - Guidelines to Urban Street Design", published in 2010. Complete Streets is a go to guide for active street design used by Local Governments, designers and engineers throughout Australia and New Zealand. Steven's unique, laid back speaking style has made him a popular speaker throughout Australasia and at speaking engagements in the USA and Middle East.