Phone: 0418 261 404
I have many years of experience in strengths based approaches to community development in diverse communities and many different issues in Australia and internationally, and in advocacy and campaigning at the interface of ecological sustainability, economic prosperity and social wellbeing and equity.
With a background in environmental science, community development, adult education, strategic research, policy and human rights advocacy I’ve assisted local communities, environmental NGOs (such as Greenpeace, The Wilderness Society, Solar Citizens) and with Aboriginal community organisations in central Australia and NSW to build capacity and achieve key goals including strategies to manage community/police relationships, family violence, alcohol abuse, housing and education, employment and community programs, local natural disaster preparedness and resilience, transitioning regional economies towards sustainability.
I have extensive experience as a board member building the governance capacity and strategic policy work of of international and national organisations (including the Climate Action Network Australia and the Australian Conservation Foundation) and local and regional organisations such as the Hunter Community Environment Centre and the Arid Lands Environment Centre. I was an inaugural member of the International Advisory Board of the London-based Business and Human Rights Resource Centre (http://business-humanrights.org/en), which tracks the human rights policies and performance of over 6,000 companies in 180 countries and supports vulnerable communities to eradicate abuse.
As Executive Director of the Australian-based NGO, the Mineral Policy Institute, I led teams working across diverse cultures and contexts, for example helping coordinate national and international campaigns with communities affected by mining and energy projects in many parts of Australia and globally (including in Papua New Guinea, Indonesia, Philippines, Eastern Europe, Africa, and the US and Canada) around corporate responsibility and accountability.
My approach is grounded in facilitating a deep analysis of the people and community relationships and strengths, including natural resources, social history and stories, economic opportunities, capacity to adapt and build partnerships linking communities with other key stakeholders in social change.
I live in Newcastle and on a small farm in the Hunter Valley, near Gloucester, where we are building an arts and ecology centre, beginning with a massive straw bale shed and growing garlic and other organic food. My research and advocacy on transitioning the Hunter region from coal economy to a clean energy economy has been supported by environmental organisations, trade unions and by many communities and local governments.