Confirmed Featured Speakers 2018

Professor Paul Burton, Director, Cities Research Institute, Griffith University

Paul Burton is Professor of Urban Management and Planning and Director of the Cities Research Institute at Griffith University.

His research interests are broad-ranging and include urban responses to climate change, metropolitan scale planning and governance and the theory and practice of public participation and community engagement.

In 2012 he led a research project on the role of urban agriculture in promoting greater food security in cities, especially in the light of climate variability.

Paul is a member of Regional Development Australia, Gold Coast and sits on the national Education Committee of the Planning Institute of Australia.

Mr Michael Nolan, Chair, United Nations Global Compact – Cities Programme

Michael leads the strategic direction and growth of the UNGC Cities Programme accelerating the implementation of partnered city projects for the Sustainable Development Goals.

He has over 20 years of consulting experience in driving sustainability partnerships and outcomes for government, business and civil society.

Previously Michael was the Global Leader for Climate and Resilience for AECOM. He has extensive experience in sustainable urban development and infrastructure in Asia Pacific, Americas and Europe.

Mr Greg Ryan, Sustainability Manager, LandCorp

As Sustainability Manager, Greg’s expertise ensures our development agenda delivers a more liveable, productive and sustainable built environment across a diverse range of projects.

This work involves opportunity assessment; site analysis, vegetation retention, landscape, water sensitive urbanism, total water cycle management, energy efficiency and renewable energy, waste management and recycling, materials and project sustainability assessment.

Greg currently represents LandCorp on the Cooperative Research Centre for Water Sensitive Cities Western Regional Advisory Panel.

Projects include: Craigie Cool Earth Geoexchange Demonstration House Trial; One Planet Living certification for the WGV (White Gum Valley) Innovation through Demonstration project, EnviroDevelopment and Green Star Communities accreditation for strategic LandCorp development projects.

Professor Billie Giles-Corti, ECP Director, Urban Futures, RMIT University

Professor Billie Giles-Corti is a Distinguished Professor at RMIT University and Director of its Urban Futures Enabling Capability Platform.

She is a National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Senior Principal Research Fellow and directs the Centre for Urban Research’s Healthy Liveable Cities Research Group at RMIT’s Centre for Urban Research.  Prior to joining RMIT in 2017, she was a Redmond Barry Distinguished Professor at the University of Melbourne and Director of the McCaughey VicHealth Community Wellbeing Unit.

For over two decades, she and a multi-disciplinary research team have been studying the impact of the built environment on health and wellbeing.  Professor Giles-Corti currently leads an NHMRC Centre of Research Excellence in Healthy Liveable Communities established in 2014; which works closely with local, national and global policy-makers and practitioners.  She has published over 300 articles, book chapters and reports, and by citations, is ranked in the top 1% of researchers in her field globally.

She is an Honorary Fellow of both the Planning Institute of Australia and the Public Health Association, a Fulbright Scholar and in 2016, was awarded an NHMRC Elizabeth Blackburn Fellowship as the top ranked female fellow in public health in 2015.

Associate Professor Rebecca Wickes, Program leader for the Population, Migration and Social Inclusion Program, Monash University

Rebecca Wickes is an Associate Professor at the School of Social Sciences at Monash University where she also leads the Population, Migration and Social Inclusion Focus Program. She is the Chief Investigator of the Australian Community Capacity Study (ACCS), a multi-million, multi-site, longitudinal study of 298 urban neighbourhoods in Victoria and Queensland. Her research focusses on the spatial concentration of social problems with a particular focus on how physical and demographic changes in urban communities influence social cohesion, the informal regulation of crime, crime and victimisation. Dr Wickes has published extensively in leading criminology and sociology journals. She is the Associate Editor for the Australian New Zealand Journal of Criminology and the Vice President for the Australian New Zealand Society of Criminology. She is also a member of the Welcoming Cities Australia advisory Board and the Monash City Council Community Safety Taskforce.

Mr Toby Kent, Chief Resilience Officer, Resilient Melbourne

Toby Kent has created and implemented resilience and sustainability strategies across a range of sectors. Since the late 1990s he has worked with governments, communities, industry sectors, and many other stakeholders on five continents.

Various achievements include: helping to guide the growth of Corporate Citizenship, one of the UK’s preeminent specialist Sustainability consultancies; leading PricewaterhouseCoopers’ Sustainability work with retail and consumer goods companies in the UK; and running PwC’s Sustainability & Climate Change team in Hong Kong.
Prior to joining the City Of Melbourne, Toby worked with leading Melbourne businesses, including MMG mining corporation and ANZ bank, where he was Head of Sustainable Development.

Toby has a Master’s Degree in Urbanization (Housing and Social Change) from the London School of Economics.

Dr Ben Rossiter, Executive Officer, Victoria Walks

Ben Rossiter is the founding Executive Officer of Victoria Walks and has led a small but enterprising team of staff to see the organisation become the primary Australian walking organisation leading the move for walkable communities. He is the Vice President of the International Federation of Pedestrians and his expertise is widely sought in Australia and beyond.

The theme of his doctoral dissertation was walking in cities. He has been on numerous government advisory committees relating to walking, transport and planning. Ben takes great pleasure in the simple joy of walking, getting lost in urban areas and exploring new places on foot.

Ms Stephanie Ziersch, Director, Community & Climate Change, Sustainability Victoria