Confirmed Featured Speakers 2018

Lord Mayor Sally Anne Capp, City of Melbourne (Opening Address)

Sally Capp was elected Lord Mayor of Melbourne in May 2018 and was the first woman to be directly elected as Lord Mayor.

Sally was also the first woman to hold the post of Agent-General for Victoria in the UK, Europe and Israel.  She has also served as the CEO for the Committee for Melbourne and COO of the Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Sally began her career as a Solicitor, after completing Law (Hons) and Commerce degrees at the University of Melbourne.

Sally has held senior roles at both KPMG and ANZ, and she took the small business she co-founded to the ASX.  Most recently she was Victorian Executive Director of the Property Council of Australia.

A passionate Magpies supporter, in 2004 Sally made history as the first female board member of Collingwood FC.  She is involved in a number of charities, currently sitting on the board of the Olivia Newton-John Cancer Research Institute, the Mary Jane Lewis Scholarship Foundation and the Melbourne University Faculty of Business and Economics.

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 Gordon Noble, Global Advisor, UN Global Compact Cities Programme

As the previous Director of Investments and Economy at the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia, Gordon Noble was responsible for ASFA’s investment strategy and stakeholder relations including relationships with the Federal Government, focusing on issues such as financial system stability, infrastructure, innovation, capital markets and fixed interest markets. Gordon was formerly Deputy CEO of the Committee of Melbourne, a city based think tank, and over a 25 year career has worked in industrial relations, as a political adviser and in banking and superannuation. Gordon was involved in the early establishment of the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment and worked with the Responsible Investment Association Australasia, to found the Responsible Investment Academy, a global online training platform that educates investors on incorporating environmental, social and governance issues into investment processes which is now the PRI Academy. He commenced his career with National Australia Bank having completed a Bachelor of Economics at the Australian National University. Gordon also worked with Inflection Point Capital Management, a UK based investment advisory business as an investment analyst and is Director of the Network for Sustainable Financial Markets.

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, Director, Monash Migration and Inclusion Centre, 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

Stephanie has over 20 years of public sector experience at an international, national and state level. Currently Stephanie is the Director of Communities & Climate Change at Sustainability Victoria where she leads engagement with the private, local government and community sectors on sustainability and climate change.

Previously Stephanie worked in the South Australian Government in senior climate change leadership positions where her achievements include developing South Australia’s Adaptation Framework, developing Australia’s first climate change legislation and overseeing the implementation of an innovative built form demonstration program.Stephanie also worked in the Pacific on international climate change issues, including renewable energy, climate finance and water resource management initiatives. Stephanie has qualifications in law, international law and international relations.