Our Team & Advisory Committee

Our Team

Professor Lauren Rickards

Director

Lauren Rickards is Associate Professor in the Centre for Urban Research at RMIT University, Melbourne, where she co-leads the Climate Change Transformations program. A human geographer, Lauren’s work examines the ideas and discourses that shape how we interact with the environment, notably with issues of climate, land and food. Lauren is a Lead Author with the forthcoming IPCC report on Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability, a Senior Research Fellow with the Earth Systems Governance Network and a member of the Scientific Advisory Committee of Environmental Justice Australia. Prior to RMIT, Lauren was a Research Fellow at the Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute at the University of Melbourne and an Associate Partner at RM Consulting Group.

Associate Professor Andrew Butt

Director

Andrew is a planning educator and researcher with a focus on rural and regional planning issues. He has a background in planning practice and his current research and supervision is in the area of land use change and planning policy associated with regional Australia, food systems and peri-urban development.

Associate Professor Susie Moloney

Strategic Advisor

Dr Susie Moloney is an Associate Professor in Sustainability and Urban Planning in the School of Global Urban and Social Studies and a member of the Centre for Urban Research (CUR), RMIT University.

Her research focuses on urban sustainability, land-use planning and climate change and the implications for policy and governance particularly at the local and regional scale. She has worked for both the public and private sectors in the urban planning and sustainability policy domains.

Over recent years she has worked on a range of applied climate change research projects with local and state government and community sector organisations. Susie has a particular interest in local climate change governance and has worked with and researched local governments and alliances for a number of years.

In early 2021, Susie joined Jesuit Social Services as the Executive Director Centre for Just Places, an initiative set up to address place-based disadvantage and enable resilient, inclusive and regenerative communities.

Katrina Dunn

Project Coordinator

Katrina is engaged in climate change research, working collaboratively with State Government, local governments, and the Victorian Greenhouse Alliances. Katrina is currently working with the Climate Change Transformations research program across several applied research projects.

Katrina Dunn works as the Project Coordinator on Climate Resilient Service Delivery and for How Well Are We Adapting (Job Share).

Dr Haydie Gooder

Associate Researcher

Haydie is a cultural geographer and professional editor. Her research interests include urban encounters, geographies of belonging and emotion and climate change adaptation.

In her editing practice, Haydie engages with a diverse range of contemporary research across the social sciences and arts. She brings her interest in collaborative, grounded research, along with her skills in editing and communication, to research translation for The Exchange.

Haydie is involved with several key projects for The Exchange, including How Well Are We Adapting? and the Hotspots Initiative

Naomi Rubenstein

Associate Researcher

Naomi is a researcher with an extensive background in applied research in sustainability, water governance, and climate change adaptation. Naomi is a key team member with The Exchange, and has been part of the teams delivering:

From 2010 – 2015, she worked for the Systemic Governance Research Program at Monash University’s Sustainability Institute. The program aimed to foster systems-thinking and transdisciplinary approaches for climate change adaptation research and practice. She has also worked as a social researcher on range of environmental and natural resource management projects for the Victorian government, Federal agencies, and NGOs. 

Heather McClaren

Associate Researcher

Heather works as Project Coordinator for How Well Are We Adapting (Job Share) and leads the development of an adaptive capacity checklist for the local government sector. 

Heather is a climate change and adaptation specialist working with government and not-for-profit sectors. She supports organisations to build their capacity to respond to climate change by developing and implementing strategic approaches that protect assets and services against climate change and manage the impacts of a hotter climate.

Olivia Tualau

Social Work Student Placement

Olivia is a third year Social Work student at RMIT, currently undertaking her first placement of the course working on the Climate Resilience Service Delivery project. She has an interest in advocacy work for service users at a community level and collaborative work around planning towards climate resilient futures.

CCE Advisory Committee

Dr Bronwyn Lay

Climate Justice Lead, Federation of Community Legal Centres Victoria

Dr Bronwyn Lay is the Climate Justice Lead, Federation of Community Legal Centres Victoria. With a background in criminal and family law, she completed her PhD on international land governance and environmental law at the European Graduate School in 2014. She subsequently worked as a legal consultant for international NGO’s and expert organisations on environmental crime, was the Director of the Caux Dialogue on Land and Security in Geneva and, back in Melbourne, worked as Coordinator of Ecological Justice for Jesuit Social Services and the Climate Exchange at RMIT University. She is widely published in a variety of forums on the subject of ecological justice and was trained as a French firefighter (Pompier) for five years.

Jo Brown

Manager Health and Wellbeing, Southern Grampians Glenelg Primary Care Partnership (SGGPCP)

Jo is the Health and Well-being Manager at Southern Grampians Glenelg Primary Care Partnership. Jo has been working on issues of social and climate justice for many years. Through SGGPCP, she is working with other Victorian PCPs to understand the impacts of climate change at a local level and to mobilise the partnerships to enhance community resilience.

Paula Camenzuli

Statewide Climate Change Coordinator for Victoria’s Catchment Management Authorities

Paula is the Statewide Climate Change Coordinator, who advocates on behalf of all ten Victorian Catchment Management Authorities (CMA). Paula provides a central point of contact for climate change researchers, policy makers and program managers seeking input, feedback or collaboration from CMAs. She provides executive support to the Victorian CMA Climate Change Forum, oversees the delivery of key climate change initiatives and represents Victorian CMAs on Statewide and National working groups.

Kathryn Naylor

Manager, Resilience and Liveability, Yarra Valley Water

Kathryn Naylor is currently Manager, Resilience and Liveability at Yarra Valley Water. Her role covers long term strategy for the organisation including 50 year integrated planning, climate adaptation and land use. While in the water industry she has been involved in regional master planning, urban corridor revitalization, social network analysis, change management and recycled water strategy. Prior to these roles she was a mechanical design engineer on projects ranging from wind farms to renewable oil production as well as a stint living in Cambodia as a water and sanitation engineer. In her spare time she enjoys tending her own ‘urban forest’ with her husband and two daughters caring for the 19 fruit trees, veggies, chooks and beehive they have squished into their little suburban property.

Professor Lesley Head

Head of School of Geography, University Melbourne

Professor Head is a geographer whose research examines human-environment relations, both conceptual and material. That is, she want to understand how humans have physically changed earth’s systems, how we think about our place in nature, and how these two things are connected. In recent years she has worked mostly in cultural geography, with projects on backyard gardens, wheat and invasive plants. This developed from her earlier interest in Aboriginal land use, ethnobotany and fire. She started my research career using palaeoecology and archaeology to study long term changes in the Australian landscape, and the interactions of prehistoric peoples with their environments.

Her current role is Head of the new School of Geography at the University of Melbourne. Our aim is to build a world-leading School in which both human and physical geography are strong and can collaborate to help meet pressing social and environmental challenges.

She came to this position from many years at the University of Wollongong, where she was most recently ARC Australian Laureate Fellow and Director of the Australian Centre for Cultural Environmental Research (AUSCCER), and before that Head of the School of Earth & Environmental Sciences. She still retains strong research links with AUSCCER. Her main international collaborations are with colleagues in Sweden and Norway, established during her periods as King Carl XVI Gustaf Visiting Professor in Environmental Science, Kristianstad University (2005-06) and Visiting Professor, Department of Human and Economic Geography, University of Göteborg, Sweden (2012-14).

David Meiklejohn

Executive Officer, Northern Alliance for Greenhouse Action (NAGA)

David Meiklejohn is the Executive Officer of the Northern Alliance for Greenhouse Action (NAGA), a network of nine metropolitan councils in Melbourne working together on climate change mitigation and adaptation. He has previously worked as a behaviour change specialist for the Victorian Government and UrbanTrans.

Bridget Tehan

Senior policy advisor, Victorian Council of Social Service (VCOSS)

Bridget is a senior policy advisor at the Victorian Council of Social Service (VCOSS). Bridget works to highlight the needs of community organisations, and the vulnerable and disadvantaged people that they work with before, during and after emergencies as well as their needs in the mitigation, transition and adaptation to climate change. 

Candace Jordan

Sustainability Officer, City of Melbourne

Candace is a Sustainability Officer at City of Melbourne. She has been working as a climate change adaptation practitioner for over eight years across state and local levels of government. Candace has been involved in the development and implementation of City of Melbourne’s Climate Change Adaptation Strategy Refresh 2017 with a particular focus on mitigating urban heat and monitoring and evaluating the cities adaptation strategy. She has a collaborative approach to adaptation planning and policy, building relationships across organisations and disciplines to achieve positive adaptation outcomes. During her time at the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning Candace led the delivery of the Inter-jurisdictional Adaptation Working Group and contributed to the development of Victoria’s second statewide Climate Change Adaptation Plan. Candace is passionate about building Melbourne’s and its community’s resilience to the impacts of climate change to ensure Melbourne remains a great city to live in and enjoy.