Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change and Minister for Suburban Development


The Hon Lily D'AmbrosioMinister D'Ambrosio grew up in the Melbourne suburb of Fawkner and studied english, philosophy and politics at the University of Melbourne. She also holds a Diploma in Public Policy and was elected to Parliament representing the Lower House seat of Mill Park in 2002.

Following the election of the Andrews Labor Government in 2014, she was named Minister for Industry, and Minister for Energy and Resources, and then in 2016 became Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change and Minister for Suburban Development.

The Minister brings to her role a strong commitment to economic prosperity and social justice, coupled with a passion for the environment and a focus on real and demonstrable outcomes.

As Minister for Environment, Energy and Climate Change Mrs D’Ambrosio has already announced ambitious yet achievable renewable energy targets for Victoria, as well as a commitment to ensure net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

In her Industry and Resources roles the Minister developed the Future Industries Fund to support high growth industries and create jobs, following the decline of Victoria’s auto industry, and was a key driver behind the Andrews Government’s response to the Hazelwood Mine Fire Enquiry.

She was also integral in reforming the Earth Resources Regulator, with a focus on safeguarding the health and wellbeing of local communities and ensuring that resource developments do not present environmental and health risks.

Through the newly developed Suburban Development portfolio, the Minister hopes to ensure our fastest growing suburbs remain great places to live and work.

Flannery TimTim Flannery is one of Australia's leading thinkers and writers. A scientist, explorer and conservationist he has published more than 130 peer-reviewed scientific papers and many books. He was described by Sir David Attenborough as one of the great explorers, and as a scientist who's discovered more new species than Charles Darwin.

His landmark works The Future Eaters and The Weather Makers have changed the way we think about the environmental challenges facing the world. He spent a year teaching at Harvard, and in 2007 he co-founded and was appointed Chair of the Copenhagen Climate Council.

Named Australian of the Year in 2007, he works with governments and business in North America, Asia and Europe on climate change action. In 2011 he became Australia’s Chief Climate Commissioner, and in 2013 he founded and heads the Australian Climate Council. He serves of the Sustainability Advisory Boards of Siemens and Tata Power (India).

Edward BlakelyOne of the world's leading scholars and practitioners of urban policy, Professor Edward Blakely has been Dean of the School of Urban Planning and Development at the University of Southern California and Dean of the Robert J. Milano Graduate School of Management and Urban Policy, New School University in New York City. He currently serves as an Honorary Professor in Urban Policy at the United States Studies Centre at The University of Sydney. He is also the Founder and Chair of the United States Studies Centre urban policy initiative, the Future Cities Collaborative.

In addition to Professor Blakely's background in academia, the Professor has an extensive record of public service that includes advising the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the city of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, state and federal governments in Australia and the United States, as well as governments in Korea, Japan, Sweden, Indonesia, New Zealand and Vietnam. The United States Studies Centre and the Future Cities Collaborative allows Professor Blakely to combine his passion for sustainable urban design with his expertise in teaching and fostering capacity building in all levels of government. 

Tundi Agardy 3Dr Tundi Agardy is an internationally renowned expert in marine conservation, with extensive field and policy experience in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, the Mediterranean, North America and the Pacific. Tundi specializes in coastal planning, marine protected areas, fisheries management, ocean zoning, ecosystem services assessment, and conservation financing, having published widely in these fields. She is the head of Sound Seas, an independent non-profit based in the Washington, DC area that works at the nexus of science and policy for environmental problem-solving. Tundi is also the Director of the MARES Program of Forest Trends – a Washington-based international NGO specializing in market-based approaches to conservation. 

Formerly Tundi was Senior Scientist at WWF, directing its marine work, and afterwards founded CI’s Global Marine Program. Today Tundi continues to assist NGOs, government agencies, and multilaterals with conservation planning, project implementation, and program evaluation.

John ChurchJohn Church is a CSIRO Fellow. He has published across a broad range of topics in oceanography. His area of expertise is the role of the ocean in climate, particularly anthropogenic climate change. He is an expert in estimating and understanding global and regional sea-level rise.

He is the author of over 130 refereed publications, over 90 other reports and co-edited three books. He was co-convening lead author for the Chapter on Sea Level in the IPCC Third and Fifth Assessment Reports. He was awarded the 2006 Roger Revelle Medal by the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission, was a winner of a CSIRO Medal for Research Achievement in 2006, won the 2007 Eureka Prize for Scientific Research and presented the 2008 AMOS R.H. Clarke Lecture. He is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science, the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering and the American Meteorological Society.

Kathy McInnesKathleen McInnes is a senior researcher and leader of the Sea Level, Waves and Coastal Extremes group in CSIRO Ocean and Atmosphere. Her research focuses on understanding how climate change will affect severe weather events and coastal extreme sea levels through numerical modelling and climate model analysis, particularly in Australia and the South Pacific. She has developed climate projections for impact and adaptation assessments to assist local government manage and adapt to climate change.

She has published over 50 refereed publications and over 60 other reports and articles. Her contribution to this work was awarded Eureka awards in 2003 and 2009. She was a contributing author on the IPCC second, third and fourth assessment reports and a lead author on the IPCC Special Report on Extremes and the IPCC Working Group 2 fifth assessment report on Coastal Systems and Low Lying Areas.

Mark NormanMark Norman is a marine biologist with specialty interests in octopuses and their kin, faunal surveys, marine protected areas and science communication. His research, field guides & work with natural history documentary makers has taken him all over the world. However the cool temperate waters of Victoria are where his heart is.

Over the past three decades Mark has primarily worked through Museum Victoria in Melbourne, where for the past seven years he was Head of Sciences. He is currently Chief Conservation Scientist at Parks Victoria where he works to raise profile and engagement with both marine and terrestrial protected areas across Victoria.  

Mick Sowry

Writer and Director of Musica Surfica and The Reef

Mick SowryMick walked away from many years in advertising as an art director and writer when a continuing desire to express in the arts as opposed to the commercial arts pushed him towards a career shift in the mid 2000’s.

As a surfer for more than 46 years, that aqueous world was one he wanted to communicate as it is, for him, a place of challenge, peace and deep beauty.

Beginning a collaborative relationship with violinist and composer Richard Tognetti, cinematographer Jon Frank and the Australian Chamber Orchestra with the documentary Musica Surfica in 2007, his life has changed radically and, spiritually at least, for the better. The rewards of creating something that impacts in an uplifting, positive and long lasting way, something that inspires to preserve, is what keeps driving him on.

The invitation to write and direct The Reef in 2012 was followed by nearly three years conceiving and co-founding Great Ocean Quarterly, a journal of art, ideas and the sea, or in his words, a journal of the sea affected life. In parallel he worked on re-imagining The Reef,  in anticipation of a what was to become successful tour of the US in February 2016.

He anticipates further tours of The Reef, beginning with a performance at the Barbican in London in March 2017. He also continues his work around, and in the sea - at every opportunity - from his home four minutes from his beloved Bells Beach, on the Great Ocean coast of Victoria.

Rob GellRob is a coastal geomorphologist by training; he taught Environmental Science and Physical Geography at Melbourne State College and Melbourne University, then for thirty-one years presented television weather.

He is a now an Executive Director of bhive Group Pty Ltd, a member of the Victorian Coastal Council, Adjunct Associate Professor Federation University, Patron of the Geography Teachers Association of Victoria, a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and an Inaugural Fellow of the Environment Institute of Australia and New Zealand.

He was Environment Ambassador to the Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games, a local government councillor, President of Greening Australia and Chairman of the Mornington Peninsula and Westernport Biosphere.

Rob was awarded a Member of the Order of Australia for his service to conservation, to the protection of coastal and marine environments, and to the community.


Trained Maremma Guardian Dog

Albus the MaremmaAlbus the Maremma is almost two years old and is an ambassador for our Guardian Dog Program which will trial whether Eastern Barred Bandicoots, protected by specially trained Maremma Guardian Dogs, will be able to form self-sustaining populations in areas not enclosed by feral proof fences. He lives at Werribee Open Range Zoo with Project Coordinator Dave Williams. Dave has been involved in a similar program working with Maremmas and protecting penguins from foxes.

Ambassador dog Albus is learning all about the zoo environment and spends his time getting used to all of the faces, smells and sounds of Werribee Open Range Zoo. Albus also has a very important job in helping people learn about this innovative program and this is big part of his training as he works on his manners.

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