Steering Committee Members

Circularity is proud to be working with the below representatives on our steering committee.

Nicole Garofano, Planet Ark

Dr Nicole Garofano is the Head of Circular Economy Development for Planet Ark. In her role, Nicole is leading the ongoing strategic development of the Australian Circular Economy (ACE) Hub, building on her passion for creating change in how we generate and manage resources.

For more than 15 years, Nicole has worked in environmental education and action with a focus on waste management. She has designed and managed community-based initiatives to increase sorting, collection and processing of a range of packaging materials, including plastic.

Nicole has a PhD from research focused on the plastic food and beverage packaging value chain, identifying both local and global innovation to improve chain activities and outcomes.

Nicole also holds a Master of Development Practice and a Graduate Certificate in Environmental Management and is an Associate of the Australian Institute of Packaging.

Heinz Schandl
Senior Science Leader | CSIRO

Dr Heinz Schandl, PhD in Sociology and MA in Social and Economic Sciences, is a senior science leader at the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) in Canberra where he leads a research group for urban and industrial transformations and coordinates circular economy research. He is an adjunct professor at the Graduate School of Environmental Studies at Nagoya University in Japan, a member of the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) International Resource Panel and the immediate past president of the International Society of Industrial Ecology. He is the waste impact management lead for the Sustainable Communities and Waste Hub of the National Environmental Science Program (NESP) and the chair of the metrics working group of the Australian Circular Economy Hub. His research focusses on social theory, industrial metabolism, and environmental and sustainability policy to support evidence-based policy for resource efficiency, waste minimization, greenhouse gas abatement and the circular economy.

George Osborne
Manager Economic Development | Hume City Council

George served for 22 years as an officer in the Australian Army, during which he was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal for achievements while on exchange with the United States Marine Corps. Since leaving the Army in 2001 George has worked in Emergency Services, the Not for Profit Sector and Local Government.

As Manager Economic Development since 2011 at Hume City Council, a large growth municipality in Melbourne’s North, he has launched a nationally recognised Local Jobs for Local People program, introduced a successful Investment Attraction Framework and is currently leading delivery of a transformational Circular Economy program “Towards Hume as a Circular City”. He is an inaugural member of the ACE Hub Advisory Board.

Scott Valentine
Senior Circular Economy Advisor | KPMG 

Dr Scott Valentine is an internationally reputed author, Senior Circular Economy Advisor at KPMG and Professor of Regenerative Planning and Circular Economy at Kyushu University in Japan. With over 30 years of diverse international business experience. Scott provides strategic project advice related to circular economy work within the firm and provides expert support for projects around the circular economy.

He has led major research projects in Denmark and Holland around the circular economy with an emphasis on corporate strategy and public policy design and implementation. He represents Standards Australia on international development of an ISO standard for the Circular Economy and is the Chair of the Australian Circular Economy Hub’s advisory committee.

Debbie O’Byrne
Circular Economy Lead | Planet Price

Debbie has been involved in the Circular Economy (CE) space for almost a decade, having made it the focus of her MBA Master’s thesis. Over the past few years she has been working with a range of organizations to integrate Circular Economy principles into the redesign of their business strategy. For the past 2 years she has been the Circular Economy Lead at Lake Macquarie Council where she worked on projects related to policy, material & data flows, low carbon economic development and incorporating an indigenous perspective into the council’s Circular Economy Framework. She has recently taken up a role at Beca (one of Asia Pacific’s largest independent advisory, design and engineering consultancies) where she continues to work with clients across multiple sectors to enable a CE transition. She has been appointed to the College of Assessors as a CE expert for the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment in NZ and also as an Affiliate Academic to the University of Newcastle. She has also been appointed to the Australian Circular Economy Hub (ACEHUB) and Hunter Joint Organization Circular Procurement Working Groups and participates in multiple Technical Advisory Groups on workforce development and system enablers.

Maria Atkinson
Founder | Maria Atkinson Consultancy

Maria Atkinson is internationally recognised for her work  in sustainability and for catalysing change on the big issues that matter in society. She advises clients to help  them articulate and then deliver sustainability outcomes for a project or their organisation.

Maria has 20 years of experience on boards and committees including as a Director of the ASX listed waste and recycling business ‘Bingo Industries’ and the global Chair of the ‘Holcim Foundation for Sustainable Construction’ based in Switzerland.

In 2012, Maria was awarded  a Member of the General Division of the Order of Australia for service to the construction and real estate sector, particularly as a leader and contributor to environmentally sustainable building development in Australia. Maria joined the Australian Circular Economy Hub Board in 2021.

Melanie Oke
Program Director of CEBIC | Sustainability Victoria

Driven by the desire to make a difference and see positive outcomes, Melanie is a collaborative and strategic leader with over 16 years’ experience across local and state government and consulting. Currently, she manages the Victorian Government’s Circular Economy Business Innovation Centre (CEBIC). CEBIC is a key commitment from the Recycling Victoria policy, which Melanie helped to develop after she joined Sustainability Victoria in 2019 as their inaugural Circular Economy Lead. Melanie is also a Director on the Board of the North-East Waste and Resource Recovery Group. In her previous roles, she has designed and delivered waste and resource recovery programs, managed waste and amenity service contracts, provided strategic sustainable resource use advice as a consultant and delivered behaviour change programs. Melanie has a Bachelor of Science (Hons), Bachelor of Forest Science and a Master of Management.

Annie Jiang
CEO | Go Circular

Annie Jiang is the CEO of Go Circular, an advisory organisation that focuses on a systematic approach to circular economy and sustainability in the Hunter and across Australia.  

Annie is a strategic leader who believes every organisation has a role in the transition to sustainability through a more circular economy. Annie has qualifications in business, environmental management, HR and AICD and also holds a number of Board roles.

Professor Usha Iyer-Raniga

Professor Usha Iyer-Raniga
Professor at the School of Property, Construction & Project Management | RMIT

Professor Usha Iyer-Raniga is a Professor at the School of Property and Construction Management at RMIT University. Usha co-leads the One Planet Network’s Sustainable Buildings and Construction Programme (SBC), United Nations 10 Year Framework of Programmes on Sustainable Consumption and Production (UN 10FYP SCP) aligned with Sustainable Development Goal 12.

She has provided expertise to Austrade, APEC, national, state and local governments. Professor Iyer-Raniga has served and is currently serving on the Boards of various not-for-profit organisations and as panel judge for a number of awards such as the Premiers Sustainability Award in Victoria, Planet Ark’s national Circularity Awards and the International Green Gown Awards.

Professor Iyer-Raniga has been invited as key note speaker and invited speaker at national and international conferences including COP 26 and COP 27,  she has published over 100 publications and has received state, national and international funding worth over USD $30 million.

Dr. Alice Payne
Dean, School of Fashion & Textiles | RMIT

Dr Alice Payne is Professor and Dean of the School of Fashion and Textiles at RMIT University, Melbourne. Her research focuses on environmental and social sustainability issues throughout the life cycle of clothing. Recent work has examined labour issues in the cotton value chain, as well as technologies to address the problem of textile waste. Alice is part of the Australian Fashion Council-led consortium designing the National Clothing Product Stewardship Scheme. She is author of the book Designing Fashion’s Future, co-editor of Global Perspectives on Sustainable Fashion, and is an award-winning designer and educator. 

Emily Adamson
Team Leader – CE Business Innovation | Sustainability Victoria

Emily Adamson leads the State Governments Circular Economy Business Innovation Centre, which seeks to support businesses and industries to innovate, adopt and implement circular opportunities and business models. Emily is passionate about regenerative circular design and maximising the value we create, capture and retain in our economy, before things are recycled or landfilled. She is an alumna of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s From Linear to Circular Program and has a background in life cycle assessment, behaviour change and business consulting.

Hayley Jarick
CEO | Supply Chain Sustainability School

Hayley Jarick (she/her) wears a few hats. Hayley is the Chair of Planet Ark’s ACE Hub Circular Procurement Working Group. She is also the Supply Chain Sustainability School CEO and Company Secretary, a Director of ResponsibleSteel, and a member of a few working groups with the Property Council of Australia and the Materials and Embodied Carbon Leaders’ Alliance (MECLA). Hayley is experienced in governance, strategic management, marketing, event management, membership, adult learning, advocacy, financial analytics, sales and customer service in manufacturing, residential and commercial building, heavy construction, professional services, dispute resolution and international trade; for-profit and for-purpose; big and small; paid and voluntary. Scouts call her Ikki, her friends call her Hayles, and her two children call her Mum. 

Julie Boulton
Sustainability Consultant | Julie Boulton

Working at the intersection of systems change and sustainable development, Julie provides advice and analysis and education on the implementation of sustainability practices and frameworks (Sustainable Development Goals. planetary boundaries, doughnut economics and circular economy in particular). Her ability to build collaborative relationships and collectively design strategies, roadmaps and transformational pathways that drive real impact for both business and government is highly valued.  Julie is also skilled facilitator and an engaging communicator, regularly commentating on sustainability issues (print and radio).  

Julie is a Fellow of the Monash Sustainable Development Institute, a Senior Adviser and Circular Economy Leader for the Australian Fashion Council and a Strategic Advisor to the Development Intelligence Lab.  

Julie has a background in policy development for the federal government, with deep expertise in international development policy (DFAT, AusAID and the Attorney General’s Department). She holds a Masters in International Development and undergraduate degrees in Arts (International Relations) and Law (she is a qualified lawyer). 

Marty Rowell
President | CEV

Marty is an ecopreneur with direct knowledge and skills gained from first-hand practical circular economy experience. With over 20 years of experience in fostering innovation with roles in new product development, commercial management, strategy and go-to-market implementation across start-up, SME and corporate environments, he has a wide breadth of experience to draw upon. 

Inspired by the ABC’s War on Waste series in 2017, Marty identified an opportunity to apply his experience and skills to tackling the ever-growing issue of single-use waste. Designing a 100% circular economy process and system to eliminate the need for single-use paper cups, he went on to co-found and lead TCX (The Cup Exchange). As an early-stage business adopting and applying circular economy principles, he quickly gained significant investor support, earned media & PR, and most importantly enabled cross sector collaboration through corporate sponsorships, local business participation and consumer adoption.  

In 2020, Marty joined the not-for-profit board of Circular Economy Victoria (CEV) and later elected Vice President to help drive a faster transition to circularity.  In addition to keynote speaking, Marty has continued his passion in enabling ‘business for good’ through a circular lens, having founded Circulise. A circular economy training and upskilling company dedicated to empowering business leaders’ organisations by leveraging circular economy models to drive superior and sustainable value adding business results. 

Dr. M. Reza Hosseini
Associate Head of school – BE & Architecture | Deakin University

Dr M. Reza Hosseini is an accomplished senior lecturer in Construction Management at Deakin University. He is also a research fellow of the Centre for Research in Assessment and Digital Learning (CRADLE) and the deputy leader of the Mediated Intelligence in Design research laboratory. With an extensive background in Civil Engineering, Construction Engineering and Management, and virtual design and construction, Dr Hosseini’s expertise lies in digital engineering and circular construction. 

Dr Hosseini was among the pioneers of this topic in the construction industry, and his work has led to significant advancements in the field of circular construction. For example, as one of the lead investigators in the first Zero Waste SA-funded project, Dr Hosseini explored the applicability of reverse logistics and closed-loop chain concepts within the construction context. This project was among the first of its kind in Australia, and the outcomes provided new insights into the reuse of materials and products in the construction industry landscape. The project resulted in 13 publications and positioned Deakin University among the top 285 universities worldwide influencing literature on reverse logistics. 

Beyond academia work, he has also been an active member of various industry organisations, including the board of directors for Project Management Institute (PMI) Adelaid chapter, the Victoria-based members of board of directors for the America Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) in Australia, and the Academic Interoperability Coalition (AiC), which launched a Body of Knowledge (BOK) for BIM in the US. Dr. Hosseini is the founder of the Australia BIM Academic Forum (ABAF) and has worked closely with major universities in Australia in developing BIM guidelines and standards to promote the adoption of BIM across the Australian construction industry.

Dr. Ross Lambie
Chief Economist | Minerals Council of Australia

Prior to joining the Minerals Council, Ross spent two years as Chief Economist and Director of Economics and Industry Policy at the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry. He has 10 years’ experience as an economist in the Australian Government, including as Chief Economist at the Department of the Environment and Energy and General Manager, Resource and Energy Economics at the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science. 

Ross has a strong academic background in economics, which culminated in him being awarded a PhD in Public Policy and Economics from the Australian National University. He began his career in New Zealand’s Financial Markets where he gained extensive experience over almost a decade in Chief Dealer and trading team manager roles. 

Ross is a member of the Australian Circular Economy Advisory Board. 

Sarah Kossowski
Project Lead-Industry Facilitator & Events | Sustainability Victoria

Sarah Kossowska has spent the last decade leading environmental and sustainability projects with businesses, councils and NGO’s. With a vast array of experience, she has worked on resource saving projects with people in hardship, led large scale events to promote work that is changing our systems and that inspires new ideas, and has driven projects to share the work of scientists, horticulturists and educators. Sarah is also a passionate activist and believes that we cannot make significant environmental change, without thinking about social impact and responsibility. As part of the Circular Economy Business Innovation Centre, she has supported circular business projects and designed industry collaboration and capability initiatives to increase circular economy knowledge and inspire different ways of thinking.  

Dr. Scott Bryant
Circular Economy Coordinator | City of Greater Bendigo

With a background in mechanical and sustainability engineering, energy policy and the circular economy, Dr. Scott Bryant is currently working with the City of Greater Bendigo to develop a circular, renewable economy (and society) in the region, and deal with the elephant-in-the-room that is its closing regional landfill. His work is developing CE infrastructure and solutions in the region, along with driving the City’s adoption of circular design and procurement practices. Previously he led on the implementation of the Scottish Government’s circular economy strategy within the energy sector as the Circular Economy lead for energy infrastructure at Zero Waste Scotland. 

Steve Morriss
Founder | Close the Loop

Steve is the founder of Close the Loop, now part of ASX listed ‘Close the Loop Group’ (CLG). Steve’s role in the new group is Head of Circular Economy. 

Steve is a pioneer of circular economy systems thinking and the inventor of eWood, Tonerplas, and two other recycling technologies for complex waste streams. 

Close the Loop was a finalist in ‘The Circulars’ awards by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation in 2019, and a recipient of one of the first ACE Awards in 2022. 

Tim Zerk
Director | Circular Economy Policy Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment & Water

Tim is currently the Director of Circular Economy Policy at the federal Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water. He was previously the director of Climate Change and Environment at Treasury, and worked across a range of environment protection roles in the Commonwealth. Tim has a background in research and teaching high-school chemistry. 

Isabel Axiö
Senior Consultant | RMCG

Isabel is a senior consultant with RMCG and provides expertise in resource recovery, circular organics and carbon management for agriculture, businesses and different levels of government. Isabel focus include organic and primary industry material management through whole system design; considering avoidance and circular recovery solutions. She is a trained environmental manager whose effective interdisciplinary work ties together climate change, resource management and regenerative solutions to the agricultural processes and regional landscapes she lives in and is passionate about. 

Cameron Kaufman
CE Consultant | COREO

Coming from a diversified background of asset management, communications, clean energy investment and energy consulting, Cameron has been working as a specialised circular economy consultant at Coreo for two years. At Coreo, she supports the development of circular strategies for the public and private sectors. She has particular expertise in implementing circular projects in the built environment and mining sectors. 

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