Leading Women in Climate Change Panel 2014

15 October 2014. 6.30pm. Parliament Theatrette. NSW Parliament House Sydney

A Public Panel Event focusing on how women are exercising their leadership to address climate change, based on their understanding of key issues. The panel discussion was followed by an open Q and A from the audience. 

View the entire Panel Discussion at ACLW’s YouTube Channel


​Professor Lesley Hughes, Lead author on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 

Professor Lesley Hughes completed a PhD in ecology at Macquarie University in 1991. Since that time her main research focus has been on the impacts of climate change on species and ecosystems. She served as a lead author on Working Group II of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) for the Fourth and Fifth Assessment Reports. She has represented Australia in a number of international bodies associated with climate change, including the Ad Hoc Technical Advisory Group (AHTEG) for the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). She served on the NSW Scientific Committee from 2003-2006, being Deputy Chair from 2003-2004 and then Chair until 2006. She has also served in the IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas, the NSW Department of Environment and Climate Change (DECC) Climate Change Research Advisory Panel, the Expert Advisory Group on biodiversity and climate change for the federal Department of Climate Change, and the management committee of the National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility (NCCARF). She is currently a member of Climate Scientists Australia, the Wentworth Group of Concerned Scientists and is a Councillor for the Climate Council of Australia. At Macquarie University she is the co-director of the Climate Futures Research Centre, the Director of the Biodiversity Node of the NSW Climate Adaptation Hub and the Acting Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Science.

​Amanda McKenzie, CEO, Climate Council 

Amanda McKenzie is the CEO at the Climate Council an organisation that brings authoritative information on climate change to the Australian public. The Council was created from Australia’s largest ever crowd-funding campaign after the previous Climate Commission was disbanded. Amanda was previously the senior communications advisor at The Climate Commission. Amanda founded the Australian Youth Climate Coalition, an organisation representing over 100,000 young Australians tackling the climate crisis. She lead the organisation for four years and is now on it’s Board. She is also the Chair of the Centre for Australian Progress. For her work, she was acknowledged as the 2009 Environment Minister’s Young Environmentalist of the Year amongst other accolades. 

​Jenny Paradiso Managing Director Suntrix

Jenny Paradiso is Managing Director of the award winning solar company, Suntrix.  Since starting the business in 2009 with her husband David Hille, Jenny has grown Suntrix from the kitchen table into a multi-million dollar company. Suntrix services thousands of residential, commercial and wholesale clients per year, helping them save money and reduce their carbon footprint. Jenny oversees the management and strategic direction of Suntrix, working on the continued growth and diversification of the business, its brand and processes.  Jenny’s focus is to provide the most efficient, value for money energy systems on the market today, with emphasis on expert advice, consultative-based selling and great customer service. Before establishing Suntrix, Jenny worked in management roles, predominantly in the library and software industries, focusing on human resources, information technology, project management, training and product development. 

​Heather Smith, Energy and Climate Change Specialist

Heather Smith is an electrical engineer who has spent the past decade progressing climate change policy for the State Government of South Australia and now consults as an energy and climate change specialist. In 2004 Heather designed the process which ultimately delivered Tackling Climate Change – South Australia’s Greenhouse Strategy. Public servants, community groups and industry from six sectors all worked together to develop the strategy under the themes – reducing, adapting and innovating. A decade later, Heather has revisited this task and helped the Premier’s Climate Change Council deliver a Climate Change Vision for South Australia. This latest work has a stronger economic focus with a clear message for the state that prosperity will depend on our ability to pursue the opportunities of a low carbon economy. Heather also supported the development of the first Climate Change Act in Australia in 2007 – and one of the earliest pieces of dedicated climate change legislation in the world. She was also a chief architect in creating Australia’s first solar feed-in tariff. Heather came to climate change policy from the world of consulting in energy efficiency and renewable energy and has worked around Australia, in the UK, Denmark and Ireland.

​Susie Smith, General Manager, Carbon and Sustainability, Santos 

Susie Smith is Santos’ General Manager Carbon and Sustainability. She has over 20 years’ industry experience, working with Santos for ten years. Susie published Santos’ first Greenhouse Policy in 2003 and Santos’ first Sustainability Report in 2004. Susie represents Santos on the APPEA energy and greenhouse committee and on the Australian Industry Greenhouse Network Board. Susie was the Australian industry delegate on the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Oil and Gas Sector Supplement working group. This successful collaboration resulted in the publication of the new GRI oil and gas reporting guidelines in 2012.  Susie is passionate about the oil and gas industry and believes that through constructive dialogue and a commitment to transparency it can successfully demonstrate its credentials in a low carbon economy.

​Associate Professor Laura Stocker, Deputy Leader of the Coastal Collaboration Cluster, Curtin University

 Associate Professor Laura Stocker has a PhD in marine ecology from the University of Sydney, and a BSC and MSc from the University of Auckland. She currently researches and teaches at the Curtin University Sustainability Policy (CUSP) Institute in coastal sustainability, governance of coastal adaptation to climate change, sustainability education, and sustainability mapping and planning. In 1990 Laura developed and taught Australia’s first university course in Sustainable Development, while employed at Murdoch University. In 1994, Laura developed the first state Greenhouse Gas Audit (for Western Australia). She currently coordinates the Masters in Sustainability and Climate Policy at Curtin University and teaches the core unit ‘Pathways to Sustainability’ and the Dissertation. Laura currently has 10 MPhil and PhD students on topics related to sustainability and climate change. She is Deputy Leader of the Coastal Collaboration Cluster, funded by the CSIRO Wealth from Oceans and Climate Adaptation Research Flagships, which is just coming to a successful completion. Laura has numerous research publications and recently co-edited the book ‘Sustainable Coastal Management and Climate Adaptation’, with Richard Kenchington and David Wood, published by CSIRO Publishing.

Moderator: Dr Diann Rodgers-Healey, Executive Director of the Australian Centre for Leadership for Women (ACLW)

Host: Gareth Ward MP Member of the Legislative Assembly; Member for Kiama; Deputy Government Whip and Member of the Liberal Party.

Climate Change Panel

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In the media: Climate change trio to state the case (The Advertiser, 14 October 2014)


This is a free event, but please register for a ticket to ensure a seat.  Please email admin@aclw.org if you are unable to attend as the seats are strictly limited.

Seating is on a first come first served basis. Doors open at 6 pm for a 6.30pm start.  The Parliament Theatrette has wheel chair access and a hearing loop system for individuals who are hearing impaired. 

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