About Us

“We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them” Albert Einstein.

Our Mission

Build partnerships, connect people with information and opportunities, support and deliver climate-positive initiatives with social, economic, and environmental benefits.

Our Principles

Gippsland’s Culture and Country

We acknowledge the various Traditional Owners across Gippsland’s six local government areas; the Gunaikurnai, Monero, Bidhawel, Bunurong, Boon Wurrung, Taungurung and Wurundjeri peoples, as well as all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people living in our communities today. We recognise their continuing connection to land and the role they play in managing our shared resources.

Our Environment

We celebrate our diverse landscapes and share a sense of urgency for action to ensure that people and nature can both thrive. We need to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions, drawdown atmospheric carbon levels, and support the regeneration and sustainable management of all Gippsland’s natural resources.

Inclusive Community

We believe that we are stronger together and that everyone can, and should, be a part of the solution. This means working with people and organisations with levels of commitment to climate change and finding the ways in which we can learn together.

The Need for Leadership

The climate challenges we all face are significant, so we aim to support our community and industry partners to increase climate literacy, build connections, and create stronger partnerships. In doing so, we can facilitate and deliver progressive initiatives across Gippsland and beyond.

Agile Organisation

 We work in a space that is rapidly changing. Through our partnerships and connections, we can adapt to take advantage of opportunities that will enable us to have the biggest impact with the resources available to us.

Independent and Non-partisan Voice

 We are a not-for-profit powered mostly by a dynamic group of committed volunteers and members. We hold all political parties to the same standards: protecting our environment and building a better future for our communities. With this in mind we are prepared to work with government entities as they strive towards this ideal.

Our Volunteer Board

Darren McCubbin

Chair

With a BSc from Monash University Darren worked for CSIRO and the Bureau of Meteorology before arriving in Gippsland as a teacher in 1983. Darren is a graduate of the Gippsland Community Leadership Program and was a Wellington Shire Councillor from 2003 – 2020 including three terms as Mayor.

Carolyn Crossley

Vice Chair

A Wellington Shire Councillor, Carolyn is in her third council term and has served as Mayor three times. In her role on council, Carolyn is committed to reconciliation and is helping Wellington work towards decisions on mitigating climate risk and working towards a low carbon, sustainable future.

Lorraine Bull

Secretary

Lorraine is the President of Latrobe Valley Sustainability Group following on from a lifetime of environmental consciousness. Lorraine retired from Latrobe Regional Hospital in 2011, where she had worked as a Health Information Manager for 34 years.

Alison Edgar

Treasurer

Alison has a BActSt/BACom (majoring in Finance) and is undertaking her MBA (Experiential Learning). Previously a Crime Statistician, she is a Business and Finance Manager with the Department of Justice and Community Safety. Alison completed the Gippsland Community Leadership Program in 2012 and is a past President of the Latrobe Young Professionals.

Ian Southall

Executive Officer

After working in the local media industry, Ian was involved in the Latrobe Valley power industry as Education Manager at PowerWorks. He is a member of the Green House Alliance and the Baw Baw Sustainability Network with interests in community micro grids. Ian has qualifications in Marketing, Tourism, Environmental and Renewable Energy and Management.

Rob Dimsey

Board Member

Rob was the DELWP Climate Change and Energy regional program manager, working on projects and activities on climate adaptation and renewable energy. He has also delivered and administered regional state government grants programs on climate adaptation. Rob has developed and managed diverse projects at regional, state and national levels.

Dr Jess Reeves

Board Member

Jess is a senior lecturer in environmental science at Federation University in sustainability, water resource management and landscape restoration. Her research is in long-term climate and environmental change, and the interplay between humans and their environment. This includes recent industrial pollution, long-term human modification of landscapes and sustainable agricultural practices.

Dr Jo McCubbin

Board Member

Jo is a paediatrician with a long-term interest in climate, health and the environment. Jo received the Centenary Medal in 2001 and undertook Al Gore’s climate leadership training in 2007. Jo has been a National Rural Health Alliance council member and was on the Climate and Health Alliance board in 2017-2018.

Alex Arbuthnot

Board Member

Involved in local and national land organisations Alex was awarded an AM for his services and also received a National Farmers Award of Honour. He was a Victorian Farmers’ Federation president, a National Farmers Federation conservation committee chairperson, a Victorian Agribusiness Council director and deputy chair, and a director of Landcare Australia.

Tony Wolfe

Board Member

Tony is a former Baw Baw Shire Councillor and a Graduate of the Australian Rural Leadership Program and Gippsland Community Leadership Program. He was a Chapter Leader Victorian International Dark-Sky Association and a recipient of MAV Local Government Fellowship to study streetlight reduction programs worldwide. Tony is also a member of Baw Baw Sustainability Network.

Alison Taylor

Board Member

Alison has expertise in behaviour change, carbon management broad sustainability skills, and sustainability-based programs. She has designed and managed a range of sustainability-based programs for the community. Alison has a BA, BSW, MSSc (Environment and Planning) and DipCarbonMgt and currently works in the role of Coordinator – Programs for Resource Recovery Gippsland.

Adam Tyson

Board Member

Adam has worked in the food and dairy industry for over 30 years in both Australia and NZ. He is currently the National Quality Assurance Manager and Food Safety Consultant with PRODUCO. Adam was a Councillor in the Baw Baw Shire 2005-2012 and Mayor in 2010.

Andrew McEwan

Board Member

Andrew’s background includes business strategy, social planning and community development. He was involved in forming over 30 organisations including National Shelter and the Youth Affairs Council, on the board of South Australian Council of Social Service and a Councillor at South Gippsland Shire for 7 years. Andrew has a BA, DipEd, DipSocPg and MBA.

Akarna Bowers

Board Member

Akarna has been inspired by the late Dr Deb Foskey to pursue a path of social justice reform and environmental politics. She was a Youth Councillor and a Greens candidate in the 2020 Local Government elections in the Wellington Shire. Akarna is active in the movement for a Climate Emergency and youth engagement.

Ashley Hall

Board Member

Ashley has expertise as a Grant Officer and Executive Officer with several Gippsland Environment Agencies (SV, SRW, PV, EGCMA, WGCMA, DELWP, EPA). He is connected to local government sustainability groups and has a strong knowledge of sustainability projects across the state. Ashley also has inks to sustainability education.

Ruth Harper

Board Member

Ruth has a BSc (Hons) and was the Environmental Sustainability Officer at Latrobe City Council. She has also worked as a botanist/ecologist in the field of environmental management for over 15 years, with strong links to sustainability and community engagement and facilitation.

Dan Clancey

Board Member

Dan is a second term Councillor at Latrobe City Council and has served as Mayor and Deputy Mayor. He sits on several committees including the Gippsland Performing Arts Centre and creative precinct. Dan is an arts practitioner, journalist, holds a BA from Monash University and is a graduate of the Gippsland Community Leadership Program.

Our Project Team

Esther Lloyd

Operations Manager

With a BSc (Environmental Management) and BA (Journalism) from Monash University, Esther is completing her master’s at the ANU. She is Project Manager for the Smart Specialisation Strategy and previously Project Manager for Climate for Change’s Community Leading Change program. Esther has been a Seasonal Teaching Associate for Federation University.

Chris Barfoot

Project Officer

Chris is an engineer and scientist with over 30 years’ experience in Latrobe Valley power generation. He applies new technology to achieve energy reductions, and with the Frontier Impact Group is instrumental in developing financing models for community energy. Chris is a member of Beyond Zero Emissions Investment Reference Group.

Sherryn Vardy

Comms Officer

Sherryn holds a BA(VisArt) and GDipA(VisArt) from Monash University and a MCulMatCons from the University of Melbourne. With over 20 years’ experience in the museum industry, she has worked for regional galleries, NETS Victoria, ACMI and currently for AMaGA Victoria. Sherryn also runs a private art conservation practice in Gippsland.