Keynote Speakers

Jennifer Smith Grubb

Jennifer Smith Grubb worked with colleagues to found Sustainable Silicon Valley as a non-profit, spinning it off from a California Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) project in 2004. Jennifer served as the Founding President and Executive Director, then as Chair of the Board, and continues serving as a board member today. SSV is a business, government, and non-governmental partnership whose mission is to lead the Silicon Valley community to a more sustainable future. The initial focus is to reduce energy usage from non-renewable sources by targeting a 20% reduction in regional carbon dioxide emissions. The group is now expanding its focus to include water issues. SSV was recently recognized by Cool California, received the 2007 Governor’s Environment and Economic Leadership Award and was a 2007 Climate All Stars award winner. In 2006, SSV received the US EPA Environmental Award for Outstanding Achievement.

Jennifer worked with the Los Angeles region to establish the LA Regional Collaborative for Climate Action and Sustainability, helping business, government, academic, environmental, labor and community groups build their own climate action network. She was recognized for her sustainability leadership work by the Multi-State Working Group on Environmental Performance (MSWG), and also by the Pacific Industrial Business Association. Jennifer has participated internationally with the United Nations Environmental Program Best Practices Network. Through her efforts, HRH Prince Charles and his Cambridge Business and Environment Programme now provide sustainability seminars for senior executives on the west coast of the United States. Nationally, Jennifer serves as a board member for MSWG, and locally, Jennifer serves as a board member for Ecology Action in Santa Cruz, California, where she lives with her husband and son. She received her BS degree from the University of California at Davis.

Professor Kate Auty

Professor Kate Auty Bio August 2010

PhD, MEnvSc, Dip Int Env Law (UNITAR), BA(Hons)LLB
Commissioner for Environmental Sustainability

Born in Brisbane, Kate Auty is a graduate of the University of Melbourne (Arts (Hons)/Law), Monash University (Masters in Environmental Science), and La Trobe University (PhD in Law and Legal Studies). She also holds a Diploma of International Environmental Law from UNITAR.

She has worked as a lawyer for the Victorian Aboriginal Legal Service and the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody (Victoria, Tasmania and Western Australia); as lecturer and project coordinator in the Graduate Certificate in Environment and Heritage Interpretation at the Institute of Koori Education, Deakin University; as a barrister (Victoria), established the first Victorian Koori Court and acted as inaugural magistrate; and as a magistrate and Mining Warden in Western Australia in the western desert goldfields region.

She has undertaken a number of consultancies including a project on local government and climate change for the National Environmental Law Association and in 2008 Professor Auty was appointed a Charles Joseph LaTrobe Fellow with the Centre for Sustainable Regional Communities, LaTrobe University. The fellowship involved a three year research project consulting with Aboriginal women about justice issues including heritage and environmental concerns. In 2008 and 2009 she was the Chair of the Ministerial Reference Council on Climate Change Adaptation and also a member of the Premier's Reference Committee on Climate Change.

Victorian Minister for the Environment and Climate Change, the Hon Gavin Jennings announced the appointment of Professor Kate Auty as the new Commissioner for Environmental Sustainability effective from the 19th June 2009.

Kate recently accepted an appointment as Adjunct Professor in the School of Law within the Faculty of Law and Management, La Trobe University. This position carries with it the title of Professor and entitlements equivalent (non financial) to those of an Emeritus Professor.

Fiona Armstrong

Fiona is a health policy advisor, journalist and registered nurse. She is the former Chair of the Australian Health Care Reform Alliance (AHCRA), a group of over 40 organisations advocating collectively for a fairer and more effective health care system. In 2009 Fiona co-authored a significant paper published by the Centre for Policy Development which conceived and described a new governance and financing framework for the Australian health system.

Fiona has a long record of leadership on environmental issues and her recent Masters thesis (on climate policy options for Australia), in conjunction with her health policy expertise, has provided her with important skills in this emerging policy landscape.

Dan Atkins

Dan is the founder and director of Sustainable Business Practices and has extensive international and domestic experience in environmental and sustainability strategy, integration, management, communication and culture change. An accounting background gives him a good understanding of the financial implications of sustainability to business and government, and how these considerations can be incorporated into strategy, corporate reporting and government policy. Dan has worked with Toyota, Novo Nordisk, Norsk Hydro, UBS, Melbourne Water, SA Water, EPA Victoria, SA Department of Environment and Heritage, AAPMA and Santos.

Dan is the co-chair of the Victorian Commissioner for Environmental Sustainability's Reference Group and a member of the South Australian Premier's Roundtable on Sustainability. He previously headed Toyota Australia's corporate and manufacturing environmental groups, also led Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu's Environmental Services Group in Australia, and spent two and a half years managing Deloitte's Global Centre of Excellence for Environmental and Sustainability Services in Copenhagen (Denmark). Dan has also been involved in the World Business Council for Sustainable Development's eco-efficiency pilot project, the European Environmental Reporting Awards and the United Nations Environmental Program for Financial Institutions.