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Local Steps presenters

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Speakers and presenters


Key note speaker and workshop facilitator – Jen Dollin, Program Director, UN Regional Centre for Expertise in Education for Sustainable Development – Greater Western Sydney and Manager, Office of Sustainability at the Western Sydney University.

Image of Jen Dollin, Western Sydney University

Ms Jen Dollin has extensive experience working with university, school, community and government networks in Greater Western Sydney and a proven track record in scoping, managing and delivering externally funded resource management, environmental sustainability and education consultancy projects. Jen’s background is in corporate finance, environmental economics and policy development – her early career was spent in finance where she worked nationally and internationally for large corporates including AMP, Australian Consolidated Press and Cable and Wireless UK. She has experience in research and policy development with the NSW Government and contributed to the delivery of the national Environment Protection and Heritage Council (EPHC) Product Stewardship Scheme. In her current role Jen oversees a range of sustainability education and curriculum development initiatives at Western Sydney University. A key focus of her work is connected to the United Nations University Institute of Advanced Sustainability supporting the grass roots delivery of the Sustainable Development Goals 2030. This involves scoping study programs connected to the UN Asia Pacific RCE network for the undergraduate teaching programs at the University and facilitating learning programs in the region. As part of her mid-life crisis Jen is undertaking a PhD on multi-species ethnography on rivers and freshwater eels.

Launceston workshop

Ben Clark and students from Launceston Church Grammar School

Ben Clark Launceston Church Grammar SchoolBen Clark is the current Chair of Education for Sustainability Tasmania. He is also the Community Engagement and Project Manager at Launceston Church Grammar School. Prior to relocating to Launceston in early 2015, Ben worked for the South Australian Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources in policy roles within heritage and natural resource management. Ben is passionate about education for sustainability and is collaborating with Launceston Grammar teachers and leaders to promote a sustainable School in curriculum and practices.

Sandy Murray, University of Tasmania

Sandy Murray, UTAS

Sandy Murray is lecturer in Food Security and Public Health Nutrition within the School of Health Science at the University of Tasmania. In 2011 Sandy co-coordinated the establishment of University of Tasmania’s Education for Sustainability (EfS) Community of Practice (CoP).  Since this time Sandy with colleagues from the UTas EfS CoP and community partners have been working towards Tasmania becoming a United Nations Regional Centre of Expertise in Education for Sustainable Development which has now been achieved. Sandy has a personal and professional interest in working towards a sustainable food future for Tasmania, with a specific focus on the connection between food literacy, food security and disadvantage. View more.

Sherridan Emery, University of Tasmania with Katrina Miller and students from Port Dalrymple School

sherridanemerySherridan Emery is a Launceston-based doctoral student in the Faculty of Education at the University of Tasmania whose research investigates the concept of cultural wellbeing in classroom communities. Through this research Sherridan has engaged teachers and educators in research conversations about supporting cultural wellbeing. An active member of the University of Tasmania’s Education for Sustainability Community of Practice, Sherridan has a particular interest in early childhood education for sustainability. In this space she is also an active participant in the international research collaboration ‘Transnational Dialogues in Early Childhood Education for Sustainability’ and has co-authored a forthcoming chapter about this initiative as a model for building capacity for education for sustainability in universities. View more.

Gill Basnett, Program Coordinator, Tamar NRM

Gill BasnettGill Basnett is one of two Program Coordinators for Tamar NRM. She is an ecologist with a background in wildlife conservation and fire ecology and a passion for community engagement and education. Gill has worked in the environmental conservation sector in ACT, NSW, WA, SA and Tasmania for the past 20 years. She has worked with Tamar NRM since 2015 on a variety of projects related to biodiversity protection, sustainable agriculture and sustainable living and facilitates Tamar NRM’s Sustainable Living Working Group.


Hobart workshop

Nel Smit, Greening Australia

Nel Smit, Greening Australia Nel is Education Strategist for Greening Australia, based at the Sustainability Learning Centre at Mt Nelson. Nel’s focus has been on nature based education supporting teachers in developing a sense of place. She is currently working with five schools on ‘Bushrangers’ , linked to the large scale restoration project in the Midlands Biodiversity Hot Spot. This project actively engages school students and their communities with PhD researchers and Architecture and Design students. Nel is also working on Energy Wise a partnership with TasNetworks developing an energy hub at the Sustainability Learning Centre.

Helen Hortle, A Fairer World

Helen HortleHelen was an accountant and teacher until returning to Tasmania from 2 years volunteering on a small island in the Pacific. This experience brought her to a belief that a globally-focused education in ‘first world’ countries is crucial to overcoming poverty and other forms of injustice (including the inequitable sharing of the environmental costs of ‘development’). After completing studies in community and international development, Helen became Coordinator of A Fairer World in 2003. Her accounting and teaching skills have continued to be useful in running a community organisation that aims to be Tasmania’s leading provider of education for social justice and human rights.

Millie Rooney, University of Tasmania

Millie RooneyMillie Rooney coordinates the Sustainability Integration Program for Students (SIPS) at the University of Tasmania, providing opportunities for students to link the theory they are learning in class with real world campus sustainability challenges. As a part of her work at the university Millie also co-teaches a unit called Global Food Security and is passionate about helping students to apply their learnings to their own lives and to reflect on the way their decisions impact broader global systems. Outside of her university life Millie is passionate about community building and in 2014 completed a doctorate on the social norms of neighbourhood sharing practices. Millie is actively involved in Source Community Wholefoods and served as the Chair for a number of years. Millie is currently combining all her passions by working on a national visioning project for a flourishing Australia.

Reuben Parker-Greer, MONA’s 24 Carrot Garden Program

Reuben Parker-Greer 24 CarrotsReuben is a passionate and committed green thumb with extensive experience in Sustainability and School Kitchen Garden Programs. Currently working as  a Project Manager for MONA’s 24 Carrot Garden Project. The project is currently supporting 15 primary schools throughout Southern Tasmania in establishing the gold standard of school kitchen gardens partnered with fun, learning activities in the creative arts, culinary arts, science and sustainability.

Todd Houstein, Executive Officer, Sustainable Living Tasmania

Todd Houstein, Sustainable Living TasmaniaTodd is a humanitarian engineer turned sustainable community development leader. He’s passionate about helping people to live happy, healthy and sustainable lives. After working as a lightning protection engineer for Tassie business Novaris Pty Ltd, Todd did three years postgraduate engineering research into renewable energy systems with UTAS in Hobart and the Institute for Energy Technology in Norway. Todd also founded the Tasmanian Chapter of Engineers Without Borders (EWB) and was president of it for 2 years before moving to Melbourne to take on a paid staff role in their national office. He became fascinated by the intersection between appropriate technology and participatory, strengths-based community development. In 2010, Todd moved back to his beloved homeland to work towards creating happy, healthy and sustainable Tasmanian communities.

Burnie workshop

Caroline Smith, University of Tasmania

carolineCaroline is an Adjunct lecturer in science education and sustainability at UTAS as well as a researcher and writer.  Prior to settling in Tasmania in 2013, she taught in the Vocational Graduate Certificate in EfS at Swinburne University’s National Centre for Sustainability, and before that, Australian Catholic University. She has also been a high school science teacher and plant pathologist. Caroline is a co-recipient of the Australasian ACTS Green Gown Award for Learning and Teaching and co-recipient of an ALTC Citation Award for Leadership in Education for Sustainability. She has also worked with teachers and farmers in Solomon Is and is currently co-writing teacher education materials for the Pacific for UNESCO. Caroline’s interests are in permaculture, local food security and climate change. View more.

Kim Beasy, University of Tasmania

Kim BeasyKim Beasy lives locally in Launceston with her young family and works as a researcher, tutor and Sustainability Officer at the University of Tasmania. Kim’s research explores what sustainability means and looks like for a diverse range of community members. Kim is engaged in a range of community-based sustainability projects and is particularly passionate about practices of consumption. She is an active member of the Australian Association of Environmental Educators, the UTAS Education for Sustainability Community of Practice and the Tamar NRM Sustainable Living Working Group. You will often find Kim with her family wondering the Trevallyn Reserve with her high energy retriever. View more.

Robin Krabbe Project Coordinator – Live Well Tasmania

Robin_KrabbeRobin lives on a farm in North-West Tasmania with her husband and 11 year old son. She is part of a new community group called Live Well Tasmania, who are developing and implementing a concept of Wellbeing and Lifelong Learning Regions. She recently completed a PhD investigating the fostering of sustainability norms via community socioeconomic initiatives, looking specifically at local food and local currencies. As well as sustainability and personal transformation, Robin’s interests include woodworking, bushwalking, keeping fit, playing guitar, tinkering with art, gardening and community self-sufficiency.

Dr Nick Towle – Reseed Centre

Nick TowleNick Towle is a senior lecturer in acute care and global health perspectives at the University of Tasmania, Rural Clinical School. He is an active member of the University of Tasmania’s Education for Sustainability (EfS) Community of Practice (CoP). Nick has taken his passion for EfS into the wider community in several ways, from teaching Permaculture Design through to providing free public presentations around climate change and health. In recent years he has joined others in the establishment of the RESEED Centre in Penguin, northwest Tasmania. RESEED stands for Renewable Energy, Sustainability Education and Enterprise Development and the physical centre is being developed as a hub to support health and sustainability oriented courses and enterprises.