Planet Ark appointed to expert group guiding Australia’s circular economy transition

Planet Ark appointed to expert group guiding Australia’s circular economy transition

    By Liam Taylor  February 6th, 2023

    The Ministerial Advisory Group announced by Minister for the Environment and Water Tanya Plibersek at Circularity 2022 has now been appointed.


    Planet Ark and the Australian Circular Economy Hub (ACE Hub) welcomes the opportunity to be represented by Board Member and Chief Sustainability Advisor, Paul Klymenko.

    The Circular Economy Ministerial Advisory Group was established to advise government on the opportunities and challenges in making this transition and will meet for the first time in February to discuss Australia’s transition to a circular economy by 2030. The group consists of 15 of Australia’s most prominent circular economy experts and will be led by inaugural Chair Professor John Thwaites AM from the Monash Sustainable Development Institute.

    “I have often said the transformation to a circular economy will require one of the greatest collaboration efforts ever undertaken by humanity,” Planet Ark Chief Sustainability Advisor Paul Klymenko said.

    “Planet Ark is proud to be guiding this collaboration in Australia through the Australian Circular Economy Hub and to be part of this advisory group that will support the government in building a circular future.”

    The group’s priority will be to build upon the commitments made at the Environment Ministers’ Meeting late last year, where all Australian Environment Ministers agreed to work with the private sector and industry to design out waste and pollution, keep materials in use, and foster markets to achieve a circular economy by 2030.

    “A circular economy is more than just better recycling systems. It’s about designing out waste from the start. Making sure that new products are designed to last longer, to be reused and repaired, and able to have all parts recyclable at the end of the product’s life,” said Minister for the Environment and Water Tanya Plibersek.

    “It’s these types of issues – and the actions we can take – that the expert Circular Economy Advisory Group will be so important for. The group has an impressive range of skills and knowledge, and their outstanding expertise reflect the whole-of supply-chain focus of the circular economy.”

    One of the most critical outcomes of the advisory group will be providing policy recommendations to all levels of government that will help to advance the implementation of circular principles throughout the economy.

    “We’ve brought together some of the best and brightest minds from industry, academia and the scientific community to advise on the best path forward,” said Group Chair John Thwaites.

    "We’ll be looking at the most impactful policies and actions that government and industry can pursue to advance our circular economy. I look forward to working with the Advisory Group and the Minister to ensure we provide impactful advice to government.”

    A brief background of the full membership of the Circular Economy Ministerial Advisory Group can be found below:

    Chair - Professor John Thwaites AM, Monash Sustainable Development Institute

    • Professor Thwaites is a Professorial Fellow, Monash University, Chair of the Monash Sustainable Development Institute, Chair Climateworks Centre and Chair of The McKinnon Institute

      for political leadership. He has previously been Chair of the Australian Building Codes Board, President of the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) and a director of the Australian Green Building Council. John was Minister for the Environment in Victoria, the state’s first ever Climate Minister, and the Deputy Premier of Victoria for 8 years.

    Dr Cathy Foley AO PSM, Australia’s Chief Scientist

    • Dr Cathy Foley AO PSM became Australia's ninth Chief Scientist in January 2021. Dr Foley's scientific excellence and influential leadership have been recognised with numerous awards and fellowships, including election to the Australian Academy of Science in 2020, and an Order of Australia for service to research science and to the advancement of women in physics.

    John Gertsakis, Product Stewardship Centre of Excellence

    • Mr Gertsakis is an Adjunct Professor at the Institute of Sustainable Futures, and a Director of the Product Stewardship Centre of Excellence.

    Dr Dominique Hes, City of Melbourne

    • Dr. Dominique Hes is an award-winning author, consultant, collaborator, researcher and academic working in the areas of regenerative development, placemaking, biophilia, urban greenery, and sustainable development. She was a founding Board member of the Living Future Institute of Australia (LFIA) serving from 2012 until 2015, she served as trustee at Trust for Nature board, and is now the Chair of the Board of Greenfleet.

    Michael Jackson, Australian Council of Recycling

    • Mr Jackson is general manager for Strategic Development for Road Services at Downer, a leading provider of integrated services in Australia and New Zealand. He is also President of the Australian Council of Recycling.

    Paul Klymenko, Planet Ark

    • Mr Klymenko has worked in fostering sustainability in Australia for over 35 years. In 1987 he co-founded Australian Ethical, Australia’s first socially responsible investment manager with now over $8b under management. He co-founded Planet Ark in 1992 and is the key instigator of the new Australian Circular Economy Hub.

    Claire Kneller, WRAP Asia Pacific

    • Ms Kneller is the Managing Director of WRAP Asia Pacific, a not for profit focussed on the transition to a circular economy, especially for our food, clothing and plastic packaging. She also works with Fight Food Waste, the organisation leading the delivery of Australia’s halving food waste target.

    Vaughan Levitzke PSM, Circular 360

    • Mr Levitzke is the former Chief Executive of Zero Waste SA and Green Industries SA for over 17 years and is Chair of Circular360 based in Adelaide. He introduced the first assessment of the benefits of a circular economy to South Australia in 2017 and has developed and implemented four 5-year waste strategies.

    Romilly Madew AO, Engineers Australia

    • Romilly Madew is CEO of Engineers Australia. She was previously CEO of Infrastructure Australia (IA) and the Green Building Council of Australia for 13 years. In acknowledgment of her contribution to Australia’s sustainable building movement, she was awarded an Order of Australia in 2019.

    Dr Larry Marshall, CSIRO

    • Dr Larry Marshall is Chief Executive of CSIRO, Australia’s national science agency. Larry is a scientist, technology innovator and business leader with a wealth of experience in creating new value and impact with science.

    Lisa McLean, Circular Australia

    • Lisa McLean is Managing Director and CEO of Circular Australia, an independent circular economy peak body leading the transition to a zero carbon circular economy in Australia. Lisa has been successfully working to catalyse new markets and policy frameworks to enable the circular zero-carbon economy for the past 25 years in Australia and abroad.

    Professor Robynne Quiggin, University of Technology Sydney

    • Professor Quiggin is a member of the Wiradyuri nation, and has practised as a solicitor, advisor and academic on legal, compliance and policy areas of relevance to Indigenous Australians.

    Mark Rawson, Waste Management and Resource Recovery Association of Australia

    • Mr Rawson is a leading specialist in waste, recycling and resource management. Mark has been National Vice President and Board Member of the Waste Management and Resource Recovery Association of Australia since 2020, and was previously the Regional Manager for Cleanaway for SA/NT.

    Samantha Read, Chemistry Australia

    • Ms Read is CEO of Chemistry Australia. Her career spans more than 30 years across the chemicals, plastics, renewable fuels, automotive and steel industries. Previously, Samantha was CEO of the Biofuels Association of Australia and an Executive Director of GM Holden Ltd.

    Professor John Spoehr, Flinders University

    • Professor Spoehr is the Pro Vice Chancellor – Research Impact at Flinders University, and Director of the Australian Industrial Transformation Institute. He is also founding Director of the Factory of the Future at Tonsley Innovation District.


    Liam Taylor

    Prior to joining Planet Ark Liam spent his time studying global environmental issues, travelling Southeast Asia on the cheap and working for a sustainable property management company in Bali, Indonesia. Joining the communications team at Planet Ark, he hopes to inspire positive environmental behaviour through effective and positive messaging.

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