Opening Night and Keynote Address

Join us for the opening night of the Act on Climate Festival.

Please RSVP below.

A thought provoking and inspiring evening where together we focus on how our community can Act on Climate and build a better, safety future for all.

The evening will feature keynote speeches from prominent experts in the fields of climate change, renewable energy, and economics. Followed by a discussion panel with keynote speakers and local climate change representatives.

Download the Festival Flyer

Keynote Speakers:

Climate Change, Crisis and Opportunity

Prof David Karoly, Professor of Atmospheric Science, University of Melbourne


The Economics of Climate Change

Bob Welsh, Executive Director Sustainability Advisers, former CEO of VIC Super


Climate Justice and the Role of Community

Victoria McKenzie-McHarg, Climate Manager at Australian Conservation Foundation


Pathways to a Low Carbon Future - How Australia can build a prosperous clean economy

Adam Majcher, Engagement Manager at ClimateWorks


Special Guest Speaker:

A Youth Perspective on Climate Change

Jack Nyhof, Student at Geelong High School and Founder of Earth People Animals


Opening Remarks:

Hon Lisa Neville, Minister for Environment, Climate Change and Water

Cr Andy Richards, Councillor at City of Greater Geelong 

Dan Cowdell, President of Geelong Sustainability Group


Event MC:  

Suzette Jackson, Director at Innate Ecology


The evening will conclude with finger food, drinks at bar prices, and an opportunity to network with the community.

Entry via gold coin donation

Please RSVP below for catering purposes.


Keynote Speaker Bio's

Prof David Karoly - Professor of Atmospheric Science, University of Melbourne


David Karoly is a Professor of Atmospheric Science in the School of Earth Sciences and the ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate System Science at the University of Melbourne. He is an internationally recognised expert in climate change and climate variability, including greenhouse climate change, stratospheric ozone depletion and interannual climate variations due to El Niño-Southern Oscillation. He was heavily involved in preparation of the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released in 2007, in several different roles. Professor Karoly is a member of the Climate Change Authority which provides advice to the Australian government on climate change policies. He is also a member of the Academy of Science's National Committee on Earth System Science and the Wentworth Group of Concerned Scientists.


Bob Welsh, Executive Director Sustainability Advisers, former CEO of VIC Super


Bob has over 30 years of experience in business strategy including roles as Chairperson, Director, Chief Executive and a member of various executive teams. Formerly founding Chief Executive of VicSuper, now one of Australia’s fastest growing multi-employer public offer superannuation (pension) funds, Bob is a world renowned leader in sustainable investing and in placing sustainability at the core of business strategy.

Bob was the founding Chairperson of the Investor Group on Climate Change Australia and New Zealand and is a pioneer in fostering the development of low-carbon investment strategies. His work in this area was recognized internationally when he was awarded the annual Sustainability Leadership Pioneer Award in Zurich, Switzerland. In 2007 Bob was recognised by the United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative for his outstanding contribution within the pension funds sector.

Bob holds a Bachelor of Economics and a Diploma of Financial Planning, and is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia.


Victoria McKenzie-McHarg, Climate Manager at Australian Conservation Foundation

Victoria McKenzie McHargIs director of the Board and the Climate Manager at the Australian Conservation Foundation, Australia’s leading environment organisation. Prior to 2014, Victoria led the safe climate campaign at Environment Victoria, the state’s peak environmental NGO.

Victoria has led community driven campaigns for government action on climate change and sustainable transport, including campaigns to stop a new coal export industry in Victoria, put a price on pollution nationally, and against fossil fuel subsidies.

In 2012, Victoria was listed as one of The Age Melbourne Magazine’s top 100 most influential, inspirational, provocative and creative Victorians for her work leading a legal and community campaign against a proposed new coal­fired power station – a campaign that was ultimately won.


Adam Majcher, Engagement Manager at ClimateWorks

Adam-Majcher-200px.pngAdam Majcher is ClimateWorks' newly appointed Engagement Manager, working on building public understanding of the feasibility and benefits to a zero net emissions future for Australia.

Adam formerly headed up The Climate Reality Project (TCRP) Australia; Al Gore’s climate change leadership program with the Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF). Adam lead and contributed to leadership training programmes that have ranged from 50 – 1,000 people and supported a community of advocates that have personally presented on climate change to 1 in 50 people on climate change nationally.

In his role he also managed the Asia-Pacific region for TCRP, helping to support and develop joint leadership programs across various sectors with India, Indonesia, the Pacific Islands, New Zealand, Pakistan, the Philippines and South Korea.

In associated initiatives at ACF, he worked on the Who on Earth Cares campaign that saw 250,000 Australians demonstrate their commitment to climate change, and the Say Yes campaign that helped build widespread public support for a carbon price in Australia.
Adam's background is in ecology, holding a Bachelor of Science (Aquatic Science) and a Graduate Degree in Coastal Planning. He has worked in both the public and private sector, as well as run his own not-for-profit organisation. He has over the course of that time consulted to the action sports industry and a number of lifestyle industries to help them better engage internal and external networks on environmental and social projects.


Special Guest Speaker Bio:

Jack-Nyhof-200px.jpgJack Nyhof is a 14-year-old student from Geelong High School. He is the founder of Earth People Animals, and is a youth correspondent for The Sustainable Hour and also a radio host of afternoon shows on 94.7 The Pulse. Jack is also an active member of the new Geelong City Youth Environment Action Group, the Australian Youth Climate Coalition and is one of Cool Australia's Top Student Leaders.



Event MC

Suzette Jackson, Director at Innate Ecology


Suzette Jackson has over 25 years experience, both as a designer and sustainability consultant, working on sustainable building and community projects in Australia and Asia. Suzette works with councils, universities, organisations and community groups to provide leadership and strategies for sustainability programs and outcomes.

Innate Ecology have led local urban activations such as the Geelong Better Block, on day forums and workshops at the annual Sustainable Living Festival and provide One Planet Living programs and services.

November 20, 2015 at 7pm - 9pm
Simonds Stadium - Captains Room in the Premiership Stand
Enter from Kilgour Street or Latrobe Terrace
South Geelong, VIC 3220
Google map and directions
Event Organiser - Dan Cowdell · · 0428 944 929
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