Lead Sponsor

Supporting sponsors

Date: 28 July, 2022
Time: 8:30 am registration

Summit: 9am-5.30pm
Venue: Aerial UTS Function Centre,
Building 10, Level 7/235 Jones St, Ultimo, Sydney

General Admission


(Discounts available for TFE Members and Event Partners)

TFE Members & event collaboration partners ask us for a promo code to save $120. email us at events@thefifthestate.com.au

Government employees save $120 by using your government email address

After three years of natural disasters and pandemic, there’s a groundswell of demand for greening our urban world. And newfound respect for the terrible power of nature and the joy it can bestow when we get things right.

We need to protect and enhance biodiversity, our water quality, the air we breathe and our precious green trees, plants, parks and wetlands.

The big investors are on board. The Task Force on Nature-Related Financial Disclosure is on the way.

Megan Flynn, partner at leading climate advisory Pollination, recently told The Australian Financial Review that nature positive is “going to move faster than climate”.

“The one caveat is that it’s much more complex than climate.”

Tim King, chief investment officer of impact investor Melior Investment Management, said:

“I’m telling companies this is moving rapidly. Investor expectations are moving extremely rapidly, as are customers’ and employees’ expectations.”


We will uncover the new trends behind one of the most disruptive – and wonderful – influences coming our way: the elevation of nature to its rightful priority in our built environment. There’s fast-growing consumer appetite for nature everywhere – from the workplace to home. In the “war for talent” it just might be the glue that helps your organisation make your staff sticky.

Whether in the CBDs, suburbs or regions. (A free lunch or free dry cleaning might help too!)

Educate yourself – get your tix here

There is so much to learn about how to integrate strong plantings with buildings for instance. There’s how Melbourne rolled out its urban forest; what trees we can plant and where; how to manage plants in Sydney and Melbourne’s high wind tunnels, and how your beautifully selected greenery fares inside a nine-storey atrium or shopping centre.

Experts will generously share insights into their hard-won knowledge and practical applications in the hope that the whole industry can grow. (Did you know for instance that beautiful but powerful wisteria that can snap a steel cable?)

We will bring you case studies and the science behind the successes.

Resilience – click here

In a time of intense heat in our most important new housing zones, we will learn how trees and tree canopy can moderate the urban heat island effect. And we will look at the kinds of planning policies that can help.

Above all, we will learn how green infrastructure builds physical, mental and emotional resilience.

If you are a major investor, or asset advisor, you need to understand the Task Force on Nature-Related Financial Disclosures – and more simply, the proven value uplift of nature. If you’re planning three to five years out, you need to make sure your offering is nature-competitive.


If you’re a council or state government you need to understand your voting constituents who are already suffering under 50 degree temperatures. You’ll need to manage the competing drives between tree lovers and tree loppers and how to encourage residents to say yes instead of no to the trees in their street that can provide canopy cover and lower temperatures.

Join the conversation
– eventbrite tix are here

If you’re a designer or professional consultant to the built environment all of the above need to be in your new sandpit.

The concrete jungle is out. Green joy is in.



Jess Miller (Event MC)

Former Deputy Lord Mayor, City of Sydney

Jess’ bio

Jess is a city leader & communicator focused on climate adaptive, regenerative and resilient places. She served for five years on the City of Sydney Council as Councillor, Deputy Lord Mayor and Chair of the Environment Committee. She led the Greener Spaces Better Places program on behalf of Hort Innovation and the Nursery & Garden Industry as part of the Republic of Everyone, and is a member of the TEDxSydney & Newtown Neighbourhood Centre boards. She has led work within the Department of Industry Environment & Planning to promote living infrastructure within the Wianamatta South Creek precinct utilising collective impact principles and an indigenous-led, caring for country approach. Currently she is consulting on a range of projects focused on strategic approaches to cross-sector collaboration with a focus on vibrancy, renewable energy and resilience. She is still celebrating the historic victory of the reigning AFL Premiers, the Melbourne Demons. 

Belinda bean portrait

Belinda Bean

Collective Impact Strategist, Greener Spaces Better Places

Belinda’s bio

With her finger firmly on the pulse of societal and environmental trends, Belinda brings together diverse organisations around a shared goal for positive impact. Greener Spaces Better Places is a national initiative to ensure that as our cities and towns grow, so too do our green spaces.

Peter bottero portrait

Peter Bottero

CEO, Tensile Design & Construct

Peter’s bio

Peter has been involved in tension structures for over 15 years and over that time has played a key role in the tensile architectural industry across Australia. In 2010 Peter founded Tensile Design & Construct to fulfill the growing need within the construction industry for a full service tensile solutions provider, one that combined the fields of design, engineering and construction. Tensile and Peter have proven to be leaders within the industry and specialist in regards to green facades, safety barriers and catenary cable structures. Peter’s core beliefs reside in collaboration, communication and measurable positive impacts. He has a genuine passion for architecture and construction with a drive to find creative solutions for the construction community.

martin bryant potrait

Martin Bryant

Professor, School of Architecture, Faculty of Design Architecture and Building

Martin’s bio

Martin is a landscape architecture academic and practitioner whose work spans more than three decades. As a practitioner, he has led numerous high-profile award winning projects in Auckland and Wellington waterfront, Darling Harbour, Sydney Olympic Park, and Green Square. In academia, Martin’s research expertise on urban ecology and resilience is internationally recognised: he won the Charlie Challenger NZILA award for his research on resilience, has exhibited at the Venice Architecture Biennale (2021), and authored the United Nations Habitat III policy paper on urban ecology and resilience (2017). Martin has been Head of School Architecture (UTS), Director of Post graduate studies ( UTS), and Course Director of landscape architecture programme (VUW and UTS).

Sacha Coles

Director, Design + Strategy
ASPECT Studios
Registered Landscape Architect, AILA

Sacha’s bio

Sacha is a Design and Strategy Director of ASPECT Studios. As a global design influencer, Sacha’s record of excellence in leading projects of transformational change spans placemaking, infrastructure, play space, academic, civic institutions, and green infrastructure.
Sacha is a collaborator who delivers innovative design within a social framework, reinforcing the role that cities can play in creating economic, social, and creative opportunity. Through his work, Sacha promotes uplifting quality of life, encouraging social equity and elevating the human spirit through design.
The projects he’s involved in aim to delight and embody positivity which challenge a ‘business as usual’ approach. His strength stems from his relationships with collaborators including leading artists, scientists and other specialists and the ability to work seamlessly in meaningful ways with multi-sector project partnerships.
He has been recognised as one of the top 30 Landscape Architects operating globally and he holds several advisory and board positions including the Inaugural Adjunct Professor of Landscape Architecture – UTS Faculty of Design, Architecture and Building, the UTS Faculty of Design, Architecture and Building Industry Advisory Board and the Inaugural NSW State Design Review Panel (SDRP) Pilot Program.
He a former board member of The Australian Design Centre and former president of the NSW Australian Institute of Landscape Architects (AILA).

Angela Crossland

National Social Sustainability Manager, The GPT Group

Angela’s bio

Angela Crossland is passionate about finding opportunities that create long term benefit for business and community. Currently the National Social Sustainability Manager at The GPT Group, Angela is responsible for GPT’s First Nations engagement, the GPT Foundation and building strong social value within the Group’s broader ESG strategy through a human rights lens. Prior to the property industry Angela worked in the non-profit sector and as a private investigator.

Beck Dawson

Beck Dawson

Chief Resilience Officer, Resilient Sydney

Beck’s bio

Known as the “person paid to worry for Sydney”, Beck is the Chief Resilience Officer of Metropolitan Sydney at Resilient Sydney – a local government led program hosted by the City of Sydney and connected to the global Resilient Cities Network. 100 Resilient Cities, pioneered by the Rockefeller Foundation, and in Sydney hosted by the City of Sydney, helps cities to become more resilient to the physical, social, and economic challenges of the 21st century. Resilient Sydney uses community-based research to identify risks to inform public policy and city-wide action on urban resilience and systems thinking. Launched in July 2018 with five directions and 35 actions for disaster risk reduction and better resilience planning for people in Sydney, the program is a collaboration of state government, business and the community including all 33 local government councils in metropolitan Sydney. Beck’s background in property includes a five-year stint at commercial real estate management and development service provider Investa as Corporate Sustainability Manager.

Jamie Durie OAM

Durie Design

Jamie’s bio

International award-winning landscape designer and horticulturalist Jamie Durie founded his design practice in 1998. During this time, Jamie and his team have received over 38 international design awards in landscape architecture and design, including gold medals in Tokyo, New Zealand, Singapore, Sydney, Melbourne and a gold medal at the prestigious Chelsea Flower Show in London. The team’s commercial work can be seen in over 34 countries.

Today, the practice works across green architecture, landscape, interiors and one of Durie’s secret passions of 17 years, product and furniture design. In this field, Jamie and his team have received over eight awards for his furniture designs in New York, London, Sydney, and most recently a Good Design Award in 2021 for his Sunlounge design for Italian Outdoor Furniture brand UNOPUI.

Jamie’s Media career to date is equally prolific as the author of 12 best-selling design books and has been a contributor to multiple design and lifestyle publications like Woman’s Weekly, Sunday Life, Home Beautiful most recently Mansion Magazine with The Australian newspaper. In the field of television, he has hosted over 56 television design shows across three continents. After being contracted to Oprah Winfrey for five years he then went on to host another 18 lifestyle and design shows in the USA with six seasons of his smash hit garden makeover show titled The Outdoor Room. In Australia, Jamie started his career in TV receiving a Logie Award in the year 2000 for Australia’s most Popular New Male Talent, he then continued on to receive an six more Logie Awards for all six seasons of his record breaking ratings success Backyard Blitz for the Nine network. Today, he hosts House Rules for Channel Seven and in the USA, Curb Appeal Extreme for HOME AND GARDEN TV.

A committed environmentalist and pioneer of “The Outdoor Room” concept, Jamie has worked in the environmental sector for over 28 years. Jamie was selected as one of only 200 to train with Al Gore and to be a part of the Climate change Group. An ambassador for Planet Ark’s National Tree day for over 21 years, Jamie has worked on multiple environmental campaigns with the United Nations in New York, Greening Australia, the Australian Conservation Foundation and multiple other organisations. In honour of his work over the past two decades, Jamie was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia in 2013 for services to the environment and Australian design, and in 2004, he received the Centenary Medal from Australian prime minister for his services to the environment, television, and the community.

Jefa Greenaway (Wailwan|Kamilaroi)

Founder & Director, Greenaway Architects

Jefa’s bio

Jefa Greenaway is founding Director of Greenaway Architects, a Senior Lecturer (University of Melbourne) | Honorary Fellow of Design (Deakin University), and a Cultural Ambassador for the Australian Institute of Landscape Architects (AILA). He’s championed Indigenous led design thinking for 30 years as a registered architect in NSW/VIC/ACT, as co-founder of Indigenous Architecture + Design Victoria, as co-author of the award winning International Indigenous Design Charter, as well as being a Regional Ambassador (Oceania) of INDIGO (International Indigenous Design Network)and currently sits on the NSW State Design Review Panel. His practice is a founding signatory of Architects Declare Australia, an initiative that seeks to respond to issues related to climate change and biodiversity loss, explored through a diverse array of project work, incorporating educational, commercial, residential, cultural and urban design projects, with recent projects including the award winning Ngarara Place, the Koorie Heritage Trust as is currently working on the Marvel Stadium upgrade, and the Hobsons Bay Wetland Centre and the 11.1B North East Link Project. He was also a co-curator of the Australian exhibition at La Biennale Architettura di Venezia 2021 and was recently included in the Qantas 100 Inspiring Australians and was a 2020 inductee into the Design Institute of Australia’s (DIA) ‘Hall of Fame’ signifying an outstanding contribution to Australian design.

Laura Hamilton-O’Hara

CEO, Living Future Institute of Australia

Laura’s bio

Laura has a Master’s Degree in Social Ecology and two decades of industry experience working in environmental sustainability and social justice in Australia and South Africa. A through line for Laura in all her work is sustainability leadership and systems thinking.
After several years in strategic roles at Taronga Zoo, Macquarie University and the Centre for Sustainability Leadership, Laura is currently the CEO of the Living Future Institute of Australia (LFIA). LFIA harnesses the built environment as a powerful vehicle to create a world that is socially just, culturally rich, and ecologically restorative.

Richard Hassell

Co-founder & Director, WOHA

Richard’s bio

Richard is the co-founding Director of WOHA. Born and raised in Australia, he graduated from the University of Western Australia in 1989, and was awarded a Master of Architecture degree from RMIT University, Melbourne, in 2002. He has served as a Board Member of Design Singapore Council, the Board of Architects as well as the Building and Construction Authority of Singapore. He has lectured at many universities, and served as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Technology Sydney, and the University of Western Australia.
WOHA work at all scales, from interiors and architecture to public space and master plans; their projects are living systems that connect to the city as a whole. With every project, the practice aims to create a matrix of interconnected human-scaled environments. These spaces foster community, enable stewardship of nature, generate biophilic beauty, activate ecosystem services and build resilience.
As co-Founding Director, Richard leads its project teams in design execution and contract implementation of innovative private and institutional works. At WOHA all projects are conceptualised out of jointly-developed schemes and strategies. Richard is the Director in charge of several ongoing local and international projects. In Australia, he is currently working on the 443 Queen Street high-rise condominium in Brisbane, Forbes Residences condominium in Perth and together with Liminal Studio, The Hedberg, a creative industries and performing arts development in Hobart, Tasmania completed in 2020.

Greg Ingleton

Segment Manager, Circular Economy, Western Sydney Development, Sydney Water

Greg’s bio

Greg Ingleton was a city dweller who became a farmer prior to becoming an environmental scientist with a focus on water. Greg has worked in the water industry for over 20 years, firstly in SA Water and now in Sydney Water. His role in Sydney Water is to implement greening and cooling projects, such as smart irrigation and air temperature sensor deployment, along with being part of the team tasked with developing integrated water cycle management for the Western Sydney growth areas. Greg is also a board member on the Green Adelaide Board, which focuses on providing strategic guidance for state and local government in Adelaide. Greg applies a “systems thinking” approach to water use, focusing on effective water use for multiple outcomes. This has led to the implementation of holistic, but relatively simple solutions to maximise the benefits from outdoor water use in our urban environment to reduce the impacts of urban heat islands, reduce energy usage, and improving liveability to ensure our communities are resilient against climate impacts now and into the future.

Nikos Kalogeropoulos

Director, Molonglo

Niko’s bio

Nikos Kalogeropoulos is a director at Molonglo. Nikos has extensive experience in ACT Government and was CFO of Territory and Municipal Services and the ACTION Transport Authority. This strength in economics is uniquely balanced by a wealth of knowledge and deep interest in philosophy and ancient history.

Jennifer Kent

Senior Research Fellow and Urbanism Research Lead at the University of Sydney School of Architecture, Design and Planning

Jennifer’s bio

Jennifer’s research interests are at the intersections between urban planning, transport and human health. Her work is funded by external agencies, including the Australian Research Council, government land development agency Landcom and the National Heart Foundation. She has experience working across institutions, including with the NSW Ministry of Health and with local health districts and transport agencies across NSW on several projects examining translation of health evidence. Her findings are policy relevant and have been incorporated into State and Federal urban planning agendas around Australia.

Steven Liaros

Director, PolisPlan

Steven’s bio

Dr Steven Liaros is a polymath and futurist with expertise and qualifications in civil engineering, town planning, environmental law and political economy. He is an honorary associate at The University of Sydney and director of strategic town planning consultancy, PolisPlan. Steven is co-creating a new category of land development to enable a collaborative, affordable and sustainable mode of living in a connected network of Circular Economy Villages.

Elizabeth Mossop

Professor of Landscape Architecture and Dean of Design
Architecture and Building, UTS.

Elizabeth’s bio

Elizabeth Mossop is Professor of Landscape Architecture and Dean of Design Architecture and Building at the University of Technology in Sydney. She has held leadership positions at Harvard GSD, the Robert Reich School of Landscape Architecture at LSU and the University of NSW. She is a founding principal of Spackman Mossop Michaels landscape architects, based in Sydney, New Orleans and Detroit. Her research and practice is concerned with landscape’s role in urban revitalisation and resilient communities and cities in the face of climate change.

Kate Nason

Sustainability Advisor, Frasers Property Australia

Kate’s bio

Kate is a passionate advocate of high-performance, healthy and resilient buildings. With a background as an architect (ARBV) she has worked across multiple low-energy buildings including Certified Passive House projects such as the Monash Gillies Hall and several single residential homes utilising low carbon prefabricated construction systems. She is a certified Passive House Designer (PHI), Green Star Accredited Professional and Chairperson at the Australian Passive House Association. She holds the role as Sustainability Advisor at Frasers Property Australia, working across the development of the corporate sustainability strategy and oversight of projects in Victoria, Queensland and Western Australia, ensuring buildings and master planned communities integrate leading sustainability objectives and targets. She is also passionate about bringing nature to the forefront of the sustainability conversation, and is currently leading the development of the FPA Biodiversity Strategy.

Sebastian Pfautsch

Associate Professor in Urban Studies, the Research Theme Coordinator at Western Sydney University

Sebastian’s bio

Sebastian is an Associate Professor in Urban Studies at Western Sydney University. He develops trans-disciplinary research around the complex issue of urban heat. He is the Director of SIMPaCT, a large-scale research project that will result in AI-operated park irrigation systems for optimal cooling during hot summers. He sits on the panel of Greening our City, works as independent advisor for the NSW Chief Scientist and Engineer and co-developed the first Handbook for Urban Green Infrastructure (UGI) for Standards Australia.
Sebastian has a Master in Forest Science and Management and a PhD in Tree Physiology. Both degrees were awarded from the University of Freiburg in Germany. For more than 15 years he studied the responses of trees and forests to gradual and extreme environmental impacts, including heat waves, drought, fire, changes in the atmospheric concentration of CO2 and declining groundwater tables. Sebastian investigated these responses in natural ecosystems across Australia and under controlled conditions in green houses and other research facilities, working from microscopic to landscape scales.
Five years ago, Sebastian joined Western Sydney University where he took up a Senior Researcher position with a focus on UGI. He begun applying his knowledge about the physiological functioning of trees and vegetation more broadly to an urban context. Since then, Sebastian studied the impact of climate change on cities and where the opportunities and limits of UGI are when mitigating increasing heat. Today his applied projects deal with heat mitigation far beyond UGI and include surface and building materials, engineered shade and water infrastructure, smart city technology and urban planning.
His high-quality research output is documented in the form of more than 90 peer-reviewed research papers, technical reports and journal articles. Sebastian’s work features regularly in the media, which in 2021 produced more than 350 headlines in 21 countries, was published in 5 languages and had a potential online reach of more than 1 billion people. Recent highlights were working with the BBC on the documentary “Life at 50C – Heat hitting home in Australia” and joining Kosta Georgiadis on ABC’s Gardening Australia program to explain the importance of urban trees for cooling.

photo of john rayner

John Rayner

Associate Professor, Director of Urban Horticulture, The University of Melbourne

John’s bio

John is Director of Urban Horticulture at the Burnley Campus, University of Melbourne. John’s teaching and research interests centre on the design and use of plants, particularly in green infrastructure, public landscapes and in therapeutic horticulture. He helped establish the Green Infrastructure Research Group and has been actively researching green roofs and walls for almost 20 years. John recently published the Maintenance Guidelines for Australian Green Roofs and together with colleagues is completing the Australian Guide to Green Roof Plants. He is a passionate educator, has published widely and consults regularly on major landscape projects. John is also a keen gardener and in his spare time gains great joy from nurturing and torturing plants on his one-hectare garden in the Dandenong Ranges.

Eric Sturman


Eric’s bio

Eric studied horticulture at the University of Western Sydney at the Hawkesbury Agricultural Campus, North Richmond. Over the next few years, he worked in large show gardens and high end nurseries before starting his own landscape and maintenance business.
In 2009, Eric tapered down his business to study Landscape Architecture at the University of New South Wales, Kensington and after graduating he regrew his business focusing on design and consultation, mostly putting form before function.
In 2016 the opportunity arose for Eric to work for North Sydney Council as the coordinator for their volunteer gardening program, Streets Alive. Many of the verge gardens he coordinated grew food, and he was on hand to help volunteers at North Sydney’s impressive collection of eight community gardens. He also had the opportunity to design and construct two new community gardens. These were the amazingly productive Little Young Street Garden in Neutral Bay and the massive 600 square metre garden in Anzac Park, Cammeray.
While at NSC, Eric met Ian Collins from WaterUps. After running a six week side by side trail with the WaterUps system versus his 25 years of horticultural knowledge and experience, he realised what a fantastic and revolutionary system this was. He quickly parted ways with NSC and began his journey with Ian at WaterUps.
Over the past two years, WaterUps has become Eric’s life, his colleges, and his family. He has been able to explore his curiosities and gain a first class understanding of the science and systems that make this sub surface irrigation system a world leader. During this time, he has developed many urban greening applications for WaterUps.

Kaylie Salvatori

Founding Director, COLA Studio

Kaylie’s bio

Yuin Saltwater woman, Kaylie Salvatori founded COLA Studio in 2021 as a response to landscape design and practice. An acronym for Country Oriented Landscape Architecture, COLA Studio is one of the very few Aboriginal owned studios in the Australian built environment industry. A passionate practitioner of Country centred design, Kaylie’s work amplifies the voice of Country and First Nations people through the design process and into the life of projects. Kaylie advocates strongly for greater First Nations representation in the built environment industry. 
“The built environment industry must recognise the role we play in shaping futures, for all – human or otherwise. In re-centering Country in our practice, we need to move beyond beautiful physical representations of culture and explore the many systems that we facilitate [or stunt] in our designs…in each step we need to ask, is this a positive for Country? How does this support the generations to come?”

Jan van der Bergh

Senior Development Manager, Mulpha Australia

Jan’s bio

Jan van der Bergh has worked in the development sector for over 15 years, leading residential, mixed use and master planned developments in Sydney and London. As a Senior Development Manager for Mulpha Australia, Jan leads the team on Norwest Quarter, a project which will transform 3.8 hectares of greenfield land into a vibrant village centre consisting of nine residential towers containing 864 apartments and 6,000m2 of space provided for cafes, restaurants, neighbourhood shops and childcare facilities. Norwest Quarter is working to being Australia’s most ambitious zero carbon precinct, where apartments consume two thirds less energy, one third less water from the grid, are powered by 100% renewable electricity, and are designed to make it easy for anyone to live without sending waste to landfill.

Laura Waterford

Director, Pollination

Laura’s bio

Laura has experience in climate, energy and environmental law and policy. Prior to joining Pollination, Laura was a lawyer at leading national and international law firms in Australia. Laura has acted for government and multinational clients on long-term carbon and renewable energy offtake transactions and has deep experience advising project proponents on the development of large-scale renewable energy projects and participation in the Federal Government’s Climate Solutions Fund. Laura was a finalist in the Lawyers Weekly 30 Under 30 Awards in the Planning & Environment category in 2020 and interned at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Secretariat in Bonn, Germany in 2019. Laura is currently completing a Master of Laws at the University of New South Wales, specialising in environmental law and sustainable development.

Marci Webster-Mannison

Architect, Melbourne Design Studios (QLD & NSW)

Marci’s bio

Marci is Head of MDS (Melbourne Design Studios) in Queensland and New South Wales. Marci’s award-winning architecture and urban design address climate change adaptation at the tipping point of our collective future. We will visit buildings and landscapes that animate the criticality of water in this dry arid continent. We will look at how creeks may breathe life back into communities and inform the reorganisation of the fabric of climate resilient neighbourhoods.

Sara Wilkinson


Sara’s bio

Sara is a chartered building surveyor and Australia’s first female Professor of Property. Prior to joining academia, Sara worked in the public and private sector. Sara has developed and lead building surveying and property programs in the UK and Australia. Her transdisciplinary research program sits at the intersection of sustainability, urban development and transformation, with a focus on green cities and preparing our urban environments for the challenges of climate change. She is interested in using new technologies to deliver sustainable building outcomes. Sara works with academic and industry partners in engineering, science, health and business to deliver housing, building adaptation, sustainability, resilience, and green infrastructure projects. Current projects include Decarbonising the built environment with hempcrete and green walls, The Wallbot, VR & Willingness to Pay for Green Infrastructure in residential development and Fraser Fairwater Development: Commerciality Evaluation.

Renee Ingram

Head of Western Sydney Development
Sydney Water

Renee’s bio

Renee Ingram is the Head of Western Sydney Development at Sydney Water. Western Sydney is in the midst of an exciting transformation: the creation of the new Western Parkland City. The new city will be dynamic and culturally diverse with plenty of jobs and varied affordable housing. None of this is possible without water. Renee works alongside, and partners with agencies, developers and businesses to help forge a liveable and sustainable approach to water servicing for Western Sydney. Renee is passionate about creating greener, more sustainable services to allow people to thrive where they work, live and play. She holds a Bachelor of Laws and is registered with the Australian Institute of Chartered Secretaries. She also works as a professional mentor to young leaders and volunteers for Western Sydney development committees with both the UDIA and Property Council.

Ben Smith 

ReWilding Darebin

Ben’s bio

After studying environmental science, Ben went on to work in conservation for eight years at government bodies including Melbourne Water,  the Committees of Management, the Department of Environmen Land Water and Planning, Parks Victoria, the Councils and Catchment Management Authorities, Landcare and Zoos Victoria. Ben has been working for Darebin since 2019 in various conservation roles, and is currently coordinating the ReWilding project since July 2020. In 2016 Darebin City Council was the first Council in the world to declare a Climate Emergency, which eventually led to the program to reintroduce natural landscapes to improve urban biodiversity and provide health and well-being benefits to our diverse communities. So far a total of 300,000 indigenous plants have been planted in conservation zones, creek corridors, sports oval surrounds, new capital projects and existing parks across an outstanding 18 hectares. To ensure a successful transition towards resilient landscapes, environmental weeds have been removed in enormous quantities from conservation zones and parks to be progressively substituted with indigenous species.


9.00Welcome and Acknowledgement of Country
Intro: Tina Perinotto, The Fifth Estate
Welcome: Professor Elizabeth Mossop, Dean of the UTS School of Design, Architecture and Building 
MC: Jess Miller
9.10Keynote – The Green Zeitgeist and where it’s taking us
Discover the big global trends and the zeitgeist around connecting to nature, plus how you can communicate the value of greening and the critical importance of biodiversity. 
Jamie Durie, International award winning designer, author, television host and regular on Oprah Winfrey’s show for four years. 
9.40 Our dry continent – the harsh reality
Australia’s top expert on urban heat, will show you how to leverage smart tech and AI to maximise the urban cool island effect in parks and gardens, with a case study on his work at Sydney’s Bicentennial Park. 
Assoc Professor Sebastian Pfautsch
10.10Indigenous Knowledge – and its practical influence on urban planning and urban greening
During this panel discussion, you will discover how Australia’s Indigenous planners and architects are making a big, practical impact on creating a greener built environment.
Jefa Greenaway, Greenaway Architects, Senior Lecturer, University of Melbourne
Kaylie Salvatori, Director, COLA Studio
Angela Crossland, National Social Sustainability Manager, The GPT Group

Spotlight presentation 
Jefa Greenaway
The Graham Reserve in Altona Meadows, the Hobsons Bay Wetland Centre in Melbourne will have a lot of bragging rights. It will incorporate a visitor centre and learning experience that aims to “enhance physical and mental wellbeing”, support cutting-edge research, celebrate Country and boost ecotourism while protecting the wetland habitat that is home to a threatened species of frog.
10.40Water is life – and a big investment opportunity

One on One – with Jess Miller
Renee Ingram, Sydney Water

Spotlight presentation
Marci Webster-Mannison, architect, Melbourne Design Studios
Embodied Water: giving nature a voice in cities, with a focus also on Thurgoona campus at Wagga Wagga, water for cooling, grey water and wetlands treatment. 
11.00Morning Tea
11.30 Weathershield Part A: Climate threats and how nature can protect us
What we need to know about plants in our urban environment.
Spotlight presentation
Peter Bottero, Tensile 

Dr John Rayner, Associate Professor in Urban Horticulture

Understanding the nature of plants, the requirements to grow and sustain vegetation and research on the factors affecting plant success.

Dr John Rayner, University of Melbourne
Peter Bottero, Tensile
Professor Sara Wilkinson, UTS School of Built Environment
Moderators: Tina Perinotto, with Jess Miller
12.15 Weathershield  Part B: Leading developers
Find out which developers are ahead of the curve in putting nature first, and why it’s a great business strategy.
Jan Van der Bergh,
Nikos Kalogeropolous, Molongolo
Kate Nason, Frasers Property Australia
Steve Liaros, Polis plan
Moderator: Tina Perinotto, with Jess Miller
1.00 Networking Lunch 
2.00 PresentationSacha Coles, Director, ASPECT Studios
2.15Trees, plants and equity
Trees are the enigma of our green world. Laura will moderate this session bringing in her deep knowledge and respect for trees with specialists who will also discuss plants and how together these can generate greater equity for communities
MC: Laura Hamilton-O’Hara, CEO, Living Future Institute
Belinda Bean, Greener Spaces, Better Places
Ben Smith, Darebin Council
Eric Sturman, Waterups
3.00 Power and the Passion Part A: Power (finance): how do we pay for what we want?
Green infrastructure is long term. So who will pay for it and how? What is the nature positive movement and how and why will the Nature Related Financial Disclosure be more disruptive than net zero? 
Laura Waterford, Pollination
Greg Ingleton, Green Adelaide Board
Beck Dawson, Resilient Sydney 

3.45 Power and the Passion Part B: Natural Order or Rule of Law? 

The Big Debate
Watch the debate about how we want to do Urban Greening better – say on our verges and other public spaces – and why the authorities (local councils) often say no.

Let’s open the debate to a full and frank discussion – audience can chip in – so we can find where the roadblocks are and how to remove them!
Video presentation on the green magic of Singapore: Richard Hassell, WOHA

A plan for rewilding Sydney: Martin Bryant, UTS

Natural Order:
Martin Bryant – UTS
Jennifer Kent, University of Sydney

The Rule of Law:
Eric Sturman, WaterUps
Gwilym Griffiths, Good Canopy Company
4.30Networking drinks on the terrace


TicketsEarly Bird
now closed

TFE Members, Event partners (incl: AILA/UTS/LFI)
Ask for your promo code
(and insert in top left of Eventbrite page)  
General Admission$495
Group (table of 6)$2620
(save $350)
Includes event, morning tea, hot lunch, and network drinks

Venue and Directions

Bar and terrace for networking and views to the UTS’ Alumni Green, biodiversity roof and Central Park’s green wall.

  • Aerial UTS Function Centre, Level 7, UTS Building 10. Enter at 235 Jones St Ultimo Foyer, take the lift to level 7 and proceed to the Function Centre.
  • Car park entrance is accessed from Thomas St (travelling West), with lift access to level 7.
  • Metered street parking is available in Thomas Street but limited.
  • Aerial is a 5-minute walk from Central Railway Station and 15 minutes to Sydney CBD.
  • The airport is a 30-minute drive (allow for Traffic).
  • Public buses run regularly to the City from Broadway.
  • Broadway Shopping Centre is a 5-minute walk along Broadway to the West.