Ed Cotter (right), new program manager for Better Building Finance in Victoria and South Australia, pictured with Shristi Koirala (left), National administration support officer.

Sustainable design expert Dr Dominique Hes has joined Beyond Zero Emissions at a time when the think tank is honing in on the community response to climate change.

The former director of the University of Melbourne’s Thrive research hub started in the new role as principal researcher last week.

She said that the Beyond Zero Emissions has been doing “lots of amazing work over the decades,” including roadmaps to move critical sectors towards zero emissions, or even beyond zero emissions.

Now it’s focusing on communities. In September, it teamed up with Ironbark Sustainability to release a free national tool called Snapshot that calculates major sources of carbon emissions in local areas, including stationary energy, transport, waste, agriculture and land use change.

Dr Hes will bring her personal interest in “Modern Custodianship” to the role. She’s recently been undertaking research on this notion, which involves embracing the wisdom of the first nations people and integrating it into the modern thinking and techniques of the last 200 years.

Dr Dominique Hes

“Our first nations have a lot of wisdom…they have dealt with climate change and metres of seal level rise and changing ecosystems and have wonderful knowledge we can sit down and learn from,” she told The Fifth Estate.

“It’s about how do we learn and move forward together.”

Dr Hes said she’s excited to work alongside passionate individuals at the top of their fields to contribute to a thriving low carbon future.

In other jobs news, Professor Kerry London has been appointed the dean of Western Sydney University’s new school of Built Environment. She’s been acting as interim dean since the school was established six months ago and will start in the role formerly as of the 1 January 2020.

Before starting her academic career in 2001 Professor London worked as an architect and then in government as a project manager in capital works. She’s a board member of the Australian Sustainable Built Environment Council (ASBEC) and Lean Construction Institute of Australia.

Donna Luckman, Alternative Technology Association

Not-for-profit organisation Renew is losing its chief executive officer Donna Luckman. She’s been with the organisation for 11 years, including six as CEO. Policy and research manager Damien Moyse has been appointed as acting CEO.

The board is farewelling chair Helen Millicer, Tristy Fairfield and Mark Bytheway, who have completed their terms, and also board members who have resigned Darren O’Beirne and Caroline Pidcock.

Grant Downie, Gerlinde Scholz and Dominque La Fontaine were reappointed to the board and Michael O’Connell, Sally Moxham, Doug Ferguson, Jim Castles and Mark Burford are new members.

Ed Cotter is now the Better Building Finance program manager. He comes from a career in local government including his last role with the City of Greater Dandenong tackling sustainability issues such as climate change.

He’s also worked for Lendlease and the Olympic Delivery Authority on the Athletes Village for the London 2012 Olympics.

Katy Christian has taken a new job with German supermarket chain ALDI as corporate responsibility manager – energy and reporting. She joins the private sector after working in sustainability roles at the local council level and for the NSW state government.

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