Meet the Team

MEET OUR PATRON

ALAN FINKEL

Alan Finkel is a neuroscientist, engineer and entrepreneur. He was Australia’s chief scientist from 2016 to 2020, during which time he led the National Electricity Market Review, the development of the National Hydrogen Strategy, and the panel that advised the Australian Government on the 2020 Low Emissions Technology Roadmap. He is currently Chair of Stile Education, Chair of the Australian Government’s Technology Investment Advisory Council, and Special Adviser to the Australian Government on Low Emissions Technologies.

MEET OUR BOARD MEMBERS

GRAZ VAN EGMOND

CEO

GRAZ VAN EGMOND

Graz is a passionate innovator, disruptor and changemaker currently leading the Banksia Foundation team to communicate inspirational solutions and promote optimism and action. She has extensive experience working in the Health, Tourism and Telecommunications Industries, creating the Telstra Business Women’s Awards and heading up Telstra’s Small Business Development division. Her skills, experience, determination, and panache contribute towards making meaningful, memorable and valuable events and campaigns from conception to delivery.

Estelle O'Callahan

CHAIR

ESTELLE O'CALLAHAN

Estelle is an author, expert facilitator, podcast guest and Churchill Fellow. She is the founder of 3P Delivery Authority, specialising in strategic initiative review, implementation and training. Estelle is passionate about the difference her clients want to make. She largely consults to government and the Not-for-Profit sectors to achieve desired project outcomes for advancing strategic mission further and faster. In addition, Estelle has senior management experience in government, including delivery of significant and strategic policy, legislation and infrastructure projects.

JULIE BOULTON

JULIE BOULTON

Working at the intersection of systems change and sustainable development, Julie provides advice on applying sustainability frameworks and implementing sustainability practices including strategies, roadmaps and transformational pathways that drive real impact for both business and government. Julie is also a skilled facilitator and an engaging communicator, regularly commentating on sustainability issues (print and radio). Julie’s background is in policy development for the federal government, with deep expertise in international development policy (DFAT, AusAID and the Attorney General’s Department).

RICK FINLAY

TREASURER

RICK FINLAY

Rick has over 22 years’ experience in the CRM and Customer Data Management industry and is one of the leading solution architects at Oracle. He has in-depth knowledge of the needs when structuring complex data models, particularly in the areas of complex application processing, financial services, telecommunications and complex case management.

Rick is an active public speaker through his membership of Toastmasters and is a founding member and director of the Banksia Environmental Foundation.

JOHN valastro

JOHN VALASTRO

John Valastro is a Non-Executive Director of Keep Australia Beautiful Victoria which works with volunteer groups and regional councils to create vibrant and enduring local community sustainability and resilience outcomes.

As the previous Head of Environment at Qantas John saw that the Banksia Awards offered a unique opportunity to elevate the environmental standards of corporate Australia, and he is excited to bring his experience across the corporate, local government and community sectors to the Banksia Foundation team.

MARK PATERSON

MARK PATERSON

Mark is a champion for sustainability and eternal optimist. He is a Fellow of the Public Relations Institute of Australia and alumni of the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership.
Mark is Principal of Currie, where he consults to people and organisations with a passion to sustain life on the planet. He has international experience in sustainable development, leading communications and team engagement, and projects for The World Bank.

Jo Cain

JO CAIN

Jo is currently Chair of the Banksia Awards Governance Committee and has previously served as a Banksia Foundation Chair and board member. She successfully operates her own business, Materiality Counts. With her wealth of experience, Jo is a trusted advisor on sustainability, stakeholder engagement, materiality, strategy, integrated thinking and reporting with major organisations in Australia and New Zealand.

Dr. Rocio Bona

DR. ROCIO BONA

Dr. Rocio Bona is a visionary leader renowned for driving transformative sustainability initiatives, specialising in strategy development, decarbonisation, and climate resilience. With over two decades of global experience, Rocio excels in aligning companies with UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), implementing climate-related financial disclosures, and strategic asset management. As CEO at Decarbonology, she is propelling the company into global markets while championing ethical Business practices. Recently, as a Banksia Foundation Board member, she inspires positive change through social and environmental innovation, furthering her commitment to a sustainable future.

PETER OLSEN

PETER OLSEN

Peter is a highly experienced Senior Executive Advisor and NED with over three decades of international senior executive experience, having established a remarkable track record in organsiational turnaround, capability growth and reinvention. His expertise spans diverse industries, with specific expertise in construction, mining, industrial services, government outsourcing and people, safety, and environment service delivery specialising in HR, IT, ESG and Supply Chain.

AWARDS GOVERNANCE COMMITTEE (AGC)


The AGC oversees and audits the awards judging process and its outcomes. Led by experienced and respected auditor, Jo Cain, the AGC consists of experienced and reputable voices in the industry. The AGC ultimately provides guidance on the legitimacy, authenticity and worthiness of finalists and winners. The aim is to minimise risk, wherever possible, to the credibility of the Banksia Awards and to Banksia’s reputation.

JO CAIN

Chair

JO CAIN

Jo is currently Chair of the Banksia Awards Governance Committee and has previously served as a Banksia Foundation Chair and board member. She successfully operates her own business, Materiality Counts. With her wealth of experience, Jo is a trusted advisor on sustainability, stakeholder engagement, materiality, strategy, integrated thinking and reporting with major organisations in Australia and New Zealand.

Terence Jeyaretnam

MELISSA SCHULZ

MELISSA SCHULZ

Melissa has nearly 25 years’ experience in leading ESG strategy development and execution across large corporates. She currently holds the position of General Manager, Sustainability at QIC Real Estate, and is a key member of the Real Estate executive committee. Before joining QIC, Melissa was General Manager of Sustainability at Vicinity Centres, and has previously held senior positions at ANZ Banking Group, Transurban Group and ExxonMobil.

Melissa holds a Bachelor of Science (Hons) from The University of Melbourne, a Master of Corporate Sustainability Management from Monash University, and is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors’ Company Directors Course. She is based in Melbourne.

WILL RAYWARD-SMITH

WILL RAYWARD-SMITH

Will is a specialist in decarbonisation and the clean energy transition. He is driven to accelerate the transformation to the low-carbon world and to support his clients successfully navigate the risks and unlock the significant opportunities.

Meet the Team

MEET OUR STAFF

The Banksia Foundation couldn’t happen without our passionate team!

GRAZ VAN EGMOND

CEO

GRAZ VAN EGMOND

Graz is a passionate innovator, disruptor and changemaker currently leading the Banksia Foundation team to communicate inspirational solutions and promote optimism and action. She has extensive experience working in the Health, Tourism and Telecommunications Industries, creating the Telstra Business Women’s Awards and heading up Telstra’s Small Business Development division. Her skills, experience, determination, and panache contribute towards making meaningful, memorable and valuable events and campaigns from conception to delivery.

Lynn Fairbrass

Business Diversification Manager

LYNN FAIRBRASS

Lynn is a highly driven business development professional with a proven track record for securing new business, developing relationships and achieving financial outcomes. She is a Self-starter with initiative, innovation and a drive for results, with Strong communication, presentation and influencing skills.

Lynn has been a strong supporter of the Banksia Foundation for over 5 years and joined the team as Business Diversification Manager in December 2020.

She is a self-starter who uses her initiative, innovation, strong communication and presentation skills to gain results, Lynn has been a strong supporter of the Banksia Foundation for over 5 years and joined the team as Business Diversification Manager in December 2020.

Imke Pansegrouw

Program Coordinator

IMKE PANSEGROUW

STATE AMBASSADORS

CHIARA PACIFICI

WA AMBASSADOR

CHIARA PACIFICI

I’m passionate about raising the profile of West Australian pioneer’s who are making a real difference for a sustainable future and I support the recognition of individuals, NFP’s, start-ups and small to big business in WA making a positive impact for generations to come.

I’ve seen first-hand how The Banksia Foundation has raised the profile of current sustainability issues facing Australia; recognising those whose initiatives are an encouragement and an example for others to follow across the Country and I’m excited to devote efforts in WA to this aim.