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.

ANDREW PETERSEN

Chair

ANDREW PETERSEN

Andrew is CEO of the Business Council for Sustainable Development Australia (BCSDA). He has over 25 years’ environmental and planning law, policy experience and over a decade working in senior executive roles in the not-for-profit sector.

Andrew is a qualified environmental and planning litigation practitioner and policy advisor and a founder member of the PricewaterhouseCoopers Sustainability & Climate Change practice. BCSDA is also a proud network partner to the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, the We Mean Business Coalition and the Business for Nature Coalition

Andrew holds several non-executive roles and Australian Government appointments.

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.

HOWARD WIGHAM

HOWARD WIGHAM

Howard Wigham is a Non-Executive Director of the United Nations Global Compact Network Australia and a member of its Finance, Risk and Audit Committee. He is also Executive Director of Navigate Business Advisory, that helps small and medium enterprises thrive.

He has lived and travelled worldwide whilst supporting multiple sustainability causes.

Howard holds an honours degree in Chemistry and German, has completed employer-sponsored management programmes at the London Business School and INSEAD, and is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

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.

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.

Harry Michael

Administration and Project Coordinator

Harry Michael

Harry is a motivated and enthusiastic sustainability-nut who loves working with people passionate about what they do. Coming from a non-profit background, his previous roles with disadvantaged youth focused on breaking the cycle of homelessness through hospitality training. This coupled with his economics background has given him a deep passion for sustainable, innovative, and community-oriented projects.

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.