Our Staff

Beyond Zero Emissions (BZE) operates nationally with a small team based in Melbourne.

The BZE team brings more than 100 years’ combined experience in climate solutions, climate change and sustainability research, engineering, science communication, stakeholder engagement, project management, policy and strategy development, advocacy, and office administration.

All of them are committed to BZE’s vision of a zero carbon Australia.



Chris Arnott is an entrepreneur with a background in water and natural resource management. He has founded and grown a number of successful consulting firms, most recently Aither, and is a thought leader in management and leadership.

Arnott is a current Director of the Peter Cullen Trust, a former Deputy Chairman of the Victorian Catchment Management Council and former Chair of Engineers Without Borders Australia

Interim COO / Business and Industry Lead – Heidi Lee


Heidi is the Industry Investment Lead at Beyond Zero Emission. Heidi brings 20 years of experience from the building industry to this role, recently delivering complex design and feasibility projects for health, university, and local government clients. Heidi is an invited guest lecturer and reviewer at local universities, on topics of sustainability, collaborative design, and client engagement.

Heidi has a long history with Beyond Zero Emissions and the Zero Carbon Australia collaboration, including project delivery and review roles, strategic workshop facilitation and a term on the Beyond Zero Emissions Board of Directors.

Communities Investment Research Lead – Dr Heidi Edmonds


Heidi is leading the community and regionally focused research for Beyond Zero Emissions’ economic stimulus plan, the “One Million Jobs plan”. She is empowering communities and bringing the project to life through focus on real world examples and ideas from our Zero Carbon Communities and other stakeholders to elevate and support the diversity of community efforts towards clean air, clean energy and fulfilling jobs.

Heidi is an environmental engineer and ecologist with a PhD in environmental science. Published academic articles focus on freshwater ecology, environmental management and climate change.

With her expertise in spatial analysis Heidi has worked extensively in biodiversity assessment. She applies tools from ecology, engineering, spatial analysis, economics and management to analyse the resilience of communities and ecosystems to climate change and land use change.

A mother of two young children, Heidi co-founded the Australian Parents for Climate Action. She has written and collaborated on climate change articles and has been interviewed for online international press publications including the ABC, BBC and NBC.

Million Jobs Research Lead – Michael Lord


Michael is developing Beyond Zero Emissions “One Million Jobs plan” – an economic stimulus package to boost employment and reduce emissions.

Michael was previously Head of Research at Beyond Zero Emissions. He was lead author of BZE’s Electrifying Industry report showing the benefits to manufacturers of switching from fossil fuels to renewable electricity. Michael also wrote Rethinking Cement – the world’s first report to show how to eliminate emissions from the cement sector, as well as ‘The 10 Gigawatt Vision – How renewable energy can power jobs and investment in the Northern Territory’.

Michael also works at the Energy Transition Hub at the University of Melbourne where he published ‘Mining to making: Australia’s Future in Zero Emissions Metal’.

Principal Researcher – Dr Dominique Hes


Dominique received a science degree (Botany) from Melbourne University and followed this with a graduate diploma in Engineering (Cleaner Production) and a Doctorate in Architecture 2005 from RMIT University, Melbourne. Her key research questions are: ‘why, when we have been ‘doing’ sustainability for so long, are we having an ever increasing impact?’ People create such beauty with music, food, art, buildings and community why is it so difficult to be a thriving part of the earth’s systems? and How can the community be part of an irresistible narrative of a thriving abundant future? As such she has looked at biomimicry, biophilia, regenerative design, permaculture and development and positive development. This resulted in the publication of the award winning book ‘Designing for Hope: Pathways to Regenerative sustainability’, co-authored with Professor Chrisna du Plessis. She has edited and written several other books and over 100 papers.

Dominique is also on the Board of Greenfleet, where she is passionate about integrating research to contribute to the capacity of the general sector to scale up its ability to contribute to ecosystem restoration, adaptation and resilience. We are at a time where we need to start to apply the capacity and solutions we have in our organisations to deliver the potential to thrive into the future. 

Hunter Engagement Lead – Sam Mella


Sam is the Hunter Engagement Lead for BZE’s Hunter Project.  Sam is a writer, connector and communicator with a personal mission to make a high impact contribution to decarbonize the Australian economy. Sam has a BA with High Honours  in Communication from Clark University in Massachusetts, USA. She has experience working in both the private  sector and government, including seven years in Public Health.  Sam has been investigating new ways to export and trade energy since 2011. She was project leader of a 2017 prefeasibility study on solar export from the Pilbara to the proposed ASEAN Grid. She is a founder and Director of Pilbara Solar Pty Ltd.

National Manager, Zero Carbon Communities Program – Imogen Jubb


Imogen has provided climate change and sustainability advice, strategy and communications to organisations including the Australian Conservation Foundation, the Bureau of Meteorology and CSIRO. 

She has published articles in The Age, SBS, Huffington Post and The Fifth Estate, worked as television presenter and script writer for the ABC and co-authored reports with some of Australia’s leading climate-change scientists.

She has served as an elected Board Member of Climate for Change and the Australian Energy Foundation and is on the steering committee of Women’s Environmental Leadership Australia. She is passionate about working with communities to create a sustainable future.

National Manager, Zero Carbon Communities Program – Nicki Colls


Nicki is a sustainability professional with 15 years of leading change projects as both a project manager and business manager.  She has managed the delivery of the accreditation programs for government, been leader of teams achieving best practice sustainability awards and developed and implemented new economic models for sustainability in Government Housing.

She is co-founder of Fibreshed Melbourne, an organisation that connects the local textile supply chain through a shared desire to reduce environmental impacts. Nicki has degrees in Environmental Engineering and Asian Studies. 

Volunteer Coordinator – Madeline Townsend


Madeline has worked in volunteer management and policy roles since 1989 across Australia and New Zealand, focusing on the environment sector. She has strong links in the volunteer sector locally and internationally, presenting on volunteering at conferences in Australia, Spain, China, and Taiwan.

Madeline also works in community engagement at the State’s peak body, Volunteering Victoria, and is a regular volunteer for environmental, social and arts causes including the Soup Bus, the Hidden Orchard and Art Gallery in Ballarat. She has a Diploma in Business (Governance) and is a Fellow of the Institute of Community Directors Australia.

Office Manager – Bob Hale


Bob oversees all financials, risk and issues management, people management and research scheduling.

Bob has an extensive background as a Senior Project Manager. His strengths lie in organisation, coordination, and following through to make sure tasks get done in a timely manner. He is adept at financial tracking, scheduling, risk management, issue Management, and people management.

Bob has filled several roles at BZE, including managing the release of several reports and over the last few years as Office Manager.

EA to the CEO / Communications  – Imogen Butler


Imogen is the EA to the CEO/Communications at Beyond Zero Emissions, Imogen works closely with the CEO to engage stakeholders, donors and community in the work of BZE. With over seven years experience in higher education learning management systems (RMIT University), and a long history volunteering and interning with environmental organisations. Imogen is now engaging with the BZE community and stakeholders to build adpative and resilient communication networks. 

Imogen graduated from the University of Oxford in 2019 with a MSc in Nature, Society and Environmental Governance. Imogen is also qualified with a Bachelor of Environment and Society from RMIT University (2016).