Meet our talented staff and board
Heidi was appointed Chief Executive Officer of Beyond Zero Emissions in 2020. In the decade prior she held several leadership roles at Beyond Zero Emissions, including on the Buildings Plan, as Board Director and Chair, as Business and Industry Lead, and leading our successful Million Jobs Plan. Heidi is an expert in sustainable buildings and urban design and brings 20 years of experience in creating sustainable cities to her role at Beyond Zero Emissions.
Chief Strategy Officer
Sanaya is the Chief Strategy Officer at Beyond Zero Emissions, where she leads strategy, fundraising and stakeholder engagement. She oversees the organisation's work with state and federal governments and its industry engagement in the regions. She has a decade of experience in policy, federal politics and private sector consulting to governments.
Head of Projects
Monica is the Head of Projects of Beyond Zero Emissions. She has over a decade of journalism, communications and project management experience in organisations spanning media, politics and nonprofits. Her previous postings include Guardian Australia in Sydney and Greenpeace East Asia in Beijing. Before joining Beyond Zero Emissions, Monica ran the Repower NT campaign for the Environment Centre NT.
Head of Fundraising and Marketing
Josh is the Head of Fundraising and Marketing at Beyond Zero Emissions. He brings to this role senior experience in fundraising, marketing, communications and political advisory roles. Josh has run successful fundraising activity in the not-for-profit and political sectors, and has a wealth of experience in community fundraising, regular giving, peer-to-peer campaigns, major appeals, corporate partnerships, philanthropic giving, grants, foundations and bequests.
Head of Communications
Kirsten is the Head of Communications at Beyond Zero Emissions. She is a communications specialist with a focus on climate and sustainability, energy transition, and empowering organisations and individuals to act. She has worked for the World Economic Forum, Garvan Institute of Medical Research and the Boston Consulting Group.
Senior Project Manager
Sam Mella is the Senior Project Manager in the Hunter Valley and was lead author of the Hunter Case Study in the Million Jobs Plan. She has done pioneering work on renewable energy export since 2011, including project leader of the acclaimed prefeasibility study (2017) that investigated High Voltage Direct Current as a potential renewable energy export and diversification pathway for the Pilbara Region of WA. Sam is also a founder and director of Pilbara Solar Pty Ltd.
Senior Project Manager
Heidi is the Senior Project Manager at Beyond Zero Emissions, leading the work on the Gladstone Renewable Energy Industrial Precinct project for her hometown of Gladstone. Heidi is a chemical and environmental engineer and ecologist with a PhD in environmental science, who has worked as a chemical engineer, a spatial analyst and in biodiversity conservation. Recently she has led the research on Zero Carbon Communities, school solar and batteries, and land use for Beyond Zero Emissions’ Million Jobs Plan. She is passionate about applying her systems analysis and research skills to drive great outcomes for good jobs in clean energy and modern manufacturing. A mother of two young children, Heidi also co-founded the Australian Parents for Climate Action.
Government Affairs Specialist
Beth is the Government Affairs Specialist at Beyond Zero Emissions. She is a strategic planner with experience across diverse policy settings including community development, rural industries, sustainable procurement, corporate sustainability, and climate change mitigation and adaptation. Before joining BZE, Beth worked as Director of Asset Strategies in an infrastructure branch of the ACT Government, where she was responsible for coordinating emission reduction strategies, and research and industry partnerships to transition ACT’s public schools to a zero-emission future.
Dr Chun Hin Ng is a Senior Researcher at Beyond Zero Emissions. He is an experienced scientist and pioneer of clean technology, having worked on the successful commercialisation of a high power, carbon-based energy storage device at the Monash University startup, SupraG Energy. He brings to Beyond Zero Emissions a deep understanding of hydrogen, technical expertise and an entrepreneurial mindset. He is a key contributor to initiatives such as the Renewable Energy Industrial Precinct.
Jane is the Research Manager at Beyond Zero Emissions. She brings over a decade of communication, project management and stakeholder engagement experience to the role, having worked across government, academia, not-for-profit and higher education sectors. Jane started her career as a biomedical research scientist, gaining a PhD in oncology before transitioning to science communication and broader management roles in areas including international health, cancer research and hearing. She is passionate about sustainability, the environment, community and social justice.
Rowan is the Senior Researcher at Beyond Zero Emissions. He has a background in community development and sustainable practice. Rowan has experience in energy efficiency project funding design and implementation, data presentation and engagement. He has previously worked at Sustainability Victoria and Latrobe University as sustainability officer.
Kelvin is a Researcher at Beyond Zero Emissions, specialising in large-scale home retrofits. Inspired by the Beyond Zero Emissions's Stationary Energy Plan, and our ambitious climate solutions when he was a first year undergraduate, Kelvin joined as a volunteer before becoming a Research Assistant in 2020. Kelvin graduated from the University of Melbourne in both environmental engineering and building energy efficiency. He brings an interdisciplinary approach to designing practical built environment and climate solutions.
People and Culture Manager
Madeline is the People and Culture Manager of Beyond Zero Emissions, and a leader in volunteer engagement. She has worked in volunteer management and policy roles since 1989 across Australia and New Zealand, focusing on the environment sector. Madeline is a regular volunteer for environmental, social and arts causes and is a Fellow of the Institute of Community Directors Australia.
Digital Media Officer
Adam is the Digital Media Officer at Beyond Zero Emissions. With a background in design and an MA in Communication, he brings to the role a diverse knowledge of current trends in digital media and technology. Adam has a range of experience delivering successful ethical and inclusive communications for not-for-profit and private organisations.
Tara works in Communications Support at Beyond Zero Emissions. She is also a Bachelor of Global Studies student who is passionate about the environment, having volunteered for organisations such as the Field Naturalists Club of Victoria from a young age. She initially joined Beyond Zero Emissions as an intern in 2019, and takes pride in supporting the Communications and Zero Carbon Communities teams as she develops her professional skills.
Rosie is the Business Manager at Beyond Zero Emissions. She holds a BA in International Community Development and has extensive experience in political administration, event management, project management, and community organising. Rosie previously worked as a senior executive assistant at a progressive, nation-wide not-for-profit. She is passionate about sustainability, community empowerment and advocacy and strives to make a difference in our community.
Geoff Summerhayes has a unique set of commercial and regulatory skills as a former Executive Board Member at Australian Prudential Regulation Authority and CEO of Suncorp Life, in addition to being recognised as a global leader on climate change financial risk regulation. Geoff is a Director of Heartland Group Holdings Ltd NZ and Senior Advisor working with Pollination Group, CSIRO and Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership. Geoff has led significant regulatory change on climate risk in Australia and globally and chaired the Council of Financial Regulators Working Group on Climate Change.
Elisa de Wit is a Partner of Norton Rose Fulbright and heads the firm’s Climate Change and Sustainability practice. She is one of Australia’s preeminent climate change lawyers and advises clients on policy, regulation and compliance issues. Elisa is also the Chair of the Carbon Market Institute and a Director at both GWM Water and the Australian Legal Sector Alliance. Elisa has been a Non-Executive Director of Beyond Zero Emissions since 2017.
Phil Vernon has more than 30 years experience in financial services, including 10 years as Managing Director and Chief Executive of Australian Ethical Investment. He is a Director at both the Environmental Defender’s Office and the Planet Ark Environmental Foundation, consultant to the Board of Futurity Investment Group and member of the Steering Committee for the Australian Sustainable Finance Initiative. Phil has been a Non-Executive Director of Beyond Zero Emissions since 2014.
Cristina Talacko is a director of the Export Council of Australia, Chair of the Coalition for Conservation and Vice-President of the Australian-Brazil Chamber of Commerce. She is an award-winning entrepreneur and experienced director, lending her expertise to organisations such as One Meal and the Council on Australia Latin America Relations. Cristina is also on the Customer & Stakeholder Consultative Council of Endeavour Energy, and a member of the Advisory Board at Multicultural NSW. Cristina has been a Non-Executive Director of Beyond Zero Emissions since 2019.
Susheela is Principal at the Stewardship Centre, Director of the Nature Conservation Council of NSW and of US-based think tank, The Shareholder Commons. She has advised financial institutions on responsible investment governance, strategy, and implementation since 2006, and her clients include some of the world’s largest banks, pension funds, wealth advisers and asset managers, and major global responsible investment organisations such as the UN-backed Principles for Responsible Investment. Susheela has been a Non-Executive Director of Beyond Zero Emissions since 2022.
Dr Anne Hellstedt is a strategic leader with experience across a broad range of sectors, including construction, consulting and academia. Anne has previously worked as a General Manager at ANSTO and is now a Technical Excellence Leader at Mott MacDonald. Anne has been a Non-Executive Director of Beyond Zero Emissions since 2018.
Michael is an Expert Advisor at Beyond Zero Emissions. Michael was previously BZE's Head of Research and authored many of the organisation’s most important reports, including the MIllion Jobs Plan, Electrifying Industry, Rethinking Cement and The 10 Gigawatt Vision – How renewable energy can power jobs and investment in the Northern Territory. Michael previously worked at the Energy Transition Hub at the University of Melbourne where he published Mining to Making: Australia’s Future in Zero Emissions Metal.
Dr Dominique Hes has degrees in Science, Engineering and a PhD in Architecture. She is the award-winning co-author of the book ‘Designing for Hope: Pathways to regenerative sustainability’, and has worked extensively with built environment professionals in sustainable design, life cycle assessment, regenerative development, systems thinking, placemaking, and project management. Dominique works on the premise of ‘grounded hope’: an irresistible vision of a thriving future and ways to move towards it. She is passionate about addressing issues such as loss of biodiversity and the changing climate. She is a non-executive board member at Greenfleet and Trust for Nature, co-founder of internationally award-winning Place Agency, and ex-director of Thrive Research Hub at Melbourne University.