Dear friends and colleagues,
Way back in 2012 I was a volunteer at Beyond Zero Emissions and felt pretty chuffed when I was approached to help set up the first real BZE Board. However, I never could have imagined the rollercoaster I was about to embark on.
Over the past nine years, BZE has had some incredible highs and lows. I have learnt more than I could have ever imagined, of course about climate solutions, but also about things such as friendship, teamwork, determination and the power of a strong vision.
I feel extremely lucky to have started my climate journey with BZE. It means that I have been exposed to people who see climate solutions as an opportunity for Australia to become a better place. Not many other organisations were taking this approach for much of the past nine years. BZE has always been a shining beacon, making clear the compelling opportunity ahead of us and providing hope to millions of Australians. BZE coined the phrase “renewable energy superpower”, which is now regularly used by politicians, business leaders and the media.
However, after nine proud years as a director of BZE, the time has come for me to move on. I feel proud that BZE is at a stronger position now than it has ever been in our history.
Heidi Lee has proven herself to be an extremely capable CEO. She has built an incredible leadership team around her and clearly defined BZE’s strategy and theory of change.
BZE’s profile is stronger than ever. We are regularly quoted in the media and are seen as one of Australia’s top-tier think-tanks, alongside Grattan, the Climate Council and ClimateWorks.
Our influence and expertise is now recognised in Canberra where we have strong relationships across the political spectrum and regularly contribute to policy conversations.
We have a strong reputation with funders and are increasingly achieving multi-year funding commitments which gives us the financial certainty to scale.
Our Board is incredibly committed to the BZE mission and regularly steps up to help the organisation through challenges.
And of course, as ever, we are so lucky to have so many incredible people volunteer precious time and expertise towards our research and everything else that we do. Our volunteers have always been our superpower.
I’m also proud that we have been able to attract a person of the calibre of Geoff Summerhayes to join the BZE Board and take on the role of Chairperson. Geoff is the former CEO of Suncorp Group, a Board Member of APRA and the Chair of the UN Sustainable Insurance Forum.
Geoff is a great fit for BZE’s culture. He takes a positive approach and is well-respected across the spectrum of the business and political communities.
This is not a goodbye! I am looking forward to staying involved with BZE and will be helping to set up our first expert advisory council. I will always be a BZE volunteer at heart and looking forward to continuing to work with you all to set Australia on a path to becoming a renewable energy superpower.