Speaker Profiles 2023

KEYNOTE SPEAKER: The Hon. Penny Wensley, National Soils Advocate

Former Governor of Queensland and distinguished Australian diplomat, the Honourable Penelope Wensley AC, has a long-held interest and substantial experience in natural resource management, environmental and sustainable development matters, and in Australia’s response to national and global challenges in these areas. Ms Wensley was a key contributor to the negotiation of several landmark international treaties to address environmental challenges though the United Nations. Currently, Ms Wensley holds a number of high-level roles concerning sustainability, including as National Soils Advocate.

KEYNOTE SPEAKER: Frank Franciosi, Executive Director, US Composting Council & Compost Research & Education Foundation

Mr. Franciosi is the current Executive Director of both the US Composting Council and the Compost Research & Education Foundation. He has spent over 30 years working with residuals management and composting both in operations management as well as sales and marketing.

In 1993, he started North Carolina’s first source separated organics composting facility. As past principal of Akkadia Consulting, Frank provided professional consulting services on projects of animal waste management, biosolids management, coal ash residuals, composting of industrial residuals, product development and marketing. He has facilitated the turnkey start-up of award winning composting facilities, taking them from concept to feasibility to operational, overseeing permitting, equipment selection, hiring and training of personnel, as well as the development and execution of the product marketing plan. Frank also managed the Novozymes’ Nature’s GREEN-RELEAF™ composting facility from 2003-2015.

In 2014, Frank was the recipient of the Hi Kellogg Award for displaying outstanding service to the US composting industry over a period of many years. He has a BS in Plant and Soil Sciences from West Virginia University.


KEYNOTE SPEAKER: Lawrence Di Bella, Company Manager, Herbert Cane Productivity Services Limited (HCPSL) & Owner, Di Bella Produce and Farming

Lawrence has been involved with the Australian sugarcane and other agricultural industries for over 30 years. During his employment he has worked in the fields of farm management, plant breeding, agronomy, natural resource management and extension. During his working career Lawrence has had the opportunity to review sugarcane and agricultural operations in PNG, South Africa, Swaziland, the USA, Brazil, Italy, Switzerland and Kyrgyzstan.

At HCPSL, Lawrence manages over 15 employees who work on a range of industry services and extension programs. HCPSL receives a voluntary service fee from its farmer members and the local sugarcane miller. The company covers over 64,000ha and has over 550 farmer members.

Working with his wife and eldest son, Di Bella Produce and Farming, specialises in sugarcane, sweet potato, pumpkin, melon production, cover crop, pasture and vegetable seed sales, farming 144ha in the Herbert cane region.

MASTER OF CEREMONIES: Cate McQuillen, Head Smarty Pants – mememe Productions

Cate McQuillen is a producer and writer, known for Dirtgirlworld (2009) and Get Grubby TV (2014).

From her home base in the Northern Rivers Region of NSW, Cate is one half of mememe productions, creating ‘out there’ children’s programming for a new generation of content seekers. With a myriad of skills and interests, her greatest assets are her approach and attitude and ability to generate ideas, motivate, inspire and see the ‘big picture’.

Pam Allan, Chair, Tasmanian Waste and Resource Recovery Board

Adjunct Professor the Hon. Pam Allan is the Chair of the Waste and Resource Recovery Board which was established in Tasmania on July 1 2022. She also chairs NRM North and the Forest Practices Authority Tasmania. Pam is a former NSW Minister for Environment who has worked in environment and planning for many years in both the public and private sectors. She lives in Launceston.


Jennifer Anne, Executive Director Engagement, Regulation and Oversight, Recycling Victoria

Jennifer Anne joined Recycling Victoria in August 2022. With qualifications in law, public policy and management, she has worked in the Victorian and Commonwealth governments leading strategy and regulatory policy and operations across diverse sectors. As Executive Director Engagement, Regulation and Oversight, Jennifer works across Recycling Victoria to support connection with key stakeholders including local councils, Alpine Resorts Victoria, industry and businesses, Traditional Owners and the community. She also leads Recycling Victoria’s new oversight and regulation functions, including oversight of the container deposit scheme, waste to energy licensing, and waste, recycling or resource recovery service standards.

Dr Matthew Askeland - Unit Manager, ADE Consulting Group

Matthew Askeland heads ADE’s Consulting Groups Emerging Contaminants, Treatment Remediation and Research business unit. Matthew has been active in the consultancy sector as a contaminated site specialist, where he holds key expertise pivotal in the delivery of contaminated land and water solutions, including site characterisation, risk assessment and remediation.  In recent years, Matthew has been focused on tackling multiple elements within the PFAS risk management practice. These include site characterisation, risk mitigation, development and implementation of new PFAS management tools, and the deployment of effective management strategies for both legacy and ongoing PFAS impacts

Lara Barclay - Managing Director, Adaptation Environmental Support

Lara Barclay is the founder and Director of Adaptation Environmental Support, a specialist environmental consultancy.  She has over 20 years’ experience driving sustainable change across the private sector, government and the community.   Adaptation has partnered with the Australian Council of Recycling to deliver Recycle Mate – a first of its kind recycling education program which revolutionizes the delivery of recycling information to the Australian community.

Patrick Blampied - Director, Sequence Digital

Patrick has spent a decade building Sequence Digital up as a different type of software development agency. One that works face-to-face with customers, creating bespoke systems that help organisations through digital transformation without requiring them to tear down existing, longstanding processes.  Bridging a nerdy passion for computers and 14 years of climate action he strongly believes that if we’re going to reboot every system bracing society in 27 years, we’re going to need a lot of good software!

Luke Brennan - Business Development Manager, Gaia EnviroTech

Luke is the Business Development Manager at Gaia EnviroTech, and has over 15 years’ experience in strategic project / program management across various industries. Having lead multiple State and Federal Government collaborative projects within the AFL Industry, Luke brings valuable experience to the Gaia EnviroTech team where he is now tasked with growing the profile of bioenergy and the role it can play in achieving key climate targets.

Ben Carr - Consultant, Carr Enviro and SPM

Ben consults to a number of organic recyclers n Victoria. He is an Environmental Scientist with extensive experience in environmental impact assessment and waste treatment and recycling sectors and he has worked in environmental regulation in both Western Australia and Victoria.

Michael Dossor - Group General Manager, Result Group

Michael Dossor is a well-known packaging industry personality and Group General manager of Result Group. He is an active industry contributor, participating in education forums and on advisory groups helping to shape the packaging industry’s future. Michael is passionate about identifying new packaging technologies, processes and materials with the potential to drive innovation whilst also being committed to achieve greater sustainability and food waste control in the packaging space.  He also has a keen interest in transforming brands’ packaging into digital identities and has been responsible for launching a number of smart packaging technologies not available until now on the Australian market.

Andrew Dougall - Industry Development Lead, Sustainability Victoria

Andrew is the Industry Development Lead – Organics at Sustainability Victoria.  In this role Andrew works with Industry to build markets for recycled organics.  Throughout his career Andrew has worked with farms and farmers to build resilient, sustainable and profitable farming systems throughout Australia and Southeast Asia.  Andrew is motivated by the knowledge that prosperous regional communities stem from healthy productive soils.

Charlie Emery - Managing Director, SOILCO

Charlie joined SOILCO in 2001 and over the past 20 years has overseen the growth of the family-led business by focusing on SOILCO’s core competencies: the provision of organics recycling services and the production of quality assured soil, compost and mulch products for urban amenity and agricultural markets.   In his current role as Managing Director, Charlie is focused on innovation, strategy, infrastructure development and business growth.   Charlie has achieved tertiary qualifications in Science (Environmental Biology) and worked with a range of environmental, landscaping and horticultural businesses. Charlie is also a Board Member of AORA.

Bill Grant - Research Fellow, Federation University

Bill Grant is an agricultural and environmental scientist who has worked with the organics recovery sector since the mid 1990s.  He has extensive knowledge of compost and soil science and has previously conducted research and field trials of the production and use of composts, bioremediation using composting processes, organics resource recovery systems, and triple bottom line assessments of the recovery, production and use of compost products.  Bill is currently undertaking several field trial and research projects investigating methods of soil health management and improving subsoils, including trial of the use of composts.

Amanda Kane, Manager - Organics, NSW Environment Protection Authority

Amanda Kane manages the NSW Environmental Protection Authority’s organics programs. Amanda and her team are currently working on the design and delivery of new programs under the Waste and Sustainable Materials Strategy (WaSM). Supported with $69 million to 2027, the new programs will deliver on the NSW Government’s commitment to net zero emissions of organics waste landfilled from 2030 and requirements for all NSW households and high food-wasting businesses to be source separating food waste by 2030 and 2025 respectively.

Kate Hamer, A/Manager Circular Economy and Waste, Environment Protection Authority South Australia

Kate Hamer currently oversees the SA EPAs waste levy, regulatory intelligence, data analytics and regulatory reform functions in the Operations Directorate of the EPA, building on her extensive knowledge and experience gained through regulating the waste and resource recovery sector for over a decade.  

Kate has a deep interest in working collaboratively with stakeholders to understand behavioural drivers and perspectives to design and negotiate acceptable solutions, an approach that reflects her academic qualifications in psychology and environmental science.

Kate has managed projects as diverse as developing the EPAs compost guideline, overhauling the EPAs technical landfill guideline, designing end of waste frameworks, to working with the executive leadership team to implement governance structures.  Her career has been diverse, but grounded in regulatory practice, both voluntary and legislated.  Her success is built on a leadership style that is authentic, integral and generous in taking the time to understand the viewpoint of others. 

Frank Harney - Owner/Manager, Elmore Compost

Frank is a farmer, composter and innovator, focused on the production and use of high-quality composts in agriculture and horticulture. Frank has developed specialised sub-soil amelioration equipment and compost products to improve heavy clay subsoils in central and northern Victoria. Franks uses these on his own farm which is host to a Sustainability Victoria co-funded trial of the use of compost and other organic amendments. 

Matt Kendall - Head Of Brand, Phantm

Matt is an accomplished brand and communications strategist with a proven track record of success in driving transformative change across an impressive array of industries. He has worked with a diverse range of clients, including globally recognised brands, startups, government agencies and departments, environmental campaigns, and circular economy and next-economy initiatives. As a result of his extensive experience, Matt has developed a nuanced understanding of the challenges facing these industries and is passionate about using his expertise to drive meaningful change with his unique blend of strategic thinking and creative problem-solving skills.

Matthew Leyton - Operations and Project Delivery Manager, Dulverton Waste Management

Matthew has been managing Dulverton compost processes since 2018. As an experienced engineer with a focus on Zero Harm and Lean processing, Matthew has been instrumental in the development of Dulverton’s new In-vessel compost production facility, which will have the capacity to accept almost every organics source currently known.  Having supported industry from poppies to biosolids, tugboats to salmon, sawdust to fishnets, there are few throughout the Island who could boast a better understanding of Tasmania’s waste resources and needs than Matt.

Andrew Lucas - Team Leader Organics Processing and Market Development, City of Greater Geelong

Andrew has over 15 years’ experience in the sustainable food production and design space with the last 8 years focusing on compost production. Prior to joining the City of Greater Geelong, he managed Camperdown Compost’s on-farm program, which was spread across 30 sites. That’s where the early ideas were formed for ways software could help efficiently track and process compost.  He has also worked for Geelong’s oldest manufacturing company, Backwell IXL, which instilled an appreciation of process and quality assurance.

Lorna Mathieson, Director of the Kerbside Reform and Service Delivery in Waste and Recycling Division, Environment and Climate Change for the Department of Energy, Environment and Climate Action in Victoria

Lorna began her environment career in Sustainability Victoria, initially joining to lead the delivery of programs to support communities respond to and adapt to climate change through taking actions across energy, water and waste. In 2015, Lorna was responsible for the delivery of the Victorian Organics Resource Recovery Strategy, which outlined the strategic directions required to increase the recovery of organic resources and develop a sustainable and viable recycled organics industry. After finishing the strategy, Lorna accepted a secondment to the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning to deliver a $50 million community infrastructure program to Melbourne’s fastest growing suburbs. Stepping into an executive role in the Energy division, Lorna was responsible for providing leadership and delivery of a range of energy programs; including Microgrid Demonstration Initiative, Powerline Bushfire Safety Program and a number of programs to support innovative and market driven outcomes.

Following the collapse of SKM in July 2019, Lorna was seconded to lead the Recycling Response team, tasked with stabilising the market and ultimately identifying critical areas of reform to support and facilitate the State’s Circular Economy ambitions.

In 2020 Lorna secured the position of Director, Kerbside Reform and Service Delivery to lead the government reform of household recycling and minimise service disruptions by working with the environment portfolio, Local Government and Industry to support the transition to a circular economy through kerbside reform and establishing the right policy conditions to support sector development, infrastructure and standards.

Scott McKenzie, Manager – Policy, Department of Water and Environmental Regulation

Scott McKenzie works with Western Australia’s Department of Water and Environmental Regulation (DWER). Scott’s role is in the Waste Avoidance and Resource Recovery section which supports the development and implementation of the State’s waste strategy. 

The waste strategy includes a commitment to rollout FOGO services to increase material recovery rates and support the states targets for MSW. Scott is working closely with local governments and industry to support the FOGO rollout.

Dr Stephen Ockerby - AgSight

Stephen is a well-known scientist providing knowledge and advice in agriculture and pasture science and business. His science interests are in understanding how a plant develops its leaves and flowers with near-perfect architecture and synchrony. This pathway of research has led him to work with technologies that generate conditions in the soil to foster ideal plant growth. Hence his business interests with Solvita and Woods End Laboratories. His company AgSight is a long-time AORA member and sponsor of the annual conference.

Shaun Rainford - Associate Principal, Arup

Shaun has over 25 years’ experience in Senior Technical and Management roles within the Waste Industry. Shaun heads up the Waste and Resources group within Arup, a leading Global Engineering Consulting group with over 1400 staff in Australia working across major Infrastructure development, Built Environment, Energy, Environment, Water and Resources. His work with Arup has spanned Australia and the wider Asia Pacific regions.

Petah Rhynehart – Director, Environment Protection Division, Waste Policy and Planning Branch, Food and Organic Waste Section, Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water

Petah leads the food and organic waste avoidance and diversion programs in the Australian Government Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water. She and her team work closely with Stop Food Waste Australia to implement the National Food Waste Strategy to halve food waste by 2030; and with the organics industry as part of the Food Waste for Healthy Soils Fund. She has worked in the federal environment portfolio for more than 20 years, working across multiple functions and roles including 18 months in the offices of Federal Environment Ministers.

Johannes Schlosser - Deputy Head of Operations, Wurzer Umwelt (Germany)

Working at Wurzer Unwelt GmbH, Johannes Schlosser is experienced in environmental engineering, project management, regulatory compliance, client communication, and business development. As an environmental engineering company, Wurzer Unwelt GmbH provides services related to waste management, composting process and renewable energy. Johannes Schlosser has a focus on composting and organic processing, competencies in designing and implementing composting systems, composting science and technology, client education and training, monitoring and evaluation, and compliance / regulations.

Rowan Williams - Regional Market Development Manager for Biopolymers, ecoflex,/ecovio, BASF Asia Pacific

Rowan is the Regional Market Development Manager for Biopolymers, ecoflex,/ecovio for BASF Asia Pacific. Rowan has more than 30 years’ experience in Asia Pacific in the agricultural, packaging, mining and general manufacturing industries, in roles spanning marketing, sales and operations. He is currently the President of the Australasian Bioplastics Association and also a Director of the Australian Organics Recycling Association Limited

Thank you to our 2024 Conference Supporters

AORA would like to acknowledge our National Sponsors who play an active role in realising our vision: