Speaker Profiles

KEYNOTE SPEAKER: Matthew Cotton, Principal Consultant/Owner, Integrated Waste Management Consulting, LLC

Matthew Cotton has worked in the composting industry since 1986. He has served as a consultant, educator, researcher, and advocate for new and expanded organics recycling and composting programs in California and beyond.

Mr. Cotton has completed hundreds of significant organics projects, including permitting and assisting in the development of some of the major composting facilities in California. Mr. Cotton served on the Board of Directors of the US Composting Council for almost two decades, including three terms as president. He currently serves on the Board of Californians Against Waste. He has published research on compost odors, compost use, climate impacts, compostable plastics, and compost facility infrastructure. Mr. Cotton is a lead instructor for the week-long Compost Operator Training Program operated by the Composting Council’s Research and Education Foundation.

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: Professor Ian Overton, Chief Executive, Green Industries SA

Ian has over 30 years experience in business, research, academia and government, including 17 years with the CSIRO. He has a passion for sustainability and enhancing environmental, social and economic outcomes and the implementation of the circular economy. Ian is also a Professor (Affiliate), at the Adelaide Business School, University of Adelaide.

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’.

Tony Circelli, CEO - Environment Protection Authority South Australia

Tony has spent more than 30 years in the environment protection field, with extensive knowledge and experience in environment and sustainability issues, modern regulatory practice, and organisational strategy and reform. He has led numerous policy reforms in areas including site contamination, waste to energy and circular economy fields, and radiation protection. 

With an honours degree in Mechanical Engineering, a Masters in Business Administration, and a Fellow of the Governor’s Leadership Foundation, Tony has been a Director on numerous government Boards including Presiding Member of the Radiation Protection Control Committee, SA’s EPA Board, the national Heads of EPA forum, as well as a past Director of CRC CARE.

He has held senior executive positions with the EPA since 2004 and appointed Chief Executive in 2014.

Isabel Axio - Senior Consultant, RMCG

Isabel specialises in resource recovery and is passionate about organic waste avoidance, quality compost and working interdisciplinary with agricultural production systems and carbon markets. Over the last 10 year she has worked extensively across Australia with governments and business on topics of FOGO, organic processing options, environmental approval and compliance and stakeholder engagement. Her focus is on regional landscapes similar to the one she lives in and is passionate about.

Brock Baker - Brock Baker Environmental

Brock is highly respected and connected in the organics industry and an active member of the Australian Organics Recycling Association. Over the past decade he has driven organics market development in Victoria and NSW managing grants supporting long-term expansion of the recycled organics market. More recently, Brock has contributed to a greater understanding of the Victoria’s organics recycling industry through projects for the Victorian Government assessing processing capacity, material flows, and the cost of contamination.

Geraldine Busby - Principal Consultant, Encycle Consulting

Geraldine Busby has twenty years’ experience as an environmental scientist and project manager in local and state government, consultancy and industry roles. Geraldine has worked with the organics sector for a considerable number of years and has undertaken cost / benefit analyses (including health / environmental benefits), provided input to previous review of the Australian Standards Composts, soil conditioners and mulches (AS 4454), written content for and project managed development of the NSW EPA ‘Compost Facility Management’ online learning platform. As Secretary of AORA WA, she understands the requirements and technicalities of producing quality products from various feedstocks to develop and service markets.

Charlie Emery - Managing Director, Soilco

Charlie joined SOILCO in 2001 and over the past 18 years has overseen the growth of the business through focusing on its core competency; provision of organics recycling services and production of quality assured soil, compost and mulch products. Prior to SOILCO, Charlie 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 the Australian Organics Recycling Association (AORA).

Andrew Fleming - Senior Technical Consultant, BIOREM

With over 25 years of experience in information technology, software development, analytics and R&D, Andrew leads Aquatec’s innovation and product development teams. Andrew works collaboratively with clients towards mutually beneficial outcomes. His current major focus is on odour control systems and their efficiency gains through improved modelling and control philosophies.

Marco Grosze-Holz - BDM waste, Christiaens Group

Marco is a chemical-physical process engineer, joining Christiaens Group, a global partner in composting technology, in 2020. He has been active in the waste treatment business since 1996, working in areas such as manure treatment via WWTP biosludge treatment, solid organics (e.g., FOGO) Anaerobic Digestion and composting of organics and digestate. Marco is also a former certified IECEx-05 expert (industrial explosion safety).

Jess Hand - Infrastructure and Policy Adviser, Metropolitan Waste and Resource Recovery Group

Jess Hand has been working in the waste industry since 2013. With experience in the state government, tertiary education, private and not-for-profit sectors, Jess has delivered various waste-related projects such as the Kerbside FOGO processing technical guidance and tender package, Municipal FOGO Services: Success Factors report, Illegal dumping prevention behaviour change kit for councils, and a four-year litter prevention program.   

Lyndsey Jackson - CEO, Platfarm

Director of Mid North & Yorkes RDA, with over 15 years experience in technology and regional communities

Mandar Joshi - Process Engineer, Hitachi Zosen Inova Australia

Mandar Joshi is a process engineer with Hitachi Zosen Inova Australia specialising in anaerobic digestion and biogas upgrading. His experience includes mathematical and machine learning modelling in oil and gas and in mining industries, having completed two degrees: Biological and Chemical engineering at the University of Queensland and a degree in Nuclear Medicine at the University of Newcastle.

Claire Kneller - Head of WRAP APAC, WRAP

Claire is Head of WRAP Asia Pacific, heading the office from Adelaide, South Australia.  She leads on the development and delivery of all of WRAP’s work in the region, specialising in policy and strategy support, collaborative agreements between public and private organisations, and citizen behaviour change.  Claire has developed and delivered sustainability and circular economy projects and programmes ranging from £1,000 to over £10M for partners ranging from Apple to the UN Environment Programme across the world from Australia to Mexico.  Her knowledge of sustainable resources stretches across WRAP’s portfolio from sustainable food systems, through to recycling infrastructure development and sustainable finance.

Oli Madgett, Platfarm

Leading soil carbon innovation projects with AgriFutures / Meat & Livestock Australia. Grape Grower based in McLaren Vale, and member of the SA AgTech Advisory Board.

Cara McNicol - Manager, Waste Avoidance and Recovery Policy, Qld Dept of Environment and Science

With more than 26 years’ experience in Queensland Government, Cara has joined the Office of Resource Recovery, working on key programs delivering Queensland’s Waste Management and Resource Recovery Strategy; including the single-use plastic items ban and the Organics Strategy and Action plan.

Bill Mullin, P.Eng., CPA, CMA - Business Development Manager, BIOREM

Bill Mullin has been involved in the design of odour control systems for over 25 years.  Bill specializes in engineering systems for biosolids processing, dewatering, composting, organics processing and co-digestion. He is a member of the Water Environment Federation’s Odour Committee and is a Licensed Professional Engineer in Ontario Canada.

Mauricio Murillo – CEO, FIBO Group Australia

Food engineer with more than 35 years of experience in the industry In addition to having a Master’s Degree in Biotechnology and Innovation, a Post Graduate Degree in Food Sciences and Technology, he is currently carrying out a Doctorate in Biocomposites. His extensive experience and knowledge has allowed him to become an expert in biotechnology, organic waste management, and by product production fundamental skills to develop FIBO.

Peter Olah – National Executive Officer, Australian Organics Recycling Association

Peter Olah is the National Executive Officer of AORA, the Australian Organics Recycling Association. Peter is an experienced association leader, having served as CEO of the Surveying and Spatial Sciences Institute, the Council of Mayors (SEQ), the Rural Fire Service Association and Scouts Australia (NSW).

Professor Susanne Schmidt - School of Agriculture and Food Sciences, The University of Queensland

Susanne is a highly motivated researcher and educator specialising in nutrients nitrogen, phosphorus and carbon. She is highly cited and works internationally with ag-industries and on ecological settings to advance sustainable fertilisers and the circular nutrient economy.

Her research contributes sustainable solutions and is motivated by the inefficiencies of mineral fertilisers, the need to restore soil fertility, preserve biodiversity and mitigate climate change.

Susanne has developed methods for the precise analyses of bioavailable nutrients in soil and has demonstrated the importance of organic nutrients for plant nutrition and soil function. Her latest research showcases the opportunities for compost as a essential ingredient to improve crop yield and sequester carbon. She finds that a precision compost strategy could increase the annual global grain crop yield by 4% and sequester 5-10% of the worlds annual carbon emissions.


Aaron Spadaro, Manager Policy - NSW Environmental Protection Authority

Aaron is Manager Policy within the NSW Environmental Protection Authority, playing a key role in implementing priorities of the NSW Waste and Sustainable Materials Strategy 2041. Aaron is a land use and environmental planner with over 20 years professional experience in strategic planning and public policy development, including with the NSW Department of Premier and Cabinet.

Since joining the EPA in January 2021, Aaron has played a central role in shaping FOGO policy responses under the Waste and Sustainable Materials Strategy 2041, and has led on developing policy priorities for increasing take up of low-emissions recycled substitute materials across construction and manufacturing sectors, and has also contributed to implementing the ban on PFAS chemicals in NSW.

Naoya Takeda – PhD Candidate, Queensland University of Technology

Mr Naoya Takeda is currently pursuing PhD at Queensland University of Technology. His expertise lies in agronomy and environmental sciences with experiences in rice, sugarcane and grain systems. His research focuses on N use efficiency and N losses such as nitrous oxide by combining field trials and simulation analyses with crop models (e.g. APSIM). He aims at assessing agronomic and environmental impacts of farming practices and supporting the decisions of farmers and policymakers to mitigate and adapt to climate change.


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

Stefan Windisch - Komptech Austria

Stefan Windisch has worked with Komptech for 19 years and today is the Head of Worldwide Partners Sales.  Stefan has supported Komptech ELB in Australia for nine years now and is a frequent visitor down under.  A native of Austria, Stefan travels constantly, supporting the efforts of Komptech’s network of partners around the world.  Stefan is passionate about Komptech’s mission to make the world greener and has been a great supporter of AORA over the years.

Michael Wood - Sacyr Environment Australia

Michael Wood is a consultant to leading composters in Victoria concentrating in the last 3 years on the commissioning and establishment of Sacyr Environment Australia’s $70m Dandenong South vessel composting facility and the Camperdown Compost Company’s new open windrow air floor facility development. Coming from a nursery & horticulture business background, Michael studied commerce before completing a graduate diploma in applied science horticulture. Michael was a director and shareholder of Enviromix for 10 years, turning a around loss maker in EPA trouble and initiating the development of Biomix during that time.

Shani Wood - Environment Officer, City of Holdfast Bay

Shani has worked at the City of Holdfast Bay since 2012 and has developed and implemented a number of successful innovative waste projects including: trialing compostable bags in local supermarkets, Phase 1 of the Weekly FOGO trial (opt in) and Phase 2 of the Weekly FOGO trial (default sustainable service model). Shani has a vast experience in project management and community engagement which has been recognised through receiving the 2018-19 Green Industries Woman in Waste Award.

Jessica Wundke - Manager Policy Reform, Green Industries SA

Jessica works to develop and implement policy and programs to support strategic objectives for resource recovery and promoting the circular economy in South Australia. Currently working across policy areas covering food and organic waste, commercial waste and recycling systems, packaging and events, Jessica led the development of the food waste strategy for South Australia to drive this material away from landfill and circulate it into productive use. 

Experienced in managing programs to support policy implementation and improve resource efficiency, she works with stakeholders to facilitate change in the management of resources and improve waste and recycling systems.

Thank you to our 2022 Conference Sponsors

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