Meet the team

We are a volunteer-powered organisation! Our amazing volunteers devote their time to facilitating Conversations, raising funds and organising events, along with countless other activities that keep us going. To find out how you can be a part of this team, click here.

Our volunteers are supported by core staff and a board of directors.

 

Our staff 

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Katerina Gaita | founder and director

Katerina is a climate communicator specialising in community engagement. Her passion and expertise are in helping everyday people understand the problem and challenges we face in climate change, then inspiring and empowering them to make a difference. Katerina has more than eight years’ experience in behaviour change and in project and business management, including founding and growing a small sustainability business from conception to one with more than 200 clients and 30 staff over four years.

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Zey Basarin | national program manager

Zey’s background is in neuroscience and behaviour change, stemming from an inherent curiousity of people and their many perspectives. When she began as Program Manager in 2016 we had a team of ten facilitators - she now overseas a team of more than seventy, across two states, while directing three other program staff. Prior to joining Climate for Change, Zey was the National Program Manager of the award-winning Start Smart Program run by ChangeLabs (now Karrikins Group), wherein she personally facilitated more than 2,000 workshops with more than 50,000 students.

Angela Merriam | community engagement coordinator

Angela is a committed environmentalist, passionate about community organising and creating meaningful political change. Over the past decade she has worked in government, community sector, and academia, including at the University of Melbourne. She is excited to lead our new project, 'Conversations for Change', working with residents of the Latrobe Valley to enable more productive conversations about climate change. 

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Serena Davies | communications officer and team leader

Serena is a hopeful and articulate person, driven to speak and act on issues of justice. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminology from the University of Melbourne and has volunteered across various areas of the not-for-profit sector, with Save the Children in Fitzroy, at a dog shelter in rural Spain, and then with Climate for Change as a facilitator, fundraiser, mentor, trainer and volunteer coordinator. Since joining the staff team she has worked across a similar number of roles, developing and demonstrating a wide range of skills.

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Ajaya Haikerwal | assistant program manager and executive assistant

Ajaya is a creative thinker and a passionate advocate for young people and environmental issues. He has been facilitating with C4C since September 2017 and enjoys being able to engage people deeply in climate change. His work is split across the Conversation Program, which he maintains and improves, as well as supporting Katerina’s work and the wider organisation. Ajaya studied Geography in his Bachelor of Science (Honours) from the University of Melbourne and is a fellow of the Centre for Sustainability Leadership’s Future Makers Fellowship Program.

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Oli Moraes | team leader

Oli joined our staff after volunteering with Climate for Change in a number of roles including fundraising, volunteer coordination and facilitating, since the organisation's inception at the start of 2015. Oli holds a Bachelor of Arts and Science from Monash University and is currently completing his Master of Environment at the University of Melbourne. While his studies focus on the science, Oli strongly believes that to adequately address climate change we need to be connecting and communicating the problem with people more effectively, and that Climate for Change offers the mode and model for doing so at the depth and scale required.

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Marta Zajac | fundraising officer

Marta is a Public Relations and Advertising Bachelor of Arts (Honours) graduate from the University of Westminster in London, UK. Originally from Poland, she has lived abroad for the past seven years, calling Australia her home since late 2017. Before arriving in Australia, she has traveled and volunteered across South-East Asia, also interning with the United Nations in Bangkok, Thailand. She was a 2018 Climate for Change Fellow, and is particularly excited about working with other young people passionate about solving the climate crisis.

Nicole Robertson | facilitator trainer

Nicole was one of the first facilitators trained at Climate for Change and has been completely committed to our core mission and strategy ever since. Currently completing a Bachelor of Arts (Anthropology) after retiring from her previous career as a paramedic, Nicole is interested in cultural change and the ways in which we are all more alike than we are different. She joins the staff as Facilitator Trainer, though she continues to volunteer in roles as various as strategic planning and bake sales. Her roles at Climate for Change and in the community continue to give her hope for the future.

 

Our board

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Alison Kelly | chair

Alison is a sustainability consultant with over 14 years experience in national leadership positions within the Australian agricultural and sustainability research, development and extension sectors. She has always had a passion and commitment for enhancing the resilience of Australian landscapes and communities. As principal consultant for Alison Kelly Consulting, she has worked on projects within the agricultural and sustainability sectors and is now Program Development Manager - Land, Water and Climate for the national research development corporation for the dairy industry, Dairy Australia.

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Brad Bond |  

Brad Bond has been in the Australian technology industry for over 20 years. Brad has founded multiple successful technology businesses including enterprise IT support and software, a consumer review website and a satellite phone management system.Businesses co-founded by Brad have generated in excess of AUD $75m in revenue and most are still currently in operation. Brad is now leveraging his experience by helping other startups to make it from concept to commercialization.


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Bronya Lipski |

Bronya is a lawyer at Environmental Justice Australia, a not-for-profit legal centre specialising in public interest environmental law. Having grown up in the Latrobe Valley, Victoria, she has a passion for helping coal communities achieve environmental justice and a commitment to holding polluters to account for their actions. She has been an environmental and social justice advocate since she can remember. Bronya has a particular interest in not-for profit governance and growing their strength. She is a former board director of the Earthworker Cooperative, member of the Australian Earth Laws Alliance, and member of Australian Lawyers for Human Rights.

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Anica Niepraschk |

Anica is a political scientist with a background in international development, working as a governance advisor in strengthening civil society organisations in various African countries. Since moving to Australia in 2014, Anica has been heavily engaged in the nuclear-free movement and the Victorian Greens. Anica works as a Safe Climate Campaigner at Environment Victoria, leading its national campaign to phase out coal-fired power stations. Anica lives in Melbourne and is currently on parental leave after the birth of her first daughter.

Tim Lo Surdo |

Tim is the Founder and National Director of Democracy in Colour - Australia's first national racial justice campaigning organisation led by people of colour. Tim is deeply passionate about people-powered change and has spent the past seven years creating opportunities for everyday people to take collective action. Before starting Democracy in Colour, he was a Senior Organiser at United Voice where he helped young, low-paid workers start Hospo Voice - a new union in hospitality. He has led campaigns at Oaktree, been an adviser to two Senators, was the Campaigns Director at Jhatkaa, led national communications at UN Youth Australia, and co-founded Open Sky.

Alexi Lynch |

Alexi Lynch has 17 years of experience in the sustainability and climate change field since co-founding the Environmental Jobs Network (EJN) in 2001, providing information for job-seekers in the growing environmental jobs field. Alexi managed ICLEI Oceania’s flagship Cities for Climate Protection (CCP) campaign, building the capacity of local government to tackle climate change. Over 230 councils participated in CCP, representing 84% of Australia's population. Since 2009, Alexi has been at Ironbark Sustainability. As Business Manager, Alexi works with councils on energy efficiency, renewable energy and sustainability projects.

Lillian Myer |

Lillian will commence as a Management Consultant with KPMG in 2019, with a focus on change management and organisational design. In addition to her passion for the environment and sustainability, Lillian has a significant interest in social impact and women’s economic empowerment. Lillian has held roles as both a sponsorship officer and as a pro-bono consultant within Melbourne Microfinance Initiative. She is currently a director of The Andyinc Foundation, which has made more than $2.7 million in grants to a range of organisations. In her spare time, Lillian volunteers as a mentor with The Smith Family, and through the Sacred Heart Mission's Women's House.

 

Our core volunteers 

Julian Atchison | climate update editor

Julian began volunteering at Climate for Change in 2016, first as a facilitator then helping to research and compile our fortnightly Climate Update newsletter. Every second Thursday he brings the most up-to-date climate news, solutions and actions to our supporter base. Julian also writes for the US-based NGO, Climate Scorecard, and gives his time to support the work of other climate action groups around Melbourne. His passion is to work towards a more climate-literate general public and to empower more people to get involved in civic action, so he's right at home at Climate for Change. 

Cait Coffey-Wong | volunteer coordinator and social media officer

Cait is a Bachelor of Arts graduate (French and International Studies) and is currently looking to begin a career in the not-for-profit sector. She has been volunteering with Climate for Change since January 2017, firstly as a Fundraising and Communications Fellow, then as Social Media Coordinator and now simultaneously taking on the role of Volunteer Coordinator. Cait is passionate about addressing climate change both personally and professionally, because it is simply the greatest issue of our time. She sees how it is tied to almost every other issue - political, social, economic or otherwise - and will only exacerbate existing inequalities.

Sue Dwyer | mp engagement group coordinator

Sue joined Climate for Change as a facilitator and volunteer in October 2016. Her background is in writing, editing and teaching, and she has worked on several projects to inspire young people to action on climate. Sue is a passionate advocate of citizen democracy -  encouraging people to actively participate and demand climate action from our governments, and to make our world more sustainable and socially just. She is currently coordinating the MP engagement groups.

Josie Wilson | volunteer bookkeeper

Having stepped away from a background in buying and merchandise planning to start a family, Josie decided that - in lieu of any action on the part of government- she owed it to her kids to try to do something to help protect the planet and their future. Josie was previously involved with Climate for Change as Volunteer Coordinator for 6 months and is currently acting as Bookkeeper. She is looking into future study in environment and sustainability with a view to a career change to a line of work that contributes to solving climate change.

Alice Anderson | 2019 fellowship assistant

Alice is a Bachelor of Environments graduate (Environmental Geography, Politics & Culture). Whilst she focused primarily on physical geography and the natural environment, she strongly believes that we need to improve communication and our personal connection with the issue of climate change. After graduating in 2017, Alice worked as a face-to-face fundraiser before joining Climate for Change as part of the 2018 Fundraising & Communications Fellowship Program. She hopes to further her career in the environment or not-for-profit sector in the future.

 

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