Meet the team

We are a volunteer-powered organisation! Our amazing volunteers devote their time to facilitating Climate 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 

Katerina_Gaita.jpg

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 nine 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.

Mike McEvoy | National Program Manager: Climate Conversations

Mike has always been driven by a desire to nurture positive change and social justice. He has led the design and delivery of culture change programs in both the corporate and disability sectors, and has over 15 years experience working as an actor, theatre-maker and facilitator on community-building and creative projects. He was elected as a Local Councillor in 2016, advocated for strong, local climate action until his move to Climate for Change in 2019. Mike loves to work collaboratively and harness the creativity, knowledge and energy of others to make magic happen.

Esther Lloyd | Community Engagement Coordinator: Communities Leading Change

Esther is a science communicator with an obsession for learning and a passion for helping people. She has been a project officer for the Department of Sustainability and Environment, collaborated with Monash and Federation Universities, and interned at The University of Melbourne’s Bio21 Institute. She also loves getting out into the field and working with regional communities and not-for-profits. Esther joined the team to work more closely with Latrobe Valley residents and is currently completing her master’s degree at ANU.

marta_headshot_c4c.jpg

Marta Zając | Community Fundraising Manager

Marta studied public relations and advertising in her Bachelor of Arts (Honours) from the University of Westminster in London. Originally from Poland, she has lived abroad for the past eight years, calling Australia her home since late 2017. Before arriving in Australia, she travelled and volunteered across South-East Asia, also interning with the United Nations in Bangkok. She is a 2018 Climate for Change fellow and is particularly excited about working with and supporting other people passionate about solving the climate crisis.

DSC_0026_-_Copy.jpg

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 Climate for Change since September 2017 and enjoys being able to engage people deeply in climate change. His work is split across the Climate Conversations program and supporting the wider organisation. Ajaya studied geography in his Bachelor of Science (Honours) at The University of Melbourne and is a fellow of the Centre for Sustainability Leadership’s Future Makers Fellowship Program.

Lisa_Headshot.jpg

Lisa Whiston | Programs Assistant

Lisa is a Bachelor of Business (Management) graduate who is passionate about the environment and climate justice. Previously employed in the Travel and Tourism sector, Lisa took time off to start a family and has since been volunteering with various community groups, starting her career with Climate for Change as a volunteer facilitator in 2018. She is thrilled to be working in a role that so strongly aligns with her values, and is a strong believer in the Climate Conversations Program as a way of building the social change we so desperately need.

Alex Balsillie | Key Relationships Coordinator

Alex studied Finance and Accounting in her Bachelor of Commerce degree at the University of Melbourne and was previously employed at a property financing firm. During this time, she began volunteering at CERES Environment Park and undertaking community projects through her local council. It was at this time she began discovering her passion for all things sustainability. Alex is most passionate about inspiring people in her community to make a positive impact on the environment and advocate for their rights in the face of the climate crisis.

 

 

 

Our board

Alison_Kelly.jpg

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. She is the principal consultant for Alison Kelly Consulting and is now program development manager (land, water and climate) for Dairy Australia.


Brad_Bond_.png

Sanaya Khisty |  

Sanaya leads B Lab Australia and New Zealand's advocacy for corporate governance models that enshrine a triple bottom line for people, profit and planet. Before joining B Lab, she was a senior policy consultant at a firm specialising in education, where she advised domestic and international governments about evidence-based policy. Prior to that, Sanaya was an advisor to two federal parliamentarians. Sanaya holds a Juris Doctor and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Melbourne. She is also a Fellow of the University of Melbourne’s Pathways to Politics Program for Women.

 

Kartik Iyer |

Kartik is passionate about transitioning society towards a more equitable and environmentally sustainable world by harnessing the power of business and capital. He is currently the group accountant at Small Giants (Australia), a single family office devoted to investing 100% of their capital in socially and environmentally focused businesses. He volunteered for two years as Climate for Change's board administrator, before being elected as a board member in 2018.


Anica_Niepraschk.png

Jackie Colmar |

Jackie Colmar is passionate about supporting and empowering individuals and communities to build a safe and sustainable future for all. She has worked with a variety of organisations including the Australian Youth Climate Coalition and The Difference Incubator in fundraising, communications and strategy development. She firmly believes that with the right tools and support anyone can making a lasting, positive impact in their communities and is currently working towards a Master of Liberal Arts in Development Practice at Harvard Extension School.

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 passionate about people-powered change and creating opportunities for everyday people to take collective action. He was a senior organiser at United Voice, 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 has 17 years of experience in the sustainability and climate change. In 2001 he co-founded the Environmental Jobs Network, which provides information for job-seekers in the growing environmental field. Alexi managed the Cities for Climate Protection campaign, building the capacity of local government to tackle climate change. 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 is a management consultant with KPMG, focusing on change management and organisational design. She is passionate about the environment and sustainability, as well as social impact and women’s economic empowerment. Lillian was a sponsorship officer and pro-bono consultant within Melbourne Microfinance Initiative. She is a director of The Andyinc Foundation and volunteers as a mentor with The Smith Family and with the Sacred Heart Mission's Women's House.

 

Our core volunteers 

Cait Coffey-Wong | Volunteer Coordinator and Social Media Coordinator

Cait is a Bachelor of Arts graduate (French and International Studies). 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. She sees how it is tied to almost every other issue - political, social, economic or otherwise - and will only exacerbate existing inequalities.

Nell Azuri | Team Leader and Mentor

Nell has spent most of her career in Instructional Design, clarifying ideas so they can be communicated as effectively as possible. She believes discovering common ground is an essential first step to good communication – especially in regard to climate change! She loves Climate for Change's model, and was thrilled to train in the first cohort of Queensland facilitators. She has gone on to become the first Queensland team leader and mentor facilitator.


Josie Wilson | 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 six 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.

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. In this role he brings the most up-to-date climate news, solutions and actions to our supporter base. Julian also writes for Climate Scorecard and volunteers with other climate action groups around Melbourne. He is passionate about creating a more climate-literate public and to empower more people to get involved in civic action. He's right at home at Climate for Change. 

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. 

 

Kira Whittaker | MP Engagement Group Leader

Kira Joined Climate for Change as a facilitator in late 2017 whilst undertaking her Master of Environment degree. Before volunteering with Climate for Change, she had never considered the power that she had as a citizen to tackle climate change, beyond buying the right things at the supermarket. Kira works for Darebin City Council’s climate emergency and sustainable transport team, and convenes a community climate action group called Hume Climate Action Now. She is currently volunteering as the MP Engagement Group Leader.

Alex Hicks | Board Administrator

Alex joined Climate for Change in 2019 on the Communications and Fundraising Fellowship. He has a passion for hiking and the great outdoors and started volunteering with Climate for Change because he wants to help preserve the environment and reduce the impact of global warming before it's too late. Alex graduated from Deakin University with a Bachelor of Information Technology, and currently works as a cybersecurity analyst.

 

Olivia Headshot

Olivia Bicks | Volunteer Data Analyst

Olivia joined Climate for Change in 2019. She started volunteering to combine her passion for the environment with her professional background in data analytics. She loves spending time outside, including hiking, sailing, and skiing. Olivia is originally from New York, and graduated from the University of Virginia with a degree in math. She currently works as a management consultant for Oliver Wyman.

connect

get updates