Our supporters and volunteers are the heart of our organisation, and we rely on volunteers for so much of what we do. We also have a small staff who ensure the campaign and organisational objectives as well as essential core functions are met. Let us introduce you to some of the key faces in the organisation:
Ellen Roberts, National Director
Ellen has a background in law and has worked in social change and advocacy for over twenty years, and on climate action and energy for ten years. She has worked for unions, universities, community legal centres and NGOs. Most recently she led GetUp's organising work in Queensland, and prior to that worked at the Mackay Conservation Group on sustainable development and climate change.
In 2018 she was listed in the Courier Mail’s 100 Most Influential Queenslanders. She currently lives in Brisbane, and indulges in bird watching, writing and drawing in her spare time.
Oliver Woodley, Digital Fundraiser
Oliver is a passionate campaigner and fundraiser, with expertise in digital media and data-driven problem solving. He brings more than a decade of campaigning experience to the team, and having worked with a broad range of NGOs and trade unions he understands that a strong collective voice is the most powerful tool to create change. Oliver knows that renewables are the future for Australian energy, and he uses his skills and experience to fight for a fairer, cleaner, sun-powered nation.
Stephanie Gray, Queensland Campaigner
Stephanie comes from a background in science communication, which explains her passion and enthusiasm for all things solar. She learnt the ropes of community organising from volunteering with the Australian Youth Climate Coalition, where she spent countless hours building momentum and having conversations with the community, particularly about inappropriate coal projects in Queensland. Coming from the Sunshine State herself, Stephanie is dedicated to making the most of Australia’s wonderful weather.
Hannah Mitchell, Solar Campaigner
Hannah’s background is in psychology and social change, which first led her to community organising and campaigning with the Australian Youth Climate Coalition and Climate for Change. Born and raised in sunny South East Queensland, Hannah is deeply passionate about using our abundant solar and renewable resources to empower communities and build a clean and just future for everyone.
Inari Saltau, Campaigns Operations Officer
Inari brings a background in community development and organising to the role of Campaigns Operations Officer. They have over four years experience in Climate Justice advocacy alongside their experience in administration, event planning and movement building. Having grown up in rural Queensland, Inari is passionate about a just transition for Australia to 100% renewable energy.
Steve Fuller, South Australia State Coordinator
Steve’s interest in solar began when getting solar for his new ‘old’ home. Navigating the myriad issues was challenging and intriguing and he found that not only was he going to be saving money but becoming a part of the democratisation of the once monolithic energy system. With a background in the welfare sector, the labour movement and refugee assistance Steve wants to help ordinary citizens to come together to understand and promote this important part of the transition to a clean sustainable society. SA has been a pacesetter – now we need to up the pace!
Janet, Sunshine Coast Team Coordinator
Janet has been volunteering with Solar Citizens from our inception in 2013 and has been an instrumental part of our Queensland efforts. She is passionate about getting to a future powered by 100% renewable energy and has a background in university administration.
Janet ensures all the Sunshine Coast team meetings involve delicious food & drinks to accompany their strategic discussions.
Lindsay Soutar, Convenor
Lindsay Soutar, the founder of Solar Citizens, has spent more than 8 years as a campaigner and community organiser working for a renewable powered future. In this time she experienced first-hand the continual solar-coaster of changes to solar programs to Australia and the efforts of the big power companies trying to stop the roll out of solar across Australian rooftops. She lives in Sydney with 2kW of solar on her roof and a gum tree in the backyard. Lindsay is former Young Environmentalist of the Year.
Max Shipton, Treasurer
Max Shipton started his career as an auditor, and is now a charted accountant at a global NFP operating in the conservation space. Max believes that solar has an incredibly important part to play in the sustainability and health of the global environment, improving conditions for local communities home and abroad. His passion for solar citizens began after seeing the tremendous grass roots work done to support and protect renewable energy growth in Australia.
Mark Capps started out as an mechanical engineer, but soon moved onto business. His career has taken him through management consultancy with McKinsey, search giant Google and his own start up. Through this time he has never lost his engineering passion and is excited by the potential solar has to transform our energy generation onto a more sustainable footing.
Kristen Lyons is a Professor at the University of Queensland, with research interests in resource extractivism, climate change and human rights. Trained as an environment and development sociologist, she has worked across Africa, the Pacific and Australia researching the impact of climate mitigation on communities and her work is a grounded in a rights based approach. Kristen is director of the Master of Development Practice at UQ, and senior research fellow with the Oakland Institute, California.
Hema Raman is a lawyer with 15 years experience in encouraging good governance and behavioural change in the financial services industry. She is currently responsible for regulating crypto-assets at ASIC. She has a personal interest in encouraging the financial sector to integrate environmental, social and governance factors into the investment process. She is also a member of the Hills Montessori Preschool Board and observed Lifeline Australia’s Board and Governance Committee in 2019 as part of the Observership Program.
Ric Brazzale is Chairman of the Green Energy Group and has more than 30 years’ experience in the energy sector.
Prior to establishing the Green Energy Group in 2007, Ric headed the Business Council for Sustainable Energy (BCSE), now the Clean Energy Council, a leading advocate for renewable energy and energy efficiency markets in Australia. Before this, Ric worked in a number of business development and finance roles with Fletcher Challenge Energy, John Holland and Woodside Petroleum.
Ric is also President of the REC Agents Association, President of the Voluntary Carbon Markets Association and a Director of the Energy Savings Industry Association. Ric is also Chair of the National Steering Committee of the Australian Centre for Advanced Photovoltaics.
Dave Copeman is an experienced community organiser, and was the former lead organiser of the Queensland Community Alliance, and is an Industrial Areas Foundation mentor of community organisers across Australia and New Zealand. He has previously worked as a campaigner for Amnesty International, the AMWU and ACTU, is as well as working for State and local politicians in Queensland. He lives in Brisbane with his partner and kids, and loves his 5k solar power!
Sarah Roberts has nearly 20 years experience fundraising for outstanding causes including MSF and Greenpeace. Sarah's fundraising efforts have enabled positive social change across a range of environmental and social issues all over the world including Brazil, China, India, SE Asia, UK, Netherlands, Switzerland, Australia, Hong Kong to name a few. As a passionate advocate for environmental issues and solutions Sarah passionately believes in Solar Citizens efforts to engage with millions of solar owners and supporters to grow and protect solar in Australia.
Clara studied environmental and political sciences as well as engineering as a result of her passionate advocacy for sustainability and renewable energy. She recognises the important role of community based organisations like Solar Citizens’ in the national debate on energy.