Solar Supercharge - Speakers and Facilitators

Solar Supercharge Speakers and Facilitators






Each day we’ll hear from leading experts on clean energy, including some of the country’s best campaigners, scientists, economists, business leaders, journalists and activists. Check out the guest speakers and workshop facilitators below.

Claire O'Rourke

Simon Hackett  

Larissa Baldwin


Claire is the National Director of Solar Citizens. She brings 15 years experience in journalism, communications and campaigning to this organisation that's standing up for solar. Claire has a broad history of organising and campaigning in the labor movement and organisations of social value, including overseeing communications for the successful Every Australian Counts campaign for the National Disability Insurance Scheme.




Simon founded Internode in 1991, and sold it in 2012 to iiNet. At that point it had grown to being a national broadband company with around 200,000 customers and over 450 staff. He has spent time on various boards including iiNet and NBN Co, and has since co-founded Base64, a creative working space for technology-centric companies in Adelaide. Simon is very keen about combining energy storage with solar. In 2014 he discovered Redflow, a company developing the world’s smallest Zinc Bromine Flow Battery. He has since invested substantially in the company and assisted with commercialisation of this technology, and is now the Executive Chairman of the Redflow board.



Larissa is a Bundjalung woman and the National Coordinator of Seed, Australia’s first Indigenous Youth Climate Network. She works with young people right across the country to empower them to create change in Indigenous communities. Larissa is passionate about a range of social justice issues facing Indigenous communities and seeks change through self-determination and grassroots leadership. She continues to work for other social justice organisations across their Indigenous programs to help young people and women engage with decision makers and advocate on behalf of their families and communities.

 David Hood AM

Jess Hill  

 Miriam Lyons


David is an Adjunct Professor in the Science and Engineering Faculty at QUT where he leads Sustainability research and teaching programs. He founded, and is Immediate Past Chairman of the Australian Green Infrastructure Council (AGIC now ISCA), an industry association which developed the world’s first full sustainability rating scheme for infrastructure. In 2011, David was included in the ABC Carbon list of the top 100 Sustainability leaders in the world (and again in 2012). He was the 2012 National President of Engineers Australia, and In 2013, David was made a Member of the Order of Australia in recognition of his enormous contribution to engineering through industry associations, and for lifting public awareness of sustainability.



Jess is a freelance investigative reporter who regularly contributes to ABC Radio National's Background Briefing and The Monthly. She has repeatedly reported on the Australian electricity situation, including on the Renewable Energy Target, the overspending by the power networks, rising electricity prices and the resulting move of homeowners to alternatives such as solar and battery storage. She has also reported on domestic violence, and was the recipient of three of the 2015 Our Watch Walkley Awards, including the Gold Award for reporting on violence against women.



Miriam is an Australian policy analyst, writer and commentator, and the Renewables Campaigner at Getup!. She is a co-author of Governomics, published in May 2015. Miriam is a member of the Centre for Australian Progress board and a Fellow of the Centre for Policy Development, a public-interest think tank which she co-founded in 2007. She is a frequent guest on various TV and radio programs, including the ABC shows Q&A and The Drum, has contributed to several media outlets and co-edited the books Pushing Our Luck and More Than Luck.

 John Della Bosca

 Lindsay Soutar

Nigel Morris


John is a former politician representing the Labor Party in the NSW Legislative Council, where he served a range of ministerial portfolios, including Minister for Health, Minister for Finance and Minister for the Central Coast. After leaving politics he became the campaign director for Every Australian Counts, playing a pivotal role in pushing for the National Disability Insurance Scheme.



Lindsay is the founder of the organisation 100% Renewable, and later Solar Citizens. She 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 in 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.



Nigel Morris has been involved in solar energy for more than 20 years. He is the Chief Executive Officer of solar retailer RoofJuice Australia, who provides next generation smart solar solutions to the residential and commercial sector. Nigel has been involved in almost every aspect of the solar industry including manufacturing, installing, selling and designing solar systems around the world. Prior to taking over RoofJuice, Nigel was a solar industry consultant, analyst and business coach for 6 years, a senior manager within BP Solar for 12 years, and a Director and Manager at a medium sized solar company for 5 years. He is a prolific blogger, sits on a number of advisory boards in the solar industry and is a proud solar citizen and electric motorcycle owner.

 Lisa Lumsden  

Nicky Ison
Paul Oosting


Lisa is a councillor on the Port Augusta City Council and one of the key drivers of the Repower Port Augusta campaign. Over several years she has played a pivotal role in one of Australia’s most prominent solar campaigns: the local grassroots community campaign to get Australia’s first ever large scale solar thermal power plant with storage built at Port Augusta. Along the way she's learnt some key lessons and discovered first hand just how much a small group of committed citizens can achieve.



Nicky Ison is a Senior Research Consultant at the Institute for Sustainable Futures. She is an expert in the field of community energy, specialising in energy policy and governance, energy options assessment and community owned renewable energy. She is also the Director and founder of the Community Power Agency, and was previously the National Convenor for the Australian Student Environment Network, where she gained five years’ experience in the student and community climate sector as an advocate, facilitator and organiser.



Paul is the National Director of GetUp!, a 1,000,000 strong people-powered organisation that has campaigned for progressive policy in Australia for a decade. He has been with GetUp for almost 5 years and has ushered in a raft of innovative campaign, tactics and projects such as the Better Power campaign, which empowers people to reshape the energy market. Before joining GetUp, Paul led the successful campaign to stop Gunns' proposed pulp mill in Tasmania and led negotiations which resulted in the protection of over 160,000 hectares of Tasmania's ancient forests.

 Dr Stephen Bygrave

Jenny Riesz


Trevor Berrill


Stephen is the chief executive officer of Beyond Zero Emissions, a not-for-profit research and education organisation known for its work on designing and implementing a zero emissions economy for Australia. He has worked on climate change, renewable energy, energy efficiency and sustainable transport for the past 20 years, primarily in policy and research positions at a local, national and international level. Stephen was involved in designing the Mandatory Renewable Energy Target in the late 1990s, and more recently in the design and implementation of the Clean Energy Future package for the federal government, including as a senior executive setting up the Clean Energy Regulator.



Dr Jenny Riesz is a research associate with the Centre for Energy and Environmental Markets (CEEM) at UNSW. With more than ten years of experience in electricity system modelling and quantitative analysis, Jenny was previously a Senior Consultant in the Energy Strategic Advisory team at AECOM (a multinational engineering consultancy) and prior to that was the Principal of Renewable Energy and Climate Policy at ROAM Consulting (a leading provider of electricity market modelling services). Jenny’s research examines high penetration renewable power systems, with a particular focus on the design and operation of electricity markets.



Trevor Berrill is an award winning, private consultant in sustainable energy (SE). He has worked in both renewable energy and energy efficiency for over 30 years, including system design and installation, research and development, technical training, public education and policy. He was branch president of the Australian Solar Energy Society and a founding member in Queensland of the Alternative Technology Association and Wind Energy Association. He lives in a fully solar powered, energy efficient home and windsurfs regularly, just to test the power of the wind. 

Dinah Arndt
Jack Gilding
David Copeman


Dinah is the Director of the Climate Media Centre. She is an award-winning communicator who understands the media intimately having worked on both sides of the fence - first, as a print and online journalist at Fairfax, and now, in public relations. Before joining the Climate Media Centre her most recent roles were Media and Advocacy Manager at Cancer Council Victoria, and Chief Political Reporter for The Examiner in Tasmania.



Jack Gilding is the Executive Officer of the Tasmanian Renewable Energy Alliance. Before moving to Tasmania, Jack was the Executive Officer of Hepburn Wind, the co-operative that built Australia’s first community-owned wind farm. He is currently managing a project in cooperation with Solar Citizens, the Clean Energy Council, Australian Solar Council, Total Environment Centre and the Alternative Technology Association. The project will summarise existing research and undertake advocacy on setting a fair feed-in tariff for solar customers in Australia, with particular reference to state reviews currently underway in Queensland, Victoria and Tasmania.



Dave Copeman is the Lead Organiser of the Queensland Community Alliance. He has previously worked as a human rights campaigner for Amnesty International in Queensland and East Africa, and was first inspired to work on human rights after volunteering with the Movement for Democratic Change, the political opposition in Zimbabwe, in 2002-2004. He’s also dabbled in trade union campaigning and working for the Queensland government, an experience that only reinforced his belief that communities need to organise around their common interests through mechanisms other than just electoral politics.

Zoe Edwards  

 Mike Swanston


Stefan Jarnason


Zoe is armed to the teeth with radio, digital and television news experience. Before joining the Climate Media Centre she spent four and a half years working at the ABC in various reporting and producing roles, including on its flagship political TV program Insiders and national breakfast TV program News Breakfast. She has also spent time working as a print/online news reporter.



Mike is a power systems engineer of 25 years experience in technical, regulatory, public affairs and strategic management positions across utilities in three states. He was Senior Network Manager for Powercor Australia, responsible for the development and capital investment in the electricity network in Western Melbourne and the western half of Victoria. More recently he worked as the lead Customer Advocate at Energex, an electricity supply utility in south-east Queensland with 1.2 million customers, and thus is intimately familiar with the inner workings of a large electricity network that’s grappling with the the rapid growth of rooftop solar.



Stefan is the co-founder and CEO of Solar Analytics. He has been a pioneer in the development of the solar PV industry in Australia with 18 years of industry experience, including research, product development, PV module manufacturing, PV system design, large scale project development and solar monitoring. Solar Analytics was born out of PV manufacturer Suntech in 2011 and is a unique product that allows solar users to model the long term performance of their solar systems.

Giles Parkinson  

Moira Williams 
Kacey Clifford


Giles is a journalist of 30 years experience, including as a former Business Editor and Deputy Editor of the Australian Financial Review, a columnist for The Bulletin magazine and The Australian, and the former editor of Climate Spectator. He is well known for his role as a renewable energy journalist and founder of the independent website RenewEconomy, Australia's leading website on clean technology and climate issues.



Originally from Sydney, Moira started her career as an ecologist and policy maker and strategist. Her growing passion is to empower people to challenge corporate power and take action for social change. She has been actively involved in grassroots campaigns fighting coal and gas projects across the country for a decade. In 2010 she was awarded the Community Campaigner of the year award by the NSW Nature Conservation Council. After spending the last couple of years working in Northern Queensland to build peaceful resistance to the proposed Galilee basin coal mines, she is now based in Brisbane working as a community campaigner with  



Kacey is one of the people spearheading the project to take the NSW town of Tyalgum completely off the grid and run it on 100% renewable energy. Kacey and the team won a grant from the Office of Environment & Heritage to develop a project plan for the community of Tyalgum. They have carried out copious research into investment and management models, as well as a number of community consultation workshops. Their recently released Transition Tyalgum: A Plan for Energy Self Sufficiency analyses community feedback and makes recommendations on how to proceed.

Jason MacLeod
Richard Romanowski
Rhonda Nowakowski


Jason is a community organiser, educator and researcher who has been working with local communities and social and environmental justice movements in Australia and the Asia-Pacific region since 1991. The context of this work varies, from conflict settings, to international and local NGOs, to local government, to community-based organisations, neighbourhoods and villages, although most of his work is with grassroots communities and ordinary people working for social change. He teaches civil resistance at the University of Queensland, coordinates Pasifika, a social movement capacity building program in nondemocracies, and is a training associate with the Change Agency, Australia’s leading activist education outfit.



Richard is an investor in new clean technologies companies that deliver new innovations while helping to save the planet. His latest investment is into GoZERO Energy, which reduces electricity costs in commercial buildings with clean energy solutions. In the past Richard has run his own management consulting business as well as having senior executive experience leading change and commercialisation in various organisations. Richard is passionate about green, clean technology and is now applying his experience to helping GoZERO reduce energy costs in buildings while saving the planet.



Rhonda is a local Queensland solar worker who has worked on solar for over 15 years and is passionate about her industry. Two years ago she came along to a Solar Citizens volunteer meeting and ended up getting involved in the local group. Since then she has actively campaigned and organised in her area to protect and grow solar. She is in regular contact with her MP, has been in numerous media stunts and community engagement activities, and has even been to parliament in Canberra to meet with our decision-makers.

Shani Tager


Jackson Turner  
Amanda Cahill


Shani is a climate and energy campaigner with Greenpeace. Previously she was with Friends of the Earth Brisbane, and has been campaigning on Queensland’s coal exports and climate change for the last six years. She’s worked closely with groups across Queensland who are fighting against coal and coal seam gas development on their land. Shani has also been involved in all facets of organising at universities, of campaigns around court cases and with blockades.



Jackson is a community organiser based in Brisbane. He has spent the last few years working on climate justice campaigns in Queensland as a state coordinator for the Australian Youth Climate Coalition (AYCC). In particular, his work has focused on organising opposition to the Carmichael coal mine and Abbot Point expansion. Last year, Jackson was an organiser for the Brisbane People’s Climate March, and had the privilege of working with a diverse crew of organisations and communities across Queensland. Currently, he is working on an election campaign for a local candidate.



Amanda is the Director of the Centre for Social Change in Brisbane. Drawing on 20 years’ community development experience in countries as diverse as Brazil, the Philippines, Fiji and Sri Lanka, Amanda founded the Centre to support the emergence of more resilient, socially just and ecologically sustainable economies. Recently she has started to work with coal and gas affected communities in Australia to help them identify diverse, local, and just economic opportunities beyond fossil fuels. In addition to her work at the Centre, Amanda lectures at the University of Queensland, is a member of Beyond Zero Emissions and sits on the board of the Queensland Social Enterprise Council.

Cam Klose  
Ellen Roberts  
Dan Musil


Cam is a political and environmental activist. He ran the communications and media for Cathy McGowan’s 2013 election campaign and has worked for three federal Members of Parliament. He has also worked for the Wilderness Society on their election campaigns and previously campaigned with Quit Coal in Victoria against CSG mining in the state. While living in the US Cam worked in Silicon Valley with YouTube co-founders on a new startup venture and was a news correspondent during the 2012 presidential election.



Ellen is a community organiser with Getup! and has over 15 years experience in campaigning and community organising. She was active in the refugee movement, working on solidarity between people inside and people outside detention centres, and then later helped establish a climate action group in Melbourne’s inner North, Climate Action Moreland, that had a focus on community organising to replace the Hazelwood power station. More recently Ellen has worked as an organiser with the Mackay Conservation Group on the campaign against the Dudgeon Point coal terminal.



Dan is the National Secretary of the Earthworker Cooperative, a community initiative uniting labour, environmental, and civic organisation in the establishment and support of worker-owned cooperatives in sustainability-focused industries. Their first step was the establishment of a worker-owned factory in Victoria’s Latrobe Valley, producing and installing solar hot water systems while providing much needed jobs for the coal-dominated Latrobe Valley community. Dan completed honours studies in Economics and Geography, and is now undertaking PhD research into low-carbon transition and worker-ownership. He remains active in movements for social and environmental justice.