Circular Economy I


1 hour and 15 minutes

Sponsored by:

Machinery and Engineering for
Recycling and Resource Recovery


Looking at the infrastructure, policy, material and process requirements for increased resource recovery and recycling opportunities across Australia.



Mark Smith
Waste Recycling Industry Association of Queensland

Mark Smith has experience across NGOs, government and the private sector and has recently appointed as CEO of Waste Recycling Industry Association of Queensland – Queensland’s peak body representing Queensland’s multibillion waste and resource recovery sectors. He took the helm of WRIQ just as the Covid pandemic began to transform how we live and work. Prior to his role in Queensland he headed up the Victorian peak body for waste and recycling at a time of unprecedented disruption in the Victorian market impacted by contracting export markets, toxic industrial fires, illegal waste activities, failures of regulatory controls, collapsing local markets and the biggest overhaul of environmental regulation in the state’s history.


The Hon Trevor Evans MP
Assistant Minister for Waste Reduction and Environmental Management
Federal Government

Trevor Evans was sworn in as the Assistant Minister for Waste Reduction and Environmental Management on 29 May 2019. He was first elected to Federal Parliament as the Member for Brisbane in 2016 and re-elected at the 2019 federal election.

During his first term, Trevor served as Chair of the Government’s Policy Committee on Employment, Innovation, Science, Small Business and Resources, and served on both the Economics and Environment parliamentary standing committees. As one of the nation’s first openly gay federal MPs, Trevor also played a central role in the ‘Yes’ campaign to legalise same-sex marriage in Australia.

Before his career in politics, Trevor served as the CEO of the National Retail Association from 2012 to 2016, and worked as an economist in various roles at the ACCC, Seqwater and the Queensland Competition Authority.

Trevor was born in Tweed Heads and grew up in a small business family. He holds a Bachelor of Economics and Bachelor of Laws (Hons) from the University of Queensland.

Trevor is passionate about protecting the environment and serving the local communities of his inner-city Brisbane electorate.


Pete Shmigel
Australian Council of Recycling

Pete Shmigel has over 25 years of experience in environmental sustainability, politics, business, consulting and mental health. Prior to becoming CEO of the Australian Council of Recycling, he’s served as CEO of Lifeline Australia, the Buy Recycled Business Alliance, and the Beverage Industry Environment Council, and in senior roles with Telstra, Veolia and Nolan-ITU/Hyder. He’s also been a senior advisor to several Premiers and Ministers, and voluntarily serves on three NGO boards in the health and wellbeing sphere.

Presentation: Demystifying Policy

Elissa McNamara
Project Director, Advice
Infrastructure Victoria

As Infrastructure Victoria’s principal adviser for water, waste and environment Elissa was responsible for delivering our advice to the Victorian government on recycling and resource recovery infrastructure. Before commencing with Infrastructure Victoria, Elissa worked at Southern Rural Water for 10 years where she worked on ground water resource management and various corporate projects. Her experience also includes a decade working in contaminated site investigation and clean up.

Presentation: A fresh look at waste

Professor Veena Sahajwalla
UNSW Sustainable Materials Research and Technology (SMaRT) Centre, and NSW Circular

Australian Research Council (ARC) Laureate Professor Veena Sahajwalla is an internationally recognised materials scientist, engineer and inventor revolutionising recycling science. She is renowned for pioneering the high temperature transformation of waste in the production of a new generation of ‘green materials.’ In 2018 Veena launched the world's first e-waste microfactory and in 2019 she launched her plastics microfactory, a recycling technology breakthrough. As the founding Director of the Centre for Sustainable Materials Research and Technology (SMaRT) at the University of New South Wales, Sydney, she is producing a new generation of green materials and products made entirely, or primarily, from waste. In 2019 she was appointed inaugural Director of the Circular Economy Innovation Network by the NSW Government through its Office of Chief Scientist and Engineer. In 2019, she was honoured by Engineers Australia as a Centenary Hero for her work.

Presentation: Turning problematic waste into valuable materials

Henry Anning
Non- Executive Director
Bioenergy Australia 

Henry Anning is a Non- Executive Director of Bioenergy Australia. Bioenergy Australia is a membership-based industry body. Our mission is to foster the bioenergy sector to generate jobs, secure investment, maximise the value of local resources, minimise waste and environmental impact, and develop and promote national bioenergy expertise into international markets.  Henry’s corporate role is as CEO of ResourceCo’s Energy Systems, developing energy recovery facilities to produce baseload renewable electricity and heat from the types of residual solid waste fuels that ResourceCo has produced in Australia for over 10 years.  

Presentation: Extracting value from waste in a circular economy