Circular Economy I

DATE: Wednesday, 4 November 2020

TIME: 11:00am – 12:15pm AEDT


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

A fresh look at waste
Elissa McNamara, Project Director, Advice, Infrastructure Victoria

Demystifying Policy
Peter Shmigel, CEO, Australian Council of Recycling

Turning problematic waste into valuable materials
Professor Veena Sahajwalla, Director, UNSW Sustainable Materials Research and Technology (SMaRT) Centre, and Director, NSW Circular

Extracting value from waste in a circular economy
Shahana McKenzie, CEO, Bioenergy Australia


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.

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.

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.

Shahana McKenzie
Bioenergy Australia 

Shahana McKenzie is the CEO of Bioenergy Australia. Since joining Bioenergy Australia in 2017, Shahana has the responsibility for leading Bioenergy Australia’s contribution on matters such as climate science, jobs creation, regional development, and energy supply, to ensure national benefits for the next decade and beyond. An immediate priority for Bioenergy Australia is to ensure bioenergy features prominently in considerations at all levels of government as they plan and implement energy strategies and policies.

Shahana has been appointed as:

·         International Energy Agency Bioenergy, Australian Exco Joint Committee Member

·         Member of the Commonwealth Fuel Standards Consultative Committee

·         Member of the NSW Forest Industries Taskforce R&D Advisory Group

·         Member of the ACCC Fuel Consultative Committee

·         Member of the NSW Government Biofuels Expert Panel

·         Member of the QLD Bio futures Industry Advisory Group



Wednesday, 7 October 2020
11:00am - 12:15pm AEDT


Wednesday, 14 October 2020
11:00am - 12:15pm AEDT


Thursday, 22 October 2020
2:00pm - 3:15pm AEDT


Wednesday, 4 November 2020
2:00pm - 3:15pm AEDT