“We all have a responsibility to understand the impact of our activities on the environment. The decisions we make matter for the future of our environment and our liveability. Respecting and valuing each other and the role of science is fundamental for the future prosperity and environmental health of Victoria.”
Dr Gillian Sparkes was appointed as Commissioner in July 2014. Dr Sparkes has a long career working with industry, community and government to care for and protect our environment. Dr Sparkes gained three decades of experience working in industries that interface with the environment and community, including in the manufacturing, industrial services, waste management and water industries, before becoming a senior public servant. This has enabled her to be an effective collaborator who has forged strong and productive partnerships between government, business, community and environmental stakeholders.
Dr Sparkes has held senior roles in the Victorian government environment portfolio including as Chair of the Board of Sustainability Victoria and Deputy Secretary Corporate and Business Services for the Department of Sustainability and Environment. Dr Sparkes also served two terms as a Director of South Gippsland Water and Chair of the Board Environment Committee and was the CEO of the Australian Sustainable Industry Research Centre at Monash University.
As Commissioner, Gillian is leading reforms to improve the efficacy of Victoria’s monitoring and understanding of the environment and advocating the need for government to better apply environmental economic accounting, data analytics and citizen science to environmental management issues and dealing with the challenges of population growth and climate change. Her reform agenda, the 'State and Benefit’ framework, tabled in the Victorian parliament in 2015, has resulted in the Commissioner being referred for seven new independent, reporting roles in legislation for the first time since the role was established in 2003.
Dr Sparkes holds a PhD in Applied Science (Chemistry), a Masters of Business Administration, is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, a Victorian Fellow of the Institute for Public Administration Australia, a member of the Environment Institute of Australia and NZ and a member of the Royal Australian Chemical Institute. Dr Sparkes is Chair of the Western Port Integrated Water Management Forum and holds a portfolio of board positions including the Country Fire Authority; The Royal Children’s Hospital Foundation; the Industry Capability Network and is a member of the Victorian (DEDJTR) Investment Committee.
Meet the Team
Dr Scott Rawlings is the Head of Science and Research for the Office of the Commissioner for Environmental Sustainability, Victoria. He has worked for the Office since 2010.
Previously, Scott had worked in numerous roles across the environment portfolio including greenhouse policy, indigenous policy, and natural resource management. Scott managed the Land & Biodiversity White Paper implementation and research and development for the former Department of Sustainability and Environment - focussing on procurement, partnerships, knowledge exchange and the research-policy interface. Scott has a PhD in environmental studies.
Dr Rebecca Koss joined the Office of the Commissioner for Environmental Sustainability as a Science Writer in September 2017. As a marine scientist, Dr Koss brings to this role an impressive amount of knowledge from within the water industry in Victoria. Rebecca will be writing the State of the Yarra and its Parklands report.
Rebecca was most recently employed at the Port Phillip and Western Port Catchment Management Authority, Deakin University and the Environmental Protection Authority. Rebecca has contributed significantly to the field of environmental stewardship in nature conservation, a topic which was the basis of her PhD.
Dr Kangmin Moon joined the Office of the Commissioner for Environmental Sustainability as a Data Analyst and Science Writer in April 2018. Dr Moon has strong analytical skills and experience with data management, which will elevate the confidence in our interpretation of complex and often large datasets for the majority of reports produced by the Office. Kangmin will also be writing the State of the Forest report.
Kangmin had previously worked at the Port Phillip and Western Port Catchment Management Authority, National Institute of Forest Science and Department of Sustainability and Environment. Kangmin holds a PhD in forestry and fire from the University of Melbourne.
Andrew Marshall joined the Office of the Commissioner for Environmental Sustainability as a Science Writer in May 2018. Andrew has completed degrees in Atmospheric & Oceanic Sciences and Statistics at the University of Melbourne. His expertise is well-placed to write on Victoria’s air and climate for the upcoming State of the Environment report.
Andrew has a wealth of experience in both state policy and science, having spent nine years at the Environment Protection Authority, Victoria. He worked in the Air Quality team before moving into a new challenge as an Intelligence Analyst investigating environmental data sets to identify threats and opportunities relating to environmental quality.
Jenny Jelbart is the Manager, Reporting Operations for the Office of the Commissioner for Environmental Sustainability and is responsible for the operational delivery of state of environment reporting for Victoria. She is currently engaged in producing a range of major independent reports including the 2018 State of the Environment Report to inform environmental policy and practice. Jenny brings to the role expertise in project management, report writing/coordination and interdepartmental liaison.
Jenny has held a range of technical and management roles in the public and private sector. She has experience in environmental, water quality and wastewater management in the Victorian and South Australian water sectors. She has held roles with Gippsland Water and private sector companies United Water and Allwater contracted to operate Adelaide’s water and wastewater operations with the international backing of parent companies Degremont and Suez. She also has experience in waste solutions with the Australian Sustainable Industry Research Center. Jenny began her career in dairy manufacturing (quality control) and, for a short time, was a secondary science teacher. Jenny has a Master of Science (Monash University) and a Certificate in Business Administration (University of Queensland, Mount Eliza Business School).
Doreen Ross is Executive Assistant to Dr Gillian Sparkes, providing administrative, project and procurement support to the Commissioner and the Office team. She has a background in private and public sector administrative roles. Doreen has a Certificate IV in Business Administration from Holmesglen and is the OHS representative for the Office.
Dr Ian MacPhail, 2003-09
Prof. Kate Auty, 2009-14