“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 AM

Dr Gillian Sparkes AM

Commissioner for Environmental Sustainability


Dr Sparkes has had a distinguished career working with industry, community and government to care for and protect our environment and was appointed as Victoria’s Commissioner for Environmental Sustainability in 2014. Dr Sparkes has 20 years’ experience as a non-executive director across industry, government and broader for purpose sectors and is currently the Chair of Frontier SI (former CRC for Spatial Information); Deputy Chair Royal Children’s Hospital Foundation, a member of the Monash University Council, a board member of the Industry Capability Network, Victoria and Chair of the Western Port Integrated Water Management Forum.

Beginning her career as an industrial chemist for John Lysaght Australia (later BHP Steel), Western Port, Dr Sparkes worked for decades 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.  Dr Sparkes has held senior roles with the Commonwealth and Victorian Governments including as the establishing Director of the (Australian) Clean Energy Innovation Centre; Deputy Secretary Victorian Department of Sustainability and Environment; Board Chair Sustainability Victoria and board member South Gippsland Water and the Country Fire Authority.

As Commissioner, Dr Sparkes is a key advisor to the Minister for Environment. She has prepared two Victorian State of the Environment Reports (2018 and 2023), and other statutory reports on Victoria’s environmental condition. Her approach has transformed the impact of the work of the Commissioner to improve the understanding of, and outcomes from, Victoria’s environmental science, management and policy settings.

Dr Sparkes was recognised as one of Victoria’s Top 50 Public Sector Women in 2020 and appointed as a Member (AM) of the Order of Australia in 2021 “for significant services to environmental sustainability, and to public administration”. Dr Sparkes has a PhD in Applied Science (Chemistry), Master of Business Administration and an Honorary Doctor of Science from Swinburne University. Dr Sparkes is an Honorary Fellow of Monash University, Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, National and Victorian Fellow of the Institute of Public Administration Australia, Trustee of the Royal Society of Victoria and member of the Royal Australian Chemical Institute.

LinkedIn: Dr Gillian Sparkes AM