Celebrating industry excellence: Green Star Champions unveiled

20 Jun 2024

Today, the Green Building Council of Australia is excited to announce the Green Star Champions of 2024, a hand selected group of industry leaders who have shown dedication to creating a more sustainable built environment.

Now in its fourth year, the Green Star Champion award celebrates the efforts of engineers, planners, architects, professionals, consultants, and leading advocates who have made an ongoing commitment to shape a more resilient, healthy and efficient built environment with Green Star certifications.

Jorge Chapa, Chief Impact Officer, said the individuals chosen are problem solvers, those not afraid to take on what could be seen as an insurmountable task.

“The Green Star Champions showcase Australian excellence in their chosen fields, all with one common goal: the sustainable transformation of our built environment.

“Each and every recipient has demonstrated tireless dedication to the creation of healthy and efficient places that respond to the challenge that is climate change,” said Jorge.

On receiving the award, Alex Lawlor, National Leader of Resilience and Renewal at Architectus, said it was exciting to be recognised for all the work that goes on behind the scenes.

“Being recognised for Architectus’ Sustainability and Resilience Framework and how this moves the dial in the very un-sexy area of design management is exciting. It’s a validation of the hard work that goes on behind the scenes that makes sure that client’s environmental and social sustainability aspirations are pushed across the project lifecycle,” Alex said.

Michael Di Russo, Head of Property at the Clean Energy Finance Corporation, said his passion for sustainability in the industry comes from how connected buildings are to our daily lives.

“The buildings we live and work in play a huge role in our lives and have the capacity to significantly reduce Australia’s carbon emissions. This drives a strong sense of purpose. Seeing and being a part of the rapid change in the property sector in the past eight years or so has been exciting and I’m really looking forward to seeing what the next decade brings,” Michael said.

While for Dr Brett Pollard, Senior Researcher at Hassell, his passion comes from the ground up, with a deep appreciation for the interaction of nature and the built environment.

“The GBCA and Green Star have been pivotal in making the Australian built environment sector much more sustainable, and I’m honoured (and more than a little bit chuffed) to be recognised as a Green Star Champion.

“I’m so glad my first degree was in landscape architecture, as it provided me with a deep appreciation for ecology, systems thinking, and the role of time. This understanding has remained with me throughout my career and continues to fuel my passion for sustainability,” Brett said.

Momentum within the industry areas that demand uptake, such as circularity, were also important to this year’s winners. For Philippa Stone, Sustainability manager at BlueScope, achieving broader adaption of reuse within the industry is important moving forward.

“The momentum building in the industry around issues such as circularity and nature is fantastic - it fills me with optimism. From a product and material perspective, reuse has a key role to play and I’m keen to explore and develop the enablers that will encourage its broader adoption in Australia’s built environment,” Phillipa said.

The year’s Green Star Champions have been celebrated at the Green Building Day events across Australia.

Full list of Green Star Champions 2024:

  • Alan Davis, Integrated Designer and Director, Building Services, WSP
  • Alex Kobler, Director of sustainability, E-Lab Consulting
  • Alex Lawlor, National Leader, Resilience & Renewal, Architectus
  • Brett Pollard, Senior researcher, Hassell
  • Cyril Giraud, Head of sustainability, Holcim
  • David Bell, Manager of Sustainability & Insight, InfraBuild
  • Emily Low, Technical Director, Sustainability and Climate Change Advisory Leader, Mott MacDonald
  • Emma Herd, Partner, Climate Change and Sustainability Services, EY
  • Jacqui Bonnitcha, Governance and Strategy lead, Andefena
  • Janaki Dhagat, Sustainability Manager, Charter Hall Group
  • Julia Halioua, Associate, The Footprint Company
  • Kate Nason, Senior Sustainability Advisor, Frasers Property Australia
  • Katie Fallowfield, National Sustainability Manager, Developments, Keyton
  • Keith Lucas, Managing Director, Sentinel Australia
  • Lewis Hewton, Principal Sustainability Consultant, Cundall
  • Liam Murray, CEO, Build-Apps
  • Lisa Manion, Design Manager, Commonwealth Bank of Australia
  • Mathuran Marianayagam, Head of Building Performance Services, Cundall
  • Matea Čehovin, Sustainability Manager – Environment, Vicinity Centres
  • Matt Pontin, Director, EMF Griffiths
  • Michael Di Russo, Head of Property, CEFC
  • Nina James, ESG Executive
  • Philippa Stone, Sustainability Manager, BlueScope
  • Rebecca Miller, Manager, Sustainable Futures, SMEC
  • Richard Stokes, Sustainability Team Leader, Victoria, Arup
  • Tatiana Schonhobel, Sustainability Manager, Dexus