Green Building Council of Australia CEO awarded Order of Australia

26 January 2019

Outgoing Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA) Chief Executive Officer Romilly Madew was today awarded an Order of Australia award in honour of her distinguished service to the construction sector as a change agent and advocate for sustainable building practices. Ms Madew was appointed an Officer in the General Division of the Order of Australia (AO) by Australia’s Governor-General Sir Peter Cosgrove.

Ms Madew said she was humbled by the honour, saying the award was an important recognition of achievement across the Australian property and construction industry which continued to lead the world in driving a more sustainable, low emissions future.

“I feel privileged in my work across industry and with government to support Australian excellence and international leadership, and an enduring commitment to deliver more sustainable, productive and liveable cities and communities across the country,” she said.

“In the time I have been working at the GBCA, the Australian property industry has worked collaboratively to transform our built environment with now over 37% of Australia’s office space Green Star certified and over half a million Australians moving into Green Star rated communities.  

“Sustainability is about creating better places for all of us to live and work whether we are starting our day in an office, or going to school, university, visiting a hospital, shopping centre, or making use of our public buildings. With over 2250 buildings across Australia now Green Star certified, we can now all experience the benefits of more sustainable buildings every day.”

Joining Ms Madew on the honours list was another powerful champion of sustainability in the built environment and inaugural GBCA Board Member, Peter Verwer. Mr Verwer was appointed an Officer in the General Division of the Order of Australia (AO)  for distinguished service to the property sector, to sustainable development and construction, and to professional bodies.

“Peter was one of the driving forces behind the establishment of the GBCA,” Ms Madew said. “He has been a huge supporter and advocate over the years and integral to our success in helping shape the transformation of the built environment. His support, guidance and collaborative approach have been invaluable on both a personal and professional level.”

Mr Verwer was Chief Executive of the Property Council of Australia from 1992 to 2014, then Chief Executive Officer of the Asia Pacific Real Estate Association.

Ms Madew has been the Chief Executive Officer of the GBCA for 13 years and was earlier this month appointed incoming Chief Executive Officer of Infrastructure Australia.

GBCA chair Rod Fehring, the Chief Executive Officer of Frasers Property Australia, commended Ms Madew on the honour.

“Romilly is a dedicated and tireless advocate for more sustainable building and development practices in Australia and abroad,” he said. “She recognises and promotes the value of green buildings in creating better local and global environments.

“Romilly has been instrumental in uniting industry to boost the practical sustainability measures we all want to become widespread. This honour is a tremendous recognition of the transformative impact of Romilly’s advocacy and the flow on benefits it has had for so many Australians. 

“Ultimately green buildings are about people, offering better working spaces, better living spaces and a better environmental future for us all.”

Property Council of Australia Chief Executive Officer and GBCA Director Ken Morrison noted Romilly’s contribution, both in Australia and internationally.

“Romilly’s leadership of the Green Building Council of Australia has changed the way we think about sustainability issues in the property industry,” he said.

“Her vision and energy has translated to real world outcomes, with more Australians now living, working and shopping in buildings that have achieved the highly regarded ‘Green Star’ rating, creating more sustainable communities and cities.”

Australian Sustainable Built Environment Council President, Ken Maher, said it had been a privilege to work alongside Ms Madew.

“Romilly has made an outstanding contribution to advancing the sustainability of the built environment in Australia through her passionate dedication to improving the performance of buildings and communities,”

 he said.

“Her energy and enthusiasm is infectious, and drives those around her to greater achievements.

“In addition to her professional activities and inspiring industry leadership nationally and internationally, Romilly also finds time to focus on enriching her local community - notably being recognised as Pittwater’s 2016 Citizen of the year.”

Ms Madew is past-Deputy President of the ASBEC, and has represented industry as a member of numerous federal and state government ministerial panels. Ms Madew is Independent Chair of the Currawong State Park Advisory Board, a member of the Sydney Olympic Park Authority, Chief Executive Women, and Surf Life Saving Foundation boards, joint founder of the Minerva Network and President Bilgola Surf Life Saving Club.

Ms Madew was awarded the 2017 World Green Building Council Chairman’s Award, the 2015 International Leadership Award by the US Green Building Council and was made an Honorary Fellow by the Planning Institute of Australia the same year. She has previously been named one of the ‘100 Women of Influence’ by the Australian Financial Review and Westpac, and a National and NSW winner of the Telstra Business Women’s Awards. In 2016 she was named Pittwater’s Citizen of the Year.