'As researchers, how can we strengthen our engagement in policy and practice?'- Hosted by SEES Engagement Committee and SEES Research Seminar series 


Have you ever wondered: how can my research support policy change or make a difference on-the-ground? If so, then this panel discussion is for you. This event will bring together three experts in their field from both policy and practice spheres including from a global environmental organisation, the Queensland Government, and a national not-for-profit organisation. These experts will share their experiences of working in these organisations and provide insights into, and stories about, how researchers can strengthen their engagement in policy and practice at the global, national, and local levels.


Dr Liz YoungDr Liz Young, Director, Environmental Planning, Department of Environment and Science

Liz Young has been working in the Queensland Government for over 20 years in a variety roles that have included working in the Department of the Premier and Cabinet; leading the reforms to Minjerribah (North Stradbroke Island) to end mining, resolve native title issues with the Quandamooka people and provide an economic strategy for the island after mining; various roles in the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service; and is currently working on an approach to better integrate biodiversity values into urban areas in South East Queensland. Before Liz joined, she was following an academic career path including being the post-doctoral fellow at the Australian Parliament – with the twin interests of environmental policy making and Australian parliamentary institutions. Her career defining moment was when she was offered a book contract to write about environmental policy making and concluded she would prefer to ‘do’ environmental policy making. She retains a key interest in how the two sectors (academia and government) can work together to solve problems and add public value.

Dr Nicole GarofanoDr Nicole Garofano, Head of Circular Economy Development, Planet Ark

Dr Nicole Garofano is the Head of Circular Economy Development for Planet Ark. In her role, Nicole is leading the ongoing strategic development of the Australian Circular Economy (ACE) Hub, building on her passion for creating change in how we generate and manage resources. For more than 15 years, Nicole has worked in environmental        education and action with a focus on waste management. She has designed and managed community-based initiatives to increase sorting, collection, and processing of a range of packaging materials, including plastic. Nicole has a PhD from research focused on the plastic food and beverage packaging value chain, identifying both local and global innovation to improve chain activities and outcomes. Nicole also holds a Master of Development Practice and a Graduate Certificate in Environmental Management and is an Associate of the Australian Institute of Packaging.

Dr Alvin ChandraDr Alvin Chandra, Programme Specialist, United Nations Environment Programme

Alvin hails from the Pacific Islands and works for the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) as a Programme Specialist in climate finance. Much of Alvin’s work has focused on loss and damage, innovative finance, market, technology, and digital solutions in favour of joint adaptation and mitigation actions. He has worked for several development agencies and private sector, including the UNFCCC, UNDP-GEF, Green Climate Fund, GIZ, Caritas Swiss and Oxfam. Alvin holds a PhD in climate science and international development from the University of Queensland. He has served as lead author for the UNEP Global Environment Outlook 6 and an expert reviewer of the IPCC Special Reports on Ocean and Cryosphere, and Climate Change and Land.


Join from PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android: https://uqz.zoom.us/j/83575897251

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