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Bernie Barrett
Director of Advocacy, Better Renting

Bernie is Better Renting's Advocacy Coordinator. She has a background in consumer and lived experience advocacy and leadership. She most recently worked with peak bodies across health, mental health lived experience, and LGBTQIA+ advocacy in South Australia. Bernie has a strong focus on social justice and brings her passion for community-driven change and systemic advocacy together into her work at Better Renting. She is a 2022 Australian Progress Fellow.



Johanna Bowyer
Lead Research Analyst for Australian Electricity, Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis

Johanna Bowyer is the Lead Research Analyst for Australian Electricity at IEEFA. Her research is focused on trends in the National Electricity Market, energy policy and decarbonisation. 
Prior to joining IEEFA, Johanna researched distribution networks at CSIRO, worked as an engineer at Solar Analytics and Suntech and as a management consultant at Kearney. 
Johanna has a first-class Honours Degree in Photovoltaics and Solar Energy Engineering from UNSW Australia. While at UNSW she received the Co-op Scholarship, No Carbon Women in Solar Prize and Photovoltaics Thesis Prize. 



Melinda Cilento

Melinda is the CEO of CEDA.  She is also a non-executive director of Australian Unity and Co-Chair of Reconciliation Australia. Melinda is also a member of the Parliamentary Budget Office panel of expert advisors and Generation One’s Advisory Panel - Indigenous Employment Scorecard Project.
She was previously a non-executive director of Woodside Petroleum, a Commissioner with the Productivity Commission and Deputy CEO and Chief Economist with the Business Council of Australia. Melinda has also previously held senior roles with the Federal Department of Treasury, Invesco and the International Monetary Fund.
Melinda’s executive and director experience covers the corporate, government and not-for-profit sectors and she has a strong track record of working collaboratively across sectors. Melinda’s professional qualifications include a Masters of Economics (Australian National University), and Bachelor of Economics (Hons) and Bachelor of Arts (Psychology), (Flinders University, SA). She is a graduate of the AICD Company Directors Course.


Joel Dignam
Executive Director, Better Renting

Joel Dignam is the Executive Director of Better Renting. He has a background in organising and campaigning across non-profits, unions, and electoral politics. Joel has studied Leadership, Organizing and Action with Professor Marshall Ganz through Harvard's Kennedy School of Executive Education, and he holds an Advanced Diploma of Management from the Groupwork Institute of Australia. In 2022 he completed a Churchill Fellowship through the US and the UK, learning from tenant movement organisations.


Polly Hemming
Director, Climate & Energy Program, Australia Institute 
Polly Hemming is Director of the Australia Institute’s Climate & Energy program. She has extensive experience working in policy, marketing and engagement roles in both not-for-profit and public sectors.
Her current work focuses on carbon and environmental markets, climate integrity and greenwashing. Having previously led the development of a government eco-label recognising voluntary climate action by the private sector, she maintains a strong interest in non-state climate ambition and the policies and regulation that interact with this.
Polly’s previous roles have included academic publishing, remote Indigenous education, refugee advocacy and science communication, bringing a range of perspectives and experiences to her work.


Melissa Heywood  
Energy Advisor/Financial Inclusion Community Worker, Uniting Communities

Melissa is an Energy Advisor and Financial Inclusion Community Worker for Uniting Communities. She has extensive experience in the community and social services sector and has worked with diverse populations, both in Australia and abroad for over 30yrs.
For the last 6 years, Melissa has provided utilities and financial literacy education, as well as home energy assessments to low-income householders throughout SA. During this time Melissa has witnessed the impact of increases to essential services, and the basic cost of living to vulnerable households.  Melissa is passionate about social justice and is a strong advocate to those in need.


Deana Iveson
Financial Counsellor, Uniting Communities

Deana is a Telephone Financial Counsellor within Financial Inclusion at Uniting Communities, which is challenging as well as rewarding. She has been a Financial Counsellor for 11 years & 5 of those have been with Uniting Communities. Since working with Uniting Communities Financial Inclusion Team, Deana has been able to work in different programs including AGL & Escaping Violence Payment Program (EVP) as well as general financial counselling. Deana also provides professional supervision to some of the Uniting Communities team long with reflective practice.


Miriam Lyons
Co-Director of the Australian Energy Transformation Program, Sunrise Project
Miriam Lyons is currently the Co-Director of the Australian Energy Transformation Program at the Sunrise Project, where she works to scale social movements to drive a fast and fair transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy. Miriam has over 20 years of experience as a campaigner, policy analyst, writer and commentator. She has held a variety of leadership roles, including as Climate Justice Campaigns Director at GetUp, where she led a number of successful campaigns. She is a Fellow and former CEO of the Centre for Policy Development, which she co-founded in 2007. She is the co-author of Governomics, has contributed to several publications and co-edited the books Pushing Our Luck and More Than Luck. She has been a guest on many TV and radio programs, including Q&A and The Drum. Other former roles include Policy Editor for NewMatilda.com, researching freedom of speech in East Timor, and coordinating ideas festivals. 


Professor Bruce Mountain
Director, Energy Policy Centre, Victoria University

Professor Bruce Mountain is the inaugural Director of the Energy Policy Centre at Victoria University. He is a well-known Australian energy economist whose research and advisory work has focussed on the economic regulation of network monopolies, the analysis of retail and wholesale energy markets, and the design of renewable energy policies. Bruce has been a long-standing advisor to governments, regulators, market participants and interest groups in Australia and internationally. His PhD was on the political economy of energy regulation in Australia. He also has a Bachelor’s and a Master’s degree in Electrical Engineering and is qualified as a Chartered Management Accountant in England.


Simon Orme
Director, Tahu Consulting
Simon Orme is a director at Tahu Consulting. As a former New Zealand and New South Wales Treasury officer Simon led projects to introduce regular performance monitoring of government-owned corporations, including the consistent reporting of supernormal profits and losses. He has worked for global and boutique economic consulting firms reviewing the design and operation of various aspects of economic regulation, including the Australian Energy Regulator and most Australian economic regulators and jurisdictions. He has been a member of the Western Australia electricity and gas review board panels for more than a decade.

Simone Stewart
Principal Water Planner - Groundwater, Department for Environment and Water, South Australian Government

Simone is an experienced policy developer and hydrogeologist skilled in the protection of environmental resources and dependent ecosystems in a manner which contributes to social and economic development.
Simone graduated from Flinders University with a Bachelor of Science (Honours) in 2004 and has worked for the South Australian Government in the water sector for 18 years.  Through these projects she developed a strong passion for enhancing the science policy interface within government, particularly with regard to water management and transitioned into a policy role in 2015. 
Simone has demonstrated skills in identifying key water management issues, undertaking analysis of the relevant technical information resulting in complex policy analysis to deliver solutions. Her focus has been on water allocation plan development and community consultation to facilitate better water planning outcomes. 

Tony Wood
Energy and Climate Change Program Director, Grattan Institute

Tony has been Director of the Energy Program since 2011 after 14 years working at Origin Energy in senior executive roles.
From 2009 to 2014 he was also Program Director of Clean Energy Projects at the Clinton Foundation, advising governments in the Asia-Pacific region on effective deployment of large-scale, low-emission energy technologies. In 2008, he was seconded to provide an industry perspective to the first Garnaut climate change review.
In January 2018, Tony was awarded a Member of the Order of Australia in recognition of his significant service to conservation and the environment, particularly in the areas of energy policy, climate change and sustainability. In October 2019, Tony was elected as a Fellow to the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering.


Sally Wilson
PhD Candidate, Australian National University

Sally Wilson is a PhD Candidate at the Australian National University’s Crawford School of Public Policy. She works as part of an interdisciplinary research team focusing on energy insecurity and related issues in the energy transition alongside both ANU researchers and community partners.
Sally holds a Master of Climate Change from the ANU and Law (Hons) and Science degrees from The University of Adelaide. In 2022, she was awarded the ANU College of Asia & the Pacific’s Garnaut Prize for highest achievement in the Master of Climate Change program. She previously worked as a lawyer specialising in intellectual property laws.


Malwina Wyra 
Senior Policy Officer, SACOSS

Malwina Wyra is a Senior Policy Officer at SACOSS working on policy and research across the energy, water, and climate change space. Prior to working at SACOSS, Malwina worked as a parliamentary adviser across multiple public policy areas ranging from industrial relations and social justice to water and the environment. Malwina has studied the Circular Economy and Sustainability Strategies through the Cambridge Judge Business School, and holds degrees in Commerce and Environmental Management.