About us

Who we are

The Centre for Sustainability Leadership is known for delivering life-changing programs for individuals and organisations. It’s what we’ve been doing for over 12 years.

We're a small not-for-profit with a dedicated board. We're a passionate and talented team and a diverse and thriving community. We've built a powerful and unique program that works.

When we started in 2005, there was no-one else doing what we were doing. Nobody could get people in power to care. So our aim was to get people who already cared into positions of influence.

Now we look out on the landscape with a sense of pride and potential. While other programs have come and gone, we're still here. And our alumni are reaching positions of serious influence; from politicians at Federal, State and local level, to social entrepreneurs, lawyers, business owners, influencers, activists, community builders and facilitators. You may know some of our partner organisations and alumni:

The Weekly Service
Today (formerly Studio Thick)
Our Say
Republic of Everyone
Minds At Work
Code for Australia
Do it on the Roof
Digital Storytellers
Spark Strategy
Talent Nation
The Benefit Mindset
Just Change

Pollinate Energy

And we work also with some larger organisations:

NSW Office of Environment and Heritage
Sustainability Victoria
Bank Australia
Australia Post

We are changemakers. We are purpose-driven leaders. We are political influencers. We are digital storytellers. We are social entrepreneurs. We are pro-equality and pro-diversity. We are greenies. We are f**kgivers. We are Future Makers.

Join us.

Our manifesto

We believe passionately in our human potential to live with compassion and connection.

We believe in challenging people to think and feel differently, and to live a life of meaning and purpose.

We believe that truly understanding ourselves, others and the environment around us is a key step towards sustainability - both of ourselves as individuals, and of the world we live in.

We believe in fostering the kind of leadership needed to tackle the complex challenges we face in sustaining the life of all species.

We believe that the power of enabling a community of people working for positive environmental and social outcomes cannot be underestimated.

We believe in leadership that is creative, compassionate and courageous. Leadership that comes from the heart and the head, that is insightful, purposeful and playful. Leadership that enables and empowers other leaders to take up the challenge.


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Alex Graham

Co-Chair, Board of Directors

Alex is an alumna of CSL with 10 years’ experience in the sustainability sector working with businesses, government and non-government organisations including the Australian Conservation Foundation and the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage. Alex has a particular interest in the role that social and individual behavioural change can play in creating a sustainable future. She conducts research for government into the effectiveness of behavioural change interventions in an environmental policy setting. As a team manager delivering large-scale and complex sustainability programs within community, Alex possesses a deep passion for innovation and adaptive management. Alex was appointed to the Board on January 24, 2013.

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Helga Svendsen

Co-Chair, Board of Directors

Helga is a connector. She is passionate about empowerment, engagement and connecting talk to action. She revels in supporting individuals, organisations and communities to make the world a better place. Helga specialises in strategy and planning, stakeholder engagement, and capacity building. Building on her extensive leadership roles in government, not-for-profit and membership organisations, Helga is a dynamic facilitator, a supportive and challenging coach, an effective trainer and an engaging speaker. Helga is a Board member of the Royal Women's Hospital and Social Housing Victoria and a former Director of YWCA Victoria and the Community Services and Health Industry Training Advisory Board. She wants to see more diversity and gender equality on boards and therefore developed a group coaching program to encourage women to get on, and stay on, Boards. Initially trained and practising as a lawyer, her previous roles include Chief Executive Officer of Hotham Mission Asylum Seeker Project, Assistant Secretary of the Australian Services Union and Facilitator at Sustainability Victoria.  Her memberships include Australian Institute of Company Directors, International Coaching Federation, Fundraising Institute of Australia and the International Association of Public Participation. She loves twitter and LinkedIn so feel free to engage with her there.


Sevda Mentes

Treasurer, Board of Directors

Sevda has 20 years’ experience in funds management (property), financial services, banking and wealth management. She has held various roles in her career including Financial Controller of ASX Listed and unlisted Property/REITS at Colonial First State Global Asset Management, and has worked as senior finance personnel at Deustche Asset Management, Mirvac Funds Management, Stockland Property Group, Bankers Trust Funds Management and a Boutique Financial Planning organisation. Sevda’s area of expertise is financial accounting – (property and financial services) and Tax. She has a broad skill set with interests in change management, productivity initiatives – particularly Lean Six Sigma, as well as policy writing, corporate governance, risk and compliance, recruitment and talent development. Sevda is a member of Tax Institute of Australia, Institute of Chartered Accountants, Australian Institute of Company Directors, Chartered Secretaries Australia and Women on Boards.

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Kim Shore

Secretary, Board of Directors

Kim has practiced law for three years, mainly as Legal Counsel at Clearpoint Counsel, Australia’s first B Corp law firm. Kim developed expertise in corporate and commercial law, servicing social enterprises.

Kim also has international climate policy and program experience: completing a role as Program Manager at Global Voices, leading youth delegations to the UNFCCC climate negotiations in Lima and Paris; giving Climate Reality presentations as a Climate Leader with Al Gore’s Climate Change Leadership Project; and advising Climates, a non-profit working on project for climate resilience in the Pacific.

At CSL, Kim’s vision for a sustainable world was about the need for cultural change to address climate change. Kim recently left legal practice to pursue a role in organisational cultural change: now Project Manager and the first full time employee of Peer Academy, a successful start-up focused on designing and facilitating peer to peer learning programs within organisations and externally. Kim in a 2014 alumni of the Intensive Fellowship Program was appointed as Company Secretary and non-executive Director in August 2016.


Kate Harris

Board of Directors

Kate is CEO of Good Environmental Choice Australia. She has an extensive background in leadership, capacity building and education aimed at finding sustainable solutions for the future.  She was on staff with CSL for six years including two years as CEO, before becoming a non-executive director. She is founder of consulting firm Future Ready and a graduate of the Asialink Leaders Program. Kate believes passionately in human potential and draws on her diverse experience in the performing arts, executive coaching, cultural change and organisational development, helping individuals, organisations and communities to create a better future.

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Jason Clarke

First Follower, Co-founder, Board of Directors

Jason has been with CSL since the very beginning, acting as a mentor and co-founder to Larissa Brown. A former ad man, teacher, lecturer and stage manager from the tribe of the theatre people, he now runs Minds at Work, a consultancy that "helps people think". He is a provocateur with insight and perspectives on everything from leadership to culture change, problem solving to decision-making, creativity to innovation - and he is invaluable in helping our Fellows create a future that works.


Andrew Sellick

Board of Directors

Andrew has 15 years’ experience in helping companies create “more good” for the environment. He is currently the Head of Environmental Sustainability at Australia Post and prior to that was Group Manager Environment at Qantas. He’s led the implementation of a wide range of environmentally focused initiatives including climate mitigation and adaptation strategies, recycling and upcycling programs, innovative renewable fuel and energy solutions as well as customer, community and workforce engagement strategies. He’s broad skillset has been developed with the objective of generating tangible business value while delivering improved sustainability outcomes. Andrew was appointed to the board in May 2015.


Garrett Stringer

Board of Directors

Garrett is an alumnus of CSL with a decade of experience spanning communications, advertising, strategy and design, as well as film and digital production. He is currently Digital Innovation + Development Director at Glider, a research-driven communications and design consultancy that develops innovative communications platforms and approaches for organisations spanning the social change space. Working across print, digital and experiential mediums, Glider's work seeks to answer complex policy and communication challenges through research, futures and a considered design approach. Prior to joining Glider, Garrett was Communications Manager at The Climate Institute, where he worked across tactical and strategic communications campaigns, collaborating with government, business and civil society groups. Garrett was integral to the development of the organisation's innovative communications approach spanning animation, interactive content and data visualisation, as well as the establishment of The Institute's Creative Fellowship program. He completed his Masters of Environmental Management at the University of New South Wales and holds an honours undergraduate degree in Marketing and International Business from New York University's Leonard N Stern School of Business.

Management team


Alesha Younghusband

General Manager, Melbourne Future Makers Fellowship Manager and Co-facilitator

Alesha has 10 years' experience in the transformative education space and transitioned to the sustainability field from film and video production after being inspired by the documentary Who Killed the Electric Car? She has since committed to enabling and building communities that incorporate a safe climate for all species and all generations. She has extensive experience in personal and professional development, with a focus on leadership, team management and teamwork skills and has worked with community groups, universities, NGOs, government and business. Alesha holds Bachelor Degrees in Media Arts (Film and Video) and Social Science (Environment).

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Marie-Luise Schega

Business Development Manager

Marie comes to CSL with a passion for combining the best of social business and sustainability. With an interdisciplinary degree from the humanities and business, Marie brings a diverse set of experiences in partnerships, communications, project management and entrepreneurship to the table. Across her work and volunteer opportunities with for-purpose organisations, non-profits and universities, she focuses on building community by connecting and learning from people wherever she goes. When she is not exploring Australia, Marie visits her family in Germany and Canada as often as possible, albeit with the crushing knowledge that each plane trip accounts for most of her carbon footprint.

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Matt Wicking

Melbourne Future Makers Fellowship Facilitator and Alumni

For the past decade, Matt has worked as a sustainability consultant and facilitator specialising in change, strategy and communication. He’s worked with organisations and individuals from all sectors – business, government, the arts, education, science and more – helping them to green their practice, embrace sustainability and communicate clearly. He has a Master's of Environment, plus degrees in Psychology and Commerce. Matt has a particular interest in working with passionate people, and in applying his intellect and intuition equally in what he does.


Leigh Reis

Sydney Future Makers Fellowship Facilitator

Leigh has researched and worked globally in human development and sustainability for over a decade. With diverse cross-cultural insight and depth of awareness of the complexity of the global challenges we face, Leigh holds an integrated, whole-systems worldview: appreciating unity - of our shared humanity and all life on the planet - while celebrating the beauty in diversity. Leigh works as a transformational coach and facilitator, supporting people who care to unleash their creative potential and contribute to the positive evolution of human culture, so that all life may thrive. 

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Lina Patel

Melbourne Future Makers Fellowship Co-Facilitator

Lina is a facilitator and collaboration designer. As Chief Operations Officer at Code for Australia, she makes sure all the Code for Australia programs are humming beautifully. She spends most of her time with people and teams who know where they are headed; who aren’t sure how to get there; and are open to iteration. People frikkin love her workshops and meetings.    

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Cam Elliot

Australia-Wide Future Makers Fellowship Facilitator 

Cam is a Facilitator, Coach and Social Entrepreneur. Founder of the Weekly Service, a weekly curated gathering providing space for dialogue and deeper discussion, Cam is passionate towards supporting authentic leadership, innovation, strategic thinking, and wellbeing in organisations through facilitation and coaching. With a first class honours degree in Behavioural Science, Cam has gone on to facilitate and consult with a number of organisations inspiring individuals to use their unique sets of strengths, abilities and vision to steer humanity towards a thriving society and world.

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Sarah Ladyman

Programs Manager

Sarah is an accountant, teacher, writer, artist and facilitator. She believes in the power of connecting people and empowering them with the skills and knowledge to reach their full potential. She is particularly interested in community as a tool to bring people together and inspire social change. Since completing a Bachelor of Commerce she has worked for and consulted with purpose-driven businesses on strategy, communications, sustainability and financial forecasting. She is on a quest for creative ways of making accounting approachable, intriguing and useful so as to give not-for-profits the same tools as their for-profit cousins.

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Sara Rickards

Sydney Future Makers Fellowship Co-Facilitator and Manager

Sara AKA The Sustainability Ninja and F**kgiver, is trained as both a Biomedical Scientist & Environmental Engineer.
Sara is a passionate connector, putting purpose and positive impact at the core of everything she does. She is on a mission to unlock human potential and specialises in creating connected and conscious communities.
In a previous life she was the Education For Sustainability Manager at Macquarie University, Co-host for the Un-school of Disruptive Design and Associate Editor of the International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education.

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Laura Hamilton


Laura grew up in the wild spaces of South Africa and cares deeply about land, including the people and animals who live there. She has a life-long love affair with learning and has over a decade of facilitation experience across NGOs, SMEs, Corporate and Government sectors. She has a Master’s in Education (Social Ecology), as well as, a Bachelor of Commerce (Business Strategy and Law). In addition, she completed the Fellowship program in 2013. Laura is genuinely incapable of containing her enthusiasm for helping others learn and delights in supporting them to realise their vision for a fairer, more sustainable future.


Sandi Middleton

Program Manager and Facilitator, Regional Environmental Leaders Program 

Sandi is a professional and creative facilitator, coach and program manager with a Bachelor in Science and over 10 years experience working in government, community and private sectors. She has extensive experience in leadership training, collaborative facilitation, adult education, individual and group coaching of all levels of government and community sectors, program management, and strategic planning. She is skilled in building capacity in emerging leaders, stakeholders consultation and relationship management, innovative program design and implementation, organising events and workshops and writing reports.


Jeremy Mah

Program Facilitator

With over 10 years’ experience as a consultant, researcher, communicator, educator and facilitator in the field of sustainability, Jeremy’s experience extends across the corporate, government and education sectors. He has a Bachelor of Commerce (Marketing and Japanese) and a Masters of Environmental Management. After completing the Program in 2011, he is now exploring how creative practice and the arts can be used to more effectively engage people in sustainability as a basis for a PhD. He hopes to enable others to build their capacities for change in line with their own values and hopes for the future.


Jen Halldorsson

Program Manager and Facilitator

Jen is inspired by people, nature and the connections in between. She has a diverse background in research, sustainable transport, languages, yoga and permaculture; and holds a PhD in materials science and nanotechnology. Having completed the Fellowship in 2011, Jen loves empowering others as change-makers, capable of bringing about their own visions of a sustainable, socially-just future. She delights in seeing people grow and flourish through operating from their heart, in line with their passions and values.

Annual Reviews


Annual Review 2014

Alumni setting a new agenda with the Future Business Council

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Annual Review 2013

Stepping up to advise Nicholas Stern at the London School of Economics and Political Science

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Annual Review 2012

Renewable energy has been connected for families in India by alumni driven NGO Polinate Energy

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Annual Review 2011

Natural resource management and public art meet to educate via alumni created The Riparian Project

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Annual Review 2010

Alumni project Our Say collides social media and participatory democracy for politician hot house effect

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Annual Review 2009

Coming of Age for CSL as they expand their Future Makers Fellowship Program both interstate and online

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Annual Review 2008

Fellows created energy efficiency NFP Just Change and launched They’re calling on you campaign at Melbourne Zoo

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Announcing the new home of the Centre for Sustainability Leadership alumni and programs...

Find out now