Check out our staff spotlight! Here at the Hunter JO, we are lucky to have an amazing team with an enormous range of experience who are passionate about delivering outcomes for our region. Over the next few newsletters, we will be introducing you to our wonderful staff who make all of the things we achieve possible.
This month we are featuring our Waste and Circular Economy team – Tim Askew, Regional Policy and Programs Manager, Eloise Lobsey, Regional Policy and Programs Coordinator (Circular Economy), and Susan Conway McDonald, Regional Policy and Programs Officer (Environmental Education).
Tim is currently working across a broad range of projects including:
- Circular Economy – Developing projects to facilitate and accelerate the transition toward a circular economy
- Shiraz to Shore – A cycle trail that connects the Hunter’s vineyards to the beach and lake, creating a 100km epic cycle trail as the signature attraction for promoting the entire region as a cycling destination
- Regional Population – Understanding the population expected by 2041 and identifying the advocacy priorities for the region to ensure planning, infrastructure and services meet our future needs
- Smart region – Understanding the gaps and opportunities for our region to become smarter and more technologically innovative
Tim brings skills and experience to the team from a broad range of roles, especially in stakeholder engagement, program development and management. With 13 years’ experience in local government and 20 years in the private sector, Tim has experience in city and coastal revitalisation, place-making, economic development, smart city, destination marketing and waste and environmental strategy development.
His proudest achievement at the Hunter JO is the development of the circular economy program and the national recognition that is being generated as a result. His 20-year vision for the region is that all of these projects start to embed themselves as normal elements of our lives and circular economy will become the economy.
“The future is among us now; we just need to unlock its secrets”
Eloise Lobsey is a great asset to the team with a diverse skillset including 15 years of local government experience in NSW, Victoria, and the UK! She has worked across a range of environmental policy and program areas including resource recovery, circular economy, sustainable design, food systems, behaviour change, and land use planning.
Eloise is our resident problem solver and can always be found at the whiteboard mapping out complex topics. She believes in facilitating co-design processes so that we can all go further together.
Eloise’s main focus right now is on the development of our Regional Circular Materials Strategy, which is a five-year strategy that will guide how local government in our region can work together with industry to solve linear economy problems around the management of waste resources and by developing circular solutions.
Launching the region’s Circular Economy Roadmap has been a key highlight for Eloise, and she has enjoyed learning about all of the amazing things happening across the region and witnessing the shared passion for circularity as part of our economic evolution.
In 20 years time, Eloise hopes to see the circular economy well and truly in action, where our consumption of everyday needs has changed (e.g., share economy, products as services), and our region’s economic base has diversified to support and drive more resilient and localised supply chains.
Looking ahead, Eloise has many exciting opportunities to share our region’s work in this space around the country, including the Circularity 2022 Conference in Sydney and AWARE Conference in Melbourne.
Susan Conway McDonald
Susan Conway McDonald is currently working on the design and delivery of our Education and Communication Plan to promote Community Recycling Centres (CRCs) across the region. Her work helps to prevent problem household wastes from entering the environment. She recently coordinated the delivery of a capacity building program for council employees to gain a Cert III in Waste Management.
Waste education is no new thing for Susan, having worked in this space for NGOs and local government on promoting waste and recycling in schools, and rolling out kerbside recycling schemes to residents. She has also worked for a protected area landscape in the UK where she collaborated with a wide range of partners in government, business, and local interest groups to raise awareness. Currently studying a Master of Planning, Susan brings a lot of skills to the team in land use planning as well as communication. She is naturally inquisitive and always has the team thinking of new perspectives!
Susan’s highlight at the Hunter JO has been re-joining the workforce after a 10-year career break. She feels like she has really landed on her feet and loves working in a collaborative and unique organisation.
Susan’s 20-year dream is no longer needing a CRC education program as people will intuitively know the correct disposal stream for problem waste. There would be less disposal in general as more circular solutions are implemented.
Susan is looking forward to testing out the new coffee machine in our new office!
Keep an eye out for our next newsletter to see who is featured next, or head to our team page today!