Professor Kate Auty - Commissioner
Professor Kate Auty was appointed the ACT Commissioner for Sustainability and the Environment in 2016. Before accepting this appointment she was the Victorian Commissioner for Environmental Sustainability (2009-2014) and the Chair of the Ministerial Reference Council on Climate Change Adaptation (Victoria 2008-2010).
She has previously held positions as a Vice Chancellor’s Fellow with the University of Melbourne (2014-2017), a City of Melbourne Ambassador in the development of the Future Melbourne Plan 2026 with a portfolio responsibility in climate change (2016) and as a magistrate in Victoria and magistrate and mining warden in Western Australia.
Current boards and advisory roles include - Board Director on the ReScope Project and the McPherson Smith Rural Foundation; member of the Advisory Board to AURIN; and member with the MDBA ACSEES. When she accepted the role of ACT Commissioner, Kate relinquished advisory roles with La Trobe University in research focus areas involving sustainability and transformation of cities. She also relinquished the role as chair of the Advisory Board to NeCTAR, and more recently she stepped down as Chair of the Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute (University of Melbourne).
Megan Reichstein - Executive Assistant
Megan Reichstein is Kate Auty's executive assistant. She provides an invaluable contribution to the office organising Kate and her staff.
Meg has worked for the Environment and Planning Directorate in a range of roles including with the Environment Protection Agency.
Meg is a country gal and her favourite native animal is the echidna.
Becky Smith - State of the Environment Manager
Becky Smith managed and co-authored the 2015 ACT State of the Environment Report. She is working with the ANU, the ABS and other institutions to develop a complete set of environment-economic accounts for the 2019 ACT State of the Environment Report.
Prior to this Becky worked for the Planning Authority negotiating and developing the ACT’s first strategic assessment under the Commonwealth’s Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation (EPBC) Act.
Becky has a Bachelors degree in agricultural science and an honours degree in law (her thesis was on law, policy and soil degradation). She has worked in government, the community and private sectors.
Becky has run a beef/sheep property, a commercial apiary and an advanced exotic tree nursery. She has been a camp drafter, wool classer, high school teacher, caves manager, overseas aid worker and a solicitor working in both the community legal sector and as an environmental lawyer.
She likes mountain biking, surfing and kite-boarding (but is not very good either)! She especially loves bad jokes (see photo after hearing a really bad joke) eg 'Did you hear about the magic tractor? It turned into a field.'
Kirilly Dickson – Senior Manager Investigations
Kirilly is a passionate, long term advocate for including sustainability into all business processes including investment decisions and strategic planning. With over 14 years in various roles in the water utility sector, Kirilly has a strong background in aquatic sciences, land management and environmental compliance associated with infrastructure. She has managed various business elements including compliance, sustainability, operations, safety and quality.
Kirilly holds a Bachelor of (Environmental) Engineering degree with Honours from University of Wollongong and a Certificate in General Management from Harvard Business School. She combines environmental stewardship with business pragmatism to assist in support a sustainable Canberra and region.
After a brief excursion into working with a charity, Kirilly has returned to her core passion of environment and sustainability at the Commissioners’ office. She manages independent reviews, environmental audits and complaints for the Office.
Key areas of expertise: include environmental impacts and risk assessment, water resource management and energy and carbon.
Kirilly enjoys hiking in national parks, fishing (but the fish don’t realise yet!) and horse riding.
Serena Farrelly – Project Officer
Serena has extensive experience in nature conservation, having worked on projects such as the development of the ACT Environmental Offsets Policy and supporting the ACT Scientific Committee in the review of Threatened Species Action Plans in the Territory.
She has just returned from living in Taiwan for a year where she studied Mandarin, calligraphy and yoga, and travelled widely. On an earlier stay in Taiwan, she taught English to kindergarten and primary school aged children.
Serena is currently working on the independent audit of the Biodiversity Plan for the Gungahlin Strategic Assessment.
Serena studied a Bachelor of Arts/Science at the Australian National University, with majors in Sociology and Human Ecology. She is passionate about how to encourage behaviour change in people’s daily activities to reduce their impact on the environment, such as riding a bicycle or walking to walk instead of driving a car.
Serena loves camping and getting out into Australia’s beautiful and varied environments.
Staff like to ride their bikes to meetings and to work. Video