Header: EcoCentre team group photo

Committee & Public Fund Managers

Pam O'Neil
Committee President - Pam O'Neil

Pam brings to the EcoCentre an overarching and active commitment to education and community involvement as empowerment.  With Degrees in Economics, Politics and Arts, as well as Diplomas in Education and Visual Arts, Pam's skills and civic commitments have translated into equally diverse fields of work and community involvement. These include senior positions in government, including leader of policy and planning for adult community and further education for Victoria; leadership in schools and TAFEs; in membership of community boards and as a Systems Analyst, Researcher, Strategic Planner and Management Consultant. As a practising artist, her exhibitions have included works on the transformation of the lands of the Boon Wurrung people by Europeans in what is now the municipality of Port Phillip.  

Dr Lis Fenwick
Committee Vice President - Dr Lis Fenwick

An accomplished Executive Director, Management Consultant and Scientist, Dr Lis also has extensive management and research experience within the environmental, scientific and health sectors. An innovative business leader, Lis is recognised for her cross-sector energy efficiency and carbon footprint initiatives, as well as her astute strategic planning and relationship management experience.  Expertise in co-ordinating and implementing multiple projects whilst managing meaningful stakeholder liaisons, makes Dr Lis a great collaborator to work with.  Beyond this, Lis is the Executive Director of Current Consulting which encompasses sustainability assessments and reporting, energy efficiency audits, carbon footprint audits and has been operating since 1998.

Deborah Sykes
Committee Secretary - Deborah Sykes

Deborah has lived in Port Phillip for 20 years and is committed to looking after the environment. Deborah worked as a nurse for many years, then joined the Department of Health, giving her an extensive understanding of how government works. She is currently the manager of strategic projects in Public Health – an area that is hugely impacted by climate change. Deborah has a Masters in Public Administration amongst other degrees. As a company director, Deborah has worked on a number of voluntary boards, and brings strong experience in governance and community-owned organisations.

Harpreet Sidhu
Committee Treasurer - Harpreet Sidhu

Harpreet is a Senior Tax Advisor with over 10 years of experience working with companies undertaking domestic or international corporate transactions, acquisitions and restructures. She holds degrees in Law and Business as well as being a practicing solicitor, and has lived and worked in both Melbourne and London. After a number of years away from Melbourne, she is looking forward to being involved locally with the EcoCentre and a community invested in preserving our environment and building a sustainable future.

Jan Cossar
Committee General Member - Jan Cossar

Jan Cossar is the Managing Director of Strategy Matters Pty Ltd. She has over twenty five years of experience in organisational program management working throughout the Asia-Pacific and Africa regions  with the Australian Government Aid Program, UN agencies, international and Australian NGOs, and a variety of private companies. Jan initially worked in the humanitarian sector as manager of an Oxfam emergency health program in Shugarub refugee camp in Sudan. This experience embedded in her a deep -insight and respect for the capacity and resilience of those impacted by human and natural disasters. She specialises in organisational and program planning, design, monitoring and evaluation, with a specific focus on building capabilities of
local partners and their communities. Jan is regularly engaged as a facilitator and trainer throughout the sector. She is currently the chairperson of the development committee and a Board member of Oaktree, and an adviser to the Marninwarntikura Women's Resource Centre in Fitzroy Crossing in WA.

Geoffrey Love
Committee General Member - Geoffrey Love

Geoffrey joined the EcoCentre Management Committee eight years ago as the Secretary of Elwood Floods Action Group, Eflag, which was formed in response to the floods of 2011. Eflag is an affiliate of the EcoCentre. Eflag's concerns include all aspects of both catchment and coastal flood mitigation, and adaptation to climate change. The major current priority is to ensure that Bayside Council's Elsternwick Park development incorporates state of the art water sensitive urban design & flood mitigation. Geoffrey is a native of St Kilda. He is also on City of Port Phillip's Consultative Committee on Fishermans Bend Urban Renewal Project and the Elsternwick Park Nature Reserve Community Reference Group.

Isabel Robinson
Committee General Member - Isabel Robinson

Isabel is a community development practitioner, evaluator and writer with over 10 years’ experience in the not-for-profit sector. As a Program Coordinator at the Anglican Board of Mission, Isabel managed Australian Government-funded programs in Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu and China, with a focus on capacity building and the facilitation of community-led change. She is currently a consultant with Leanganook Yarn and works at Port Melbourne Neighbourhood Centre managing inclusive theatre company City of Voices. Isabel grew up in St Kilda and is now raising her young family here. She is excited to contribute to environmental work in her local patch.     

Committee General Member - Dr Janie Maxwell

Dr. Janie Maxwell is a General Practitioner and an academic at the Nossal Institute for Global Health at the University of Melbourne. Janie’s interest in health equity and sustainability underpin her work which spans clinical practice, research and teaching. Her publications include pieces on the link between thunderstorm asthma and climate change, and a research paper on teaching climate change in medication education. She has experience in political advocacy, media, community campaigning and education, and has completed a fellowship with the Centre for Sustainability Leadership. A keen cyclist, hiker and gardener, Janie is a new mum to Hazel and lives in St Kilda.

Committee General Member - Laura Grant

Laura Grant is a facilitator who has consulted for councils and for-purpose organisations across Melbourne, and has previously worked for humanitarian and peacebuilding organisations in Mali, Palestine, Liberia, France and Australia. She is a qualified lawyer with a Masters in Peace and Conflict Studies and an Advanced Diploma in Group Facilitation.

Committee General Member - Elliot Costello

Elliot Costello is a social and environmental entrepreneur, the co-founder and former CEO of YGAP, who support and scale businesses that improve the lives of people in the world's toughest conditions. He is also a qualified accountant and has recently completed his Masters of Theology at Oxford University. Elliot is currently raising capital to introduce bioplastics for a circular economy in Australia.


Michele New
Public Fund Manager - Michele New

Michele plays the valued role as one of our Public Fund Managers but her involvement with the EcoCentre does not start and end there. Taking the position as one of our very first Treasurers, Michele set a great precedent within this vital function for the organisation and finished up in 2004. Before creating her beautiful family of five, Michele was employed within the financial sector and also holds Undergraduate and Post Graduate qualifications. Michele had the dedication to homeschool her middle son for more then five years and to add subsequent strings to her bow she is now also a Yoga Instructor!  Michele and her family are committed to an ecofriendly way of life; with her kids spending so much time at the EcoCentre that they call the St Kilda Botanical Gardens - "Neil's Park". 

Nic Capes
Public Fund Manager - Nic Capes

Nic was schooled in Zimbabwe and completed his tertiary studies at the University of Capetown with a Bachelor Comm (Honours). He is qualified as a Chartered Accountant (South Africa). He has worked in the private sector in South Africa for Arthur Andersen and Co, and Otis Elevator Company, and in the Soloman Islands and the UK for Commonwealth Development Corporation. In Australia he has worked for the Repco Cycle Company as their General Manager, and Walt Disney Company Australia as their Chief Financial Officer. He is now retired and involved in voluntary work in the not for profit sector including as Treasurer of Port Melbourne Neighbourhood Centre, Board Member and Treasurer of Inner South Community Health, and Board Member and Treasurer of Napier Street Aged Care. The EcoCentre is fortunate to call him one of their Public Fund Managers!

Louise Kyle
Public Fund Manager - Louise Kyle

Louise holds Degrees in Law, Arts and Environmental Science and also Certificates in teaching. Her work experience spans legal research, project management, report and other writing, community legal and environmental education, community development and tertiary level teaching (currently lecturing in Environmental Policy at RMIT University). Louise has also undertaken numerous consultancies including legal and environmental research and community development projects and publications. Louise's love of learning is currently being satisfied through the study of yoga philosophy and now through her yoga teaching.



Boon Wurrung Foundation Logo The EcoCentre acknowledges the Kulin Nations, including the Yalukut Weelam clan of the Boon Wurrung language group, traditional owners of the land on which we are located. We pay respects to their Elders past and present, and extend that respect to other Aboriginal and Elder members of our multicultural community.