Keynote Address & Panelists 2010

Keynote Address

Joe Ross is a member of the Bunuba people in the Kimberley region of Western Australia.

Joe Ross is Chairperson of the Indigenous Water Policy Group (IWPG) (NAILSMA) and is currently involved in coordinating the activities of the National Indigenous Climate Change Project, a national dialogue for Indigenous people on issues relating to climate change and economic development.

Joe has extensive policy experience in remote community development and believes that the challenges of climate change can be looked at as an opportunity for new dialogue to be opened up around Australia's key regional issues: sustainable land management practices and planning for the infrastructure of the future.


   1. Brian Elmer (Alice Solar City) - General Manager  

Brian Elmer is the General Manager of the Alice Solar City project. He has worked in the development and implementation of sustainable energy programs for 15 years. This has included setting up and running various programs in Queensland, and four years developing and implementing renewable energy programs in England and Scotland.

   2. Ruth Apelt (Arid Lands Environment Centre) Climate Action Group Convener

Ruth Apelt, Arid Lands Environment Centre, convenes the Climate Action Group and collaborates with DesertSMART COOLmob on community education and behaviour change.

Ruth has produced community-based climate change projects in Alice Springs since 2008: the short film Water in Alice Springs;  the Climate Emergency Speaker Series; the DesertSMART EcoFair; and currently the Northern Territory pilot of Living Smart, an innovative community behaviour change program developed in WA through collaboration between local government, higher education and community.

Steve Sawyer (Power & Water) Engineering Manager - Alice Springs 

Steve Sawyer is the Engineering Manager from the Power Networks Section of Power and Water in Alice Springs.

He has been involved with many demand management and renewable energy projects in Power and Water and has been heavily involved with the Alice Solar City project since it's inception.

  4. Rowan Foley (Centrefarm) Project Manager Conservation Economy 

“Rowan comes from the Badtjala people traditional owners of Fraser Island and has over 20 years experience in the area of natural and cultural resource management. He first worked at Uluru as a Ranger shortly after ‘hand back' and later returned to be Park Manager facilitating the $21m Talinguru Nyakunytjaku visitor facility and the summer seasonal closure of the climb. He is now working on the development of the Aboriginal Carbon Fund for Centrefarm as part of a conservation economy in the NT.”

Dr Jocelyn Davies (CSIRO) Principal Research Scientist 

Dr Jocelyn Davies leads the Desert Knowledge Cooperative Research Centre’s Livelihoods inLand™ project, working with a project team from CSIRO and several other Desert Knowledge Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) partner organisations.

This project is delivering value in policy sectors and to desert land managers by improving understanding of how to achieve livelihood outcomes for remote desert people (health, well-being and income) through investment in natural and cultural resource management.

Bethune Carmichael –(DNRETAS) Senior Environmental Policy Officer - Alice Springs 

Bethune Carmichael is an Environmental Policy Officer with the Environment and Heritage division of the Northern Territory Government’s Department of Natural Resources, Environment, the Arts and Sport. He has recently worked on the drafting of the NT’s Environment Protection (Container Deposit and Plastic Bag) Bill and the establishment of the NT Climate Change Adaptation Steering Group. He is the NT’s representative on the Water Efficiency Labelling and Standards Scheme’s working group.

Peter Whitehead -  Consultant 

  Peter was until recently working for the NT Government Department of Natural Resources, Environment, the Arts and Sport and has now taken up a consulting role specialising in the culture, ecology and environmental circumstances of fire management in the North Australian Savannas.