OUR BOARD

KATIE NORMAN

CEO, Secretary, Symposium Co-Chair, Co-Founder Awards & Founding Member 

​Katie has previously worked in the Department of Justice in Queensland, the Northern Territory and South Australia as a therapeutic program facilitator and drug counsellor.  Since having her three children, she has lived overseas in Hong Kong where her school-based volunteer experience commenced. Over the last five-six years Katie has been an active volunteer within local schools assisting in classrooms, fundraising and coordinating the creation and production of Tallebudgera State School’s Taste of Tallebudgera cookbook.  More recently, Katie has assisted a local private school to develop a sustainability program, which is an ongoing endeavor. With an undergraduate Bachelor of Science (Psychology) with Honours and current participation in a Masters of Teaching (Primary) program, Katie has strong critical thinking, communication and collaboration skills.  After exposure to environmental issues overseas, and a developing knowledge about Sustainable Education, Katie is attempting to influence her local community towards partnerships for the Sustainable Development Goals.  

Katie was recently awarded the Community Spirit of Somerset Award and Beaded Gecko Award for her service to the Gold Coast community.  She is also a ROAR Social Hero Finalist.

ERIN MERRIN

Chairperson, Social Media Coordinator, Symposium Co-Chair & Founding Member 

Erin has worked as an educational professional in the Humanities field for over 15 years. She spent her first 4 years as a high school teacher educating grades  8 to 12 in a broad range of Humanities subjects including Geography, Ancient and Modern History, Business, Legal Studies and a range of other areas. Currently she is a specialist Geography teacher and Head of Department for a large private school on the Gold Coast, Australia. In her role she leads a group of committed and driven students, The Social Justice & Sustainability Committee. She is a passionate environmentalist with over 15 years experience and has encouraged students in schools where she has been involved to become active and informed global citizens who engage with the Millennium Development Goals, more recently the Sustainable Development Goals or more widely known as the SDG’s.

KATE ROGERS

Strategic Director & Founding Member 

Kate Rogers is a Registered Urban Planner with sixteen years experience working in public and private sectors in Brisbane, Vancouver, Auckland and the Gold Coast. During this time, Kate worked in and then managed the Urban Renewal Task Force (URTF), a Brisbane City Council unit responsible for preparing planning policy, assisting the development process, infrastructure coordination and stakeholder engagement for some of Brisbane’s largest inner-city projects. Sustainable urban systems underpinned this work.

Practicing sustainable thinking daily, Kate specialises in strategic planning, project coordination and facilitation in her urban planning role on the Gold Coast. She has worked in policy and regulatory roles and understands how effective political systems and governance structures are critical to strategy implementation and quality outcomes.

Living on the Tweed with her husband and three young children, Kate is currently Nipper secretary, age manager and patrolling member at Tweed Heads and Coolangatta SLSC. She has previously performed P&F President and Secretary roles and enjoys seeing through projects from concept to practical completion.

CHELLI EASSON

Strategic Director & Founding Member 

Chelli is a lawyer with over 10 years experience in private practice. For many years she lived in Sydney, Hong Kong and Tokyo before settling back on the Gold Coast with her family. Pursuing a passion for sustainability she led the Sustainability & Legacy team for GOLDOC, the organising committee for the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games (GC2018), winning a number of prestigious awards including an Australian Human Rights Award (2018). Since GC2018, she has been consulting on mega sporting events and their role in the context of human rights (specifically the application of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights) and the Sustainable Development Goals. Chelli has been actively involved in the school community for many years, from volunteering in the class room to the P&F committee. She is also a member of the Leadership team of the Sustainable Event Alliance.

KATIE CHIRA GERALDS

Director & Founding Member 

​Katie previously owned and operated early childhood learning education centres in Asia and continues to consult on the business, marketing and curriculum areas of education.  Katie, along with her husband James, started Caldera Fine Foods in 2017, as a value-added food manufacturing business creating unique premium products. Katie’s passion is for sourcing local and sustainable produce with a particular emphasis on promoting Australian native foods.  Through her outreach activities Katie aims to educate the public about the importance of ecological sustainability in the food system. Katie hopes to encourage consumers to make more informed choices reflecting the sustainability, locality and seasonality of the produce and products they are buying. 

JAMES GERALDS

Director & Founding Member 

After a career in enterprise IT management, marketing and consulting James followed his passion for sustainability by starting, with his wife Katie, Green Cauldron Farm. Green Cauldron Farm is a human-scale, regenerative organic farm focussing on developing innovative techniques and methodologies to create new farming models. Through utilising effective and sustainable farming practices James hopes to encourage more people to participate in the growing of produce and developing a truly local food system.  James is also passionate about encouraging businesses to embed sustainability principles as part of their core values and to include sustainability measures in their bottom line.

ALLAN LAHEY

Regional Director

Allan has been an educator since 2001 specialising in teaching agricultural science. He has extensive experience working as a secondary school teacher within Australia as well as a variety of overseas contexts. He has developed a passion for encouraging modern technologies and sustainable community level agriculture. He believes sustainable agriculture is the way forward as it promotes community, builds local economy and cares for the environment.

Raised in Canada, he developed an interest in the natural environment and upon returning to Australia he attained Protected Area Management and Education degrees from the University of Queensland.

Allan, his wife and young family live on their property in Ravensbourne where he aspires to put his beliefs into practice.

NICK BRINKWORTH 

Treasurer

Nick has had a career in financial services for over 25 years, specialising in retail financial advice and funds management.  He currently works for a group founded originally on the Gold Coast called Fitzpatrick’s Private Wealth where he is responsible for managing a community of ‘equity partnered’ advice firms across Australia. 

Nick is passionate about the difference quality retirement-focused financial advice can make in a community and has made the Gold Coast (Australia’s retirement capital!) his home, with his wife Kat and 2 kids, Abigail and Aidan, for the last 12 years.

Nick is also involved in Gold Coast Community Radio, and currently holds the office of Treasurer of 4CRB 89.3 - the number one FM station on the Gold Coast for over 50’s so is excited about sharing his skillset in supporting the financial goals of not-for-profit organisations with the team at SSN.

SYLVIE GARNER

Director

Sylvie Garner is a system’s thinker and a communications and change management specialist. She has extensive experience leading and delivering strategic transformational projects across a range of industries including resource recovery, personalised transport, renewable energy and mining exploration in Queensland.

 

Sylvie is recognised for her collaborative approach and ability to foster cooperative working relationships across a wide range of stakeholders to deliver impactful and achievable solutions.

OUR VOLUNTEERS

LARA MADDEN 

Media Coordinator & Founding Member 

Lara currently is in the events business and owns Silver Lining Situations a vintage Airstream caravan set-up as an events space & bar. Only recently established after having her 3rd child. Previously she was the owner operator of an organic bakery and cafe on the Gold Coast where the ethos was if you’re going to be bad, be good at it. This venture was sparked by Lara’s desire to see more organic and sustainable venues on the Gold Coast. Since selling the bakery to focus on raising her young family and smaller business avenues her aim is to continue on the road to a more sustainable way of life and lead by example for her children. To teach them the things she was never taught. In doing this she connected with Katie Norman wanting to learn from her and help forge stronger networks for herself and the greater community.

JENNIFER BOYLE 

Administrative Support & Founding Member 

Jennifer has worked in various sectors for the New South Wales Government including with the NSW Office for Ageing in the Department of Family and Community Services in roles including service coordinator and policy and project officer. Jennifer is currently a volunteer member of the Sustainable Schools Network focusing on policy development, procedures, guidelines and best practice documentation for board approval, minute taking and recording for board meetings, assisting with event management for the annual symposium, general correspondence, and assisting the board members with administration activities. Jennifer has always had a passion for sustainability and has throughout her life made conscious efforts to live more sustainably.

CHELSEA MCLEAN 

Circular Economy

Education Coordinator

Chelsea has worked in PR and marketing for the past 20 years in a range of industries, most recently as a champion for green industry pioneers like BioBag. A passionate composter, Chelsea believes we need to move from our take-make-dispose, linear economy to a circular economy with a closed loop, where valuable resources are recovered and continuously repurposed and waste is designed out of the system.

 

The eldest of her two children is entering a high school STEAM (Science Technology Engineering Arts and Maths) program and she’s certain young people are the ones who will lead us towards a circular economy by innovating solutions to keep resources in the system for longer, at their highest value. There’s nothing Chelsea loves more than seeing young people come up with innovative solutions for environmental sustainability. 

Patricia is a business, policy, public administration and environmental professional with over 10 years of experience in the field. Originally from Mexico, from a young age she developed a strong connection with nature and love for wildlife.

 

Patricia holds a B.A. in International Relations and a Masters in Environment from Griffith University. She has lived and worked in Latin America, Canada and now resides on the Gold Coast where she lives with her husband and two young sons.

PATRICIA LEE 

Writer

Georgia is a passionate educator with over 20 years experience in Australia and overseas. Sharing the sustainability message with others has been a priority throughout her career. She wants to continue helping others to appreciate and care for our world whilst inspiring young minds to create new and innovative solutions to the problems we face.

GEORGIA LIUSSI 

Symposium Support Volunteer

SARUM MEN

Research Data Analyst

OUR BOARD

KATIE NORMAN

CEO, Secretary, Symposium Co-Chair, Co-Founder Awards & Founding Member 

​Katie has previously worked in the Department of Justice in Queensland, the Northern Territory and South Australia as a therapeutic program facilitator and drug counsellor.  Since having her three children, she has lived overseas in Hong Kong where her school-based volunteer experience commenced. Over the last five-six years Katie has been an active volunteer within local schools assisting in classrooms, fundraising and coordinating the creation and production of Tallebudgera State School’s Taste of Tallebudgera cookbook.  More recently, Katie has assisted a local private school to develop a sustainability program, which is an ongoing endeavor. With an undergraduate Bachelor of Science (Psychology) with Honours and current participation in a Masters of Teaching (Primary) program, Katie has strong critical thinking, communication and collaboration skills.  After exposure to environmental issues overseas, and a developing knowledge about Sustainable Education, Katie is attempting to influence her local community towards partnerships for the Sustainable Development Goals.  

Katie was recently awarded the Community Spirit of Somerset Award and Beaded Gecko Award for her service to the Gold Coast community.  She is also a ROAR Social Hero Finalist and 2020 McPherson Community Achiever.

ERIN MERRIN

Chairperson, Social Media Coordinator, Symposium Co-Chair & Founding Member 

Erin has worked as an educational professional in the Humanities field for over 15 years. She spent her first 4 years as a high school teacher educating grades  8 to 12 in a broad range of Humanities subjects including Geography, Ancient and Modern History, Business, Legal Studies and a range of other areas. Currently she is a specialist Geography teacher and Head of Department for a large private school on the Gold Coast, Australia. In her role she leads a group of committed and driven students, The Social Justice & Sustainability Committee. She is a passionate environmentalist with over 15 years experience and has encouraged students in schools where she has been involved to become active and informed global citizens who engage with the Millennium Development Goals, more recently the Sustainable Development Goals or more widely known as the SDG’s.

KATE ROGERS

Strategic Director & Founding Member 

Kate Rogers is a Registered Urban Planner with sixteen years experience working in public and private sectors in Brisbane, Vancouver, Auckland and the Gold Coast. During this time, Kate worked in and then managed the Urban Renewal Task Force (URTF), a Brisbane City Council unit responsible for preparing planning policy, assisting the development process, infrastructure coordination and stakeholder engagement for some of Brisbane’s largest inner-city projects. Sustainable urban systems underpinned this work.

Practicing sustainable thinking daily, Kate specialises in strategic planning, project coordination and facilitation in her urban planning role on the Gold Coast. She has worked in policy and regulatory roles and understands how effective political systems and governance structures are critical to strategy implementation and quality outcomes.

Living on the Tweed with her husband and three young children, Kate is currently Nipper secretary, age manager and patrolling member at Tweed Heads and Coolangatta SLSC. She has previously performed P&F President and Secretary roles and enjoys seeing through projects from concept to practical completion.

CHELLI EASSON

Strategic Director & Founding Member 

Chelli is a lawyer with over 10 years experience in private practice. For many years she lived in Sydney, Hong Kong and Tokyo before settling back on the Gold Coast with her family. Pursuing a passion for sustainability she led the Sustainability & Legacy team for GOLDOC, the organising committee for the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games (GC2018), winning a number of prestigious awards including an Australian Human Rights Award (2018). Since GC2018, she has been consulting on mega sporting events and their role in the context of human rights (specifically the application of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights) and the Sustainable Development Goals. Chelli has been actively involved in the school community for many years, from volunteering in the class room to the P&F committee. She is also a member of the Leadership team of the Sustainable Event Alliance.

KATIE CHIRA GERALDS

Director & Founding Member 

​Katie previously owned and operated early childhood learning education centres in Asia and continues to consult on the business, marketing and curriculum areas of education.  Katie, along with her husband James, started Caldera Fine Foods in 2017, as a value-added food manufacturing business creating unique premium products. Katie’s passion is for sourcing local and sustainable produce with a particular emphasis on promoting Australian native foods.  Through her outreach activities Katie aims to educate the public about the importance of ecological sustainability in the food system. Katie hopes to encourage consumers to make more informed choices reflecting the sustainability, locality and seasonality of the produce and products they are buying. 

JAMES GERALDS

Director & Founding Member 

After a career in enterprise IT management, marketing and consulting James followed his passion for sustainability by starting, with his wife Katie, Green Cauldron Farm. Green Cauldron Farm is a human-scale, regenerative organic farm focussing on developing innovative techniques and methodologies to create new farming models. Through utilising effective and sustainable farming practices James hopes to encourage more people to participate in the growing of produce and developing a truly local food system.  James is also passionate about encouraging businesses to embed sustainability principles as part of their core values and to include sustainability measures in their bottom line.

ALLAN LAHEY

Regional Director

Allan has been an educator since 2001 specialising in teaching agricultural science. He has extensive experience working as a secondary school teacher within Australia as well as a variety of overseas contexts. He has developed a passion for encouraging modern technologies and sustainable community level agriculture. He believes sustainable agriculture is the way forward as it promotes community, builds local economy and cares for the environment.

Raised in Canada, he developed an interest in the natural environment and upon returning to Australia he attained Protected Area Management and Education degrees from the University of Queensland.

Allan, his wife and young family live on their property in Ravensbourne where he aspires to put his beliefs into practice.

NICK BRINKWORTH 

Treasurer

Nick has had a career in financial services for over 25 years, specialising in retail financial advice and funds management.  He currently works for a group founded originally on the Gold Coast called Fitzpatrick’s Private Wealth where he is responsible for managing a community of ‘equity partnered’ advice firms across Australia. 

Nick is passionate about the difference quality retirement-focused financial advice can make in a community and has made the Gold Coast (Australia’s retirement capital!) his home, with his wife Kat and 2 kids, Abigail and Aidan, for the last 12 years.

Nick is also involved in Gold Coast Community Radio, and currently holds the office of Treasurer of 4CRB 89.3 - the number one FM station on the Gold Coast for over 50’s so is excited about sharing his skillset in supporting the financial goals of not-for-profit organisations with the team at SSN.

SYLVIE GARNER

Director

Sylvie Garner is a system’s thinker and a communications and change management specialist. She has extensive experience leading and delivering strategic transformational projects across a range of industries including resource recovery, personalised transport, renewable energy and mining exploration in Queensland.

 

Sylvie is recognised for her collaborative approach and ability to foster cooperative working relationships across a wide range of stakeholders to deliver impactful and achievable solutions.

ALISON SAMMEL

Director

Dr. Alison Sammel teaches at Griffith University where she specialises in Science and Sustainability education. She completed her Doctorate (Western University, Canada) and Master’s degree in Environmental and Sustainability education. Ali has been a teacher in the primary, secondary and tertiary education sectors for nearly 30 years, with over fifteen years as a teacher educator and academic. Her research and teaching centres on building capacity and advocating for environmental literacy and justice, and community-based activism. To this end, her publications include 4 books, over 30 peer-reviewed journal articles or book chapters, two commissioned government reports, and over 50 International conference presentations on Environmental and Sustainability education.

 

Ali has won university teaching awards and has been a school board director; a university chair of department; a Head of Senior School; and a board member to numerous organisations including: The North America Association for Environmental Education, UNICEF and UNESCO. She is a Smithsonian Fellow and has received a Gecko award for service. Ali lives on the Gold Coast and is passionate about nature and being a wildlife carer.

OUR VOLUNTEERS

Patricia is a business, policy, public administration and environmental professional with over 10 years of experience in the field. Originally from Mexico, from a young age she developed a strong connection with nature and love for wildlife.

 

Patricia holds a B.A. in International Relations and a Masters in Environment from Griffith University. She has lived and worked in Latin America, Canada and now resides on the Gold Coast where she lives with her husband and two young sons.

PATRICIA LEE 

Writer

JENNIFER BOYLE 

Administrative Support & Founding Member 

Jennifer has worked in various sectors for the New South Wales Government including with the NSW Office for Ageing in the Department of Family and Community Services in roles including service coordinator and policy and project officer. Jennifer is currently a volunteer member of the Sustainable Schools Network focusing on policy development, procedures, guidelines and best practice documentation for board approval, minute taking and recording for board meetings, assisting with event management for the annual symposium, general correspondence, and assisting the board members with administration activities. Jennifer has always had a passion for sustainability and has throughout her life made conscious efforts to live more sustainably.

CHELSEA MCLEAN 

Circular Economy

Education Coordinator

Chelsea has worked in PR and marketing for the past 20 years in a range of industries, most recently as a champion for green industry pioneers like BioBag. A passionate composter, Chelsea believes we need to move from our take-make-dispose, linear economy to a circular economy with a closed loop, where valuable resources are recovered and continuously repurposed and waste is designed out of the system.

 

The eldest of her two children is entering a high school STEAM (Science Technology Engineering Arts and Maths) program and she’s certain young people are the ones who will lead us towards a circular economy by innovating solutions to keep resources in the system for longer, at their highest value. There’s nothing Chelsea loves more than seeing young people come up with innovative solutions for environmental sustainability. 

Tegan is a dedicated primary school teacher and mother of two young children. She is extremely passionate about education and the environment and her family share her deep love and gratitude of the natural world. She believes that through education, connection and compassion we can help move towards living in harmony with nature. Tegan is volunteering her time to help schools to foster hope and commitment in working together to become a more sustainable network.

TEGAN WATKINS

School Engagement Coordinator

Georgia is a passionate educator with over 20 years experience in Australia and overseas. Sharing the sustainability message with others has been a priority throughout her career. She wants to continue helping others to appreciate and care for our world whilst inspiring young minds to create new and innovative solutions to the problems we face.

GEORGIA LIUSSI 

Symposium Support Volunteer

LARA MADDEN 

Support Team & Founding Member 

Lara currently is in the events business and owns Silver Lining Situations a vintage Airstream caravan set-up as an events space & bar. Only recently established after having her 3rd child. Previously she was the owner operator of an organic bakery and cafe on the Gold Coast where the ethos was if you’re going to be bad, be good at it. This venture was sparked by Lara’s desire to see more organic and sustainable venues on the Gold Coast. Since selling the bakery to focus on raising her young family and smaller business avenues her aim is to continue on the road to a more sustainable way of life and lead by example for her children. To teach them the things she was never taught. In doing this she connected with Katie Norman wanting to learn from her and help forge stronger networks for herself and the greater community.

CAROLINE FLETCHER

Youth Engagement Coordinator

Caroline is studying a Bachelor of Human Services and a Bachelor of Criminology and Criminal Justice. As a result of her own journey in the care system, Caroline is a strong advocate for children and young people living in out-of-home care. She has worked with the CREATE foundation to promote and create systemic change in the out-of-home sector.


Caroline is an experienced presenter. She recently participated in an online podcast with Bravehearts about child safe organisations, was a panel member for the Queensland Mental Health Commission's Shifting Minds launch and presented the findings of the QFCC's Growing up in Queensland project.


Caroline's other interests include breaking the stigma for children and young people in out-of-home care, youth mental health, youth restorative justice, children’s rights and climate and environmental action for the future. Her career goal is to create positive change in these fields.

Emily is one of the new Youth Coordinators for the SSN. She is 20 years old, studying at Griffith University doing a double Bachelor of Law, and a Bachelor of Government and International Relations. New to the Coast, Emily has moved to Coolangatta from Port Macquarie in NSW where she grew up.

 

In her spare time she is usually at the beach, skating through Cooly, doing uni readings, drinking coffee (or wine), and hanging out with her mates. 

EMILY TOWLE

Youth Coordinator

Sarum is a passionate English Teacher and a dedicated and compassionate yoga Teacher. She has taught at a public school in the countryside of South Korea and a town in Vietnam, a private institute in Cambodia and at a Ladies Applied Medical Science and Nursing University in Abha, Saudi Arabia.

Due to her exposure to environmental concerns across the globe she is passionate about researching how institutions in Australia can make a greater positive impact on the environment through informed data analysis.

Sarum holds both a B.A of Business with a Major in Marketing and a Master of Applied Linguistics from Macquarie University. In 2018 and 2019, she spent four months living and learning about sustainable practices and organic farming as part of an eco-yoga community in NSW, Australia.

© 2019 by the Sustainable Schools Network, Ltd.  Website designed by Katie Norman ©

Proudly created with Wix.com

For more information email: 

info@ssn.org.au

The Sustainable Schools Network acknowledges Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people as the Traditional Custodians of the land and acknowledges and pays respect to their Elders, past, present and emerging.

The Sustainable Schools Network Limited is a not-for-profit Australian company limited by guarantee.  

NOW AN OFFICIALLY REGISTERED CHARITY.

Founding Partners

Founding Partners