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PATRON- Professor Ian Lowe

Ian Lowe

Professor Ian Lowe AO is former Head of School of Science and currently Emeritus Professor of Science, Technology and Society at Griffith University in Brisbane. He is also an adjunct Professor at Sunshine Coast University and Flinders University.

The author of 20 books and more than 500 other publications, Professor Lowe’s contributions to environmental science have won him a Centenary Medal, the Eureka Prize for promotion of Science, the Prime Minister’s Environment Award for Outstanding Individual Achievement, the Queensland Premier’s Millennium Award for Excellence in Science, and the University of NSW Alumni Award for Achievement in Science. Professor Lowe was named Humanist of the Year in 1988 and was made an Officer of the Order of Australia in 2001.

He has also been a referee for the Inter-Governmental Panel on Climate Change and attended the Geneva and Kyoto Conferences of the parties to the Framework Convention on Climate Change and was also a member of the delegation to the 1999 UNESCO World Conference on Science.

In 1988 Professor Lowe was a Director of the Commission for the Future. In 1996 he was chairperson of the Advisory Council producing the first National Report on the State of Australia’s Environment. One of his principal interests is the way policy decisions influence use of science and technology, especially in the fields of energy and environment. Professor Lowe has made countless contributions to newspapers, radio, television and periodicals since 1991. He presented the ABC’s Boyer Lectures in 1991 and was a member of the advisory group for Brisbane’s ‘Ideas at the Powerhouse’ for the four years of that event. He is a member of the board of Major Brisbane Festivals Ltd and is President of Queensland Academy of the Arts and Sciences.

He was Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF) President from 2004 to 2014. Professor Lowe utilised his time as head of ACF using his status, as one of the World’s foremost scientists, to promote awareness of Climate Change in Australia and the World.

In 2009 he was awarded the International Academy of Science’s Konrad Lorenz Gold Medal carrying the title: ‘Hope for the Future: for a Sustainable World’.

A Cricket-Playing Scientist.

In his spare time, Professor Lowe plays cricket, as probably the oldest serious outswing bowler in Queensland club cricket. In 2013 he was part of Australia’s first over-70’s cricket team to tour England, and while the match pace might be a little slower it was still a demanding tour. “We played seven counties in England’s over-70’s competition; and another three matches against the combined England side. We pitted ourselves against the best geriatrics England can put on the paddock,” Professor Lowe said. He has also represented Queensland every year since the State joined the Over-60s competition, and plays over-40s cricket for Sunshine Coast Antiquarians. But for all that, he points out that in 55 years of competitive cricket he has only achieved one century and one tenfer.“I’ve always been a scientist who enjoyed playing cricket rather than someone who sees cricket as his life’s work,” Professor Lowe said.

A Singing Professor

Professor Lowe also sings tenor in choral groups, walks in the Australian bush and overseas mountains, reads voraciously, watches films and is trying to improve his golf game. He lives on the Sunshine Coast with his partner, Patricia Kelly. Between them they have three adult sons, aged between 20 and 30.

Since 1992, Professor Lowe has been a featured speaker in talks and in many, many forums at the GREENhouse venue at Woodford Folk Festival. He has consistently attracted a standing-room only audience. And since 2002 he has been a regular and popular participant in this festival’s GREAT GREEN DEBATE.  He now regularly writes and sings in his light tenor voice a song as part of his argument. This has now become an audience expectation after he sang all the verses of Bob Dylan’s  ‘Times are a Changin’ to a madly cheering audience in THE GREAT GREEN DEBATE 2006.  He has also sung a political satire to the tune of Waltzing Matilda on ABC’s Science Show.

Ian was awarded the inaugural Order of Woodfordia in 2012 for 20 years of environmental commitment to Woodford and The GREENhouse.

“The future is not somewhere we are going but rather a place we create by our own actions — or inactions — now.”

Professor Ian Lowe,  Bigger or Better? Australia’s Population Debate. University of QLD Press 2012

PRESIDENT – Keryn Jones


Keryn Jones has had some unconventional jobs… a heavy plant operator for BHP on Groote Eylandt in the Northern Territory (where she met her now husband of 30 years); and also a ‘jillaroo’ in Julia Creek in western Queensland. Mostly though, she worked as an administrator in the retail and travel sectors before a stint in Papua New Guinea as office manager for a large engineering company.

In 1990, back on the Sunshine Coast, Keryn and her husband established an electrical contracting business, now also solar, that is still thriving and employs 9 people.
As a mature aged student, in 2005, Keryn graduated with a Bachelor of Social Science and a Distinguished Academic Record Award from the University of the Sunshine Coast. Soon after, she was employed by SCEC, first as an administration co-ordinator and later as campaign co-ordinator.

In 2008 Keryn was elected to the Sunshine Coast Regional Council where she held the Environment portfolio throughout her 4 year term and oversaw the development of major environmental strategic documents. She was also Chair of Quad Park Corporation during the planning, design, construction and commissioning of the stadium at Quad Park at Warana.

In 2009 Keryn was chosen for the Outstanding Alumnus of the Year Award by the University of the Sunshine Coast for her contribution to awareness-raising on environmental issues.

Keryn is now working full time managing the family electrical and solar business. She and her husband have 2 boys, both studying at university in Brisbane.

VICE-PRESIDENT – Jillian Rossiter


Jillian is an experienced businesswoman and teacher. She joined SCEC in 1990 and has held the positions of President, Vice President and Secretary.

Jillian edited the magazine ‘Eco Echo’ (the Green Voice of the Sunshine Coast) for ten years. She has interviewed some of the Sunshine Coast’s most celebrated environmental warriors including Stan Tutt. Jillian wrote and compiled the Sunshine Coast Daily column ECOlines.

Public awareness is Jillian’s passion. In 2000 she began programming and coordinating the well-respected environmental venue, ‘The GREENhouse’, at the Woodford Folk Festival. Until 2010 Jillian brought together environmentalists, academics, farmers and business people on stage, over a six day festival, to discuss the big issues of the day. Jillian staged the Great Green Debate at Woodford with a regular audience of 2000.

MEMBER- Leigh Warneminde

Leigh Warneminde

Leigh Warneminde was born in Brisbane and moved to Coolum in 1985 to pursue her nursing and midwifery career.
Having grown up exploring and enjoying the many natural surroundings that South East Queensland offered, her interest in the environment was fostered at an early age.
By the early 1990’s, living at Mt Coolum with her partner and two children. At this time, Leigh was for a short period of time secretary of the Mt Coolum Residents association.
Following that she moved with her family to Yaroomba, which is where her passion for native Coastal flora and fauna was unleashed.
Leigh has been involved in the Coolum District Coast Care Group, as a volunteer, since its inception and a Management Committee member of SCEC since 2013.
She continues to undertake an array of practical activities to preserve and protect the area with like- minded people.

MEMBER- Sue Etheridge

Sue Etheridge-Portrait-01 (Smaller)

Sue has a lifelong association with the Sunshine Coast. As a child, family holidays were always spent here, and Sue loved the coast so much, she has been living and working here since 1982.

Sue worked for the Commonwealth Bank as a Loans Officer until 1999, and since then she has worked from home as the Accounts Manager and partial owner of a successful local business. She is a registered BAS Agent, and has recently completed a Diploma of Accounting. This has allowed her to have full-time employment, but also be a full-time mother to her two children.

Sue is an active member of the community, and, over the years, has served on several local committees as President and Treasurer.

Sue is extremely passionate about preserving the natural environment, and has been on the Management Committee of SCEC as Treasurer since 2012.

In her spare time, Sue enjoys reading, gardening, bushwalking, and adventure holidays. The highlight to date has been walking the Kokoda Track in 2008 as a tribute to her late father who served there in WW2.