Our Team

Professor 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.

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

Derek Foster - President

Derek has lived on the Sunshine Coast since the 1970s. He is an award winning environmentalist who has worked in many countries delivering community development and environmental education programs and was awarded a Churchill Fellowship to study citizen science initiatives in the USA and Canada. He has many achievements under his belt. He was part of the team that developed the first Environmental Education curriculum for Queensland schools, is the designer and founder of the Maroochy Wetlands Sanctuary and was the principle author for Waterwatch Queensland and founded Maroochy Waterwatch. Recently he was a member of the Maroochy River Estuarine Consultative Group which investigated the issue of rock walling the mouth of the Maroochy River.  During the early 2000’s he was part of the post tsunami recovery team from Australia focussing on community and economic rebuilding in Indonesia. He is an internationally recognised facilitator and has authored books on this subject. His current area of passion is eco music about which he is undertaking doctoral work at USC. As an adjunct to this research he performs with the Landscape Band which focusses on eco music about and for the environment.

Jillian Rossiter


Jillian joined Sunshine Coast Environment Council in 1990. She had trained and worked as a teacher but more recently came from a business background. Through her years with SCEC Jillian has been President, Vice President and Secretary . She has been part of the Management Committee since 1992. Jillian edited the magazine Eco Echo (the Green Voice of the Sunshine Coast) for ten years. This magazine outlined many local environmental issues and now constitutes a historical record of many of the environmental battles fought on the Coast. These successes have now won support, respect and acceptance of the community. 

Jillian as editor of Eco Echo introduced oral histories and interviewed some of Sunshine Coast Environment Council's founders and renowned environmentalists. This also lead to a series of interviews with some of the Sunshine Coast’s most celebrated 'environmental warriors' including Stan Tutt and Mark Ricketts. Jillian also complied and edited a Sunshine Coast Daily column ECOlines for several years.

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 2010-11 Jillian brought together environmentalists, academics, farmers and business people on stage to discuss the big issues of the day. This was achieved through forums, debates and talks over this six day festival.


Sue Etheridge


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.


Narelle McCarthy


Passionate about nature from a young age, Narelle holds a Diploma in Conservation and Land Management and has been actively involved in natural resource management, conservation and related fields for the past 13 years. Narelle’s involvement has included a wide range of activities such as strategic policy and planning, advisory groups and practical endeavours in both a professional and personal capacity.

Narelle engages in genuine collaboration for improved environmental outcomes and the practice of sustainability and is continually inspired by the many outstanding environmental stewards and champions who make such a difference to the Sunshine Coast and the planet. 

Working with SCEC enables Narelle to fulfil her personal and professional desire to be effective in the protection of the natural values of the region (and beyond) while building on SCEC’s impressive 40 year conservation legacy.

Narelle is an Environment Sector representative on the Board of the SEQ Catchments Members Association and is also a member of the Executive of the Queensland Conservation Council (QCC), the state’s peak non-government environment group since 1969

Natalie Frost


Natalie has been passionate about conservation from a young age. Since then she has dedicated her life to making a positive difference through engaging the community to make positive environmental choices. 

Natalie has a degree in Ecology and Conservation Biology and has worked on various environmental impact assessments, ecological surveys and management plans in South East Queensland and Central America. After leaving Queensland in 2014 to live in the UK, she was fortunate to gain a position working to develop an innovative start-up company that develops underused urban spaces into thriving community assets that deliver environmental education along with a holistic approach to wellbeing through various nature-based programmes. 

Since joining SCEC in late 2018 Natalie has enjoyed reconnecting with the natural beauty of the Sunshine Coast and remains dedicated to conserve and protect the local flora and fauna whilst connecting with the local community to make a positive difference. 


Vice President - Michael Kane

Michael Kane has worked for more than 20 years as a community organiser in the Australian environmental movement. He’s had the privilege to work for Lock the GateClean Air Queensland Solar CitizensFarmers for Climate Action and most recently the Mackay Conservation Group.

Community organising has consistently been at the heart of his campaigning. He finds it particularly rewarding to organise in conservative communities and has learned, “We have much in common with groups that haven’t traditionally allied with the environmental movement. Winning in a genuinely community-led campaign can be the sweetest victory of all!”

Michael recently relocated to the Sunshine Coast Region and is studying a degree in law with an elective focus on the environment, human rights and international law.

Member - Jason Rao Sellaiah

Jason and his family have recently moved to the Sunshine Coast after spending the last 4 years working in a remote aboriginal community. His focus there was to empower the community members through cultural activities, art, education, business development, mentoring, and language and natural environment conservation.

Jason has spent the last two decades acquiring diverse skills and knowledge across mediums and industries, these include management roles in art & culture, tourism, hospitality and social enterprise and community development. He loves planting trees and creating artworks from naturally found objects.

He strongly believes that the blueprint of our success exists within nature and only through understanding, respecting, and protecting it we can further evolve as a species.