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.

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 almost 20 years. Narelle undertakes and is involved in a wide range of activites, campaigns and initiatives focussed on 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 board representative and Deputy-Chair of the SEQ Catchments Members Association and is an Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF) Counciller for Queensland.,

Operations & Finance Manager - Ben Child

Ben is an experienced fundraising, partnerships and community engagement specialist having worked with a range of organisations including Barung Landcare, QLD Conservation Council, National Breast Cancer Foundation, Netball QLD, Australia Zoo Wildlife Warriors and Bowls Queensland.

Member - Kelly Matthews

Kelly is the founder director of Green Tape Solutions, an environmental based consultancy. She has extensive experience and expertise in environmental management, biodiversity impact assessment and community liaison. Over the past 20 years, she has been involved in management, consulting, research and community-based studies of terrestrial ecology. She is known in South-east Queensland, where she has practiced in environmental consultancy since July 2006 and she has a reputation for professionalism, integrity and expertise in her field. Kelly is committed to high standards of professional and ethical conduct in the areas of environmental impact assessment and management.

Kelly obtained  in-depth knowledge of planning and environmental legislation, in addition to a comprehensive understanding of development-related impacts.  Having worked as an ecologist within and outside Australia (France where she is born and New Caledonia) and in the Development Assessment team within local Government, she understands the fundamentals needed to deliver major developments and associated infrastructure in a difficult legislative and economic environment.

Kelly is a Certified Environmental Practitioner from the Environment Institute of Australia and New Zealand (EIANZ). This was awarded in recognition of her role as a leading environmental professional, committed to high ethical and professional standards in the areas of ecological impact assessment and management.

The focus of her role in Sunshine Coast Environmental Council is to assist with the assessment and delivery of sustainable developments across Sunshine Coast and ensure a balanced outcome is achieve for our environment. 

In her spare time, Kelly is a bat carer, license bird banders and passionate horse rider.