Team Profiles

We are a dynamic team of 16 people predominantly based in Australia. While Brisbane is home to the core team, Climatefirst has active members in Melbourne, Byron Bay, Singapore, Colorado & New York.  The founding directors Werner and Adrian are guided by a highly experienced and qualified advisory board, and supported by a skilled and passionate active team who are on the ground helping to put put the talk into action.  

Foundation Directors

Adrian Vannisse - founding director


Adrian is a spatial information specialist with over 12 years experience in the environmental consulting industry. Adrian is an experienced manager and has run a small business based on the east coast of Australia for the last 11 years. Adrian has been a team leader and project manager at a major Australian environmental and town planning consultancy for over 6 years. He is an active and current member of the Australian Greens party and participates in LandCare projects and a number of rainforest regeneration projects in Northern NSW.

A passion for geography and an adventurous spirit has seen Adrian explore many of the far corners the world, learning and understanding the interaction of humans and their environments. Witnessing the extent of human impact on our climate and ecosystems and the lack of action from some governments and coorporations,  Adrian was compelled to establish climatefirst as a platform for change.  He believes our future as a civilisation depends on finding a balance between natural and human systems - and that this change starts with the individual.  


Werner Murray - founding director

Werner Murray Photo

Werner brings experience from working in multiple countries, industries and emersion in many walks of life. Graduating from an Environmental degree program in New Zealand laid the foundation for a broad understanding of both the science and society of our environments.


Werner started his working life in the education and training industries with the belief that corporate mindsets are changed through education; he has been involved with providing educational materials for clients like Telstra, Australian Tax Office and Suzuki Motor Company. It is with this in mind that he now turns his focus to communities and consumers to change the mindset through education and inspiration. Werner also brings project finance and IT expertise to the table.  



Tony Chadwick - director

Tony Chadwick Photo

Sustainability and Professional Services Executive & Technology Pioneer

Educated in Melbourne with a flair for Marketing and Business, Tony has a broad management and leadership track record encapsulating; Innovation, Printing, Digital Technology, Economic Development and Sustainability. Tony has founded 4 enterprises and worked at senior executive level for publicly listed companies in Australia, and India and the USA.

Tony is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and has been Chairman’ of the Logan Office of Economic Development for the last 6 years. Tony was integral in creating and launching world's first Environmental Business Cluster for the breathtaking Delfin S/E Qld project ‘Yarrabilba’ - Australia’s First Sustainable City. He is also a driving force behind  Speakout Ltd - an innovative social training and digital media enterprise assisting teenagers at risk.
Tony is best known as, an agent of change, especially in pioneering new technology innovations, customer relationship initiatives and leading teams towards radical supply chain or value channel re-engineering. He has been described as a Maverick, with entrepreneurial qualities and has featured in numerous Print articles and spoken on Radio, Television and at leading technology seminars and conferences throughout the world including: Asia and the USA. Tonys vision is to help raise the bar of Australian innovation and leadership thinking. 

Ali Cassels - director

Ali Cassles Photo

Marketing Strategy, Creative Direction, Campaign & Brand Management

Ali is an internationally experienced and ethically motivated consultant and business owner, she has an Environmental Management Degree and Post Graduate study in Commerce & Marketing.

Ali has worked in both client and agency side Marketing Management and Creative Direction on a plethora of innovative projects for SME’s through to multinationals across Australasia and Europe.

Ali's passion is for the promotion of conscious consumerism and the integration of ethics and sustainable practice in all levels of public and private business and industry. Inciting and supporting consumer and commercial paradigm shifts towards true sustainability.

Presently Ali divides her time between Australia and New Zealand managing the marketing and the commercialisation of  various environmentally motivated non profit movements and aligned local government initiatives and advisory committees.


Stephen Hutchison - director

Stephen HutchisonStephen comes to Climatefirst Foundation with an eclectic background in information technology, community development and arts management. He has a degree in Computer Science and has worked as an IT consultant in Brisbane, Perth, Darwin and Kuala Lumpur.

After several years developing software and providing IT support to remote indigenous art centres in the Northern Territory and the Kimberly, Stephen took the plunge and managed the Aboriginal art centre on Elcho Island just off the coast of North East Arnhemland. He spent three years living and working with Yolngu people and considers it to have been one of the most valuable and rewarding experiences of his life.

Now living in Brisbane, Stephen develops web based technologies for the not-for-profit community services sector across Queensland.



Advisory Board

Ken Hickson

Ken Hickson Photo

CEO, Sustain Ability Showcase Consultancy Asia Pty Ltd
Governor, WWF Australia
Director, ABC Carbon
Author, "The ABC of Carbon"
Editor, abc carbon express
Founder, Green Earth Communicators Organisation (GECO)
Chairman, Publicity Committee, Singapore Environment Council
Director, Carbon Zero Solutions

A journalist by training, working in newspapers, magazines, radio & television in New Zealand, before he succumbed to the wider world of communications, including public relations for airlines and a host of businesses throughout the Asia Pacific. Ken  is now an Associate Professor adjunct at the University of the Sunshine Coast. Ken was the World Wide Fund for Nature honorary representative in Singapore for 4 years and he now serves as a Governor of WWF Australia, also providing business, communications and fund-raising support. 

Watch a short clip on Ken talking about his book:

Ken believes climate change is a reality we all need to face up to. We can adapt and change the course of history. He urges recognition for carbon in its many forms and many uses. He would like this century to be called “The Age of Carbon” and encourages United Nations and Governments to provide leadership to lead industry and communities away from the drastic consequences of climate change. He is currently working with clients as well as other specialist consultants within Australia and overseas to deliver services required to deal with the issues and opportunities presented by climate change.

Subscribe to Ken's newsletter to keep up to date with international climate change news at


Deanna Hutchison

Deanna Hutchison PhotoTechnology adoption focused on simulation and flexible learning industries.

Deanna is recognized as a leading strategic entrepreneur in the field of technology adoption, consulting to major resource companies in Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and Asia, and collaborating with international technology and government organizations. She holds a Bachelor of Business (Marketing) from Central Queensland University.

Deanna has been instrumental in devising and implementing strategies to improve workforce planning and development practices within the international resources sector. Her strategic involvement in the national simulation and flexible learning industries extends over a decade, spanning product development, strategic marketing, change management, educational design, standards development and technology integration.

The innovator behind PROJECT CANARY (a world first serious game currently revolutionising the culture of safety training in heavy industry) and the Australian Simulation Research Office, Deanna has achieved national recognition for working with not-for-profit organizations, peak bodies, and small-to-medium enterprises.

Her specialist skills lie in applying commercial principles of market, risk and financial analysis, successfully marrying commercial and altruistic goals to attain medium and long-term business objectives.

Kat Sadeghi

Kat_Sadeghi Associate Laywer at White & Case LLP in New York


Kat works as an Associate at White & Case LLP in New York.  Prior, she obtained a Juris Doctor from the University of Connecticut School of Law, where she served as Editor-in-Chief of the Connecticut Journal of International Law.  She also has a Master of Arts in Middle Eastern Studies from New York University, and a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations from the University of Pennsylvania.  

In 2003-2004, Kat served as a Fulbright Scholar in Ankara, Turkey, where she studied natural resource management and worked at the Environment Foundation of Turkey.  She presently is involved in a pro bono initiative aimed at reducing carbon emissions in developing countries, and is eager to help develop other avenues to prevent climate change.


Cameron Burgess

Cameron Burgess PhotoSocial and sustainable enterprise commercialisation consultant; greenpreneur, marketer and keynote speaker.

Cameron is considered to be one of the most knowledgeable marketers in Australia’s LOHAS industry, and is a frequent speaker at conferences and expos.  He owns and runs three Australian companies and one US company serving the sustainable enterprise market
His consultancy -- uncompromise -- most closely captures his overall character; as a commercialization advisor to early-stage companies, he extracts the fluff and replaces it with hard-nosed business strategy, which allows the world-changing work of social entrepreneurs to actually create an impact on people, and the planet.

Cameron has been a sustainability pioneer in Australia, having founded and advised many of the first sustainable minded enterprises in the country.


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Active Team

Luke Wright 

Luke Wright Photo

Communications and Media


Luke has worked for environmental organisations, owned and managed small eco and media businesses, founded and managed a not-for-profit project in Bolivia, and is a widely published journalist and magazine editor in Australia and abroad.

Luke has a diverse and unique background that has seen him do everything from counting cash in the vaults of the Reserve Bank of Australia, to jumping from an airplane wearing a koala suit!



Sarah Brikke

Sarah Brikke PhotoEnvironmental Education and Awareness, Research, Communications.

Currently Sarah is studying a PhD in Education (behavioural change of children on climate change). Sarah has been a researcher for universities and governments in Peru and in French Polynesia. She practiced as renewable energies consultant in Vanuatu.
She has undertaken Green Steps training and is now doing an internship at the Foundation of Development Cooperation creating the curriculum for a training manual on Education for Sustainable Development for microfinance’s in the Asia-Pacific region.
See Sarah present her Thesis topic in a three minute speach at Griffith University in Queensland, Australia. click here



Ramon Szeitszam

                                                               Ramon Szeitszam Photo

IT Specialist, Business Systems Advisor, strategist.


Ramon has provided solutions and support for mission critical applications to a diverse range of clients including Foxtel, Telstra, Centrelink, Energy Australia, Ergon Energy and Brisbane City Council. He has a broad range of expertise in areas including software design, development, support, project management and business and systems analysis.




Jonothan Levey

Jonothan Levey PhotoSocial media, web development and marketing

Jonathan has an extensive hospitality background where he discovered the importance of Social Media as a way to reach a broad audience and promote quality products. He established the Barclub Loyalty concept which is a web based tool that relies almost solely on Facebook, Twitter and such sites to recruit new members and spread the word about his fantastic product.

Jonathan is excited to use this knowledge to help Climatefirst have a positive impact on the effect of climate change.  If you want to check out Barclub and see how Jonathan has created an online community go to




 Amanda Manton

Amanda Manton PhotoSales and Marketing consultant, events manager, indigenous relations, media coordinator

Amanda is a specialist in  Marketing, Media and Communications and a has a  passion for  the environment, music and the arts. Her early years were spent curating The 'Abused Child' trust art exhibitions and she also co-writes performance pieces with Indigenous Poet Yvette Walker. Amanda is affiliated with the Pacific Islander Reference Group, Reconciliation Queensland, The Abused Child Trust Foundation, Young Care, The National Indigenous Chamber of Commerce.

Amanda is the Project Manager for the Brisbane Indigenous and Torres Strait Islander music festival Stylin'UP' and is a feelance journalist for Indigenous Rock Music. Amanda has previously held many arts and music industry contracts including Arts Curator for the Brisbane three day environmental festival 'GreenFest', , the 'Byron Bay  Blues and Roots Festival', 'Splendor in the Grass' festival, 'Woodfordia', and 'Island Vibe' Stradbroke Island indegenous festival. 



Matt McComb


Administration & Finance Officer

Matt is a studying a Bachelor of Urban Development majoring in Property Economics at Queensland’s University of Technology. He is also employed as a finance officer at a built environment consultancy. Matt’s has a broad understanding of finance, project management, surveying and administration.





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