For any Board related enquiries, please contact [email protected]

To contact individual Board members, you can contact them via email. Addresses are written as [email protected]

Liana Downey 

Liana Downey (GAICD) is an experienced senior leader and board member with experience in the corporate, government and for-purpose sector. Former roles include Deputy Secretary for Strategy and Delivery for NSW Department of Education, Special Advisor to Prime Minister and Cabinet and CEO of a boutique strategic advisory firm with offices in Sydney and New York. Downey led the development of Australia's first Greenhouse Gas Abatement Cost curve, was a leader of McKinsey & Company’s sustainability practice, and recently established and led Common Ground on Climate—a national multidisciplinary research project to identify pragmatic opportunities to safeguard Australia's environment and economy.

Downey holds an MBA (Public Policy) from Stanford (Arjay Miller Scholar), has co-authored white papers on effective approaches for managing Australia’s energy transition, and is the author of Mission Control: How Nonprofits and Governments Can Focus, Achieve More and Change the World (Taylor and Rutledge, 2016).

Shar Molloy 
Vice President

Shar has over 25 years’ experience working in environmental organisations and her qualifications are in finance, management, governance, mediation and campaigning. Shar led the Environment Centre of the Northern Territory from 2017 to 2022 and has served on the board of the Environmental Defenders Office (NT) and the Darwin Asylum Seeker Support and Advocacy Network (DASSAN). Shar designed and delivered the 10GW Vision in collaboration with Beyond Zero Emissions, and the successful and award-winning Repower NT campaign in 2020, which changed the conversation about renewable energy in the Northern Territory.

Sarah English
Vice President 

Sarah has led campaigns and communications in environmental, human rights, and political organisations for more than a decade, working with both grassroots groups and national organisations like Amnesty International and GetUp. She has a Master of Human Rights and is completing further postgraduate studies in Climate Policy. Sarah is an advocate for shifting to renewable energy as early as possible in order to address the climate crisis, create jobs and make energy more affordable, and prevent further damage to First Nations' sites. Sarah has served on the ACF Council since 2018, and was elected to the Board in 2022.


Leon Cermak

Leon has worked in policy roles in energy, climate change and sustainability. Currently working at Tesla across VPP and DER policy and programs, Leon has extensive knowledge of energy systems, economics and finance. Prior to joining Tesla, Leon worked in various ministerial, policy and political roles across state and federal government. Leon is passionate about ensuring that the transition to sustainable energy is socially equitable and that Australia leads the world in supporting nature. Leon has been an ACF Councillor since 2018, is a BA (Public Policy), MBA, GCM and AICD graduate. He lives and works on Kaurna land.

Joshua Gilbert

Joshua is a Worimi man, farmer, and academic who shares the narration of Indigenous identity through agricultural truths in light of modern contexts. Each day, Josh's work seeks to connect the oldest living culture in the world with modernity, promoting the relevance of culture and Indigenous practices through today's lens.

Josh is undertaking a PhD at Charles Sturt University, focused on the concept of Indigenous modernity through agriculture. He was recently recognised internationally for his work, announced in the inaugural 50 Next: People Shaping the Future of Gastronomy cohort, and has spent years connecting farmers with the climate movement.

Melanie Birtchnell
Board Member 

Melanie has worked in diverse areas of Ecology for over 20 years. Amongst this, Melanie completed a PhD in landscape-scale flowering ecology based on observational (qualitative and quantitative) data. Melanie is a consultant, providing professional mentoring and development services for ecologists and biodiversity planners as well as consulting on threatened species conservation. She has extensive experience in research; professional development training and facilitation; consulting; education; biodiversity planning; and community engagement, and is a recognised leader in environmental advocacy. Melanie is passionate about connecting people and place, and in systems change that increases communities’ ability to be effective changemakers. Melanie joined the ACF Council in 2021, representing Victoria.

Ros Harvey 
Board Member

Ros is an entrepreneur and experienced global technology leader. She is the CEO and Founder of The Yield, which uses AI to help its customers grow sell and distribute food more profitably with less environmental impact. Ros has a commitment to creating public good with private effort using innovative technology. She founded the multi-stakeholder global Better Work initiative in apparel and co-founded the Food Agility Cooperative Research Centre. She has worked around the world for the UN and World Bank Group. Named in 2018 as one of the Australian Financial Reviews 100 Most Influential Women. Ros is an Australian Institute of Company Directors graduate.


David Hood
Board Member 

David is a civil and environmental engineer and a trained climate leader with Al Gore’s Climate Reality Project. David is an Adjunct Professor at the University of Queensland, where he teaches Sustainability in Engineering Architecture and IT Faculty. He was made a Member of the Order of Australia in 2013 in recognition of his contribution to engineering through industry and professional associations, and for lifting public awareness of sustainability.

Sarah Reid
Board Member

Sarah is a coordinator of the ACT ACF Community Group and has first-hand knowledge of how ACF’s community organising strategy is implemented and believes there is great value and strength in engaging people at the community level. Sarah has been the ACT’s representative on ACF Council since 2018, and is the President of the Board of the Conservation Council ACT Region. Sarah is excited by the potential of ACF’s Community work to reach and engage people who want to contribute their voices but haven’t known how. She seeks to help amplify these voices in her role with the ACF Board.

Grace Vegesana
Board Member

Grace (she/they) is a 22-year-old woman-of-colour fighting for climate, economic & racial justice on stolen Dharug, Gundungurra and Tharawal land across Western Sydney. She is pioneering an intersectional portfolio as the Climate & Racial Justice Director for the Australian Youth Climate Coalition. She sits on the Boards of the Foundation for Young Australians and the Australian Conservation Foundation, and volunteers for Democracy in Colour.

Grace is passionate about working in the intersections of climate justice to build grassroots power in culturally, linguistically, and religiously diverse and climate-affected communities in Australia to forge transformational solutions to the climate crisis.