Andrew is a long-term Brunswick resident and CERES member who has campaigned for social change since his teenage years. He has worked for peace and nuclear disarmament movements, anti-poverty organisations and trade unions. He worked for Oxfam Australia for nearly twenty-two years, including eleven years as Executive Director. Since leaving Oxfam at the end of 2012, he has completed a doctorate in international relations and has taught at Victoria and La Trobe universities. He has been a board member of the Australian Energy Foundation since 2010 and has recently become a board member of the United Nations Association of Australia (Victoria Division). He has the misfortune of being a dedicated supporter of the Melbourne football club.
Nicole is a public policy, strategy and governance professional specialising in climate change, energy, and the environment. Nicole has a passion for long-term thinking and our role as stewards of this planet – as good ancestors. Nicole is deeply committed to supporting the global transition to zero emissions and to creating a sustainable future.
Nicole’s career has included working for governments, international agencies, and NGOs across Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands. When not at CERES, Nicole works with Arup, helping clients chart a course to a zero-emissions, sustainable future.
Although Nicole has lived all over the world, Melbourne’s inner north is her home, and CERES has always been at the centre of her community. Nicole cherishes CERES as a unique organisation, which provides us the opportunity to live more consciously on this planet, and to connect with the earth and each other – a salve for these uncertain times.
Thomas has been the CERES Treasurer for the last 12 years and a proud CERES advocate for much longer. He works closely with the stellar CERES Finance team to manage risk, audit and financial matters. He believes there is even more potential here to unlock now that we’ve learnt how to complement our prized environmental and social contributions with stable financial management and incredibly innovative enterprises. When he isn’t enjoying the fresh air at CERES, he works at NAB in marketing. Thomas has postgraduate business and company directorship qualifications. He lives locally and rides his bike everywhere. His favourite season at CERES is autumn.
Giselle is a senior executive with a strong background in fundraising, philanthropy, communications, events, project management and strategy development across the for-purpose sector. Giselle is currently the Director of Programs and Content at Philanthropy Australia and is responsible for the development and delivery of a cohesive national program to inform, inspire and enable better philanthropic giving.
Giselle has previously held Company Secretary roles, managing Board and governance processes. She is an optimistic thinker with a unique perspective acquired from diverse personal and professional experiences and networks. This is complemented by a no-nonsense attitude and ability to both think big and get things done. Giselle is currently completing the Williamson Community Leadership Program and is a Director of the Victorian Student Representative Council, the peak body representing school-aged students in Victoria, putting them front and centre of education design.
When Giselle isn’t working, she enjoys knitting, reading, weightlifting, learning Portuguese and tending to her indoor jungle and outdoor veggie garden.
Emrys Nekvapil is a neighbour of CERES. 12 years ago, he, his wife and their young family bought their house three doors down on the basis of its proximity to CERES. Since then, at and through CERES, they have raised their family, found their weekly earthly and spiritual sustenance, been taught and taught, bought, fixed and given bikes, rejoiced and wept for the Earth, enjoyed coffee and company in the sunshine, looked after the chooks, listened to music, and so often found solace, wandering in warm and cold evenings, listening to the frogs, the wind through the trees, the burbling of the Merri.
Emrys has a deep love of, and commitment to CERES, as a rooted place and a being in motion. When he is not at CERES, Emrys is often being a barrister at the Victorian Bar, where he specialises in cases about First Nations and environmental justice.
Ashley is a highly strategic and collaborative social innovation professional with over 10 years’ experience in the social impact sector. As an enabling leader her endeavours are underpinned by a lifelong passion and commitment to social justice, inclusion, equality, and a healthy environment.
The through-line of Ashley’s career is her ability to lay the foundations for growth. She has proven success designing and implementing flagship programs and initiatives that meet strategic objectives, and scaling these to a point where they deliver social impact and commercial value. Her expertise includes social enterprise, impact strategy, educational program design, social innovation, and stakeholder engagement.
Ashley has contributed to numerous social impact projects across Australia, helped build a Social Enterprise during her time at The Reach Foundation, facilitated programs for youth, Not-for-profit organisations and emerging social entrepreneurs, co-founded a social venture for young creatives, chaired and participated in CQUni’s Social Innovation Engagement Committee and presented at international conferences in North America and Southeast Asia.
Ashley undertakes consultative and creative approaches to build capacity in others to challenge and mitigate the wicked problems of our time.
Sophie has volunteered and worked in the not-for-profit sector for more than 30 years, including in several Board roles.
She began her career as a journalist for The Age and other metropolitan media outlets, then ran her own media and communications practice, providing services such as development of communications strategies, media training and issues management to government, corporate and not for profit agencies.
She has also spent periods of time managing community sector organisations. She managed the Melbourne Athenaeum Incorporated, and the UN Association of Australia Victorian Division. In both community sector organisations, she worked closely She is a former Board member of WIRE-Women’s Information, the Melbourne Athenaeum Incorporated and the Thornbury Women’s Neighbourhood House and currently a Director for the Fitzroy Football Club.
She has lived in Northcote for the past 30 years and is a long-time supporter of CERES.
Laura is the Founding Director and CEO of Nest Legal. For 7 years whilst her children attended the Merri Community Child Care Centre & Kindergarten, Laura was the Secretary of the incorporated association, guiding the committee and assisting the Director with regulatory and employment issues. She has also chaired the Constitutional & Administrative Law Committee of the Law Institute of Victoria.
Laura is a local mum, living just across the bridge from CERES. Her children attend Brunswick East Primary School, and Laura considers CERES part of community wellbeing, food system and story.
Laura contributes to a collaborative and collegial Board culture by asking the right questions, and bringing the perspective of a local parent and someone who has built and managed a successful business in the inner north community over the last decade.