SustainableWA is registered as ‘special purpose’ (not-for-profit) Pty Ltd company with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC). Sustainable WA Pty Ltd may only apply its assets and income to further its vision and objectives. Neither Directors nor Members may receive any dividend or income (except for bona fide compensation for expenses incurred or services rendered on behalf of the company).
SustainableWA Directors are the ‘stewards’ of the organisation, and are responsible for maintaining the overall financial and legal integrity, policies, and strategies. Directors also provide guidance on strategic priorities for SustainableWA on how to increase individual and group engagement, and forming a key support base for organisers and promoters of activities supported by SustainableWA.
Biographies for the current Directors of Sustainable WA Pty Ltd can be found below.
Michelle is a consultant with the ARID Group, and has over five years consulting experience, with a particular focus on sustainability and stakeholder engagement. Michelle’s work has typically involved working across traditional organisational boundaries and sectors, helping people to see how sustainability imperatives affect their lives and their organisations. Her recent work has particularly been within property development, education and local government sectors, and she has also worked in the not-for-profit sector.
Michelle enjoys diversity in her work and life; in addition to consulting, Michelle also works in prisons delivering conflict resolution workshops with the Alternatives to Violence Project, and has been a tutor in sustainable development at Murdoch University.
Michelle has a degree in Sustainable Development with Honours, and a Certificate in Public Participation with the International Association of Public Participation (IAP2). Michelle was also a founding member and Secretary of the Sustainability Practitioners Association (SPA).
Why Michelle is a Director of SustainableWA: ‘I believe passionately in the power of the collective, and am inspired by the shifts that are made possible when people work together. There are many dedicated individuals and organisations who are actively working to making WA a sustainable place. SustainableWA offers the means and support for connection, cooperation and creativity among those with the shared intention to create the positive social change required to help us live within the ecological means of the earth’
Rod cut his teeth as a management consultant with McKinsey and Company in London in the 1970’s. Subsequently he became Managing Director of a University owned systems consultancy at Lancaster Management School in the UK. Client assignments brought him to Western Australia in the 1980’s, where he has worked extensively in the resource industries and public sector.
In his work with teams, groups and individuals, he draws on his cumulative career experience of strategy formulation, systems thinking, organisational performance and design, personal performance and mastery.
Originally an engineering and science graduate, he has postgraduate qualifications from Manchester Business School and Lancaster Management School, and more recently a Master’s in Complexity, Chaos and Creativity as part of a Social Ecology degree from the University of Western Sydney.
His background in working with systems and complexity naturally leads to a passion for sustainability and Corporate Ecology. His local work was acknowledged by the City of Nedlands when in 2006 he became Citizen of the Year. He continues to serve as a member of the Sustainable Nedlands Committee.
Why Rod is a Director of SustainableWA ‘I believe WA as a community is uniquely positioned to play a leading role for the planet. Our isolation has led to a ‘can do’ culture and a willingness to experiment that have the potential to be infectious. Furthermore we have the resources to be outrageously bold.
By not shying away from grappling with the complexity of the world we live in (and have created), as a community we can collectively shape our future and bring about a healthy and productive balance to the way we live. There are already good signs that this is happening in WA. SustainableWA will help accelerate it.’
Kim Lisson is a Director of consulting firm, The Winding Staircase, and as a leadership coach and management consultant, he brings a unique background and perspective to the field of sustainability — a focus on enabling the personal leadership and creating the organisational cultures we need for sustainability behaviours, policies and technologies to be embraced and adopted. His credentials include:
· Over 20 years experience in the fields of personal, professional and organisational development (ten years in federal government and dozen as an entrepreneurial small business owner.)
· The first WA coach to be credentialed as a Professional Certified Coach (PCC) with the International Coach Federation (ICF).
· Master of Arts (Ecologically Sustainable Development) (Murdoch University)
· 2008 Acting President of the Sustainability Practitioners Association (SPA) and, as part of its management committee, initiating the vision for what has become Sustainable WA.
Why Kim is a Director of SustainableWA: ‘I believe there are many, many Western Australians who are personally concerned that our economy and lifestyle are not sustainable. Many of us can grow disheartened by an apparent lack of progress by political and organisational leaders in giving this a priority.
And yet, there is a growing number people who are not waiting for others to lead, but who are contributing their own leadership within their own families, neighbourhoods, networks and organisations to assuring a bright future for our society and for our planet. Their work needs to be made more visible, linked, supported and celebrated if we are to create an effective social movement and genuine change.’
Maarten Van Der Wall
Maarten has had wide-ranging experience as a facilitator, trainer, manager, coach and organization consultant since the mid 1980s. He has led and supported many critically important action learning and cultural change project teams and developed and implemented agency-wide development programs, while working as a National Learning and Development Team Leader in the Australian Public Sector. Since becoming an Associate of The Winding Staircase in 2008, he has provided coaching and career support for clients in the Local Government and community sectors and is a member of a small team providing Leadership for Sustainability training programs for the wider community.
Maarten is a researching the emerging links between individual, group and community sustainability, and strongly believes that a sustainable life is built on reflective practice, passionate conversation, and a personal search for meaning.
Maarten’s qualifications include a Bachelor of Social Science, majoring in Sociology and Anthropology (Curtin University) and a Graduate Diploma In Ontological Coaching from the Newfield Institute, Victoria. He has also done extensive training in Gestalt Psychology, Group and Role Training, Professional Supervision and Facilitation.
Why Maarten is a Director of Sustainable WA: ‘I am fortunate to be surrounded by people who have a passion for building and caring for sustainable communities, and I believe that my role is to help create the linkages that support them in their essential work, thus nourishing our image of a better and more sustainable WA.
I think SustainableWA has the opportunity to be the “keeper of the dream” for others. We have the chance to seek out and tell the stories that will make a difference and, thus, be our “best hope” for learning the lessons of resilience and appreciation that flourish all around us.’
SustainableWA utilises ‘sociocratic approaches’ to operate and make decisions. Sociocracy, also known as dynamic self-governance, provides a model for a well functioning organisation, by strengthening the links between levels of responsibility and decision-making aims to create more inclusive, transparent, accountable and sustainable organisations. It is characterised by self-organising and semi-autonomous circles that form the model for decision-making (see below). To ensure connectivity between the circles, at least one person from each circle is a full member of the next circle. (For example, at least one member of each Project Circle is also a member of the Generative Leadership Circle and so on.)
Project Circles involve individuals, groups and organisations that sponsor, organise and/or promote activities that actively build idea-sharing, relationship-building and collaboration for sustainability. A Project Circle is simply made up of people with the interest and willingness to take responsibility for making the project happen. A Project Circle does not have to be large – it may be only 2-3 people who have an interest in making a particular project happen.
Most activities and projects of SustainableWA will be self-generated, by those people interested and committed to the goals of SustainableWA, and not by those in the Stewardship Circle. In this case, an individual or organisation approaches SustainableWA, requesting support for implementing their particular project/s. (The Stewardship Circle may also initiate a project of strategic value and contribution.)
The Generative Leadership Circle generates ideas and invites ideas from others for projects, initiatives, collaborations and any other activities. It provides support and leadership for strategic priorities for SustainableWA and considers and explores all possibilities. It is also a connecting point between Stewardship and Project Circles since it is made up of individuals from the Project Circles, and at least two Stewardship Circle members.
The Stewardship Circle is entrusted with responsibility for SustainableWA’s overall financial and legal integrity, policies, and strategies. It provides guidance on strategic priorities for SustainableWA on how to increase individual and group engagement, forming a key support base for organisers and promoters of activities supported by SustainableWA. In practice, the Stewardship circle comprises each Director of Sustainable WA Pty Ltd (the company) and may also include others nominated from the Generative Leadership Circle in accordance with Sociocratic principles.
Because SustainableWA is a brand that represents and unites a sustainability movement, relationships beyond this operating model hold great importance. There must be a place for everyone! As such, the model also recognises fellow travellers — ‘friends’ and ‘supporters’ — those people and organisations with a genuine interest in, and commitment, to sustainability. These fellow travellers may subscribe to the SustainableWA news, tell others about the movement, and/or may offer donations to support the work of SustainableWA.
This operating model is not fixed. It will continue to evolve as SustainableWA grows and matures.
Within the Operating Model, decisions in SustainableWA are made using a consent process, involving open discussion. This approach places equal value on the contributions of each member or supporter who has a stake in the decision. ‘Consent’ means there are no paramount and reasoned objections.
- ‘Paramount’ means the objection must be made within the context of the aims of the circle and the organisation, and the person’s willingness and ability to support those aims.
- ‘Reasoned’ means the person must be able to explain objections to the group. Therefore, opposition to a decision is always supported with an argument and differences are worked through to reach a mutually satisfactory position.
Objections are important in sociocracy because they help the group find better solutions; solutions that help everyone work more effectively toward the group's aims. An objection is not blocking or vetoing — it is a valid reason why a particular decision will prevent a member of the group from doing their job or otherwise supporting the aims of the group.
The formal governance for SustainableWA is contained in a document entitled “SustainableWA – Philosophy & Constitution” adopted 24th February 2010 and formally lodged with ASIC. This replaces ASIC’s ‘replaceable rules’ and a .pdf version can be found here.