David Ritter, CEO
David returned to Australia to become CEO of Greenpeace Australia Pacific in 2012 after five years with Greenpeace in London, where he campaigned on the global issues of destructive fishing, deforestation and climate change.
Prior to joining Greenpeace, David worked as a lawyer practising in general litigation, resources law and native title, before spending a short stint as an academic teaching in law and history. David was acknowledged as one of Australia’s leading Indigenous rights lawyers and is the author of Contesting Native Title and The Native Title Market.
A widely published commentator on politics, law, history and current affairs, David is an Honorary Fellow of the Faculty of Law of the University of Western Australia and an Associate of the Sydney Democracy Network at the University of Sydney.
David has had an extensive involvement in civil society in both Australia and the UK. He holds honours degrees in both law and history from the University of Western Australia and masters with distinction in global politics from the London School of Economics.
David grew up in Western Australia, the youngest of seven children. He now lives in Sydney and is married with two daughters.
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Sebastien Blavier, Senior Project Manager
Areas of expertise: Climate change, coal, renewable energies, Great Barrier Reef
Seb leads Greenpeace’s campaign to protect the Great Barrier Reef and the places we all love from the destructive appetite of the coal industry.
Before coming to Australia, Seb was in charge of a project to halt the expansion of the nuclear industry in Europe. He also campaigned for more efficient cars, and to shift giant IT companies like Facebook and Google in France towards renewable energy.
From 2009 to 2015, Seb participated on behalf of several civil society organisations in United Nations negotiations to promote an integrated approach between climate and development questions.
Seb describes his main motivations as: “Being useful to the climate justice movement, and at the heart of the most urgent fights for a cleaner, fairer and brighter future.”
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Favourite quote: “That, I believe, is our basic function: to develop alternatives to existing policies, to keep them alive and available until the politically impossible becomes politically inevitable.” Milton Friedman
Nikola Čašule, Climate and Energy Campaigner
Areas of expertise: Climate change liability, renewable energy, coal industry, fossil fuel divestment
Nikola is experienced across a variety of campaign areas, and explains the sometimes dry debate around climate policy, energy subsidies and renewable regulations in an engaging, informative manner. He is also able to comment on the climate change and energy policies of the major political parties in Australia.
In 2015, Nikola led Greenpeace's global campaign to protect the Great Barrier Reef from coal mining, successfully persuading international banks, including Standard & Chartered, against financing Adani’s proposed Carmichael mine in Queensland. The campaign continues.
Prior to joining Greenpeace, Nikola was an academic specialising in ancient history and has lectured at the University of Oxford, the Australian National University, and Sydney University. An Australian national of Macedonian extraction, he holds a PhD from the University of Oxford, where he was a Clarendon Scholar, and a BA (Hons) from Macquarie University.
“I spent all this time trying to understand how these ancient civilisations rose and fell – the cause of their decline – and I realised I couldn’t do that in a detached way when our own civilisation is in danger,” he says. “Climate change means the global food and water supply will be disrupted, and the basic necessities of life will be under threat.”
“Climate change is the most serious threat facing the human race. The extent to which we take action will not only determine whether we can live on a peaceful and prosperous planet but also how our generation will be viewed by our children and grandchildren. We can’t let them down.”
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Favourite quote:“Few will have the greatness to bend history itself; but each of us can work to change a small portion of events, and in the total of all those acts will be written the history of this generation.” Robert F. Kennedy
Susannah Compton, Deputy Program Director
As Greenpeace Australia Pacific's Deputy Program Director, Suzy's main motivation is to win more, lose less, and expedite the transition to a just, sustainable future.
She leads campaigns, communications and research/investigations teams working on fossil fuels, renewable energy, climate justice and biodiversity, collaborating with partners in Australia and across the Pacific, and with Greenpeace offices around the world.
Suzy is proud to work with and for such an imaginative, fearless community of people.
Read Suzy's blog
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Alix Foster Vander Elst, Rapid Response Campaigner
Areas of expertise: Oceans, marine wildlife, human rights in supply chains, plastic pollution
Alix works across a number of different areas; from deforestation to ocean destruction to climate change. She sees all these issues as inextricably linked, and that we should appreciate our planet as one, multi-faceted and incredible entity.
Alix joined Greenpeace Australia Pacific in 2013, and also worked at Greenpeace UK and Greenpeace International before returning to Sydney in 2016. Having previously worked in international aid, community housing and homelessness, she made the move to Greenpeace because “there are so many causes close to my heart, and preserving our planet is the prerequisite to them all”.
A fan of the weird and the wonderful, Alix has a degree in Anglo-Saxon, Norse and Celtic. Of British-Belgian origin, she’s a huge fan of her dog, Sookie, and loves nothing more than taking her for walks around Hobart’s beautiful parks.
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Favourite quote: “You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated.” Maya Angelou
Ian Lawton, Bequest Manager
Ian's first job was working as a youth worker on the streets of inner Sydney. He has always been passionate about bearing witness to injustice and supporting the underdog. He has worked for humanitarian organisations in Australia, New Zealand and America.
One of Ian's guiding principles is paying kindness forward. In early 2015, Ian joined Greenpeace to lead the Bequest (Legacy) program and is excited to support others as they show kindness to the earth and future generations by leaving gifts to Greenpeace in their Wills.
Ian is grateful and humbled by the many Greenpeace supporters he talks to on a daily basis. He is confident that together we can make a huge difference to the earth for a long time to come.
Nicola Norris, Head of Advancement
Nicola first started working for Greenpeace Australia Pacific between 2004 and 2007, returning to the organisation in 2014 as the Head of Advancement. Nicola has over 14 years of experience in donor engagement, specialising in regular giving programs and developing fundraising teams.
Originally from the UK, she went straight from uni to a UK fundraising consultancy. She then moved to Australia, where she has dedicated her career to increasing fundraising revenue for several NGOs including Greenpeace and Amnesty International.
Nicola holds an honours degree in International Management from the University of Bath. She has lived in Sydney for over 10 years with her husband Conor, feels blessed to live in this wonderful country and enjoys long walks in the Australian bush at weekends.
"It is a great privilege to speak to our donors about the things that matter to them. Greenpeace donors are particularly special and I am humbled and inspired by them. You give because you believe in us; your donations truly change the world and we cannot thank you enough"
Nathaniel Pelle, Senior Campaigner
Areas of expertise: Oil exploration, sustainable fishing, marine wildlife
Nat leads Greenpeace’s campaign to protect Australia’s oceans from reckless corporations and government inaction. He currently runs a project that aims to connect Australians to the Pacific and to protect fishing stocks; and is lead campaigner for ‘The People Vs Oil’ on the Great Australian Bight.
At one of the few Greenpeace offices connected to the Indian Ocean, Nat has his hands full conducting research and action against destructive fishing in this region. He coordinated the public campaign in 2012 that led to the MV Margiris supertrawler being banned from Australian waters for two years. He also led the Australian campaign that made canned tuna brands like John West, Coles, IGA, Aldi and others stop supporting destructive fishing methods.
Nat grew up in Newcastle where he originally worked as a graphic designer. Against the backdrop of this large coastal, industrial town grew his love of the ocean and concern for workers’ rights and livelihoods. He studied Peace and Conflict, Media, and Environmental Politics in Newcastle and Sydney and in Edinburgh, Scotland.
“My working life has been varied but nothing beats working for Greenpeace,” says Nat. “We are ordinary people from all walks of life and every corner of the globe just trying to make a difference.”
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Dom Rowe, Program Director
Dom began working for Greenpeace Australia Pacific as Head of Campaigns in May 2015. Dom has a long history of activism and campaigning- from higher education to helping people have better jobs to helping childcare workers win political and industrial campaigns.
Dom has a young son Albie and wants to see a world where he can experience the wonders of the natural environment, where our energy is renewable and the climate is liveable.
Dom joined Greenpeace proud of its tradition of radical, creative and independent campaigning.
Nic Seton, Deputy Program Director
Nic Seton returned to Australia after seven years campaigning with Greenpeace, WWF, UKYCC and 10:10 in the UK. Nic is a strong advocate for people-powered change and utilises new technologies to bring about new possibilities.
Nic has crossed oceans to protest Arctic oil, coordinated livestream events with hundreds of thousands of viewers, worked alongside artists and DJs to mobilise people to protect critical habitats and, sparked embarrassing moments for climate skeptics, like Tony Abbott, with fabulous friends, like Emma Thomspon. Swoon.
Nic is a child of the eighties – he grew up with mobile phones, the Internet and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. Environmental studies led to activism. And As an early member of AYCC, he traveled overland, to the 2008 UN Climate Conference in Poznań, Poland. Ever since then Nic volunteered, interned, worked and campaigned to stop climate change... Thank goodness we all got involved while we could ;)
“Greenpeace is a movement that makes the impossible possible. It’s just a matter of imagination.”
Matisse Walkden-Brown, Head of Pacific Net
Matisse Walkden-Brown joined Greenpeace in early 2015 as the Head of Pacific Net. Having grown up in Fiji on a coconut grove family-run resort, she now puts all of her wide-eyed enthusiasm into ensuring sustainability for the Pacific and its people.
Working throughout the 24 island states, Matisse is passionate about creating a united Pacific voice against Climate Change and a maintainable and equitable ocean management for the region.
Matisse has a background in Public Relations and TV/Radio production, as well as a journalism degree, a powerful little blog, a few years as an international model and a history of standing up and speaking out.
She was introduced to Greenpeace at age 10 on the deck of the Rainbow Warrior, holding a home-made (glittered) poster reading “This is my home. Please don’t spoil it” in the middle of Suva Harbour.
“There is a paradise worth saving. It is not in the brochures. It is in the sticky mango hands, the salty hair, the outdoor naps, the island laughter, the grandmas and uncles and friends and children all around a bowl of fresh fish, taro and hand-picked chillies.
To do so, we need to make the hard decisions. To learn the difference between ‘can’t’ and ‘won’t’, what is ‘inconvenient’ and what is ‘impossible’.
That is why I work for Greenpeace. So my children’s children don’t have to live behind seawalls against an empty ocean.”
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