International Women’s Day: Inspirational Women of the Climate Council

04.03.20 By

International Women’s Day: a day to celebrate the amazing achievements of women everywhere. Here at the Climate Council we want to give a shout out to some truly inspirational women in our ranks whose work is changing attitudes surrounding one of the most important issues of our time: climate change.

Experts in their fields, these six leaders are playing a huge role in pushing for action on climate change in Australia. They appear frequently in the media, contribute to Climate Council publications, write landmark reports and speak at keynote events. This year International Women’s Day is being marked in Australia with the theme #morepowerfultogether. In the work we do, communicating climate change facts and solutions and pushing for stronger action, we are absolutely more powerful together.

Prof. Hilary Bambrick, Councillor

Hilary regularly appears in the media and has contributed to the following Climate Council reports:

Professor Hilary BambrickProfessor Hilary Bambrick is Head of the School of Public Health and Social Work at Queensland University of Technology (QUT). She is an environmental epidemiologist and bioanthropologist researching health impacts and adaptation, especially in more vulnerable communities. Working in Australia, the Pacific, Asia and Africa, her research is focused on the health challenges facing communities and the ways in which to strengthen climate resilience.

Professor Bambrick led the health impacts assessment for the Australian Government’s Garnaut Climate Change Review (2008), the Health Synthesis Report for Towards a Resilient Sydney (2012), and the Climate Adaptation Strategy for Health for the Government of Samoa (2013), and contributed to the major WHO strategy for building health systems resilience in several least developed countries in Asia (2018). In 2011 she received a NSW Young Tall Poppy Award for outstanding achievements in scientific research and communication.

Prof. Lesley Hughes, Councillor

Lesley regularly appears in the media and contributed to the following Climate Council publications:

Professor Lesley Hughes is a Distinguished Professor of Biology and Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research Integrity & Development) at Macquarie University. Her research has mainly focused on the impacts of climate change on species and ecosystems. Lesley is a former federal Climate Commissioner and former Lead Author in the IPCC’s 4th and 5th Assessment Report. She is also a Director for WWF Australia, a member of the Wentworth Group of Concerned Scientists, the Director of the Biodiversity Node for the NSW Adaptation Hub and a member of the expert advisory committee for Future Earth Australia.


Dr. Joelle Gergis, Councillor

Joelle contributed to the following Climate Council publication:

In 2013 Dr Joelle Gergis was awarded an Australian Research Council Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (DECRA) fellowship, and her team won the 2014 Eureka Prize for Excellence in Interdisciplinary Scientific Research – informally known as the ‘Oscars of Australian Science’. In 2015 Joëlle was awarded the Dean’s Award for Excellence in Research in the Faculty of Science at the University of Melbourne. In February 2018, she was selected to serve as a lead author for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Sixth Assessment Report – a global, state-of-the art review of climate change science.

Her book, Sunburnt Country: The future and history of climate change in Australia, is now available through Melbourne University Publishing.

Amanda McKenzie, CEO

Amanda regularly appears in the media and has been CEO of the Climate Council since its inception in 2013.

Headshot of Amanda McKenzie against a grey background.Amanda McKenzie is an environmental leader and CEO of the Climate Council, which was launched following Australia’s largest ever crowd-funding campaign. She is on the board of the Whitlam Institute and on the Board of Plan International Australia. In 2014, Amanda was recognised as one of Westpac’s 100 Women of Influence. Previously, Amanda founded the Australian Youth Climate Coalition.



Ella Weisbrot, Climate Solutions Researcher

Ella contributed to the following Climate Council publication:

An image of Ella Weisbrot un a black blazer in front of a grey background, smiling. Ella works as a researcher in climate solutions at the Climate Council, and is across policy and technological developments in Australia and globally. She has experience across the public, private, and not-for-profit sectors, as well as engaging with the community and government agencies. Before coming to the Climate Council, Ella worked as an analyst at a consulting firm, research officer at the Crawford School of Public Policy at the Australian National University (ANU), and as a national campaigner for the Australian Youth Climate Coalition (AYCC). 

Ella has a Master of Public Policy from ANU, where she won the Master of Public Policy Prize and held the Dr Claire Clark Scholarship.

Dr Annika Dean, Senior Researcher

Annika contributed to the following Climate Council publications:

A photo of Annika Dean in a black top in front of a grey background smiling.Dr Annika Dean works as a Senior Researcher at the Climate Council of Australia. She has a PhD from the Climate Change Research Centre at the University of New South Wales and previously worked as a lecturer on climate change and energy policy at the University of New South Wales. Her research has mainly focused on climate change impacts and adaptation in Australia and the Pacific Islands, including climate change impacts on human health.