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Curtin appoints new sustainability leader

Media release

Curtin University has appointed Mike Burbridge as Executive Director of its Australian Sustainable Development Institute (ASDI).

Mr Burbridge brings with him a wealth of experience, having worked extensively in the area of sustainable development in the public and private sectors, in both the UK and Australia.

Mr Burbridge said he looked forward to applying his skills to the new role to help develop and implement new research and other initiatives for the University focussed on sustainability.

“I have lots of experience working with cross-disciplinary teams and I’m looking forward to applying that expertise to this role. Curtin has clearly set the groundwork in this key strategic area and my role will now be to build upon and enhance that great work,” Mr Burbridge said.

Mr Burbridge said some of the biggest issues facing the Australian community were related to sustainability, with the key issue being how society could find ways to do increasingly more with less.

“Sustainable consumption and production are at the top of the list when it comes to our future and this includes essentials such as food, water, infrastructure and energy, to name a few,” he said.

“Considering this, it is very important to look at how we make our decisions, and really understand the impacts of those decisions on future generations.

“We need to move from a position where sustainable development is a theory and look towards actually seeing it happening on the ground, to allow for a practical and attractive future.”

Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Research and Development, Professor Graeme Wright, said he welcomed Mr Burbridge to the University and looked forward to working closely with him to further progress one of Curtin’s key research areas.

“Mike brings a wide range of skills to his new role as Executive Director of ASDI and has worked on some major projects; including making sure the upcoming London Olympic Games are the greenest in history, and other sustainability initiatives around the world. We are really excited about having him on board,” Professor Wright said.

Note to Editor

Mr Burbridge arrived in Australia two years ago and settled in Melbourne working for Victoria’s Department of Treasury and Finance – initially on sustainability projects where he was part of the award winning team on the Greener Government Building Program.

He has worked as non-political Head of Office and Senior Private Secretary for the UK Minister for Biodiversity, Landscape and Rural Affairs and as Head of Policy and Research in the UK Government’s Sustainable Development Unit where he was responsible for developing environmental policy to deliver sustainable housing and construction, and for working towards ensuring the London Olympic Games lives up to the promise of being the greenest Games in history.

On leaving the UK public service in 2008, Mr Burbridge became Technical Director for ENTEC UK Ltd, a leading UK technical engineering and environmental consultancy. One of his key projects was in advising the government on how to manage their estate in a sustainable manner.  During this time, he developed a new method of pricing proposals by including both financial terms and kilograms of carbon.

Andrea Barnard, Public Relations, Curtin University
Tel: 08 9266 4241, Mob: 0401 103 755, Email: