SDSN AusNZPac Leadership Council


Prof Katherine Belov

Professor Kathy Belov is the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Global and Research Engagement) and has responsibility for pivotal areas of the University’s Research Portfolio related to academic research partnerships, centres and institutes. She leads the Office of Global Engagement, oversees the University’s multidisciplinary initiatives and stewards relations and agreements with the University’s affiliated research institutes. She also focuses on developing the University’s national and international partnerships to address the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

In her research Professor Belov uses immunogenetics to study immunity and health in Australia’s native species. She publishes in top journals including Nature, Nature Genetics, PLoS Biology, PNAS and Genome Research. In recognition of her research discoveries, she was admitted as a fellow of the Australian Academy of Sciences (2022) and the Royal Society of NSW (2019). She was also awarded the Fenner Medal by the Australian Academy of Sciences in 2014, the Crozier Medal by the Genetics Society of Australasia (2013) and the MJD White Medal by the Genetics Society of Australasia (2021). She has coedited one book and published more than 200 research papers.

Kathy is passionate about mentoring others and has supervised 11 postdocs, 20 PhD students, 13 masters and 29 honours students. Many of her students have gone on to build distinguished careers in leading labs around the world.

Kathy is also an active contributor to science leadership. She is a member of the NSW Koala Expert Advisory Group and serves on scientific advisory boards at Taronga Zoo and the Ramaciotti Centre. She is co-chair of the International Policy Advisory Committee of the Association of Pacific Rim Universities and a trustee of the Australian Museum, where she chairs the Science Advisory Board. Kathy is also on the Council of the Royal Society of NSW and is a past president of the Genetics Society of Australasia.


Prof Verity Firth

Professor the Hon. Verity Firth AM is the inaugural Vice-President Societal Impact, Equity and Engagement at the University of New South Wales (UNSW). She is a Professor of Practice at the School of Education, Faculty of Arts, Design and Architecture. Prof. Firth has over twenty years’ experience at the very highest levels of government and education sectors in Australia. She has strong public policy experience and a proven capacity to drive large-scale reform across a range of organisations.


Prof Ralph Horne

Ralph Horne is Professor of Geography and Deputy Pro-Vice Chancellor, Research and Innovation for the College of Design and Social Context at RMIT University. He is interested in social and policy change to support sustainable urban development, and has a specific research interest in low carbon urban transitions, housing and households. He combines research leadership and participation in research projects concerning the environmental, social and policy context of production and consumption in the urban environment.


Amy Malcolm

Amy Malcolm is the Head of the Vice-Chancellor’s Office at Auckland University of Technology, and joined the whānau at the end of June 2022.

Previously, she was Manager, Strategic Relations, in the Office of DVC, Strategic Engagement at the University of Auckland. In a career at the University spanning 20 years, Amy has made significant contributions across a range of functions, including student recruitment, marketing, student life, fundraising, and strategic engagement.

Amy also serves on several boards, including Auckland City Centre Advisory Board, The Big Idea, and Create Auckland 2030.

As Head of the Vice-Chancellor’s Office, Amy supports university strategy, the office’s day-to-day operations, and manage strategic relationships.


Prof David Sadler

Professor David Sadler was appointed to UWA as the Deputy Vice Chancellor Education in October 2017. He was previously the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Students and Education) at the University of Tasmania from early 2011 and led many initiatives around infrastructure for education, student experience, curriculum renewal and especially the educational attainment agenda, leading the Children’s University, Tasmania. He served on the Office of Learning and Teaching Strategic Advisory Board; and is an elected member of the Universities Australia Deputy Vice-Chancellors Executive. David led the UA working group on student academic integrity and also the DVC network on the quality assurance agenda and relationships with TEQSA. He is a life fellow of the RSA and a former Council member of the AICD.

As a political scientist specialising in international security, David worked for the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office as a Senior Research Officer in Arms Control and Disarmament. He had senior academic roles in Social Science at the University of Birmingham and was Director of the Higher Education Academy leading initiatives around student experience and educational excellence across all UK Universities.


Prof John Thwaites

John Thwaites is a Professorial Fellow, Monash University, and Chair of the Monash Sustainable Development Institute and ClimateWorks Centre. He is the Interim Chair of the McKinnon Institute for Political Leadership based at Monash.

John is Chair of Melbourne Water and a Director of Fairtrade Australia New Zealand.

He is a Co-Chair of the Leadership Council of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (“SDSN”) launched by the Secretary General of the United Nations to provide expert advice and support to the development and implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals.

In 2020, John was appointed to the Lancet Covid-19 Commission, which aims to speed up global, equitable and lasting solutions to the pandemic.

John was appointed Member of the Order of Australia for “significant service to the environment and to the people and Parliament of Victoria” in the 2021 Australia Day Honours.

John Thwaites was Deputy Premier of Victoria from 1999 until his retirement in 2007. During this period he held various Ministerial portfolios including Minister of Health, Minister of Environment and was Victoria’s first Minister for Climate Change. In these portfolios he was responsible for major reforms in social policy, health, environment and water.


Prof Stuart White

Professor Stuart White is Director of the Institute for Sustainable Futures where he leads a team of researchers who create change towards sustainable futures through independent, project-based research. With over twenty years experience in sustainability research, Professor White’s work focuses on achieving sustainability outcomes at least cost for a range of government, industry and community clients across Australia and internationally. This includes both the design and evaluation of programs for improving resource use efficiency and an assessment of their impact. Professor White has written and presented widely on sustainable futures and is a regular commentator on sustainability issues in the media.