Our people

The Commissioner

“We all have a responsibility to understand the impact of our activities on the environment. The decisions we make matter for the future of our environment and our liveability. Respecting and valuing each other and the role of science is fundamental for the future prosperity and environmental health of Victoria.”

Dr Gillian Sparkes was appointed as Commissioner in July 2014. Gillian has a long career working with industry, community and government to care for and protect our environment.  
 
Dr Sparkes gained three decades of experience working in industries that interface with the environment and community, including in the manufacturing, industrial services, waste management and water industries, before becoming a senior public servant. This has enabled her to be an effective collaborator who has forged strong and productive partnerships between government, business, community and environmental stakeholders.
 
Dr Sparkes has held senior roles in the Victorian government environment portfolio including as Chair of the Board of Sustainability Victoria and Deputy Secretary Corporate and Business Services for the Department of Sustainability and Environment.
 
Dr Sparkes also served two terms as a Director of South Gippsland Water and Chair of the Board Environment Committee and was the CEO of the Australian Sustainable Industry Research Centre at Monash University.
 
Dr Sparkes holds a PhD in Applied Science (Chemistry), a Masters of Business Administration and is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and a Victorian Fellow of the Institute of Public Administration Australia.
 
 
 
Dr Scott Rawlings is the Head of Science and Research for the Office of the Commissioner for Environmental Sustainability, Victoria. He has worked for the Office since 2010.
 
Previously, Scott had worked in numerous roles across the environment portfolio including greenhouse policy, indigenous policy, and natural resource management. Scott managed the Land & Biodiversity White Paper implementation and research and development for the former Department of Sustainability and Environment - focussing on procurement, partnerships, knowledge exchange and the research-policy interface. Scott has a PhD in environmental studies.
 
 
Sean Grimes is the Senior Science Writer for the Office of the Commissioner for Environmental Sustainability, Victoria.

 

Sean has a wealth of experience in public environmental reporting. He produced the trends and analysis section for Victoria's 2013 State of the Environment report and has also worked on the State of the Environment reports for NSW and south-east England. Sean was also responsible for the production of Victoria's 2008 State of the Forests report. Sean has a background in aquatic ecology, with many years experience researching and monitoring the rivers and wetlands of the ACT and NSW. He has an Honours degree in Applied Science.
 

Dr Rebecca Koss joined the Office of the Commissioner for Environmental Sustainability as a Science Writer in September 2017. As a marine scientist, Dr Koss brings to this role an impressive amount of knowledge from within the water industry in Victoria. Rebecca will be writing the State of the Yarra and its Parklands report.

Rebecca was most recently employed at the Port Phillip and Western Port Catchment Management Authority, Deakin University and the Environmental Protection Authority. Rebecca has contributed significantly to the field of environmental stewardship in nature conservation, a topic which was the basis of her PhD.

Dr Rebecca Koss' LinkedIn

Jenny Jelbart is Reporting Operations Manager at the Office of the Commissioner for Environmental Sustainability.

Jenny Jelbart LinkedIn

Doreen Ross is Executive Assistant to Dr Gillian Sparkes.

Erin Seymour provides Communications support for the Office of the Commissioner for Environmental Sustainability.

Erin Seymour's LinkedIn

The Team

Previous commissioners

Dr Ian MacPhail, 2003-09

Prof. Kate Auty, 2009-14