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Professor John Thwaites

Monash Sustainable Development Institute, ClimateWorks Australia & BehaviourWorks Australia.
T: +61 3 9902 0741

John Thwaites is a Professorial Fellow, Monash University, and Chair of the Monash Sustainable Development Institute, ClimateWorks Australia and BehaviourWorks Australia.

John is Chair of Melbourne Water and a Director of Fair Trade Australia New Zealand. He has been Chair of the Australian Building Codes Board, President of the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) and a director of the Australian Green Building Council.

John is the Chair of the National Sustainable Development Council, which has developed the Transforming Australia: SDGs Progress Report 2018. He was previously Chair of the National Sustainability Council an independent Council appointed by the Australian Government, which produced the Sustainable Australia Report in 2013.

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.

John is the only Australian who has been appointed to The Lancet Covid-19 Commission. He has also been appointed to a number of government reviews and committee including the Victorian Government's Independent Review  of the Retail Energy Market and as Co-Chair of the Victorian Cladding Taskforce.

In 2013, John was named as one of the 100 Global Sustainability Leaders by ABC Carbon Express. In 2015, he was awarded the “Planning Champion” award by the Planning Institute of Australia and in 2016 was awarded the Richard J Evans Award for excellence in recognition of outstanding contributions to planning in Victoria.

John Thwaites was Deputy Premier of Victoria from 1999 until his retirement in 2007. During this period he held various Ministerial portfolios including Health, Planning, Environment, Water 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.

Prior to being elected to Parliament, he was a barrister and Mayor of South Melbourne.

He has degrees in Law (Honours) and Science from Monash University. He is a Fellow Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Some key initiatives led by John Thwaites:

  • Reform of water policy in Victoria including giving the environment a legislative right to water for the first time, major water infrastructure upgrades across the state and the most successful water conservation program in Australia.
  • Action on climate change including Victoria's renewable energy target, 5-star energy and water efficiency standards for all new homes, mandatory energy audits and implementation plans for major industry, and an energy efficiency target scheme for households (VEET).
  • Major expansion and improvement of Victoria's National Park system including the Great Otway National Park and ending cattle grazing in the Alpine National Park.
  • Leading the government's social policy A Fairer Victoria to reduce disadvantage with major initiatives in early childhood support, neighbourhood renewal, family support, housing, mental health and community building.
  • Major hospital building program (Austin, Royal Womens, Casey etc) and reforming hospital funding to provide significant growth funds for prevention and rehabilitation.
  • Introducing a new residential planning framework for Victoria and instigating Melbourne 2030