Our People

National Executive

The National Executive is drawn from at least four Chapters and meets monthly by video conference. The Executive Team has working groups to progress key areas of the association which are listed next to each portfolio leader.

The Executive Team is supported by the Liaison Committee which assists with communication between the National Executive and State Chapters and Branches. In addition, a representative of the chapter or branch hosting the Biennial conference joins the meeting to provide regular updates on progress and planning.

Lisa Siegel (NSW)
President
Lisa Siegel lives and learns on Gumbaynggirr country, also known as the Mid-North Coast of NSW. She is a lifelong educator, having worked as a school teacher before taking up her current role as a Lecturer in the Faculty of Education at Southern Cross University, where she teaches Environmental and Interdisciplinary Education to pre-service teachers. Lisa is a member of the SEAE (Sustainability, Environmental, and Arts Education) Research Centre; her PhD research explored the stories of women environmentalists, and she continues to be fascinated with the interconnected stories of environmental educators. Lisa is also a founding member of the Centre for Ecological Learning in Bellingen NSW, and was named as the Australian Environmental Educator of the Year in 2022.
Vivienne Pearce (ACT)
Vice President
Vivienne lives on Ngunnawal land in ACT. She has worked for 30 years as a science teacher and the last 11 years as an Education Ranger at the Australian National Botanic Gardens. She is a passionate advocate for the power of environmental education, to transform society, helping the young, old, and particularly the disadvantaged, to care for Country and our planet. Through her paid and unpaid work, she helps and mentors our educators and hopefully inspires the next generation of environmental activists. Vivienne has been an AAEE member since 2010, and is the immediate Past President ACT Chapter. She is a long-term Board member of Conservation Council ACT, 2XX Community Radio Station, and the peak parent body in ACT for government schools. Viv’s recent awards include : 2022 ACT Environmental Educator of the Year, 2019 Order of Australia Medal (OAM) for service to education, 2021 ACTCOSS Award for Ingenuity in Reconciliation (as coordinator of P.C. Council’s RAP Group).
Jason Pitman (WA)
Vice President
Jason blends together 15 years of experience in environmental sciences with education and engagement into his role as Manager of Engagement at Kings Park and Botanic Garden in Western Australia, where he oversees partnerships, volunteering, engagement, and education initiatives. Growing up in Perth on Whadjuk Country, his career has enabled him to work with communities, governments, and businesses to foster a deeper understanding of environmental responsibility. He has crafted and executed environmental education programs for a wide diversity of audiences. From early-learners and school students to community groups and professionals, he has delivered programs focusing on urban biodiversity, threatened species, and caring for catchments and river systems. Jason is committed to lifelong learning and works towards a future where all Australians can care for Country and exercise their rights for a sustainable and resilient future.
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Jennifer Pearson (WA)
Vice President
Jennifer has an extensive career in teaching from Pre-primary to University pre-service primary and early childhood education which has enabled her to advocate for education for sustainability. She has held the following roles: Project officer for a local Landcare group for local schools for river restoration, growing and planting trees in rural settings. Immediate past president of AAEE (2010 – 2014 & 2018 – 2022). Convenor of AAEE WA Chapter (2002 – 2023). Chair of the Little Green Steps WA (2009 – 2023) and co-developing EfS for early years educators. Jennifer coordinated the Biological Earth Environmental Science Day career day for years 9 – 11 students (2004 – 2022). She also develops and delivers Earth Day Expo (2003 – 2023) events for primary schools to provide hands on experiences with a range of EfS programs.
Peter Andersen (NSW)
Treasurer
Peter Andersen is the Head of Students and Senior Lecturer in the School of Education at the University of Wollongong. He is also an Associate Investigator of the Centre for Excellence for Australian Biodiversity and Heritage. Peter’s teaching and research passions lie in how teachers can empower students to become environmental change agents through school-based environmental education programs.
Peta White (VIC)
Secretary
Peta White is an Associate Professor in science and environmental education at Deakin University. She educated in classrooms, coordinated programs, supported curriculum reform, and prepared teachers in several jurisdictions across Canada and Australia. Her PhD explored learning to live sustainably as a platform to educate future teachers. Peta’s current research follows three narratives: science and biology education; sustainability, environmental, and climate change education; and collaborative/activist methodology and research. She is the current Editor-In-Chief of the Australian Journal of Environmental Education (AJEE).
Sonja Kuzich (WA)
Ordinary Committee Member
Dr Sonja Kuzich is the Director of Learning and Teaching and First Year Coordinator at the School of Education (Curtin University).She is the President of the Western Australian Institute of Educational Research (WAIER). Sonja’s PhD focussed on Education for Sustainability (EfS) in schools. Her publications and conference presentations address the impacts of educational policy, teachers as writers, women in academia, and the impact of nature on children's affective and cognitive outcomes.
Jodie Green (ACT)
Ordinary Committee Member
Jodie is a new science and mathematics teacher in the ACT senior secondary system and an executive member of the ACT Chapter. She has prior experience in drug discovery research and environmental and climate action advocacy. She is currently interested in and writing about how Earth System understandings intersect with nature and sustainability education, especially via teacher engagement with pedagogical content knowledge and via student engagement with whole school sustainability programs and school curricula.
Andrew Snedden (NSW)
Ordinary Committee Member
Andrew Snedden is the Education Manager at Clean Up Australia. With a background in biomedical science and teaching, he has experience in waste education, facilitation, and climate change communication. His Master of Environmental Science explored climate change, global environmental politics, and techniques for sustainability analysis. Andrew is passionate about working to build strong, resilient, and connected communities through his work as an environmental educator.
Simone Blom (NSW)
Ordinary Committee Member
Simone Blom is a long-time nature lover and environmental educator currently residing on WidjabulWiabul Country of the Bundjalung Nation in Northern NSW. Growing up in suburban Melbourne, she had some memorable and pivotal moments in nature that led her to work in environmental education during her undergraduate science degree. After completing a teaching degree and many years working in Environmental Education centres and primary and high schools, Simone moved to the tertiary sector and is now working in science education and environmental education research at Southern Cross University. Simone enjoys working with people, and thoroughly enjoys collaborating with local and international colleagues on education-based programs that enhance nature connections. Simone is an active member of the SEAE (Sustainability, Environment, and the Arts in Education) Research Centre at Southern Cross University along with being involved in other service roles for the community.
Nel Smit (TAS)
Ordinary Committee Member
Nel is a long-time advocate for nature and sustainability through education in Tasmania. She currently manages the Tasmanian Youth Climate Leaders’ Program, a statewide program supporting secondary students, with mentors, to undertake local climate action in their communities. Nel coordinates Nipaluna Nursery, a volunteer run native plant nursery growing 20,000 + plants annually for the Midlands Biodiversity Hot Spot. Nel likes to combine mountain biking in the Tasmanian wilds with native seed collecting! Nel swims in the Tasmanian ocean every morning with the highlight, a midwinter swim with the Taroona Tough Titties. She is a founding member of the improvisational group, Hobart Playback Theatre, celebrating story and performing for communities and schools.
Sandra Wooltorton (WA)
Ordinary Committee Member
Sandra Wooltorton is a Professor and Senior Research Fellow with the Nulungu Research Institute at the University of Notre Dame Australia’s Broome Campus. She is a trans-disciplinary researcher with a background in cultural geography and education, and a deep interest in working with Aboriginal people in Aboriginal ways to generate solutions to problems of society and environment. She is committed to social action for a kinder, more generous and caring world. Click the link below to see some of her work.
Website
Robyn Bickell
Administration Officer

Robyn has always had a love for nature and the environment. Living in Banff National Park in Canada for many years, surrounded by mountains and immersed in nature helped to reignite her passion for nature and wanting to give back and look after this beautiful place we call home. She now lives in Mandurah, Western Australia, far from any mountains but instead surrounded by the beautiful waterways.    You can often find her on or near the water.  She is passionate about protecting Mandurah's marine environment and the wildlife that call it home.  Robyn is a volunteer with Estuary Guardians engaging with the local community bringing more awareness about the area and why it is so special. Her working career has included many different administrative and coordinating positions, as well as customer service roles.

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Robyn Walters
Website Support
Robyn has designed and developed websites for AAEEWA, Little Green Steps WA, South East Regional Centre for Urban Landcare (SERCUL), Fertilise Wise, Mussel Watch WA, and the Booyi Cultural Program. Passionate about animal welfare, she volunteers her services to several rescues including Western Australian Seabird Rescue (WASR) and Lost Souls Rabbit Rescue, as well as environmental care groups and other not-for-profit organisations making a difference in her local community.
Website

Liaison Committee Members

Chapter/Branch Presidents

ACT Taz Whan ACT Andrew O'Meara
NSW Patricia Lee NSW Sue Martin
NT Jo Scott NT Graeme Sawyer
QLD Mandy Botterell QLD Natalie Costanzo
SA  Debbie Loke SA Deidre Knight
TAS Nel Smit TAS Ingrid Albion
VIC Jo Connor VIC Rina Gao
WA Dr Jennifer Pearson WA Dr Jennifer Pearson

To reach out to any of the committee members, contact the National Administration.