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On demand: Powering Sydney’s Future

Zunz Lecture 2021

Start Date:01/09/2021

Start Time:6:00 PM AEST

Duration:60 minutes

Cities are central to curbing climate change and its impacts fast, with estimates suggesting that urban areas are responsible for 75 percent of the world’s CO2 emissions.

In Powering Sydney’s Future, we will tackle one of our city’s greatest challenges—transitioning to zero-emissions electricity and the decarbonisation of all facets of urban activity. With State and Local Government policy impetus, and investor willingness, we have the right conditions to not only embrace energy transition, but to secure an opportunity-rich future for Sydney and Australia.

So, how do we speed up the transition? How do critical sectors such as the built environment and transport shift the dial now, by planning, designing, and delivering change that sticks?

Join us to hear insights, ambitions and strategies from Hon Matthew Kean MP, Minister for Energy and Environment and panellists, Dr Kar Mei Tang; Chief Circular Economist, NSW Circular, Margot Black, General Manager, Corporate Sustainability, Investa, Nell Payne, Chief of Operating Investments, NRMA and Malcolm Smith; Australasian Cities Leader, Arup.

Please contact if you have any questions.


Hon Matthew Kean MP

Minister for Energy and Environment

Matt Kean entered Parliament in 2011 and spent his early years advocating for stronger mental health policy. Elevated to the NSW Cabinet in 2017, he was Appointed Minister for Innovation and Better Regulation in 2017 and then appointed Minister for Energy and Environment in 2019. An outspoken critic of “climate denialism” he has campaigned for greater and national action on climate change, arguing it’s not only good for the environment but it’s also good for our economy. He has committed to increasing the size of the NSW National Park estate by over five per cent or 400,000 hectares by the end of 2022 and in 2020, he delivered the biggest renewable energy policy in Australia’s history.

Dr Kar Mei Tang

Chief Circular Economist

NSW Circular

Dr Kar Mei Tang is Chief Circular Economist with NSW Circular. She has worked with policymakers and corporate leaders to create sustainable and investable growth and markets, drawing from her extensive experience public and private sector organisations – including the NSW Government, policy advocacy, research, technology commercialisation and consulting. She was previously Executive Director, Circular Economy in the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment and Environment Protection Authority, and Director of Economic Policy in the Department of Premier and Cabinet. Prior to joining the NSW public sector she was Head of Policy and Research with the Australian Private Equity and Venture Capital Association (now Australian Investment Council). Kar Mei has a PhD in Economics and a Masters in Applied Statistics. She is also the Chair of the NSW Women in Economics Network and Council Member of the Economics Society of Australia (NSW).

Margot Black

General Manager, Corporate Sustainability


Margot Black is the General Manager, Corporate Sustainability at Investa, working across the office and Build to rent platforms implementing climate, community and human rights strategies and outcomes, for the business. Margot integrates sustainability strategy with places and shaping the wellbeing for Investa employees, customers and the communities in which they operate. Margot’s 30 years in the property industry has involved engaging, connecting and creating positive social and environmental outcomes for buildings, customers and communities. As an urban planner, Margot has worked in State Government on housing and planning systems and Local Government, reimagining Fortitude Valley, Brisbane. As a consultant, Margot created strategic housing, transport and commercial strategies, across Australia. Margot has worked in sustainability for Charter Hall, Lendlease and Stockland creating sustainability outcomes in shopping centres, offices, industrial buildings and residential developments, ensuring the full range of environmental and community infrastructure is integrated into developments.

Nell Payne

Chief of Operating Investments


Nell was appointed COO of Experiential Tourism for NRMA in June 2021 supporting the operational businesses through capital transformation and growth initiatives. She is passionate about safety, engagement and developing her people. Nell’s collaborative style is focused on operational excellence, customer experience and customer insights. In her previous roles at the NRMA as Chief of Operating Investments spanning the Car Rental and Marine sectors in July 2020 and prior to that as Executive General Manager Motoring, she was responsible for the NRMA’s Roadside Delivery, Motoring Operations, Motoring Services, Car Servicing stores, Driver Training and Workplace Health & Safety. Before joining the NRMA, Nell was Group Director Technology and Operations at Foxtel where she was responsible for the operations of the technical facilities supporting Foxtel’s Television Centre, customer systems and the 24x7 Customer Support operations. The National Customer Support Operations provided fault call response, repair services and planned work supported by over 1,400 field engineers. Nell was also the Customer Care Manager for CableData International, later DST International. She was responsible for the support of Customer Systems and Field Services Systems in the Asia Pacific region. Nell also managed the training and operations of the specialist teams as well as the Service Support and Delivery disciplines. Nell holds a Bachelor’s degree (B Eng) in Electrical and Electronic Engineering from Coventry University. She has also completed the Australian Graduate School of Management (AGSM) Executive education program and is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (GAICD).

Malcolm Smith

Australasian Cities Leader


Malcolm Smith is Arup’s Australasian Cities Leader and the founding director of Arup London’s Integrated City Planning (ICP) unit, which brings together design, economics and political strategy in complex master planning projects. Guiding design strategy for masterplanning projects across the world, his work not only centres around the physical issues of places, it also encompasses systems integration, resource efficiency, cultural strategy, meaningful infrastructure, risk and resilience, and social value. Malcolm has been an advisor to the Gore Foundation and UN Habitat on sustainable urbanism, and is regularly invited to lecture around the world on contemporary urban places, including the City of Melbourne, Sydney, Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Munich and Singapore.

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