Monash appoints new Sustainability Institute head

Renowned Monash University water researcher Professor Rebekah Brown has been appointed Director of the Monash Sustainability Institute (MSI).

Monash University Environmental Sciences
Australia must guard its water resources

Professor Brown is recognised internationally for her scientific innovation and world-leading research in urban water and sustainability. She will be taking over the position from Professor Dave Griggs, who is moving to a more research-focused role within the institute.

Monash University Provost and Senior Vice-President Professor Edwina Cornish said the appointment was a great outcome for the university.

“Rebekah has an outstanding record of scholarship, a great record of research impact and an outstanding ability to lead interdisciplinary research with industry,” Professor Cornish said. “I am very pleased to have such an acclaimed and accomplished researcher leading one of the university’s stand-out institutes.”

MSI Chair Professor John Thwaites said he was excited by the unique skills and exemplary industry engagement experience Professor Brown brought to the role and was looking forward to working with her to consolidate and build upon Monash Sustainability Institute’s success.

“Rebekah’s research and her role as a leader at the Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) for Water Sensitive Cities, has set a benchmark in research translation and industry collaboration. It makes her ideally placed to lead MSI into the future and to help us translate our work into practical real-world outcomes,” Professor Thwaites said.

“Professor Dave Griggs has been an outstanding leader at MSI and built its excellent reputation. We are very pleased that he will stay on with MSI in a more research-focused role including his work on the Sustainable Development Goals.”

Professor Brown has successfully founded and facilitated a number of large multi-stakeholder consortiums, and played a central role in bringing together more than 70 organisations to invest in the CRC for Water Sensitive Cities, one of the largest interdisciplinary research centres in Australia.

Professor Brown said she felt privileged to be given this opportunity and looked forward to harnessing the significant scope and calibre of Monash expertise in tackling some of the world’s most pressing sustainability challenges.

“I’m very much looking forward to joining the MSI team and building upon the many notable achievements to date,” Professor Brown said.

Professor Brown is also a co-founder and Associate Director of the multi-disciplinary Monash Water for Liveability Centre. She has been honoured with research and industry awards and her innovative approach has been recognised by a number of international scientific communities. Her work has influenced policy and international funding programs to improve water resources in developing countries.

About the Monash Sustainability Institute

Climate change and sustainability, and their intrinsic multiple crises, are some of the most challenging issues facing society today. Many of these issues however often end up in the “too hard” basket. Monash, through the Monash Sustainability Institute, is tackling these great challenges head on with a unique and distinctive interdisciplinary approach.

The institute brings together the best minds from multiple fields of endeavour in world-leading cross-disciplinary programs and centres of excellence. Monash has pulled together scientists, lawyers, economists, psychologists, biologists, engineers, health professionals, training experts and more to nut out the ‘wicked’ problems.

Together, world-leading experts from the Monash Sustainability Institute combine with the best from across Monash University, industry, academia and civic society to envisage and create the world of the future.

Monash asks the tough questions
  • How do you make Australia’s economy carbon neutral?
  • How do we solve the water crisis?
  • What does a sustainable city look like?
While the researchers, educators, partners and funders may speak different “languages” (science, the arts, engineering and policy for example) they are working together to achieve a common purpose.

The Monash Sustainability Institute programs and initiatives investigate how to build water-sensitive cities and better manage water resources. They are catalysing action across Australia’s economy to reduce greenhouse emissions and valuing and integrating indigenous knowledge to help manage natural resources, putting environmental sustainability at the centre of decision making. Monash is understanding and influencing human behaviour, training and educating the next generation of leaders in sustainability, and much more.

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