David Simpson – Chairman

David Simpson had an extended career in advertising around the globe. He returned to Australia to run Bluearth, a not-for-profit promoting physical activity in primary schools. He is now a professional non-executive director, chairs a TEC (The Executive Connection) group and is active in executive coaching.

He believes there is a long-term opportunity for Cool Australia to drive 21st century learning by helping teachers instil, in their students, positive attitudes and behaviours relating to sustainability, change and human interaction.


Craig Kimberley

Craig is the father of Jason Kimberley and the former Chairman of Just Jeans Group Limited and has been involved with clothing and textile industry for 40 years. He was the founding chairman of the Melbourne Fashion Festival.

He served a term on the AFL commission. In 2012 he was awarded the Champion of Entrepreneurship at the Australian Entrepreneur Awards. He and his wife Connie own and operate the Herberton Historic Village in Far North Queensland.

In 2015 he was awarded the AM, or Member of the Order of Australia for his work in fashion, the AFL and at the historic village in Herberton.


Guy Olian

Guy co-founded Cleaner Climate and led the organisations’ efforts in Australia, Mexico and South Africa. He has broad strategy development, process and organizational improvement experience. He has assisted a variety of large multinational corporations in the finance, defence, transport, travel, retail sectors and not-for-profit organisations, including myrate.com.au, one of Australia’s largest online mortgage lenders with over $1BN in loans and Cleaner Climate, the carbon offset provider for ANZ & Flight Centre. Guy is currently is the CEO of Energy Ease a specialist Payment Plan provider for Energy and Smart Building technologies.


Gabrielle Coyne

gabrielle-coyne3-credit-david-johns-v2Gabrielle Coyne has extensive experience in the Australian publishing industry working in marketing before becoming managing director then CEO of Penguin Asia Pacific and more recently Penguin Random House. A passionate advocate for literacy and the power of storytelling, she was also on the board of Pearson Education Australia and has held a range of positions on the boards and committees of industry associations. She was a founding board member of the Wheeler Centre, a member of World Vision’s Business Advisory Council of Australia, is currently on the board of the Australian Industry Group’s Graduate Employment Service and was also a member of the Future Industries Ministerial Advisory Council.

Gabrielle believes strongly in the positive impact of learning and the positive change that can occur when teachers and students gain access to resources and information to help learn, understand and tell the story of our planet and the future.


Judith Landsberg

Judith has worked across a range of industries, including business, education, government and non-profits, in 4 countries, which has given her an unparalleled breadth of experience to apply to complex problems in sustainability. Career highlights include bringing an award-winning, UN-endorsed, environmental education program to Bermuda’s schools; consulting on and advocating for a sustainable energy model in Bermuda; and leading the City of Melbourne team during the closing stages of the Melbourne Renewable Energy Program, a market-changing approach to funding large-scale renewable energy.


Julie Buxton

Julie is a member of the Victorian Bar with a diversity of legal, commercial and policy experience gained across the private, government and not-for-profit sectors. Julie has undertaken a range of legal, commercial, management and consulting roles in Australia and overseas as well as government departments and agencies. Julie’s passion for human rights has led her to work in Indigenous rights. She was the human rights and youth justice adviser to Victoria’s Commissioner for Aboriginal Children and Young People, a senior adviser of the Koori Justice Unit within Victoria’s Department of Justice, and has worked with the United Nations Serious Crimes Unit in Timor-Leste. In 2016, she was invited to participate as an expert panellist in the Regional Consultation on Transitional Justice for Asia-Pacific in Colombo, Sri Lanka, co-hosted by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the promotion of truth, justice, reparations and guarantees of non-recurrence. 

Julie was Chair of the Law Institute of Victoria’s Reconciliation and Advancement Committee, and a director of Big Red Films Ltd and the Mai Wiru Sugar Challenge Foundation. 


madeleine-grummetMadeleine Grummet

Madeleine Grummet is an entrepreneur, consultant and journalist obsessed with startups, the sharing economy and harnessing communities for social change. Founder & CEO of brand agency Do Re Me Creative, Founder of the Wise Women project, Co-Founder of #girledworld, and with a recent Master of Entrepreneurship from the University of Melbourne, Madeleine spent years in the storied world of journalism and media (News Corp, Herald-Sun, Nine Network, ACP, Murdoch Magazines) and is still constantly blown away by the power of storytelling and its capacity to ignite change. Madeleine holds a number of board and advisory positions across the APAC region, consults to a range of clients on strategy, disruption and innovation, and has four daughters who are cultivating enterprise skillsets day by day.


Dr Melanie J Thomson

melt_mtpconnect_portraitDr Mel Thomson completed her Honours degree in microbiology and immunology at the University of Melbourne. She completed a Masters of Research then a PhD in microbial genetic regulation in Neisseria species, both at University of York, UK. During her PhD, she undertook training in science communication for teacher development at the UK National STEM Learning centre and took part in the ‘Researchers in Residence’ program at a local Yorkshire secondary school.

Dr Thomson returned to Australia in 2011 to start her own research group at Deakin Medical School and the Geelong Centre for Emerging Infectious Diseases. After more than 5 years as an independent researcher, she has now left the academy to help grow the innovation ecosystem for the Australian MedTech Pharma industry in her role as GM of Education, Skills and Events for MTPConnect.

A passionate science communicator, she became a national ‘torch bearer’ for the concept of crowd funding academic research, with a track record of three successful ‘Pozible’ crowd funding campaigns, ‘Mighty Maggots’, ‘Hips 4 Hipsters’ and ‘No more Poo Taboo’. She has participated in CSIRO’s ‘Scientist and Mathematicians in School’ program and has been involved as a judge for ‘Tournament of the Minds’ for several years. She is involved with advocacy for Women in STEM as a founding steering committee member for Women in Science Australia and spoke on the intersections of disability and gender at the inaugural SAGE Symposium in June 2016.


Jason Kimberley

jason-kimberley-boardJason Kimberley is a champion of real world education, photographer, author, adventurer and founder of Cool Australia.

His first book, Australia Exposed (2003), was the result of a yearlong camping trip around Australia. Antarctica, A Different Adventure (2007) describes his journey across the frozen wilderness.

Jason has travelled extensively throughout Australia and the globe subjecting himself to a number of challenges including: climbing South America’s highest peak Mt. Aconcagua (23,000ft), man-hauling sledges in Antarctica, trekking Denali and a month long kayaking odyssey on Prince William Sound – both in Alaska.

More recently Jason has trekked to Mt Everest Base camp, traversed the Kokoda Track and been dogsledding in the Yukon Territories. Jason’s passion for education is driven by understanding that every child must be given the opportunity to thrive at school, learning the important skills of critical thinking, problem finding and solving. At Cool Australia, you truly do learn for life.