Cool Australia founder and CEO Jason Kimberley has a background as a retailer, builder and restaurateur. Jason is also a photographer and adventurer with a passion for life and nature. After returning home from an expedition to Antarctica in 2005 Jason set about writing a book about his adventures. It was during the research for this project that Jason became aware of the increasing human impact on our planet.
Jason recognised the need to provide our next generations with relevant and engaging information about how our world works and what we risk with ‘business as usual’. Our education system was identified as the most important and effective way for connecting with kids and recognised educators as the best ‘voice’ for Cool Australia. In August 2008, Cool Australia was born.
Jason is looking to increase the scale of Cool Australia’s operations to reach more schools; teachers and students, while making Cool Australia achieve financial sustainability.
Krista grew up in the Adelaide Hills and took her love of nature to the big smoke where she gained a degree in Biodiversity, Conservation and Park Management from the University of South Australia. Several subjects helped her to realise that her skills lay not in the doing of science, and she went on to gain a Masters in Environment (Environmental Education) from the University of Melbourne.
Krista joined Cool Australia in mid-2008 to work on the development of the Cool Australia curriculum resources, and has since been busy writing, drawing and doodling to create the activities and content on the Cool Australia website. She brings with her nearly 10 years experience working on sustainability education in the not-for-profit, university and local government sectors.
Lynn grew up in Adelaide where recycling, having a water tank, composting and not wasting anything were just the norm. Having a father who was an apiarist and spending time with him tending to the hives, she grew up appreciating the finer things nature can offer.
Majoring in photography at North Adelaide School of Art, Lynn travelled, worked and lived overseas before deciding Melbourne was the city to live in. Lynn has worked with Jason since 2005 and has seen the transition from photographic exhibitions and publishing to the current online environmental resources.
As Office & Project Manager at Cool Australia, Lynn oversees the administration and communications while working closely with teachers involved in the Cool Australia Flagship Program. She also looks after many aspects of the Cool Australia website along with co-ordinating relationships with other organisations, managing fundraising projects and grant submissions.
Thea completed a Bachelor of Science and Diploma of Education at Melbourne University. She began her teaching career at Brentwood Secondary College as a teacher of Science, Mathematics and also undertook the leadership role of Sustainability Coordinator. Thea has developed and taught a diverse range of sustainability curriculum. Thea also created a student leadership group called The Green Team, consisting of 55 students who are ‘change agents’ in their community. Her proudest moment in teaching was when the Green Team won The City of Monash Worlds Environment Day Award.
For her dedication and work in EfS, Thea was a finalist in the NIETA Inspirational Teaching Awards 2011 and a finalist for the DEECD Inspiration Teacher of the Year Award 2012. In 2010, Thea was awarded the Earthwatch scholarship. This scholarship allowed her to experience firsthand the effects of climate change on the biodiversity of The Wet Tropics of Queensland, which was a life changing experience.
Her passion for education and the environment led her to join the Cool Australia team in 2013. She is excited about helping teachers gain access to a broad range of sustainability curriculum resources that will inspire their students to make positive changes in their lives.
Thea was a fellow at the Centre for Sustainability Leadership and this year is starting a Masters of Instructional Leadership at the Graduate School of Education at Melbourne University.
Susie completed a Bachelor of Law and Arts at Monash University in 1993. After working as a Lawyer for 5 years, she made a career change into marketing. She spent over 10 years honing her communication and strategic marketing skills whilst working as the Sponsorship Manager for Pacific Dunlop, the Brand Manager for Bonds, and the Marketing Manager for Natio Australia.
Through marketing, Susie was exposed to and developed a passion for research. She commenced employment with Sweeney Research as a Qualitative Consultant in 2004.
Whilst taking time off to raise 3 children, Susie looked for the opportunity to apply her strategic communication and marketing skills to an organisation working with kids and the environment. She started working with Cool Australia in August 2011. Together with the team at Cool Australia, Susie works to build, strengthen and grow Cool Australia.
Kirsty Costa is an award-winning educator who is passionate about helping young people adapt and thrive in our ever changing world. She has helped hundreds of early childhood services and schools to create education programs that inspire and galvanize communities into action. Kirsty translates educational approaches and behavioural science into bite-sized pieces so that teachers and students can be more effective change makers.
Kirsty was awarded the 2013 Victorian Environmental and Sustainability Educator of the Year. She was also chosen to be trained by Al Gore as a Climate Reality Leader in 2014.
Sam was inspired to become an English teacher after spending a year on student exchange in Thailand in high school. She gained Degrees in Arts and Secondary Education and started her career teaching English and Humanities for Years 7-12. While in the role of Year 10 Coordinator, Sam attended a student employment program run by the Foundation for Young Australians. She mentioned to one of the facilitators that she secretly wanted their job – a confession that lead to her working at the Foundation as a facilitator, project manager and resource developer.
Sam started with Cool Australia as a part-time curriculum writer and now works with Cool Australia as Curriculum Design and Development Manager. She is a firm believer in the transformative power of education, and works hard on the collaborative development of innovative and practical resources for teachers to engage and inspire students.
Hannah experienced an inspirational event whilst growing up on a farm in North East Victoria which makes her an instrument of change. After completing a Bachelor of Environmental Engineering, she couldn’t get a job. Luckily Cool Australia was in need of slave labour and had her working four days a week with no money. Things soon changed. Hannah was employed for two days, then three, then four, then the surprise – she is now chained to her desk at all times. Finishing with a inspirational quote: “Never believe everything you read on the internet” – Abraham Lincoln.
After Marcus finished studying his Bachelor of Environments at the University of Melbourne he started as an intern for Cool Australia. During this year he worked on developing teaching content such as factsheets and uploading contemporary news articles into the digital libraries. One of Marcus’ final projects of the year was to interview people involved in STEM and create short videos. Now Marcus has joined the Cool Australia team to assist with the production of more videos for professional development and curriculum projects. Marcus is starting his Masters of Primary education at the University of Melbourne.