The Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA) has appointed an industry leader in sustainable infrastructure as its new Chief Executive Officer.
Davina Rooney has been appointed to the GBCA’s CEO, with her appointment commencing on 11 June 2019.
The former General Manager of Sustainability and Corporate Procurement at one of Australia’s largest diversified property groups, Stockland, Ms Rooney brings her experience as an engineer and change agent to Australia’s authority on sustainable buildings and communities.
Ms Rooney will take over from outgoing CEO Romilly Madew AO, who was appointed CEO of Infrastructure Australia in January 2019.
Ms Rooney is a civil engineer and supports the Women in STEM initiative. She has a variety of sustainability experience, from environmental projects, not-for profit boards and overseas community development work, spending eight months working in the Indian Himalayas on the construction of a school which won multiple international awards.
Ms Rooney has been recognised in her field with awards including the NAWIC NSW 2016 Sustainability Award, PCA 2014 Future Leaders Award and Sydney University Engineering Young Alumni Award.
She has contributed to the GBCA as a member of the Green Star Steering Committee for the last three years, and the Green Star Advisory Committee over 2018 and has recently completed her two-year term as the Chair of the Property Council’s National Sustainability Roundtable.
GBCA Chair, Rod Fehring, said Ms Rooney’s inspirational leadership capacity together with her deep technical knowledge would enhance the organisation’s industry perspective as it furthered its goals to make communities more productive, liveable and healthy.
“Davina has led Stockland to be a global leader on sustainability in property, achieving a raft of international accolades from leading organisations DJSI, GRESB and CDP,” Mr Fehring said.
“Davina has also steered industry-leading initiatives at Stockland, including the largest rollout of solar panels in the property industry and the most Green Star Design & As Built rated shopping centres in the country.”
Mr Fehring said that Ms Rooney worked over ten years across Stockland’s diverse business to develop and implement strategies for sustainable and efficient buildings and communities.
Her responsibilities took her from the construction site to the policy table, giving her an insight across the lifecycle of major development projects.
“Davina is a well-known and highly respected leader in our sector and we are delighted to be appointing her as the GBCA’s next Chief Executive Officer,” Mr Fehring said.
“She is the perfect candidate to take forward the GBCA’s impressive legacy in a collaborative way at what is in an exceptionally exciting time as we move towards the implementation of key projects including the next generation of Green Star and our Carbon Positive Roadmap.”
Ms Rooney said she was excited by the opportunity to work across industry at this pivotal time and would focus on achieving real outcomes for low-energy buildings and communities.
“Property provides an unparalleled opportunity to build ongoing sustainable communities that positively impact people, communities and the world environment,” Ms Rooney said.
“I am passionate about developing happier, healthier and more sustainable outcomes, while working collaboratively across the industry.
“I believe in the power a strategy of shared value can deliver. How we partner with industry, with policymakers and community shapes our success.”
Ms Rooney said under Ms Madew’s leadership, the GBCA has had a transformational impact on the Australian market, and she looks forward to building on this.
“In Australia, we have much to be proud of as a global leader but we can and will improve to help meet our international obligations,” she said.
Mr Fehring took the opportunity to thank Ms Madew for her more than thirteen years leading the GBCA.
“Romilly has been a force for change in Australia’s built environment, where the number of Green Star-rated projects has risen to more than 2,250,” he said.
“We thank her for her incredible efforts and look forward to her continued success in her new role.”
The sustainable infrastructure industry responds
The Australian Sustainable Built Environment Council (ASBEC) has warmly welcomed Ms Rooney’s appointment.
ASBEC President, Professor Ken Maher AO, said Ms Rooney’s expertise and industry experience provide a powerful platform to launch from into this important role.
“Davina is a sustainability dynamo in the built environment sector,” Mr Maher said.
ASBEC’s Executive Director, Suzanne Toumbourou, said ASBEC has long enjoyed a collaborative and productive relationship with GBCA, leading work together on high performing buildings and thriving cities.
“We very much look forward to working with Davina towards our vision of more sustainable, resilient and liveable buildings, cities and infrastructure,” Ms Toumbourou said.
Ken Morrison, chief executive of the Property Council of Australia and a director of GBCA, has also applauded the organisation’s pick for CEO.
“This is a terrific appointment and one that will allow the GBCA to continue to expand its impact as a champion for a sustainable built environment,” Mr Morrison said.
“Davina is a highly regarded sustainability expert and an individual who has the leadership attributes to make a big difference in this role.
“Her background as a civil engineer also means she has a deep insight into how to deliver sustainability outcomes through the lifecycle of a project.”
Mr Morrison said the GBCA had transformed Australia’s approach to sustainability in the built environment and the appointment of a new CEO came at an important time for the industry.
“Our built environment represents about a quarter of Australia’s carbon emissions, and will need to feature strongly in our transition to a net-zero emissions economy by the middle of the century.”