This section provides information about:
The Board sets ARENA’s investment strategies and priorities, oversees the running of the organisation, and approves funding for projects up to $50 million. The Minister responsible for ARENA approves funding more than $50 million, while the ARENA CEO has board-delegated authority to approve funding up to $1 million. The Board may also delegate to the CEO specific powers or functions, subject to any directions specified by the Board and any applicable ARENA policies and legislation.
The Board formally met nine times during 2017-18.
The Board consists of up to six appointed members as well as the Secretary of the Department responsible for the Agency. Board members (with the exception of the ex-officio member) are appointed by the Minister.
Appointed members of the Board must have experience or knowledge in renewable energy technology, commercialisation, business investment or corporate governance. This ensures expert administration of ARENA’s funds. Board members may be appointed for a term of up to two years, and may be reappointed for a total of up to six continuous years.
At 30 June 2018, members of the ARENA Board were:
With the exception of Mr Pratt and his delegates, these Board members were appointed by the Portfolio Minister on 17 April 2018 for a two-year term.
Previous members of the Board, whose terms concluded on 17 April 2018, were:
There were two Secretaries of the Department during the reporting period, both of whom were an ex-officio member of the Board during their tenure. Dr Gordon de Brouwer PSM was Secretary of the Department until 8 September 2017, and Mr Finn Pratt AO PSM commenced as Secretary of the Department on 18 September 2017.
For further information about ARENA’s management practices, visit the full version of the Annual Report.
April 2016, re-appointed April 2018
Martijn Wilder is head of Baker & McKenzie’s Global Environmental Markets and Climate Change practice specialising in climate change law, international carbon and broader environmental markets, climate and conservation finance and conservation projects. He is also Chair of the Baker & McKenzie Law for Development Initiative and Professor of Climate Change Law at the Australian National University.
In addition to being Chair of ARENA, Martijn is a Director of WWF (Australia) and the Climate Council. He also holds advisory roles as Chair of the NSW Climate Change Council and Governing Board Member of the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Partnership, and is a member of the Wentworth Group of Concerned Scientists. Martijn is also Deputy Chair of the Private Sector Roundtable of the Asia Pacific Rainforest Recovery Plan.
Martijn chaired the Independent Review Committee of the Victorian Climate Change Act, was formerly Chairman of Low Carbon Australia and for many years chaired TRAFFIC (Oceania).
In 2012, Martijn was awarded a Member of the Order of Australia in recognition of his “service to environmental law, particularly in the area of climate change through contributions to the development of law, global regulation, public policy and the promotion of public debate, and to the community”.
Martijn holds a BEcon (Hons) from the University of Sydney, LLB Honours from the Australian National University, LLM from the University of Cambridge and studied at the Hague Academy Centre for Studies and Research in International Law and International Relations. He is also a Graduate Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
Samantha Hogg brings more than 25 years of experience in executive management across the resources and road infrastructure sectors as well as broad Australian and international experience in finance, marketing and strategic projects.
Her most recent executive role was as Chief Financial Officer of Transurban Limited during the period that the business grew to become a Top 20 ASX company.
Samantha holds positions on a number of boards, serving as Chair of Tasmanian Irrigation, Chair of TasRail, non-executive Director of Hydro Tasmania and non-executive Director of MaxiTRANS.
She resides on a family farm outside of Launceston in Northern Tasmania and is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
April 2016, re-appointed April 2018
Susan Jeanes is a consultant at Jeanes Holland and Associates, which assists companies that are developing and promoting the goals of sustainability, particularly in the emerging renewable energy sector.
She has worked closely with the Australian renewable energy and sustainability sectors for more than two decades, most recently in her roles as the Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Geothermal Energy Association, the national body representing the Australian geothermal energy industry, and previously as the Chief Executive Officer of the Renewable Energy Generators Australia.
Susan is the Chair of the South Australian Centre for Geothermal Energy Research and the Centre for Energy Technology. Prior to 2002, she worked exclusively in the political area as Advisor to the former Federal Environment Minister Robert Hill on climate change, renewable energy and the urban environment, and serving the Federal Parliament as the Member for Kingston. Susan has tertiary qualifications in politics and environmental studies.
April 2016, re-appointed April 2018
Meg McDonald has career experience at senior levels in business and government across the fields of energy and environment.
From 2013 to 2015 she served as Chief Operating Officer of the Clean Energy Finance Corporation. Previously, from 2010 to 2013, Meg was CEO of Low Carbon Australia Limited (LCAL), leading the organisation’s development of innovative financial solutions for energy efficiency and investment partnerships for financing projects deploying low emissions technologies. Over three years, LCAL financed more than $80 million in projects valued at over $270 million. LCAL merged with the CEFC in 2013.
From 2002 to 2010, Meg held roles with the global resources and manufacturing corporation, Alcoa, including as Director, Global Issues, Alcoa Inc. in New York and as Global President of Alcoa Foundation. The Foundation was one of the largest US corporate foundations, managing a fund with assets of over US$500 million and which made annual grants up to US$50 million across 24 countries in environment, sustainability and social projects.
While in the Australian Public Service from 1978 to 2002, Meg had roles across a variety of portfolios. She served as a senior Australian diplomat, including in Geneva, as Assistant Secretary, Environment and Antarctic Branch, and in the Australian Embassy in Washington as Australia’s Deputy Chief of Mission to the United States.
As Australia’s Ambassador for the Environment from 1997 to 1998, Meg was Australia’s lead negotiator for the Kyoto Protocol and played a key role in shaping those negotiations and other environment treaties.
Meg holds an Honours Degree in Applied Science from the University of NSW and has served on boards and a variety of advisory bodies in Australia and the United States.
Dougal McOmish has more than twelve years of experience in senior management across the agriculture and financial advisory sectors, as well as large-scale infrastructure project delivery and stakeholder management.
He is the Chief Operating Officer of Sundrop Farms, a global pioneer in sustainable agriculture. Dougal joined Sundrop Farms in 2015 to lead business and project development efforts as Sundrop expands its operations in Australia and into new product categories.
That work has involved steering the operation’s adoption of a revolutionary greenhouse system that harnesses the sun’s energy to produce freshwater for irrigation, electricity to power its greenhouse, and energy to heat and cool its crops.
Dougal’s investment banking and project management experience stretches across the infrastructure, utilities, resources and oil and gas sectors, both in Australia and overseas.
He now lives in the Adelaide Hills, and is an economics graduate of the University of Adelaide.
Stephanie Unwin is General Manager Transformation and Technology of CBH Group, where she is responsible for information technology and overseeing the transformation of CBH to a low-cost, efficient supply chain from paddock to port. Prior to that she was Chief Executive Officer of Phylogica, a biotech and medical devices company in Western Australia.
Stephanie has significant executive and board-level experience across a variety of sectors, is a former General Manager Commercial at energy retailer Synergy and General Counsel at Verge Energy. During her time at Synergy, Stephanie was responsible for strategy and innovation, modelling and analytics, corporate affairs and communication, policy and regulation, corporate development and continuous improvement.
Stephanie has considerable experience with renewable energy, including being a key negotiator at Synergy and then the General Manager with oversight for the construction and commissioning of the Greenough River Solar Farm and Mumbida Wind Farm. She also conceived of and developed a renewables infrastructure fund to initial commercial close, took the Alkimos Beach Community Battery Storage project through funding to commissioning and into delivery, and developed the company’s forward strategy for innovation and renewables.
She was also the Chair and operational Board member for the joint venture companies supplying renewable energy from the solar and wind farms.
In addition to being a member of the ARENA Board, Stephanie is a non-executive director of ASX-listed independent power producer Zenith Energy.
8/8 meetings (attended by Mr Pratt or his delegate)
Finn Pratt has a public service career spanning 35 years and during this time he has driven many government priorities. As Secretary of the Department of the Environment and Energy he is responsible for delivering energy market reform, environmental policy priorities such as biodiversity conservation and protecting the Great Barrier Reef.
Finn was appointed Secretary of the Department of the Environment and Energy in September 2017. Before this appointment, he held other senior positions including Secretary of the Department of Social Services (2013-2017), Secretary of the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (2011-2013), Secretary of the Department of Human Services (2009-2011) and the Chief Executive Officer of Centrelink (2008-2009).
In these roles, he has been responsible for setting the strategic and corporate directions of each Department and its portfolio and providing senior policy advice to the portfolio Ministers and Assistant Ministers. He is a member of the Jawun Board and was Chair of the Australia and New Zealand School of Government (ANZSOG) from 2014 to 2017.
Finn was awarded a Public Service Medal in 2008 and in 2015 became an Officer of the Order of Australia for distinguished service in public administration, social policy development and service delivery reform, and improving support for people with disability, their families and carers. Finn has a Bachelor of Arts degree from the Australian National University.
Jo Evans is a Deputy Secretary at the Department of the Environment and Energy. Jo is responsible for Climate Change and Energy Innovation, which includes the Emissions Reduction Fund, international climate programs, ozone and air quality programs and clean energy innovation. Jo is proud to be the Department’s Indigenous Champion.
Jo has worked in a number of portfolios including the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources and in the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. Prior to joining the Australian Public Service in 2000, Jo worked for management consultants McKinsey & Company.
Jo has a Masters of Public Policy from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University; a Masters in Environmental Science from the University of Melbourne; and a combined bachelor degree in Asian studies and economics (honours) from the Australian National University.
1/1 meeting (attended by Dr de Brouwer or his delegate)
ARENA is a dynamic and outcomes-oriented agency, staffed by highly qualified and experienced people. The Agency also aims to be agile, with the ability to respond quickly to any changes in its operating environment.
The ARENA Act provides for ARENA to have two employees, the Chief Executive Officer and Chief Financial Officer. All other ARENA staff are employed by the portfolio Department under the Public Service Act 1999 and made available to ARENA by the Secretary of the Department. ARENA also engages consultants, contractors and service providers as necessary.
ARENA’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) was Mr Ivor Frischknecht during the reporting period. In August 2018, Mr Frischknecht was succeeded by Mr Darren Miller
The CEO is appointed by the Portfolio Minister on the recommendation of the Board for a period of up to three years and is eligible for reappointment.
Chief Executive Officer
Darren Miller commenced as ARENA’s CEO on 27 August 2018. He has more than 25 years’ experience across a range of sectors including renewable energy, electricity retail, technology, finance, media and entertainment.
Darren was co-founder and CEO of Mojo Power, an innovative electricity retailer, from 2015 until July 2018. He was previously the Director of Asset Finance at Sungevity Australia in 2014, and co-founder and CEO of Sumwise, a technology and services company from 2007 to 2013. Darren’s previous experience includes a position as investment manager for Publishing and Broadcasting Limited (PBL) and Consolidated Press Holdings (CPH) as well as roles at New Zealand Natural and Ernst & Young.
Darren is a Chartered Accountant with a Bachelor of Commerce (Hons) from the University of New South Wales.
ARENA’s CEO is supported by an executive team, including a Chief Financial Officer (CFO). The CFO during 2017–18 was Mr Ian Kay.
During 2017-18 the Minister responsible for ARENA was the Hon Josh Frydenberg MP, Minister for the Environment and Energy.
The Hon Angus Taylor was appointed Portfolio Minister for ARENA after the reporting period. The ARENA Annual Report 2017-18 was approved by Minister Taylor.
For further information on ARENA’s workforce, visit the full version of the Annual Report.
For further information about ARENA’s other events and activities, visit the full version of the Annual Report.
This section contains ARENA’s audited financial statements for the year ended 30 June 2018.