Keynote speakers

Professor Glenn Albrecht

Glenn is an environmental philosopher with both theoretical and applied interests in the relationship between ecosystem and human health. He has pioneered the research domain of 'psychoterratic' or earth-related mental health conditions with the concept of 'solastalgia' or the lived experience of negative environmental change. He also has publications in the field of animal ethics including the ethics of relocating endangered species in the face of climate change pressures.

Glenn's most recent publication is Earth Emotions: New Words for a New World, published in May 2019 by Cornell University Press. The book has been translated into French and was released in Paris in late February 2020. The French title is Les émotions de la Terre: Des nouveau mots pour un nouveau monde, published by Les Liens Qui Libèrent. He has been published in many peer-reviewed journals and has recently completed and published book chapters on his research interests. With colleagues, Nick Higginbotham (University of Newcastle) and Linda Connor (Sydney University) under Australian Research Council (ARC) Discovery Project grants, Glenn has researched the impact of mining in the Upper Hunter Region of NSW, Australia, and the impact of climate change on communities, again in the Hunter Region. Glenn has also been involved as a Chief Investigator in ARC Discovery Project research on the social and ethical aspects of the thoroughbred horse industry worldwide.

Glenn is a pioneer of transdisciplinary thinking and, with Higginbotham and Connor, produced a major book on this topic, Health Social Science: A Transdisciplinary and Complexity Perspective, published by Oxford University Press in 2001. His current major research interest – the positive and negative psychological, emotional and cultural relationships people have to place and its transformation – is one that sees him having an international research profile.

RMLA Glenn Albrecht photo

Natasha Hammond

Natasha is a barrister who specialises in environmental, planning and administrative law, practising at Martin Place Chambers in Sydney, Australia, since 2014.

Natasha is also a sessional lecturer in environmental and climate law at the University of New South Wales, Sydney. Natasha has a Bachelor of Laws/Bachelor of Arts from the University of Otago, New Zealand, and a Master of Environmental Law from the University of Sydney, Australia. Natasha appears in all jurisdictions of the Land and Environment Court of New South Wales, particularly judicial review, criminal and civil enforcement and development appeals, as well as in a range of other state and federal courts.

Natasha advises and represents state and local government, developers, individuals and community groups on a broad range of environment and planning law matters, including permissibility of development, pollution, biodiversity, mining, water, climate change and heritage. Prior to being called to the bar, Natasha practised as a solicitor with the London Borough of Harrow and Maddocks Lawyers in Sydney and prosecuted environmental offences for the Office of Environment and Heritage (NSW).

Rt Hon Simon Upton

Simon was sworn in as Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment for a five-year term on 16 October 2017. Simon is a Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand and a Rhodes Scholar, with degrees in English literature, music and law from the University of Auckland and an MLitt in political philosophy from Oxford University. He was sworn in as a member of the Privy Council in 1999. A Member of Parliament between 1981 and 2000, Simon held a variety of ministerial portfolios including environment, research, biosecurity, health and state services between 1990 and 1999.

After leaving Parliament, Simon moved to Paris to chair the Round Table on Sustainable Development at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). In 2005, he returned to New Zealand to pursue a number of private sector roles while continuing to chair the Round Table. In April 2010, he returned to the OECD full-time as Environment Director, a post he held for seven years until returning to take up the role of Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment.

RMLA Simon Upton photo RESIZED