ZW Flyer

Speaker Bios

(In order of appearance)

Jo TarantoJo Taranto

Co-Founder, Good For The Hood

Jo Taranto and her Good For the Hood co founder Corina Seeto, are two passionate Sydney-siders with a mission to take the war on waste to communities all over Australia. They’ve worked with ABC TV’s War on Waste and now they want to show you that anyone can make a difference if they keep it local and light. With a power to inspire and connect, Jo and Corina have worked with hundreds of communities around the country and most recently, Jo has been on ABC TV’s Q and A. Her natural passion is obvious, her positivity infectious and her dorkiness undeniable.


Omer Soker

Omer Soker


Omer Soker is the CEO of the National Association of Charitable Recycling Organisations (NACRO) which works and advocates on behalf of the charitable recycling sector for triple bottom line outcomes. Omer is an association strategist who has written a book on The Future of Associations and worked with association boards and leaders on strategy, governance, transformation, member engagement and sector impact. Omer is passionate about the charitable sector and has presented at numerous not-for-profit conferences, and contributed thought leadership articles for Third Sector and ProBono Australia on how not-for-profit organisations can accelerate social, environmental and economic impact.


Greg McClaffertyGerard McClafferty

GM, Salamander Bay Recycling

Gerard McClafferty is the general manager of the Salamander Bay Recycling Centre, a not-for-profit community-run initiative in Port Stephens, an hour's drive north of Newcastle on the New South Wales coast. Supporting many local charities and organisations in Port Stephens NSW, they specialise in the reclamation, processing and on-sale of items previously-considered obsolete.


Jacqui BesgroveJacqui Besgrove

Zero Waste Manager, Green Connect










Sam Sondhi

Sam Sondhi

CEO, Outlook Victoria

Sam Sondhi is the CEO of Outlook Victoria a leading provider of disability support and employment services based in South East Melbourne.  Outlook also wholly owns and operates one of the largest waste management social enterprises in Australia, Outlook Environmental.  Sam has 14 years’ experience in Investment Banking and Private Equity and has spent the last 5 years in senior leadership roles in the not-for-profit sector




Kate SaportaKate Saporta

Principal, Growth Services, Social Traders

Kate brings expertise and passion to help social enterprises deliver lasting social change. Drawing on more than 14 years of commercial, not for profit and social enterprise experience combined with a deep passion for social change, Kate has strengthened the linkages between the corporate, government and social enterprise sectors to deliver social impact. Kate consults widely in areas of strategy, growth, innovation, business model transformation, new market development, operating model design, financial modelling, social impact and social finance. 


Matt AllenMatt Allen

Executive Director, Zero Waste Network
Matt is the Executive Director of Zero Waste Network Australia. Having been involved in the network since 2003, Matt led the organisation through the process of becoming an independently incorporated non-profit, worked with committee members to deliver an expanded annual conference and improved member engagement, and helped to drive increased collaboration with a number of other organisations – including Australia Post, the Westpac Foundation, Resource Recovery Australia and the Southern Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils.



Mal WilliamsMal Williams

Director, Zero Waste International Trust

Over the past 30 years Mal and a former colleague Mike Croxford have been instrumental in driving source separation and the collection of high quality recycled materials in Wales. Wales is now the second highest domestic recycler behind Germany and it expects to take over the lead within the next two years. This is entirely due to source-separation at source.



Gerry GillespieGerry Gillespie

Director, Zero Waste International Trust

Gerry has been involved in the recovery of organic materials and their reuse in soils for 30 years both in Australia and overseas, including roles in New Zealand and consultancy work in Egypt, China, Scotland, India, Wales, France, Japan, Taiwan and the US. With an emphasis on community engagement, he developed the City to Soil collection program and helped refine an inoculant-based, odour-free, no-turn compost process based on the work of M. E. Bruce and Sir Albert Howard. He has current projects in the fields of biochar, foliar fertilisers, feral animals, food waste and compost. He currently works as an Organics Consultant to Resource Recovery Australia, farmers groups and councils.


Mike RitchieMike Ritchie


Managing Director, MRA Consulting Group

Mike is one of Australia’s leading waste expert. With 25 years’ experience in the environmental and waste sector, Mike combines complex technical expertise and sound business acumen. As a former senior executive for Visy, SITA and Waste Service NSW, Mike has become one of the sector’s most recognised strategic thinkers, advising governments and business on waste and recycling. As MRA’s Managing Director, Mike provides extensive insight into the economics, policy constraints, issues and challenges of Australia’s waste and recycling sector, whilst working toward economically sensible environmental reforms. Mike's goal is to help make waste management economically rational and environmentally sustainable.



Martin HerbstMartin Herbst

GM, Gumtree Australia

Martin has 15 years’ experience launching eCommerce and digital media brands, from start-up mode into robust, profitable businesses. Martin has been part of the eBay family for the last 12 years, taking on challenges across the US, Asia, and now Australia.  In his current role as Gumtree Australia GM, Martin is focused on driving community growth, and continuing to empower Australians and create economic opportunity for local communities. 
Gumtree is a pioneer of the sharing economy and one of the leaders of the second hand economy in Australia.

Since 2011, Martin has lead Gumtree commissioning research into the multi-billion dollar sub-industry, which brings communities together, contributes to Aussie’s back pockets, supports not-for-profits and reduces waste going to landfill.


Nick FlorinDr. Nick Florin

Institute of Sustainable Futures, UTS

Dr Nick Florin is Research Director at the Institute for Sustainable Futures (ISF), an independent research centre based at the University of Technology Sydney. He leads the Resource Futures research area that undertakes applied research to develop and embed innovative processes and practices to close resource loops and maximise resource-use efficiency. ISF led the Wealth from Waste Cluster, a 3-year collaboration partnered with researchers at The University of Queensland, Monash, Swinburne and Yale, that identified pathways for creating wealth from metal-bearing waste, including e-waste. Recently he has advised the NSW Government on Circular Economy and was commissioned by the Battery Stewardship Council to evaluate opportunities to rapidly scale-up waste battery collection.




20 minute speed sessions some of our favourite established and up and coming organisations working towards Zero Waste.


  • Reverse Garbage
  • Mobile Phone Project
  • The Clothes Library