The 2021 Australia Day Honours List has named a new member of the Order of Australia from Melbourne Water.

Melbourne Water Chair, Professor John Thwaites, was named a member of the Order of Australia for “significant service to the environment and to the people and Parliament of Victoria”.

Melbourne Water’s Managing Director, Michael Wandmaker, said the recognition was thoroughly deserved.

“Melbourne Water congratulates our Chair John Thwaites on receiving an Order of Australia for the impact his political, community and environmental work has had over many years,” Mr Wandmaker said.

“His internationally-recognised leadership in sustainability has been instrumental in helping us embed Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) across the business.

“Melbourne Water is working to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by pledging to halve emissions by 2025, planning our path to net zero emissions by 2030, and generating and using renewable energy across the organisation.”

Professor Thwaites was Deputy Premier of Victoria from 1999 until his retirement in 2007. During this time he was responsible for several ministerial portfolios and oversaw major reforms in social policy, health, the environment and water. He was Victoria’s first Minister for Climate Change.

Post politics, John Thwaites’ career has focused on environment and sustainability – both in Australia and globally.    

Professor Thwaites is a Professorial Fellow at Monash University and Chair of ClimateWorks Australia and the Monash Sustainability Institute. 

The institute brings together leading representatives from academia, government, industry and the community to implement practical and political action on sustainable development around the globe.

This includes working towards building more sustainable cities, water security and closer to home – successfully campaigning for state governments to set targets of net zero emissions by 2050.

Professor Thwaites is a Co-Chair of the Leadership Council of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (“SDSN”) launched by the Secretary General of the United Nations to provide expert advice and support on its Sustainable Development Goals.

Professor Thwaites has been Chair of Melbourne Water since 2015.

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