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Federal Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction, Angus Taylor, has announced new members to the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) Board, including a new chair. 

The new board members, who have been appointed for two-year terms, are:

  • New Chair Justin Punch, an experienced environmental investor focused on climate and energy, who was previously a Partner at Archer Capital, one of Australia’s most experienced private equity firms
  • John Hirjee who is the Executive Director, Resources, Energy and Infrastructure at ANZ Banking Group
  • Anna Matysek, an experienced economist and consultant, who is the Founder and Managing Director of Northbridge Consulting Services
  • Justin Butcher, a technology entrepreneur and business investor, who is the Chief Executive Officer and Founder of start-up technology consulting firm, MXA Consulting 

Stephanie Unwin and Dougal McOmish have been reappointed and will serve for an additional twelve months, having joined the board in 2018.

ARENA’s Board has overall responsibility for the operations of the agency. It is a skills-based decision-making body, responsible for recommending the agency’s annual general funding strategy to the minister, setting investment priorities, overseeing the running of the organisation and approving project funding.

ARENA CEO, Darren Miller, welcomed the new board members, saying they bring skills and experience that will help ensure the agency is in a strong position to support the continuation of Australia’s energy transition and broader efforts to help reduce Australia’s emissions.

“With the new board members and a strong existing management team we are well positioned to respond to opportunities and goals established through the Australian Government’s Technology Investment Roadmap, Low Emissions Technology Statements and the recommendations outlined in the King Review,” Mr Miller said.

Mr Miller also thanked the outgoing board members for their contribution, saying they led ARENA through a transformative period that has seen tremendous change across the energy landscape.

“I would like to thank Martijn Wilder AM, Meg McDonald, Samantha Hogg and Susan Jeanes for their leadership and governance during their time on the ARENA Board and wish them all the best in their future endeavours.

“During their tenure, ARENA has played an instrumental role in delivering significant improvements in the competitiveness of renewable energy technologies such as large-scale solar, grid-scale batteries, bioenergy and distributed energy technologies.

“As technologies have matured, the board has overseen a shift in focus from supporting pure renewable energy generation technologies to looking more broadly at how to manage a system powered by renewable energy, how we reduce emissions in harder-to-abate industries and how we position ourselves to be a global exporter of hydrogen.”

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