2023/24 National Committee - Sustainable Australia Party

On 02/12/23 the following committee was elected:

Celeste Ackerly (VIC) - President

Celeste is a passionate, honest, hardworking, down-to-earth woman originally from Tasmania. She has a BA with a major in geography. She is undertaking graduate studies in environment and climate emergency at Curtin University. The main focus of her research has been Indigenous sustainability methods because this links back to her Aboriginal ancestry and her passion and love for Aboriginal culture. She’s proud of her Trawlwoolway ancestry, which has driven her quest to mitigate environmental damage through sustainable practices by utilising scientific and Indigenous thinking.

In particular, Celeste believes Sustainable Australia Party’s 'environment first' mantra aligns with Indigenous thinking around ‘Caring for Country’. Celeste does have experience in many other elements of sustainability and geography and utilises this knowledge in her full-time job in corporate sustainability in the food sector.

Her childhood comprised the many beauties of the Australian environment, from flora and fauna to breathtaking physical geographies. Her father imparted practical skills that she now passes on to her children, such as fishing, bush skills and foraging.

Today, you will find Celeste tending to her chickens, something she thinks all Australian homes should do! A sustainable way to feed the family and reduce household waste! She has a brumby (wild Australian horse), which she took in as a foal. She broke him in, and her children enjoy caring for and riding him. Celeste loves Australian wildlife too! Especially Brushtail Possums and she will always check the pouches of deceased marsupials for joeys.

Celeste spends most of her time outside, maintaining the property she rents and tending to the orchard. She wishes future generations could have a lifestyle like this, with less over-development that creates sprawl over our farmland and diverse bioregions, less overconsumption, and the ability to use skillsets our elders utilised to be sustainable and self-sufficient.

Having a young family in this economy, along with the housing crisis and the cost of living only worsening yearly, Celeste can fully appreciate and understand how other families feel. The housing crisis is driven by government-engineered excessive demand for housing, including through tax concessions for property investors, foreign buyers and record high levels of immigration fuelling unsustainable rapid population growth. If elected, Celeste would act to moderate all of these issues, as well as advocate for more public and affordable housing.

John Haydon (ACT) - Vice President


John has held senior positions during his 25 years with the federal Department of Immigration, and as well as the Bureau of Statistics. He holds three university degrees including a Bachelor of Economics, and a Masters of Business Administration from Adelaide University.

As someone trained in economics, John is concerned at the waste that results from unsustainable population growth and property speculation. John suggests if Australians weren’t paying high property prices, savings could be better spent on starting new businesses, generating jobs, including in manufacturing which he believes has been given away by the Big Parties.

John has held leadership positions in community education organisations at the ACT and national levels where he advocated to government for effective and efficient public schooling in the ACT and nationally. When he is not asking for the vote for Sustainable Australia, John enjoys riding his bike through the countryside, and life with his wife and their daughter who attends the local high school.

Cr William Bourke (NSW) - Treasurer

William is an elected Councillor (and Deputy Mayor) at North Sydney Council and the founder of Sustainable Australia Party.

William enjoys nature, bushwalking, beaches, running and travelling. He grew up on the urban fringe with bushland as his extended backyard and weekend recreation. He wants to ensure that we fulfil our primary moral responsibility to pass on an economically, environmentally and socially sustainable Australia to our children and grandchildren.

He is equally concerned about economic, environmental and social issues. Particular concerns include the decline of Australian manufacturing and economic diversity, the destruction of our natural and built environments, and the housing affordability crisis locking many out of the great Australian dream.

William has completed a bachelor of business (accounting and finance) and master of business (marketing). He has extensive business experience including as a partner in a marketing small business for over 10 years, and previous experience in accounting and government communications. He has travelled widely including in Asia, North America and Europe, and lived in a number of places in Australia including Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra and North Queensland.

William believes that in order to transition to a sustainable future, a holistic approach to sustainability is required that includes action to address growth in both natural resource consumption and population.

After hearing Labor's Kevin Rudd declare his support for "a big Australia" population of 40 million - and being shocked to discover that the Liberal and Greens parties also support rapid population growth - he decided it was time to get involved in politics and start a new centrist, mainstream political party that put sustainability at the heart of decision-making.

Jack Corcoran (VIC) - Secretary

Jack has been a long time appreciator of the outdoors and local green spaces. After graduating from La Trobe with a Ba. in Politics, Philosophy and Economics, Jack became a member of SAP believing in the core concept of putting our environment first. Jack hopes to increase community engagement with their space and prevent any more loss in quality of life due to overdevelopment.

Fenella Edwards (TAS) - Committee Member

Fenella Edwards has a Commerce degree majoring in marketing, international business and psychology from UTAS, and a Graduate Diploma in Science Communication from ANU. Having worked for the Australian Bureau of Statistics in Canberra for five years, then cared for her mother in Melbourne during illness, Fenella is now studying a Bachelor of Fine Art back in her home state of Tasmania.

With passion for the natural habitat of ourselves and the creatures of this earth, Fenella wants to be a strong voice for better management of our native resources. Against overdevelopment and constant growth, Fenella cares about the growing divide between the rich and poor, the housing crisis and increasing homelessness across Australia.

Cr Daniel Minson (WA) - Committee Member

Dan is an elected Councillor at the Town of Victoria Park in Perth. He believes in a vision for Australia where society is striving to improve the well-being and happiness of individuals and communities. He believes government and politics have a role to play by balancing the environmental, social and economic considerations in decision making, while pursuing a sustainable future for Australia.

Dan completed a degree in civil engineering at Curtin University and graduated with honours and received the top student prize in construction technologies. He then worked as a consultant in the land development industry and proceeded to work as a water resource engineer in both private and public organisations. Dan has volunteered abroad delivering irrigation infrastructure to drought affected communities in Africa.

Dan enjoys nature, especially anything near and in the water. He spends his free time with family and friends.

James Holgate (NSW) - Committee Member

James lives in Queanbeyan and was born and raised in Cooma NSW. He has studied and followed politics in Australia at all levels as well as overseas during an extensive international career while living and working in a number of countries.  He became interested in the Sustainable Australia Party while campaigning as an independent candidate for the federal seat of Eden-Monaro, as the policies and values align with his own.                                                   

Having grown up and lived in the Monaro region, James returned to the area he loves after many years living and working in Asia, the Pacific and the Americas.  He loves the natural environment of the Monaro region and enjoys the range of outdoor activities available locally, from the snow to the sea.  He loves the traditional and diverse cultural richness unique to this region and wants to ensure that we fulfil our primary moral responsibility to pass on an economically, environmentally and socially sustainable Australia to future generations.

Andrew Anthony (NSW) - Committee Member

Born and raised in Wollongong, Andrew has been a passionate campaigner for the environment and social justice in the community.

Andrew is a strong believer in grassroots democracy and community participation in decision making. Before serving a term on Council from 2004-2008, and was convenor of his local Neighbourhood Committee and volunteered his time on a number of council committees.

As a councillor Andrew was an avid supporter of council's Bushcare and Environmental Sustainability projects and hopes to continue the fight for sensible sustainable planning in Wollongong and safeguarding the Illawarra escarpment and foreshore from overdevelopment.

During his term, Andrew blew the whistle on dodgy council planning processes and helped expose cosy relationships between developers, councillors and planning staff. He has publicly called for a ban on political donations to reduce the risk of corruption and undue influence on politicians.

Andrew is a founding member of the Illawarra Bicycle User Group and a member of the Sustainable Industries Development Institute.

In his spare time, Andrew enjoys bushwalking, cycling, tinkering with technology, photography, classical music, vegetarian cooking, TV Sci-fi, political dramas and pretty much any news or current affairs program.

Andrew studied Electrical Engineering and Business Management, and currently works as an Information Communications Technology Consultant.

On a global scale, Andrew sees land clearing, deforestation and climate change as major challengers. Andrew supports the uptake of renewable energy and teaching people about sustainable living to ensure future generations will be able appreciate the world in the same way we do.

All SAP members are eligible to be nominated to serve on the National Committee. If interested to serve, please contact SAP HQ for a nomination form.