Encouraging worldwide awareness and action to protect our environment

The Environment Committee meets monthly to discuss environmental issues relevant to the Western Australian community in the context of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.


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Melissa Arias

Specialist Area: Environment and Sustainability

Melissa Arias is driven by the pursuit of sustainability in Western Australia. She is a passionate advocate for the Sustainable Development Goals and mitigation of environmental degradation, and believes that each one of us that makes a small change, can make a greater difference. Melissa completed both a Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Business, and testament to her passion for the field, topped her class in Managing in Sustainability following with an award from the Department of Communities. Melissa hopes that through advocacy and engagement with communities, schools and corporates, we can identify the opportunities aligned with adopting the SDGs and targets.


Vice Chair

Kira Sorensen

Specialist Area: Environment and Sustainability

Kira is an environmental and sustainability professional with ten years’ experience in the resources industry within WA and internationally (Guinea), working across various mining and construction operations in bauxite and iron ore, in the policy and advocacy space, and currently in the ESG / sustainability consulting space. 

Kira is a passionate sustainability advocate and supporter of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Believing we all have unique skills and the responsibility to use those skills to drive towards a more sustainable future, Kira is keen to share her skills, knowledge, and expertise to make a positive difference and encourage others across community, industry, and government to see the benefit in doing the same.


Youth Action in Climate Change and Sustainability

Natalie Muhl

I am currently finishing my double science major of Environmental Management and Sustainability/ Conservation and Wildlife biology at Murdoch University and have a passion for community engagement and sustainable development. Throughout the past three years, I have applied my passion through multiple volunteer roles, encouraging students and community members to collaborate in environmental management projects. In addition to this, I spend time with my family, friends and my two dogs; Harriett and Audrey. I enjoy going on nature walks, reading field guides and painting with my fiancé. My goal within the Environmental Committee is to have a positive impact within Western Australian, collaborating with other members on events and engaging with the youth of WA.


Climate Lead

Alexander Jayasuria

Alex is committed to help nations in their fight against climate change. He has joined the Environmental Committee to help further climate awareness and ambition in Western Australia. He is currently a student and researcher at Curtin University, serving on his faculty’s Sustainability Council. He is also Curtin’s student representative for the United Nation’s Principles of Responsible Management Education (PRME). Drawn by his convictions to accelerate sustainable development within the region, Alex has pursued change through several domestic and international experiences. He was a recent delegate of COP26, and is an environmental and sustainability ambassador for Rotary Oceania. Alex has also been awarded a scholarship by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, to continue his work on sustainable development in Singapore, Indonesia, and the wider Indo-Pacific.


Oceans Lead

Clara Obregon Lafuente

Clara is a fisheries scientist, focusing on the human dimensions of fisheries and fisheries sustainability. In 2021, she finished her PhD on the social-ecological dimensions of blue swimmer crab fisheries, in Western Australia.


Clara is a biologist by training and has worked with conservation organisations such as World Wide Fund for Nature (Madagascar), and the Zoological Society of London (UK), as well as research institutions such as the Mediterranean Institute for Advanced Studies (Spain) and Murdoch University (Australia). Clara works with fishing communities, government agencies and other stakeholders, to provide a better understanding of small-scale fisheries’ governance and support the sustainability and resilience of the communities depending on fisheries’ resources.


Environmental Economics and Geopolitics

Ella Wylynko

Ella is a student at UWA studying a Bachelor of Philosophy, Politics and Economics. Her passion lies in sustainability, environmentalism and regeneration, with a focus on ecological economics, climate action, and sustainable cities. Ella is currently the Environment and Sustainability Project Lead at Venture - a student innovation centre at UWA; she is on the UNAAWA Environment Committee; and is directing the Sustainable Development Awards - an initiative to encourage students to reflect on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, and to provide mentors to assist those students in creating tangible solutions. In 2018, Ella won the Fiona Staniforth Creativity and Innovation Award and was a finalist for WA Youth of the Year.