Our team

Our team

Leanne Denby, Director of Sustainability

Leanne Denby 

Email: leanne.denby@mq.edu.au
Phone: +61 2 9850 4464


I am thrilled to say I have been working as the Director of Sustainability since March 2008. The primary responsibility I have is to embed sustainability within the principles and practices of the University. This involves overseeing work in three key areas regarding:

  • Operations: Resource efficiency and implementation of practical initiatives
  • Education and Engagement: Active participation and awareness building of staff, students and community members, as well as the curriculum taught at the University
  • Planning and Development: In two aspects - the built infrastructure and strategic planning.

I work across the campus with the business units and Faculties to achieve change towards sustainability, and am supported by a fabulous team of people who all undertake their roles with great enthusiasm.

I am also the President of Australasian Campuses Towards Sustainability, a role I find wonderfully challenging and uplifting as we try to bring the tertiary sector together to bring a real focus to sustainability as part of core business.

Sarah Jo Steinhoff, Administration Officer

Sarah Jo Steinhoff 

Email: sarahjo.steinhoff@mq.edu.au
Phone: +61 2 9850 4471

My role within the Sustainability team focuses on day-to-day office management and providing support for our many ongoing projects.  My experience encompasses many sectors, with over 18 years experience both within Australia and internationally, however, this is my first role within a higher education institution. I obtained my Masters in Human Resource Management at UTS, and currently studying Master of International Security Studies through PICT, Macquarie, focusing on environmental and human security issues. I am excited to be working within Sustainability, as I believe this is an area that we all need to think about and engage with further in order to protect and ensure the longevity of our quality of life, through our health, our resources, and our environment.

When I'm not working, I spend time studying, going to the theatre, and engaging with life lectures. To really relax, though, I love to get out of the city and go motorbike riding with good friends. I also enjoy travelling and immersing myself within other cultures and gaining an insight into how others live, and what their relationship and beliefs are with their environment. A quote that resonates with me in all aspects of life is "You can never have an impact on society if you have not changed yourself", Nelson Mandela.

Belinda Bean, Sustainability Officer

Belinda Bean 

Email: belinda.bean@mq.edu.au
Phone: +61 2 9850 1003

My role within the sustainability team is about engagement, education and outreach. I coordinate initiatives that involve our staff, students and wider community in sustainability. I believe that working with communities of practice (such as a University) is key to achieving the necessary cultural change towards sustainability. My undergraduate and Masters education (both undertaken at Macquarie University) engaged my interest in community-based social marketing campaigns directed towards sustainability.

Outside my life at Macquarie, I am a national ambassador for 1 Million Women - a campaign that empowers women to take action on climate change. We aim to get one million Australian women on board, so please spread the word to the ladies in your lives! On weekends you'll find me doing bushcare or bushwalking in some of the gorgeous national parks we have around Sydney, or scuba diving if it's not too cold!    

My favourite quote comes from the Stockholm Declaration:

"Man has the fundamental right to freedom, equality, and adequate conditions of life, environment of quality that permits a life of dignity and well-being, and he bears a solemn responsibility to protect and improve the environment for present and future generations"

- though I do wish they'd said 'Humans have' rather than 'Man has'!

Samantha Newton, Arboretum Coordinator

Samantha Newton 

Email: samantha.newton@mq.edu.au
Phone: +61 2 9850 8170

I am the coordinator of the Macquarie University Arboretum. The project to establish the Arboretum began in 2009, although the idea had been floating around for many years. The Arboretum was officially launched in August 2010, and our wonderful website is testament to the enthusiasm for many staff and students for the beautiful landscape of Macquarie University. An Arboretum is a living collection of trees. The Macquarie University Arboretum is the result of many years of landscape planning, and includes all the trees and gardens on campus. The park-like grounds provide a drawcard for students nationally and internationally, and the Arboretum has strong links with research and undergraduate teaching.

Prior to working on the Arboretum, I was involved with the Biodiversity working group, an affiliation of staff and students who came together to support the newly established Biodiversity section of Sustainability. The working group supported Belinda Bean in establishing the Bushcare groups, and John Macris in the initial stages of Biodiversity planning across campus. My work with Sustainability is part time, with the remainder of my time spent in the Department of Biological Sciences, providing support to various plant ecology researchers.

Prior to working at Macquarie University, I spent many years at the Nature Conservation Council of NSW in a variety of roles. I am currently on the Executive Committee of the National Parks Association of NSW.

Sally Northover, Property Sustainability Officer

Email: sally.northover@mq.edu.au
Phone: +61 2 9850 7140

My role focuses on looking at our resource use here at Macquarie including data reporting and analysis, and with particular attention to compliance reporting. In addition, I am responsible for resource re-use, with an emphasis on office furniture.

I have a degree in Environmental Science after studying at Macquarie as a mature age student, and a varied background in travel, hospitality and IT.

When I’m not at work I like to spend time in the garden, working with native plants and attempting to grow vegetables despite our resident possums, wallaby and a multitude of caterpillars. At the moment I am struggling to learn guitar, but my ultimate passions are travelling and photography, particularly in wilderness areas.

John Macris, Biodiversity Planner

Email: john.macris@mq.edu.au
Phone: +61 2 9850 4103

I joined the Sustainability team in 2009. Having done a long stint of study at Macquarie in the environmental sciences, this was something of a home-coming.

The Biodiversity Planner role involves reasserting the ‘Campus in a Park’ theme, on which our University was originally founded. This feeds into campus operations, capital projects and the longer-term planning of the university.

Managing of campus biodiversity embraces goals for protection and restoration of vegetation and watercourses, and by extension affording security to species that live or visit here. We envisage a green campus, where the open spaces are enhanced with habitat corridors along healthy creeks.

Away from work, I enjoy visiting new places, learning and occasions involving cake.

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