The Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA) has named Olivia Leal-Walker, Sustainability Coordinator with Frasers Property Australia, as the 2016 Future Green Leader. Announced as part of the World Green Building Week celebrations in Sydney, the award recognises up-and-coming sustainability specialists in the property and construction sectors.

The GBCA’s Chief Executive Officer, Romilly Madew said Olivia impressed them with her hard work, passion and ability to bring people together on a sustainability journey. She not only worked on Frasers Property’s Fairwater, the first 6 Star Green Star – Communities development in New South Wales, but also played a significant role in the company being awarded the global GRESB leader for Diversified Office/Industrial/Non-listed fund. 

According to Madew, Olivia also engages with Frasers Property staff by organising EnviroWeek talks, World Green Building Week events and various activities as part of the company’s new sustainability strategy. She added that Olivia’s passionate commitment to sustainability will inspire others to embrace sustainable thinking.

A huge advocate of mentoring as a vehicle for young people to kick-start their careers, Leal-Walker is keen to use her voice as the GBCA’s Future Green Leader to develop a mentoring program to support other emerging leaders. Her recent initiatives include coordinating Frasers Property’s involvement in Schools Tree Day, and developing a social enterprise to tackle the issue of food waste on farms.

Competing in a field of 14 finalists, Leal-Walker was selected for the top honour following a rigorous judging process.

Frasers Property Australia has sponsored the award since its inception, and Paolo Bevilacqua, the company’s General Manager of Sustainability, says Leal-Walker is a huge asset to his organisation’s sustainability agenda.

The annual Future Green Leader receives a one-year VIP pass to unlimited GBCA events, courses, site tours and online learning, a coveted speaking spot at Green Building Day, three mentoring sessions with an industry leader plus recognition as the Future Green Leader.

JLL’s Sustainability Analyst Lisa Hinde won the award in 2015.

In addition, a newly-established Future Green Leaders Advisory Group was set up to shape the direction of the Future Green Leaders program. This Advisory Group consists of Lisa Hinde, Sustainability Analyst, JLL; Simon O’Brien, Frasers Property Australia; Alex Rayne Goldie, Department of Finance – Building Management and Works; Lucinda Hirth, Melbourne Metro Rail Authority; Lucas Earl, Trumen Corp Pty Ltd; Warren Li, Certis Energy Pty Ltd; Karl Desai, Technical Manager, GBCA; and Matthew Adams, Technical Coordinator, GBCA.

Image: Olivia Leal-Walker (right) with last year's Future Green Leader Lisa Hinde