Outgoing Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA) chief executive officer Romilly Madew has been appointed an Officer in the General Division of the Order of Australia (AO) by Australia’s Governor-General Sir Peter Cosgrove.

The Order of Australia award honours Madew for her distinguished service to the construction sector as a change agent and advocate for sustainable building practices.

Madew said the award was an important recognition of achievement across the Australian property and construction industry, which continued to lead the world in driving a more sustainable, low emissions future.

“I feel privileged in my work across industry and with government to support Australian excellence and international leadership, and an enduring commitment to deliver more sustainable, productive and liveable cities and communities across the country,” she said.

According to Madew, the Australian property industry has worked collaboratively to transform the built environment with over 37 percent of Australia’s office space now Green Star certified and over half a million Australians moving into Green Star rated communities. More than 2250 buildings across Australia are now Green Star certified, she added.

Madew has been the chief executive officer of the GBCA for 13 years and was appointed incoming chief executive officer of Infrastructure Australia earlier this month.

GBCA chair and the chief executive officer of Frasers Property Australia, Rod Fehring says: “Romilly is a dedicated and tireless advocate for more sustainable building and development practices in Australia and abroad. She recognises and promotes the value of green buildings in creating better local and global environments.

“Romilly has been instrumental in uniting industry to boost the practical sustainability measures we all want to become widespread. This honour is a tremendous recognition of the transformative impact of Romilly’s advocacy and the flow-on benefits it has had for so many Australians.

“Ultimately green buildings are about people, offering better working spaces, better living spaces and a better environmental future for us all.”

Property Council of Australia chief executive officer and GBCA director Ken Morrison says: “Romilly’s leadership of the Green Building Council of Australia has changed the way we think about sustainability issues in the property industry.

“Her vision and energy has translated to real world outcomes, with more Australians now living, working and shopping in buildings that have achieved the highly regarded ‘Green Star’ rating, creating more sustainable communities and cities.”

Australian Sustainable Built Environment Council president, Ken Maher, says: “Romilly has made an outstanding contribution to advancing the sustainability of the built environment in Australia through her passionate dedication to improving the performance of buildings and communities.

“In addition to her professional activities and inspiring industry leadership nationally and internationally, Romilly also finds time to focus on enriching her local community - notably being recognised as Pittwater’s 2016 Citizen of the year.”

Madew is past-deputy president of the ASBEC, and has represented industry as a member of numerous federal and state government ministerial panels. 

Madew was awarded the 2017 World Green Building Council Chairman’s Award and the 2015 International Leadership Award by the US Green Building Council and was made an honorary fellow by the Planning Institute of Australia the same year.

She has previously been named one of the ‘100 Women of Influence’ by the Australian Financial Review and Westpac, and a National and NSW winner of the Telstra Business Women’s Awards.