Peter Wadewitz OAM | chair
Peter Wadewitz has been involved with many organisations such as Waste Management Australia, Compost Australia, Compost for Soils and the newly formed AORA group. He also won South Australia’s Environmentalist of the year award in 2006.
Peter is the Managing Director of Peats Soil & Garden Supplies. He has been commercially processing compost for over 40 years. He is also the inventor of the BiobiN® a waste management in vessel composting system offering an alternate solution for businesses when it comes to dealing with their organics.
Peter’s commitment to the growth and prosperity of the organics recycling industry has led to appointments to the Barton Group’s Export Task Force and the Prime Minister’s Science, Engineering and Innovation Council. Peter was also a leading figure in developing the Australian Compost Industry Roadmap.
Charlie Emery | deputy chair
Charlie is the Managing Director of SOILCO and has been with the company since 2001. Over the past 20 years, Charlie has overseen the growth of the business through focusing on its core competencies; provision of organics recycling services and production of quality assured soil, compost and mulch products.
A fundamental aspect of Charlies current role is strategic planning and implementation of business development initiatives. Prior to SOILCO, Charlie achieved tertiary qualifications in Science (Environmental Biology) UTS, and worked with a range of environmental, landscaping and horticultural businesses.
Steven Marshall | director
Steven has a Bachelor of Engineering (Mechanical) though left the engineering world to join Veolia 7 years ago. Currently Steven is in the role of Business Development & Technical Manager for Victoria's Resource Recovery division.
Veolia operates 2 invessel composting facilities in Victoria (one in Dandenong and the other in Bulla) processing garden organics, FOGO, commercial food waste and prescribed industrial waste. Steven has been heavily involved in both facilities having previously been the Operations Manager of each site.
Steven has also been a member of AORA Victoria's Executive Committee for the previous four years.
Tim Richards | director
Tim is the Operations Manager of Richgro Garden Products and has been with the company for 20 years. Tim was born into the organics recycling industry as a member of the family business, Richgro and has grown up with compost under his fingernails.
Richgro manufacture a full range of garden products, of which many are based around compost. A large volume of Richgro’s compost is packaged for retail sale. Richgro also have a bulk division primarily supplying the Western Australia landscape industry with increasing distribution into the Horticulture and Agriculture markets.
Prior to joining the AORA Board, Tim was Vice Chair of Compost Western Australia and represented them on the National Board of Compost Australia. He previously spent seven years on the state board of the Landscape Industries Association of Western Australia, two years as President and a representative on the National Board of the Australian Landscape Industry Association.
Tim is passionate about the organics industry and raising the bar for compost manufacturing in this country. He holds a strong belief that the future of gardening, agriculture and horticulture revolves around the ever-increasing use of organics that help bring life to the ancient soils that we have in this country
Greg Whitehead | director
Greg obtained a Bachelor of Business Accountancy Degree from Queensland University of Technology in 1980. The first four years of Greg’s working life were in a marketing and admin position in the photographic retail industry.
In 1994, with two business partners, Candy Soil was started on a small scale with one screening plant and a loader on an old coal mining site in Ipswich. 25 years later Candy Soil now operates a large-scale open windrow composting and soil manufacturing operation in Ipswich.
In 2017 the business Carbon Plus Compost was launched to target the growing agricultural compost market in South East Queensland. The compost and mulch produced by Carbon Plus Compost is a high-grade compost blended to suit the needs of the agricultural market. The future growth of the business will be aimed at increasing our production capability to service this market.
Morné Hattingh | director
Morne joins the AORA Board with experience working in and on organics in Local Government Waste Management portfolios over the last 8 years, in WA and NSW. He is currently then Executive Manager Operations at Mindarie Regional Council, in WA and prior to that he was the Manager of Waste & Resource Recovery at Tamworth Regional Council, NSW.
Key successes in local government include the initiation and establishment of an organics processing solution for City of Karratha in the Pilbara ( where everyone said it can’t be done!) and most recently the ETC system in Tamworth NSW.
He also has 18 years of commercial construction experience, underpinned by delivering construction projects predominantly in the UK and Africa.
He is currently completing a Master’s in Business Administration and a Master in Global Project Management.
Catherine Phillips| director
Catherine Phillips joined the Organics recycling industry in 2022 after spending her early career working on the Energy transition. She leads Cleanaway’s National Organics Strategy, with a focus on building an integrated and sustainable Organics value chain, from collections to sales. Cat has a Bachelor of Science (Mathematics) and a Master of Mechanical Engineering.
Catherine is passionate about building inclusive and high performing teams. She is particularly looking forward to bringing a different perspective to AORA, and leveraging the diverse views held by our members to solve the challenging issues faced by the industry.
Catherine also brings a wealth of experience as an elite athlete and leader, having captained the Australian Ultimate Frisbee team and the inaugural St Kilda AFL Women’s side. She currently plays for the Essendon Football Club and is also serving as a Director of the AFL Players’ Association.
Jan Duebbelde | director
Jan is the National Organics Manager of REMONDIS Australia, part of the world-leading REMONDIS Group. Joining the REMONDIS Group in 2006, Jan held several operations and project management roles within the Group’s organics recycling business in Germany, which operates more than 80 Organics Recycling Facilities. Taking responsibility for the organics business of REMONDIS in Australia in 2021, including two in-vessel composting facilities in NSW, Jan is keen to leverage both local and global expertise to drive growth and innovation in Australian organics waste management.
His passion for anaerobic digestion and composting in combination with a strong commitment to economic feasibility and ecological benefits is the main driver of his work. With this same passion he intends to support AORA on the way to a sustainable Australian future.
Rowan Williams | advisor
Rowan has extensive experience in the practical implementation of solutions for biopolymers ranging from organics management, the applications of composted organics and soil amendments for improvements in soil health, use of biodegradable mulch film and the merging of these two applications for improvements in horticulture and agriculture, with organics inputs.
Rowan has been with BASF for 13 years and previously spent time in senior management roles, with other multinational companies.
Rowan is currently the President of the Australasian Bioplastics Association, the peak industry body for the Bioplastics industry across ANZ and with global affiliations in Europe, the US and Asia.
Michael Wood | company secretary
Michael has a Bachelor of Commerce and a Graduate Diploma in Applied Science Horticulture and has worked in the organic recycling sector and container nursery production for over 30 years in Marketing, General Management and Director roles.
Michael provides consulting services to a range of clients in organic recycling through his Consultancy business Oakwood Consultants Pty Ltd the fields of strategic planning, marketing, technical and quality systems, environmental management, compliance and general management issues. Michael also provides agronomic advice on compost and recycled organics use in client soil health programs to horticultural clients.
Michael led the formation AORA in Victoria and the transition of the former Compost Vic group into AORA Victoria. Michael is currently working with Sacyr Environment Australia at its new Dandenong South vessel compost facility and with the Camperdown Compost Company is western Victoria as it works towards a facility upgrade.
Patrick Soars | director
Patrick Soars launched Australian Native Landscapes in March of 1971 and has directed its growth to become a truly diverse and environmentally conscious organisation.