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Environment, Political

Australian experts at COP28

Climate Media Centre 6 mins read



Nov 30-Dec 12 2023



The following First Nations’ representatives, Pacific Islands representatives, climate and health experts, people with lived experience of climate change, climate impact experts and climate policy experts are attending COP28 in Dubai.

Please note Dubai is 7 hours behind AEDT.

Further commentators are available to provide analysis in Australia, please see this separate talent list.

First Nations’ representatives at COP28

Yessie Mosby, Torres Strait 8 claimant

Yessie is a Zenadh Kes Masig man, living in the Kulkalgal tribe area in the Central Torres Strait Islands, Australia. He is a Traditional Owner from Masig Island, a father of seven, an award-winning artist and craftsman. Yessie is a Torres Strait 8 claimant in the successful, historic Our Islands, Our Home human rights complaint to the United Nations over climate change. The Torres Strait 8 are a collective of eight Traditional Owners from the Torres Strait who took a complaint against the Australian Government to the United Nations for failing to protect the Torres Strait from climate damage, demanding that Australia reduce emissions, and immediately resource adaptation needs. The case set international precedents for loss and damage. Yessie will be at COP28 from Dec 1-7.

Tishiko King, Caring for Country Grant Lead at Groundswell Giving

Tish is a proud Kulkalaig woman from the Island of Masig, Kulkalgal Nation of Zenadth Kes/ the Torres Strait Islands and former Campaign Director for SEED Indigenous Youth Climate Network. Tish will be advocating for our oceans at COP28 and is attending for the Our Islands, Our Home campaign, which supports the Torres Strait Eight, a group of eight claimants who filed a human rights complaint against the Australian Government to the Human Rights Committee of the United Nations. She can talk about representing her community and standing up for First Nations people who are not only on the frontlines of climate impacts and fossil fuel extraction, but who are also leading movements for climate justice.

Rikki Dank, Director at Gudanji for Country

Rikki is a Traditional Owner from the Gudanji and Wakaya nations in the Northern Territory, currently living in Dubai. Gudanji for Country is a grassroots First Nations organisation formed to elevate the voices of the Kurrunjini Rrumburriya (part of the Gudanji Nation), in speaking for and caring for Country in a fight against the damaging effects of overgrazing, mining and fracking. Rikki attended COP26 in Glasgow, COP27 in Egypt, and will focus on fracking, consent processes in Australia and how Indigenous knowledge is being ignored when it comes to climate change solutions.

Pacific Islands representatives at COP28

Kavita Naidu, Senior Strategist - Pacific at Climate Action Network Australia (CANA)

Kavita is a feminist climate activist and international human rights lawyer from Fiji specialising in climate justice for grassroots women in all their diversity in Asia and the Pacific. She has over 16 years of diverse experience working in the Pacific, Asia and UK. Kavita has a keen focus on racial justice and human rights as key pillars of climate advocacy.

Lavetanalagi Seru, Regional Coordinator Pacific Islands Climate Action Network (PICAN)

Lagi is based in Fiji and has a background in youth development, human rights, gender, and is a policy expert in humanitarian response in the Pacific. He was co-founder of the Alliance for Future Generations and is the regional coordinator for PICAN, the regional umbrella body for civil society organisations working on climate change in the Pacific.

Contact: or +679 9061989

Joseph Sikulu, Pacific Managing Director for

Joseph Sikulu is a Tongan man from Ha’apai and Vaini in Tongatapu and grew up on Dharug country, Western Sydney. He has a decade’s experience building a movement of strong Pacific Climate Warriors across Pacific communities both on island and in the diaspora. He can speak to Pacific climate demands, Pacific-Australia climate relations, Australia's COP31 bid, fossil fuel phase out, global climate finance and renewable energy goals at COP28.
Contact: / +818075299441 or / +61406272945 

Drue Slatter, Pacific

Drue is a Fijian climate communicator and Pacific Climate Warrior. She can speak on Pacific climate demands, climate justice, fossil fuel phase out and Just Transition.
Contact: or +818075299441

Auimatagi Joe Moeono-Kolio, Pacific Director Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty Initiative

Joe is from Samoa and has extensive expertise working with Pacific governments in global climate negotiations and political strategy. He was a key adviser to the New Zealand government in the development of its Emissions Reduction Plan and Article 6 negotiations at the UNFCCC. His experience also spans Greenpeace, Caritas International, the Vatican Dicastery for Integral Human Development, and he was appointed by Pope Francis in 2018 as uditore (adviser) for the Synod of Bishops.
Contact: or +61 419 581 748

Health and climate experts at COP28 

Dr Kimberly Humphrey, Doctors for the Environment Australia board member

Kimberly is an Emergency Medicine Physician and public health professional from Adelaide with expertise focused on climate change and health. She is a current Fellow in Climate Change and Human Health at Harvard University and has a strong background in research, policy and advocacy at the intersection of climate change and health.

Chelsea Hunnisett, Policy and Advocacy Manager at Climate and Health Alliance (CAHA)

Chelsea is a policy, advocacy and government relations specialist with expertise in planetary health, food policy, and health prevention. CAHA’s COP28 policy recommendations are focused on four themes - adopt a 'health in all policies' approach, embed climate-health co-benefits into Australia's transport systems, commit to implement a just transition and safeguard food security.

Prof Kathryn Bowen, Professor of Environment, Climate and Global Health & Deputy Director Melbourne Climate Futures at the University of Melbourne

Kathryn is a lead author on human health and wellbeing for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s sixth assessment report (AR6), a global Lancet Countdown report author and is an adviser on climate and health for the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, United States Agency for International Development and the World Health Organisation.

Dr Ying Zhang, Associate Professor at the School of Public Health, University of Sydney

Ying is a senior epidemiologist, a dedicated researcher and educator on climate change and global health. Her research aims to build community resilience to changing climate and environment, focusing on vulnerable populations in the Asia Pacific. She is co-chair of the Lancet Countdown Australia on Health and Climate Change and is deputy director of the Heat and Health Research Incubator at the University of Sydney. 

Prof Angie Bone, Associate Professor at the Monash Sustainable Development Institute

Angie’s work focuses on the interconnection of environment and health, including health sector resilience and sustainability, and planetary health. She has extensive public health leadership and research experience, and is a former Deputy Chief Health Officer (environment) at the Department of Health in Victoria. Angie also has experience leading the UK’s national emergency response planning to extreme weather events.

Climate impact and policy experts at COP28

Professor Johanna Nalau, adaptation scientist with a PhD in climate change adaptation at Griffith University

Dr Nalau can talk about research on the role of decision making mindsets in how we adapt to climate change, climate adaptation and the gap between academic theory and real-world practical actions. Johanna was a lead author for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 6th Assessment Report. 

Natalie Collard, Farmers for Climate Action CEO

Natalie will be advocating for Australian farmers at COP28 and will be launching a film capturing their climate-smart stories. The 10 minute film will be shown at the Australia Pavilion, the nation’s official space at the conference. Natalie is a highly-regarded advocate for regional Australia, agriculture, renewable energy, innovation and women’s leadership. Prior to joining Farmers for Climate Action she was CEO for Food and Fibre Great South Coast, CEO of Australian Dairy Farmers and Manager, Rural Affairs for the National Farmers Federation.

Richie Merzian, International Director at the Smart Energy Council

Richie focuses on how to combine the renewables industry and international opportunities to accelerate local climate solutions. Previously he was the inaugural Climate & Energy Director at the Australia Institute, and was a climate negotiator for the Australian government. Richie can discuss energy, transport and international affairs/diplomacy.

Dr Damian Spruce, Associate Director Advocacy and Government Relations at Caritas Australia

Damian can speak about climate finance, the loss and damage fund and Pacific climate justice (with a particular focus on adaptation and loss and development). He will be launching a new Caritas report ‘Non-Economic’ Loss and Damage. Damian can also speak on the Holy See/Vatican’s COP28 delegation and the Pope’s presence at the conference.
Contact: or +61 410 765 772 

Michael Poland, Campaign Director at the Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty Initiative

Michael helped launch the campaign for a Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty in 2019. He has supported climate justice campaigns and strategies to scale, online and offline, for over a decade. Michael is based in Australia and can also connect journalists with his colleagues, based around the world, who are attending COP28.
Contact: or +61 419 581 748 

To arrange interviews with spokespeople where no contacts are listed, please contact:

Rebecca Gredley at or 0484 008 095

Danielle Veldre at or 0408 972 997

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