The products of mining are everywhere. If it wasn’t grown, it was mined or drilled, but mining has an uneasy history with sustainable development.  A history of pollution, human rights abuses, conflict, and environmental legacies in many parts of the world continues to tarnish the sector’s reputation, even while minerals are literally the matter that underpins much of global development. Whether it be the mineral fertilisers that feed crops, the copper that wires homes, the lithium that stores renewable energy, or the gravel and stone that builds bridges and paves rural roads, mined materials are essential to modern life in every corner of the globe.

Now that the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals are mainstream, and a renewable energy transformation fuelled by minerals is well underway, is it time to reconsider the role that mining and minerals play in sustainable development?  Does Australia hold a special responsibility as a global leader in mineral extraction? How do Universities find and share the knowledge solutions to the big sustainability challenges posed by mining?

Join this internationally acclaimed panel to reconsider the role of mining and minerals in the new age of sustainable development.

Moderator – Professor Peter Greste
UNESCO Chair of Journalism and Communication, The University of Queensland

Professor Peter Greste is an award-winning foreign correspondent who spent 25 years working for the BBC, Reuters and Al Jazeera in some of the world’s most volatile places. From Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, he reported from the frontlines and beyond. He may be best known for becoming a headline himself, when he and two of his colleagues were arrested in Cairo while working for Al Jazeera and charged with terrorism offences. In letters smuggled from prison, he described the arrests as an attack on media freedom. The letters helped launch a global campaign that eventually got them released after more than 400 days in prison. 

He has since become a vocal campaigner and advocate for media freedom – a stance that has earned him awards from Britain’s Royal Television Society, the Walkley Foundation, the RSL’s ANZAC Peace Prize, the Australian Human Rights Commission’s Human Rights Medal, and the International Association of Press Clubs’ Freedom of Speech Award. He has written about his experiences in Egypt and what he regards as the global war on journalism in a book, The First Casualty. He continues to investigate and report on critical challenges facing Australia and the world.

Professor Deanna Kemp
Director of the Centre for Social Responsibility in Mining, Sustainable Minerals Institute, The University of Queensland

Deanna leads an international programme of work enabling a team of over twenty applied social researchers. Deanna has worked on mining and social performance for eighteen years, in corporate, operational, consulting and research roles. Her research focuses on company-community conflict, displacement and resettlement, and human rights and development challenges. Deanna serves on the International Council of Mining and Metals’ (ICMM) New Member Review Panel and is a member of the International Association of Impact Assessment (IAIA). She was recently appointed a Senior Associate of the Cambridge Institute of Sustainability Leadership.

Professor Daniel Franks
Program Leader – Governance and Leadership in Mining, Sustainable Minerals Institute, The University of Queensland

Daniel is known internationally for his work on the interconnections between minerals, materials and sustainable development, with a particular focus on the role of minerals in poverty reduction and the social and environmental change associated with mining and energy extraction. 

Originally trained as a geologist, he began his career as a field geoscientist in Brazil and Australia.  After retraining in political and social sciences, he worked as a Senior Social Scientist at the Queensland Department of Natural Resources and Water.  Between 2015–2018 he was Chief Technical Advisor at the UN Development Program and Programme Manager of the ACP-EU Development Minerals Programme, where he remains an advisor. 

In this role he was responsible for the delivery of more than 200 training and capacity building workshops, training over ten thousand people from 41 countries, of Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific in the governance of minerals for sustainable development.  He authored curricula now taught in more than 30 universities and advised numerous Heads of State, Ministers of Mining and Ambassadors on mineral policy and governance. 

Professor Peta Ashworth
Chair in Sustainable Energy Futures, School of Chemical Engineering, The University of Queensland

In addition to her role as UQ Chair in Sustainable Energy Futures, Peta has responsibility for the Master of Sustainable Energy.  She is well known for her expertise in the energy field with research focuses on understanding public attitudes to climate change and energy technologies (wind, CCS, solar PV, geothermal) for climate mitigation. 

Peta co-authored the CSIRO Home Energy Saving Handbook to help Australian householders save money and reduce their overall energy use, and she has an interest in designing processes for engaging on complex and contested issues with a focus on science and technology innovations. She was awarded an EU Horizon 2020 research project – Responsible Research and Innovation Practice (RRI – Practice) – which aims to explore the drivers and barriers to the successful implementation of RRI practice in a global context.

About Global Leadership Series

The Global Leadership Series (GLS) is a lively program of events for alumni and community members. Join us for lectures and discussions with the best of the best UQ-related speakers on matters that impact your community and shape your ideas of the world.

The series is an opportunity for you to engage with great minds on global matters, participate in thought-provoking discussions and network with UQ alumni and community members. All alumni, parents, community members and friends are welcome to attend the Global Leadership Series events.

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