Our board

Richard Mathews

President and founder

Richard’s career with Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade included two postings to Brunei Darussalam; postings as deputy head of mission in Athens and Taipei; and as Australia’s first  Consul-General in Makassar, eastern Indonesia. He has also represented Australia at the United Nations on nuclear non-proliferation matters. Following retirement in 2021 he founded Diplomats for Climate Action Now, fulfilling a career-long interest in climate change and the environment. He is committed to doing what he can to make our planet a safer place for his granddaughter’s generation.

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Janaline Oh

Executive Director

Over a 30 year career with four postings - in Port Moresby, Brussels, Beijing and Hong Kong - Janaline has represented Australia on issues as diverse as the UN climate and biodiversity negotiations, Pacific regional fisheries, EU agriculture, environment and trade issues, a bilateral film cooperation treaty with China, and air services with Hong Kong. Janaline actively campaigns for climate action, biodiversity conservation and the elimination of plastic waste, and is determined to leave her children a better planet than the one she inherited.

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Graeme Swift

Treasurer

Over a 46 year career in DFAT with ten postings, the last as head of post and consul-general in Ho Chi Minh City - Graeme has diverse experience across many countries focusing primarily on management, consular, protocol and security.  The Mekong was critical to a deeper understanding of the impact of climate change and the necessity for urgent action.  Since retirement, Graeme has completed a masters in energy change at ANU with a focus on the economics of the energy transition. Graeme is now looking for opportunities to apply lifetime experience and learning to the critical issue of the energy transition, besides volunteer work at U3A and a community garden.

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Luke Brown

Director

Luke spent 15 years in Government, including 12 years at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), completing diplomatic assignments in Indonesia, Samoa, and Fiji. Most recently, Luke ran the Public Affairs team at Australia’s largest embassy in Jakarta. Luke also worked in renewables investment generation at the Australian Trade Commission in San Francisco. Luke is currently Head of Engagement and Partnerships at the Climateworks Centre.

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Maria Poulos Conklin

Director

Maria's DFAT career spanned policy roles on China, crisis management, international security and legal issues. Maria was posted to France and Sri Lanka, and as chargé d'affaires in Mauritius. She was a peace monitor in Bougainville after the civil conflict. Maria is founder and convenor of the Save the Bay Coalition that campaigns for biodiversity conservation and heritage protection in Sydney. Maria joined the Australian Conservation Foundation in 2021 as Head of Government Relations.