Renewable Energy Agency appoints consultants to its Board

28 July 2020 2 min. read
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Justin Punch, the Chair of the Board of the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), has unveiled the new leadership team of the government agency.

The key purpose of ARENA is to accelerate Australia's shift to affordable and reliable renewable energy. As it stands, around one fifth of total electricity generated in the country stems from wind power, hydroelectricity, solar, heat pumps, geothermal, wave and solar thermal energy. Under the guidance of ARENA, the Australian government aims at achieving 50% renewables by 2030. 

ARENA is an agency that invests in and supports renewable energy projects. Since launching in 2012, over 540 projects have been supported with $1.58 billion in grant funding, unlocking according to the agency a total investment of almost $6.5 billion in Australia’s renewable energy industry.

On July 17, ARENA announced that Justin Punch has been appointed Chair of the organisation, and shortly after taking the reins, Punch reappointed current board members Stephanie Unwin and Dougal McOmish.

Completing the six-strong Board, Punch, a former partner at private equity firm Archer Capital, has now also appointed John Hirjee, Anna Matysek and Justin Butcher to the executive for the period of two years. The trio replace Samantha Hogg, Susan Jeanes and Meg McDonald.

John Hirjee is the Executive Director, Resources, Energy and Infrastructure at ANZ Banking Group. He is an experienced company research analyst and banker in the energy and resource sectors. 

The other two members both bring a background in the consulting industry to the table. Anna Matysek previously co-founded BAEconomics, an economics advisory boutique that opposed the 2020 renewable energy target and last year published a report critical of Labor’s climate policies. She currently works as an independent consultant. 

In between, she among others held leadership roles at TransGrid and Rio Tinto. Matysek specialises in the energy, infrastructure and resources sectors, with a focus on energy analysis, economic modelling and corporate governance. 

Justin Butcher is the founder and chief executive of MXA Consulting, a Canberra-based 15-strong consultancy specialised in digital strategy. He specialises in IT strategy, enterprise architecture, digital transformation, target operating model design and innovation, as well as to start-up mentoring. Before his consulting spell, Butcher worked at the Australian Taxation Office and the Department of Employment and Workplace Relations.

Jo Evans, a Deputy Secretary at the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources, is an ex-officio member of the Board and delegate for the Secretary.