Leadership team & advisors

Duncan van der Merwe

DUNCAN VAN DER MERWE

Chair / CEO / Founder
BSc, MSc, GAICD
Appointed: March 2022


Responsibility
Duncan is responsible for the leadership of the Board and the Company and for delivering the company’s strategy in this early stage. In due course, the Chair and CEO roles will split in line with good governance.

Skills and experience
Duncan has extensive experience developing companies from early-stage concept through approvals, studies, funding, construction, commissioning and into sustainable operations.

Current roles
VanDyson Investments (Director of the family office), VanDyson Marine Fund (Director), Scipher Technologies (Non-Executive Director and major shareholder).

Previous roles
Duncan was the founder, MD and significant shareholder of Tellus Holdings Ltd, where he took the waste management business from concept to >$400m market capitalisation. Duncan also co-founded two other companies (one had a >$200m market cap at its peak). In the UK, Duncan was Corporate Finance PFI/PPP Manager at the Noble Group and Project Finance PFI/PPP Manager at the Bank of Scotland. Duncan started his career as a bursary holder at Gencor (Billiton) in RSA.

Richard Phillips

RICHARD PHILLIPS

Director/ Chief Scientist & CDO / Founder
BEnvSc (Hons), DipSc, AIEMA
Appointed: June 2022


Responsibility
Richie is responsible for the leadership of the project development and credit generation team. He will work closely with the CEO of the BlueCarbon Institute, the head of the credit trading team, and the CFO & CTO. Richie has been responsible for blue carbon site selection studies and managing pilot projects throughout Australia.

Skills and experience
He has 24 years of experience taking projects through planning approvals, feasibility and impact assessment study stages, designing and managing environmental compliance and management systems through construction and operations stages. He also has substantial IMS compliance and ongoing stakeholder engagement experience.

Previous roles
GM Health, Safety, Environment, Compliance & Quality Manager and other senior roles at Tellus Holdings Ltd. Senior Environmental Scientist with various consultancies in Australia. Richie has eight years of blue carbon/ wetland management realignment and ecosystem restoration experience with WS Atkins in the UK and Qatar. These projects resulted in hundreds of hectares of nature-based solutions on private land, bringing significant biodiversity and socio-economic co-benefits.

Ryan Millar

RYAN MILLAR

Non-Executive Director/ Founder
BSocSci Econ, MBA
Appointed: June 2022


Skills and experience
Ryan has extensive experience in CEO leadership, technology start-up, scale-up, and advisory board-level roles. He has started, built, and led high-performing teams, developed and commercialised IP assets, and driven business performance and outcomes aligned with core business objectives. At ESSI, he was a transformational CEO, rebuilding operations, finances, technology, systems and people, including developing a world-leading SaaS platform built on patented algorithms into a new wholly owned and funded start-up business called Carbon Count. This platform maximises the measurement and value of carbon credits and has been adopted by carbon project developers, the Clean Energy Regulator and large financial institutions.

Other directorships and offices (current and recent):
Current CEO and Exec. Director at AML3D Previous CEO of EESI Group Co-founder & Advisory Board Member of Carbon Count

Robbie Rusca

ROBBIE RUSCA

Director
BlueCarbon OnCountry (BC-OC)

Responsibility
BlueCarbon On-Country Pty Ltd has appointed an experienced Indigenous (Aboriginal) Director. Robbie will also ensure social, economic, cultural and environmental benefits flow to Aboriginal people from the BC-OC and supported carbon projects.

Skills and experience
Robbie has a track record of building successful Indigenous (Aboriginal) owned businesses, training and supporting Indigenous jobs, building sustainable capacity within the communities where they deliver projects and caring for the environment– especially blue carbon ecosystems where the land and sea meet.

Other directorships (current):
Robbie Rusca (MD of Rusca Group)

Shannon Rusca

SHANNON RUSCA

Director
BlueCarbon OnCountry (BC-OC)

Responsibility
BlueCarbon On-Country Pty Ltd has appointed an experienced Indigenous (Aboriginal) Director. Shannon will also ensure social, economic, cultural and environmental benefits flow to Aboriginal people from the BC-OC and supported carbon projects.

Skills and experience
Shannon has a track record of building successful Indigenous (Aboriginal) owned businesses, training and supporting Indigenous jobs, building sustainable capacity within the communities where they deliver projects and caring for the environment– especially blue carbon ecosystems where the land and sea meet.

Other directorships (current):
Shannon Rusca (Director of Rusca Group)

Claudia Knights

CLAUDIA KNIGHTS

Interim CoSec / Compliance and Administration Manager

Responsibility
Claudia is responsible for the Company Secretary functions, managing the AFSL application, ongoing compliance and general administration of the Blue CarbonS2C Group of companies.

Skills and experience
Previous roles include Assistant Company Secretary, Office Manager, and Payroll Manager at Tellus Holdings Ltd. Prior to working at Tellus, Claudia worked in several administrative support and compliance roles. Claudia brings over 25 years of experience to the job.

Michael Cutler

MICHAEL CUTLER

Project Advisor, Project Developer and Trading Platform

Responsibility
Michael is providing advice on delivering the BC-S2C blockchain platform (MVP stage) to improve information management systems, carbon credit, and co-benefit integrity.

Skills and experience
As CTO of KPMG Digital Village, a corporate venture-building and innovation lab, Michael leads technology for a multi-disciplinary team of creatives, analysts and technologists.

Michael has 20+ years of experience in technology and more than 12 years in building internet-scale AI applications for brands like Spotify, Intel, Publicis Groupe and the UK Government.

For the past six years, Michael has specialised in Web3 technology, tokenising carbon offsets as non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and allowing Ben & Jerry’s / Unilever customers to offset the impact of their purchases in real time.

As well as delivering Web3 applications for consumer loyalty, supply-chain, digital identity and real-estate management for brands such as Singapore Airlines, BMW, Asian Development Bank, Monetary Authority Singapore, Fiji Government, Wilson, Singapore Tourism Board through partnerships with Microsoft, Google, R3 Corda and Hyperledger Foundation.

Justin Baird

JUSTIN BAIRD

Team Leader, Project Developer and Trading Platform

Responsibility
Justin is providing advice on delivering the BC-S2C blockchain platform (MVP stage) to improve information management systems, carbon credit, and co-benefit integrity.

Skills and experience
Justin brings over 20 years of management and high-tech experience with companies including Google, Dentsu, Accenture, DHL, and Microsoft, where he is currently CTO for Start-ups, APAC.

He has contributed to areas ranging from research and development engineering, analogue and digital signal processing, embedded systems development, hardware and software product management, high-speed digital networks, mobile and web application deployment, android and iOS mobile applications, agile team management, and social media technologies.

Justin holds two U.S. Patents and four pending U.S. Patents and has written several technical papers within these research areas. His primary focus throughout his career has been to drive positive change through technology.

He has done so within corporates, partnering with NGOs, including the United Nations and non-profit organisations. He has founded, advised and invested in numerous start-ups, focusing on developing emerging technology solutions that deliver societal benefit.

Scott Callender

SCOTT CALLENDER

Project Advisor (South East Asia)

Responsibility
Scott is providing advice on commercial and project opportunities in Singapore and South East Asia.

Skills and experience
Scott brings more than 30 years of successful involvement in real estate investment and development, private equity, investment management, and business building (both start-ups and larger established businesses) to the venture, along with extensive and valuable relationships. Having left Australia in 1993, Scott has lived in HK, Philippines, Thailand, and currently Singapore, and during the past 15 years has increasingly shifted his focus to clean energy/renewables, climate tech, and the circular economy.

Current roles:
Avila Capital – Founder & Managing Partner (Private equity and investment management) Assetz Group Partners – Director (primarily renewable energy and real estate development) Holos Life Sciences – Founder and Executive Director (3D genomics & epigenetics)

Jaime Livesey

JAIME LIVESEY

Project Advisor
BAppSc (AppGeo) (Hons)

Responsibility
Jaime is responsible for advising on project delivery (in-field), project registration, reporting (in-field MRV), compliance and claiming credits across business groups. Jaime will also advise on the audit integrity of the company’s and third-party projects.

Skills and experience
Previous roles include General Manager – Strategy, IT & Innovation at Tellus Holdings Ltd and as an Independent Project Manager and Advisor. Prior to working at Tellus, Jaime worked at Schlumberger Information Solutions, Terra Search and WGS in various capacities. Jaime brings over 20 years of experience.

Specialist support

The core leadership team will be supported by several specialist advisory groups in the areas of Technical, Market, Legal, Financial, Australian Financial Services Licence (AFSL), Indo-Pacific projects, Blockchain and Trading Platform.