John David Phillips

 John Phillips OAM was appointed Executive Director of iconic South Australian environmental sustainability education NGO KESAB in 1988. 


KESAB advocates, develops and delivers environmental sustainability education projects and resources working with all levels of government, industry and community, building community capacity and understanding through learning and awareness initiatives. 


John has 30 years’ experience engaging government, industry and community facilitating behavioural change with specific focus in environmental sustainability, litter research and reduction, recycling, resource recovery, waste auditing, graffiti reduction, catchment water management, remote aboriginal community engagement and project management.


KESAB and John have experience and knowledge delivering international social enterprise learning and engagement initiatives working with likeminded organisations and individuals. Global initiatives include India, Malaysia, Mongolia, Indonesia and Kiribati in the mid Pacific.


John currently holds, or has held, numerous positions including.


  • Member GISA Recycling Education High Level Working Group (current)
  • Member EPA (SA) High Level Waste Reform Advisory Group (current)
  • President WMAA (SA) Branch (current)
  • Kiribati Sustainability Education & Community Engagement Project 2018 (DFAT)
  • Instigated STEMSEL (Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths, Social Enterprise Learning) Teacher PD Malaysia (Oct 2016), India (Aug 2016), Indonesia (Jan 17) (current)
  • Implemented Mongolia waste education and industry engagement program (17/18)
  • Member EPA (SA) “Local Nuisance & Litter Control Legislation” Working Group (2015 – 2016)
  • Director cdsa Pty Ltd (high tech beverage container sorting & counting equipment)
  • Member SA Government India Trade Mission (August 2015)
  • Member “Dob In A Litterer” Task Group (2014 – 2015)
  • Director Butt Free Australia (2002 – 2011)
  • Ernst & Young NGO Entrepreneur of the Year SA & NT 2009
  • Member Patawalonga Catchment Water Management Board (2000 – 2006)
  • Member EPHC (National) Container Deposit Investigation Stakeholder Reference Group 2007 – 2009
  • Member South Australian Plastic Shopping Bag Ban Task Force 2007/08
  • Chair Waste Management Association (SA) Conference Committee 2006 and 2008 
  • Patron SA Police Academy Course 11 (2007/2008)
  • Board Member EPA SA (2000 – 2004)
  • Member of the Order of Australia (OAM) Awarded 2000
  • Fellow of the Fundraising Institute of Australia 2000
  • Life Governor of Apex Australia 1990
  • Chair ATSUMARI South East Asian Region Council 1989
  • National President Apex Australia 1986

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