Media Release
Green buildings gamechanger Romilly Madew wins City Visionary gong
16 September, 2021

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Matt Levinson

Green buildings leader Romilly Madew has been recognised for her pragmatic approach to establishing Australia as a leader on sustainability in the built environment.

Ms Madew, who heads Infrastructure Australia, has been named as the Committee for Sydney’s inaugural City Visionary.

“When I started as CEO at the Green Building Council in 2006, it involved briefing property and construction companies on the importance of sustainability, and it felt like one road block after another,” she said.

“There was little interest, I was so passionate about sustainability and I just couldn’t understand why they did not understand the importance of embedding sustainability principles into design, construction and operation.”

“I had to learn to speak to them in a language they understood, and taking them on a journey.”

“When I started in property in 2002, I was one of few women leaders in property and construction, there has been a step change in the industry and now there are amazing female leaders around Australia.”

“There are great opportunities for women in the property and construction sector to make our communities sustainable and resilient.”

As a result of her 13 years at the helm of the Green Building Council of Australia, Australia has become a global leader in the number of sustainability rated buildings, communities and portfolios, her work laid the foundation for the sustainable building movement.

The City Visionary Award, supported by award sponsor Mirvac Design, was designed to celebrate people who have positively impacted the evolution of Sydney’s physical environment.

Diana Sarcasmo, General Manager of Mirvac Design, said: “Romilly Madew’s stewardship of the Green Building Council had had a profound impact on the liveability of Sydney.

“Romilly leveraged her position to change sustainability from a fringe concern to one that is now integral to every expression of the built form in Sydney,” said Ms Sarcasmo.

“Through her vision and leadership, Sydney is a far better place to live than it would have been had sustainability not been brought to the fore and embraced by corporate Australia.”

“We are all beneficiaries of her enduring legacy.”

Gabriel Metcalf, CEO of the Committee for Sydney, said: “You always take for granted the things that work, and the fact that Australia’s new buildings are environmentally so high performing, that somehow it didn’t get caught up in all the other climate change fights, is to a very large extent due to Romilly’s work.”

“Romilly was a champion for green building and sustainability at a time when it was not a mainstream conversation. She shifted the conversation for Sydney, the impact of this, and how Sydney has developed is largely due to her influence.”

“The city is different in design because of her work, it changed the public debate and had huge influence on developers, city planners and others.”

Designed to celebrate people whose efforts make Sydney the greatest city in the world, there are six categories: Global Sydney Culture and Business, Western Sydney Champion, City Visionary, Emerging Leader, and Unsung Hero.

The eminent judging panel for the inaugural awards include:
• Ann Sherry AO – Chair Unicef Australia and Enero Australia
• Wesley Enoch – former Director of the Sydney Festival
• Sara Mansour – Founder Bankstown Poetry Slam, Lawyer Allens
• Cameron Adams – Founder and Chief Product Officer Canva
• Brian Tyson – Managing Partner SEC Newgate Australia, Director Committee for Sydney
• Mike Baird – CEO HammondCare and former NSW Premier.

The Sydney Awards are supported by major partner SEC Newgate Australia, and award sponsors Investment NSW, Mirvac Design, DXC Technology and Coles.

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