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In the latest episode of our podcast, we speak with Lisa McClean, CEO of NSW Circular and Cate Turner, Manager Data Insights & Intelligence at Sustainability Victoria about government initiatives in the circular economy space.

Lisa McClean and Cate Turner

Lisa McClean is the CEO of NSW Circular, a a NSW government-funded body with environment, economic and social goals embedded into their work. Lisa provides great context and definitions about what circular economy is, why it’s the way of the future and some ways consumers can get involved.

Cate Turner, Manager Data Insights & Intelligence at Sustainability Victoria then runs us through why digital is a prerequisite for circular economy, the technologies that are currently being utilised in the space, and the importance of good, real-time data.



A full transcript of this episode is available as a PDF here and in plain text here.

“Digital is not really just an enabler, it’s actually a prerequisite to transitioning to a circular economy.”


  • Circular economy doesn’t mean we can’t get what we need. But it does mean that we have to change the way we consume.
  • Circular economy jobs are are going to be the jobs of the future and these are the industries of the future.
  • A really big change is in the amount of information that we have available, and also the amount of sense we can make of that [information]. We’re understanding how we can use digital technologies to identify the exact levers that we can pull to improve circularity.
  • It allows us to have supply chain data that we can start exploring for solutions. We don’t need to come with a fixed position about what improvement in circularity might be, we can start exploring data pools to derive new insights to innovate and invent solutions.
  • I think the most important thing to understand is with all the opportunities that we have with circularity digitisation, with new technologies, what we need is data, and we need as real-time as possible.
  • We want to work in partnership with industry, with businesses, with the community, with councils to be able to pull in as much data as we can. So that together, we can start to derive new insights.
  • We really want to motivate people, motivate citizen scientists, create dashboards, so that people can be really involved in this with us, and go on a journey together where we bring all the data that we can together, we start exploring what it means together, and see new possibilities that we hadn’t thought about before. And that’s a really citizen centric journey that we want to take with this where we can explore that meaning together.


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We’re always looking for folks working in civic tech and government to speak with about themes you’re encountering or work being done. If you’re keen to have a chat to us contact us at info@codeforaustralia.org

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