Who we are

Who are we?

We are a collective of researchers, designers, organisers, entrepreneurs, horticulturalists, collaborators, and active, concerned citizens.

Our projects focus on sustainability transitions and every aspect of the projects we undertake aim to transform how we live, work, play, eat, and more. We never do this alone, we partner with communities which means we do this with you.

Our core team is based in Australia but we also collaborate with a local, national and international network of researchers and practitioners who each bring diverse skills and perspectives to the projects they join us on.

Niki Wallace PhD, BDes Hons, BVisComm

I’m a researcher, designer, writer, educator and facilitator who brings critical-relational-radical-designerly thinking to every setting. Net Zero Lab was born out of my PhD research in co-creating transition pathways in communities using emergent and experimental processes in co-research and co-design that design for transitions. I’m fascinated by complex systems, people, things, and how they are all linked by design. I often think, draw and write about the intertwining of these things. I have taught in the design program at UniSA for the past decade and am also the Principal of a design studio that provides creative support to the lab when needed. I'm an experienced facilitator and speaker and regularly host skillshares and masterclasses in both academia and communities.

I love dogs and lizards. I doodle constantly. I devour books. Music is my time burglar. I grow my own food and can make cheese out of nuts and witchcraft.


Richie Khoo BDes, CPA

I'm a Digital Product Developer, and systems thinker, with board chair experience and a strong background in governance and organisational development. I'm also a CPA with expertise in Accounting Information Systems and Strategic Management.  As the Principal of Deming Factor a strategic design and development agency I'm responsible for the execution of digital and brand strategies that align with organisational goals and the development of digital products that support their achievement. I'm also an active member of a number of social innovation communities including as an Enspiral Contributor; exploring the cutting edge of participatory organising.

I love people and get totally inspired after small gatherings and events, especially if they're serving chicken for lunch!

Penny Lara MDes, HSc Hons

I’m a community minded sustainable designer and health scientist. I am passionate about health and well being and working collaboratively to promote, educate and advocate for the environment and disadvantaged groups. I aim to co-create systems that are ecologically sound and socially equitable. I’m an experienced disability worker and am involved in local food projects like monthly produce swaps and skillsharing. I believe in strengthening community by working together.

I’m a soccer-wife, a soccer mum and an ex-lover of soccer. I like writing, biking, and hiking. I love sleep.

Dr Robert Crocker DPhil (oxon)

I'm the Deputy Director of the China Australia Centre for Sustainable Urban Development in the University of South Australia and my research focuses on the relationship between consumption, waste, and design for sustainability. I'm passionate about the circular economy and my book, Somebody Else’s Problem: Consumerism, Design and Sustainability (Greenleaf/Routledge 2016), won gold in the Axiom Best Business Books for 2017 (sustainability). I'm also the co-editor of six collections of essays, including Unmaking Waste: Towards a Circular Economy (Emerald 2018). I'm currently leading a collaborative research project part-funded by Green Industries SA on ‘Implementing the Circular Economy in Regional SA’ (2020- 2021).

I'm passionate about living well with a strong sense of community.


Dr Aaron Davis PhD, BArch (Hons)

I'm a researcher and design educator at the University of South Australia. My work has included the development and delivery of innovative interdisciplinary teaching models in higher-education, as well as the delivery of design thinking and co-creation workshops to a broad range of community, industry, and educational groups. I'm an experienced facilitator that thrives on the challenge of bringing interdisciplinary teams together to create new knowledge. I've worked with organisations that include the CSIRO, NSW Government Office of Environment and Heritage, Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils, SA Health, IgniteSA, and the Global Centre for Modern Ageing.


Jude Gaffney

I have over 20 years experience working within large scale events/festivals with world-leading sustainable green practice objectives including circular economy initiatives. I'm an experienced driver of community support with proactive approaches and provide diligent leadership of physical resources and personnel through my administrative leadership role. I'm also proficient in providing direct support and coordinating outreach programs and have a wealth of experience in community groups and their governance.

I love good conversation, good food, good art and good living.

Zainab Abbas MArch, BArch

I’m a researcher and a designer. I am curious about social sustainability, energy efficiency and sustainable design and like to follow complex systems. Having witnessed waste in my construction background, I aim to recreate the harmony lost in our current waste crisis. My personal projects have revolved around community engagement and, sustainable and self-sustaining environments.
I am a philomath and an autodidactic city-girl who loves adventure sports and crochet. Sci-fi is my weak spot and DnD my game.

Aly Di MDes, BBA

Bio to come.

Rebecca Moriarty BEcon BComm

Rebecca volunteers with the lab and brings a wealth of knowledge in doughnut economics and the circular economy.

Full bio to come.