UN Global Compact Network Australia appoints sustainability leader Kate Dundas as new Executive Director
Emilia Maubach | April 20, 2023
The UN Global Compact Network Australia (UNGCNA), the Australian local network of the United Nations (UN) Global Compact, has today announced that Kate Dundas, Acting Chief Operating Officer of Sustainability Victoria, has been appointed as Executive Director to lead the UNGCNA.
The UNGCNA connects, enables, and leads businesses and stakeholders to create a sustainable future by supporting businesses to act responsibly and helping them find opportunities that drive business outcomes. With over 250 participants, including a growing base of small-to-medium enterprises, and the milestone of the halfway point to the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development this year, Ms Dundas is well-positioned to lead the team at a pivotal moment for sustainable leadership in Australian business.
Ms Dundas has held executive-level positions across local and state government and the private sector, most recently at Sustainability Victoria, the City of Melbourne, and Ethos Urban. She has broad expertise across sustainability, the circular economy, business strategy and partnerships, and a keen interest in contemporary governance. She is also a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and has held several non-executive director positions, including at Montsalvat and as the Founder of 3000acres, a social enterprise which aims to unlock under-utilised land across Melbourne to grow food and build strong communities.
The announcement comes after former Executive Director Kylie Porter stepped down from the position at the end of 2022, following strong membership growth for the organisation and the curation of a specialist team, including Interim Executive Director Evangeline Sanopoulos, who positioned the group for its next phase of growth, ensuring continuity and stability within the management of the organisation and programmes execution during the transition.
UNGCNA Chair Fiona Reynolds said of the announcement: “After an extensive search, UNGCNA is very pleased to announce the appointment of Kate Dundas as our new Executive Director. Kate is a passionate and authentic leader who brings a strong understanding of the sustainability issues the private and public sectors face. The private sector working with government and civil society has a critical role to play in the transformation to a sustainable and equitable future that meets the ambitions set out in the Sustainable Development Goals.
Ms Reynolds continued: “Kate is ideally suited to lead the UNGNCA at a time of continued growth in its presence and membership. I have no doubt that Kate is the right person to take the UNGCNA to its next level of development and that she will be an inclusive and inspiring leader for the organisation. The Board looks forward to working with Kate and the team to take the organisation to a new level and to ensure that we meet the growing needs of our members.”
Kate Dundas said: “I am thrilled to be appointed as Executive Director for the UNGCNA. I look forward to growing the impact of the UN Global Compact in Australia by promoting sustainable and socially responsible practices and collaboration among businesses. Together with our participants, we can enhance Australia’s reputation, foster innovation, and address global challenges.”
Interim Executive Director Evangeline Sanopoulos said: “I warmly welcome Kate and look forward to working with her. Kate has the full support of our team, and we are delighted to be entering our next phase of development under such strong leadership credentials and a growth mindset.”
Ms Dundas’ appointment follows the recent announcement of ESG leaders from across corporate responsibility, sustainable supply chains, marketing and diversity to the Board. Susan Mizrahi, Sunita Gloster, and Robin Mellon joined the Board in March 2023, following the appointment of Fiona Reynolds as UNGCNA Chair in November 2022. Ms Dundas will join the UNGCNA on 15 May.
The existing Board comprises two of Australia’s largest retailers represented by Anna Stewart, Head of Sustainability Governance & Engagement at Coles, and Laura McManus, Senior Human Rights Manager at Woolworths, as well as Pru Bennett, Partner at Brunswick Group and Chair of the National Foundation for Australia China Relations, Karen McWilliams FCA, Business Reform Leader at Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand, Howard Wigham, Executive Director of Navigate Business Advisory, and Vanessa Zimmerman, global and domestic corporate sustainability expert focusing on human rights and Founder of human rights advisory service, Pillar Two.
The UNGCNA, a special initiative of the United Nations (UN) secretary-general, is a call to responsible businesses to align their operations and strategies with Ten Principles in human rights, labour, environment, and anti-corruption. The network aims to accelerate and scale the global collective impact of business by upholding the Ten Principles and delivering the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through companies and ecosystems that enable change.