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Expertise Framework Program


The continual development of our people and the recognition of technical leaders within the organisation is the core of EPA’s award-winning Expertise Framework program.

The program appoints staff recognised as leaders in the areas of air quality, inland water, marine water, waste, landfill, land and groundwater, and odour as EPA’s ‘principal experts’. To become a principal expert, individuals complete a three-stage process.

First they are tested on their knowledge of their specialist environmental area. The results are calibrated and those achieving the highest ratings are invited to participate in a formal recruitment process – measuring their leadership, professional conduct and knowledge-sharing capabilities. Finally, successful applicants are appointed by EPA’s executive management team.

Once appointed, principal experts commit 50 per cent of their time to developing and providing advice in their technical areas to the business’s decision makers. Each principal expert is rewarded and provided with program-specific learning and development opportunities that support their development in their specialist area.

Each principal expert leads and mentors an expertise community within the organisation that focuses on their environmental area. These communities nurture and develop the next generation of principal experts.

EPA’s Expertise Framework was established in 2011. The program won the Institute of Public Affairs Australia (IPAA) Leadership in the Public Sector, People Development Category Award in 2014.

The Expertise Framework program differs from others across Australia in how it measures our people against defined organisational knowledge needs. This allows EPA to identify knowledge gaps and where to concentrate learning and development needs.

EPA has been acknowledged as a leader in this area and is now sharing the program’s philosophy to agencies across Australia.

Air Quality Principal Expert – Paul Torre

Paul Torre

Paul has a PhD in applied science, specialising in air pollution, from RMIT University. He has more than 30 years of experience in measuring and assessing environmental impacts, beginning his career at the Victorian State Chemistry Laboratory.

Paul started working with EPA in 1985. In his role as Air Quality Principal Expert, he provides scientific and technical advice on air pollution issues, air quality regulatory requirements and policy development. Paul was appointed as Air Quality Principal Expert in 2012.

Inland Water Principal Expert – Leon Metzeling

Leon Metzeling

Leon Metzeling studied limnology (inland waters) at Monash University. After university, he worked for the Museum of Victoria assessing the impacts of thermal discharges from a Latrobe Valley power station – work EPA required it to undertake. Before joining EPA, Leon worked for the State Water Labs on biological monitoring work under contract to EPA at a time when EPA did not have the internal capability to perform the work. In effect, EPA work has driven Leon’s career.

Leon started working for EPA in 1989. He was appointed to the role as principal expert in 2013 and has been involved in many requests for advice, prosecutions and assessing works approvals. His major project currently is working on the science component of the Water SEPP review. Leon was appointed as Inland Water Principal Expert in 2012.

Land and Groundwater Principal Expert – Anne Northway

Anne Northway

Anne Northway studied environmental engineering at RMIT University and completed a Masters of Engineering Science (Groundwater Studies) at the University of New South Wales. Before joining EPA Victoria, Anne worked for more than eight years as an environmental consultant and hydrogeologist, developing her knowledge of soil, soil vapour, and groundwater assessment and remediation.

Anne started working for EPA in 2010. Anne is experienced in the development and interpretation of environmental regulations, policies and guidance documents relating to contaminated land and groundwater, including the environmental audit system. Anne was appointed as Land and Groundwater Principal Expert in 2012.

Landfill Principal Expert – Nick Simmons

Nick Simmons

Nick studied geography and geology at the University of Derby, England. After university, he worked for the Environment Agency (England and Wales) for seven years, specialising in regulating landfills, waste treatment and major industry sites. In this role, he was appointed regional specialist for waste treatment and landfill and worked in the agency’s national landfill gas team.

Nick joined EPA Victoria in November 2010. Nick focuses on regulating landfills by undertaking inspections, reviewing audits and assisting the EPA regional officers in this work. In his role as principal expert, Nick is building EPA’s technical capability by training staff in landfill gas management, leachate management, landfill operations, landfill environmental monitoring and landfill rehabilitation and aftercare. The role also sees him undertaking expert witness statements, representing EPA in court and VCAT and presenting papers at national and international conferences. Nick has been EPA’s Landfill Principal Expert since 2012.

Marine Water Principal Expert – Dr Randall Lee

Randall Lee

Randall has a PhD and MSc in oceanography and a BSc in hydrology and meteorology. Randall is an environmental oceanographer with more than 25 years experience in multidisciplinary studies in Australia, New Zealand and Canada. He has worked for government, industry and research sectors to understand marine environment impacts.

Randall specialises in dynamic modelling and automated systems to assess impacts and condition, developing collaborative networks to build capabilities in marine science, challenging proposals of high environmental risk through multiple lines of evidence, and providing analysis and support to cross-government investigations into complex issues such as marine pests and climate change. Randall joined EPA in 2005 and was appointed the Marine Water Principal Expert in 2014.

Odour Principal Expert – Jim Demetriou

Jim Demetriou

Jim Demetriou has an Associate Diploma in applied chemistry from Swinburne University of Technology. Jim joined EPA in 1985, working in analytical chemistry sampling and analysing air pollutants, mainly odour. At that time, EPA had an internal air laboratory and Jim focused on analysis and assessment of the human health impact of VOCs lead particulates. In 2001 he led the development of EPA’s inhouse olfactometer that was used to analyse odour concentrations.

Jim was the technical review member of the committee that developed the Australian and New Zealand standard ‘Stationary source emissions: Determination of odour concentration by dynamic olfactometry’. He is EPA’s National Association Testing Authority (NATA) signatory and has been a NATA assessor since 1990. In 2010, he moved from analytical chemistry to licensing compliance, specialising in air and complex odour issues. He was appointed Odour Principal Expert in 2014.

Waste Principal Expert – Laura-lee Innes

Laura-Lee Innes

Laura-lee Innes holds a PhD and Bachelor of Engineering in chemical and materials engineering from the Royal Military College of Canada as well as an MSc in chemical and materials engineering from the University of Alberta, Canada. Laura-lee has worked in environmental sectors across Australia and Canada.

Since joining EPA in 2007, Laura-lee has been involved in technical and policy advice, as well as issues resolution for the waste sector, including government, industry and the community. Since 2013, Laura-lee has held an appointment of Adjunct Senior Research Fellow at the Department of Chemical Engineering at Monash University. Her area of focus is sustainable waste management, including the chemistry and impacts of contaminants in waste streams, including contaminated soils. She has been EPA’s Waste Principal Expert since 2012.

Page last updated on 13 Jul 2015