Dr. Matthew Parnell


Dr. Matthew Parnell

Practice + Research + Education

Photo on 17-9-20 at 4.04 pm

I am a sustainability practitioner and academic with over forty years’ professional experience across industry, government, community and academic sectors, including twenty years at University of New South Wales; University of Tasmania; Southern Cross University; and Swinburne University of Technology.

I also have experience at management level in commercial and non-government sectors and I have worked on sustainability projects in urban, rural, regional and remote Australia.

I established Greensynergy Consulting in 2005, working on projects in: green building; energy auditing; energy ratings; carbon footprint assessments; organisational and business sustainability; education, professional development and cultural change programs for sustainability; and sustainability research.

I graduated with a PhD in Sustainable Development from Murdoch University in 2012, under supervisors Professor Peter Newman AO and Associate Professor Brad Pettit. The research program investigated sustainability culture and its implications for sustainability practice.

In late 2014, I was appointed to the position of  Senior Lecturer in Design Management and Strategy in the School of Design at Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne. I was Course Director of the Master of Design Strategy and Innovation program and I convened and delivered sustainability and eco-design education in the Master of Design and the Bachelor of Design (Interior Architecture) programs. I was also the Theme Leader – Circular Economy in the Smart Cities Research Institute. Highlight projects include the Virtual Hub for Climate Change Innovation and the Waste-to-Opportunity Initiative in Medellin, Colombia.

My main practice and research interests are: sustainable cities and communities; sustainable business and organisations; sustainable circular economy; sustainability culture; eco-design in the built and manufactured environment; and  strategic design and complexity thinking for sustainability practice.

I left my tenured academic role at Swinburne University in January 2020 while maintaining my connection  in the role of Adjunct Research Fellow at the Centre for Urban Transitions. In March 2020, I commenced my new role as  Head of Circular Economy and Lifecycle Thinking at Edge Environment, operating from their South Melbourne Office.

Views expressed on this website are my own and do not represent Edge Environment nor Swinburne University of Technology.


Murdoch University: Doctor of Philosophy in Sustainable Development, 2012

University of NSW: Bachelor of Building, 1979

Southern Cross University: Cert. IV Assessment + Workplace Training, 2005


My purpose is to inspire and assist people, organisations and communities in their transition to sustainability.



 A more sustainable and just world.


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