Martin Brennan

Martin is a Senior Research Fellow of the Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute. Martin has had a long association with local government as both an elected representative and a professional working in the sector for over 40 years. He was a Melbourne City Councillor for nine years and in his final term on Council (1999-2002) he was Chair of the Finance, Corporate Services and Governance Committee. As a Ministerial Advisor in the Cain / Kirner State Governments, Martin has had a breadth of experience working with local, state and federal governments.

In 1994 he was appointed National Facilitator for Regional Cooperation and Development with the Australian Local Government Association. In this role Martin expanded the establishment and participation in Voluntary Regional Organisations of Councils across Australia.

In 1998 Martin joined the International Council for Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI) as a founding staff member and was appointed Manager, Recruitment and Political Support for the internationally acclaimed Cities for Climate Protection Campaign (CCP). CCP - Australia achieved the participation of 240 urban, regional and rural councils representing over 80% of Australia’s population. The Water Campaign, established in 2001, had a similar impact on councils across Australia, creating a movement of councils committed to sustainable water management.

In 2007 Martin was appointed Deputy CEO of ICLEI and his responsibilities extended into initiating cross-sectoral partnerships in support of ICLEI’s sustainability campaigns and programs. His role internationally included attendance at United Nations Climate Conferences in Bali, Indonesia, Poznan, Poland and Copenhagen, Denmark. Martin has worked in Indonesia, South Korea, Viet Nam, Taiwan and China in support of local government’s role in supporting sustainable development.

In 2011 Martin was appointed Regional Director of CEO ICLEI Oceania with a focus on partnering Pacific Island local governments and building resilience to climate change.

He departed ICLEI in July 2015 and was appointed Honorary Senior Research Fellow with the Victorian Eco-Innovation Lab (VEIL) in the Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning at the University of Melbourne. His role included the mentoring of post-graduate research students in their research on the challenges and opportunities of incorporating distributed energy, water and transport infrastructures in the cities of Moreland, Hume, Port Phillip and Melbourne.

In 2017 Martin was appointed to the Inner Metropolitan Partnership, an advisory group established by the State Government. The Committee comprises community and business representatives, the CEOs of the cities of Yarra, Melbourne, Port Phillip and a Deputy Secretary from the Victorian State Government. He is a Director of the John Cain Foundation Board and Chair of the Fitzroy Residents’ Association.