GEER Steering Committee

GEER is governed by a Steering Committee made up of four founding researchers, who were elected by the GEER members on 30th June 2016.

Rowan Bedggood.jpg
Dr Rowan E. Bedggood

Founder of GEER Australia

Chair, Steering Committee
Swinburne University of Technology

Rowan has experience working on numerous research areas involving social and environmental well-being. In particular, she has worked with Aboriginal communities and corporations to support them in achieving positive outcomes socially and economically. She has also worked on developing and refining social and environmental impact assessment tools and in supporting low income households to improve their well-being, particularly in the area of home energy use.


Research Areas

  • Social Marketing: behaviour change of people and organisations related to health, well-being, economic independence, sustainability, and other areas of social improvement.

  • Energy Efficiency: improving energy efficiency particularly for low-income households.

  • Indigenous Peoples and Social Justice: improving the wellbeing and future outcomes of Indigenous Australians.

  • Consumer Attitudes: determining a range of consumer preferences and attitudes with respect to social and environmental issues.

  • Corporate Social Responsibility: investigating the factors that favourably influence organisations to increase their social and environmental responsibility.

Recent Projects

  • “Building Social Resilience: Piloting a new way to improve the well-being of people experiencing marginalisation”

  • “Driving Change: Identifying what Caused Low-Income Consumers to Change Behaviour”

  • “Delving into the Co-Benefits Identified in the Low-Income Energy Efficiency Reports”

  • LIEEP: “Koorie Energy Efficiency Project”

  • “Supporting the Economic Development of Remote Aboriginal Communities”


Future Research Interests:

  • Exploring the nexus between home energy use, health and well-being

  • Investigating the ways of improving the lived experience of people experiencing vulnerability

  • Designing, implementing and evaluating disruptive practices that bring out improved social outcomes”

Dr Petra Buergelt

Steering Committee Member

Charles Darwin University

Petra is passionate about gaining an understanding of the influence of human–environment interactions on human and societal health, well-being, and growth.

In particular, she is interested in identifying the psychological and environmental factors and processes that facilitate human transformation and humans effectively managing and even thriving in the face of risk, change, uncertainty and crisis.


To this end, Petra is researching migration and disasters. Both are wicked problems and two of the most challenging phenomena humans experience on an individual and community/societal level.

Prof. Rebekah Russell-Bennett

Steering Committee Member

Queensland University of Technology

Research Areas

  • Social marketing and services marketing across a range of sectors including energy, health and education.

  • She has more than 150 peer reviewed articles.

Recent Projects

  • “Reduce Your Juice: Social Marketing Digital Program for Low-Income Earners Energy Reduction” as part of the Federal Government’s national LIEEP program.  

  • “Hugging, nudging, shoving and smacking behaviour change in electricity use”. 

  • “Understanding the changing needs of residential energy consumers in the information age and the implications for tariff reform”. 


Future Research Interests 

  • Technology and electricity use particularly gamification, apps, websites as well as augmented reality and emerging technologies.

  • Pricing and adoption of tariff reform

  • Innovation in the delivery of energy and energy services/products to different types of households

  • Consumer reactions to electricity services and products

Dr Phillipa Watson

Steering Committee Member

University of Tasmania

Research Areas

  • Sustainable built environments and housing quality

  • Energy and technology use in housing and home management

  • Policy needs for sustainability, housing and vulnerable households

  • Change for low income and vulnerable households, for wellbeing

  • Decision making, design thinking, problem solving and transitions for change

  • Materials and product impact assessment and performance

Recent Projects

  • ‘CONSORT Bruny Island Battery Trial’: a consortia project looking at battery storage and energy sharing on the grid (2016-2019)

  • ‘Energy and Financial Literacies’: an interdisciplinary project exploring the intersection of energy and financial literacies in Tasmania (2017-18)

  • ‘Off Grid Households in Tasmania’: exploratory research seeking understanding of off grid households (2015-18)

  • ‘Get Bill Smart’: a LIEEP project exploring novel community based support approaches for energy efficiency in Greater Hobart (2013-2016)

  • ‘Sustainability of Australia’s Private Rental Housing Stock’: an AHURI project investigating landlord perspectives and the economics of energy and water efficiency improvements (2009-2010)


Future Research Interests re Energy Efficiency

  • Low income households in Australia’s distributed energy supply evolution

  • Energy policy for health, wellbeing and environmental care

  • Sustainability and community transitions

  • Households and technology use

Strategic Members

GEER members are comprised of researchers and industry partners in Australia who are interested in pursuing meaningful projects aimed at enhancing the energy efficiency, quality of life, and health and well-being of Australian households.

GEER comprises Strategic and General Members. Strategic Members are actively involved in running GEER and making key decisions. General Members reflect the depth of GEER and are connected but less involved in the day to day running. GEER membership is limited to around 50 people. The Steering Committee are all Strategic Members. For more information about becoming a GEER member, click here

Strategic members are mostly academics working at an Australian university. Hence, our academic members tend to have: 

  • a PhD

  • high expertise in their chosen field of research

  • extensive experience in conducting research projects and designing and implementing education programs

  • published nationally and internationally

  • access to university resources including other national and international researchers, libraries, analysis programs and support personnel.


Becoming a GEER Member

GEER comprises a group of like-minded researchers and industry specialists who choose to work together to bring about improvements in outcomes on residential energy efficiency.

If you have relevant experience in this field and would like to join the GEER committee as either a strategic or general member contact us below. Be sure to attach an updated copy of your CV and a brief paragraph about why you would like to join the inner-fold.

Cost: $200 per annum

Criteria to Qualify as a Member:

  • Has a PhD or significant research experience (for research members)

  • Has experience leading major projects in energy efficiency (for research and industry members)

  • Works with an organisation heavily involved with residential energy use and has specialist knowledge to help inform GEER decisions (for industry members)

GEER Member Benefits

Strategic Member

(highest level)

  • Contribute to the decision making of GEER by joining monthly GEER teleconferences where you can vote on GEER’s activities, direction, strategies and new ideas

  • Receive monthly agendas and minutes

  • Eligible to join the GEER Steering Committee (limit of four places)

  • Invited FIRST to lead or join commissioned research projects

  • Invited FIRST to present research at GEER events

  • Funded trips to GEER workshops (twice p.a. where flights/accommodation/meals are covered)

  • Contribute to building the unique GEER Repository (content to be developed)

  • Receive 20% discount on all GEER ticketed events (IREE conference, GEER Symposium, GEER Round Table)

  • Receive a $200 discount on membership p.a. if taking on a specific GEER role (e.g., event organising, newsletter, database management, media releases, social media)

  • Automatic subscription to GEER mailing list

General Member

  • Invited to join commissioned research projects

  • Invited to present research at GEER events

  • Contribute to building the unique GEER Repository (content to be developed)

  • Receive 20% discount on all GEER ticketed events (IREE conference, GEER Symposium, GEER Round Table)

  • Receive a $200 discount on membership if taking on a specific GEER role (e.g., event organising, newsletter, database management, media releases, social media)

  • Automatic subscription to GEER mailing list