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ST Certification Advisory Group

The Advisory Group provides an independent third-party perspective for ST certification. It provides advice to Social Traders on:

  • Complex cases for certification
  • Appeals
  • Evolution of certification in a changing marketplace for social enterprise
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Keith Rovers

Partner, MinterEllison

A market-leading corporate, finance and projects lawyer, Keith has driven many of the firm’s headline acquisition and project finance deals and major property developments, including King Street Wharf and Central Barangaroo, social and economic infrastructure PPP’s and the headline acquisition financing for Morgan Stanley Real Estate Funds’ acquisition of Investa, the first public-to-private takeover of an Australian listed REIT.

Keith brings this commercial expertise and a passion for social justice together as the firm’s Pro Bono & Community Investments Partner and in this role, advises social enterprises, for-purpose businesses and charities sponsored by the likes of Social Ventures Australia, Social Traders, Westpac Foundation, AMP Foundation, Y Gap and Optus (through its Future Makers program) and manages client partnerships to amplify social impact.

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Keith is part of the firm’s Responsible Business (heading up Sustainable Finance and is part of its Climate Risk Governance team), advising on sustainable finance, impact investment, climate risk and ESG (environmental, social, governance) issues and has written on topics relating to the mobilisation of private finance to tackle social issues and climate change, social enterprise, responsible investment and sustainability.

Keith is a member of Standards Australia and the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) Technical Committees on Environmental management (Systems and tools in support of sustainable development) and Greenhouse gas management and related activities and investment, financing and climate change (ISO TC 207 SC 1 and SC7 respectively). Keith is a member of the steering group for the Climate Measurement Standards Initiative (a cross sector initiative auspiced by Climate KIC and involving CSIRO, finance industry participants and regulators to develop accounting and disclosure standards for climate risks).

He has a number of board positions, including Westpac Foundation, White Box Enterprises (a social enterprise incubator), Enablr Public Fundraising (an on-line donation charity through a Public Ancillary Fund platform), Sea Mercy (disaster relief in the South Pacific) and is acting chair of MothersBabies (a health promotion charity looking at research into the microbiome and impacts on the health of mothers and babies). Keith is recognised by Best Lawyers in Banking & Finance, and is regularly published in the Australian Banking and Finance (AB+F) magazine.

Seán Barnes

Director of Social Procurement, Ākina Foundation (NZ)

Based in in Aotearoa-New Zealand, Sean leads the fwd: procurement programme providing advisory services to support business, social enterprise and Government agencies in the areas of procurement, strategy and sustainability. Seán is passionate about realising the potential for business to deliver positive social and environmental impact, and connecting people and ideas to lead change.

Seán has significant experience in leadership and executive roles in NZ and Australia with both the private and public sector. He holds a Ph.D. in Chemical and Process Engineering, and is a Chartered Member of Engineering New Zealand.

Michael De Soyza

Director, Ernst & Young Climate Change and Sustainability

Michael has industry-based expertise in designing and executing inclusive business strategy, sustainability governance systems, materiality assessment, stakeholder engagement and impact evaluation spanning a 20 year international career. Prior to joining EY, Michael was a member of the Senior Leadership team at Dialog Axiata PLC, Sri Lanka’s largest mobile and integrated wireless communications service provider. During his tenure of 12 years at Dialog, Michael designed and led robust inclusive business models underpinned by innovative wireless technologies. Prior to joining Dialog, Michael had a stint with Shell Petroleum where he was responsible for leading the Shell social investment programme in rural Sri Lanka. Michael has served on the Board of Directors of the UN Global Compact Local Network in Sri Lanka and serves as an adjunct faculty member of the University of Cambridge (UK), Sustainability Practitioner Programme in Melbourne since 2018.

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