Working for regenerative economies, communities and landscapes.

We acknowledge that we live and work on unceded country.
The Castlemaine Institute commits 1% of total revenue to Pay The Rent. Always was, always will be, Aboriginal land.

What We Do

Castlemaine Institute is a research and action hub for people working on bold transformations in economies, communities and landscapes.

We are an trans-disciplinary team working to deliver projects, policy and research in the areas of:
EconomicsHousing and land useHealth and wellbeingAdaptation and biodiversity conservationRegenerative urban environmentsArts and cultureDemocracy and civil society

The Team

Warwick Smith - Co-founder
Economics, Industry and Environment

Warwick is an economist, writer and policy analyst. His current professional interests include employment, inclusive and sustainable economic development, democracy, and climate change. He also has a background in evolutionary and conservation biology.

A regular speaker at conferences and in the media, he also publishes opinion pieces in outlets such as The Guardian, the ABC, The Age and The Conversation.

Warwick is also an Honorary Fellow at the School of Social and Political Sciences at the University of Melbourne.

BSc (Hons), BA (philosophy and economics).

Connect with Warwick on LinkedIn or Twitter @RecoEco. Blog.

Lexi Randall-L'Estrange
Co-founder - Industry and Innovation

Lexi is a Founder and Director across the domains of health, technology and social innovation. She has worked in commercial and social purpose sectors in SMEs, non-profits, social enterprise and start-ups. She thrives in disrupted industries and high-change environments, drawing on core skills in commercial & social entrepreneurship, product and service design, business and impact modelling, and community and stakeholder engagement to deliver sustainable and creative solutions.

Lexi is a Director of Projects and Operations at Research Path and is Chair of CHIRP Community Health.

BEnviroEng (Hons), MBA, GAICD

Connect with Lexi on LinkedIn or Twitter @LexiRL

Jodi Newcombe - Co-founder
Economics, Climate and Creative Industries

Jodi is an environmental economist, creative producer and community organiser. Her areas of interest are cultural responses to climate change, new economic systems that work for people and environment, and co-design approaches for planning and innovation. Jodi has enjoyed a 20 year career consulting to government, NGOs and business across Europe and Australia on natural resource management, decision-making and policy design. She is founding director of Carbon Arts, a business trialling creative sector-led approaches to addressing climate change with Australian and international artists since 2011. Jodi is currently employed by Mount Alexander Shire Council as the climate change coordinator, where she leads internal and external efforts to reduce emissions and adapt to climate change.

Jodi is a Research Fellow with the Centre for Art and Social Transformation at RMIT and is a Steering Committee member for the International Symposium for Electronic Arts.

BChemEng (Hons), MScEnvEcon

Connect with Jodi on LinkedIn or Twitter @carbon_arts

Cassia Read (PhD) - Co-founder
Ecology, education and resilient landscapes

Cassia is an ecologist, educator and a future-oriented designer of innovative planting systems. All her work centres on creating win-win landscapes that support both the wellbeing of people and conservation of biodiversity.

Her areas of expertise include community ecology, landscape restoration, planting design, climate adaptation, citizen science and education for ecological literacy.

An innovative and cross-disciplinary researcher and educator, Cassia has broad experience in the university, government, ngo and private sectors. Drawing on a breadth of skills in the sciences and arts she seeds and nurtures projects that develop ecological literacy and strengthen the regenerative capacity of communities and local landscapes. She has a deep knowledge of plant communities, from desert to the coast, conducting research and fieldwork in ecosystems across south eastern Australia.

Cassia is a lecturer in ecology at La Trobe, Bendigo, runs the successful planting-design business Emerging Landscapes, and is co-founder of Climate Flags, a grassroots, community project.

Contact Us

We welcome contact from potential collaborators, interested members of the public or media.

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