The NACC Sustainability Team

Howard Nielsen | Consulting Director

Howard Nielsen is one of the most experienced sustainability consultants in Australia.  A renowned facilitator for sustainable community development and sustainable business practices, Howard is passionate about engaging communities and businesses to not only become aware of what sustainability means, but how to commit to sustainable practices.

With a career spanning 15 years in education and community development Howard was CEO for Learning Network Australia and the Global Institute for Learning and Development.

He has conducted high level leadership, sustainability and community development projects with clients as diverse as Boeing, Toyota, Brisbane City Council, Queensland Treasury, Desert Channels Group, Micah Projects, State Library of Queensland, Regional Development Australia, Ipswich City Council and many more over a twenty year period.  Howard is actively involved in promoting sustainability in his local community.  This work in partnership with others is evident through Samford Futures , Samford Green Street and Samford Commons, where he is Board Chair.

Throughout his career, his observations and experience of different leadership styles reinforced his view that inclusive, creative and optimistic styles generated more sustainable business practices than those organizations employing negative and domineering approaches.  This was the catalyst for Howard to create NACC's Sustainable Leadership Program to assist leaders in creating sustainable, inclusive, innovative business environments.

Howard has a history of  initiating and following through on major innovative projects ranging from the establishment of a community owned primary school, the successful trialling of a national parenting program, the facilitation of the national Reworking Tomorrow process, the establishment of Australia's first competency based management program, the establishment of Green Street as a unique online sustainability project and the leadership of a number of community engagement and advocacy projects.

Howard has been appointed as a Global Adviser to the United Nations Global Compact Cities Programme and is also an Industry Fellow at the University of Southern Queensland and speaks regularly at national and international conferences.

Howard has qualifications including a Master of Business Administration (International Management Centre, UK accredited), Master of Educational Administration (University of New England), Bachelor of Educational Studies (University of Queensland) and a Diploma of Environmental Sustainability (Global Institute of Learning and Development).

Howard was a State representative sportsperson in tennis and Australian Rules football and continues to play tournament tennis in the seniors’ ranks.  He and his wife Wendy live in Samford Valley where they enjoy the close company of nine members of their extended family.


Mitch Ferguson | Consultant

Mitch joins NACC with over 15 years’ experience in education, business development, sales management and coaching roles.  He has held a long lasting ambition to work with the development of young leaders in the wider community.  His diverse background has enabled him to acquire and foster a wide range of skills and knowledge which in turn provides his clients with a unique, enjoyable and memorable experience. 

Over the years the dynamic of his different work environments have been broad: from humble beginnings teaching high school maths and economics in the tropical north, to managing high profile corporate accounts in the city and leading high performing sales teams in SMEs.  On reflection each role provided inspiration and motivation for Mitch to move toward working within a consultative sustainability framework.  The challenge of providing guidance and fostering new ideas as to how our business leaders might approach their daily tasks and strategic leadership in a practical way is what appeals to Mitch.

Mitch was an accomplished Australian Rules footballer and all-round sportsperson and team leader and continued that through his appointment as senior club coach, building an outstanding team culture at Mayne Australian Football Club.

His capacity to motivate people to take on challenges, to be confident in their own ability and to take responsibility for their own actions is a major strength.  Mitch also understands how to facilitate learning in others and is one of those highly organised people who sees things through.

Outside of work Mitch enjoys an active lifestyle, still kicking the footy around when he is not coaching, in amongst highly competitive backyard cricket games with his 3 boys.  In amongst the hustle and bustle of raising a young family, Mitch and his wife have an ongoing labour of love renovating old houses.  This involves many hours study of home renovation TV shows.


Levente Nyakas | Consultant

Levente Nyakas has specialist experience in the design and implementation of Environmental Management Systems, sustainability assessment tools and sustainability reporting. In particular he has had successful experience in processing the highly regarded European Accuvio software which NACC is now introducing to a number of its clients.

Levente has provided pro bono consultancy to develop a model Environmental Management System for Samford Commons Ltd, a community owned organisation which is emerging as a creative and sustainable social enterprise in Queensland.

He has worked also in a consulting role with Micah Projects and the Moreton Bay seafood industry on their environmental management system and with Micah Project’s Accuvio sustainability reporting.

Levente is welcomed to NACC as someone with a strong work ethic, excellent specialist knowledge and as a skilled problem solver.

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Finance, administration and specialist services

NACC’s team of finance, administration and consulting service people provides expert support and advice.

Finance and Administration:   Wendy Nielsen

Office Support:   Michelle Nielsen

Web design and management:  Scott Nielsen and Kate Nielsen

Information Technology:  Michael Benstead

Graphics and communications:  Carolyn King