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.


Tom Paris  l  Senior Sustainability Consultant

Tom is a sustainability and environmental professional with project management and research experience in consulting settings in Australia, Indonesia and Europe. Tom specialises in performing sustainability assessments for local businesses and is passionate in delivering practical environmental solutions for local communities and businesses. He has worked closely with numerous businesses in Europe and Australia.

Tom holds a PhD in Climate Change Adaptation and a Masters in Environmental Management from the University of Queensland and is a highly capable qualitative analyst.

Tom has previously worked in a consulting role for AGREFOS, an international consulting company that focuses on facilitating the transition to a world of resilient communities and circular systems by making businesses, organisations, communities and states future-fit, during which he explored the potential for new environmental technologies in the private sector.

Tom joined the NACC team in 2020.

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.


Ella Leaney  l  Consulting Intern


Ella Leaney is a student at the University of Queensland where she is in her second year of a Bachelor of Environmental Management (Honours). Ella is focusing her studies around sustainable development, and is interested in bridging the gap between science and management.

She is passionate about finding solutions to help combat climate change and enjoys learning about the complexities of sustainability. Through interning at NACC, she has gained invaluable experience surrounding sustainable business and environmental management, and is always keen to learn something new.

Ella  has enjoyed her work on linking Sustainable Development Goals with Green Street Badges and on putting together innovative sustainability quizzes.  She enjoys also the collaboration processes at NACC and has contributed significantly to the Conquering Covid website.

When Ella is not studying or helping out at NACC, she is happiest when she is exploring the outdoors, whether it be through hiking, snorkelling or rock-climbing.


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