The team at the Smart Energy Council

The Smart Energy Council is driven by an extraordinary team, with a mission to exceed your expectations at every turn. 
Meet us all here...

John Grimes, Chief Executive Officer

John Grimes ImageJohn Grimes was appointed as Chief Executive of the Australian Solar Council in 2008.

John started his career as an officer in the Air Force and went on to found and grow a number of companies, including a startup company he took to a successful listing on the ASX with a market capitalisation in excess of $30m.

His most recent company was in the environmental sector employing over 25 people with operations in Australia, the US and the Middle East.

In his role as CEO of the Smart Energy Council he has grown the profile and influence of the organisation.

John has a passion for the solar, storage and smart energy industry and is regularly called upon, by the media, to provide relevant and independent comment in these areas.


Sharon Oliver, Financial Controller

Sharon Oliver Image

Sharon is the Financial Controller and maintains all financial aspects for the Smart Energy Council.

With a diploma in Accounting, Sharon has worked over the last 15 years looking after the finances of various small businesses and has held a series of managerial jobs.

With a strong background in accounting, extensive budgeting, auditing and financial management knowledge.

Having joined the team in July 2014 she began by running our Solar 2015 Exhibition & Conference and continues to contribute to various areas of the council.

Sharon has a passion for all aspects of finance and is recognised for her fantastic organisational skills.


Wayne Smith, Government Relations Manager

Wayne Smith ImageWayne Smith is a political strategist who helps shape and develop the tactics for the Smart Energy Council.

A professional lobbyist and policy advisor, Wayne also plays a wider role in guiding the Smart Energy Council policy and presenting industry submissions.

As manager of Government Relations, Wayne Smith is responsible for policy, advocacy, strategy and campaining across the organisation.

Wayne has held senior roles in the renewables industry for over a decade, working and consulting for some of Australia's leading renewable energy companies and industry bodies.

Wayne has been a senior adviser for a number of Federal Shadow Ministers and has previously worked for the Federal and ACT Governments, as well as a number of peak non-government organisations.


Cathryn Blair, Marketing and Communications Consultant

Cathryn Blair ImageCathryn Blair joined the Council in May 2017 and manages Marketing and Communications.

As a business development, marketing and communications professional, Cathryn has many years experience in developing and executing strategies to increase brand awareness, revenue and customer satisfaction.

Cathryn's has worked in a number of industries including consumer services, B2B and manufacturing, energy distirbution, hospitatlty and healthcare.

Previous management and consulting roles included working in an analytics based consultancy leading agile programs cross Australia, project management in an design, marketing and advertising agency, stakeholder engagement for energy networks and product and market development for a market leading electrical manufacturer.

In her spare time Cathryn is a director of an international NGO.

Cathryn's qualifications include Master of Business Administration, Bachelor of Management (Marketing), Bachelor of Business (Information Systems Management), Workplace Training and Six Sigma - Green Belt.


Brett Thompson, Business Development Manager

Brett ThompsonBrett Thompson is the Business Development Manager for the Smart Energy Council.

Brett has spent the last decade working in Sales Management roles and is experienced in B2B solution selling and digital account sales.

He believes the industry will hit new highs in the coming years and he is here to help companies looking to capitilise on marketing opportunities.

Face to face events, print and electronic magazine opportunities - We can work within a budget to build your brand and sales pipeline!



Scott Young, Memberships Sales

Scott Young ImageMembers are the lifeblood of the Smart Energy Council and my role is to communicate the incredible work that the Smart Energy Council do on behalf of their members, the value this represents and to retain and grow the membership.

With a diverse and successful career in sales and sales management predominantly based around high value new technologies, Information or services Scott has extensive experience with database marketing and communications with CRM as a central core of business activity and revenue.

Being a homeowner I took advantage of the NSW 60c tariff and have a 5.6KW system installed which has provided a fantastic return even with the somewhat crazy prices we paid back in 2011! And also have a solar tube hot water system.

In the past years I have helped large and small organisations with information, research and developing marketing messaging and tools to improve performance, to aid in smart decision making, and to identify and reach target markets.

Smart Energy Council Membership is fantastic value for money with lots of opportunity to leverage the Brand, the expertise, our print publication through Solar and Storage magazine and online marketing.

Scott is an experienced sales professional at all levels of business, from small business owners to global corporations with multiple levels of sponsorship and budgets from all over the globe, boardroom to back office.


Sona Swindley, Senior Events Manager

Sona Swindley ImageSona is an event management and marketing professional who has worked in the industry for over 20 years and brings with her a wealth of knowledge and experience in all areas. She has managed a diverse range of events both in Australia and internationally.

Some of the large scale city events in which she has been involved include The Annual Meetings of the Boards of Governors of the World Bank Group (WBG) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF)  (approximately 15000 delegates), Asian Games ( approximately 15000 visitors and participants), World Youth Day (400,000 visitors).

Recently Sona has been working with associations & organisations in the marine, legal, education, research, science, medical and government specialising in the strategic direction and management of their national conferences and events; focussing on their marketing, content and profitability and overall project management. Leveraging her qualifications and experience, she has started teaching event management in the vocational and higher education sector and incorporates best practices into her everyday work.

Being a mother of two young children, Sona is passionate about making this a cleaner and better world for her girls and is committed to working with our members and partners in achieving their objectives through targeted events.

Sona looks forward to hearing from you at with any ideas you may have with regards to events that will benefit the industry.


Carlos Martinez Nunez, Project Support

Carlos Martinez Nunez

Carlos Martine-Nunez joined the team in February 2018 in the role of Project Support Officer. He has a personal passion for renewable energy and a true appreciate and understanding of its role in achieving a sustainable future.

Carlos has brought not only his passion for the industry but a wealth of business expertise with him, from client relations, project management and systems and procedure development to merchandising, marketing, sales and business development.

He has developed these skills and expertise through his work at multinational organisations such as Intel Corp. and smaller organisations such as the University of Canberra and VisAustralia, a local immigration firm.

Additionally to his work in a variety of industries, Carlos completed his Bachelor in International Business, Minoring in Computer Science in the USA, and his Masters in International Business at the University of Canberra.


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