Who We Are


Sir Ninian Stephen KG AK GCMG GCVO KBE QC



Sir Ninian has been an active Patron of the Habitat Trust over many years.
He has regularly provided advice and counselling to the Facilitator/Coordinator and the Board and participated in important Habitat events. Following his time as Governor General of Australia he was Australian Ambassador for the Environment and then served on the International Court of Justice.


Ross Mellor OBE JP

Ross Mellor

Patron and Ambassador at Large

Ross was the founder and Facilitator/Coordinator of the Habitat Trust.

Ross Mellor is an Economic Geographer with long and wide experience and contacts in regional development in Australia, Papua New Guinea and other parts of the world.
He was awarded the OBE in 1972 for his work in regional communities. Ross continues to advance integrated social, economic and environmental goals as the strength of our communities.


Anna Mellor

Anna Mellor


Anna Mellor has had wide experience in the commercial world including logistics and later through operating her own retail business.

Anna Mellor has worked as the key research person in many projects undertaken by Ross Mellor and Associates and the Habitat Trust including the development of Williamstown as a historic seaport, the review of the art gallery systems in Victoria and major tourist projects in regional centres.



Allan Rodger

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Allan Rodger is Professor Emeritus, The University of Melbourne. From 1974 to 1996 he was Professor of Architecture in the Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning of the University of Melbourne.

He has pioneered two major interrelated issues: Self-Help Housing and Sustainable Settlement, co-convened three (local, national and international) conferences on Self-Help Housing and Earth Architecture, operated the Greenhouse Effect Programme of the International Union of Architects (UIA), established the Sustainable Development of the Built Environment: Road from Rio programme for the UIA, advised the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and drafted the Chicago Declaration of Interdependence for a Sustainable Future – the environmental manifesto of the architecture profession worldwide. He formed and led the winning team in the National Ideas Competition for Ecologically Sustainable Urban Development.

Consultancies on sustainability have been undertaken for leading universities, the United Nations, OECD and a number of Australia’s state and territory governments.

Allan is currently Chairman of the Board of the Habitat Trust. He was previously a Member of the Board of Banksia Environmental Foundation, Chairman of the Australian Club of Rome, and Foundation Board Member of the CERES project and Greenhouse Action Australia.


Ken King

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Director and Company Secretary

Mr King is a former Deputy Secretary with the Victorian Department of Sustainability and Environment. In the Department he held senior executive positions covering Forestry and Bushfire policy; Parks and Reserve Management; and Regional Service Delivery. He has had extensive experience in forestry, fire, fauna and flora management and operations in Victoria. He was employed in the Victorian public service since 1974 until his retirement in 2008. He also has experience in public administration; policy and strategy and governance. He was previously Regional Manager for the Department in South Gippsland, North West and Port Phillip Regions.

He was previously a Board Member of the Phillip Island Nature Park; the Country Fire Authority; and Parks Victoria.

He is a Board Member of the Metropolitan Fire and Emergency Service Board; the Bjarne K Dahl Trust; the Australian Research Centre for Urban Ecology; and the Natural Resources Conservation League.


Stan Cox

Stan Cox


Stan Cox has been associated with the Habitat Trust since 1990.

He was employed in the Victorian Public Service from 1961 until his retirement in 2000, with the exception of a brief period when he undertook laboratory work at the University of Melbourne Medical School and the CSIRO.

The Government Departments he worked for were State Rivers and Water Supply Commission, Youth Sport and Recreation, State Development and Regionalisation, Premiers, Welfare Services (including Prisons), State Trustees, Transport and Infrastructure.

Stan’s role in these agencies included research, finance and investment, general management and administration, legislation and property services.

He holds a Commerce degree from the University of Melbourne and completed management programs at the former Australian Administrative Staff College.

In his retirement Stan has undertaken a range of voluntary work including acting as Secretary to a number of retiree groups.

He has a particular interest in public policy, transport and population issues.


Fred Maddern OBE

Fred Maddern

Chairman – IWSi

Fred Maddern has had widespread community, local government and Public Service experience; an elected representative of Footscray City Council for twenty-four years including two terms as Mayor, he also served Local Government as President of the Local Government as President of the Municipal Association of Victoria and Australian Local Government Association.

Other achievements include:

He served as a Commissioner of the Melbourne Metropolitan Board of Works serving on the Sewerage and Planning committees over period spanning some twelve years.

A member of the State Government Local Government Boundaries Commission for three years as well representing Local Government as three Commonwealth Constitutional Conventions.

A founding member of the Melbourne Western Region Commission- a regional body of nine local authorities in Melbourne’s West- serving as President and later CEO.

A former director of the Local Authorities Superannuation Board, chairman of two national Not for Profit Organizations: CareConnect and WPC group.

He has served on numerous community organizations in Melbourne’s West receiving the OBE in 1981 for services to Local Government and the community.


Stephen Axford FRAIA



Stephen Axford trained as an architect in Western Australia and added a second degree in psychology, with a focus on behaviour in the urban environment.  More recently he has developed specialisations in urban design and in emerging digital technologies – both their application to the design process and their impacts on urban life.  

He has held held senior positions in both the Victorian State Government and in the private sector, and has carried out projects across Australia, and in the Middle East and China.
He is presently Director of AXOS Urban, a boutique urban design and strategic planning consultancy with offices in Melbourne and Dubai.  

Stephen acts as a special advisor to the board in the areas of digital communications and the potential for emerging technologies to contribute towards a more sustainable urban future.