Hiking at Porters Pass, Blue Mountains NSW on his 40th birthday.

In the paddock – A lively welcome to Jay Hender

Climate Friendly is happy to welcome Jay as our Head of Natural Capital. Based in the ACT, Jay brings a wealth of experience as well his passion for helping land managers and traditional custodians to benefit from good environmental stewardship practices.

Name:  Jay Hender

What people call me:  

Jay! 

Where were you brought up as a child? 

I’m from the Perth region with my early years split between the pretty heavily industrialised area of Rockingham and a modest hobby farm in the rural fringes of the area. Growing up on acreage was a highlight and kicked off my love of nature which has never disappeared. 

Who has been the most influential person in your life?  

I grew up in a tightly knit single parent family, and so my mum was a big influence. The one thing that stands out is that she believed that rather than fall unthinkingly into the “get a job, get a car, get a home loan” pathway, you need to be driven by what you love. Well, as a kid I fell in love with nature and so it’s no great surprise that my life has been dominated first by marine biology, and then developed to the point where today I aim to be helping Australian land managers and Traditional Custodians benefit from the Natural Capital value of good environmental stewardship. 

 Where do you live now and why?   

I live in Canberra all because of a chance meeting with Senator Wilson Tuckey on a palm fringed tropical beach in the Cocos Keeling Islands! At the time I was there managing a marine biology monitoring program, and the Senator was responsible for Australian External Territories. As we stood and chatted in our board shorts and t-shirts, I somehow ended up being asked if I was interested in helping with Australia’s negotiations on tuna fisheries. A few years later and I’m still in Canberra, after several roles including at recent position in the Clean Energy Regulator where I came across Climate Friendly. 

What is your passion and how did you get started on it?  

It’s always been the ocean, primarily, but that extends to nature and environment in general. It all started when I was growing up on acreage in WA, and has never left me. In fact I’m pretty excited at the prospect of trying out a bit of vanlife on the coast (covid permitting) to get my fix of salt, surf and spray.

How did you get into this type of work? 

I asked Skye if she had a job!

In all seriousness, when I was working at the CER I came across Skye and the Climate Friendly team. I was really impressed by the professionalism and genuine desire to advance the sector as a whole from Skye, Josh, Freddy, Michael and Climate Friendly more broadly. Recently I knew that I wanted to be involved on the industry side of accelerating the integration of Natural Capital principles into the carbon farming framework. Climate Friendly jumped out as the natural choice.  

If you weren’t answering these questions right now what would you rather be doing?  

Well, as we’re talking the ACT is due to enter lockdown in a few hours, so right now I’d love to be down the pub with some friends. 

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