Tony Arnel



Bachelor of Architecture


Geelong Waurn Ponds

Graduation year


Current position

Global Director, Sustainability, Norman Disney & Young
President, Energy Efficiency Council
Director, Forest and Wood Products Australia


One of the first students at Deakin, Tony is a leader in the international sustainable planning, design and efficiency debate, advocating for efficient buildings to reduce emissions without impacting economic growth. Tony is Global Director, Sustainability with international engineering company Norman Disney & Young and President of the Energy Efficiency Council.

Career path and highlights

Tony began his career with the Victorian State Government, followed by the City of Melbourne, and spent 12 years as the Victorian Building and Plumbing Industry Commissioner. He was a founding Director and Chair of the Green Building Council of Australia and Chair of the World Green Building Council.

Tony is the Deputy Chair of Deakin’s School of Engineering, a Sustainable Melbourne Fund Board member and a strategic council member of the Climate Institute.

He has received many awards and accolades throughout his career, including:

  • 2014 Chairman's Award from the World Green Building Council
  • 2011 Melbourne Award for Contribution to Sustainability
  • 2010 Australian Institute of Architects inaugural Leadership in Sustainability Award
  • 2008 Australian Financial Review True Leadership Award
  • 1997 Prime Minister’s Prize for Leadership in the Public Sector.

A conversation on sustainability

NDY TV talks to Tony Arnel

Highly accomplished leader and Deakin alumnus, Tony Arnel, talks about his role as global director of sustainability at Norman Disney & Young.

Q&A with Tony Arnel

What do you love most about what you do?

Being in the fortunate position with my various roles to develop and influence policy-making, leading to a more sustainable built environment. Whichever hat I am wearing, it is very satisfying to know that you are contributing to better building outcomes, which is all part of the bigger picture of combating climate change.

How did Deakin prepare you for your career?

Deakin architecture is a great choice as an undergraduate degree, as it equips you for a lifetime of opportunity. I often talk to young people about making university course choices and always say that an architecture degree can take you on a range of career journeys. Sustainable building is a passion of mine, which directly stems from my early days of understanding basic design theory at Deakin.

What have been some of your challenges and successes?

My proudest achievement was being the Chair of the World Green Building Council. At a time when the building sector was being challenged by political leaders worldwide, to take a quantum leap to new levels of green was a great gig.

Any words of wisdom?

One of the recipes for success is being able to harness and value the many ideas and the creativity that people bring to the table.