Katherine McConnell

Council Member

Appointed by the Minister for Education.

Term expires 31 December 2025.

Katherine McConnell is the Founder, CEO and Chair of Brighte, a decarbonisation enablement platform that is on a mission to make sustainability affordable and accessible for everyone.

In 2018 and 2021 Katherine was named Australia’s Outstanding Fintech Leader of the Year, in 2019 she won the first ever Deloitte Tech Fast 50 Female Award, and in 2023 Katherine won the Sustainability Crusader Award at B&T's Women Leading Tech Awards, and was featured in The Australian’s top 100 Green Power Players. In 2020, Katherine received the Telstra Business Women’s Award for Medium and Large Businesses and the University of Wollongong Alumni Award for Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

Katherine is a Non Executive Board Member of the Australian Finance Industry Association (AFIA), and in 2022 she was appointed to the University of Wollongong Council by the NSW Government. She holds a Bachelor of Commerce and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Wollongong, and a Masters of Applied Finance from Macquarie University.

In 2020 Brighte became the sixth-fastest growing technology company in Australia, and one year later made its debut at number 10 on the LinkedIn Top 25 Startups list. Katherine has led all of Brighte’s capital raisings, raising total equity of over $145 million and debt totalling $575 million since 2016, including Australia’s first 100% Green ABS Bond issuance in October 2020.

Delivering on a promise to bring forward the benefits of clean energy for Australian households, businesses and communities, each year Brighte customers generate over 1,650 GWh of clean energy and prevents over 1 million metric tons of CO2 emissions. Brighte has so far enabled the generation of more than 800MW of clean energy, processed more than $1.6bn in finance applications, helping more than 130,000 households save on their energy bills and reduce their CO2 emissions.

Prior to setting up Brighte in 2015, Katherine spent 16 years in banking and financial services, including 14 at Macquarie Bank. Katherine also worked as an Economist in the Commonwealth Department of Finance and a Policy Analyst at the Federal Treasury. In her free time, Katherine enjoys spending time with her husband and their two boys at their off-grid farm in the Illawarra.

University Council Member