Impact Leaders

Keynote Speaker

Petra Andren
Fiona Wood

2005 Australian of the Year Fiona Wood has been a burns surgeon and researcher for the past 20 years. In 2002, Dr Wood and her team worked day and night to care for badly burned victims of the Bali bombings. It was during this time that the ‘spray-on skin’ cell technology Dr Wood pioneered for use in treating burns victims grabbed international headlines. In recognition of her work with the Bali bombing victims Fiona was named a Member of the Order of Australia in 2003. That same year, the Australian Medical Association bestowed upon Fiona the Contribution to Medicine Award.

Fiona was named West Australian of the Year in 2004, as well as receiving nominations that same year as a National Living Treasure and Australian Citizen of the Year. Fiona was again named West Australian of the Year in 2005 and received the honour of being named Australian of the Year for 2005.

In 2005, Fiona, along with McComb Foundation co-founder Marie Stoner, won the Clunies Ross Award for their contribution to Medical Science in Australia. From 2005 to 2010, Fiona was voted Australia’s Most Trusted Person in the annual Reader’s Digest survey.

Fiona is currently Director of the Burns Service of Western Australia (BSWA). She is a Consultant Plastic Surgeon at Royal Perth Hospital and Princess Margaret Hospital for Children, Co-founder of the first skin cell laboratory in WA, Winthrop Professor in the School of Surgery at The University of Western Australia, and Co-founder and Chair, of the Fiona Wood Foundation (formerly The McComb Foundation).

Her unwavering dedication to burns survivors, as well as her commitment to improving and continually evolving the treatment of burn injury, has earned her a reputation as one of the world’s leading burn experts.

Impact Leaders

Petra Andren
Petra Andren

CEO, Cicada Innovations

Petra Andren is an accomplished and experienced international business executive, with strong stakeholder management, community and team building skills, as well as a passion for innovative technologies and a natural flair for spotting and acting on business opportunities.

Petra is currently the CEO of world leading deep technology business incubator Cicada Innovations. Cicada Innovations provides its equity portfolio of companies with strategic advice and guidance as they set strategy, validate their markets and execute on their business plans for commercialising new products and services. Cicada Innovations has worked with more than 100 advanced technology companies to raise over $150 million in private capital, build teams, access grants, develop new products, grow revenue and – for eight companies – has helped to sell or IPO their businesses.

Petra has worked extensively with high tech growth companies, facilitating the connections between them and the legal, financial and strategic resources that fuel their growth. Petra takes pride in being an expert super connector and strategist for the companies that she serves.

Rowan Brookes
Rowan Brookes

Director of Education, Monash University

Dr Rowan Brookes creates science education for 21st century graduates. Rowan has over a decade of experience in teaching undergraduate science and leading educational change initiatives in the higher education and not-for-profit sector. She is the Director of Education in Biology and Course Director for an advanced science degree, ‘Global Challenges’, at Monash University.

Her research focuses on employability skills in science education and leadership education. In addition to her academic publications, she has written for The Conversation, Huffington Post, Mamamia, Women’s Agenda and The Australian.

Rowan has a PhD and a BSc in Ecology and a BA in Anthropology and Religious Studies. She has also completed executive education at Harvard and Stanford in leadership and innovation.

In 2016 she was the winner of the Telstra Business Women’s Award (public service and academic).

Amanda Caples
Amanda Caples

Victoria’s Lead Scientist

Dr Amanda Caples BSc Hons PhD GAICD is Victoria’s Lead Scientist with broad experience in technology commercialisation (intellectual property management, licensing and joint ventures), public policy development and governance of public and private entities. Most recently as Deputy Secretary Sector Development and Programs, Amanda was responsible for the development of Future Industries strategic sector growth plans and for support of the Victorian science, innovation and entrepreneurial ecosystem. Amanda has delivered research-led health initiatives, regulatory and legislative scientific reforms and has established international collaborative technology alliances.

Charles Day
Charles Day

CEO, Office of Innovation and Science Australia

Dr Charles Day is the CEO of the Office of Innovation and Science Australia (OISA). Charles’ expertise is in innovation, business development, technology commercialisation, venture capital and startup creation. Most recently he was the Program Director for the Carlton Connect Initiative, an ambitious project to create Australia’s premier STEM innovation precinct anchored by the University of Melbourne.

As CEO, Charles leads the Office of Innovation and Science Australia and supports the Innovation and Science Australia (ISA) board’s implementation of long-term initiatives to boost innovation and science. ISA provides strategic, whole-of-government advice on all science, research and innovation matters. ISA’s current activities include providing guidance on the government’s $10.1 billion investment in 2016–17 in innovation, science and research through the National Innovation and Science Agenda, and shaping future innovation policy.

Charles Day
Michael Dean

CIO and Co-founder, AgFunder

Michael Dean is a co-founder of AgFunder and brings over 20 years of legal, business management and project development experience to the team. Michael oversees operations and all deal origination and execution on the AgFunder platform. Prior to starting AgFunder, Michael founded and operated SeedRock Africa Agriculture, an African agribusiness. He managed all development activities in West Africa including the implementation of farming operations, the construction of the company’s edible oil processing facility, the launch of the “Africa Gold” sunflower oil brand and the granting of official leaseholds to over 43,000 hectares of agricultural land. A qualified lawyer, Michael previously advised many of Australia’s largest development and investment corporations on the acquisition and development aspects of their property, agribusiness, resources, renewable energy, construction and associated investment activities. He has substantial experience of large-scale projects incorporating complex development and structuring issues. Michael holds a Bachelor of Laws degree and a Master of Laws degree from the University of Sydney.

John Dyson
John Dyson

Investment Principal, Starfish Ventures

John Dyson is one of the founders of Starfish Ventures and has played a crucial role in the establishment of the company. John has personally overseen and managed nearly 20 investments in a range of technologies and industries. John has achieved numerous exits for his portfolio companies including a NASDAQ listing, ASX listings and trade sales to local and overseas companies.

In May 1995, John was appointed General Manager (Australia) of JAFCO Investment (Asia Pacific), a Singapore based private equity manager. In this role John was responsible for establishing the Australian office, recruiting a team of investment professionals and overseeing investments into 24 companies totalling $95M invested and achieving 19 exits. Prior to joining JAFCO, John worked in the investment banking and stockbroking industries for Schroders, Nomura Securities, KPMG and ANZ McCaughan.

John is a passionate alpine skier and is a former Chairman of Mount Buller and Mount Stirling Alpine Resort Management Board, which oversees the management of Victoria’s largest alpine resort and was a member of the Committee providing advice to the Victorian Government regarding the ongoing strategy development of the Victorian Alpine Resorts. John is also a cotrustee of the Dyson Bequest, a $15M Charitable Foundation that provides grants to a range of social welfare, education and environmental causes.

John holds a Bachelor of Science from Monash University, a Graduate Diploma in Finance and Investment from Securities Institute of Australia, Masters of Business Administration from RMIT University and is a Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. John attended the Stanford University Executive Program in 2010. John is also the Chair of Swinburne Ventures Pty Ltd (the entity responsible for the commercialisation of technology for Swinburne University of Technology).

John has been an active participant in the venture capital industry. From 1997 to 2002, John was a Director of the Australian Venture Capital Association Limited, including Deputy Chairman in 1998 and Chairman in 1999; thereafter Victorian Convenor until 2006. John is currently a Director of Atmail, Audinate, Myriax, and Space-Time Research.

Charles Day
Elizabeth Eastland

General Manager, Strategy, Market Vision and Innovation, CSIRO

Dr Elizabeth Eastland is the General Manager, Strategy, Market Vision and Innovation at CSIRO. She guides CSIRO’s strategic direction, defines CSIRO’s national and global market roadmaps, and leads CSIRO’s Innovation and Entrepreneurial Program, which is aimed at developing a pipeline of new investable ventures.

Most recently she founded and headed up iAccelerate, raising $16.5M from the state government to build the iAccelerate Centre holding 280 entrepreneurs. She initiated several support programs for female entrepreneurs which culminated in 47% of the companies in iAccelerate having female cofounders. Prior to this she was the Vice President, Strategy and Business Development with the Optics Group, Alcatel HQ, Paris, and before this General Manager, Space & Strategic Marketing with Alcatel Australia.

Elizabeth has 30 years experience in innovation, research and development, technical management, business development, M&A and strategic planning, and during that time has held senior executive roles with CSIRO, UOW, Alcatel, Optus, Optus Vision, GEC Plessey and NorTel Australia and research roles at Bell Northern Research in Research Triangle Park, USA and Nun’s Island, Canada.

Elizabeth has a BA in Computer Science and Creative Writing, with Distinction from Concordia University, Montreal, and received her Executive MBA at the Australian Graduate School of Management, UNSW, winning both the Alumni Scholarship and Alumni Prize. She has been the recipient of a number of awards including being Alcatel Corporate Executive in 2001 and 2002, Top 100 business women in Australia, Business Class Magazine, Dec/Jan 1999, recipient of the AGSM Alumni Prize in 1999 and the AGSM Alumni Scholarship 1998 from UNSW. In 2012 she was named one of Australia’s 100 most influential women by AFR/Westpac.

Marguerite Evans-Galea
Marguerite Evans-Galea

Executive Director, Industry Mentoring Network in STEM

Dr Marguerite Evans-Galea is the inaugural Executive Director of IMNIS with the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering (ATSE). She liaises with University and industry leaders around Australia to coordinate and oversee the national roll-out of multiple IMNIS programs (MedTech-Pharma, Energy Resources and Minerals Resources). With a PhD in molecular biology and over 15 years of experience leading translational medical research programs at world-leading organisations in the United States and Australia, Marguerite’s research and leadership has been internationally recognised with numerous awards. Marguerite has chaired executive committees and served with advisory groups in state and federal governments. Strongly committed to empowering early-mid career researchers, she regularly mentors students, postdoctoral fellows and faculty. Marguerite has developed graduate mentoring programs in the USA, was founding chair of the EMCR Forum with the Australian Academy of Science and currently leads the Australian Science and Innovation Forum with ATSE. An internationally recognised advocate for women in STEMM, she serves on the Science in Australia Gender Equity Expert Advisory Group and is co-founder of Women in STEMM Australia. Marguerite Evans-Galea has been recognised with an Australian Leadership Award and in 2017 was inducted into the Victorian Honour Roll of Women.

Geoff Gourley
Geoff Gourley

Founder, One10

Geoff Gourley is a leading global social entrepreneur, impact investor, Non-Executive Director and Board Advisor. He is passionate about enabling purpose-driven business on a global scale. His latest ventures are One10 Group, a National Social Enterprise Accelerator supporting purpose-driven entrepreneurs and organisations that deliver impact; and ProcurHub, a disruptive and innovative, AI-enabled, data-driven procurement ecosystem. At the core, ProcurHub is the strategist, educator, connector, implementer and digital platform for modern procurement.

Geoff is an Innovation Mentor with CSIRO, assessing, judging and mentoring the flagship ON Accelerator and On Prime Programs that help commercialise technology and scientific based enterprises. For the last two years he has co-designed and co-delivered the Optus Future Makers Program where he assesses, judges and mentors organisations that use technology to support Vulnerable Youth.

Spark@Deakin is an internal Accelerator program at Deakin University that Geoff facilitates, mentors and judges. He also provides support and consultancy to their Social Entrepreneurship Program. Currently he is Founder of One10 Group, Co-Founder of a $100Million Impact Investment Fund, Co-Founder of ProcurHub, Board Advisor & Non-Executive Director at various companies, and immediate past Board Director of United Nations Association of Australia (VIC).

Geoff manages a portfolio of 15 purpose-driven companies and over the last 25 years has operated in the design, property & construction, environmental, clean energy and technology industries, developing, commercialising and managing numerous businesses.

Nicholas Gruen
Nicholas Gruen

CEO, Lateral Economics

Lateral Economics’ CEO, Nicholas Gruen, is a widely published policy economist, entrepreneur commentator. He has advised Cabinet Ministers, sat on Australia’s Productivity Commission and founded Lateral Economics and Peach Financial. He is Visiting Professor at Kings College London and Adjunct Professor at UTS. He chairs the Open Knowledge Foundation (Australian Chapter) and is Patron of the Australian Digital Alliance, which brings together Australia’s libraries, universities, and major providers of digital infrastructure such as Google and Yahoo and a member of the Council of the National Library of Australia. Nicholas was Chair of The Australian Centre for Social Innovation until 2016 and Chair of the Australian Government’s principal innovation advisory body Innovation Australia until 2014. He was second shareholder and Chairman of successful San Francisco based startup data analytics crowdsourcing platform Kaggle, recently acquired by Google. He is an Angel investor in various other Australian and international startups including Breezedocs, Slant.co, HealthKit and Lendable. He was a member of a review of Pharmaceutical patent extensions in 2013. In 2009 he chaired Australia’s internationally acclaimed Government 2.0 Taskforce. In 2008 he was a member of a major review into Australia’s Innovation System. He has a BA (Hons – First Class) in History (1981) and a PhD in Public Policy from the ANU (1998), and an LLB (Hons) from the University of Melbourne (1982).

Bronwyn Harch
Bronwyn Harch

Executive Director, Institute for Future Environments, QUT

Professor Bronwyn Harch is very passionate about delivering impact by generating knowledge, technology and practices that make our world more sustainable, secure and resilient. As Executive Director of Institute for Future Environments (IFE), Bronwyn leads transdisciplinary research efforts – where industry, government and the community co-develop with QUT researchers initiatives that address global challenges that build a strong Australia with a competitive economy.

Bronwyn sees the Institute as a catalyst for delivering innovation through transdisciplinary collaboration, nurturing the entrepreneurial spirit of researchers and inspiring the next generation to recognise STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) as being at the heart of the nation’s competitiveness.

Bronwyn is an applied statistician with 22 years experience undertaking research focused on the statistical design of landscape-scale sampling protocols and monitoring programs, as well as the statistical modelling of complex systems. Her research has mainly been applied at the nexus of agricultural and environmental systems. Bronwyn’s unique ability to lead research in “informatics”, as well as its adoption into numerous sectors of the economy, was recognised by her peers with her being elected as a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technological Science and Engineering (ATSE) in 2013 and her invitation to join the Board of Innovation and Science Australia in 2016.

Rose Hiscock
Rose Hiscock

Director, Science Gallery Melbourne

Rose Hiscock is the inaugural Director of Science Gallery Melbourne and passionate advocate for science engagement. She has held significant leadership roles including CEO Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences (Powerhouse Museum) and Executive Director Arts Development Australia Council for the Arts.

Rose is committed to building a vibrant, balanced and accessible arts sector. She is a Board member of Back to Back Theatre, Australia’s highly successful company with a full-time ensemble of actors considered to have an intellectual disability, and Chunky Move, one of Australia’s premier dance companies.

Rose Hiscock
Jo Hume

Venture Partner, Southern Cross Venture Partners

Jo Hume is a Masters degree qualified engineer with over 15 years commercial experience across the energy and sustainable development sectors. Prior to joining Southern Cross Venture Partners, Jo was with the CVC Renewable Energy Equity and CVC Sustainable Investments funds working at every stage of the investment journey: deal sourcing, investment, management and exit. She has also worked at senior levels at AGL, The NZ Business Council for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Energy Development Authority.

Rose Hiscock
Patrick Mooney

Chairman & Co-founder, Impact Tech Ventures

Patrick Mooney is Co-founder and Chairman of Impact Tech Ventures (ITV). ITV helps to solve major community challenges in the APAC region by accelerating the growth of technology companies with unique, scaleable solutions. ITV is working with some outstanding Australian companies in the clean energy, water and agtech, edutech, safety and health sectors.

Patrick has nearly 30 years of experience in technology commercialisation and international business development in the telecommunications, software, energy, education, professional services and impact technology sectors. He has founded three companies, been an angel investor in three and held global responsibilities for sales, marketing, partnering and strategy. He has held Board and advisory Board roles, provided funding or commercialisation support to more than 700 early stage companies and is a published author on venture capital and angel investing.

Lara Olsen
Lara Olsen

Regional Manager – Business Development, Tesla Energy, Asia Pacific

Lara Olsen is the Regional Manager – Business Development for Tesla Energy, Asia Pacific. Lara is responsible for developing and extending Tesla Energy’s commercial and grid scale storage business in Australia, New Zealand and the neighboring regional markets. Prior to this, Lara was Head of Strategy at CitiPower Powercor and Head of Strategy at the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA). She also spent more than 5 years founding and leading energy start ups – including being the CEO of Cool nrg and co-founding Billcap, and energy software as a service company. Lara has an MBA from INSEAD, a B.Eng/Arts from Melbourne University and Tokyo Institute of Technology and is a John Monash Scholar. She is a Director of the Clean Energy Council.

Con Panousis
Con Panousis

Director, Antibody Technologies, CSL limited

Con Panousis completed his PhD in Biochemistry at La Trobe University in 1997. With a keen interest in the development of recombinant antibodies he accepted post-doctoral research positions at the Austin Research Institute and the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research where his work focussed on the engineering and testing of recombinant antibodies as cancer therapeutics. In 2002, he joined CSL as a Project Leader and worked on a number of recombinant antibody projects. In 2004, he moved into the CSL Research Department and is currently Director of Antibody Technologies and Research Therapeutic Area Lead – Specialty Products. His group is responsible for the discovery and optimisation of therapeutic antibody and protein candidates for use in the prevention and/or treatment of serious human disease and have generated a number of lead candidates currently in human clinical trials. Con is an honorary Senior Research Fellow at the University of Melbourne.

Sarah Pearson
Sarah Pearson

Pro Vice-Chancellor, Industry Engagement & Innovation, University of Newcastle

Dr Sarah Pearson is the inaugural Pro Vice-Chancellor, Industry Engagement & Innovation at the University of Newcastle. In this role she works with the University, industry and the local innovation ecosystem to deliver economic and social impact through collaborative R&D, commercialisation and the growth of innovation hubs across the Hunter region.

Sarah has had an eclectic career spanning innovation ecosystem building, industrial innovation, academia, management consulting, government, and science communication. Her involvement in innovation started when working as a strategic management consultant at McKinsey & Co in Sydney, where she devised strategies for high tech industries and co-authored a book chapter on innovation. She then went on to develop and patent new methods for cancer diagnosis whilst a tenured Physics academic, attracting ARC and other grants for her research.

She later moved into industrial innovation, where she was the inaugural Open Innovation Champion at Cadbury and part of the leadership team at their long term R&D unit in the UK. Sarah has also spent time working in government, as Director of Science in the Office of the Chief Scientist, and later CEO of ANU Enterprise.

Her most recent past position was Founding CEO of CBR Innovation Network, an entity set up to transform the ACT economy through innovation & entrepreneurship – setting up an innovation hub with co-working, acceleration, incubation, and programs to build innovation capability and connectivity across the innovation ecosystem.

Sarah has held numerous Board positions; covering manufacturing, government, industry peak bodies, social innovation, angel investment and STEM support. These include Julie Bishop’s International Reference Group for DFAT’s InnovationXchange, Questacon Advisory Council, The Australian Centre for Social Innovation and ANSTO Nuclear Medicine. She has also been on a number of funding and selection panels, such as DAFF’s Rural R&D For Profit selection panel, ARC’s ITRH assessment panel, and the Rhodes Scholarship At Large selection panel.

Sarah has a DPhil from the University of Oxford in particle physics, and has published her research in the areas of particle physics, medical physics, artificial intelligence, innovation, and science policy. She has published extensively through the media of TV, radio, books, journals, magazines and newspapers, and is an author on eight international patents, for cancer diagnosis and novel confectionary. She is passionate about innovation (along the whole value chain), especially Open Innovation, and keen to support its uptake and growth in Australia.

Brigitte Smith
Brigitte Smith

Managing Director, GBS Ventures

Brigitte Smith has 20 years of experience in venture capital, business strategy and start-up company operations. She has been investing and managing investments for GBS’s $450m of life science specialised venture capital funds since 1998. Prior to founding GBS Brigitte worked in the US and Australia in operating roles with early stage technology based companies, and at Bain & Company as a strategic management consultant.

Brigitte has a B. Chem Eng (Honours) from the University of Melbourne, and as a Fulbright Scholar completed a MBA (Honours) from the Harvard Business School and a MALD from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, both in Boston, USA.

Elaine Stead
Elaine Stead

Head of Venture Capital, Blue Sky Private Equity

Elaine Stead is Head of Venture Capital within the Private Equity team and is responsible for the management of the Blue Sky Venture Capital fund and portfolio. Established in 2012, the venture capital division has expanded to bear its second fund, VC2014, and over $100 million in assets under management across a broad range of industry sectors.

Elaine has worked for a number of years as a venture capitalist and management consultant across Australia and the United States. Elaine has also worked in strategic management consulting, with both NASDAQ and ASX listed and private companies based in Australia and the US. Originally trained as a stem cell biologist, Elaine has since spent the last decade within the innovation and investment spectrum, initially in technology commercialisation assisting public institutions and founders translate and commercialise their technology across a broad range of industry sectors including agriculture, healthcare and IT.

Elaine has a strong academic foundation holding a PhD in biochemistry from the University of Adelaide. She is actively involved in Australia’s professional venture capital community, as a member of AVCAL’s venture capital stakeholder committee and as a member of the investment committee of ANUConnect Venture Capital, the Australian National University’s venture capital fund.

Melanie Thomson
Melanie Thomson

General Manager, Education, Skills and Events, MTPConnect

Dr Mel Thomson completed her Honours degree in microbiology and immunology at the University of Melbourne in 1998. She then immigrated to the UK where she worked on various projects as diverse as allergy and cancer before undertaking further studies. She completed a Masters of Research then a PhD in microbial genetic regulation in Neisseria species, both at University of York, UK. After the award of her PhD in 2009, she became interested the host-pathogen interactions at the Leeds Institute of Molecular Medicine, UK.

Melanie returned to Australia in 2011 to start her own research group at Deakin Medical School and the Geelong Centre for Emerging Infectious Diseases. A passionate science communicator, she has recently become a national ‘torch bearer’ for the concept of crowd funding academic research, with a track record of three successful ‘Pozible’ crowd funding campaigns, ‘Mighty Maggots’, ‘Hips 4 Hipsters’ and ‘No more Poo Taboo’. She is involved with advocacy as a steering committee member for Women in Science Australia. Melanie is very active on Twitter with over 10,000 people following her at @DrMel_T.

Melanie is currently the General Manager of Education, Skills and Events at MTPConnect, an independent, not-for-profit organisation championing a sector-led approach to accelerating the growth of Australia’s medical technology, biotechnology and pharmaceutical ecosystem.

Sarah Pearson
Sally-Ann Williams

Engineering Community & Outreach Manager, Google Australia

Sally-Ann Williams is the Engineering Community & Outreach Manager for Google Australia.
She is responsible for a broad portfolio of programs including leading Google’s efforts in Computer Science and STEM education & outreach (K-12), research collaborations with universities and entrepreneurship and startup engagement.

In her role leading Google’s CS/STEM education engagement she manages over 60 partnerships and programs designed to inspire students, equip teachers, and connect the community to the possibilities careers in CS can lead to. Most recently, this work has included national implementation strategies to support ACARA’s Digital Technology curriculum and help position Australia as a nation of innovators.

In her role with the startup community she manages partnerships and collaborates with co-working spaces, incubators and accelerators, universities and the public sector to build and grow the ecosystem.

Prior to joining Google 10 years ago, Sally-Ann worked at several Australian tertiary institutions in a range of academic and academic administration roles spanning executive education, public sector management, research and postgraduate degrees and tertiary management. A life long learner she holds an undergraduate and research masters degree and several other postgraduate qualifications. In 2016 Sally-Ann was a NSW Finalist in the Telstra Business Women of the Year Awards.

Michael Wilson
Michael Wilson

Senior Director Molecular Biology, CSL Limited

Michael Wilson heads up the Molecular Biology department at CSL Limited. Formerly at GSK, he is an experienced pharmaceutical professional who has successfully developed and led drug development project teams for a range of clinical indications including inflammatory conditions, airway disease and oncology. He has a strong interest in the drivers of the constantly evolving pharmaceutical sector.

Alex Wonhas
Alex Wonhas

Managing Director – Sustainable Industries (Energy, Resources and Manufacturing), Aurecon

Dr Alex Wonhas has recently joined Aurecon, a global engineering firm, as Global Managing Director for Energy, Resources and Manufacturing. Alex brings deep strategic and innovation expertise in the energy and resources sectors in Australia and globally.

Prior to Aurecon, Alex was Executive Director for Environment, Energy & Resources at CSIRO. At CSIRO, Alex initiated the Future Grid Forum and the Network Transformation Roadmap together with the Energy Networks Association (ENA). Both processes used deep stakeholder engagement across the whole Australian power sector grounded in technical and economic realities to shape the future of network businesses in Australia. Alex has also overseen the development and commercialisation of a number of transformative energy technologies ranging from grid-scale battery storage (eg www.ecoult.com) to digital energy optimisation approaches (eg www.buildingiq.com; ASX:BIQ).

Alex is a sought after adviser to government on energy matters. For example, he was a key member of the Federal Government’s expert panel of the 2012 and 2015 Energy White Papers and he was appointed to the Low Emissions Technology Roundtable, convened by the Minerals Council of Australia. Prior to CSIRO, Alex was a consultant at McKinsey & Company, where he led numerous projects for major Australian and international energy and resource companies. He is also one of the co-authors of McKinsey’s Australian Carbon Abatement Cost Curve.

Katherine Woodthorpe
Katherine Woodthorpe

Director, Capital Markets CRC

Dr Katherine Woodthorpe is an experienced non-executive director serving for nearly 20 years on the boards of a variety of organisations including listed entities, government boards and not-for-profits. She has a strong track record in a broad range of technology orientated industries including healthcare, mining and data analytics. She has been cited in various media as one of Australia’s most influential people in innovation.

She is currently on a range of boards including ASX-listed Sirtex and, the renewable energy agency ARENA. She Chairs two Cooperative Research Centres, as well as startup space Fishburners, and the new National Climate Science Advisory Committee.