- The big idea
William BourkePresident and Secretary, Sustainable Australia
William is the founder of Sustainable Australia (est. 2010).
In 2009, after hearing Kevin Rudd declare his support for "a big Australia" population of 40 million - and being shocked to discover that the Liberal and Greens parties also support very high immigration and rapid population growth - he decided it was time to get involved in politics and start a new mainstream political party.
William has completed a bachelor of business (accounting and finance) and master of business (marketing). He has extensive business experience including as a partner in a marketing small business for over 10 years, and previous experience in accounting and government communications. He has travelled widely including in Asia, North America and Europe, and lived in a number of places in Australia including Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra and North Queensland.
William believes that rapid population growth is causing or exacerbating most of our local, national and global problems. He is equally concerned about economic, environmental and social issues. Particular concerns include the decline of Australian manufacturing and economic diversity, the destruction of our natural and built environments, and the housing affordability crisis locking many out of the great Australian dream.
William enjoys nature, bushwalking, beaches, running and travelling. He grew up on the urban fringe with bushland as his extended backyard and weekend recreation. He wants to ensure that we fulfil our primary moral responsibility to pass on an economically, environmentally and socially sustainable Australia to our children and grandchildren.
Catherine Caruana-McManusDirector, Meshed IoT Integrators
Catherine is a global expert in smart cities and has over 25 year’s experience across the infrastructure, Telco and IT sectors and is one of Australia’s leading thinkers and innovators in big data and smart cities. Catherine is also the Chairperson of the IoT Alliance Australia Sectoral Engagement Work Stream and is responsible for client and industry engagement for Meshed.
Prior to joining Meshed, Catherine was the Director of IBM’s Smarter Cities ANZ and has held other executive positions for PMP Limited, Telstra and MC2 Consulting.
Catherine holds university qualifications in Urban Planning, Economics, Management and Finance.
Fang Chen PhDGroup Leader, Enterprise Analytics DATA61, CSIRO
In the digital era, big data analytics helps industries to harness the power of data - more efficient operations, more cost savings, higher profits and happier customers. It has the capability to rapidly revolutionise traditional solutions and ways of thinking in the industry, provided that it can be followed up with real world applications and impact. To this end, I enjoy being a data chief with international reputation and industrial recognition. I have created many innovative solutions with great impact, transforming industries that utilise data science, machine learning and all relevant disruptive technologies.
I hold track record in science and engineering with more than 250 refereed publications and have filed more than 30 patents, in 8 countries and regions including Australia, US, Canada, Europe, Japan, Korea, Mexico and China. I received "Brian Shackle Award" in 2017 is in recognition of the most outstanding contribution with international impact in the field of human interaction with, and human use of, computers and information technology. I am a conjoint professor with the University of New South Wales, an adjunct professor with the University of Sydney and Beijing Jiaotong University.
My work is also more in providing practical solutions of tremendous impact utilising cutting edge science and engineering discoveries. I have been leading many taskforces of national and international scale and impact, helping industries by making better use of data they have, increasing productivity and innovation through business intelligence – streamlining industries and government systems especially in utilities and transport sectors.
Philip DaviesChief Executive Officer, Infrastructure Australia
Philip Davies is an experienced infrastructure executive who has had over 25 years shaping policy, delivering nationally significant infrastructure projects, and leading reform within the infrastructure sector.
Before joining Infrastructure Australia as CEO, Philip led AECOM's Infrastructure Advisory business in Asia Pacific providing government and private sector clients with infrastructure policy, strategy, business, program, planning and operations advice.
Whilst Director of Operations for Transport for London, Philip developed a long term vision for proactive, long term integrated transport management in London, including the development of the London Transport Command and Control Centre. He also played a key role in the introduction of Congestion Charging into central London and the transport bid and delivery programme for the 2012 Olympic Games.
Philip is a Chartered Professional Engineer, a Fellow of Engineers Australia and a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
Emma de JagerExecutive Officer, Planning Institute of Australia
Emma is currently the Executive Officer of Western Australia & South Australia at the Planning Institute Australia and is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the Western Australian and South Australian divisions. Emma is a Registered Planner and has worked for government and as a consultant planner.
Richard DennissExecutive Director, The Australia Institute
An economist by training, Richard has worked for the past 20 years in a variety of policy and political roles. In recent years he has been at the forefront of the national policy debates surrounding climate change policy and the Australian mining boom. He is an Adjunct Associate Professor at the Crawford School of Economics and Government at the Australian National University.
Prior to taking up his current position Richard was the Strategy Adviser to the Leader of the Australian Greens, Senator Bob Brown, was Chief of Staff to the then Leader of the Australian Democrats, Senator Natasha Stott Despoja, and held teaching and research jobs at Australian universities.
He has been appointed to a number of government advisory bodies, including the current review of Australia's retirement income system. He is known for his ability to translate economics issues into everyday language. Richard has published extensively in academic journals, has a fortnightly column in The Canberra Times and Australian Financial Review and was the co-author of the best selling Affluenza (with Dr Clive Hamilton) and An Introduction to Australian Public Policy: Theory and Practice (with Dr Sarah Maddison).
Hussein DiaProgram Leader, Swinburne University of Technology
Dr Hussein Dia is a Civil Engineer with three decades of experience in Intelligent Transport Systems and transport modelling. He has worked extensively in academia and has strong collaboration with both the public and private sectors, including strong engagement with industry research. His research interests are in smart infrastructure systems and the convergence of technology, infrastructure and human elements in urban environments. His current work is focused on disruptive mobility and harnessing digital innovations to unlock potential opportunities for sustainable mobility in tomorrow's smart cities. His current research projects include investigations of how autonomous vehicles, Blockchain, Internet of Things and the sharing economy are set to transform mobility in the world's large and fast growing cities. His standing in this field is demonstrated by more than 100 publications including a book on Intelligent Transport Systems published in 2014. His most recent book, Low Carbon Mobility for Future Cities, was published in 2017.
Hussein is a Chartered Professional Engineer, Fellow of the American Society of Civil Engineers, Fellow of Engineers Australia, and Fellow of the Institute of Transportation Engineers. He currently serves as Senior Editor for the international journal IEEE Transactions on Intelligent Transport Systems.
Gordon FalconerGlobal Director, Smart Cities, Schneider Electric & AVEVA
Gordon is a city developer, a chartered surveyor, and a smart city consultant. In his current role as Global Director of Smart Cities in Schneider Electric (partner of AVEVA), Gordon is a global thought leader in the cities, technology clusters, and property & infrastructure development space.
Before taking his current position, Gordon worked at Cisco in Singapore as the Director of Urban Innovation and Head of Strategy & Real Estate at Masdar City, Abu Dhabi. Throughout his professional career, Gordon has worked with various governments, NGO’s, the UN, World Bank and the European Commission. He is also a current Advisory Board member on various global city programmes such as the University College London, Azcende Venture Capital and other Singapore government agencies, as well as a member of the Australian Property Institute and the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors.
Paul FoxManaging Director, Corran Toohil Capital
Paul Fox has worked as an investor, strategist, business builder, and technologist. He is currently focused on helping boards and executives to capitalise on business model and technology disruption. He has been fortunate to have direct experience in multiple industry sectors which are now converging.
He was instrumental in creating the New Energy business at AGL Energy Limited, where he introduced lean product management, made several technology investments, and supported the rapid deployment of new products including zero-down solar, home batteries, smart air conditioners, virtual power plants and blockchain enabled P2P trading.
He is also a venture capitalist at the California Clean Energy Fund (CalCEF) and spent 14 years working in Silicon Valley. In 2009 Paul was selected to join the prestigious Kauffman Fellows Program, which identifies, develops and networks the next generation of global leaders in venture capital.
Paul was also founding CEO of SC Power Systems, a smart grid company using superconductor technology from Australia. In other roles, Paul was a vice president at electronics manufacturer Flex; the CEO of a fuel cell company; built the first mobile phones in Hungary; was a strategy consultant in telecoms, financial services and infrastructure; and was national operations manager for one of Australia’s largest construction organizations.
Jed HornerPolicy Manager, Standards Australia
Dr Jed Horner is Policy Manager for Standards Australia, where he leads portfolio work on digital and built infrastructure and social policy. Prior to joining Standards Australia, Jed worked for the NSW Government on digital transformation and innovation policy, as well as a range of NGOs, and held advisory positions with the New Zealand Government. In 2013, he was involved in one of the most significant overhauls to anti-discrimination law reform in Australia’s recent history. He is an advocate for using targets, and Standards, to enable competition, ensure social impact and drive public value.
Philip JohnsonCFO & General Manager, Corporate and Commercial, South East Water
Phil leads the Future Water Strategy group, which oversees the planning and performance, strategy and innovation, liveable and sustainable futures, service futures and digital utility program functions of the business. He is also a director of iota Services, a wholly-owned subsidiary of South East Water. Previously, Phil was Group Manager, Commercial and Technical Services for Utility Services, an alliance formed between South East Water, Thiess and Siemens to deliver the corporation’s operations, maintenance and capital works program. He was also a member of the alliance governance board. Prior roles include other senior commercial positions within the utilities industry. Phil joined South East Water in 1995.
Chris JohnsonChief Executive Officer, Urban Taskforce Australia
Chris Johnson is the CEO of Urban Taskforce Australia, an organisation that represents the property industry. In this role Chris has produced research papers on the structure of local government in NSW and publications on the future of our cities. He worked closely with local government as Executive Director in the NSW Department of Planning in developing the Housing Code, plans for regional cities and urban renewal generally. Before this he was NSW Government Architect for 10 years, a member of the Central Sydney Planning Committee, the Heritage Council of NSW and many government committees. Chris has written or edited over a dozen books on urban planning, architecture and cities. He has been adjunct professor at 3 Sydney universities and was made a Member of the Order of Australia in 2012.
Nick KoukoulasChief Executive Officer, Austroads
Nick was most recently Managing Director of BSI Group for Australia and New Zealand. The global British Standards Institution delivers standards-based solutions to help organisations improve their quality and performance, reduce their risk and achieve certification. Nick is an experienced Board Member and Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. He has had roles as a senior executive for national and multi-national market leaders in professional services, standards development, registered training organisations, maritime fire and safety, and importation and wholesale distribution.
Pascal LabouzeExecutive Director of Operational Systems, Transport for NSW
For more than 20 years, Pascal Labouze has held various transport industry roles designing, developing and deploying complex systems.
As the current, Executive Director of Operational Systems in Transport for NSW, Pascal is responsible for the definition, delivery and management of multi-modal projects including roads, rail, light rail and ferries. He leads the vision to build more integrated systems to enable a more integrated transport network.
Pascal started his career with Alstom delivering Train Control Systems in Egypt. Next he held various positions with Thales in France where and was responsible for providing Integrated Fare Systems to Transport Operators throughout Asia, Europe, the Middle East and South America. After he delivered the worldwide project he then worked for Thales in Australia and was accountable for bids and programs in the Thales’ Air Traffic Management Systems business.
Pascal’s family made the executive decision to call Australia home and they all became Australian citizens. Pascal joined Sydney Trains leading its Operational Technology teams and made his first significant contribution to the NSW Transport System. He soon identified significant efficiency and safety improvements through greater use of Technology.
Throughout his career, Pascal has developed a proficiency in large-scale program management. He has an acute understanding of commercial or political stakes and an exceptional ability to negotiate win-win outcomes. His accomplishments range from delivering an e-ticketing system across the Netherlands to successfully negotiating the contract to refurbish Air Surveillance in the Philippines.
Pascal has an Engineering degree from the leading French Aeronautics University and a Masters in Management from EM Lyon. He lives in Sydney’s North with his wife and two sons, enjoys playing a game of tennis and tasting not only French but also Australian wines – magnifique!
Margaret Makeham-KirchnerDirector, Infrastructure and Project Financing Agency
Margaret has more than 20 years’ experience working for the Commonwealth and state governments in building, planning, and industry regulation; competition policy; investment decision-making; and government and constitutional law. Margaret is IPFA’s Director, Environment, Energy and Water, providing commercial and financial advice on a range of potential investments including Snowy 2.0 and Port Augusta Concentrated Solar Thermal.
Annie MansonManager - Planning & Policy, Urban Taskforce Australia
Annie Manson is the Manager of Policy & Government Relations at the Urban Taskforce, an organisation which represents property developers and equity financiers. In this role Annie advocates for and develops policies and approaches which promote efficient planning and environment laws, quality urban design, increased economic activity and improved quality of life in urban communities. Prior to this, Annie was a Specialist Adviser to the Director General of the Department of Planning, worked in portfolio management for the Land and Housing Corporation which has the largest social housing portfolio in Australia, infrastructure planning at the Sydney Water Corporation, and overseas as a project manager for architecture firms in Vancouver, Canada. She has a Bachelor of Environment Management, a Master of Town Planning and is completing a Master of Business Administration.
Cynthia MitchellDeputy Director and Professor of Sustainability, Institute of Sustainable Futures
Professor Cynthia Mitchell is a leading researcher and thinker with broad experience in future-oriented city and water planning, policy and assessment at the Institute for Sustainable Futures.
She brings together insights from different disciplines to improve water supply and sanitation systems in developed and developing countries.
Prof. Mitchell uses systems thinking to analyse how the parts of these systems interrelate over time within the context of larger systems, and she uses transformational learning to facilitate the changes in beliefs and behaviours needed for systemic change.
In developing countries, her research focuses on moving away from preconceived ideas to find what existing or new technologies and more importantly, institutional/financial/economic arrangements, will deliver the desired outcomes in both the short and long term.
Prof. Mitchell provides high-level advice to State government ministers as a member of the Independent Water Advisory Panel in NSW that provides strategic and technical advice on urban water planning for the lower Hunter and greater Sydney and the Independent Review Panel which provides advice on the water security program for South East Queensland (SEQ). She is Deputy Chair of the SEQ IRP reporting to their Board. She is Chairperson of Foodswell, a charitable organization offering programs to enable Indigenous and non-Indigenous people to work together to better access sustainable, regular, healthy food now and in the future.
Prof. Mitchell is widely respected within Australia and internationally and her research has won many awards from industry, government and academia.
Prof. Mitchell was elected a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering (ATSE) in 2012 and she received an Honorary Doctorate from Chalmers University in Sweden in 2007 for her interdisciplinary work for the environment. She holds a Diploma of Business (Governance) and was nominated as one of the Australian Financial Review’s 100 ‘Women of Influence’ in 2015 for her contributions to public policy.
Prof. Mitchell is applying her ‘better not bigger’ thinking at home where she has used her practical knowledge of environmentally, socially, and economically sustainable home design to renovate and ensure her 110-year-old cottage in Sydney’s inner west will not only last but also be beautifully comfortable to live in for another 110 years.
Simon MorganDirector - Government & Communications, Australian Logistics Council
ALC is the peak national body representing the major and national companies participating in the Australian logistics industry, with a focus on national supply chain efficiency and safety.
Throughout 2018, ALC’s continuing focus is on the development of the National Freight and Supply Chain Strategy, which was announced by the Prime Minister as part of his Annual Infrastructure Statement in November 2016 and is expected to be released towards the end of 2018.
ALC is committed to working with the freight logistics sector to ensure the Strategy is relevant to the needs of industry.
Prior to joining ALC, Simon was a political and policy advisor to a number of Federal MPs and Ministers, and was previously National Policy Advisor for the Facility Management Association of Australia.
Chris O’DellDirector of Housing and Population Insights, Department of Planning and Insights
Chris is an experienced executive with a career in the NSW Public Sector and private industry. Chris is the Director of Housing and Population in the NSW Department of Planning & Environment. He is focused on understanding how people adapt and live in an everchanging world. Chris specialises in building teams that are customer and delivery focused. He has a passion for creating compelling stories that influence policy using evidence and insights gained from data.
Pascal ParezDirector of SMART Infrastructure Facility, University of Wollongong
Senior Professor Pascal Perez is a world leader in participatory modelling of complex systems. He is the co-editor of ‘Complex Science for a Complex World – Exploring Human Ecosystems with Agents” (ANU-E-Press). Before joining the University of Wollongong, he has been a Team Leader at CSIRO and an Associate Professor at the Australian National University. Senior Professor Pascal Perez has 20 years experience working in South East Asia, Western Africa, Pacific Island Countries and Australia.
He is responsible for the management and delivery of all aspects of infrastructure modelling and simulation at the SMART Infrastructure Facility. As Director he is responsible for SMART’s academic governance and for establishing strategic scientific partnerships in Australia and beyond.
Dr Natalie PelhamExecutive Director, Innovation Research and Reform, Transport for NSW
Dr Natalie Pelham is the Executive Director, Innovation, Research and Reform Branch at Transport for NSW where she leads: transport data and analytics; trials of new and emerging technology such as automated vehicles, research into problems facing the transport network and opportunities to address them as well as developing strategies to support future transport such as mobility as a service, congestion and investment priorities for regional areas in coastal infrastructure.
She has been a member of several national Project Boards including for the establishment of national rail and heavy vehicle regulators. She has also led, on behalf of NSW, national reforms and key state initiatives. Throughout her career, Dr Pelham has led major policy reforms and organisational change as well as development of governance frameworks for new entities including the Independent Transport Safety & Reliability Regulator, the WestConnex Delivery Authority, Transport Heritage NSW as well as for the recently announced Smart Innovation Centre. Dr Pelham holds a PhD in public policy.
Lani RefitiCo-Founder and Chief Executive Officer, IoTsec
Lani is a long-time security professional, entrepreneur and business technologist. He was one of Australia's first CISSP's in 2002 and is a long-time contributor to Australian Information Security Association (AISA) formerly serving as Branch Chair and Advocacy Board Member. Lani sits on the advisory boards of Australian Cyber Security Network, Signature Media and recently Australia-Israel Chamber of Commerce, is a technical advisor for Channel 9 News Queensland and is a regular speaker at conferences on cybersecurity issues. Lani is a Director at PwC and is PwC's IoT Assurance Leader for Australia.
Natalie RensArtificial Intelligence Specialist, Office of the Queensland Chief Entrepreneur
Natalie has completed a PhD in Neuroscience and is now the Artificial Intelligence Specialist for the Office of the Queensland Chief Entrepreneur. In her current role, she works on developing strategies to advance Queensland by improving the adoption of AI. She is also co-founder of Brisbane.AI, a meetup group that runs AI events and training programmes. She is particularly passionate about democratising emerging technology to enable better solutions to be created for the world's problems.
Grant SmithGeneral Manager - Strategy & Architecture, Energy Queensland
Grant is the General Manager and Energy Queensland where he is responsible for the digital strategy, direction and offerings at EnergyQ. Prior to his position here, he spent over 10 years at Ericsson in various IT, network and service delivery roles. Grant now enjoys working with strategy and technology to improve the way we way we live our lives in a connected society.
Ryan TownsendManager of Digital Engineering BIM, Sydney Metro, Transport for NSW
Ryan's career in Digital Engineering Management spans across multiple industries Australia wide in both the private and public sectors. Since starting his journey by completing his formal studies with a Masters of Architecture at the University of New South Wales, Ryan has spearheaded the application of digital technologies & processes in the design and construction delivery of major Oil & Gas assets, Rail Infrastructure, Retail, Commercial and Residential developments. This diversified background has refined his capability to deliver multifaceted digital solutions throughout the project lifecycles, for employers including Laing O'Rourke, Woolworths, and Architectus, empowering stakeholders to achieve maximum value from their projects.
Ryan now leads the Digital Engineering delivery for Sydney Metro Norwest, City & Southwest, and Metro West for Transport for New South Wales and is striving to implement a lasting Digital Legacy for the Project and the people of Sydney.
Frank ZeichnerChief Executive Officer, IoTAA
As co-founder of the IoT Alliance Australia, Frank drove the establishment of the Alliance, enlisting and engaging stakeholders across a wide spectrum.
Frank has worked in the telecommunications industry, in Australia and overseas, for the last 33 years.
Frank is a member of the Knowledge Economy Institute, based at UTS, the Australian Computer Society Data Taskforce, runs the Digital Technology Advisory, Creator Tech, and is an active member of the board of Telsoc.