Richard has an extensive background in commercial, retail and residential property investment and development. After completing a BA Commerce from the University of Sydney in 2002 he began his career in 2003 working for global listed property group Brookfield Multiplex. Since joining Capital Airport Group in 2009, Richard has had overall responsibility for the development of the non-aviation property business at Canberra Airport, as well as off-airport development, which includes close to 220,000m2 of office development and 65,000m2 of retail and bulky goods development as well as the Canberra City office and hotel development known as ‘Constitution Place’. Richard completed a Masters of Property Development at the University of Technology Sydney in 2008.
John has a strong background in transformational leadership, corporate governance, public sector accountability, urban and suburban development and delivery of housing solutions.
He has extensive practical experience with a range of management methodologies used for cost, schedule, feasibility and status reporting. His understanding of effective corporate governance and program delivery techniques with public sector accountability, was advanced while responsible for the delivery of Defence Housing Australia’s national land acquisition, development and construction program. From 2011 until recently, John was the General Manager of the Property Provisioning Group within Defence Housing Australia.
John has a passion for innovation. Prior to joining DHA John worked for Thales Australia where he was responsible for delivering a number of major, innovative, high profile, technology programs. John’s experience prior to joining Thales was predominantly in software engineering.
John holds a Bachelor of Science and a Bachelor of Economics from the Australian National University. He has also completed a Graduate Diploma in Applied Finance and Investment from Securities Institute Education and holds a Half Masters in Project Management from the University of South Australia.
Tara Cheyne is the Labor member for Ginninderra (covering most of Belconnen) in the ACT Legislative Assembly and Government Whip. Tara was elected to the Assembly in October 2016 aged 29 following a public service career in the federal Attorney-General’s Department and Department of Finance. Prior to being elected, Tara was active in her local community, including serving as Secretary of the Belconnen Arts Centre Board and Chair of the Belconnen Community Council. She was also well known for her popular blog In The Taratory promoting all things related to the Australian Capital Territory.
Meghan Oldfield is currently the Project Director for the implementation of Light Rail Stage 1 in Canberra, ACT. Prior to working in the ACT, has also implemented light rail projects for TriMet, the public transport agency for Portland Oregon, USA. She also served as an Executive Director at the South Australian Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure in Adelaide.
Meghan received her Bachelor of Environmental Engineering from Michigan Technological University, USA and her Masters of Civil and Environmental Engineering through the University of Maine, USA. She is a Registered Professional Engineer in the US.
Gavin brings over 24 years of extensive experience in development and project management and is the General Manager of Development for the Doma Group, leading a team that currently have a pipeline of 17 active development projects including two hotels, two office buildings and numerous mixed use and residential development projects both here in Canberra and interstate.
His depth of experience covers a broad base from site identification, acquisition, planning and procurement to design management, sales and marketing, feasibility analysis and project delivery. In the domain of mixed use development, in Canberra alone – Gavin has been involved in the inception of three Doma Group projects at the Kingston Foreshore, Doma Group’s Governor Place joint venture project in Barton, and the Dickson Interchange project comprising over 200 apartments and a 13,000m² pre-commitment for ACT government office. He also recently lead the successful bid to redevelop the Yarralumla Brickworks.
Gavin has been the Project Director on Doma Groups successful delivery of both new ATO developments in Albury and Gosford, and delivered the prestigious National Archives Preservation Facility in Mitchell ACT for the Australian Government to safeguard the nation’s cultural heritage for posterity. In his role as Project Director, Gavin is accustomed to ensuring stakeholder requirements and compliance with local and state government bodies. He has been Project Director on Doma Group’s last four Commonwealth pre-commitment projects. In doing so he has demonstrated that he understands project matters at all levels and provide compelling bids in competitive situations.
More recently he has led the development proposals which saw Doma Group secure 18 Honeysuckle Drive, 21 Honeysuckle Drive and 42 Honeysuckle Drive in Newcastle from the State Government in competitive tenders.
Gavin is outcomes focused, proactive and a collaborator. He epitomises the best qualities Doma Group brings to a development partnership with stakeholders. It is this clarity of purpose amongst Doma Group’s Development senior leadership team that makes Doma Group developments successful, expedient and elegant and one of Canberra’s oldest and most successful developers.
Adina Cirson is the ACT Executive Director and has extensive experience working in public policy and communications in Canberra for nearly 15 years. Adina worked federally for Senator Kate Lundy for four years before her move to the ACT Government in 2006, working for Chief Minister Jon Stanhope on affordable housing, climate change and water security policy. Following this role, Adina was senior communications consultant to ACTEW’s Water Security Major Projects, with a focus on community engagement and stakeholder management. Adina commenced work with ACT Chief Minister Katy Gallagher as her Director of Communications in 2011, and in 2014 was appointed Chief of Staff to the Minister for Planning, Land Management and Urban Renewal Mick Gentleman. Adina holds a Bachelor of Communications (Public Relations) Degree and is currently studying a Master of Juris Doctor (Postgraduate Law) at the University of Canberra.
Malcolm Snow is one of Australia’s leading urban designers acknowledged for the breadth of his place design and urban development experience as well as his advocacy for creating better cities. With qualifications in town planning and landscape architecture and a professional career spanning more than four decades, he has led major city revitalization programs throughout Australia, Asia and the United Kingdom both as a consultant and advisor to all spheres of government.
Malcolm has held high profile executive roles in both the private and public sector as well as Board directorships. Prior to becoming CEO of the City Renewal Authority he was a Director of international consulting firm Urbis. He is the former CEO of South Bank Corporation in Brisbane and was for a decade, the Head of Design for the City of Melbourne, one of the world’s most liveable cities.
Committed to raising public awareness of good design, Malcolm has been the Chair of several not-for-profit organizations including the Urban Design Alliance and the Place Leaders Association. He is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Landscape Architects and with others, has been recipient of more than thirty-six national and professional awards for design and management excellence including on four occasions Australia’s highest urban design accolade, the Australia Award for Urban Design.
As Adjunct Professor at two Australian universities (Canberra and QUT) Malcolm has contributed to the development of their post-graduate design programs and is a mentor for young planners and designers. He has authored numerous journal articles on urban design practice and is regularly invited to speak at industry conferences in Australia and internationally.
Some of the major urban renewal strategies that Malcolm has either led or played a significant advisory role include Fisherman’s Bend and Docklands 2 in Melbourne, Riverbank in Adelaide, South Bank in Brisbane and City Centre Revitalization Master Plans for Brisbane and Melbourne.
As an experienced development, construction, and property lawyer, Ben provides specialist advice to clients during the full life-cycle of a project, from structuring to completion. He has spent several years working with government, university, and private sector clients addressing emerging challenges or requiring innovative solutions to complex projects. Specifically, he has restructured and documented major precinct developments for the University of Wollongong, the Australian National University, the University of Canberra, and Ku-ring-gai.
He also specialises in construction, property, planning, and environmental law and drafting bespoke documentation.
Ben advised the University of Wollongong (UOW) in the delivery of its $500 million Health and Wellness Precinct, comprising aged care, retirement living, child care, community facilities, structured car park, office accommodation, and potential hotel. The scope of work included structuring, tendering, and documenting the transaction.
He also advised the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) in the delivery of its $200 million ANGAU Hospital redevelopment in Lae, Papua New Guinea. The scope of work included preparing RFT documentation and advising on and preparing a Contract Administrator Agreement and a Managing Contractor Agreement.
Harriet Elvin is Chief Executive Officer of the Cultural Facilities Corporation, a statutory enterprise of the ACT Government that runs major cultural venues in Canberra, including the Canberra Theatre Centre, the Canberra Museum and Gallery, and three historic places: Lanyon, Calthorpes’ House and Mugga-Mugga.
In this role, Harriet has led a number of major cultural infrastructure projects including the completion and commissioning of The Playhouse and of the Canberra Museum and Gallery; the implementation of the Civic Library and Link project; and the delivery of a major conservation project at the three historic places. A key focus of her current work is on planning towards a major new theatre for the Canberra region.
Harriet completed her first degree at Christ’s College, Cambridge, reading Classics and Law. Her further studies at the Australian National University led to postgraduate qualifications in International Law and Art History, together with a Master of Business Administration.
Harriet is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, and a Fellow of the Institute of Managers and Leaders, Australia and New Zealand. She is a Telstra ACT Businesswoman of the Year and was awarded a Centenary Medal for service to Australian society in business leadership. In 2017 Harriet was inducted into the ANU College of Business and Economics Alumni Hall of Fame, and she has since become a member of the External Advisory Board of the College.
Her professional interests include exploring how business management techniques can be applied to arts organisations, and how the arts sector can offer valuable lessons for the corporate world.
Rob Henry is the immediate-past ACT Chapter President of the Australian Institute of Architects and the immediate-past National President of the Emerging Architects and Graduates Network. He was a member of the inaugural National Gender Equity committee and the National Education committee.
Rob has been a passionate leader and a strong advocator for high quality design outcomes. His work with the Design Canberra Festival over the last four years, including the organisation of numerous building tours, open houses, and public speaker forums, has generated a greater understanding of the value of design by the local community. His advocacy work with local government has lead to the review of housing affordability and the development of demonstration projects.
Rob's dedication to education is evident in his ongoing involvement at the University of Canberra as a guest lecturer and tutor in design and sustainability.
Rob has a small residential architecture practice based in the ACT. His work has been awarded at the ACT Chapter Architecture Awards, including a 2016 Award for the Clerestory House addition, and the 2015 Malcolm Moir and Heather Sutherland Award for the Box House. Rob was awarded the 2014 ACT Emerging Architect of the Year Prize. Rob was the runner-up of the 2014 NEAT Housing competition for his entry “subMERGED”.
Professor Barbara Norman is the Foundation Chair of Urban and Regional Planning and Director of Canberra Urban and Regional Futures (CURF) at the University of Canberra. Professor Norman is Chair of the ACT Climate Change Council, an Honorary Professor at the University of Warwick and a Visiting Fellow at the Australian National University. Barbara is a Life Fellow and past national president of the Planning Institute of Australia and a Life Honorary Fellow of the Royal Town Planning Institute (UK). Barbara’s qualifications include a Bachelor of Town & Regional Planning, Masters of Environmental Law and a PhD on sustainable coastal planning. She also has a substantial professional background having worked at all levels of government and run her own practice. Her current research and teaching interests include sustainable cities and regions, coastal planning, climate change adaptation and urban governance. Barbara was a contributing author to IPCC 5 WG 2 report on Impacts 2014. Professor Norman advises the public and private sector in Australia and has strong international linkages within Asia, Europe and the United States. Barbara was awarded an Australian Centenary Medal for her contribution to the community through urban and regional planning.
Caroline Le Couteur is the ACT Greens Member for Murrumbidgee, elected in October 2016.
Caroline has spent her life making our community fairer and more sustainable. She was a founding director of Australian Ethical Investment, an ASX listed company that only invests in ethical and responsible companies. She has also been the Executive Director of the Australasian Centre for Corporate Responsibility, a not-for-profit organisation that fights to improve the sustainability of Australian businesses.
She was previously elected as Member for Molonglo in 2008, and her achievements included helping secure the ACT's greenhouse gas reduction target, improving consultation on local planning and strengthening animal welfare.
Caroline grew up in Canberra and studied economics at the Australian National University. She has lived in Canberra for most of her life, spending nearly 20 years in Woden where she now resides with her husband.
Bob Sharon is a passionate "Disruptor" with over 30 years of commercial experience in the I.T., data centres, sustainability, smart buildings and the IoT spaces. He is a recognized industry advisor and expert in IoT, Cyber Secure IoT, energy and infrastructure efficiency and integration. He is committed to innovation in the delivery of smart buildings, cities and facilities leveraging new financial models, technologies, the cloud and the IoT. He is the Chief Innovation Officer for Blue IoT & iHome Energy, and a member of the Executive Council of the IoTAA.
Bob is a NABERS assessor who has been privileged to have conducted the world's first NABERS (National Australian Built Environment Rating System) energy for Data Centre Infrastructure rating back in 2013 which was for Fujitsu. Bob was also the first to supply a firewall in Australia which was to the Australian government back in 1994, Checkpoint Firewall 1 ver 1.0.
Bob has been speaking at conferences for the last 10 years all over Australia, Singapore, Malaysia, and China. He is an eminently qualified data centre judge over the past 5 years judging in APAC, China and India. He was also a judge on the construction awards panel for the recently held Sydney Build 2018.
Michael was appointed Director of Regional Development Australia for the ACT in mid-July 2018. He has previously held positions with the Australian Airports Association; and senior positions with Federal and State Governments An economist by training, he has worked in the Not For Profit sector and as a management consultant for much of the last decade. He has wide experience international investment attraction in high technology, agriculture and services.
A recognized innovator, in conceiving and delivering business engagement approaches, Michael has received significant recognition and awards for his achievements in the skills development, innovation and policy-change spheres.
Adrian Piani is a Fellow of Engineers Australia and is Chair of the Environmental College where he contributes to the strategic future of the environmental engineering profession. He is also the Chair of the Canberra Business Chamber Planning and Infrastructure Taskforce. Adrian is a Canberra local and is passionate about its future. He is the leader of AECOM’s Canberra office.
Dr Paul Sernia is the Chief Product Officer and a co-Founder of Tritium – a designer and manufacturer of charging stations for electric vehicles. He has over 15 years’ experience working with technology focused businesses bringing new innovations to global markets and his professional background is in business and power electronics engineering. He is passionate about the future of electrified transportation and loves driving his electric car every day.
In his current role, Justin is responsible for delivering the ACT Healthy Waterways Project representing a total investment of $93.5 million in water quality infrastructure and improved water management across the ACT region. Justin has extensive experience in natural resource planning (with a primary focus on water) and administration across ACT and Commonwealth government.
Gay Williamson has held senior design positions in Local, State and Commonwealth Governments and has interspersed these sessions of public service working in private practice and teaching Landscape and Urban Design at Canberra University.
With a professional base in Landscape Architecture, Gay is concerned that planning, design and infrastructure solutions are systemic, concentrating on the relationships between elements, natural social and cultural processes. As time and the construct of inter-generational equity are critical, Gay emphasises the development of value based frameworks that will guide long term decision making.
Gay is pursuing her own research and opportunities for consulting, she is also the current President of the ACT Chapter of the Australian Institute of Landscape Architects.
*Speakers to be confirmed
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