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Speakers | ACT Major Projects Conference 2013

Hon Gai Brodtmann
Federal Member

As the Member for Canberra, Gai will listen to you and advocate for:

  • A stable public service
  • A growing private sector
  • A thriving local economy, and
  • Continued improvement to our health and education services.

Gai has extensive experience in the public, private and community sectors.

Gai ran her own small business for ten years. Prior to that, she was a federal public servant, primarily with Foreign Affairs and Trade and Attorney-General’s.

Gai has served her country in India and worked on a range of international and domestic issues, from Indigenous youth development and climate change to defence capability and tax and foreign policy.

As a volunteer director on the Gift of Life and Our Wellness boards, Gai lifted the profile of organ donation and raised funds for better health services in Canberra. She is a former director and audit committee member of the Cultural Facilities Corporation and ACTTAB and a former director of the National Press Club.

Gai is a Fellow of the Public Relations Institute of Australia and a Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Gai has a Bachelor of Arts from the Australian National University, a Bachelor of Public Relations from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology and a Graduate Certificate in Business from Monash University.

Gai has tutored at the University of Canberra and studied North Asian perceptions of Australia’s strengths as a manufacturing nation as the 1989 Royce fellow.

Gai is married to Chris Uhlmann and lives in Canberra.

Mark A Sullivan
Managing Director

Mark Sullivan was appointed Managing Director of ACTEW in July 2008. He is a member of the ActewAGL Joint Venture Partnerships Board, the Australian Taxation Office Audit Committee and the John James Memorial Foundation Limited Board. Mr Sullivan is a Member of the Remuneration, Nominations and Safety and Environment Committees.

Mr Sullivan was Secretary of the Department of Veterans' Affairs (DVA) and President of the Repatriation Commission and Chair of the Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Commission (2004-2008), Secretary of the Department for Family and Community Services (2001-2004), Chief Executive Officer of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission (1999-2002), and Deputy Secretary of the Department of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs (1988-1999). He has extensive senior managerial experience in both the private and public service sectors including WANG Australia, SBS, the Department of Social Security and the Australian Taxation Office.

Mr Sullivan received an Australian Centenary Medal in 2001 and appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia in 2008.

John Miller
Executive Director
Master Builders Association

Currently working as Executive Director at the Master Builders Association of the ACT involves lobbying on behalf of the ACT building and construction industry, overseeing MBA’s Group Training company, which currently employs and trains approximately 250 apprentices in a variety of building and construction trades, liaising with several government department regarding planning and land issues, involvement on a variety of government committees and Task Forces and liaising with MBA’s 1200 members.

Also worked as Executive Director of the Canberra Business Council involvement included representation on a number of Task Forces including Economic Impacts, Environment, Business Regulatory, Tourism Arts and Sport, Innovation & Education, International Business and Planning.
Participated on the Council’s International Business Task Force which has responsibility for the ACT Exporters’ Network.

John was appointed as an Honorary Ambassador for Canberra to promote the economic development of the Territory and region.

Prof. Stephen Dovers
Director - Fenner School of Environment and Society
Australian National University

Professor Steve Dovers is Director of the Fenner School of Environment and Society, Australian National University, an ANU Public Policy Fellow, and Adjunct Professorial Fellow, Charles Darwin University. He undertakes research and teaching in environmental policy, disaster and climate adaptation policy and integrative research strategies, and has produced over two hundred research publications and supervised more than fifty PhD scholars in these and related areas.

His work includes the books Institutional change for sustainable development (with R Connor, 2004), Environmental and sustainability policy (2005) and The handbook of disaster and emergency policies and institutions (with J Handmer, 2007).

Kevin Arkwright
Ashurst Australia

Kevin Arkwright is a partner in the construction and infrastructure group in Sydney.

Kevin’s practice is in the area of contracts, particularly relating to infrastructure, engineering and construction projects. He advises on the negotiation, preparation and review of tender and contract documentation for private sector and government organisations. Kevin also advises on process management, the administration of contracts as well as operation and maintenance and consultancy services.

In recent years Kevin has been involved in over $40 billion worth of major infrastructure, PPP and other projects in all industry sectors – including road, rail, water, telecommunications, power, tourism, mining, building and industrial. He is rated in The Asia Pacific Legal 500 publication, Chambers Global and Best Lawyers Australia as one of Australia's leading individuals in the area of construction law.

Graham Read
Ashurst Australia

Graham Read is a partner in the construction and infrastructure group in Sydney and practice leader of the Australian construction group. A highly experienced construction lawyer, Graham acts for both public and private sector clients and has extensive experience in leading negotiations for infrastructure projects across all delivery methods.

Graham's recent experience includes acting for several key Commonwealth agencies in the tendering and delivery of major infrastructure projects nationwide, including in the Defence, aviation, power, biosecurity and arts sectors.

Prior to joining Ashurst, Graham was Corporate Counsel with the NSW Roads and Traffic Authority for 8 years. During this time, Graham played a key role in all phases of the organisation's major publicly and privately funded road and infrastructure projects, from planning and development through to tendering and negotiation, project administration and dispute resolution.

Stephen Byron
Managing Director
Canberra Airport

Stephen Byron has led the Capital Airport Group since the acquisition of Canberra Airport in 1998, by his father Terry Snow. Prior to this Stephen studied Commerce and Law at the Australian National University and was the development manager for the Capital Property Trust and Capital Property Corporation.

Damien Haas
ACT Light Rail

Damien Haas is a Senior Consultant with MFP Consulting, a Canberra based firm specialising in Business Process Analysis, Workplace Productivity and Change Management Advice catering primarily to the Commonwealth Government sector.

Damien has a BA in International Relations and qualifications in Project Management and Training and Assessment. He is also a qualified mediator.

Damien spent 18 years with the Australian intelligence community in various positions, before joining the Australian Communications and Media Authority in 2004.

At ACMA he assisted in the creation of a new auction methodology for wireless broadband spectrum in regional areas, conducted a policy review into ACMA’s Australia wide based network of interference collection stations and then became the Assistant Manager in the Policy and Research section of ACMA’s Spectrum Planning Branch.

He left in 2009 and joined MFP Consulting.

He has been a Public Transport lobbyist since he moved to Canberra and discovered a bus based pubic transport system in crisis, and a local government obsessed with road building.

He joined the ACT Light Rail Coalition in 2000 and became its Chair in 2004. He renamed it ACT Light Rail and increased its focus on evidence based lobbying and engaging in the political process. Through his efforts he has ensured that the light rail issue has remained on the agenda throughout the political cycle, not just in the lead up to ACT Assembly elections.

ACT Light Rail is the peak body in the Capital region lobbying for improved public transport. It has members from all political parties and many community organizations, with a common unifying goal – to lobby for light rail and improved public transport in Canberra.

With a strong interest in his community, Damien has also been the Vice President of the Belconnen Community Council and is currently on its Executive Committee.

Jon Sibley
Senior Manager - Climate Change, Energy and Sustainability Policy
ACT Government Environment and Sustainable Development Directorate

Jon has been working in the sustainable energy field since 2000 with experience in the Commonwealth government and with a national consulting firm. Jon currently manages the Climate Change, energy and Sustainability Policy section with the ACT Government Environment and Sustainable Development Directorate, with responsibility for renewable energy and energy efficiency policy, waste policy and energy market reform.

John Vida
Project Manager - Enlarged Cotter Dam, Bulk Water Alliance
John Holland Group (Abigroup)

John Vida is a Senior Project Manager with Abigroup Contractors, with over 20 years experience in the construction industry.

John commenced employment with Abigroup in 1994 on the Lyell Dam Upgrade project near Lithgow. Since then John has been involved in a variety of major road and water infrastructure projects, including the M2 Motorway, Albury Freeway and Hume Highway Southern Alliance.

John is currently Project Manager on the Enlarged Cotter Dam Project, which is part of a program of works being delivered for ACTEW by the Bulk Water Alliance.

Doug Tonge
ACT Transport Manager
SMEC Australia Pty Ltd

Doug is a senior Civil Engineer with 15 year’s experience in the transportation, urban and water markets. He has been responsible for project management and design leadership on various highway and road schemes, in addition to rail and airfield projects.
Doug came to Canberra in 2010 where he took on the leadership of the SMEC ACT Transport team that has subsequently delivered a number of road related feasibility studies and detailed designs on behalf of the ACT government.
As Project Manager of the Majura Parkway Doug utilised his experience on a number of major interstate projects to deliver the detailed design for the Parkway. This major project required the coordination and resolution of many engineering, planning, environmental and contractual issues to ensure its successful delivery.

Dr Therese Flapper
Business Group Manager – Water, Environment
GHD Pty Ltd

Dr Flapper is an expert in managing projects for urban water schemes across Australia in both the public and private sector. Her portfolio includes programs from a range of sources – stormwater, wastewater, drinking water, greywater, and recycled water, for a range of drivers – water security, climate change, regulatory compliance, and energy management.

Burak Dincel
Managing Director
Dincel Construction

Burak has been the Managing Director of Dincel & Associates Consulting Engineers since 1989 and Managing Director of Dincel Construction System Pty Ltd since 2002.

Burak has been a practicing structural engineer for over 35 years. Born in Turkey, Burak studied engineering at Ankara State Academy of Engineering & Architects before migrating to Australia in 1979 and completing a Masters of Engineering Science Degree at the University of New South Wales in 1987.

As a structural engineer, Burak has been responsible in the role of Senior Design Engineer, Project Director or Company Director for the design and implementation of many significant engineering projects in Australia.

Glenn Bain
Office of Coordinator General, Economic Development Directorate
ACT Government

Glenn has been working with the ACT Government since 2000.  His work has covered a broad range of policy fields including energy policy, revenue policy and five years as a senior executive in Treasury looking after budget management and analysis work across the main agencies responsible for infrastructure planning and delivery in the Territory, as well as oversight of financial performance and governance arrangements for the Territory’s government owned businesses. 

He now heads up the Office of the Coordinator-General within the Economic Development Directorate, where he is responsible for coordinating government responses to high value/high complexity investment/ development queries and proposals from the private sector; advising government on systemic changes to policy/practice that will improve the delivery of government priorities; undertaking cross-government coordination of complex delivery activities, and advising government on reduction in ‘red-tape’ that would improve business & investment in the ACT and effectiveness of the ACTPS.

Glenn has an electrical trade background, having established and run a small business in the electrical, data and communications field in Canberra, and has tertiary qualifications in public policy and law.

Rupert Posner
Chief Executive Officer
Good Environmental Choice Australia (GECA)

Rupert is the CEO of Good Environmental Choice Australia (GECA), an independent, not-for-profit organisation that runs the internationally recognised Environmental Choice Australia Ecolabelling Program. The GECA tick of approval is available to products that are certified as complying with its independently developed standards. Those standards are available in product categories that cover a wide range of more than 2000 products and some services including building materials, furniture and textiles, carpet, paint, cleaning products and paper products. GECA certified products can help those seeking accreditation under the Green Building Council’s Green Star program.

Rupert is a highly competent leader who for many years has been successful in influencing across the higher echelons of international government and business to drive significant change in the area of sustainability and climate change. He is a true advocate of sustainable solutions that are economically feasible and profitable.

Ben McHugh
Project Manager
Roads ACT

Ben Mchugh has been managing the development and delivery of Major Capital Works projects on behalf of the ACT Government for almost 4 years including the Gungahlin Drive Extension, Belconnen Town Centre Upgrade and the Monaro Highway Duplication. More recently Ben has been involved in the planning and management of the Roads ACT Capital Works program (value approximately $150m per annum). Ben has a background in Civil/Traffic Engineering working for a period in the consulting industry before joining the ACT Government.

Ben is currently the Project Manager for the Constitution Avenue Upgrade project ($42m) which provides a hi level of complexity due to the heritage values, location of the Avenue as well as the governance structure (ACT Government & Federal Government) surrounding the project.

Derek Lark
Executive Director
Industry Capability Network Limited (ICN)

Derek Lark is the Executive Director of ICN Limited based in Canberra. He has more than 30 years of experience as a senior executive and director for government-owned businesses. Derek’s management expertise covers a broad range of areas including business development, merger integration, change management, information technology, asset management, organisational development and communications. Derek is also a highly sought after independent facilitator specialising in strategic planning.

Before joining ICN, he spent a number of years within the utilities sector.

Derek is a Fellow of the Institute of Company Directors, a professional engineer and holds a Master of Business Administration.

Leonie McKeon
Managing Director
Chinese Language and Cultural Advice

Leonie McKeon is the founder and Managing Director of Chinese Language and Cultural Advice (CLCA). CLCA was formed in 1998 to provide Chinese cultural and language training, translation and interpretation services, and assistance with delegations to Australian business people doing business with, or seeking to do business with the Greater China Region.  After living in the Greater China Region for several years, her practical and hands-on experience provides a unique platform to help Australians understand Chinese language and culture.

While living abroad in local Chinese communities, Leonie learnt a fundamental concept about Chinese culture that ‘everything is negotiable’. Since that time she has continued to build her knowledge and understanding of negotiating and communicating within the Chinese cultural context.

Leonie is an experienced presenter giving her audiences practical information on how Chinese people think and communicate. Even though she specialises in delivering presentations on how to negotiate with Chinese people, these negotiating techniques are useful in any Australian business negotiation setting.

Adam Sevdalis
General Manager - Advisory

Adam Sevdalis has a dual role as the General Manager of Thinc’s national advisory business and of Thinc Health’s Victorian operations.  Both of these roles require Adam to lead and manage personnel, drive strategy development and create new business opportunities.

Adam’s decade in the corporate healthcare sector gives him wide-ranging expertise. He has spent many years formulating and executing strategy for corporate acquisition and organic growth, providing strategic advice and consulting with national healthcare organisations in the development of their sector strategic plans. Additionally, Adam has led the development and conceptual design of large-scale Comprehensive Primary Care Centres. He has extensive experience in the amalgamation of general practice and in the provision of advice regarding health industry integration. 

Darren Vaux
Corporate Advisory

Darren has over 25 years’ experience in property development, project management, business development, corporate strategy and entrepreneurship.  Darren was a founding partner of the Thinc Group and has developed a number of  award winning businesses and projects across a diverse range of platforms including property, maritime and internet start-ups. 

Darren’s core expertise is in strategic planning and integration of changing economic, demographic and technological frameworks which he applies to identifying trends, market opportunities and risks for projects and businesses.  Darren’s property development experience includes five star hotels, commercial office developments, maritime and marina developments, major retail, mixed use and residential developments.  Darren is recognised for his ability to distil future trends into economic opportunities  and risks for the benefit of his clients.  He also  holds a number of industry leadership positions at a state and national level and chairs a Government Advisory Council in NSW.

Kieran Fordham
Regional Manager - NSW & ACT

Kieran has over a decade’s experience in the construction industry. He’s successfully managed the design and construction of significant projects for private and public sector clients, working on commercial, industrial and PPP civic projects. He has expertise managing the delivery process, from conceptual planning/feasibility studies, through to construction documentation, project management and delivery, and he is known for the holistic approach he takes to project delivery. 

Kieran has a detailed knowledge of the preparation and review of construction programs and is adept at managing complex projects that require State and Local Government approvals and established funding expenditure targets. His ability to review and provide accurate forecasts is demonstrated by his involvement on both the Cleveland Youth Detention Centre and the Lotus Glen Prison. More recently, Kieran has been responsible for the review and preparation of contract documentation for the Australian Institute of Marine Science, Townsville.

Additionally, he recently completed the SKYCITY Casino Project as the principal’s representative and gained invaluable infrastructure experience in the construction of Darwin City Waterfront, North McKellar Estate and North Watson Estate.

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