Minister for State Growth, Minister for Science and Technology, Leader of the House, Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, Minister for Small Business
Michael entered political life determined to make a real difference and improve the lives of Tasmanians. His vision is “for Tasmanians to be the happiest people, enjoying the best quality of life in Australia”. Everything he has done in public life whether in local, state or federal levels of government is so local families can get ahead and plan their future with confidence.
Michael grew up, studied and married in Northern Tasmania. As a youth he displayed a passion for community work and charitable causes. He achieved two degrees at UTAS, a Bachelor of Education and Bachelor of Applied Science, developed new interests in youth work, radio and politics, and started his own business before working as a high school teacher in 1996.
Michael taught maths, science and IT at state secondary schools and is very thankful to have worked with so many wonderful students and fellow teachers. His continued commitment to many community organisations, especially those serving young people, led to Michael being named Tasmanian Young Australian of the Year for 2002 by the National Australia Day Committee. That was also the year Michael was elected to the Meander Valley Council.
From 2004 to 2007 he served as Federal Member for Bass. In that role he worked on a number of parliamentary and policy committees, secured record funding for health, road, infrastructure and education facilities, and helped improve shipping between Tasmania and the Bass Strait islands. Michael proudly served the Clifford Craig Foundation as CEO, advancing its mission for world-class medical research in Northern Tasmania and encouraging more specialists to the LGH.
In 2010 he was elected as a member of the Tasmanian Parliament and served as a Shadow Minister for four years. He was returned in both 2014 and 2018 and was appointed Minister for Health, Minister for Science and Technology, Minister for Police, Fire and Emergency Management and Leader of the House
Michael strongly believes in the time-honoured values of hard work, self-discipline and personal integrity all underpinned by his Christian faith.
Kristie is a qualified criminologist and lawyer and was admitted to the bar in 2004 upon completion of the Graduate Certificate of Legal Practice. Kristie has an Arts/Law degree with a major in Public Policy and also a Post-Graduate Master Degree in Criminology and Corrections, where she studied and researched the inter-relationship between transport and crime in the municipality of Glenorchy.
Kristie was first elected to Council in 2011 as an alderman, and then in 2014 as Mayor. She has a particular interest and focus on governance, community engagement and participation. Kristie takes a hands on approach to volunteering in the community and continues to contribute to various community groups and events, ranging from sausage sizzles through to event coordination and governance advice. Kristie uses her professional advocacy skills to work with the community to achieve better outcomes for Glenorchy.
She lives in Montrose with her husband Ben and two young children, Harry and Lucy. Kristie enjoys spending time with her family, getting involved in her children's many sporting activities, dancing, crocheting and gardening.
Julian joined Hobart Airport in January 2019 and brings a diverse wealth of experience including commercial construction, infrastructure in the resources sector and aviation specific project management. Julian is responsible for the Airports asset management strategy and all capital investment, including the Terminal Expansion Project and the development of the commercial portfolio.
Most recently, Julian was the Senior Manager of Projects and Growth with the Downer Group company, VEC, based in Hobart. Prior to this, he provided project manager at Sydney Airport. He also spent multiple years in a senior management role with Global Infrastructure firm SNC Lavalin based in Western Australia and John Holland.
Julian is a member of the Australian Institute of Project Management and holds a diploma in Leadership and Management and is completing a Master’s degree in Business. He also holds a Certificate III and IV in electro-technology.
David is the Chief Operations Officer for UPC Renewables Australia. UPC Renewables Australia is focused on the development, construction and operation of large scale wind and solar PV projects in Australia.
David has been involved with the renewable energy sector for more than 25 years in development, design, construction, operations and asset management of renewable energy projects and remote area power systems.
Prior to joining UPC David has held key roles in the renewables industry most recently as the Technical Director for Renewables at SKM/Jacobs and prior to this as General Manager Construction for Roaring 40s responsible for Roaring 40s construction activities in China, India and Australia.
David holds a Bachelor of Mechanical and Electrical Engineering from the University of Tasmania and is a Fellow of the Institution of Engineers.
Mary Massina is and experienced business lobbyist, carving out a unique career across the political, public, private and community sectors.
With a deep understanding of state and federal politics, and a rare ability to develop and deliver practical policy, Mary has driven reforms which have helped lead the nation.
Mary has spearheaded some of Tasmania’s most successful campaigns – driving reform in planning, taxation, health, disability care and infrastructure funding.
Mary has developed and implemented ground-breaking policies, has successfully managed change within large and small teams and has provided strategic advice to governments and politicians – gaining her the respect of her colleagues at both the local and national levels.
A powerful public speaker and widely-respected media commentator, Mary sits on many boards and taskgroups. A committed relationship builder, Mary has a rare ability to combine policy and politics to deliver measurable results.
Mary was appointed interim CEO of the Macquarie Point Development Corporation in January 2017, and made permanent in July that same year.
Michael (Mike) Brewster is the inaugural Chief Executive Officer of TasWater, the state-wide water and sewerage provider in Tasmania.
Over the course of the last four and half years, TasWater has been on an extraordinary journey involving the merging of four corporations into one while addressing a range of challenges including scale and density disadvantages that are disproportionate to any other major urban water business in the country, aging non-compliant assets, significant public health and safety risks, rising operating costs as a result of compliance improvements and the building of an accelerated capital delivery program.
Despite these challenges, since formation TasWater has:
Mr Brewster has previously held executive roles in the Department of Treasury and Finance as CEO of the Tasmanian Electricity Supply Industry - Business Transition Group, Chief Operations Officer - Energy at Aurora Energy, CEO at AETV Power, General Manager (Consulting) at Hydro Tasmania and Joint Managing Director of SEMF Holdings Pty Ltd.
He is a Fellow of the Institute of Engineers, a past President of the Tasmanian Division of the Engineers Australia and a former Tasmanian Planning Commissioner. He holds a Masters of Technology in Project Management, a Bachelor of Technology (Electronics and Computing), and has undertaken The Executive Program at Darden Business School, University of Virginia.
John is chief executive officer of Tourism Tasmania, joining the organisation in January 2013. Since that time, John has led a team that has contributed to Tasmania becoming a leading destination brand in Australia and beyond. Under John’s leadership, Tasmania has continued to evolve its brand and positioning in the domestic and international marketplace to become a highly desirable travel destination. Tasmania has enjoyed strong growth in visitation and visitor value, exceeding visitor expenditure targets ahead of expectation. John is leading the next phase of Tasmania’s visitor economy evolution with a focus on driving yield, visitor dispersal and sustainability. Prior to joining Tourism Tasmania, John has had an extensive career in senior executive positions in the tourism sector in Australia, over 20 years, following a decade in the thoroughbred racing industry. Previous to his appointment at Tourism Tasmania, John was CEO at Tourism NT following senior appointments in his native Queensland. John’s contribution in the sector has extended to numerous board memberships and directorships including currently as chair of the T21 Steering Committee, overseeing Tasmania’s visitor economy strategy implementation and also as a director of Business Events Tasmania. John is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
Bess is the General Manager of Project Marinus at TasNetworks. With funding from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), and the Commonwealth and Tasmanian Governments, Project Marinus is progressing a second Bass Strait electricity and telecommunications interconnector between Tasmania and Victoria, ‘Marinus Link’. Marinus Link will help to deliver low-cost, reliable and secure, clean electricity to the National Electricity Market.
Bess has held leadership roles in the electricity network sector for over 15 years. She started her career at Sydney Water, working in a range of project, stakeholder and government relations roles.
Andrew Kneebone (Chief Executive Officer) was appointed CEO of Tasmanian Irrigation in May 2019 after six months as Acting CEO and 11 months as General Manager Water Delivery and Infrastructure.
He has more than 20 years of senior and executive management experience in the irrigation, urban water and electricity utility sectors spanning four states and territories.
Recent positions include CEO of Cradle Mountain Water and General Manager Commercial and Strategy of Territory Generation in Darwin.
Andrew holds an MBA from the University of Queensland and has extensive experience in finance, economic regulation, operational management, organisation development, leadership and change management.
Emily was born and raised on Tasmania’s north-west coast and studied Economics and Political Science at the University of Tasmania.
Emily is a Director in PwC’s Government Incentives Practice and works with organisations, ranging from SMEs to listed entities, NFPs and local government to advise on new investment decisions including accessing government incentives (grants and large-scale concessional loans). Emily has experience with a range of infrastructure projects across energy, mining, agri-business, transport/rail/ports and advanced manufacturing across Australia.
Prior to this role, Emily had a career in the Federal Public Service including working in the office of the Federal Minister for Industry and Innovation at Parliament House and roles in the Federal Department of Industry working on policies in support of the automotive industry and also in Department of Defence, working on policy around Australia’s military deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Brian Wightman is the Tasmanian Executive Director of the Property Council of Australia and former Attorney General for Tasmania. As Executive Director, Brian leads the Property Council’s policy development, advocacy and public affairs for the state. He also undertakes considerable stakeholder engagement, strategic planning and provides media commentary. Prior to this appointment, Brian ran a youth charity and; was a minister in the Tasmanian Labor government for four years, serving in justice, environment, parks and heritage, hospitality, sport and recreation and education portfolios. Brian also has experience in the education sector, working as a school principal before his political tenure. Brian holds a Masters Degree from the University of Tasmania and has interests in leadership, education, program and volunteer management, policy and community engagement.
Robert Mallett is currently the CEO of the Tasmanian Small Business Council (Tasmania's peak small business advocacy body), CEO of Hair & Beauty Tasmania (Tasmania's state-wide industry association specifically supporting the hair & beauty sector) and CEO of the National Independent Retailers Association.
His passion for the small business sector has spanned several decades as both a small business owner and a fierce advocate for small business owners both in Tasmania and throughout the nation.
Robert is a past Chair of COSBOA (the national small business peak organisation) and has held several positions on Small Business Ministerial advisory groups.
Stephen is the COO at TasPorts. As one of the company's most senior executives, Stephen provides executive leadership for the entire terminals and logistics portfolio. This includes infrastructure, operations, property, supply chain and marine operations.
His team ensures optimal asset lifecycle management, all aspects of project delivery and commercial returns from key infrastructure.
Stephen is committed to ensuring TasPorts delivers upon its vision to proudly connect people, products and solutions for the benefit of all Tasmanians.
Peter is the Director City Innovation at City of Hobart, Tasmania.
His portfolio covers strategy to execution responsibility for Hobart’s Smart City, Climate Change, Lighting, Energy, Parking and Security programs as well as operational management of the City’s technology, data and information assets and functions.
Peter is the current Chair of the Council of Capital City Lord Mayors Committee for Innovation and Connectivity, Chair of the Greater Hobart City Deal Smart Cities Working Group, Chair of City of Hobart’s Major Projects Committee, and a member of the Tasmanian Tourism and Information Centre board.
Prior to joining the City of Hobart in 2018 Peter enjoyed a rewarding career in the technology and media industries as an editor, business advisor, technology researcher, media producer and operational manager incorporating over 20-years as an international tech analyst with both US and Asia Pacific firms including Gartner (Meta Group), Forrester, and Longhaus.
Dr John Whittington is the CEO of Blue Economy CRC-Co Ltd.
John joins us from the Tasmanian Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment where he has been the Secretary (Chief Executive-equivalent) for more than five years. As the leader of that agency he has been responsible for a regionally dispersed workforce of approximately 1400 people with an annual expenditure in excess of $250 million, and management of $1.6 billion in assets.
John has led the sustainable planning and management of Tasmania’s wild fisheries, aquaculture, agriculture, animal welfare and biosecurity. He has also been the Director of Parks and Wildlife and the Director General of Lands, responsible for the conservation and management of Tasmania’s 3.2 million ha reserve estate.
John has a PhD in algal physiology from the University of Adelaide and has postdoctoral experience at universities in Australia and the USA, and with the CRC for Freshwater Ecology. He Has previously Chaired the Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture Advisory Board and was a Director of the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies, and through his career has led major research, development and extension programs and portfolios in fisheries, animal and plant health, and conservation science.
Mary is a Technical Executive in WSP’s Transport Advisory and Planning business, with over 20 years’ experience in successfully delivering a wide range of transport infrastructure and service programs in Australia and internationally. With dual qualifications in Civil Engineering and Urban Planning, she is a chartered Fellow of Engineers Australia and has expertise in place making, network management planning and strategic program assessment. She is currently delivering projects to support the Hobart Transport Vision.
Connected to both the private and public sector, Mary is cognisant of current policies and future-ready strategies in the urban environment and transport industry. She has written policy, strategy and research papers, and presents widely at conferences and industry events throughout Australia and internationally on city shaping and mobility themes.
Craig has worked in local government (6 years) and regional development (15 years), including the last 13 years as CEO and Director of Regional Development for the Regional Development Australia Tasmania Committee. Over this 21 year period, Craig has worked with communities to support their strategic development, economic growth and improving social capacity.
Craig has a Bachelor of Commerce (Marketing and International Business), Master of Business Management, is a graduate of the Tasmanian Leaders Program, and has also been awarded a Diploma for successfully completing the AICD Company Directors course.
Craig was an elected member with the Meander Valley Council for 9 years, including the last 7 as mayor, having stepped down in October 2018.
Craig has strong networks across Tasmania and a good understanding of the opportunities and challenges that community’s face. He is a board member of the Crimestoppers Tasmania and the Launceston Chamber of Commerce, is a member of the Rotary Club of Central Launceston and is an active Hockey player.
Lyndon is a leader in the field of remote and regional infrastructure development and deployment, policy and financing.
A chartered electrical engineer, Lyndon’s experience includes seven years in heavy industry and automotive manufacturing as a production manager, design engineer and project manager, and over a decade in the energy sector, with a focus on renewables. He has led advisory, engineering design and project delivery activities for clients across Australia, South-Asia, the Pacific and in Africa and provided critical input and leadership into some of the largest public and privately financed renewable energy projects and programs in Australia.
Lyndon is currently overseeing the construction of over $700 million of renewable construction projects including the $280 million Granville Harbour Wind Farm on Tasmania's remote West Coast.
Rebecca is a senior consultant and operations manager with Resonance Consulting, an award-winning management advisory, infrastructure planning and project management firm based in Tasmania. Resonance works in water, waste, health, education and community infrastructure, with clients including GBEs, utilities, local government, state government and non-government entities. Our passion is clearly defining problems and making a case for change before leaping to solutions, and making sure projects deliver real and measurable benefits, aligned with strategy.
Rebecca is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Project Management, Certified Practising Project Manager, Certified Change Management Practitioner and Certified Business Analyst, and is a registered Gateway Review Team Member. She has a Masters of Management, is a graduate of the AICD Foundation course and of the Tasmanian Leaders Program, and serves on the board of directors of Tasmanian Leaders Inc. as Treasurer and Chair of the Finance, Audit and Risk Committee.
Christopher is the Project Director, Battery of the Nation at Hydro Tasmania. Christopher manages the strategic development of the Battery of the Nation initiative, the blueprint for how Tasmania's renewable energy resources could be developed over coming decades. An electrical engineer by trade, Christopher has worked across the full spectrum of Hydro Tasmania’s activities, from consulting on electrical transmission refurbishments to overseeing commercial operations and transactions such as the transfer of Aurora’s gas operations to Hydro Tasmania in 2013.
Hugh is a land use and environmental planner with Jacobs and based in the Hobart office, where he relocated to with his family from Victoria in 2019. He is excited to be involved in Tasmania’s major infrastructure project pipeline, bringing expertise in planning and environmental assessments for major energy, transport and water infrastructure projects.
Hugh is currently managing the planning and environmental approvals for upgrades to several major Tasmanian Highways. Before relocating to Tasmania, his primary focus was large scale wind farm and transmission line projects in Victoria, working within both government and private sector.
Paul grew up in Hobart and graduated from UTas with an economics degree in 1986.
He then moved to Melbourne where he worked on infrastructure regulation and environmental policy for the Victorian Government, before becoming a consultant and joining Deloitte in 2007.
In 2018 Paul returned to Tasmania to establish a Deloitte Access Economics office in Hobart where he works on macroeconomic policy, tourism, education and the economics of infrastructure projects. He is a regular commentator on the Tasmanian economy and co-authored the Tasmanian Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s 2019 Tasmania Report alongside Chris Richardson.
*Speakers to be confirmed
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