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.
Mayor Albert van Zetten is in his fourth term as Mayor, after being elected as an Alderman in 2005 and then as Mayor in October 2007.
His career includes more than 30 years as a chartered accountant, 18 years as Chief Executive officer of Launceston City Mission and close involvement with multiple community organisations.
Mayor van Zetten says his time in the City's highest public office has been driven by ongoing consultation with the community and his strong desire to see the City of Launceston continue to flourish and grow. Mayor van Zetten is regularly in attendance at community events and encourages conversation and the sharing of views about what is important to the people of Launceston.
In his view … Greater Launceston is the right size to be one of the great Regional Cities in the world: it is small enough to manage and large enough to matter. It has existing assets and strengths that are being built upon. Our challenge is to work together and engage the wider community - to mobilise the community as active citizens rather than critics.
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.
Ginna has returned to the Department of Justice to serve as Secretary, following changes announced by the Tasmanian Government in late August 2019. The Department of Justice contributes to a just and safe society by providing systems and services for the promotion and maintenance of rights and responsibilities and the resolution of disputes, for the benefit of the Tasmanian community.
Ginna was the inaugural Secretary of the Department of Communities Tasmania, which commenced on 1 July 2018. Prior to this role Ginna was Deputy Secretary – Children and Youth Services in the Department of Health and Human Services.
Before her move to the Department of Health and Human Services, Ginna spent 15 years in the Tasmanian Department of Justice, in a wide variety of roles including Deputy Secretary – Administration of Justice and Director, Community Corrections. From 1984 – 2002 Ginna worked for the Australian Customs Service in Hobart, Darwin, Sydney and Canberra. She worked for many years as a Detector Dog Handler before being appointed Inspector of the NSW Dog Unit, the largest unit in Australia.
Ginna is passionate about leadership, particularly in the public sector. She is an Executive Fellow of the Australian New Zealand School of Government; graduate of the Tasmanian Leaders Program and Alumni of the ‘Cranlana’ Colloquium.
Ginna is the Chair of Jane Franklin Hall Council, the Tasmanian representative for the Australian and New Zealand School of Government Alumni Council and a member of the Pinnacle Foundation Tasmanian Regional Committee.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Anthony Donald is highly experienced in the maritime sector, as well as in transport and logistics. Holding a civil engineering degree, Anthony previously held senior executive positions at the Port of Melbourne and Melbourne Airport before joining TasPorts in 2016 as the Chief Operating Officer, prior to taking on the Chief Executive Officer role in June 2019.
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.
Rufus Black is the Vice-Chancellor and President of the University of Tasmania. Previously, he was Master of Melbourne University’s Ormond College and an Enterprise Professor in the Department of Management and Marketing and a Principal Fellow in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Melbourne.
Rufus’ private sector experience includes nine years as a partner at McKinsey and Company, serving clients in Australia and Asia, and as a Director for national law firm Corrs Chambers Westgarth. His educational and social sector experience includes being the President of Museums Victoria, the Deputy Chancellor of Victoria University, the founding Chair of the Board of the Teach for Australia Board, a Director of the New York based Teach for All and a Director of the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research. He has worked extensively for government at Federal and State levels. He was a Board Member of Innovation Science Australia, conducted the Black Review into the Department of Defence and the Prime Minister’s Independent Review of the Australian Intelligence Community and was the Strategic Advisor to the Secretary of Education in Victoria. Rufus holds degrees in law, politics, economics, ethics and theology from the University of Melbourne and Oxford University, where he studied as a Rhodes Scholar.
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.
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.
*Speakers to be confirmed
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