Catalyst West

28 FEBRUARY 2018


What happens in Western Sydney in the next 20 years will change Australia.

How will you shape the future of Western Sydney?

Catalyst West is a collaborative forum, developed by Western Sydney University and its partners, to guide change in Western Sydney. There are no agendas and no wrong answers. We want to experiment with transformational ideas.

On 28 February 2018, 350 representatives from government, industry and the community will activate the University’s flagship Parramatta City campus as a place for experiment and exchange. Our focus will be on mapping the transformation pathway in four priority areas for Western Sydney and the nation:


Is there an app for health? Just what does technology enable in health care? What ‘tsunamis’ will we see in the next two decades in health?


How can we design smarter, more resilient cities? How do we infuse urban design with social, cultural and economic attributes that make cities stronger and more liveable?


‘Where’s my driverless car?’ Is mass transport infrastructure necessary for the 30 minute city? Is Western Sydney Airport an international interface or domestic hub - and will either work?


What does digital disruption mean for Western Sydney’s labour markets? Can we prepare?

Catalyst West is not a talk-fest. It is not a workshop. It is not over in a day.

Catalyst West unpacks the challenges and maps the opportunities we can create through collaboration. The event starts months ahead of the day. Participants will be issued with a green paper, authored by University subject-matter-experts,– scoping what we are confronting across each of the four themes. The event itself will feature Keynote speakers, Industry pop-ups, interactive displays, App-polling, table-talks and facilitated Hacks where participants can actively shape approaches to each of the four priority areas.

It doesn’t end with the event. Participants will see their ideas channelled and expanded through white papers that support the translation of Catalyst West solutions into actual policy frameworks, projects and action plans.

Catalyst West.
Be part of the transformation.

Tara McKenty (Google APAC), Creative Director

Tara Mckenty at age four, Tara's kindergarten teacher told her mother that Tara would grow up to be the Prime Minister of New Zealand, or the devil itself. After casting a career in politics aside, and realising red wasn't her colour, Tara found herself in the halls of Whybin\TBWA Auckland working in advertising. It was here that she and her creative partner gained international attention by floating shares in their creative future, successfully funding themselves to Cannes. During her time at TBWA, Tara had a complete disregard for discipline and convention, she was named in Campaign Magazines Top 50 emerging talent portfolio, and submitted several entries into the pantheon of ABSOLUT work, one of which was the creation of a limited edition ABSOLUT bottle design.

Then Tara decided to swim across the ditch to Sydney where she joined Saatchi & Saatchi. It was here that Tara created a children's book for OPSM that tested the eyesight of children, which was named by the WARC 100 in 2016 as the most effective marketing campaign in the world. Tara now finds herself at Google where her and her teams remit is to come up with creative uses of Google's products and platforms for Asia Pacific's largest clients, from creating real-time marketing platforms that reunite lost dogs with their owners for Pedigree, to building immersive story time platforms for Disney. Tara continues to disrupt the status quo, and as a consequence has won over a hundred international awards during her advertising rebellion.

Professor Barney Glover (Western Sydney University), Vice-Chancellor

Professor Barney Glover is the fourth Vice-Chancellor of Western Sydney University. A distinguished academic leader, an accomplished mathematician and mathematics educator and an experienced Vice-Chancellor, Professor Glover assumed his position at Western Sydney University in January 2014. Professor Glover is leading Western Sydney University as the institution strives to become a distinctively student-centred university with a research-led culture and an expanding international reach and reputation, while enhancing its crucial role as a leading advocate for the Greater Western Sydney region and its people.

In May 2015, Professor Glover was awarded the title of Emeritus Professor by Charles Darwin University (CDU), in recognition of his outstanding leadership during his tenure as Vice-Chancellor of CDU. Professor Glover is Chair of Universities Australia, the Australian Government representative on the University of the South Pacific Grants Committee, and President of the Board of Trustees of the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences Trust. He is also a Board Member of Education Services Australia, the Australian American Fulbright Commission, and The Committee for Sydney, and, Member of the NSW Innovation and Productivity Council and the NSW Arts and Culture Advisory Committee. Professor Glover's esteemed career also includes significant expertise and experience at the most senior levels of university management and substantial business leadership credentials. He has also served on the boards of a range of corporate organisations and several state and national centres covering areas such as health and medical research, energy, mineral exploration, and telecommunications.

Before relocating to the Northern Territory in 2009 to take up appointment as the Vice-Chancellor of CDU, Professor Glover held a number of senior roles in various universities including: Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Research at the University of Newcastle; Pro Vice-Chancellor, Research and Development at Perth's Curtin University of Technology, and a number of senior positions at the University of Ballarat in Victoria. Building research infrastructure, strategic partnerships and fostering a culture of research excellence alongside the successful commercialisation of University Intellectual Property have been hallmarks of Professor Glover's long tenure in senior executive roles within the Australian higher education sector.

Professor Glover is a leader in the development of flexible, technology-based learning and in furthering Indigenous knowledge and education, and also has considerable experience in developing strong and mutually beneficial relationships with the vocational education sector. He has a strong research publication record and has co-authored four texts in mathematics education. Throughout his career, he has demonstrated a deep commitment to widening participation and exploring innovative approaches to higher education access. Professor Glover holds a PhD in Applied Mathematics and has worked on both the east and west coasts of Australia.

Behyad Jafari (Electric Vehicle Council), Chief Executive Officer

Behyad Jafari as the Chief Executive Officer of the Electric Vehicle Council, Behyad works with industry, government and the media to accelerate the electrification of road transport, for a more sustainable and prosperous Australia.

Professor Phil O'Neill (Western Sydney University and Centre for Western Sydney), Director

Professor Phillip O'Neill is the Director of the Centre for Western Sydney at Western Sydney University.

Phillip is a widely published international scholar with expertise relating to economic and industrial change especially in large cities. His most recent research examines the difficulties of the private financing of urban infrastructure.

He has held visiting research fellowships at Bristol University, The University of Massachusetts, the National University of Singapore, the University of Oxford, and recently at University College London. Phillip writes regular columns for the Fairfax regional and community press.

Anna Ashenden (St Vincent de Paul Society NSW) Social Justice and Community Engagement Manager

Anna Ashenden has over a decade's experience in the social impact in a variety of roles throughout Latin America, Europe and Australia, including with governments, national and international NGOs, the United Nations, and the private sector. Passionate about social justice and community-driven sustainable development, she works to connect people and organisations from cross-cultural and cross-sectoral perspectives to undertake practical and creative partnerships.

Particularly passionate about thinking differently about and working to address the systemic drivers of disadvantage globally, Anna also works across the areas of gender equality, homelessness, refugees and asylum seekers, LGBTI, mental health, and youth.

Anna holds a Bachelor of Psychology (First Class Honours), a Master of International and Community Development, and is currently undertaking a Graduate Certificate in Social Impact from UNSW.

Anna is currently the Social Justice and Community Engagement Manager for the St Vincent de Paul Society NSW, managing all aspects of the social justice strategies and community engagement agenda across the Western Sydney and Blue Mountains regions.

Dr Tim Williams (Committee for Sydney), CEO

Dr Tim Williams is CEO of the Committee for Sydney, 'an increasingly influential policy forum'.
He is also a part-time Principal with global consultancy Arup where he has focused on developing digital strategies for governments and councils.

His work for the Committee for Sydney focuses on the big city policy issues in policy-making for Sydney. Before coming to Australia, Tim was recognised as one of the UK's thought-leaders in urban regeneration and economic development for his role in developing East London as CEO of the Thames Gateway London Partnership, where he helped secure the Olympics for Stratford. He has also served as a special advisor on urban development, governance, city strategy and planning to 5 successive UK cabinet ministers, and to the Mayor of London. He was a founding associate member of Tony Blair's Prime Minister's Delivery Unit and was MD of Navigant Consulting's public services team in London.

Billie Sankovic (Western Sydney Community Forum) CEO

Billie Sankovic strategically leads Western Sydney Community Forum to lead and shape social policy and service delivery in Western Sydney. She is committed to representing the people and services sector in the region, working actively and collaboratively with regional partners, and providing and championing solutions that build strong communities in Western Sydney. Billie has extensive leadership experience in community development, service delivery, and social policy and planning. She has spent close to 30 years working across Western Sydney in local and state government, the not-for-profit sector and at Western Sydney University.

Billie successfully delivered the State Government's first Early Intervention Program in NSW. She led planning for the multi-million dollar community and recreation precinct model in South Western Sydney to service communities in the growth corridor. Billie also represented the Western Sydney not-for-profit sector in the initial compact which culminated into the Working Together for NSW agreement between NGOs and the NSW Government.

James Pearce (Fender Katsalidis), Director

Mr James Pearce, a genial, exceptionally talented architect with a wealth of management and implementation experience across multiple typologies in urban and suburban contexts, James plays a pivotal role in the early stages of new projects, where his knack for getting to the heart of a problem quickly yields a site's feasibility and conceptual possibilities.

James was the project architect for: the Museum of Old and New Art in Hobart a cultural tour de force carved into a peninsula of Tasmania's Derwent River which won the national architecture award for Public Architecture; Phoenix, a 29-storey residential tower just 6.8 metres wide and 24.3 metres long that has become an iconic addition to the Melbourne skyline; 1 Shiel Street in North Melbourne, an experiment in affordable housing that promises new hope for middle and low income-earners; and most recently, Queens Place a city block transforming project of two 80 storey towers.

James has been involved in the beginnings of the prefabricated Unitised Building construction system, invented by Nonda Katsalidis, and its first few projects in Melbourne which has led to an interest in alternative construction methodologies and how these can shape the cities of our future.

Gideon Chapman (Transport NSW), Section Manager, Parramatta Light Rail

Gideon Chapman is a designer, civil engineer and project manager. Gideon received his degrees in design and engineering from the University of Technology, Sydney and continues to serve as a member of the UTS Professional Advisory board (PAb) for Engineering Management. Gideon is a senior project manager with TSA Management. TSA Management has a 20-year track record in property and infrastructure and has successfully completed over 1,000 projects for its clients.

Gideon has 10 years of experience in Transport Engineering and has helped to deliver several large highway and heavy rail infrastructure projects. In early 2016 Gideon was seconded to the Transport for NSW, Parramatta Light Rail team as the Section Manager for Westmead and North Parramatta. Since shifting his focus to light rail transport Gideon has become a passionate advocate for integrated transport and the role of public transport in shaping modern cities.

Simon Barrie (Western Sydney University), Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Learning Transformations)

Professor Simon Barrie is the Pro Vice-Chancellor Learning Transformations at Western Sydney University.

He is responsible for leadership of strategic educational innovation and collaboration to shape the University's commitment to ensuring its students fulfill their potential to become influential global citizen-scholars in a new technology-enabled world.

His expertise is in innovatively engaging university communities to deliver new ways to enact the 'idea of the university' in a rapidly changing world. Professor Barrie has worked in the field of Higher Education for 25 years and is an award-winning teacher with an international reputation for his research on the transformative potential of higher education. He has led major national research and development projects to support Australian universities in the renewal of their educational programs to meet the needs of a new generation of learners and the demands of an uncertain future in today's radically disrupted world of work. His work links the learning demands of the new knowledge economy with educational innovation in new learning ecosystems, using the mechanisms of academic development and collaborative institutional leadership of transformative educational change.

Louise Crabtree (Western Sydney University), Senior Research Fellow, Director of Engagement, Institute for Culture and Society

Dr Louise Crabtree is a Senior Research Fellow and Director of Engagement in the Institute for Culture and Society at Western Sydney University. Louise's research combines resilience, radical democracy, and feminist economics to focus on urban sustainability, housing affordability, and property relations. Louise's work is pioneering the exploration and development of models of permanently affordable home ownership in Australia in extensive partnership with government, housing, corporate, and community agencies.

In 2009 Louise received the inaugural Housing Minister's Award for Early Career Researchers for a paper applying resilience theory to housing, and in 2014 the research team that Louise was leading won the Western Sydney University's Deputy Vice Chancellor's Award for Research Excellence through Partnership.

Paul James (Western Sydney University), Director, Institute for Culture and Society

Professor Paul James is Professor of Globalization and Cultural Diversity at the Western Sydney University.

He is Director of the Institute for Culture and Society. He is one of the key proponents of an approach called 'Circles of Sustainability' used by a number of cities around the world, including Berlin - where is Scientific Advisor to the Senate Department for Urban Development, His latest book is Urban Sustainability in Theory and Practice: Circles of Sustainability (Routledge).

Michelle Lee (Western Sydney University), Associate Director, Estate Master Planning and Strategy

Michelle Lee, is Associate Director, Estate Master Planning and Strategy at Western Sydney University. Michelle holds a Master of Urban and Regional Planning from Sydney University, graduating with distinction and is a member of the Planning Institute of Australia.

Michelle leads on project planning for the University's Western Growth program, a transformative strategy to establish a hybrid campus network, combining existing with CBD 'vertical campuses'. Prior to her current role, Michelle was involved in the early phases of the University's campus development program and has contributed to planning and delivery of the Westmead Campus Redevelopment and Campbelltown Macarthur Heights project.

Michelle has managed the preparation of master plans for Parramatta, Penrith and Hawkesbury campuses. Michelle leads engagement with Government and other stakeholders on planning matters and across the projects within the Office of Estate and Commercial.

Chris Knapp (Western Sydney University), Chair of Architecture, School of Computing, Engineering and Mathematics

Professor Chris Knapp is the Chair of Architecture within the School of Computing, Engineering and Mathematics. Trained as an architect, Chris is an educator, practitioner, and researcher responsible for developing WSU's new postgraduate and undergraduate architecture programs.

Professor Knapp is a co-director of the digital fabrication and design practice, Studio Workshop, and is currently completing a PhD in the practice-based research program at the RMIT School of Architecture & Design. He holds a Master of Architecture from Princeton University and a Bachelor of Science in Architecture from the University of Michigan, the latter of which he taught at for 4 years. He also helped establish the new architecture program at Bond University in 2011, where he taught until 2017.

Chris is the recipient of an Australian Office of Learning and Teaching Citation, and within Bond, received the Vice Chancellor's Award for Teaching Excellence. He contributes widely to the development of architectural education and practice in Australia, principally in his role as a member of the executive committee of the Association of Architecture Schools of Australasia (AASA) and on the NSW Education Committee of the Australian Institute of Architects (AIA).

David Flannery (GPT Group), Senior Development Manager

David Flannery is a Senior Development Manager with the GPT Group based in Sydney. He has a national role and is responsible for the delivery of in excess of $400 million of commercial projects including the c.$280 million commercial tower at 32 Smith Street, Parramatta.

Before joining the GPT Group, David spent 3 years with Pramerica Real Estate Investors where he was responsible for asset management, development management, acquisitions and the debt funding strategy. Prior to that, David was at the Macquarie Group in Property Finance, Property Investment Banking and MREEF where he was an associate director and state manager for MREEF in NSW, WA and ACT where he held Board positions in all domestic joint venture in addition to managing the Macquarie Residential Fund.

With 25 years in the Real Estate industry David's experience in property development, capital transactions, portfolio / asset management and complex project financing structures brings insights and partnering ability across various asset classes in a core and value add capacity.

David has a Bachelor of Business (Land Economy) from the University of Western Sydney.

Donald McNeill (Western Sydney University), Professor of Urban and Cultural Geography, Australian Research Council Future Fellow, Institute for Culture and Society

Donald McNeill is Professor of Urban and Cultural Geography at the Institute for Culture and Society, Western Sydney University, and a university theme champion for Urban Living and Society. He lectures in urban management and policy. He serves on the Australian Research Council's College of Experts, and is Chair of the Urban Studies Foundation, an international educational trust for the promotion of urban research.

He has published widely on the politics and development of contemporary cities. His books include The Global Architect: Firms, Fame and Urban Form (Routledge, 2009) and Global Cities, Urban Theory (Sage, 2017). His current research focuses on two areas: first, the governance of innovation in cities, including the planning of innovation districts, the dynamics of start-up ecosystems, and the implementation of smart cities policies; second, the nature of 'volumetric urbanism' in contemporary cities, studying different ways in which underground, high-rise and surface space can be integrated for public benefit.

Erika Pawley (Greater Sydney Commission), Director, Strategic Planning

Erika Pawley, the Director of Strategic Planning, Erika leads the Greater Sydney Commission's Collaboration Areas program. She has extensive experience in strategic planning, with a career in local government spanning more than 18 years.

Erika is currently using her expertise to facilitate place-based planning, by bringing together stakeholders to deliver significant sustainability, liveability and productivity outcomes for key centres across Sydney.

Prior to her current role, Erika was the Manager - Place Outcomes for Rockdale City Council, where she received a 2016 NSW PIA Awards Commendation for the Rockdale Town Centre Masterplan in the From Plan to Place category.

Erika is a member of the Planning Institute of Australia and an Executive Committee Member of the UTS MBA Women's Network.

Genevieve Steiner (Western Sydney University), NHMRC-ARC Dementia Research Development Fellow

Dr. Genevieve Steiner is an NHMRC-ARC Dementia Research Fellow at Western Sydney University.

Genevieve is a cognitive neuroscientist who is passionate about revolutionising the way that we prevent, diagnose, and treat dementia in older adults. Genevieve is a rapidly rising star in ageing and dementia research.

She is the President of the Australasian Society for Psychophysiology, Deputy Director of the Age and Ageing Clinical Academic Group in the Sydney Partnership for Health, Education, Research, and Enterprise (SPHERE), and at Western Sydney U, she leads the Ageing Research Cluster and the NICM Neurocognition and HEADBOX Labs.

Genevieve's vision is a future where seniors in Western Sydney and beyond have the opportunity to age well because they are empowered to live physically, mentally, and socially active and engaged lives.

Helen Emmerson (Southern Cross Care (NSW & ACT)), Head of Care Services

Helen Emmerson, as Head of Care Services at Southern Cross Care (NSW & ACT).
Helen Emmerson's role is to oversee the three care streams of Residential Aged Care, Retirement Living and Home Care.

Helen is a Registered Nurse who has worked in a variety of community and residential based services in both Australia and the UK for the past 20 years. Helen has experience across a broad spectrum of health services including, aged and community care, mental health services, disability services and a military charity.

Helen has been at SCC since 2013 and in her current role as Head of Care Services since April 2016

James Kemp (Western Sydney University), Chief Operating Officer, Translational Health Research Institute

James Kemp has worked in health policy and health administration in the NSW Government, public health system and university sectors, and has built an expertise in the nexus between quality health care and cost effectiveness in health service delivery.

As the Chief Operating Officer at Western's Translational Health Research Institute, James' role is to forge strong relationships between the University and our health system to ensure research findings and new knowledge are translated into health practice - the foundation of a continually improving health system. James has developed models and systems, educational courses and evaluation methodologies, in the context of healthcare, to empower clinicians and health managers to better utilise existing resources and design new models of care which deliver on the triple goal of access, quality and value for money.

Jenna Condie (Western Sydney University), Lecturer in Digital Research and Online Social Analysis Urban Research Program, School of Social Sciences and Psychology

Dr Jenna Condie is a Critical Social Psychologist, Lecturer in Digital Research and Online Social Analysis at Western Sydney University and a World Social Science Fellow on transformations to sustainable urbanisation for the International Social Science Council.

Her research focuses upon how our everyday experiences and social connections are mediated by digital technologies in the places we live, work, play and stay. Jenna co-leads the Travel in the Digital Age (TinDA) project at Western Sydney University.

Prior to joining Western, Jenna completed her PhD in environmental psychology at the University of Salford (UK) where she also worked as a lead social scientist on the 'human response to vibration in residential environments' project funded by the UK Government's Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

Maryanne Taouk (NewsLocal papers), Journalist

Maryanne Taouk is a journalist for NewsLocal papers the Northern District Times and the Parramatta Advertiser, covering all things including development and the WestConnex, as well as local, state and federal politics.

Focusing on breaking issues in the western Sydney area, Maryanne can usually be found jumping from a sit down interview with politicians to a high energy video production or local protest all in the same day. Maryanne previously reported on crime, transport, development and politics for the Blacktown Advocate, contributed features across all 18 NewsLocal papers, and was the editor for industry finance magazine Superfunds.

With a background in Middle Eastern politics, Maryanne is a regular commentator on international relations specialising in Palestine-Israel, Lebanon and Syria; travelling to the war-torn region in 2017 as a freelance reporter and contributing international pieces from the field.

Maryanne currently works on both online and print articles along with producing video for social media and NewsLocal websites. Originally from Orange in the Central West, Maryanne now calls western Sydney home and reports on the issues big and small impacting the west.

Murray Bell (Semi-Permanent), Founder and Director

Murray has over 15 years of experience in the creative industries, having programmed live festivals worldwide. Murray is a Director of immersive experiences, such as a recent Radiohead retrospective exhibition, and is a Creative Director of brand and artist collaborations, like interactive story-telling platform, Google Cube. Other collaborators include the Coppola family, Banksy, Scott Dadich (WIRED), Billy Sorrentino (Apple), Natasha Jen (Pentagram), David Droga (Droga5), Ajaz Ahmed (AKQA), Architect Bjarke Ingels, John Jay (Uniqlo), Tony Hawk and Jeffrey Deitch (MOCA).

He has also worked closely with Destination NSW, Google, Facebook, Qantas, Western Sydney University, NIKE, Dropbox, Lexus and more to create meaningful experiences for live and digital audiences. Murray has a deep knowledge and passion for the power of design and its relationship with innovation. His unique relationship with the creative community and businesses across the globe provides a rare, neutral platform that acts as a facilitator for authentic collaborations.

Naomi Kroll (Western Sydney University), Student, The Academy

Naomi Kroll is an inspiring and budding Entrepreneur in Western Sydney who has already launched her second business and is studying Business & Commerce (Marketing) and Applied Leadership & Critical Thinking at Western Sydney University. She was born a business woman and started her first business at sixteen years old. She is highly involved in her community and has recently won The Academy award for Student Leadership. She uses her motivation, adaptability and skills to inspire others around her and to reach her personal and professional goals. Hear her in the Work panel for advice on navigating the future of Work in Western Sydney and pushing yourself to achieve success in your personal and professional life.

Bechara Shamieh (Madison Marcus),Managing Director

As the Group Managing Director of Madison Marcus, Bechara leads a full service commercial law and advisory firm on Australia's Eastern Seaboard. Bechara has more than 20 years' experience as a property and commercial lawyer, providing legal and business advisory services across a diverse set of industries. He acts as a corporate advisor to many private, public and foreign companies as well as associations and companies limited by guarantee. He provides advice on international joint ventures, off take agreements, managed funds and capital raising, master franchises and private acquisitions. Bechara has extensive knowledge and experience in the property industry. He is a seasoned dealmaker and acts for many large and reputable builders and developers in relation to all aspects of land dealings. Bechara is a valuable business consultant to institutional and non-institutional organisations with respect to structure and planning coupled with strategic business management advice to assist businesses in future alignment and profitable growth. He acts as a corporate advisor to several businesses assisting with due diligence, capital raising, IPO's, M&A's, commercial contract disputes and issues relating to reconstruction and insolvency matters. Bechara provides consulting to private companies as a Non-Executive Director. He is currently the business and legal advisor to the board of Argus Global, Piety THP, the Housing Supply Association and not-for-profit charity FSHD Global. He is also a Director of financial advisory services including Madison Marcus Advisory and Transcend Capital. Bechara remains committed to community and charity, supporting numerous charities and organisations that share his mission including the Westmead Medical Research Foundation, FSHD Global and the Cancer Council. Bechara has acted as a business mentor to the Australian Business Women's Network. He was previously on the legal academic board of representatives for the International Institute of Business Management. He is also the former Legal Counsel and Treasurer of the Australian Indian Business Council. In 2017 Bechara was named a finalist for Awards including Law Firm Leader of the Year and Managing Partner of the Year. In addition, Madison Marcus was named a finalist for numerous awards in the legal profession including Law Firm of the Year. Madison Marcus was also named Australian Property Law Firm of the Year.

Daren Hill (Blockchange) CEO and Co-Founder

More than twenty years ago whilst completing an internship at a media conglomerate in Minnesota, Daren wrote a paper about how this new thing called "the world wide web" was going to change everything about how a newspaper would operate. And whilst all of his predictions didn't come true ("We'll never see a paper version again!!"), from that day forward, Daren has committed himself to working at the junction of technology and organisational behaviour.

Daren has been involved in numerous transformations of one kind or another - ranging from digital transformations in insurance and utilities to good ole fashioned, low-fidelity human-centred change in health care and social services.

His transformation and not-for-profit work has led him to his current project called blockchange, where he is CEO and C0-founder. Blockchange is a Sydney-based start-up whose mission is to explore emerging technologies and how they can make positive social impact. This is Daren's first start-up and it excites (and terrifies) him every day.
Daren is active in various digital, not-for-profit and design communities in Sydney and is deeply passionate about bringing them all together to make social change here in Australia.

Tommy Dean, Comedian

Arizona-raised, now resident in Sydney for 16 years, American stand-up star Tommy Dean occupies the top echelons of Australia’s headline comedy artists.

Tommy is a master of the language comedy. He seems to see life as an enormous equation in front of him and solves it in an instant, with a mind bending laugh. With the unique edge of being an American who understands Australia!

Tommy's media appearances include Spicks and Specks, Good News Week, Stand Up Australia, Rove Live, Joker Poker, Sunrise, The Today Show, and The Sideshow. Tommy can also be heard regularly on ABC 702 radio.

Michael Rose (KPMG) Special Advisor

Michael Rose is a lawyer by background and the former Chief Executive Partner of Allens. He is the Chairman of a number of Government, arts and not-for-profit organisations including the Committee for Sydney, Sydney Living Museums, ChildFund Alliance and the Institute for Global Development at the University of New South Wales. He is active in Indigenous Affairs being a member of the Referendum Council on Constitutional Recognition, Chairman of the Indigenous Engagement Task Force of the Business Council of Australia and an Ambassador for the Australian Indigenous Education Foundation. He is a Special Advisor at KPMG and a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Andrew Phong (School of Business, Western Sydney University) Student Experience Assistant

Andrew Phong is a final year Bachelor of Business student majoring in International Business and is no stranger to the Western Sydney Community. Through his extensive involvement in student clubs, leadership programs and conferences, Andrew has been proactively working towards strengthening engagement between students and industry in his role as the Student Experience Assistant at the University.

In 2015, Andrew was awarded the Australia China Bridging Cultures Scholarship for his interest in global trade, where he developed knowledge of Chinese culture, business customs and consumer markets. He was soon admitted into the University's high achieving students program, 'The Academy'. Subsequently Andrew was selected to represent Western Sydney abroad, interning in Mumbai (India) for a not for profit organisation and shortly after, travelled to Hanoi (Vietnam) for an international conference on leadership and social change.

He recently represented the University as part of the National Student Leadership Forum at Parliament House in Canberra, voicing the concerns and opinions of young people within Western Sydney.

Among various other things, Andrew has also advised for St. Vincent de Paul Society NSW, Community First Step (Fairfield) and Queen of Hearts (Penrith) in the capacity of a student business consultant. He aspires to become an advocate for the Western Sydney region and is passionate about empowering the middle working class Australian through the use of education and global trade.

Most recently, Andrew was awarded The Academy's 'Collegiate' Award for embodying the aims and ideals of the University in academic, community engagement and leadership.

Full speaker bios available on our Catalyst West Bios Brochure and on Catalyst West Event App.

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