Catalyst West



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.

Professor Barney Glover (Western Sydney University), Vice-Chancellor
Professor Phil O'Neill (Western Sydney University and Centre for Western Sydney), Director
Anna Ashenden (St Vincent de Paul Society NSW) Social Justice and Community Engagement Manager
Julie Hare (KPMG) Associate Director, Education
Dr Tim Williams (Committee for Sydney), CEO
Billie Sankovic (Western Sydney Community Forum) CEO
James Pearce (Fender Katsalidis), Director
Jonny Richards (Google), Head of Creative Labs
Gideon Chapman (Transport NSW), Section Manager, Parramatta Light Rail
Simon Barrie (Western Sydney University), Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Learning Transformations)
Louise Crabtree (Western Sydney University), Senior Research Fellow, Director of Engagement, Institute for Culture and Society
Paul James (Western Sydney University), Director, Institute for Culture and Society
Michelle Lee (Western Sydney University), Associate Director, Estate Master Planning and Strategy
Chris Knapp (Western Sydney University), Chair of Architecture, School of Computing, Engineering and Mathematics
David Flannery (GPT Group), Senior Development Manager
Donald McNeill (Western Sydney University), Professor of Urban and Cultural Geography, Australian Research Council Future Fellow, Institute for Culture and Society
Erika Pawley (Greater Sydney Commission), Director, Strategic Planning
Genevieve Steiner (Western Sydney University), NHMRC-ARC Dementia Research Development Fellow
Helen Emmerson (Southern Cross Care (NSW & ACT)), Head of Care Services
James Kemp (Western Sydney University), Chief Operating Officer, Translational Health Research Institute
Jenna Condie (Western Sydney University), Lecturer in Digital Research and Online Social Analysis Urban Research Program, School of Social Sciences and Psychology
Maryanne Taouk (NewsLocal papers), Journalist
Murray Bell (Semi-Permanent), Founder and Director
Naomi Kroll (Western Sydney University), Student, The Academy

Catalyst West and Western Sydney University thanks our 2018 sponsors:

Gold Sponsor

Silver Sponsors

Bronze Sponsors