CatalystWest is all about pushing creative and intellectual frontiers. As such, we’ve brought together a line-up of game-changers from different sectors and disciplines. These include:

Professor Andy Marks

CEO, NUW Alliance 

Pro Vice-Chancellor of Strategy, Government and Alliances, Western Sydney University 

Director, Centre for Western Sydney 

Professor Andy Marks leads major NUW Alliance and Western Sydney University strategic and development initiatives with government, industry and the community. 

He has a PhD and first-class honours in political science and literature. 

Andy writes regular columns for the Sydney Morning Herald and the Daily Telegraph. He is also a panellist on ABC Sydney’s ‘political forum’. 

Andy is the Director of the Centre for Western Sydney, Chair of the Western Sydney Community Forum and a Non-Executive Director with Wentworth Healthcare Ltd. He is also the founder of the CatalystWest interactive policy forum, and co-founder of the Launch Pad start-up incubator. 

Prior to his current roles, Andy was a researcher in the social services sector, a Council member at the University of New England, and an ARIA nominated professional musician and composer. 

Elfy Scott

Elfy is a presenter, journalist, and author. 

She’s currently the host of Left Right Out, a Spotify Exclusive podcast that answers burning questions about Australian politics, as well as The Green Canary, a weekly environmental news podcast.  

Elfy started out her journalism career in the newsroom of BuzzFeed News as their first science reporter and her work has been featured in The Guardian, The Saturday Paper, Junkee, SBS, and Pedestrian. 

Elfy is a passionate story-teller and particularly loves speaking about climate change, science, and mental health.  

Her first book ’The One Thing We’ve Never Spoken About’ focuses on complex mental health conditions in Australia and will be published by Pantera Press in 2023.” 

Dr Jamal Rifi

Doctor and Community Leader

“Dr Jamal Rifi AM, is a strong advocate of multi-faith initiatives and was a founding member of Muslim Doctors Against Violence and the Christian-Muslim Friendship Society. 

He received a Human Right Medal from the Australian Human Rights Commission . 

 Jamal is a General Practitioner and prominent figure in the Lebanese Muslim community in Sydney, Australia. He is recognised for his work to prevent the radicalisation of young people by the so-called Islamic State and for his work during COVID-19 pandemic, and received an award from the Australian Lebanese Chamber of commerce for administering with his nursing team over 37 thousand COVID 19 vaccinations and for his education campaign to non-English speaking communities in NSW.  

He has featured on two occasions on the ABC Australian Story program, episode titled "just call Jamal" and "the Good Doctor". 

In 2010 he was a National Finalist as Australia’s Local Hero for the Australian of the Year. 

Jamal is known for his efforts in promoting cohesion, courage and unity, winning The Australian newspaper’s "Australian of the Year" in 2015 and received the Australian Medal in 2017." 

He was praised as “a great Australian” by the then Prime Minister, Scott Morrison. 

Dr Norman Swan

Dr Norman Swan hosts The Health Report on the ABC’s Radio National, which is the world’s longest-running health programme in the English-speaking world. Norman has won many awards for his work including Australia’s top prize for journalism, the Gold Walkley. He was the third person to be awarded the prestigious medal of the Australian Academy of Science and was given an honorary MD by the University of Sydney on its 150th anniversary.

Norman trained in medicine in Scotland and paediatrics in London and Sydney before joining the ABC and has hosted many other programmes on radio and television.

He has made several  Four Corners,  the most recent being on out-of-pocket expenses in health care.  Norman was the medical host on Channel Ten’s Biggest Loser for six seasons and created, wrote and narrated Invisible Enemies, a four-part series on disease and civilisation for  Channel 4  UK  and broadcast in  27 countries.

He has consulted to the WorldHealth Organisation and co-chaired a global meeting of health ministers in Bamako West Africa focused on evidence-based policy and priorities in health research. He has been the Australian correspondent for both the Journal of the American  Medical  Association (JAMA)  and the British  Medical Journal (BMJ).

Norman is also co-founder of Tonic Health Media, an integrated health television channel and production company which has over 15 million viewers per month.

Louise Tran

Head of DNA, OzHarvest

Louise has spent around 15 years in
the social impact space with a leading profile in the
food and environmental sustainability sector. She is on
the senior management team of OzHarvest, one of
Australia’s largest food charities, and co-founded
VietHarvest in Vietnam in 2022, which is based on the
unique Australian food rescue model. She is also
Founding Chair of Multicultural Leadership Initiative
and was selected in 2019 as a delegate of the Australia-Vietnam Leadership Dialogue.

Louise is a purpose-driven communications, marketing,
brand building, advocacy and media relations specialist
with deep experience leading strategy, culture building,
innovation, and outreach for impact focused
organisations. She is also deeply passionate about the
social enterprise model believing that business can
create positive change. Completing her undergrad in
Public Communications and International Studies at
UTS, over the years Louise has also supported
community focused initiatives to drive social justice.

Nicholas Howie is a proud Dharug man from the Boorooberongal Clan (Richmond basin area) and is currently in his second year on his path to becoming a High School Physics teacher here at Western Sydney University. He has always had a love for teaching and learning with others, and currently works as a School Learning Support Officer at a High School in the Lower Mountains. From a very young age, Nicholas learned that your knowledge is only as good as your ability to share it with others”, and he seeks to apply this to every aspect of his life.

Nicholas believes that our society will not advance if understanding and knowledge is hoarded by a select few. He advocates that knowledge should be tossed about with reckless abandon so our experiences and understanding is broadened by as many diverse perspectives as possible.

In his role as Manager, Strategy and Deliver, Tom is responsible for developing and maintaining strategy relationships which advance the University’s policy and advocacy agenda for Western Sydney. 

Tom has an extensive track record of negotiating and cultivating meaningful partnerships across the government, business and community sectors that address a range of complex social, economic and organisational issues in a way that encourages involvement and engagement from a range of stakeholders.

Billie works with the Board and strategically leads WSCF to 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 Greater Western Sydney – for the community sector, in local and state government, and at Western Sydney University. Billie successfully delivered the State Government’s first Early Intervention Program in NSW (now Brighter Futures). 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 community sector in the initial compact which culminated into the Working Together for NSW agreement between NGOs and the NSW Government.

Billie holds a Master of Human Services Management and Policy, awarded with distinction, and a Bachelor of Social Work (Honours).

David has led Business Western Sydney since its foundation in 2012. Prior to this, he served as the Minister for Western Sydney, Minister for Housing, Minister for Roads, and Minister assisting the Minister for Transport and Roads in NSW Labor Governments.

He was also the youngest person, at 30 years of age, to hold the office of Lord Mayor of Parramatta.

David is currently a Director of Think Planners, Independent Chair of the Liverpool Innovation Precinct, a non-executive director on the boards of the NRMA and Evolve Housing, a Trustee of the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences, and a member of the Placemaking NSW Advisory Committee.

Moderator, Western sydney university

Andrew is proud to call Western Sydney home. He graduated from Western Sydney University with a degree in International Business and was awarded eight overseas scholarships which enabled him to work and study abroad in China, India, Thailand, Vietnam and the United Kingdom. He was the recipient of Western Sydney University’s Alumnus Award in 2019 (The Academy) having also been previously recognised for his leadership and contribution to the development of multicultural communities at the University through the Collegiate Award in 2017 (The Academy). 

He has previously sat on the Deloitte ‘Shaping Future Cities’ steering committee and is currently the Steering Committee Co-Chair of the Australia-Vietnam Leadership Dialogue and an Alumni Ambassador and Mentor to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s New Colombo Plan.

Brad is a visionary thought leader, specialising in Entrepreneurial Leadership, Corporate Innovation and High Growth Business Strategy. 

He is obsessed about developing a new type of leader, those who find strength internally, rather than externally and who live life from the inside out. Brad believes these types of leaders can transition us into a world that is redefining the way human beings live, work and play. He has co-founded 3 enterprise technology start-ups, raised over $USD150M in Venture Capital and had three successful exits, the biggest in 2013 for $USD280M.

Brad has worked with top level clients, using products he has developed, to drive significant change programs including the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Swisscom, Union Bank of Switzerland, VISA, Department of Industry Science and Innovation, University of Technology Sydney, UNSW, Allianz, Rackspace, AWS, DXC Technology and Microsoft.

He is currently a Senior Lecturer for the Bachelor of Entrepreneurship and an Entrepreneur in Residence for Venture Makers at Western Sydney University. The University’s flagship Entrepreneurial Training Programs. He also keynotes around the world and has spoken for clients such as DuluxGroup, Singularity U, Chartered Accountants ANZ, American Chamber of Commerce, IBM, vmware and Century Link. 

Brad’s core belief is that it has never been easier to create an abundant life and to achieve what you dream, if you are willing to develop yourself as a leader and cultivate your character. 

He resides on the Central Coast of NSW, where he can be seen raising three young Jedi Knights or when the wind is blowing kitesurfing with the whales. 

Over the course of a successful career overseeing iconic real estate and infrastructure projects, Bryan has been in the privileged position to provide executive leadership to large scale teams managing asset portfolios in excess of AUD $20bn.

Bryan has in excess of 30 year’s experience within the property  and infrastructure industry, including 18 year career with AMP Capital Property. Bryan has been a Non Executive Director for the Shopping Centre Council (SCCA) and Australia Pacific Airports Corporation (APAC) Melbourne and Launceston Airports. 

As the Managing Director for AMP Capital’s Shopping Centre business for in excess of nine years, Bryanwas actively involved at a senior leadership level in large infrastructure assets. Under Bryan’s leadership, he contributed to significant growth of the shopping centre business from $4 billion AUM to $10 billion AUM, through growing the portfolio organically and the exceptional delivery of the unprecedented $5 billion property redevelopment pipeline. 

Positioning AMP Capital as a leader in major shopping centre management and development through building both recurring and non-recurring revenue. Bryan was able to deliver this in part through leading transformational projects, most significantly the AMP Capital and Westfield demerger which unlocked $1.8b in investment funds. In tandem working on the sourcing $890m of investment funds from new investors, which enabled the commencement of the $5 bil major property redevelopment pipeline projects such as Macquarie Centre and Pacific Fair Shopping Centre.

As a Member of the Melbourne Airport Board of Directors, Bryan contributed to a period of substantial organisational growth and change, execution of major capital investment program in excess of a billion dollars, in order to implement the largest transformation of Melbourne Airport. Bryan’s  personal contribution included developing an asset-based property strategy to develop non-aeronautical revenue lines on property around the airport.  

In September 2022, Bryan was appointed as Interim Chief Executive Officer at City of Parramatta following the resignation of the former CEO.  Bryan leads a team of approximately 1,300 staff with work spanning across planning, social outcomes, economic development, environmental outcomes and transport planning.  He is responsible for managing a portfolio of game-changing projects including, Parramatta Square, Parramatta Light Rail, Sydney Metro West, the Parramatta Aquatic Centre and a range of major planning reforms. 

Bryan’s substantive role as Executive Director Property & Place leads a team focussed on city shaping projects. Parramatta's Property Development Group oversees and leverages value and city-shaping opportunities for a range of council owned sites. In the Parramatta CBD alone, this includes carparks and vacant sites. These sites allow Council to unlock value, optimise potential and grow a property and investment portfolio. 

As the Executive Director, Property & Place, Bryan is responsible for the strategic management of its property assets to maximise financial returns and the development of a range of quality facilities that support the City’s vision and priorities. Leading a specialist team focused on the delivery of key property projects in alignment with the Community Strategic Plan. Managing this growth and investment well is an important responsibility for the  City of  Parramatta Council. 

Caitlin is EY’s Client Service Partner for NSW Health and has over 20 years of experience in both Australia and the UK, advising government departments and agencies, private health insurance and peak bodies in health policy development, large scale program implementation, and evaluation across the continuum of care.  A trained economist and chartered accountant with a Masters in Public Health, she has a comprehensive understanding of the financial, governance and policy issues at play within the Australian health system. Current areas of focus include: High reliability organising, data-led performance improvement, primary care reform and digital strategy.

Claire began her career in Academia, obtaining a PhD from Monash University where she went on to hold a Lecturer position. During this time, she led the delivery of multiple tertiary courses across the undergraduate and postgraduate spaces, and was involved in a range of research projects spanning multiple fields. Claire has also previously founded her own startup, which she scaled to a community of over 14,000 women. She has hands on experience in launching and running a company, with an intimate understanding of the early-stage founder journey.

Corrie has a proud history of leading private and public sector trade and investment programs, having supported companies entering, expanding, and/or investing into new markets for over 15 years across the energy, technology and financial services industries. Corrie currently leads the program design and delivery unit for the Innovation and Technology branch at Investment NSW and has oversight of the recently announced Carla Zampatti VC fund. Previously within Investment NSW, he led the technology investment team. Corrie has also worked for Service NSW where he directed project and enterprise change teams in delivering core government services to the citizens of NSW. Before entering into the NSW Government, Corrie led resource and energy investment teams for the City of Brisbane, the Australian Trade and Investment Commission and the Republic of South Africa.

Distinguished Professor Simmons is Professor of Medicine at Western Sydney University Macarthur Clinical School, Head of Campbelltown Hospital Endocrinology Department and Director of the Diabetes Obesity and Metabolism Translation Unit (DOMTRU).  

He has worked both nationally and internationally. Foundation Chair in Rural Health at University of Melbourne (1998 – 2002.)  Inaugural Professor of Medicine, University of Auckland, Waikato Clinical School New Zealand (2003-2007) and Lead Diabetes consultant at Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. (2007 – 2014), joining Western Sydney University, Australia in January 2015. With over 400 refereed publications, he has won several national and international awards for his work in diabetes epidemiology, diabetes in pregnancy and diabetes service development including the American Diabetes Association 2020 Norbert Freinkel Award, MDRF (Madras Diabetes Research Foundation) 2021 Gold Medal Oration, and the Diabetes in Pregnancy Study Group 2022 Jorgen Pederson award.  He is a past president of the Australasian Diabetes in Pregnancy Society (ADIPS) and was a member of the World Health Organisation technical working group on the criteria for hyperglycaemia in pregnancy.  He was previously the chair of the Diabetes UK Health Professional Education Steering Group.  Professor Simmons works with the University of Örebro, Sweden and is a Professorial Fellow at the University of  Melbourne.  He is the Chief Investigator of the Treatment of Booking Gestational diabetes Mellitus (ToBOGM) Study, the first large randomised controlled trial of treating GDM early in pregnancy. 

Head of Settlement, Settlement Services International

Settlement Services International (SSI), a community-based, not-for-profit humanitarian organisation providing a range of services in areas including humanitarian settlement, employment, disability, housing and asylum seeker assistance among others.

Dor is a former refugee from South Sudan who came to Australia in 2003 after 9 years living in Kakuma refugee camp as a result of war in the then Sudan.

Dor holds a Master’s Degree in International Law and International Relations, a Bachelor of Arts in Politics and International Relations, A Diploma of Community Services Coordination and a Diploma of Children Services.

Dor is well acquainted with the issues facing refugees, migrants and people seeking asylum.

Outside work, Dor is known for his commitment to community work which earned him the AMP Tomorrow Foundation’s award as one of the Tomorrow Makers for establishing and running the South Sudanese Youth Cultural Activities Program to engage young people from South Sudanese backgrounds living in the Western Sydney in cultural activities.

Dor has presented at a number of international conferences in New York - UN Head Quarters, Geneva - UNHCR head Quarters and ATCR, Istanbul - World Humanitarian Summit, Bangkok - APRRN Conferences, Copenhagen - Danish Foreign Ministry and New Zealand – Settlement  Services Exchange Program representing refugee communities and advocating for durable solutions to global refugee issues.

Chief Digital Health Officer, Western Sydney Local Health District

Dr Christina Igasto has over 25 years of experience within healthcare with a primary focus on digital transformation and currently serves as the Chief Digital Health Officer of Western Sydney Local Health District. She has held various senior executive positions pertaining to Digital Health and ICT strategy within public and private domains (including start-ups) and has significant experience as an academic research leader for Artificial Intelligence in Healthcare.

Goal-driven and persistent, Christina has successfully led innovation and implementation of digital solutions across entire organisations through her ability to create and manage high- erforming, multidisciplinary teams through challenging periods of change. From her native Sweden, Christina was honoured as one of Medtech’s 100 ‘most powerful people in the nation’ (2016 and 2017). She has received credentialing as a Certified Health Informatician Australasia.

Artistic Director and CEO, UTP

Jessica is currently Artistic Director of UTP, a multidisciplinary arts organisation based in Western Sydney and leads the Transformation and Sustainability course for the NIDA Cultural Leadership Masters program.

Jessica’s experience of growing up neuro-divergence and of chronic illness have informed her commitment to intersectional access to the arts. Jessica completed a Bachelor of Contemporary Arts at Western Sydney University’s art school. After more than ten years as an artist and curator showing at major institutions like GOMA, Performance Space and MCA she undertook a PhD at Sydney university. This PhD focused on the intersections of visual art, performance, dance and theatre within a community setting, and how to do it better.

Head of Community and Stakeholder Engagement NSW, NBN Co

Jonathon James is an urban planner with a variety of experience in both infrastructure and telecommunications including 10 years with NBN Co, Australia’s wholesale broadband network.

Jonathon is passionate about the interaction of people with places and how communities are working together to both address the challenges and realise the opportunities of rapid digitalisation.

Julia is a biotechnology commercialisation expert with over 20 years of experience. Having started her career as a scientist, she combined her PhD with an MBA in 1999/2000 and since that time has worked in many varied roles along the commercialisation path. Julia has been engaged within Research Institutes in technology transfer roles, held investor manager/Associate roles in Venture Capital and Corporate Advisory, as well as Chief Operating Officer/General Manager roles within ASX-listed biotech companies. She has also been a Director and Alternate Director on the boards of private biotech start-ups. She has led the formation of numerous start-up companies and completed many global licensing deals. Julia is adept at raising capital from both public and private markets, as well as attracting funds from government and granting bodies.

General Manager, Campbelltown City Council

Lindy Deitz brings close to 30 years of Local Government experience to her role as General Manager of Campbelltown City, where she leads the transitional phase of one of the largest and oldest councils in the state into a transformational powerhouse delivering innovative change for its communities.Lindy is focused on delivering the services and facilities that the community needs and is a caring advocate for the wider southwest Sydney region.She continually champions the important role Campbelltown and the south west play in shaping Sydney’s future and works tirelessly with all levels of government, private industry and community organisations to ensure that Campbelltown City gains the support it needs to embark on its evolution into a bustling metropolis at the southern gateway to the South West Growth Corridor.

Lisa Ffrench was appointed Director, Strategic Projects, Powerhouse in December 2019. She leads the development of strategic projects designed for implementation as part of the Powerhouse Parramatta program. Lisa was previously the Director of Programs at Carriageworks for seven years. Prior to that she worked in the Prime Minister’s office, where her responsibilities included management of the Prime Minister’s national and international public events. Lisa brings over 25 years’ experience in the arts and cultural sector across museums, theatre, dance, film, music and television nationally and internationally.

Dr Mana Liao is the Acting Senior Director of the Targeted Translation Research Accelerator initiative at MTPConnect. With a background as a technology commercialisation professional, Mana has extensive experience working at the interface of medical research, commercialisation and life science investment. Previously, Mana was the Innovation Manager at the Garvan Institute of Medical Research, tracking multidisciplinary research areas including genomics, cancer, diabetes, immunology and neuroscience, across the institute and collaborative research centres to file patents, build industry partnerships, manage the IP portfolio, establish pre-spin-offs, lead teams of bio-entrepreneurs and procure commercialisation funding.

In prior roles at the University of Sydney, as a Commercialisation Officer and a Business Development Manager she supported technology innovation and championed industry engagement to academics. Mana holds a Bachelor of Science with Honours (Molecular Biology and Genetics) from the University of Sydney, a Ph.D. in Medicine from the University of New South Wales and a Masters of Intellectual Property from University of Technology Sydney. Mana’s post-doctoral research, at the Garvan Institute, involved identification and validation of novel drug targets for diabetes and obesity.

Dr Maryam Parviz is a biomedical engineer, co-founder and CEO of SDIP Innovations. SDIP's regenerative platform, JAZBI™, aims to restore and replace bones naturally. In addition, JAZBI™ surgical kit enables surgeons to innovate while treating complex bone defects. Maryam completed her PhD at Australian Centre for Nanomedicine and post-doctoral training at the Industrial Research Institute of Biomedical Materials and Devices. Maryam is a graduate of the NSW Health-sponsored Medical Device Commercialisation Training Program. Together with her co-founder, they established SDIP in 2018. The same year they were jointly awarded a commercialisation fellowship by NSW Health and spent three years in San Francisco, QB3-UCSF Rosenman incubators, testing the scalability of JAZBI™ Platform and expanding their team. Most recently, Maryam and her team have established an ISO certified cleanroom manufacturing facility in Sydney. Maryam has led SDIP to obtain $ 5.8 M to date, a combination of grants and private investments to advance JAZBI™ platform.

Murray Hurps is the Director of Entrepreneurship for UTS, leading the work of the University to inspire and support technology-enabled entrepreneurs.

Australia’s recovery needs job-ready graduates, productivity-boosting research, and new entrepreneurs spreading innovations, creating new jobs and driving our recovery. Murray’s work is enabling this critical third pillar of work at UTS.

Before building the largest community of student-launched startups at UTS, Murray was CEO of Fishburners, growing it from 100 desks of startup space, to 750 across Sydney, Brisbane and Shanghai, and supporting 508 startups during this time.

He founded Startup Muster, the largest survey of Australian startups for five years, reviewing a few thousand Australian startups each year.

He founded FUELD, Westpac’s data-focused accelerator program.

He’s been a Director of the Australian Information Industry Association, Spark Festival and WorkVentures, all in support of Australian technology-enabled entrepreneurs.

He does what he does because at 16 he founded Ad Muncher, an ad-blocking startup that grew for 14 years, to a peak of 100 million active users. He wants more Australians to understand and pursue the opportunities they have today through technology-enabled entrepreneurship, and for Australia to realise the benefits of this as well.

Nicole Carnegie is the Director of City Strategy and an Executive Team Member at the City of Parramatta, leading the portfolios of Innovation, Economic, Social, Environment and Cultural Strategy. Nicole has a Masters in Urbanism and is passionate about creating vibrant and interesting places for people, with a specific interest in the unprecedented growth and transformation of Parramatta.

Professor Breen received his B.Eng. Degree in Computer Engineering (First Class Honours) in 2003 and his Ph.D. Degree in 2007, both from the University of Limerick. He also has a Postgrad Certificate in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education from NUI Galway (2008). He was awarded a Government of Ireland Postdoctoral Fellowship in 2007 from the Irish Research Council for Science, Engineering and Technology.

He has worked as a researcher in various laboratories and departments around the world including the University of Twente/Roessingh Research & Development, The Netherlands; Harvard Medical School and the School of Medicine, WSU.

In 2013, he was appointed Senior Research Lecturer in the Biomedical Engineering & Neuromorphic Systems group, The MARCS Institute, Western Sydney University. Since then, he has been awarded 9 research grants, bringing his combined total research budget to date, to $15.5 million. These funds were awarded by the US Department of Defence, NHMRC, NSW and National Australian Departments of Industry and the Australian Association of Gerontology. Key to these successes has been a focus on transdisciplinary research with real-world impact and collaboration with industry.

Since joining WSU in 2013, two Australian start-up companies have been formed based on his collaborative work. Medical Monitoring Solutions, commercialises specific purpose wearable technologies. PAYO Scientific, which he is a Founder/Director, manufactures an incubation system for tissue samples (Braincubator).

Ray is the CEO of WentWest which leads primary health care system integration in Western Sydney. As the Primary Health Network, WentWest continually reimagine how primary, community, acute and social care is delivered, commissioning services into targeted areas of need and supporting primary care transformation and integration. WentWest aims to remove organisational and professional barriers, alleviate the siloed fragmented nature of care and pursue ‘one Western Sydney health system’ in order to provide value-based and person-centred care. Prior to joining WentWest, Ray led System Information and Analytics (SIA) Branch for the NSW Ministry of Health which supports the data and analytical needs of the $22 billion NSW public health system. It leads data governance system-wide and research on and evaluation of incentives, key performance indicators and health care improvement initiatives. Ray has also work with PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) Canada and PwC Australia where he advised government, private, NGOs and academic sectors across Australia and Canada on several transformational reform agendas. As a health economist and senior administrator for more than 20 years, Ray has dedicated his career to the translation of evidence into policy and policy into outcomes for citizens.

Rebecca Pham is a founding team member of cloud computing startup, Strong Compute. She leads corporate operations and oversees the day to day running of the company. Rebecca has been a startup ecosystem builder for most of her career and has led numerous accelerators and incubators including Western Sydney University's Launch Pad.

Richard has more than 30 years' experience in top-tier management consulting, new venture development, venture capital and R&D engineering. He has extensive experience with growth and transformation for clients ranging in size from large multinational corporations to technology startups, and university spinouts. Richard is the owner of Dale Advisers Pty Ltd, Partner NSW Universities for Campus Plus Pty Ltd, co-founder and Committee Member of Sydney Angels Inc, and Member of the Investment Committee for Sydney Angels Sidecar Funds 1 and 2. He holds an MBA from London Business School, and a first class honours degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Western Australia.

Siobhan Curran has managed the University of Newcastle’s Integrated Innovation Network (I2N) since 2016, building to a network of 4,000 event and program participants. The I2N has incubated and accelerated more than 150 teams, driving the success of innovators and entrepreneurs by connecting them to community, customers, coaching and capital. Siobhan has postgraduate qualifications in business leadership and entrepreneurship, and a background in brand, marketing, stakeholder management and finance.

Dr Tegan Cheng is a biomedical engineer, scientist and NHMRC Emerging Leader (2021-25) at the University of Sydney in the School of Health Sciences. At the EPIC Lab, based at the Children’s Hospital at Westmead, she leads a research program that collaborates with healthcare professionals, engineers and designers to develop novel solutions to challenges in the medical care of children. Her research focuses on the development and commercialisation of medical devices for children's musculoskeletal conditions and the application of 3D printing to improve health outcomes for children.

Jim Basilakis is currently Senior Lecturer in Digital Health at the
School of Computer, Data and Mathematical Sciences at Western Sydney
University. He has a senior clinical and technical researcher position at the
Ingham Institute, and was prior a Research Fellow at the University of NSW. Dr
Basilakis has postgraduate qualifications in Internal Medicine, Biomedical
Engineering and has a PhD in Computing. In previous roles as a practicing
medical doctor, he has developed an intimate knowledge of the tertiary
healthcare industry and its work practices in most clinical areas through
accredited training positions in internal and emergency medicine for over 15
years. In industry, he is currently CTO of Resuscitation Systems, a company
developing critical and emergency resuscitation digital training solutions.
Previously he was Medical Director for a telehealth company whose solutions
encompassed the home and residential healthcare sectors. His interests include
Digital Health, Clinical AI/Decision Support/Data Analytics, Cloud Computing,
Telehealth, Cybersecurity and Applied Cryptography. 

Duncan has extensive experience in scientific research, development and commercialisation and external engagement. He was most recently Business Development Manager for the Faculty of Medicine and Health at the University of Sydney, responsible for industry engagement activities with the University’s researchers, multinational pharmaceutical and medtech companies, affiliated medical research institutes and NSW local health districts. In a prior role at University of Sydney, he was Commercialisation Officer for the Science, Medicine and Health, and Engineering faculties.

He has also held a number of commercial roles, including Commercial Manager at Vectus Biosystems Ltd and Accugen Pty Ltd (ASX: VBS), a drug discovery company developing novel anti-hypertensive and anti-fibrotic drugs, and at ESL Biosciences and Phenomenex Australia. He has also worked at UNSW’s Grants Management Office.  

Duncan holds a Doctor of Philosophy from the University of Western Sydney, a Bachelor of Advanced Science with Honours (Biochemistry and Molecular Biology) from UNSW and a Graduate Diploma in Business Administration from the Australian Institute of Business.

In April 2022 Elizabeth was appointed Managing Director of Telstra Health, Australia’s largest digital health company and a subsidiary of Telstra Corporation.  

Prior to this Elizabeth was Secretary, NSW Health for a six year term. As Secretary, Elizabeth was responsible for the management of the NSW health system, the largest health system in Australia with a $30 billion budget and 124,000 FTE. Key strategy achievements include the implementation of value based care across NSW, the progression of e-Health initiatives and a $2B/year capital infrastructure program. In 2020/2021 Elizabeth lead the NSW Health system through the COVID-19 pandemic and advised NSW crisis cabinet on the management of COVID-19 in NSW, and the subsequent vaccination roll out.

Elizabeth was chair of the Australian Health Ministers Advisory Council (AHMAC) and its subsequent iteration of Health Chief Executives Forum. She is also a member of Chief Executive Women. 

Elizabeth was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia in the Queen’s Birthday 2022 Honours. In September 2022 she was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from Western Sydney University for her contribution to healthcare in Western Sydney. 

James O'Loghlinis one of Australia's most respected, entertaining and experienced corporate  speakers  and media  personalities,  best known  as  the host  of  over 300 episodes  of  "The New  inventors"  on ABC-TV, and for his  witty  and entertaining programs on ABC Local Radio.Hehas been delighting corporate audiences for over a decade and is equally at home giving  keynote speeches  on  innovation, acting  as  MC  for  awards nights  and conferences and facilitating panel discussions.From criminal lawyer, to comedian to media personality and presenter James has a wealth of experience.It  was this  role  as the  host  of the  New Inventors hat  fuelled  James' interest  in innovation,  a subject  upon which he  now  regularly gives  keynote  speeches. He explores  practical things we  can  all do  every  day to  become  more innovative,  and about the ways in which companies can create a culture that encourages innovation. A  favourite with  Australian  audiences and  event  planners James  is  a true  industry professional with hundreds of successful live events to his credit.

Jamie Pride is a Partner at Humanly Agile, an organisational design and change management consultancy that helps clients discover better ways of working and harness the power of their people.  

He has over 27 years of experience in business transformation and is highly passionate about the future of work. His areas of expertise include organisational design, enterprise agility, people strategy & employee experience.  

Jamie is a Scaled Agile Program Consultant (SPC) and a Prosci Certified Change Practitioner. Jamie also serves as a Non-Executive Director on the board of CHOICE. As well as being Chief Entrepreneur In Residence at Western Sydney University, Jamie is also the author of Unicorn Tears: Why Startups Fail & How To Avoid It - one of Australia's most popular business books on startups.  

Dr Jill Freyne is Deputy Chief Scientist at CSIRO, Australia’s
national science agency. CSIRO solves the greatest challenges through
innovative science and technology.  


A highly experienced leader in digital health service delivery,
Jill is recognised in Australia and internationally for her work in
transformative health technology solutions. She is passionate about improving
equity and accessibility in the healthcare industry and has extensive
experience in leading teams to devise sustainable health innovations. 


Jill joined CSIRO in 2013 and has held a number of leadership
roles in digital health research, working extensively with government and
industry partners. She received her PhD
in Computer Science from University College Dublin in Ireland and has held
positions at the Clarity Center for Sensor Web technologies and IBM Research,

Finn is the Artistic Director and CEO of Outloud, a social impact youth arts organisation that brings together professional artists and service providers to create award-winning, life-changing projects in Western Sydney. She has previously worked with Perth Festival as the Young Creatives Coordinator, renegade performance company pvi collective as Company Coordinator, The Smith Family as the WA State Events Coordinator and Communities for Children Project Officer, Crack Theatre Festival as Co-Artistic Director, and City of Darwin in the Youth and Community Development Department. Finn is also a multi-award-winning writer, director, and dramaturg, and has been programmed nationally and internationally at major venues and festivals in this capacity. She is passionate about creatively collaborating with artists and communities to create extraordinary work that give transferable life skills.  

Dr Freya MacMillan is an Associate Professor in Interprofessional Health Sciences, based in the School of Health Sciences, a CI in the Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism Translational Research Unit (DOMTRU), an Executive member and lead of the prevention working group in the Sydney Partnership for Health, Enterprise, Research & Education (SPHERE) Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism Clinical Academic Group and co-investigator of the Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolic Health white paper group at Western. 

Freya is a diabetes prevention and management expert. She uses her community engagement, mixed-methods and implementation science expertise to develop, evaluate and translate lifestyle interventions into sustainable practice. Dr MacMillan has strong expertise in combining qualitative and quantitative research methods to guide intervention development and for comprehensive and rigorous evaluation. Community engagement is at the core of her research. She co-creates programs with communities, healthcare workers and other professionals to develop innovative community-based and health service strategies. She has a particular focus on models incorporating peer support, that are more likely to be adopted and integrated long-term into practice for multi-cultural groups. 

Current industry partners include Local Health Districts, Primary Health Networks, Diabetes NSW & ACT, SPHERE and NSW Health. Her links within these networks and across DOMTRU, SPHERE and Western, provide multi-disciplinary collaborative opportunities to tackle diabetes. 

Associate Professor Genevieve Steiner-Lim is an NHMRC Emerging Leadership Fellow and the Clinical Research Platform Lead at the NICM Health Research Institute, Western Sydney University.  Her translational neuroscience research focuses on the early detection, prevention, and treatment of cognitive decline in older people with the aim of reducing dementia risk and improving quality of life.  

George is a medical practitioner who has been deeply involved in technology for the last 30 years. Originally trained as an optometrist, he started tinkering with computers in 1981 when he bought his first PC, a Sinclair ZX80, before going back to medical school to complete his training at the University of Sydney. He was Chief Information Officer (CIO) of a private hospital group as well as managing an innovative software development team. George joined Intel in 2005, as healthcare lead and then Intel-GECare Innovations. In 2013 he was appointed an Adjunct Associate Professor at the University of Western Sydney with the TeleHealth Research & Innovation Laboratory (THRIL). In 2014 he was appointed to the IT in Aged Care Hall of Fame for his work in the use of technology in aged care. He was a senior adviser for HIMSS APAC in Australia in 2015 and helped HISA and the ADHA launch the CXIO Network in 2018. In 2019 he took on the role of Independent Chair of the Aged Care Industry Information Technology Council

Joanna joined the NGO sector in 2012, after an extensive career in the NSW public sector spanning social policy, watchdog agencies and the transport portfolio. She held senior operational roles at Relationships Australia and Flourish Australia before taking on the role of CEO of NCOSS in 2018.  Her priorities include collaborating with other peak bodies to demonstrate the intersectionality of issues, bolstering resources to the sector, recognising its role in emergency management, and building a robust evidence base concerning poverty and disadvantage in NSW and initiatives that would make a difference.  

Program and Community Manager at iAccelerate 

John Kerr is iAccelerate’s Program and Community Manager, responsible for start-up recruitment, retention and growing its vibrant start-up environment. Over the past 8 ½ years John has worked with over 250 start-ups opening the iAccelerate innovation programs to external entrepreneurs, students and researchers. John is also responsible for driving the investment opportunities for its $10m Seed Fund.