Ms Looney is currently the General Manager of the Industry Capability and Participation Branch in Industry Growth Division. She has held the position of Acting AIP Authority (or their delegate) since her commencement. She joined the department in September 2019 from the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (PM&C) where she held the position of Senior Adviser for Industry, Innovation and Science. Prior to joining PM&C, Ms Looney performed a number of roles in the Department of Industry Science, Energy and Resources, including working on business innovation policy and trade policy. Ms Looney holds a Bachelor of Business from RMIT University and a Masters Degree in Public Policy – Industry Strategy from the Australian National University.
I’m passionate about creating public spaces that inspire and delight and leading the talented teams that deliver them. I have been fortunate to lead some of Australia’s most transformational cultural and sport projects, including the Melbourne Tennis Centre Redevelopment and Arts Centre Melbourne’s Hamer Hall Redevelopment.
I now lead Create Infrastructure, overseeing NSW’s portfolio of arts and culture projects in planning and delivery including the Powerhouse Museum, Sydney Modern, Walsh Bay Arts Precinct, Regional Cultural Fund and the Ultimo Creative Industries Precinct, amongst many others.
Prior to returning to government, I led AECOM’s NSW & ACT Buildings & Places business, a team of 200+ consultants across three offices. I am most proud of the program of cultural change that we implemented under my leadership.
In 2006 I immigrated from the US to Melbourne. I worked for nearly 10 years for Major Projects Victoria leading a series of flagship Melbourne projects. An advocate for design excellence, I managed the high profile Flinders Street Station Design Competition, and in close partnership with the State Government Architect’s office devised mechanisms to ensure the quality of design during procurement and delivery of a suite of public projects.
Back in the US, I cut my teeth on large scale urban renewal projects and grass roots neighbourhood revitalisation programs. I held a key role leading the planning for the Connecticut Science Center during the formation of this new cultural institution.
Evonne Bennett is the Project Director for Project EnergyConnect and has broad experience in utilities, oil and gas, power and transport infrastructure. She has capabilities in project development and delivery, managing assets and investments, and Mergers & Acquisitions, having worked in both global and local companies. She enjoys connecting people and working in collaboration teams to deliver a business objective.
She has qualifications in chemical engineering and finance.
Arianwyn Lowe is Director Energy Programs in the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment. Arianwyn has 15 years’ experience in the utilities sector as well as in rail and telecommunications. She has worked in senior policy, regulatory and commercial advisory roles in utility regulators, policy bodies, private energy companies and the public sector. In her current role she oversees design and delivery of programs under the NSW Climate Change Fund and is leading the development of the NSW distributed energy resources strategy.
Heather is the Delivery Director for Inland Rail’s Central Program and is accountable for the Narrabri to North Star (Phase 1) project in New South Wales, and the Central Civil Works Packages which are currently in the Development Phase in Pre-Contracts.
Heather has more than 20 years’ experience in the mining and construction industries leading projects from development to execution, for both client and contractor. She has worked in senior roles for a range of construction and operational projects in New South Wales and Queensland spanning transport, telecommunications, rail, gas and mining.
Prior to joining the Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) in August 2020, Heather was the New South Wales Operations Manager for Thiess.
Heather lives with her family on their farm near Scone in regional New South Wales and, outside work, she trains and competes in endurance horse riding events with her daughter, spends time trail running and sits on the Board of Directors for the Muswellbrook Race Club.
Mark has been a pioneer in the development of social procurement in Australia and New Zealand, also playing an important role in the global emergence of social procurement. He was a co-founder of Social Traders and as Executive Director for 13 years, led the development of their social enterprise marketplace which has become a must-access service for corporate and government clients seeking to build social enterprises into their supply chains. He has worked with hundreds of business and government clients seeking to build social impact into their supply chains.
Mark worked at the Brotherhood of St Laurence leading the development and growth of their social enterprises as well as working with disadvantaged communities across Victoria to build their social enterprise and social procurement capacity. At Social Traders, Mark developed the organisations capacity building and role as an industry association, successfully lobbying government to support social enterprise and social procurement in various states. He led policy development, advocacy, sales and operations teams in Social Traders. In 2013 he also developed Social Procurement Australasia (with current colleague Chris Newman), a NFP supporting the growth of social procurement in the region, from 2016 he sat on the Australian Committee for the development of the ISO20400 Sustainable Procurement Guidance.
Mark also has extensive experience in training, strategy development, change management and stakeholder engagement. He is recognized as a leader in his field and has presented on social and sustainable procurement at conferences across Australia, New Zealand and globally.
Nik began his career as an Accountant, transitioned into Business Consulting where he worked with prominent FTSE 100 organisations before moving into Recruitment and assuming a number of Executive positions with leading Global Recruitment Consultancies in both the UK and Australia.
With over 20 years of proven experience in Executive Search and Selection which includes recruiting permanent and interim positions, managing single assignments and project-based recruitment that has involved the development and delivery of large-scale international sourcing campaigns. Nik has experience of partnering with leadership teams from government, private equity, not-for-profit through to ASX listed businesses, in delivering people and business solutions.
Nik works within an eco-system of alliances and partnerships to support clients across all facets of major projects, specialising in Project Management (Project, Program, PMO, Portfolio Management) and the Leadership area, partnering with organisations to source talent and forward plan against current and future project requirements.
Nik has been an active part of the start-up community, witnessing firsthand the trends and innovation shaping our economy; partaking in several forums, discussing topics that have included the future of work, the use of artificial intelligence in hiring talent, retention, and attraction strategies in a constantly changing environment.
Furthermore, Nik, is working with peak bodies and education providers on identifying and developing skills for the future, regularly delivering presentations to the CEO Institute, Australian Institute of Project Management, as well as Universities.
Associate Professor Tooran Alizadeh is the co-convener of Smart Urbanism (Research) Lab at the University of Sydney, the lead investigator on the Infrastructure Governance Incubator funded by the Henry Halloran Trust, and the Associate Editor of Telematics and Informatics - an interdisciplinary high impact journal (IF:4.139) on the social impacts of new technologies.
*Speakers to be confirmed
Expotrade Australia Pty Ltd
Suite 1, Level 1, 2 Brandon Park Drive
Wheelers Hill VIC 3150 Australia