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.
Chris Newman is Managing Director of ArcBlue, one of the Asia-Pacific Region’s fastest growing procurement consultancy, analytics, and training organisations. One of ArcBlue’s key areas of expertise and experience is in social procurement, where Chris has been a leader over the last decade.
Key social procurement activity, Chris has played a leadership role in projects including:
As a consultant and trainer, Chris has presented at State, National and International Conferences and worked with a range of public and private sector clients across Australia and New Zealand on social procurement development and training programs.
In 2012, Chris co-developed the NSW Public Sector Social Procurement Guidelines, including Workshops across the State. In 2013, Chris co-founded Social Procurement Australasia, a not-for-profit membership organisation and community of practice that produce guidance and thought and practice leadership and has developed and facilitated conferences and events across the region.
MBA qualified, Chris has over 16 years’ experience in senior procurement and management roles in Government and currently leads a broad range of procurement development and training projects.
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.
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