Jim Betts is the CEO of Infrastructure NSW, an independent statutory agency that provides specialist advice to the NSW Government on infrastructure investment and prioritisation. Jim joined Infrastructure NSW following five years as the Secretary of the Victorian Department of Transport and four years as Victoria’s Director of Public Transport at the Victorian Department of Infrastructure. As part of his role at Infrastructure NSW, Jim led the development of more than 80 recommendations to Government of critical infrastructure for NSW—set out in the State Infrastructure Strategy Update 2014. Jim is Chairman of Infrastructure Investor Assurance Committee, reporting to Cabinet on High Profile/ High Risk projects, while providing oversight of almost 400 projects across government registered in the Infrastructure NSW assurance database. Since the establishment of Projects NSW in 2015 Jim has also been responsible for the delivery of a number of the state’s infrastructure priorities. This has included the $3.4 billion Darling Harbour transformation along with new major projects including Western Sydney Stadium, Walsh Bay Arts Precinct redevelopment and the New Grafton Correctional Centre.
During his time in Victoria Jim was involved in the delivery of the $38 billion Victorian Transport Plan, the overhaul of Victoria's legislative framework to integrate the planning of transport and land use, and overseeing construction of the $4.3 billion Regional Rail Link project.
After serving as a councillor for nearly two decades, Councillor Andrew Wilson has been elected as the first Lord Mayor of the new City of Parramatta Council.
A representative for the Rosehill Ward, he has served on various planning committees, and has extensive experience in government and politics including in advisory roles.
He is enthusiastic about Parramatta's unique heritage and wants to see the city grow in a way that celebrates and preserves its history, while ensuring the community benefits through improved infrastructure and job creation.
Cr Wilson has been a supporter of 'Eat Street' on Church Street for over two decades and was prominent in supporting the Pavement Access Management Plan which created kilometres of new footpaths.
His interests extend to the arts, particularly as a backer of the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences move to Parramatta and in the long-term success of Riverside Theatres.
As a long-time local resident, having first moved to the area in 1990, Cr Wilson understands the day-to-day issues that impact the City, and is committed to delivering improved outcomes for all residents.
Pip is State Drought Coordinator, a role she has been in since May 2018. Pip’s primary purpose is to connect with primary producers, community and industry to understand the challenges being experienced during the drought conditions and informing Government to ensure appropriate response measures can be implemented.
Pip is located at Geurie in the Central West of NSW and was the 2014 National & NSW/Act RIRDC Rural Woman of the Year and is the former CEO of the Little River Landcare Group. Pip has been a small business operator for 20+ years as a farmer and beef cattle producer and worked in the not-for-profit sector for 10 years.
Pip’s experience of working collaboratively with community in a sustainable agriculture context bought her into the NSW Department of Primary Industries to join the Business and Social Resilience Programs team where she leads the Young Farmer Business Program which is new initiative upskilling the next generation of farmers and fishers. Pip also plays a key role providing support services to farming families to enhance business and social resilience.
Pip’s professional career within Landcare resulted in her being inducted into the Australian Businesswomen’s Hall of Fame and presented as the winner of 2015 NSW Landcare Facilitator Award. Pip is a member of the Primary Industries Ministerial Advisory Council; a Board member of the Central Tablelands Local Land Services and is a Technical Committee Member of the Australian Beef Industry Sustainability Framework and is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors Course and the Australian Agribusiness Leadership Program.
With an expected population of 331,000 by 2036, Liverpool is one of the fastest growing and most diverse communities in Sydney. As Chief Executive Officer Kiersten’s priorities include supporting the delivery of the Western Sydney Airport and creating the associated jobs, investment and infrastructure for the community of Liverpool.
Previously Kiersten held a number of executive positions at Liverpool City Council focusing on community, culture and engagement.
As Director of Liverpool’s Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre from 2011 to 2016 Kiersten led the creation and delivery of a contemporary arts and cultural development program. Prior to joining Liverpool City Council Kiersten was Manager of Culture for City of Sydney from 2005-11. Before then Kiersten worked at Accessible Arts where she consulted nationally on audiences for people with disabilities in the arts.
Kiersten has a Bachelor of Art Theory from UNSW, an MBA (Executive) from RMIT and is a Vincent Fairfax Ethical Leadership Fellow.
Tim Poole has over 20 years of experience with the leadership and management of major infrastructure projects in Australia and overseas. He led Stage 1 of Gold Coast Light Rail on behalf of 3 levels of Government for the planning, business case and procurement phases, closing Australia’s first public transport PPP in 2011. Since then he has been involved in several urban renewal and transport projects in Sydney. He has been Project Director for the Parramatta Light Rail Project since March 2016 and was recently appointed by NSW Government as Program Director, responsible for a single comprehensive program for the urban transformation and transport projects within the Greater Parramatta to Olympic Peninsular Priority Growth Area.
Andrew joined Transurban in 2003, and has been an Executive Committee member for over a decade. Over this period he has held executive leadership roles overseeing major acquisitions, development, asset financing, operations, equity board governance, public affairs and investor relations. Currently Andrew is seconded from Transurban to the role of WestConnex CEO. WestConnex is delivering Australia’s largest road infrastructure project.
Helen has over 20 years’ experience at a senior level in government and the not-for-profit sector initiating and driving strategic change in policy and strategy development and program design and delivery. Her specialist expertise is in social and affordable housing, community development and urban strategic and social planning.
Helen is a qualified Town Planner and her career has been focussed on housing policy and strategy, including roles with Sydney City Council, NSW Department of Urban Affairs and Planning, Housing NSW, Department of Human Services, FACS and more recently Evolve Housing (Community Housing sector).
Helen has extensive experience in affordable housing. She was the former Director of the NSW Centre for Affordable Housing, delivered the National Rental Affordability Scheme in NSW and was a member of the NSW Government’s 2012 Affordable Housing Taskforce.
Tom is the Deputy Project Director for Metro Product and Integration at the Sydney Metro Delivery office. In this role, Tom is responsible for overseeing the successful delivery of product, technical, customer and precinct outcomes.
Tom has over 25 years’ experience in strategic urban, transport and infrastructure planning and delivery at the state and local government level. This work has involved the coordination of the private and public sectors in the development of land and the provision of urban services and infrastructure.
Prior to joining Sydney Metro, Tom was the Deputy Director General of the Department of Planning and Infrastructure.
Philip Vivian is a Director of Bates Smart architects based in the Sydney Studio. He has a a Master of Architecture and Urban Design from Columbia University in New York, a Batchelor of Architecture from the University of Western Australia; and has studied Global Cities at the London School of Economics.
His projects have received 24 state and national AIA Design Awards, for Commercial Architecture, Interior Architecture, Urban Design, ESD and Heritage.
Philip is the President of the Council of Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat(CTBUH) in Australia, and a Contributing Editor to Architecture Australia.
Graham Millett arrives at the challenge of overseeing the delivery of the $5.3 billion Western Sydney Airport with more than 20 years of senior executive experience across aviation and telecommunications infrastructure.
Having grown up in Western Sydney, Mr Millett's time working in the United States, Europe and Asia means he is well placed to combine local knowledge with international experience to bring the region to the world through Australia's next-generation airport.
As Group General Manager of Qantas’ Property and Procurement Divisions, Mr Millett managed terminal redevelopments at Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra airports, as well as the multi-billion dollar procurement of 65 Boeing 787 Dreamliners for the Australian national carrier. Mr Millett also served as Head of Facilities and Fleet for NBN Co, responsible for a $1.2 billion property portfolio.
His experience in complex airline operations and infrastructure is supported by his personal love of aviation. As a trained pilot, Mr Millett understands aviation from every perspective, helping him lead a team to deliver an airport experience that will be as transformational for airlines and freight operators as it will be for passengers.
Mr Millett holds a Bachelor of Economics and Master of Business Administration. He is also currently a Director on the Board of St George Community Housing and has previously been a member of the Advisory Panel of the Board of Airline Representatives Australia and Chairman of the International Air Transport Association’s Australian Airports Consultative Committee.
Marcus Ray has 24 years’ experience in planning and natural resources with the New South Wales Government.
Following a successful career in law and 16 years in senior executive roles in government focused on service delivery, law, planning policy and reform, Marcus now leads Planning Services as Deputy Secretary.
The Division assesses the State’s most significant projects and is responsible for planning operations and local environmental plan making in the metropolitan and regional areas of NSW. Planning Services ensures industry complies with the conditions of project approvals, implements strategic planning for rural and regional NSW and supports regional and local planning panels throughout NSW.
As Deputy Secretary, Marcus drives a strong customer and community focused culture that is outcomes driven and builds confidence in the assessment of projects and proposals where ongoing compliance also plays a critical role.
Craig Limkin is an influential leader and people developer with over 15 years of experience in large scale and complex organisation. With a demonstrated track record of leading fiscal and capital complex transaction, Craig success is built through focusing on customer service, relationship management and staff development. Craig is the Executive Director of Create Infrastructure, the Cultural Infrastructure Program Management Office of the NSW Government. Create Infrastructure is the first of its kind in the world and is dedicated to the planning and delivery of cultural infrastructure. Craig is responsible for around $3.5billion in capital investment including Walsh Bay Arts Precinct, Sydney Opera House Stage One Renewal; The Sydney Modern Project; Regional Cultural Fund; the Relocation of the Powerhouse Museum to Western Sydney, Ultimo Creative Industries Precinct, Upgrade of the National Arts School, Parramatta Riverside Theatres upgrade and various other projects.
Jeremy Christoforatos is a professional Account Executive with close to a decade of civil and construction experience, providing software solutions to the Construction industry. He has proven experience with working in the Australian Construction and Asian industry providing technical innovations to impact a company’s bottom line.
Jeremy brings a wealth of experience to PlanGrid having worked at a leading software organisation including RIB Software.
Peter Dyball is Principal and Founder of Pit Crew Management Consulting Services. Since 2004 Peter and his team have delivered specialist services to the resources, engineering and construction sectors.
Pit Crew is best recognised for providing labour market modelling, analysis, forecasting and reporting for major resources, energy and infrastructure projects. Subscribers to Pit Crew Labour Market Reports include project owners, EPC’s, EPCM’s, constructors, industry bodies and government departments as well as service and other stakeholders. For more than a decade, Pit Crew’s knowledge, experience and in-house modelling systems has placed them in a unique position to assist key stakeholders in the delivery of Australian major projects.
Peter started his professional career 33 years ago as a Trainee Engineer at the BHP Steelworks in Port Kembla NSW and has been involved in project engineering, construction, heavy industry, resources and energy ever since. His experience in site engineering, project and construction management and business development roles means Peter, and Pit Crew, apply first-hand industry knowledge and experience to labour market analysis.
Peter holds a Bachelor of Engineering (Mechanical) from the University of Technology, Sydney and an MBA from Curtin University, Western Australia. He is also a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. Peter has held non-executive directorships on a number of company boards, including indigenous companies and those servicing the resources and energy sector.
Outside of Pit Crew, Peter has a wife and two children. He enjoys competing in motor racing events and serves as a member of the Management Committee for the WA Sporting Car Club.
Mr. Jomon Varghese, the Managing Director and CEO of Aerotropolis Group in Sydney, Australia is a Chemical Engineer with MBA in Aviation Business Management with 18 years of experience and is a specialist in Airport City/Aerotropolis Development. He started his career with Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) as a Graduate Research Engineer. He was a Lecturer in Industrial Engineering. He worked in Miami & Fort Lauderdale Aerotropolis during his 3 years stint in US.
As the In-charge of CEO-Corporate Office of GMR Airports, which developed, manage and operate Delhi and Hyderabad Int. Airports in India, Male Int. Airport in Maldives and Istanbul Int. Airport in Turkey; he coordinated the ‘Aerotropolis’ development, the Airport - Collaborative Decision Making (A-CDM) implementation and Economic Impact Study initiatives in Delhi and Hyderabad Airports. The Aerotropolis Development in Hyderabad and Delhi were in 5,500 and 5,000 acres respectively, with Zoning, DA process, Actual Land Development and construction of Hotels, MRO Facility, Aviation Academy, Office Buildings, Cargo Complex, etc.
He has written research papers on Airport Metropolitan City (Aerotropolis) development, Inclusive Growth and Community Development. He was the Coordinator of Small and Emerging Airports Network (SEAN), Airport Council International (ACI), Asia-Pacific Region, the Apex body of Airports, which includes Australia & New Zealand for 3 years. Currently as MD & CEO of Aerotropolis Group, he is managing four projects near the Western Sydney Airport @ Badgerys Creek, Sydney, Australia, including a 300 acres “World Trade Centre Sydney” Project and two Apartment Projects of 600 Apartments. He has been consulted by the Transport and Planning Department officials on developing the proposed Western Sydney Airport under Aerotropolis concept. He is a specialist in identifying suitable land that can be value added through the processes of Rezoning, DA Process and Actual Development.
Greg is a Sydney-based Partner in EY’s Infrastructure Advisory team with over 18 years of experience advising government and private sector clients on major infrastructure projects in the transport, social infrastructure and resources sectors. Greg returned to Sydney in 2017 having spent the prior 5 years leading our infrastructure and government sector team in Western Australia. His experience includes the procurement and financing of greenfield infrastructure, including PPP models, and infrastructure M&A deals across multiple sectors.
Peter Tonkin graduated from Sydney University with First Class Honours in Science (Architecture) and in Architecture and has maintained an independent practice since 1981. In 1987 he joined Brian Zulaikha to form Tonkin Zulaikha Greer Architects.
Peter has a strong design and urban design reputation, and a wide range of experience from simple to complex buildings and site planning. Award winning projects have included the Eternity Playhouse, the National Arboretum Canberra, Glebe Town Hall Adaptive Reuse, the redevelopment of the Hyde Park Barracks Museum, the Australian War Memorial in London, and significant projects at Homebush Bay for the 2000 Olympics. Peter is currently working on the $100m Victoria Square Urban Regeneration in Adelaide, the Australian Memorial in Wellington New Zealand, the Adelaide Riverbank Bridge and the Redevelopment of the historic Rouse Hill House and Farm.
Peter has presented papers and lectures at many conferences and universities in Australia and overseas. He is currently Adjunct Professor of Architecture at the University of Queensland and the University of Canberra, and a Trustee of the Historic Houses Trust of New South Wales.
Dr Jennifer Kent is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Urban and Regional Planning program at the University of Sydney. Prior to joining the University of Sydney, Jennifer was a Lecturer at Macquarie University and Research Associate at the Healthy Built Environments Program at the University of NSW. She has also worked as a town planner in NSW in both local government and as a consultant.
Jennifer's research has two key themes. The first relates to day-to-day mobility, with an explicit mandate to record and theorise shifts away from private car use towards more sustainable transport modes in car oriented cities. The second is on the general links between the built environment and health. The various health impacts of transport, including the detrimental health implications associated with private car dependency, exist as the nexus between these two research themes.
Jennifer publishes regularly in high ranking scholarly journals and her work has been used to inform policy development in NSW and Australia, including Sydney's most recent metropolitan strategy. Her research was recognised at the pre-eminent conference on urbanism in Australia – the State of Australian Cities Conference – where she was awarded the Peter Harrison Memorial Prize for the best paper submitted by a PhD student in 2013.
Rachel is a property, development and infrastructure lawyer with over 10 years' experience. She prides herself on being a dedicated adviser to my clients, bringing a holistic, commercial approach to projects of all sizes. She advises a broad range of clients, focussing on complex, large-scale transactions, including the acquisition, development, sale, and leasing of a range of asset classes. She also advises on the property aspects of major infrastructure projects.
Rachel is passionate about urban renewal, working closely with government and the private sector to deliver sustainable communities with strong social interfaces (particularly Social Housing).
Some of her career highlights include Acting for UrbanGrowth Development Corporation and Landcom on various large scale urban renewal projects including White Bay Power Station, Green Square Stage 4, South West Portfolio: Edmondson Park, Menangle Park, and Spring Farm, opening up much needed housing supply in greater Sydney.
As well as acting for the NSW Government on property aspects of major infrastructure projects including the Northern Beaches Hospital PPP and New Grafton Correctional Centre, as well as the record-breaking refinancing of Port Botany, Port Kembla and Port of Newcastle.
David Reidy has over 15 years’ experience in construction, law and property development, across a portfolio of projects ranging in value from $1m to $3bn.
In his current role, David leads the Property & Significant Assets directorate at the City of Parramatta Council. He is charged with realising Council's strategy for investment and property development and securing long term financial sustainability in a city experiencing a once in a lifetime transformation.
His team is responsible for delivering large-scale, city transforming projects. Parramatta Square, a multi-billion dollar civic and commercial development in the heart of the CBD, will create significant commercial and retail opportunities and drive economic growth. Parramatta’s Aquatic Leisure Centre project, in partnership with the State Government, will deliver a contemporary aquatic and lifestyle facility to accommodate the significant growth in residents, workers and students in the coming decades. In addition, the team drive projects realising the commercial potential of Council owned assets across the CBD, including major carpark redevelopment opportunities throughout the City.
Al Baxter is both an architect and an ex-professional sportsman who was the most capped prop in the history of Australian Rugby Union, when he retired in 2011.
Al played Rugby Union for the Australian Wallabies in two Rugby World Cups, seven Tri Nation Tournaments and 12 seasons of Super Rugby. His time as a professional sportsman, combined with his design expertise, make him uniquely qualified to create spaces where athletes can develop and excel.
Al is a registered architect with extensive knowledge in sports, master planning, leisure and convention and exhibition design, having worked both in Australia and internationally.
Al is currently leading teams on the design of Western Sydney Stadium and the NSW Rugby League Training Facility. He is also currently assisting Fiji’s Bid for the HSBC World Sevens and Rugby Australia’s bid to host the 2021 Women’s Rugby World Cup.
Prior to this Al was involved in a number of training facilities including the Australian Rugby Development Centre, West Coast Eagle Training Facility and the Newcastle Knights Training Facility. He has also been involved in the design of a number of master plans including for Moore Park and Blacktown International Sports Park.
Since retiring from rugby, Al has also taken on a number of Board roles including as a Trustee of Sydney Living Museums (formerly the Historic uses Trust of NSW), a director on the SLM Foundation Board and as a Director of Waratahs Rugby. He is also experienced as a rugby union commentator on ABC TV.
Professor Rico Merkert is Chair in Transport and Supply Chain Management at the Institute of Transport and Logistics Studies at The University of Sydney, Australia. He has various leadership roles at ITLS, was Deputy Chair of the ITLS Graduate Program from 2012-2014 and is now Director/Coordinator of the ITLS Higher Degree by Research Program (Progressions). Rico is Co-Editor in Chief of the Journal of Air Transport Management. He is a Fellow of The Higher Education Academy (FHEA) and an appointed member of the U.S. Transportation Research Board (TRB) standing Committees on a) Aviation Economics and b) Light Commercial and General Aviation. Whilst being a Marie Curie Research Fellow at the Institute for Transport Studies (ITS) at the University of Leeds he undertook and received a PhD in Transport Economics. His PhD and also more recent studies were heavily influenced by a research visit at Haas Business School, University of California Berkeley (invited by Professor Oliver Williamson). Rico has taught at various high profile institutions including Cranfield University, where he was a Lecturer in Air Transport Economics and Management and Head of the Centre for Air Transport in Remoter Regions, before joining ITLS/The University of Sydney Business School in March 2012. He has been involved in a number of projects on benchmarking, transport economics, policy and management (including strategy, organisation, finance and M&A) for a range of clients such as the European Commission, UK Department for Transport and a number of major airlines. Most of his recent projects focused on the efficient management of various elements of the aviation value chain as well as benchmarking and cost efficiency analysis of railways, airlines and airports both in the global and regional context.
Steve Mann commenced as the UDIA NSW CEO in 2016 and has been part of the Property Fund Management and Development sector for 28 years working in senior roles with Stockland, Westpac Property, Schroders and Aevum Limited. He has been managing development projects across Australia in a broad range of sectors including office, industrial, retail, residential, retirement living, airport and civic buildings.
Prior to joining UDIA NSW Steve worked in the Public Sector as the Manager Property and Business Development at Wyong Shire Council, where he managed the strategic planning economic and property development teams.
Chris Hanger is the Executive Director – Regional Cabinet, Infrastructure and Programs at the NSW Department of Premier & Cabinet.
Chris leads teams responsible for cabinet matters related to regional NSW and regional infrastructure programs and services across NSW including the delivery of key government regional initiatives such as the $1.6 billion in regional growth funds currently being rolled-out across the state and the policy work to determine how best to invest the $4.2 billion Snowy Hydro funds for transformative infrastructure projects in regional NSW.
Matt is an experienced strategic and environmental planner with over 25 years of experience in Australia and around the world. Matt brings a unique understanding of how to leverage the connections between economics, infrastructure, environmental and social condition, and then reflect this in a comprehensive and enduring planning solution. Matt is the Director of Sense Strategy Consulting.
James’ background in landscape architecture, environmental management and business leadership gives him a unique point of view when providing strategic advice and direction on multidisciplinary urban development, city shaping infrastructure and public realm projects, at local and international scales. When required James draws on the diverse skills across the company to help make cities better places in which to live, do business and coexist with nature.
James’ philosophy is rooted in his desire to reframe the questions arising when solving the most complex challenges faced by our urban metropolises. Efficient transport, equitable access to essential infrastructure, governance and collaboration, resilience, place and connectivity are his current focus areas when optimising urban environments - after all when all these elements combine, we don’t just create smart cities; cities become visibly vibrant and delightful. They shine.
*Speakers to be confirmed
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