Want to find out what’s happening in northern Australia?

Discover who you’ll be hearing from at the 2019 Developing Northern Australia Conference this July and find out how they have contributed to advancing our nation’s north.

Dr Chris Chilcott

CSIRO A/Science Director for Land and Water, Research Leader for Northern Australia, Project Director Northern Australia Water Resource Assessment (NAWRA)

Dr Chris Chilcott has more than 20 years’ experience in the agricultural sector, research and development. He currently leads CSIRO’s Land and Water business unit based in Darwin and leads and develops research into northern Australian Development.

He is part of the team managing the North Australia Water Resource Assessment, an $18M assessment of water resources across three catchments.

Ms Cissy Gore-Birch

Chairperson, North Australian Indigenous Land and Sea Management Alliance Ltd (NAILSMA)

Ms Cissy Gore-Birch is a Jaru /Kija woman with connection to Balanggarra, Nyikina and Bunuba country. She holds a Graduate Diploma in Natural Resource Management and has worked in the Aboriginal land management and community development sectors for the past twenty years.

With a strong leadership background in the Kimberley and Australia, Ms Gore Birch’s current appointments include; Chairperson, Arrnja Pty Ltd, Chairperson of the North Australian Indigenous Land and Sea Management (NAILSMA), recently appointed member of the Threatened Species Scientific Committee, Committee member of the Northern Environment Scientific Programme (NESP) – Northern & Threatened Species Recovery Hub – Indigenous Reference Group and former appointments; Chairperson, Balanggarra Aboriginal Corporation (2010-2014) Director, Kimberley Land Council and Shire of Wyndham East Kimberley – Councillor.

Blaze Kwaymullina

Director, Our Country & North Western Alliance

Blaze Kwaymullina and is a Palyku Traditional Owner from the inland Pilbara region of Western Australia.

He originally started his career as an academic working at the University of Western Australia as a historian and criminologist.

Blaze became a writer and author, working with communities to record their stories as well publish his own creative works, mainly for children. More recently, Blaze has become a director and businessman, focused on economic development.

Cr Peter Long

Mayor, City of Karratha

Peter is a professional engineer and environmental scientist and has been the Mayor of the City of Karratha since 2014.

He has lived and worked overseas in various roles around the world but for over 30 years has been a resident of Karratha, where he started the Astron Group, providing engineering, environmental and other services across northern WA.

As Mayor, he is currently concentrating on diversifying the Karratha economy beyond the resources industry by enabling a range of sustainable, new-technology industries.

Ms Sue Middleton

Board Member, Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal (FRRR) and Regional, Rural and Remote Women’s Network of WA

Sue Middleton is recognised as an entrepreneur, skilled advocate and as a highly influential leader within regional and rural Australia. Sue has worked for 3 decades holding successive and extensive Board and leadership roles across all levels of industry and government.

Sue and her husband Michael have developed a greenfields orchard project Moora Citrus in a new horticulture area in the Wheatbelt of WA. They have done this whilst managing a diversified farm in the district growing grains, oaten hay and pork.

For her work, Sue has been awarded the Centenary Medal for Service to Regional Australia in 2002, awarded the 2010 RIRDC Rural Woman of the Year for Australia and Western Australia and in 2018 was inducted into the Western Australia Women’s Hall of Fame.

Professor Grant Stanley

Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research), CQUniversity

Professor Stanley is currently the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) at CQUniversity, having arrived in 2010 as Dean of Medical and Applied Sciences. Grant holds undergraduate and postgraduate degrees from the University of Melbourne and has a background in Microbiology/Biochemical Engineering, with research expertise in biofuel production. He has experience in researching and teaching microbial metabolism, biochemical engineering and bioremediation.

His research has been widely published and well-funded from both government and industry sources. Grant has supervised 15 PhD students to completion. He has been on a number of national and international conference organising committees, company boards and journal editorial boards.

Mr Ivan Vella

Managing Director, Port, Rail & Core Services, Rio Tinto Iron Ore

Ivan Vella is the managing director Supply Chain and Services for the iron ore business at Rio Tinto. He has accountability for the end to end supply chain moving iron ore from 16 mines across the Pilbara through the rail network and on to customers via four ports terminals at Dampier and Cape Lambert.

Ivan is also responsible for the Core Services function which provides the support infrastructure, utilities and associated services across the iron ore operations.

Since joining Rio in 2003 Ivan has led a number of large business improvement and transformation projects across various areas of the business. He previously worked with Deloitte Consulting.

Ms Sally-Ann Watts

General Manager ASEAN, and Senior Trade & Investment Commissioner, Jakarta, Australian Trade and Investment Commission

Sally-Ann commenced in January 2017 as Minister Commercial and Senior Trade & Investment Commissioner Jakarta. In this role she leads a team in Jakarta and Surabaya, promoting Trade, Education and Investment between Australia and Indonesia.

Sally-Ann has held a number of senior roles with Austrade in Australia, in addition to a number of roles with Austrade in Tokyo, Toronto and Los Angeles.

Sally-Ann also has considerable experience in the private sector prior to joining Austrade, as an Associate Director with KPMG Consulting in Melbourne, where she led a practice focused on cross-border trade and investment, assisting Australian and North American organisations with their investments and other business across Asia.

Mr Peter Yu

Northern Australia Indigenous Reference Group

Peter Yu is a Yawuru man from Broome in the Kimberley region in North West Australia with over 35 years’ experience in Indigenous development and advocacy in the Kimberley and at the state, national and international level. Peter was a key negotiator on behalf of the Yawuru Native Title Holders with the Western Australian State Government over the 2010 Yawuru Native Title Agreement and is the current Chief Executive Officer of the Yawuru Corporate Group.

He has been an advocate for the social, cultural and economic advancement and well-being of Kimberley and other Aboriginal communities for his entire career. He has been instrumental in the development of many community-based organisations and initiatives which have had an enduring influence on the Kimberley region.

He is currently the Chair for the Indigenous Reference Group (IRG) to the Northern Ministerial Forum, Chair of the North Australian Indigenous Land and Sea Management Alliance Ltd (NAILSMA), Deputy Chair of the AFL Aboriginal Advisory Committee, Deputy Chair of Broome Futures Alliance Ltd, Council Member of the Governing Board of the Australian National University and Committee Member for the Western Australian Aboriginal Water and Environment Advisory Group.

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