2017 - The Blue Zone

2017 - The Blue Zone

2017 the Blue zone conference 

Australia has an extensive framework for cooperation spanning political, economic, security, development, education, and people-to-people ties with our neighbouring ‘in the zone’, Indian Ocean countries. While the future of the Indo-Pacific unfolds against a maritime backdrop, we must address the issues, challenges and opportunities that face our collective nations as the maritime realm continues to shape our politics, technology and livelihoods. 

In collaboration with The University of Western Australia, the Perth USAsia Centre is pleased to announce that the 2017 In the Zone Conference – “The Blue Zone” will be held on 2nd October 2017 in Perth, Western Australia and will spark a regional discussion that aims to contribute to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDG14) of seeking to ‘Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources’.

Note: Registration includes morning and afternoon tea, lunch, networking drinks and conference bag.

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The Hon Julie Bishop - Australia's Minister for Foreign Affairs
Julie Bishop is the Minister for Foreign Affairs in Australia’s Federal Government., Minister Bishop has overseen the single largest expansion of Australia's overseas diplomatic presence in 40 years, introduced the New Colombo Plan to support Australian undergraduate students to study and undertake internships in the Indo-Pacific region, and established the innovationXchange within the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade to develop bold and creative solutions to long standing development challenges.

Senator Penny Wong – Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs, Member of the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security
Penny Wong is the Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs and a member of the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security. In 2013, Penny was appointed Leader of the Government in the Senate. After the change of Government she was appointed the Leader of the Opposition in the Senate. Penny is the first woman to hold both these roles. 

The Hon Mark McGowan MLA - Premier of Western Australia
Mark McGowan was elected Premier on 11 March 2017. In addition to his role as Premier, he holds the Public Sector Management; State Development; Jobs and Trade; Federal and State Relations portfolios. Prior to this, he has held many senior portfolios in both Government and Opposition and was the Deputy Mayor of Rockingham before winning the State seat of Rockingham in December 1996.

Dr Han Sueng-soo – former President of the United Nations General Assembly (2001) and former South Korean Prime Minister (2008-2009)
Dr Han Seung-soo is a South Korean diplomat and economist with a career spanning over 30 years in the international political sphere. He was elected the President of the 56th session of the United Nations General Assembly in 2001, the same year that he was appointed the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Korea. Dr Han has served as the Prime Minister of South Korea from 2008 to 2009, after having served as Ambassador to the United States, Chief of Staff to President Kim Young Sam and Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister.

Dr-Nick-D-Adamo.jpgDr Tony Worby - Director of CSIRO Oceans and Atmosphere
Dr Tony Worby has been the Chief Executive Officer of the Antarctic Climate and Ecosystems Cooperative Research Centre since July 2014. Prior to this appointment, he was a Deputy Chief with the CSIRO Division of Marine and Atmospheric Research (2011-2014). Before that, he held the role of Program Leader for the Australian Antarctic Division's Ice, Oceans, Atmosphere and Climate research program (2009-2011)

His Excellency Mr Kyoung-ha Woo - Ambassador of the Republic of Korea to Australia
Ambassador Woo was appointed as Ambassador of the Republic of Korea to Australia in May 2016. Ambassador Woo has extensive experience in bilateral and multilateral trade including the Director General for Bilateral Trade (2011-2013). He was in charge of Korea's bilateral trade with the United States, the European Union, China and Japan and has also served in the Korean Parliament Delegation to the OECD (2006-2008) in Paris and the Korean Permanent Mission to the World Trade Organisation in Geneva, Switzerland (1999-2001).

Professor Jessica Meeuwig - Director of the Centre for Marine Futures at The University of Western Australia
Professor Jessica Meeuwig is the inaugural director of the Centre for Marine Futures at The University of Western Australia. In 2012 she was appointed as the Conservation Fellow of the Zoological Society in London and was also named as one of the 100 most influential people in Western Australia by the West Australian.

Dr-Nick-D-Adamo.jpgDr Nick D'Adamo - Officer in Charge of the Perth Programme Office of the UNESCO Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission
Dr Nick D'Adamo has nearly 30 years experience in marine engineering, bio-physical oceanographic research, environmental impact assessment, biodiversity conservation, marine protected area planning and management and business management of science programs. His research background is in shelf, costal and estuarine scale oceanography focusing on the relationships between physical and biological processes through applied marine science programs.

Professor Erika Techera - Director of the UWA Oceans Institute at The University of Western Australia
Erika Techera is a Professor of Law in the UWA Law School and Director of the UWA Oceans Institute at The University of Western Australia. Before taking up the role of Director, Erika was Dean of the UWA Law School. Erika’s area of research interest is international and comparative environmental law with a particular emphasis on marine environmental governance and cultural heritage law and policy. 

Dr-Nick-D-Adamo.jpgProfessor L. Gordon Flake - CEO of the Perth USAsia Centre
Professor L. Gordon Flake is the founding CEO of the PErth USAsia Centre, a position he assumed in January 2014. He was previously Executive Director of the Maureen and Mike Mansfield Foundation, a Senior Fellow and Associate Director of the Program on Conflict Resolution at The Atlantic Council of the United States and prior to that Director for Research and Academic Affairs at the Korea Economic Institute of America.

Dr-Nick-D-Adamo.jpgMs Deidre Willmott - CEO of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Western Australia
Ms Deidre Willmott has been the Chief Executive Officer of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Western Australia since 2014. She has worked as a lawyer and held several high-profile roles in industry and government. Deidre has many years of experience in policy and advocacy on behalf of business. From 2006 to 2008, she was the Executive Director Policy for CCI. In this role she was instrumental in driving changes in the Liquor Licensing Act to allow for more flexibility in Perth's restaurant and bar industry. She has also led the campaign for extended retail trading hours.

Mr Chris Salisbury – Rio Tinto Chief Executive, Iron Ore
Chris Salisbury has been the Chief Executive of Iron Ore Group of Rio Tinto since July 1, 2016, after taking over the position from Andrew Harding during the 2016 Rio Tinto executive transition. Directly prior to this, Salisbury was acting chief executive of the Copper & Coal group from March 2016, tasked with overseeing its operations and projects globally. 

Professor Dawn Freshwater – Vice Chancellor at The University of Western Australia
Professor Dawn Freshwater was appointed Vice-Chancellor of The University of Western Australia on 16 January 2017. Prior to that, she served as the University’s Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor (SDVC) and Registrar for a three-year period, followed by a two months as Acting Vice-Chancellor. Before moving to Western Australia to take up the SDVC position, she was the Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Staff and Organizational Effectiveness, Professor of Mental Health and Head of the School of Healthcare at the University of Leeds. 

Dr Dino Patti Djalal - Founder of Foreign Policy Community Indonesia
Dr Dino Patti Djalal is Founder of the Foreign Policy Community of Indonesia, an independent, non-political organization focused on international relations. Dr Djalal, a career diplomat, is a former Indonesian Deputy Foreign Minister, a former Presidential spokesperson and speechwriter, a former Ambassador to the United States and a 2014 Presidential hopeful, as well as a youth advocate, academic and best-selling author.

Mr Michael Pezzullo - Secretary of the Department of Immigration and Border Protection
Mr Michael Pezzullo was appointed as the Secretary of the Department of Immigration and Border Protection with effect from 13th October 2014. Prior to his appointment as Secretary, Mr Pezzullo was Chief Executive Officer of ACBPS from February 2013, having joined the Service as its Chief Operating Officer in July 2009.

Senator Linda Reynolds - Senator for Western Australia
Senator Reynolds was elected to the Australian Senate in 2014 and is a passionate representative for her State of West Australia. She has over 20 years’ experience at the national political level working for Ministers, Members of Parliament and the Liberal Party of Australia. Senator Reynolds served for 29 years in the Australian Army as a Reserve Officer, serving in a wide range of part and full time appointments. She also has corporate experience.

Mr David Bird - Vice President Production for Shell Australia
Mr David Bird's role includes accountability for the successful start-up and operation of Shell's flagship project, Prelude Floating LNG. David has been with Shell for 17 years, in a variety of roles, working in several locations around the world including the USA, Singapore, South Africa, France and the Netherlands. David was previously the Production Manager of the Pulau Bukom Manufacturing Site, Shell’s largest integrated oils & petrochemical manufacturing complex, responsible for ensuring safe, environmentally sound, and reliable 24/7 production of products including all marine activities.

Vice Admiral Yoji Koda – Senior Fellow at Harvard University, former Commander-In-Chief of the Japan Maritime Self-Defence Force
Vice Admiral Koda is a Japanese naval officer, academic, writer and Senior Fellow at the Asia Centre at Harvard University. He is the former Commander-in-Chief of the Self Defence Fleet and has served on several Japan Maritime Self-Defence Force ships including the Yudachi (DD-108), the Shirayuki (DD-123), and the Sawayuki (DD-125). He has a career in maritime defence spanning over 30 years.

Professor Richard Heydarian – Manila-based academic, columnist and author
Professor Richard Javad Heydarian is an academic, columnist, and, most recently, the author of "Asia's New Battlefield: U.S., China, and the Struggle for Western Pacific." (Zed, London) His forthcoming book is "Duterte's Rise: The Populist Revolt Against Elite Democracy" (Palgrave, Macmillan). He has taught, as a political science professor, at De La Salle University and Ateneo De Manila University, and is currently resident analyst at GMA network, previously ABS-CBN News Channel, and columnist for the Manila Bulletin.

Professor John Blaxland - Director of the Southeast Asia Institute and Head of Strategic and Defence Studies Centre at ANU
Professor John Blaxland is a Professor in International Security and Intelligence Studies, Director of the Southeast Asia Institute and Head at the Strategic and Defence Studies Centre at the Australian National University. He is a former Director Joint Intelligence Operations, at Headquarters Joint Operations Command and was Australia's Defence Attaché to Thailand and Burma/ Myanmar.

Dr Michael Ottaviano - CEO and Managing Director of Carnegie Clean Energy
Dr Michael Ottaviano joined Carnegie in January 2006 and was made Managing Director in March 2007. He has overseen the acquisition of the CETO wave power intellectual property in 2009 and has focused on the company's efforts onto its commercialisation. He has recently steered Carnegie Clean Energy's focus into the solar/ battery microgrid market.

Mr John Garnaut - Senior Media Adviser/ Speechwriter for Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull
Prior to joining Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull as Senior Media Adviser/ Speechwriter, Mr Garnaut was the Fairfax Media's Asia Pacific Editor. Prior to this, he was China correspondent. John graduated in law and arts from Monash University and worked for three years as a commercial lawyer at Melbourne firm Hall & Wilcox before joining the Sydney Morning Herald as a cadet in 2002. 

Mr Shaun Gregory - Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer at Woodside
Mr Shaun Gregory has more than 20 years' industry experience. He joined Woodside in 1996 and has held a variety of roles in areas including mergers and acquisitions, corporate strategy, new ventures and geophysics.

Vice Admiral Anup Singh - Former C-in-C, Eastern Naval Command, India
After four decades of service in the white uniform, Vice Admiral Anup Singh superannuated from the Indian Navy on 31 Oct, 2011, his last assignment having been that of Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Eastern Naval Command, India. Engaged with the seminar/dialogue circuit since, his areas of research include Maritime Security in the Indo-Pacific, China’s Maritime Activism, the South China Sea Dispute, Maritime Economy, and the Blue Economy.

Mr Nathan Miller - Data Scientist at SkyTruth
Nathan Miller is a Data Scientist at SkyTruth, working with Global Fishing Watch on global fisheries challenges and focused primarily upon global patterns of vessel/vessel encounters, the potential exchange of goods as sea, and the role of such events in transparent and sustainable supply chains.

Dr Paul Hardisty - Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Institute of Marine Science
Dr Hardisty has worked in both the private and public sectors, most recently as a member of CSIRO’S Executive Management Committee, initially as Director of CSIRO’S Climate Adaptation research portfolio, then as Director of its Land and Water Flagship.

Mr David Carter - Chief Executive Officer of Austral Fisheries
Mr David Carter is the Chief Executive Officer of Austral Fisheries, one of Australia’s largest integrated commercial fishing companies with interests in both deep sea fishing and at sea prawning. David has over 35 years of experience in the seafood business, having worked with Austral Fisheries since completing his Bachelor of Science majoring in Zoology at the University of Melbourne. 


conference themes


With 90 percent of global trade now transported through maritime shipping routes, the sea is becoming a highway of ever-increasing activity. The Indo-Pacific maritime domain is threatened by challenges like piracy and maritime territorial disputes. In the 21st century, how can countries cooperate in the Indo-Pacific to solve security problems within the maritime realm?


With the sea floor potentially housing substantial reservoirs of oil and gas, and oceanic fish and agriculture reserves capable of feeding millions of people, the ocean is unquestionably rich in resources. As the global population rapidly grows and global demand increases, what kind of resource policies should governments develop and how can we best utilize innovative technologies?


As the world must make a collective effort to protect the oceans for future generations, so too must a unified effort to safeguard Indo-Pacific maritime biodiversity be undertaken. The oceans contain rich eco-systems, and the biological and chemical processes in the sea may hold the solutions to challenges like climate change. How do we reduce pollution, protect species from climate change, and ensure sustainable consumption?