in the zone: the Blue zone conference 2017 - beaumonde on the point, perth

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 at the Beaumonde On The Point 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’.

master of ceremonies

Tracy Vo - Channel 9, Today Perth Presenter
Tracy Vo has been with Channel Nine since 2007. While completing a Bachelor of Arts degree at Curtin University, her journalism career began in radio, reporting for 6PR Radio and Curtin FM 100.1. She has worked for Sydney's radio station 2SM, Sky News Australia, Channel Ten and Nine News Sydney and Canberra. In 2014, Tracy became a published author telling her family's story in Small Bamboo. Tracy currently hosts Today Perth News with regular local updates at 7.00am, 7.30am, 8.00am and 8.30am live from Perth.


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.

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-Nick-D-Adamo.jpgThe Hon Kim Beazley AC - Director and Distinguished Fellow at the Perth USAsia Centre
Mr Beazley was elected to the Federal Parliament in 1980, in 1993 became a Minister in the Hawke and Keating Labor Governments holding, at various times, the portfolios of Defence, Finance, Transport and Communications, Employment Education and Training, Aviation, and Special Minister of State. He was Deputy Prime Minister (1995-96) and Leader of the Australian Labor Party and Leader of the Opposition (1996-01 and 2005-06). Mr Beazley was Ambassador to the United States of America from February 2010 to January 2016. 

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).

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
Professor 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.jpgDeidre Willmott - CEO of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Western Australia
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.

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.

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.

David Bird - Vice President Production for Shell Australia
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 John Finlay-Jones - Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) and Vice President of Edith Cowan University
Professor John Finlay-Jones is Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) at Edith Cowan University (ECU), appointed in 2008.  Prior to this he held senior positions at the Telethon Institute of Child Health in Perth, and Flinders University in South Australia, mainly in the School of Medicine and Faculty of Health Sciences.  He has served as President of three national scientific societies, and on committees of the National Health and Medical Research Council and the Australian Research Council.

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.

John Garnaut - Scholar, Former Asia Pacific Editor for Fairfax media
Prior to joining Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull as Senior Media Adviser/ Speechwriter, John 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. 

Margie Mason - Foreign Correspondent in Asia for The Associated Press
Margie Mason is a Pulitzer prize-winning Foreign Correspondent in Asia for The Associated Press. In 2015, she was a part of the AP investigation 'Seafood From Slaves' which traced modern slavery in Southeast Asia's seafood sector to supermarkets and pet food providers in the US. This led to the liberation of more than 2,000 fishermen trapped in modern slavery, dozens of arrests and seizure of ships worth millions of dollars.

Shaun Gregory - Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer at Woodside
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.

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.

David Carter - Chief Executive Officer of Austral Fisheries
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. 

Professor Dingli Shen - Professor at Fudan University, China
Professor Dingli Shen is a professor of international relations at Fudan University. He is the Deputy Dean of Institute of International Studies and the Director of the Centre for American Studies at Fudan University and specialises in regional and international security, arms control and non-proliferation, security and nuclear relations between China and the US.

Dr Richard Walley OAM - Australian Indigenous Performer, Writer and Musician
Dr Richard Walley OAM is a Nyoongar man of the South-West region. Richard has been awarded an Order of Australia Medal and two honorary doctorates for his contribution to the promotion of Nyoongar Culture and the Arts. In 2010, Richard received the ‘Citizen of the Year’ Award in the ‘Indigenous leadership’ category of the Celebrate WA Awards. A fluent speaker of Nyoongar language, Richard continues to push boundaries, whilst always focussed on the bigger ‘community’ picture of Culture, Arts and Environment.

Professor Zhong Feiteng - Professor at National Instititute of International Strategy, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences
Professor Zhong Feiteng is based at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences in Beijing, China. Professor Feiteng's research interests include international political economy, East Asia and the US. His recent works have focused on China's energy security, South China Sea and the One Belt One Road Initiative.

Hirohide Gohda - Deputy Managing Director and Perth Branch Manager of Mitsubishi Australia Ltd.
Hero Gohda is Deputy Managing Director & Perth Branch Manager for Mitsubishi Australia Limited. He has worked in the oil and gas industry for over 25 years and has assumed various roles in relation to Mitsubishi’s natural gas business globally. Hero has strong commercial and LNG trading capability having spent a large part of his career focusing on contract negotiation and commercial roles associated with market development and sale of LNG.

Sharon Suri - Project Coordinator, Sustainable Aquaculture Program at WorldFish
Sharon Suri is passionate about integrating research across disciplines and bridging the space between research and development. As a cross-disciplinary project coordinator at WorldFish, she focuses on climate change adaptation and incubating aquaculture SMEs. She has over 10 years of professional experience across the Sahel/ West Africa, Asia, North America, & Europe with a focus on Project Management, Training Design, and Workshop Facilitation.

Bonnie B. Hobbs - Project Manager at EnerGaia
Bonnie B. Hobbs, AIA joined EnerGaia as a project manager in September 2016 where she is learning best practices for farming spirulina on rooftops in Bangkok. She is tasked to manage the expansion of spirulina farms to other Indian Ocean countries for EnerGaia’s project with the Blue Economy Challenge. 


Naveen Unni - Managing Partner, Perth Office; Leader of Electric Power and Organisation Practices at McKinsey & Company
Naveen Unni is the managing partner in McKinsey & Company’s Perth office. He is also a leader in the electric power and organisation practices in Australia. His passion is in helping organisations sustainably transform themselves in the face of disruptions. In the past few years, he has led engagements with multiple organisations across sectors - electric power, mining, retail, infrastructure – helping them deliver significant performance improvements and create organisations with a stronger culture and capabilities.

Auskar Surbakti - ABC Journalist
Auskar Surbakti is an award-winning journalist at the ABC and is currently a presenter for the nightly international news and current affairs program, The World. He has also worked as a foreign correspondent across Asia, with his stories broadcast on the ABC, SBS and CNN. He is a winner of a UN media award for his "Rebuilding Aceh" series, an Elizabeth O'Neil Journalism Award recipient, an Asia-Pacific Journalism Centre fellow, and an Australia-India Youth Dialogue delegate. Auskar also consults for the World Bank.

international journalists

Margie Mason - Foreign Correspondent in Asia for The Associated Press
Margie Mason is a Pulitzer prize-winning Foreign Correspondent in Asia for The Associated Press. In 2015, she was a part of the AP investigation 'Seafood From Slaves' which traced modern slavery in Southeast Asia's seafood sector to supermarkets and pet food providers in the US. This led to the liberation of more than 2,000 fishermen trapped in modern slavery, dozens of arrests and seizure of ships worth millions of dollars.

George Yang - Bureau Chief of Phoenix Satellite Television Australia and South Pacific Bureau
George Yang is the Bureau Chief of Phoenix Satellite Television Australia and South Pacific Bureau. He has has worked in the Australian media since the early 1990s and is one of the founders of Channel 31, Australia Community Television Sydney Station. Since 2001, George Yang worked for Australia’s largest Television and Film post production company, Omnilab Media Group as Director of Strategy and Communications in China and South Korea. George Yang joined Phoenix Satellite Television Co. Limited, InfoNews Channel in 2005 as Chief Correspondent for Phoenix Satellite Television Australia Bureau.