2019 - Critical Materials

2019 - Critical Materials

In The Zone 2019 - Critical MATERIals: Securing Indo-Pacific Technology Futures


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Watch the 2019 In The Zone Conference wrap up video below:

In partnership with The University of Western Australia, In The Zone 2019 - Critical Materials: Securing Indo-Pacific Technology Futures attracted more than 250 delegates from government and business across the Indo-Pacific region to examine:

  • The importance of critical materials for modern telecommunication, science, defence and digital networks
  • The economic, environmental and security challenges facing existing critical materials industries
  • The imperative of developing more secure and sustainable critical materials value chains
  • The potential for Western Australia to collaborate with Indo-Pacific partners to support the technological foundations of the region's prosperity

Date and Time: Tuesday 8 October 2019, 8:30am - 5:00pm
Location: The Westin Perth, 480 Hay St, Perth WA 6000

  • In The Zone 2019 - Critical Materials: Securing Indo-Pacific Technology Futures on 8 October 2019 at The Westin Perth.
  • In The Zone 2019 - Critical Materials: Securing Indo-Pacific Technology Futures on 8 October 2019 at The Westin Perth.
  • In The Zone 2019 - Critical Materials: Securing Indo-Pacific Technology Futures on 8 October 2019 at The Westin Perth.
  • In The Zone 2019 - Critical Materials: Securing Indo-Pacific Technology Futures on 8 October 2019 at The Westin Perth.
  • In The Zone 2019 - Critical Materials: Securing Indo-Pacific Technology Futures on 8 October 2019 at The Westin Perth.
  • In The Zone 2019 - Critical Materials: Securing Indo-Pacific Technology Futures on 8 October 2019 at The Westin Perth.
  • In The Zone 2019 - Critical Materials: Securing Indo-Pacific Technology Futures on 8 October 2019 at The Westin Perth.
  • In The Zone 2019 - Critical Materials: Securing Indo-Pacific Technology Futures on 8 October 2019 at The Westin Perth.
  • In The Zone 2019 - Critical Materials: Securing Indo-Pacific Technology Futures on 8 October 2019 at The Westin Perth.
  • In The Zone 2019 - Critical Materials: Securing Indo-Pacific Technology Futures on 8 October 2019 at The Westin Perth.
  • In The Zone 2019 - Critical Materials: Securing Indo-Pacific Technology Futures on 8 October 2019 at The Westin Perth.
  • In The Zone 2019 - Critical Materials: Securing Indo-Pacific Technology Futures on 8 October 2019 at The Westin Perth.
  • In The Zone 2019 - Critical Materials: Securing Indo-Pacific Technology Futures on 8 October 2019 at The Westin Perth.
  • In The Zone 2019 - Critical Materials: Securing Indo-Pacific Technology Futures on 8 October 2019 at The Westin Perth.
  • In The Zone 2019 - Critical Materials: Securing Indo-Pacific Technology Futures on 8 October 2019 at The Westin Perth.
  • In The Zone 2019 - Critical Materials: Securing Indo-Pacific Technology Futures on 8 October 2019 at The Westin Perth.
  • In The Zone 2019 - Critical Materials: Securing Indo-Pacific Technology Futures on 8 October 2019 at The Westin Perth.
  • In The Zone 2019 - Critical Materials: Securing Indo-Pacific Technology Futures on 8 October 2019 at The Westin Perth.
  • In The Zone 2019 - Critical Materials: Securing Indo-Pacific Technology Futures on 8 October 2019 at The Westin Perth.
  • In The Zone 2019 - Critical Materials: Securing Indo-Pacific Technology Futures on 8 October 2019 at The Westin Perth.
  • In The Zone 2019 - Critical Materials: Securing Indo-Pacific Technology Futures on 8 October 2019 at The Westin Perth.
  • In The Zone 2019 - Critical Materials: Securing Indo-Pacific Technology Futures on 8 October 2019 at The Westin Perth.
  • In The Zone 2019 - Critical Materials: Securing Indo-Pacific Technology Futures on 8 October 2019 at The Westin Perth.
  • In The Zone 2019 - Critical Materials: Securing Indo-Pacific Technology Futures on 8 October 2019 at The Westin Perth.
  • In The Zone 2019 - Critical Materials: Securing Indo-Pacific Technology Futures on 8 October 2019 at The Westin Perth.
  • In The Zone 2019 - Critical Materials: Securing Indo-Pacific Technology Futures on 8 October 2019 at The Westin Perth.
  • In The Zone 2019 - Critical Materials: Securing Indo-Pacific Technology Futures on 8 October 2019 at The Westin Perth.
  • In The Zone 2019 - Critical Materials: Securing Indo-Pacific Technology Futures on 8 October 2019 at The Westin Perth.
  • In The Zone 2019 - Critical Materials: Securing Indo-Pacific Technology Futures on 8 October 2019 at The Westin Perth.
  • In The Zone 2019 - Critical Materials: Securing Indo-Pacific Technology Futures on 8 October 2019 at The Westin Perth.
The Hon Kim Beazley AC -

The Hon Kim Beazley AC

Governor of Western Australia

The Honourable Kim Beazley AC is the 33rd Governor of Western Australia. Prior to being installed as Governor on the 1st May 2018, Mr Beazley had dedicated almost three decades to a career in Federal Parliament, representing the WA seats of Brand and Swan. In 2009, Mr Beazley was awarded the Companion of the Order of Australia for service to the Parliament of Australia through contributions to the development of government policies in relation to defence and international relations, and as an advocate for Indigenous people, and to the community.


The Hon Bill Johnston MLA -

The Hon Bill Johnston MLA

Minister for Mines and Petroleum; Energy; Industrial Relations
Member for Cannington

Bill Johnston was sworn in as the Mines and Petroleum, Commerce and Industrial Relations, Electoral Affairs, and Asian Engagement Minister in March 2017. As our State’s first Asian Engagement Minister, Minister Johnston’s focus was to capitalise on the rapid population and economic growth in Asia to create more job-boosting opportunities in Western Australia.

The Minister has a particular affinity with Indonesia, having spent time in West Java as a high school exchange student, and he maintains a working proficiency in both written and spoken Indonesian. After almost two years in those roles, Minister Johnston was appointed Energy Minister on December 13, 2018.

To accommodate these changes, and to focus on this important new role, the Asian Engagement, Commerce and Electoral Affairs portfolios were handed over to other Cabinet Ministers. He retains the Mines and Petroleum and Industrial Relations portfolios.

Senator the Hon Mathias Cormann -

Senator the Hon Mathias Cormann

Minister for Finance
Leader of the Government in the Senate

Senator the Hon Mathias Cormann has served as the Minister for Finance since September 2013, having represented the State of Western Australia in the Senate since June 2007. Mathias also holds the responsibilities of Special Minister of State, a role he has previously served in on a number of occasions between 2015 and 2018. Mathias was appointed Leader of the Government in the Senate on 20 December 2017, having previously served as the Deputy Leader in the Senate since 20 September 2015. Mathias also previously served as the Minister for the Public Service.

Mathias was born in Belgium and decided to migrate to Australia permanently after first visiting Perth in 1994, attracted by the great lifestyle and opportunities on offer in Western Australia. Before migrating to Perth, Mathias had graduated in law at the Flemish university of Louvain (Leuven).

He has worked as a Ministerial Chief of Staff to WA State government Ministers, as Senior Adviser to then Western Australian Premier Richard Court and as an Adviser to then Justice and Customs Minister Chris Ellison.

Madeleine King MP -

Madeleine King MP

Federal Member for Brand; Shadow Minister for Trade

Madeleine King was elected to Federal Parliament in 2016 and has been recently promoted to the front bench of the Albanese Opposition as Shadow Minister for Trade. She has previously held the positions of Shadow Minister for Consumer Affairs, Shadow Minister Assisting for Small Business and Shadow Minister Assisting for Resources.
Ms King has strong personal links with her House of Representatives seat of Brand, which includes the towns of Rockingham and Kwinana, having grown up in the area and attended local public schools. She worked as a solicitor in private practice, before moving into the higher education sector as a lawyer and then as Chief of Staff at The University of Western Australia.
Before entering the Parliament, Madeleine was the founding executive and Chief Operating Officer of the Perth USAsia Centre from 2012-16. In her leadership of the Perth USAsia Centre, Ms King helped to bring a unique Western Australian perspective to the international discussion on Australia’s role in the emerging Indo-Pacific region.

Amanda Lacaze -

Amanda Lacaze

Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director, Lynas Corporation

Amanda Lacaze is CEO and Managing Director of Lynas Corporation. Appointed in June 2014, Amanda has successfully led the company through a turnaround with many challenges.  This included renegotiating debt facilities, resizing the cost base, re-orienting the company to focus on customer revenue growth and engaging all staff in delivering outstanding performance.
With its Tier 1 resource in Mt Weld, WA, and its Malaysian processing facility, Lynas is the only major miner and producer of Rare Earths products outside China.  Recently, Lynas announced plans to build a cracking and leaching plant close to Mt Weld and a proposed JV in the USA.
Previously, Amanda was CEO of Commander Communications, Executive Chairman of Orion Telecommunications, CEO of AOL|7, and Managing Director of Marketing at Telstra.

Brad Haynes -

Brad Haynes

Vice President Corporate Relations Australia, Rio Tinto

Brad  Haynes is the vice president Corporate Relations Australia and is responsible for external affairs, communications and community engagement activities for Australia.
Brad has been with Rio Tinto since January 2017 and commenced with Rio Tinto in the role of vice president of Corporate Relations for Rio Tinto in Asia. 
Prior to joining Rio Tinto, Brad  has had an extensive career spanning both international corporate relations and Australian Government service in foreign policy, including senior corporate affairs roles at Chevron and senior adviser to the Minister for Foreign Affairs which included responsibility for North Asia and trade and economic policy.

Tayebb Shah -

Tayebb Shah

Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Global Partnerships), The University of Western Australia

Tayyeb Shah is Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Global Partnerships) at The University of Western Australia and responsible for a portfolio that spans Global Engagement, Innovation & Industry Engagement, the Cultural Precinct and Development & Alumni Relations. 

A globally-renowned expert in higher education, business development and international relations, Mr Shah joined UWA in June 2019 from King’s College London, where he held a number of roles most recently as Deputy Vice President (Global Business Development).

During his 12 years at King’s College London, Mr Shah was instrumental in expanding the university’s international and commercial partnerships. He was responsible for identifying, conceptualising and developing a number of strategic multi-million dollar projects which increased and deepened King’s College London’s worldwide engagement, particularly in China.

Educated at the universities of Oxford, Cambridge and the School of Oriental and African Studies (University of London) and Imperial College London, Mr Shah joined King’s College London after more than a decade in the commercial and creative industry sectors. 

Mr Shah is a Fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts, member of a number of boards including the Perth Festival and member of the Professional Development Committee of the European Association for International Education. 

Dr Xavier Jayakumar Arulanandam  -

Dr Xavier Jayakumar Arulanandam

Minister, Ministry of Water, Land and Natural Resources

Dr Xavier Jayakumar is currently the Minister of Water, Land and Natural Resources in Malaysia. Under his portfolio, he is keen to promote sustainable mining practices in Malaysia by tapping its abundant natural resources while keeping in line with global environmental standards.
As such, he aims to lead his ministry by investing into various types of mining which includes reviving tin mining, starting up rare earth mining and streamlining the bauxite mining industry among others in an effort to boost the country’s economic value.
A former state executive councilor in the Selangor State Government, between 2008 to 2013, he is no stranger to the industry as he has been exposed to its workings, needs and woes while welcoming foreign technologies to aid in further developing a vibrant mining industry in Malaysia.
In managing natural resources related to forestry as well as the water industry per his portfolio, he is also keen to learn and address sustainable practices in ensuring that natural resources are well utilised without degrading the surrounding environment for future generations.
A dentist by profession, Dr Xavier ran a private practice for more than 25 years before deciding to become a significant part of Malaysia’s reform movement. Beyond water and mineral resources, he is also very determined to conserve and increase the population of unique wildlife in Malaysia such as the Malayan Tiger, Orangutan, sun bear and tapir among other species.

Grant Nicholas -

Grant Nicholas

Director, Natural Resources WA, ANZ Bank

Dr. Grant Nicholas is ANZ Bank’s Director of Natural Resources Group (NRG) for the Institutional business based in Perth, Western Australia. His role as a relationship manager covers top tier multi-national to emerging companies in the mining, and oil and gas sectors. His key role is to structure and lead funding solutions for ANZ, meeting the right risk versus reward criteria.
He has a Ph.D. in Mining Engineering specialising in Real Options Valuation and Spatial Statistics from the University of Adelaide, South Australia; a B.Sc. Honours (Cum Laude) in Economic Geology from Stellenbosch University in South Africa; and dual B.Sc. degrees in Computer Science and Geology from the University of the Western Cape in South Africa.

Ambassador Anil Wadhwa -

Ambassador Anil Wadhwa

Distinguished Fellow, Vivekananda International Foundation, New Delhi

Ambassador Anil Wadhwa was a member of the Indian Foreign Service from 1979 to 2017 and has served as Indian Ambassador to Italy, Thailand, Oman, Poland, San Marino and Lithuania. As Secretary (East) in the Ministry of External Affairs of India he oversaw relations with South East Asia, Gulf and West Asia, Pacific, and Australasia. He has served as the Indian Ambassador to IFAD, WFP, FAO, UNESCAP; and worked with the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons in The Hague. Ambassador Wadhwa has led Indian delegations to EAS, ASEAN India, ASEM, ACD, Arab League, Mekong-ganga Cooperation and ARF meetings. He is currently writing India’s Australia Economic Strategy and is a distinguished Fellow with the Vivekananda International Foundation, New Delhi.

Serena Grant -

Serena Grant

Business and Engagement Manager, Walk Free

Serena Grant has recently joined the Minderoo Foundation where she leads Walk Free’s business engagement activities on modern slavery, including the Bali Process Government and Business Forum. Prior to joining Walk Free, Serena was a Director at the Thomson Reuters Foundation in London where she led TrustLaw, the Foundation’s pro bono legal service that connects NGOs and social enterprises with law firms around the world. She also led several initiatives focused on combating modern slavery, including the Banks Alliance Against Trafficking in the US and supported the Trust Conference, a global forum focused on modern slavery and human rights. Prior to this, Serena worked as a corporate lawyer at international law firms in Tokyo, Sydney and London.

Dr Steven M. Fortier -

Dr Steven M. Fortier

Director, National Minerals Information Center, U.S. Geological Survey​

Dr. Steven M. Fortier is the Director of the National Minerals Information Center at the U.S. Geological Survey. He came to Government after nearly two decades in the mining and mineral processing industries where he held a succession of roles including technical, project management, operations director, and general management with an international industrial minerals company. He is currently serving on a detail as a Senior Policy Advisor in the Office of Science and Technology, in the Executive Office of the President in Washington, DC. His responsibilities there include the role of co-chair of the National Science and Technology Subcommittee on Critical Minerals which is responsible for monitoring the implementation of the U.S. strategy for securing critical mineral supply chains.

Tadashi Maeda -

Tadashi Maeda

Governor, Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC)

Graduated University of Tokyo Faculty of Law in 1980. At JBIC, he has held various positions including Director-General of Energy and Natural Resources Finance Department; Director-General of Corporate Planning Department ; Managing Executive Officer, Global Head of Infrastructure and Environment Finance Group; Senior Managing Director and CEO, Executive Managing Director. From June 2010 to December 2012 he served as Special Advisor to the Cabinet in the Government of Japan. He has also served as a member of the Steering Committee of Nuclear Damage Liability Facilitation Fund from October 2011 to October 2013. He became a member of the IISS Council from June 2014 to 2017.

Dr Sarlae McAlpine -

Dr Sarlae McAlpine

Director A/g – Mineral Potential of Australia, Geoscience Australia

Dr Sarlae McAlpine is acting Director for the Mineral Potential of Australia Section at Geoscience Australia. She leads teams of specialist scientists undertaking national geological mapping, geochemistry, and data integration to determine Australia’s mineral prospectivity.
Sarlae studied at the Australian National University and holds a Bachelor of Science, majors in Chemistry and Geology, Honours in Geology, and a PhD. Sarlae's PhD investigated the mineralogical and chemical composition of rocks erupted from the Earth’s mantle.
Sarlae was Deputy Director for Digital Earth Africa, a program that will enable detailed environmental changes to be tracked across the African continent using satellite information. Sarlae was also the inaugural Executive Officer for Geoscience Australia’s CEO, involving high level government engagement, coordination and organisational strategy.


Dr Natalie Ralph -

Dr Natalie Ralph

Associate Research Fellow, ARC Centre of Excellence for Electromaterials Science; and Alfred Deakin Institute, Deakin University

Natalie is an Associate Research Fellow in the ‘Energy and Ethics’ team of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Electromaterials Science (ACES), and is based at the Alfred Deakin Institute, Deakin University, Melbourne. Natalie works on issues related to renewable energy technologies, their materials (e.g. critical materials) and supply chains; energy geopolitics; exports of renewable energy; sustainable development; energy/mining and corporate peacebuilding; corporate political activity; and business/social entrepreneurship engagement in preventing violent extremism and conflict. She has worked in industry, state government and civil society organisations.

Dr Laura Kuhar -

Dr Laura Kuhar

Research Team Leader, CSIRO

Laura Kuhar is a Research Team Leader in the CSIRO Minerals group. She is working towards the vision of an invisible mine with her research into in-situ recovery, which is like keyhole surgery for mining; it involves the injection of liquid underground, the dissolving of value metal and processing of the fluid at the surface, without mining and rock processing and with environmental benefits. Laura has an undergraduate degree in chemical engineering, a PhD in chemistry and has been with the CSIRO for 10 years, before which she worked in the research groups of Anglo American and De Beers Consolidated Mines.

Mitsuya Hirokawa -

Mitsuya Hirokawa

Executive Vice President, Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation (JOGMEC)

Mr Hirokawa has worked at JOGMEC since 2004 and prior to becoming Executive Vice President was Director General of the Metals Mining Technology Department. Previous to this he has worked as Project Director for a number of the company's departments including the Mine Pollution Control Project Support Department and the Metals Strategy Department. 

Mitsuya Hirokawa has a Bachelor and Master of Geology from Kyushu University. 

Yoseph Calasanctius Amita Swamidharma  -

Yoseph Calasanctius Amita Swamidharma

Public Policy – Mineral, Ikatan Ahli Geologi Indonesia (Indonesian Association of Geologists)

Mr. Swamidharma was appointed as Committee Head of Kode KCMI in Indonesian Economic Geology (MGEI) in 2013, subsequently appointed as Public Policy Division member in Indonesian Association of Geologists (IAGI) and as Indonesian Representative for CRIRSCO since 2017, then assigned as member EGRC-UNECE since 2018.
Professional career as Head of Indonesian Mineral Mining Division in Indonesian Conglomerate Group and also its subsidiaries in Australasia, where he discovered and developed CRM projects. Prior to these assignments, he engaged in various roles in exploration, project development, mine operation and consulting for tier-1s in Australasia, Europe-Middle East-Africa and North America. His education background included BSc Geology in Indonesia and MSc & DIC in Imperial College London, UK.

Professor Eric May -

Professor Eric May

Chevron Chair in Gas Process Engineering & Director Australian Centre for LNG Futures, The University of Western Australia

Eric is the Chevron Chair in Gas Process Engineering at UWA which, in 2011, was endowed in perpetuity. He is also the Director of the Australian Centre for LNG Futures, and an Australian Research Council Future Fellow. An academic at UWA since 2005, his research group works closely with industry, conducting projects in LNG production, flow assurance and fluid property prediction. In 2017, Eric co-established Gas Capture Technologies Pty Ltd, a spin-out company for patented technologies to capture methane from coal mines and other sources. Eric was awarded the Malcolm McIntosh Prize for Physical Scientist of the Year as part of the 2012 Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science.

Professor L. Gordon Flake  -

Professor L. Gordon Flake

CEO, Perth USAsia Centre

Professor L. Gordon Flake is the founding CEO of the Perth USAsia Centre, a position he assumed in January of 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. Read more

Andrew Blaver -

Andrew Blaver

General Manager Consumer Energy, Horizon Power

Andrew has over 25 years of experience in the construction, communications and electricity industries in Australia, South East Asia and North America. Of note, Andrew was the manager of the successful Perth Solar City Program which deployed new smart grid products and services in the residential sector. Andrew went on to deliver smart grid programs more broadly in Australia as well as Singapore. Andrew is now enjoying working for Horizon Power at the forefront of the transformation to a more distributed energy future. This includes the coordination of customer energy resources into the electricity system, including battery energy storage, and guiding the development of the new customer engagement model that this future requires.

Daniel McGroarty -

Daniel McGroarty

Principal, Carmot Strategic Group

Daniel McGroarty serves on the Advisory Boards of five companies developing U.S.-based critical minerals deposits. He was one of three resource professionals interviewed in 60 Minutes’ investigative piece on rare earths, which aired in June 2019.
A recognized subject-matter expert, McGroarty writes frequently on geopolitics and resources, and has provided testimony on critical minerals issues in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives.  He has consulted to the Institute for Defense Analyses, which supports the Department of Defense’s National Defense Stockpile reporting, and heads the non-partisan American Resources Policy Network. 
Prior to establishing his consultancy, McGroarty served at senior levels in the U.S. Government, as Special Assistant to the President in the White House and as presidential appointee to two Secretaries of Defense. 

Tania Constable PSM -

Tania Constable PSM

Chief Executive Officer, Minerals Council of Australia

Tania Constable PSM, joined the Minerals Council of Australia in July 2018 where she is proud to promote and advocate for a strong, vibrant and innovative minerals industry in Australia. Prior to this, Tania was Chief Executive Officer of the CO2CRC (Collaborative Research Centre for Greenhouse Gas Technologies) a leading global research organisation testing carbon capture and storage low emission technologies in Australia.
Tania previously worked as chief adviser in the Personal and Retirement Income Division of Treasury, working on tax-related matters and has had a long association with resources and energy, holding various senior executive roles in the Australian Government. Tania had responsibility for policy advice to the Minister for Industry on oil and gas regulation, exploration and development, and sustainable mining activities.
During this time Ms Constable also had the privilege of being the Australian Joint Commissioner and Sunrise Commissioner for Australia and Timor Leste leading joint activities on the development of the Joint Petroleum Development Area and Greater Sunrise Project. She was awarded the Public Service Medal in 2014 for outstanding public service in the development of Australia’s liquefied natural gas and other resource and energy industries.

Jenny West -

Jenny West

General Manager of Trade and Investment, Austrade

Jenny West is the General Manager of Trade and Investment at the Australian Trade and Investment Commission (Austrade). Jenny joins Austrade from Telstra where she was most recently the NSW-ACT State Director for Telstra country wide. In this role she was responsible for running retail stores across the State as well as being the face of Telstra in the local community and key regional areas. This included managing the NBN rollout, customer advocacy, stakeholder management and public relations with respective State/Federal MPs.

Prior to joining Telstra, Jenny was one of the key emerging, global female leaders within the Westpac Group. She operated as a key global enabler. In her role as the Head of Migrant & Expatriate Banking she was responsible for setting up new international products & processes, establishing Expatriate Banking Offshore and bringing new international customers to Westpac. Whilst at Westpac she also ran the Sydney CBD business across both business and consumer.

Before joining Westpac, Jenny worked in General Management, Sales and Marketing roles in companies such as Pacific Brands and Diageo. In these roles she has both worked and lived overseas in the UK, India and throughout Asia.

Erin Watson-Lynn -

Erin Watson-Lynn

Head of Programs, Perth USAsia Centre

Erin Watson-Lynn is the Perth USAsia Centre’s Head of Programs, where she oversees the Centre's Indo-Pacific Regional Program, Australia Indo-Pacific and US Relations Program, and Education and Outreach. Erin has delivered Track I.5 and II dialogues and programs across the Indo-Pacific and has an established network across think tanks, academic, government and the media.

While her early research focused primarily on gender and South Asia, Erin has developed broader expertise In Australia’s engagement with the Indo-Pacific and track II multilateralism including ASEAN and the G20. Erin has represented Australia at G20 Summit’s in Turkey, China, Argentina, Japan, and will lead the Australian W20 delegation to Saudi Arabia. Erin is regular foreign affairs commentator on Australian television and has appeared on leading programs including ABC’s Q&A and the Drum, and on SKY News Australia.

Miranda Taylor -

Miranda Taylor

Chief Executive Officer, National Energy Resources Australia (NERA)

Miranda is a strategic and adaptive leader at the forefront of collaboration and innovation across the Australian energy resources sector.

CEO of NERA since its inception in 2016, Miranda’s leadership of NERA is bringing together the country’s best minds from technology, research and enterprise to achieve NERA’s vision of Australia as a global energy powerhouse, a sought-after destination of investment and leading source of knowledge and solutions. 

NERA is working with industry, universities and researchers, entrepreneurs, innovative SMEs, skills initiatives and governments to support the cultural change and new thinking required to overcome barriers to collaboration and innovation, and to ensure Australia’s energy resources sector is staying ahead of the global automation technology transformation.

Ken Brinsden -

Ken Brinsden

Managing Director and CEO, Pilbara Minerals

Mr Brinsden is a Mining Engineer with 25 years’ experience in surface and underground mining operations. Mr Brinsden graduated from the Western Australian School of Mines in 1993. Between graduation and 2006 he worked for WMC Resources, Normandy, Central Norseman Gold Corporation, GoldFields and Iluka Resources in production, management, brown-fields and green-fields mine development roles.

Mr Brinsden was in the role of Chief Operating Officer then Managing Director at Atlas Iron between 2006 and July 2015, contributing to the substantial growth of Atlas Iron from a junior explorer to a significant Pilbara iron ore producer. Mr Brinsden remained a Non-Executive Director of Atlas until May 2016.

Mr Brinsden joined Pilbara Minerals as Chief Executive Officer in January 2016 and was appointed Managing Director and CEO in May 2016. He has led the significant growth of Pilbara minerals through corporate development, financing and project execution at Pilgangoora such that it has become one of the leading lithium development projects globally and facilitated Pilbara’s entry into the ASX 200.

Eleonore Lebre -

Eleonore Lebre

Research Fellow, Sustainable Minerals Institute

Eleonore Lebre completed her PhD at the Sustainable Minerals Institute, the University of Queensland (UQ-SMI). Her thesis applies the concept of circular economy to the problematic of mining waste in the objectives of minimising waste and optimising resource extraction. Since early 2018, Eleonore holds a Research Fellowship within the UQ-SMI's Complex Ore Bodies cross-cutting program where she contributes to bridging disciplines and enhancing research collaboration within and outside the institute. As part of this program, Eleonore developed a Complex Ore Bodies database that includes social and environmental data and assesses the risks associated with operating mines and new discoveries.

Dr Ursula Fuentes Hutfilter -

Dr Ursula Fuentes Hutfilter

Senior Climate Policy Advisor, Climate Analytics

With a PhD in Physics, Dr. Ursula Fuentes Hutfilter has been working at the interface of science and climate and energy policy for more than twenty years. She is a Senior Climate Policy Adviser with Climate Analytics, based in Perth, Western Australia, and an Adjunct Associate Professor at Murdoch University in Perth, focusing on opportunities for South-East Asia to transition to renewable energy.
She worked for the German Federal Environment Ministry, responsible for the development of climate plans and programmes including the Climate Action Plan 2050. Earlier, she led the German Delegation to the IPCC during the Fourth Assessment Report Cycle, and was part of the EU negotiation team to the UNFCCC.


Xu Aidong -

Xu Aidong

Chief Analyst, ANTAIKE

Since 1993, Mrs Xu has been working at the Beijing Antaike Information Development Ltd. Co., engaged mainly in metal market consulting, investigation and research, and large-scaled market conference organization, especially in nickel, cobalt and stainless steel raw material fields. Ms Xu is a veteran in Chinese nonferrous industry, and is active in relating fields worldwide. Since April 2010, Ms Xu holds the post of secretary-general of CNCB (CNIA Cobalt Branch).
From  1986—1990, Ms Xu spent her undergraduate period in the Metal Forming Department, Beijing University of Science and Technology, received a Bachelor Degree, and in the following three years, Ms Xu spent her Postgraduate Period in the same Department and the same University, received a Master Degree.



Vice President and Director, Equity Capital Markets, Global Sales and Origination, Singapore Exchange.

Foong Chong Lek's role is origination of new listings.  His sector coverage is Mineral, Oil and Gas (MOG), and also Energy & Renewables.   Critical Minerals are a key component of this strategy. 
His network includes IPO professionals, investors and regulators to assist the listing process.   He also hosts the MOG Investor Education series at SGX.
Prior to SGX, Mr Foong held positions in the private equity and venture capital industries.  He graduated from Purdue University, USA, with a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering. He also holds a Masters in Business Administration from INSEAD, Singapore.

Dr Jeffrey Wilson -

Dr Jeffrey Wilson

Research Director, Perth USAsia Centre.​

Dr Jeffrey Wilson is the Research Director at the Perth USAsia Centre. He provides leadership and strategic direction in developing the Centre’s research program across its publications, policy and dialogue activities.
Dr Wilson specialises in the regional economic integration of the Indo-Pacific. He has particular expertise in the politics of trade agreements, regional economic institutions, and Australia’s economic ties with Asia. He has been featured in local and international media outlets, contributed to a range of track two dialogues between Australia and key regional partners, and supported policy development through consultancy, publication and advisory work.

Jacques Eksteen -

Jacques Eksteen

Chief Operating Officer, Future Battery Industries CRC

Jacques is currently the Chief Operating Officer of the Future Battery Industries Cooperative Research Centre (FBICRC).
He was the Director of the Curtin University Gold Technology Group (GTG) until June 2019 and managed the AMIRA P420 series of projects in gold processing since taking over the project leadership in 2012. Each of the P420 projects have been multi-million industry sponsored research projects. As Professor in Extractive Metallurgy he hassled research and innovation in the process engineering, minerals engineering, recycling and extractive metallurgy of non-ferrous metals.
He is listed as an inventor on a number of patents relating to the hydrometallurgical and pyrometallurgical processes and have published extensively in these areas. His research team (GTG) has been involved in a number of innovations that are currently being commercialised through a number of technology supplier companies. The technologies include both processing innovations and equipment innovations. His experience spans 26 years as engineer and manager in industry and as researcher, manager and teacher in academia at various companies and academic institutions.

Rebecca Brown -

Rebecca Brown

Director General, Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science and Innovation
CEO, Tourism Western Australia

Ms Rebecca Brown commenced as Director General of the Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science and Innovation in September 2018.  In this role, she is also Chief Executive Officer of Tourism Western Australia.
Ms Brown has worked across both Federal and State government agencies in a range of senior roles across revenue and economic policy, social policy, resourcing and performance. Most recently she oversaw the reform of the WA health system, including the establishment of a new governance model and the development of the Health Services Act 2016.
Ms Brown has held senior positions at both WA Treasury and the WA Department of the Premier and Cabinet, where she oversaw key reforms between the public and non-profit community sectors. Ms Brown has an Honours Degree in Economics from the University of Western Australia and is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. 

Dr Heather Smith -

Dr Heather Smith

Secretary, Department of Industry, Innovation and Science

Dr Heather Smith was appointed Secretary of the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science in September 2017. Heather has 18 years’ experience in the Australian Public Service at senior levels, with responsibility for a number of significant government policies and programs covering economic, foreign affairs and intelligence matters.
Heather has previously served as Secretary of the Department of Communications and the Arts, Deputy Secretary in the Departments of the Prime Minister and Cabinet and Foreign Affairs and Trade, and as Deputy Director-General of the Office of National Assessments. Heather was Australia’s G20 Sherpa in 2014 and was awarded a Public Service Medal in the Queen’s Birthday 2015 Honours for her outstanding public service in this role.
Heather holds a Bachelor of Economics (First Class Honours) from the University of Queensland and a Masters and PhD in Economics from the Australian National University.

Michael Tamlin -

Michael Tamlin

Chief Operating Officer, Neometals Ltd

Mike is Chief Operating Officer of Neometals Ltd and has over 35 years experience, including nearly 25 years in the lithium industry. He pioneered development of the chemical conversion spodumene trade between Australia and China in the 1990s from Greenbushes Mine and was instrumental in the recent rapid expansion of the industry in Australia with the development of Mt Marion Mine as the 2nd largest spodumene producer in the world.
He is a graduate in Metallurgy from University of SA and has also previously had operations and R&D experience in base metals production, senior commercial and management roles in the development of lithium brine project in Argentina, the development of a lithium carbonate plant in China. He is also currently a director of Frontier Lithium.

Mark Tory -

Mark Tory

CFO, Northern Minerals Limited

Mark is a Chartered Accountant with 25 years of professional experience in the mining industry and accounting professions. Prior to Northern Minerals, Mark held senior positions at Crescent Gold Limited, Anglo American Exploration and Homestake Gold (now Barrick Gold). Before joining Homestate, Mark worked for Deloittes in the Audit Division with the majority of his clients being in the mining and resources industry.

Dr Richard Walley OAM -

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.