Hon Ben Wyatt MLA
Treasurer; Minister For Finance; Energy; Aboriginal Affairs
Ben Wyatt is Australia’s first Indigenous Australian treasurer and was appointed in March 2017.
Testament to his capability, capacity and strong work ethic, Mr Wyatt also holds the position as Minister for Finance, Energy and Aboriginal Affairs.
Mr Wyatt’s priority as a leader of the state is to focus on his pronounced Ministerial portfolio, his obligation to his constituents and to make a difference to the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people across the state and the nation. Mr Wyatt is deeply committed to the principles of closing the gap in Australia.
Elected to the Legislative Assembly in a by-election, held in March 2006, Mr Wyatt was fast-tracked to fill the vacancy created when the Hon Dr Geoff Gallop resigned and has been serving the State for more than 10 years.
Prior to his appointment as a senior Minister in the current Government, Mr Wyatt held the positions of Shadow Treasurer and Shadow Minister for Federal State Relations, Aboriginal Affairs, Native Title and Government Accountability.
Mr Wyatt holds a Masters Degree with distinction from the London School of Economics, Bachelor of Laws from the University of Western Australia and has also served on the National Board of Indigenous Business Australia as an officer in the Australian Army – following his graduation from the Royal Military College, Duntroon.
In 2001, Mr Wyatt was awarded Young Australian of the Year in the Town of Victoria Park. Other accolades include a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarship from the Rotary Club of Victoria Park for 2001 to 2002 and receiving the Australian Defence Medal in 2008.
Mr Wyatt’s career in earnest began in Western Australia as a barrister and solicitor where he served as counsel for the Director of Public Prosecutions.
Western Power’s vast transmission and distribution network connects Western Australians to a wide range of both traditional and renewable energy sources to power a vibrant modern lifestyle. Western Power builds, maintains and operates the network in the south west corner of Western Australia.
As a Director and Board Chair since April 2015, Colin Beckett has been providing steady guidance and support across the leadership and governance of the State Government owned corporation. Prior to joining Western Power, Mr Beckett was a senior executive at Chevron Australia Pty Ltd, responsible for the development of the Gorgon LNG and domestic gas project on Barrow Island, Western Australia. Mr Beckett was previously employed at Mobil in Australia and at BP in Australia and the United Kingdom.
Mr Beckett is a past Chair and director of the Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association (APPEA), past Chair of the CSIRO Energy and Transportation Sector Advisory Board, a past member of the WA Technology and Industry Advisory Council and a past member of the UWA Oceans Institute.
Mr Beckett has a Master of Arts in Engineering from Cambridge University. He is a member of the Institution of Civil Engineers (UK), a fellow of the Australian Institute of Engineers and a graduate member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
General Manager - Infrastructure & Major Projects, Strategic Policy
Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science and Innovation
Taron’s team is in the policy division of the Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science and Innovation. It provides advice on the WA Domestic Gas Policy, monitors implementation of LNG exporters’ domestic gas commitments and supports negotiation of new ones. The team also works on infrastructure access issues. Taron has been with JTSI since 2013 and prior to that worked on energy policy issues.
Head of Grid Transformation
Matt Cheney leads the Grid Transformation function at Western Power, with responsibility for the future network strategy and for the development and prioritising of network plans to maintain service and performance standards.
Western Power is a Western Australian Government owned corporation that transmits and distributes electricity to more than one million customers across 254,920 km2. The network incorporates more than 102,000 kms of wires, along with more than 860,000 poles and towers.
Matt’s team is accountable for pilot projects including stand-alone power systems, microgrids and a utility scale battery energy storage solution. The objective being to provide the WA community with solutions to deliver power in new, efficient and innovative ways to meet their changing needs.
With 20 years’ experience in a diverse range of roles and industries Matt has established himself as a versatile asset manager and business leader. He previously formed part of the leadership team that implemented improved asset management practices across the business, focusing on maintaining the integrity of in-service assets.
Matt also held primary accountability for the strategic asset management of conductors across the network, in addition to the implementation of Smart Grid technologies. He holds a Bachelor of Engineering (Aerospace Avionics), and is a member of the Asset Management Council of Australia.
Prof Graciela Chichilnisky
Professors Economics and Statistics
Director CCRM, Columbia University
Graciela Chichilnisky is a world renowned economist and mathematician, the creator of the Carbon Market of the UN Kyoto Protocol, the concept of Basic Needs and the formal theory of Sustainable Development. She was the Lead US Author of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which received the Nobel Prize in 2007, Her pioneering work uses innovative market mechanisms to create Green Capitalism.
Chichilnisky is a professor of Statistics and Economics at Columbia University and currently a visiting professor at Stanford University. .She acts as a special adviser to the UN the IMF and the World Bank, is a TED speaker and speaks frequently in CNN ABC and BBC. Chichilnisky is the Co-Founder and CEO of Global Thermostat, an award winning company in which she co-invented a "Carbon-Negative Technology”™ that captures CO2 from air at low cost transforming it into profitable assets such as biofuels, beverages and polymers and building carbon negative power plants, a company that FORBES and KPMG say can reverse climate change.
Lachlan Creswell is currently based in Macquarie’s Melbourne office and is responsible for leading Macquarie Capital’s renewable energy team in Australia. Lachlan relocated from New York in 2015 where he was responsible for leading Macquarie Capital’s Latin American Infrastructure Team. Lachlan has worked with Macquarie for 16 years, including previous postings in New York, Mexico, London and Sydney, and has completed transactions and advisory work in Mexico, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Uruguay, the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia, Hong Kong, China, Korea, Indonesia, the Netherlands, Luxemburg, and the UK.
Lachlan holds a Bachelor of Chemical Engineering (First Class Honours) and a Bachelor of Laws from the University of New South Wales (Sydney, Australia).
General Manager Strategy and Regulation
ATCO Gas Division
Matthew joined ATCO in November 2016 as a new addition to the ATCO Gas Division Executive Team. Matthew was previously Head of Regulation & Investment Management for Western and prior to that held senior management roles in the resources and financial services sectors. Matthew has a degree in Economics from the University of Sydney and post-graduate qualification in Applied Finance from Macquarie University. Matthew is married with 3 children and has lived in Perth since 2013.
Business Development Manager
Andrew Dickson is Business Development Manager at CWP Renewables, a global developer of renewable energy projects. Two notable CWP projects include the 600 MW Fântânele-Cogealac Wind Farm in Romania (the largest onshore wind farm in Europe) and the 270 MW Sapphire Wind Farm in northern NSW (the largest wind farm in NSW, currently being hybridised with 200 MW of solar PV and a 100MWh / 50MW battery).
Andrew has over 15 years of experience developing renewable energy projects including wind farms, solar thermal power stations and microgrids. He has also led CWP’s initiative to open up the Sapphire Wind Farm to large scale, local community investment. In three and half years outside of the renewable energy sector, Andrew was an economic development manager with the South Australian Department of State Development.
For the Asian Renewable Energy Hub project, he is working closely with the Australian National University to contribute research into areas including indigenous engagement and capability mapping, legal frameworks for intercontinental energy agreements and the potential for large scale pumped hydro energy storage. He is also exploring the potential for the project to produce green hydrogen, for local and export markets.
Outside of work, Andrew directs a team which is developing an off-road, off-grid, solar powered electric vehicle to transport pregnant women from remote villages in Sub Saharan Africa to hospitals, to reduce maternal mortality.
Prof Ross Garnaut
Professorial Research Fellow in Economics
University of Melbourne
Professor Garnaut is a Professorial Research Fellow in Economics at the University of Melbourne. He is the author of numerous publications in scholarly journals on international economics, public finance and economic development, particularly in relation to East Asia and the Southwest Pacific. Recent books include The Great Crash of 2008 (with David Llewellyn-Smith, 2009) and Dog Days: Australia After the Boom (2013).
Professor Garnaut has had longstanding and successful roles as policy advisor, diplomat and businessman. He was the senior economic policy official in Papua New Guinea’s Department of Finance in the years straddling Independence in 1975, principal economic adviser to Australian Prime Minister Bob Hawke 1983-1985, and Australian Ambassador to China 1985-1988.
He is the author of a number of influential reports to the Australian Government, including Australia and the Northeast Asian Ascendancy, The Garnaut Climate Change Review, and The Garnaut Review 2011: Australia and the Global Response to Climate Change.
Professor Garnaut has chaired the boards of major Australian and International companies since 1988, including Lihir Gold Ltd (1995 – 2010); Bank of Western Australia Ltd (1988 – 1995); Primary Industry Bank of Australia Ltd (1989 – 1994); Papua New Guinea Sustainable Development Limited Pty Ltd (2002 – 2012) and its subsidiary OK Tedi Mining Ltd; Lonely Planet Pty Ltd; and aluminium Smelters of Victoria Ltd and the Energy Transition Hub. In 2015 he became the Chairman of ZEN Energy Technologies Pty Ltd. In September 2017, ZEN Energy formed a strategic partnership with global company GFG Alliance and SIMEC ZEN energy was founded. Professor Garnaut remains as President of SIMEC ZEN Energy.
WA Independent Power Association
Richard has more than 30 years’ experience in the public and private sectors in the energy industry in WA.
Richard has been a Director of West Australian-based renewable energy development company WestGen since February 2010. WestGen is developer of the 30MW Byford Solar Farm, which will be begin commercial operations in the first half of 2018.
Richard’s previous roles include General Manager Commercial for Aviva Corporation, developer of the Coolimba Power Project, Project Director for the development of NewGen’s Neerabup Power Station, and WA Director for NewGen Power and ERM Power.
Prior to taking up his private sector roles, Richard had a long career in Government, serving both Coalition and Labor Governments as a Director in the Office of Energy, with responsibilities for the early stages of deregulation of the gas and electricity markets.
Richard is also Special Counsel at the communications firm Cannings Purple.
Richard holds a BA (Honours) and an MA degree from the University of Western Australia.
Chief Executive Officer
Energy Efficiency Council
Luke Menzel is CEO at the Energy Efficiency Council, Australia’s peak body for energy efficiency, energy management and demand response. The Council’s mission is to make sensible, cost effective energy efficiency measures standard practice across the Australian economy.
Before being appointed CEO, Luke led the development of a new Australian certification scheme for the professionals that manage comprehensive energy upgrades of commercial buildings. The Energy Efficiency Certification Scheme launched in 2013.
Luke is Vice-President of the Australian Sustainable Built Environment Council, sits on the NABERS Stakeholder Advisory Committee, is a member of Standards Australia’s EN001 Energy standard committee and is one of three judging panel chairs for the NSW Government’s Green Globe Awards.
Luke is a commercial lawyer specialising in electricity and downstream gas matters for clients in the energy sector.
He has acted for clients across renewable energy project development, wholesale and retail energy contracting and regulation, carbon and climate change, consumer and competition law, and third party access matters.Luke holds a Bachelor of Laws with Honours from the University of Sydney and a Bachelor of Arts from the Australian Catholic University.
Executive General Manager
Western Australia, Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO)
In January 2016, Cameron was seconded to the AEMO focusing on the transfer of System Management out of Western Power to the AEMO. From April 2016 he began acting in the AEMO Executive General Manager Western Australia role and was formally appointed in July 2016. In this role Cameron provides leadership to the WA market operations, implementation of Electricity Market Review initiatives and accountability for system management.
Cameron joined Western Power (then the State Energy Commission of Western Australia) in 1992 as a cadet engineer and left in July 2016 as the Executive Manager Network Planning and Operations role. Cameron held numerous senior management and senior engineering positions covering technical, field and system operational aspects of electricity networks and markets.
Cameron has a Bachelor of Engineering (First Class Honours), a Bachelor of Commerce (Management major) and a Masters of Technology. He is a Chartered Professional Engineer, on the National Professional Engineers Register and is a member of the Institute of Engineers Australia."
General Manager, Customer Care
Jan Prichard joined Origin in 2011 and was appointed General Manager, Customer Care in January 2017. Jan has been a member of the Board of the NSW Energy and Water Ombudsman Scheme for the last 5 years. Jan leads the teams responsible for service experience for Origin's residential and SME customers, including customer service, back office operations, metering operations, credit risk and debt management, and network performance. Jan has held various roles at Origin leading customer operations, C&I business performance, and Retail Governance.
Holding 20 years' experience in the energy industry and with 17 years in audit, taxation and treasury Jan began her career at Ernst & Young and subsequently held a variety of corporate and business roles at Unisys Australia and AGL Energy. Jan has a Bachelor of Economics from the University of Sydney and is a member of Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand.
Renewables and Energy Storage Specialist and Associate
Paul Rasmussen is a Renewables and Energy Storage Specialist and an Associate in Arup. Paul focuses on developing integrated and efficient technology solutions to achieve greater returns for owners and operators of facilities in the mining, agriculture, energy and water sectors. He is currently pioneering novel concepts for mining companies in terms of energy use and storage.
Dr Malcolm Roberts
Australian Petroleum Production & Exploration Association Limited
Before joining APPEA in June 2015, Malcolm Roberts was Chairman of the Queensland Competition Authority.
He has considerable experience in industry associations, having held leadership roles with the Energy Networks Association, The National Generators’ Forum, the Australian National Retailers Association and the Housing Industry Association.
Dr Roberts has also worked in government as a policy adviser to ministers and in the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. He was an adviser and then chief of staff to Ian Macfarlane in 2001-04 and 2006-07.
General Manager, Policy & Research
Australian Energy Council
Ben Skinner was appointed as General Manager, Policy & Research of the Australian Energy Council in October 2017. His role primarily focusses on environmental policy and wholesale market policy in order to promote efficient, secure and competitive outcomes in the Australian energy sector.
Prior to this he was Specialist, Market Development at the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) for nine years, primarily liaising with government on environmental policy matters, including secondments to the Garnaut and Climate Change Authority secretariats.
Historically, Ben has worked as head of spot trading and then wholesale regulatory management for TRUEnergy (now Energy Australia).
Ben holds a Bachelor of Electrical Engineering and Diploma of Applied Finance.
Dr Charles E Taylor
Global Partnerships Manager
Dr. Taylor works in the Science & Technology Strategic Plans & Programs Center in the Office of Director at the National Energy Technology Laboratory. Dr. Taylor serves as the Global Partnerships Manager for NETL. He is the lead within NETL for all international activities including the management and oversight of all international agreements and interactions with foreign governments and international industrial, non-governmental, and academic entities. Dr. Taylor also identifies opportunities for international cooperation and facilitates the formulation and implementation of these activities. He also assists in identifying opportunities to promote the commercialization of U.S. technology in foreign markets and participates in national and international trade missions, technical information exchanges, forums, and conferences. Prior to managing the International Program at NETL, Dr. Taylor performed research for 20 years, served as Director of the Chemistry and Surface Science Division at NETL for 7 years and as Associate Deputy Director for Research and Development at NETL for 18 months. Dr. Taylor earned a Ph.D. in organic chemistry from Duquesne University in 1985 and has been employed at NETL since 1985 (after completing nine months as a Post Doctorial appointee with PETC (a NETL predecessor organization)). His doctoral research involved the synthesis, magnetic, and spectral properties of triorganosiloxy- and triorganogermoxy-copper(II) complexes. While at NETL, Dr. Taylor’s investigated the conversion of methane to gasoline-range hydrocarbons, photocatalytic conversion of methane and water to methanol and hydrogen, photocatalytic conversion of CO2 and water to methanol, photocatalytic conversion of methane contained within methane hydrates, the kinetics of the formation and dissociation of methane hydrates, the separation of hydrogen by dense-metal membranes, and the rapid formation of methane hydrates from methane and water. Dr. Taylor has 6 U.S. Patents and numerous publications.
Dr Elizabeth Thurbon
Associate Professor of International Political Economy
University of New South Wales
Dr Elizabeth Thurbon is an Associate Professor of International Political Economy at the School of Social Sciences, UNSW Sydney. She has also held visiting fellowships at Seoul National University and China Foreign Affairs University. Her research specialism is the political-economy of techno-industrial development and change, with a particular focus on the developmental role of the state in Australia and East Asia, especially South Korea. Thurbon’s most significant scholarly contributions examine the emergence and evolution of East Asia’s developmental states, as well as the impact of globalisation on states and their capacities to promote techno-industrial adjustment and upgrading. In addition to her scholarly work, Thurbon is a regular contributor to public debates on Australian trade and industry policy. She holds a Ph.D. in International Political Economy from the University of Sydney, Australia. She also completed her Economics (Social Sciences) Degree at Sydney University, where she was awarded first class Honours and the University Medal for Academic Excellence.
CEO - Frank Tudor has held various executive management roles over the last 25 years in the oil, gas and power industries. Before becoming CEO at Horizon Power, Frank worked at BP and Woodside, where he was responsible for managing business development activities. Frank has also been a lecturer in oil and gas economics and legal frameworks at the University of Western Australia.
Tony Wood AM
Energy Program Director
Tony Wood has led the Grattan Institute’s Energy Program since mid-2011. Since then he and his team have delivered sixteen major reports on energy and climate change and he has developed a strong profile with governments and industry, and is a regular contributor in major media on key energy issues. From 2009 until mid-2014, he also had a role as Program Director of Clean Energy Projects at the Clinton Foundation, advising governments in the Asia-Pacific region on effective deployment of large-scale, low-emission energy technologies such as solar and CCS.
Prior to these roles, he spent 14 years working at Origin Energy in senior executive roles covering retail and LPG line management and corporate affairs. In 2008, he was seconded to provide an industry perspective to the first Garnaut review.
In January, 2018 Tony was awarded a Member of the Order of Australia in recognition of his significant service to conservation and the environment, particularly in the areas of energy policy, climate change and sustainability.
Director, Sally McMahon and Associates and Advisor to Spark Infrastructure
Sally McMahon has more than 25 years experience in energy and utility policy and economic reform. Sally held senior leadership and Executive roles in economic regulators in NSW and Victoria, government departments and network service providers (Western Power and ATCO Gas Australia in WA) before establishing her own consulting company in 2015. Sally has since advised retailers, developers, network service providers and investors across Australia to navigate and influence energy and regulatory policy to deliver commercial outcomes and achieve corporate objectives. She is also the advisor on economic regulation for Spark Infrastructure, an investment fund with interests in electricity transmission and distribution assets in SA, Victoria and NSW. Sally has an honours degree in Economics and is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, Company Directors Course and Director Pipeline Program. Sally is a member of the WA Branch Committee of the Australian Institute of Energy, Chair of the WA Branch of the Economic Society of Australia’s Women in Economic Network and is a member of the Electricity Review Board Panel of Experts in WA.