Hon Bill Johnston MLA

Minister for Mines and Petroleum; Energy; Industrial Relations

Bill Johnston was elected to Parliament in September 2008 as the State Member for Cannington. 

He was sworn in as the Mines and Petroleum, Commerce and Industrial Relations, Electoral Affairs, and our State’s first Asian Engagement Minister in March 2017. In December 2018, he took over the Energy portfolio.

In Opposition, Bill served as Shadow Minister for State Development and Energy from 2012, and Shadow Minister for Mines and Petroleum from 2013. He was a Member of the Economics and Industry Standing Committee and Deputy Chair of the Inquiry into Domestic Gas Prices from 2010 to 2011.

Prior to entering Parliament, he was the State Secretary of WA Labor from 2001 until 2008, with responsibility for all State and Federal election campaigns. As Assistant State Secretary of WA Labor from 1998 until 2001, his duties included creating and operating the Labor Business Roundtable, that connects WA Labor with business, industry and the not-for-profit sector in WA.


Chris Alexander

Advocacy and Communications

Chris is a public and industry professional specialising in energy and has eight years experience working in Australia and the United Kingdom. Chris has qualifications in Economics, Law, and Government Management.

Before returning to Australia to join ECA, Chris was Head of Energy Regulation with Citizens Advice/Consumer Futures and a member of the senior management team in the energy division. Chris brings to ECA his highly developed communication, analytical and stakeholder management skills.

His proven track record developing innovative solutions to complex commercial and public policy challenges is a great advantage for ECA and consumers within the energy sector.  


Sam Bartholomaeus

Head of Energy (Australia)

BHP is a leading domestic gas supplier and a material consumer of energy in Australia.

Sam Bartholomaeus has been with BHP for over a decade and worked across its Petroleum portfolio in various commercial roles in Australia, Singapore and the US.

Sam leads a team of focussed energy professionals responsible for BHP integrated energy portfolio in Australia which includes domestic gas sales, electricity procurement and carbon management.

Prior to joining BHP, Sam worked for Dampier Bunbury Pipeline and the Office of Energy (Western Australian State Government). Sam holds a Masters of Business Administration.


Taron Brearley

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.


Sarah Browne

Director – Communications

As Director – Communications, Sarah Browne has led the Brighter program since its inception in 2018. Brighter is APPEA’s broader community and stakeholder engagement program and is designed, in part, to improve awareness among Australians of the STEM opportunities in the gas industry. Sarah was previously a senior advisor to a number of Premiers and Ministers in both Western Australia and Victoria, including significant work in strategic policy development and integrated communications planning. Most recently, Sarah was Managing Director of the Strategic Communications group of FTI Consulting, a global consultancy specialising in public affairs campaigns.


Juan Carlos Boué

Juan Carlos Boué is counsel in the international corporate and arbitration practice of international law firm Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle LLC, focusing on transactions and disputes.

Prior to entering law, Mr. Boué worked extensively in the oil and gas sector, alternating between roles in industry and academia. He spent nearly a decade with the international trading arm of Petróleos Mexicanos (PEMEX), the Mexican national state oil company, where he became the manager in charge of the commercial aspects of all of Mexico's crude oil exports. In addition, he served as the secretary of the inter-ministerial government committee entrusted with reviewing all oil export pricing and policies. He was also a special advisor to the Ministry of Energy and Petroleum of Venezuela, and sat on the boards of various oil refining companies in Germany, Sweden, and the United States.

From 2010 to 2018, Mr. Boué was a senior research fellow at the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies. He has written widely on the industrial economics of oil and gas exploration and production, petroleum refining, auction design for oil and gas bidding rounds, and the taxation and political economy of oil in general.

A Mexican and British national, Mr. Boué received his B.A. from El Colegio de México, later obtaining a doctorate in politics and a degree in jurisprudence at Oxford University.


Guy Chalkley

Chief Executive Officer
Western Power

Guy Chalkley commenced at Western Power in December 2011 as Operations Commercial Manager. He was later appointed Head of Business Planning and Reporting before joining the Executive Management Team as Chief Financial Officer in February 2015. He was appointed Chief Executive Officer in July 2016.

Guy brings a wealth of international, financial and operational experience across a diverse range of sectors operating and residing in a number of continents including Asia, Africa, Europe, North and South America, and Australia. He is also a Leadership WA 2013 Alumni, graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD), Fellow of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (FCCA) and Chairman of the Finance, Audit and Risk Management Committee on the Board of Energy Networks Australia. 

Guy is instrumental in shifting the dial on diversity at Western Power, lifting the percentage of female leaders and increasing the intake of female apprentices in a male dominated blue collar workforce to better reflect the diversity of the community Western Power serves.


Dermot Costello

WA Regional Advisor
Clean Energy Council

The Clean Energy Council is the peak body for the clean energy industry in Australia.

They represent and work with over 800 leading businesses operating in the Australian Renewable Energy and Storage industry, along with more than 6000 accredited rooftop and ground mounted solar installers.

The Clean Energy Council is committed to accelerating the transformation of Australia’s energy system to one that is smarter and cleaner.

They provide a variety of services to our members, but the primary role is to develop and advocate effective policy to accelerate the development and deployment of all clean energy technologies.

As Western Australian Advisor for the CEC, over the past 5years, Dermot represents the organisation in Perth and across the state focused on policy development that enables the emergence of renewable energy.

Previous to working with the CEC, Dermot was CEO of the Sustainable Energy Association of Australia (SEA).

Dermot, a mechanical engineer, has had an extensive career in the Renewable Energy industry with 15+ years’ experience across 5 continents.  

He has held director, advisory, commercial and technical roles with companies and projects in wind, solar, storage, energy-from-waste and bioenergy throughout these regions.


Nicola Cusworth

Economic Regulation Authority

Nicky took up her position as Chair of the ERA in July 2016.

Before joining the ERA, Nicky was Deputy Director General at the former Department of State Development, and also previously worked for the Department of Treasury and Finance and the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Western Australia.

Nicky has extensive experience in economic policy and analysis, and has participated in projects including the electricity market review and the Mineral Royalty Rate Analysis.

She has a degree in philosophy, politics and economics from Oxford University.


Rob Heferen

Deputy Secretary Energy
Department of the Environment and Energy 

Rob Heferen joined the Department of the Environment and Energy on 1 August 2016 and has responsibility for Energy Markets, Energy Efficiency and Energy Fuel Security. He leads on national energy policy advice – including energy efficiency, electricity and gas markets, and energy fuel security – as well as Australia’s engagement with key international energy bodies. Rob is Australia’s representative on the International Energy Agency’s Governing Board.

Prior to this, Rob was Deputy Secretary with the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science with responsibilities for Energy, Resources and the Office of Northern Australia.

Before joining the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science, Rob was the Deputy Secretary, Revenue Group with The Treasury from March 2011 – April 2016.  Rob’s other roles in the Australian Public Service have been in Customs, the ATO, Treasury and in the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs.


Russell James

General Manager Business Development West

Russell is experienced in the delivery of small to large scale energy and utility infrastructure projects as well as managing a large portfolio of projects to the value of approximately $80M p.a. Has previously held roles in Project and portfolio Delivery and Management. Russell has extensive knowledge of Gas and Energy markets, pricing, regulations as well as providing innovative and new technology solutions including the integration of renewable energy, gas and hydrogen projects.


Dr Philip Lewis


Originally at the forefront of energy market liberalisation in Great Britain with what is now EDF Energy during the onset of full-liberalisation, Philip has been a pioneer of market analysis in the global liberalised energy market, a leading authority on competition dynamics, customer behaviour and disruptive change. 22 years experience across 80 markets (every liberalised market since opening) helping governments, regulators, energy companies, large industrial consumers, investors and other stakeholders.

He has led or participated in over two dozen projects for state and national governments, the European Commission and national authorities. Recently a director of the European Commission’s project identifying barriers to entry in all European markets (2019) and a consultant in the ACCC’s review of prices and competition (2018).

He was also editor of the world's first book detailing the global liberalization experience, co-founded ‘Smart Energy Europe’ (formerly the Smart Energy Demand Coalition), was a former member of the World Economic Forum Global Agenda Council on the Future of Electricity and a keynote at major events around the World including the European Union’s Sustainable Energy Week.


Murray Meaton

Economic Consulting Services
Vice Chair
WA Branch Australian Institute of Energy

Murray Meaton is Manager of Economic Consulting Services. He established the company in 1997 following over 25 years of State and Federal government experience.

Murray worked in government for the Department of Agriculture, Treasury, the Commonwealth DPIE, Industries Assistance Commission and CSIRO. He finished as Director, Economic Policy with the Department of Minerals and Energy.

Murray has now completed more than 800 consulting assignments for a wide range of clients. He is a member of the Chamber of Minerals and Energy Economics Committee and the Energy Committee, WA Vice Chair and national Board member of the Australian Institute of Energy and a Director of his Rotary Club.

Murray is an experienced facilitator and public speaker and a Churchill Fellow. In 2014, Murray was made a Member of the Order of Australia for contribution to the energy sector. 


Violette Mouchaileh

Executive General Manager,
Emerging Markets and Services, Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO)

Violette’s current role of Executive General Manager of Emerging Markets and Services includes the responsibility for strategies relating to AEMO’s Distributed Energy Resources program and data initiatives, including Consumer Data Right in energy. 

Since joining AEMO in February 2009, Violette has held various roles across gas and electricity in market design development, market change implementation, and operational roles.

Violette has more than 17 years’ experience in the Australian energy industry holding various positions in Commonwealth Government departments and regulatory bodies.  

Her experience includes economic regulation, energy policy development, development of regulatory frameworks, market development and design, and market change implementation. This includes the establishment of energy governance framework and national planning arrangements, network and retail pricing reforms, establishment of the gas Short Term Trading Market, implementation of Power of Choice and demand side initiatives, including the AEMO/ARENA DR trial, and the COAG Energy Council’s Gas Market Reform Group gas reforms.

Violette has a Bachelor of Economics and Commerce with Honours.


Bruce Mountain

Ass. Pro and Director
Victoria Energy Policy Centre, Victoria University 

Bruce is the inaugural Director of the Victoria Energy Policy Centre. He is a well-known Australian energy economist whose research and advisory work has focussed on the economic regulation of network monopolies, the analysis of retail energy markets, and the design of emission reduction and renewable energy policies. Bruce has been a long standing advisor to governments, regulators, market participants and interest groups in Australia and internationally. He has a PhD in economics, a Bachelor’s and a Master’s degree in Electrical Engineering and qualified as an accountant.


Niall Myles

Senior Vice President
North West Shelf and Burrup

Niall was in 2018 appointed Senior Vice President North West Shelf and Burrup, responsible for the safe and reliable operation of Australia’s largest oil and gas project and Woodside’s plans to establish a regional LNG production centre on WA’s Burrup Peninsula.

Born in Belfast, Northern Ireland, Niall graduated with a Bachelor of Chemical Engineering (Honours) from Queen’s University and has 30 years’ experience in the oil and gas industry.

Before joining Woodside in 1997, Niall held roles with Esso Australia Ltd and a number of consultancies in the United Kingdom.
Commencing as a Process Engineer supporting the North West Shelf Project’s Goodwyn Alpha Platform, Niall broadened his experience through a number of production planning, project, commercial and business development roles.In 2003, Niall moved to Karratha as Operations Superintendent at the North West Shelf Project’s Karratha Gas Plant, and in 2006 became Vice President of the facility.

In 2009, Niall took up a Perth role in business development for Pluto LNG, and in 2011 went back to Karratha as VP Production Pluto, overseeing

the safe and reliable start up of the Pluto LNG Project. He then served as Senior Vice President North West Shelf for four years, and 2 years as Senior Vice President Australia Operating Unit.


Robert Pritchard

Executive Director
Energy Policy Institute of Australia

Robert is executive director of the Energy Policy Institute of Australia, an independent industry policy body, and Resources Law International Associates Pty Ltd.

He has 50 years’ experience advising on investment in resources and energy projects, spanning oil, gas, LNG, coal, renewables, magnesite, alumina, aluminium, uranium and nuclear energy. He has also been involved in a wide range of privatisation and private infrastructure projects.

Robert presently serves as chairman of the St Baker Energy Innovation Fund and SMR Nuclear Technology Pty Ltd.


Leonard Quong

Head of Australian Research

Leonard Quong the Head of Australian Research at BloombergNEF where he leads a team of experts to examine the future of energy, transport and industry in the Australian market. Leonard joined BloombergNEF in 2013 where he has since published over 50 research papers covering technology, investment, economics and policy. He holds a Bachelor of Engineering degree with First Class Honours in photovoltaic and solar energy engineering from the University of New South Wales.


Kate Ryan

Program Director
Energy Transformation

Kate was appointed Program Director of the newly established Energy Transformation Implementation Unit in May 2019. The Implementation Unit is responsible for supporting the Energy Transformation Taskforce in the delivery of the Energy Transformation Strategy – the Government’s work program to deliver cleaner, more affordable and more reliable electricity to consumers. Kate has also been appointed to the role of Acting Executive Director, Energy Policy WA to lead the newly created Energy Policy WA. To be established in September 2019, Energy Policy WA will be the Western Australian Government’s energy policy agency, combining the functions previously performed by the Public Utilities Office and the Implementation Unit within the Department of Treasury.

Kate is an energy sector professional with extensive experience in energy sector policy, reform, regulation and market design.

Prior to her appointment as Program Director, Kate held the role of Specialist Markets with the Public Utilities Office. She has also held senior executive roles in government and energy market institutions, including the former Independent Market Operator in Western Australia and Queensland Government energy agencies.


Robert Sims

Head of APAC gas and LNG Research

Robert heads Wood Mackenzie's APAC Gas and LNG research team. He joined Wood Mackenzie in 2018 with a focus on developing our Short Term outlook.

With a background in Trading and Analytics, he provides commercial insight into the short term gas and LNG Market, analysing price drivers and short term trends, as well as how market participants compete in the spot traded market. With strong understanding of market dynamics, Robert helps Wood Mackenzie draw relevant insight into how short term trends influence the long term outlook.

Robert joined Wood Mackenzie after 12 years at BP, where he led the Market Analytics team for BP Singapore LNG Trading. During his time at BP he also covered UK and European Gas markets, while on BP’s Gas Marketing Trading Book. Robert is an Chartered Management Accountant and holds a BSc in Mathematics and European Studies from Durham University, UK.


Paul StevensProf Paul Stevens

Distinguished Fellow
Chatham House

Professor Paul Stevens is a Distinguished Fellow at Chatham House. Educated as an economist and as a specialist on the Middle East at Cambridge and the School of Oriental and African Studies. Between 1973-1979, he was teaching economics at the American University of Beirut in Lebanon and between 1979-93 at the University of Surrey. Between 1993 and 2008, he was Professor of Petroleum Policy and Economics at the Centre for Energy, Petroleum and Mineral Law and Policy, University of Dundee, Scotland, a chair created by BP.  He is also Professor Emeritus at the University of Dundee, a Distinguished Fellow at the Institute of Energy Economics, Japan and until recently a Visiting Professor at University College London (Australia). He has published extensively on energy economics, international petroleum, economic development issues and the political economy of the Gulf.  He also works as a consultant for many companies and governments. In March 2009 he was presented with the OPEC Award in recognition of his outstanding work in the field of oil and energy research. In May 2018 he was given a Lifetime Achievement Award for the Advancement of Education for Future Energy Leaders by the Al-Attiyah Foundation.


Dr Mary Stewart BSc (Chem Eng), PhD, GAICD, CEng


Mary is recognised globally and locally as an expert in decision-making for sustainable development, with nearly 20 years’ experience assisting some of Australia’s largest energy users in developing energy management and climate risk strategies. Mary is an international expert on life cycle assessment as it applies to resources and in developing carbon footprints and carbon neutral positions. Mary undertook nearly 100 site audits over the seven years of the EEO program, the majority of which were on mine sites. She has seen more of outback WA than most people. 

Mary represents the Australian business and industry constituency on the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Innovation working group, its Standing Committee on Finance and its Adaptation working group.

In 2017, she won the Women’s Agenda Leadership Award for 'Emerging Leader in the Private Sector'. She is on the Board of the Energy Efficiency Council (EEC) where she chairs the strategy committee and was recently appointed to the International Energy Board of the Institute of Chemical Engineers (IChemE). Mary has served on the Community Advisory Board for FlexCareers and supports her local community by sitting on the Environment Advisory Committee for Inner West Council. 


Stephanie Unwin

Executive Officer
Horizon Power

As Chief Executive Officer of Horizon Power, Stephanie Unwin leads a 500 strong team of energy professionals to deliver power to some of Western Australia’s most remote and regional communities.

Under her leadership Horizon Power is transforming the energy landscape in an increasingly decentralised delivery model to more than 48,000 connections across 32 microgrids through 2.3 million square kilometres of rugged and remote territory.

Stephanie is passionate about inclusion and diversity to build a transparent environment with an engaged workforce.  Her ability to facilitate change on a foundation of safety is delivering Horizon Power’s vision to create customer choice and be a leader in microgrid technology.

Stephanie is a recognised energy industry leader with significant executive and board-level experience with Zenith Energy, Synergy and Verve Energy, following on from a career in corporate and resources law.  She is a Board Member of the Australian Renewable Energy Agency.

Stephanie brings a depth of experience in transformation and information technology, as well as a strong focus on regional communities, cultural awareness and safety to Horizon Power, fostered during her upbringing in Western Australia’s remote Pilbara region.

Stephanie joined Horizon Power in March 2019.


Jason Waters

CEO Synergy

Jason has served as the chief executive officer (CEO) of Synergy since January 2014 and prior to that he was the CEO of Verve Energy for two years.
Synergy is Western Australia’s largest electricity generator and retailer with a diverse range of power generating assets located throughout the South West Interconnected System and has in excess of one million residential and business customers.

Jason holds a Bachelor of Engineering and a Graduate Diploma of Business from Curtin University and has a background in engineering, power system planning, energy trading and fuel contract negotiation and management with 27 years’ experience in the energy sector.


Ms Audrey Zibelman

Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer
Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO)

Ms Zibelman leads AEMO, the independent gas and electricity system and market operator in Australia, an organisation that has primarily responsibility of managing and maintaining energy system security for all Australians. As Managing Director and CEO, Ms Zibelman also serves on the Energy Security Board.
Ms Zibelman has extensive experience in the public, private and not-for profit energy and electricity sectors in the United States, most recently having held the positions of Commissioner and Chair of the New York State Public Service Commission (NYPSC). During her tenure at the NYPSC, Ms Zibelman led the design and implementation of extensive regulatory and retail market changes to modernise and transform the state’s electricity industry.
A recognised national and international expert in energy policy, markets and Smart Grid innovation, Ms Zibelman is a Founder and past President and Chief Executive Officer of Viridity Energy, Inc.

Previously, Ms Zibelman was the Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of PJM, a regional transmission operator of the power grid and wholesale power market across the eastern United States.

Ms Zibelman also held legal and executive positions at Xcel Energy, served as General Counsel to the New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission, and was Special Assistant Attorney General in the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office.

During her career, Ms Zibelman has served on numerous industry-related and non-profit boards, and currently serves on the CSIRO (Australia’s national science agency) Energy Advisory Committee and the Melbourne Energy Institute’s Advisory Board. Her former board related appointments include positions as Advisor to Secretary of Energy for the US Department of Energy and Advisory Council, New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, the New York State Planning Board and the New York State Emergency Planning Council.