Gig Guide: ACT govt names Energy Innovation Fund advisers

Brandon How

The Australian Capital Territory (ACT) government has appointed seven members to its new Renewable Energy Innovation Fund Industry Advisory Board. The board will advise on the allocation of $19 million under the territory government’s fifth Renewables Reverse Auction industry partners.

The board will be be chaired by Professor Kenneth Baldwin, who was the inaugural director of the Australian National University’s Energy Change Institute and the founding director of the university’s Grand Challenge ‘Zero-Carbon Energy for the Asia-Pacific’. The other six members are:

  • Naureen Alam: AGL group manager of Future Low Carbon Portfolio and founder of social enterprise ‘advancing gender equality in the clean energy industry’
  • Ilea Buffier: founder of tech firm Evalue8 Sustainability
  • Robert Fisher: renewable energy asset management firm Windlab’s chief financial officer
  • Dr Elizabeth Ratnam: ANU School of Engineering Future Engineering Research Leader and senior lecturer, known for her work on battery storage grid integration
  • Dr Igor Skyrabin: ANU Institute for Climate, Energy, and Disaster Solutions research and business development manager and convenor of the Master of Energy Change program
  • William Tarlinton: electricity distribution software developer Zeppelin Bend’s executive director
Professor Kenneth Baldwin. Image: ANU

A record 26 parliamentarians have requested a STEM ambassador from lobby group Science and Technology Australia to provide advice on science and tech issues.

Whil no Cabinet ministers have been assigned a STEM ambassador, 12 Liberal parliamentarians will receive advice from an STA ambassador, the most of any political party. Ten ambassadors were assigned to Labor parliamentarians, one to a Nationals parliamentarian, and three to Independents.

Among the parliamentarians is Deputy Opposition leader and shadow minster for industry, skills, and training Sussan Ley, who will receive advice from BioTech firm New Edge Microbials’ head of research and development Dr Simon Speirs.

Shadow minister for science, government services, and the digital economy Paul Fletcher, will receive advice from National Computational Infrastructure associate director (storage) Daniel Rodwell.

Swinburne University of Technology chief scientist Professor Virginia Kilborn is advising Labor backbencher Maria Vamvakinou.

A full list of the STEM ambassadors and their parliamentary pairings can be found here.

The team behind the proposal for a Scaling Green Hydrogen Cooperative Research Centre (CRC), which has been shortlisted under round 24 of the CRC program, has appointed Paul Hodgson as its chief executive. Mr Hodgson previously served as interim chief executive between November 2021 and April 2023. He is also the chair of the Queensland Manufacturing Institute.

Monash University’s Emerging Technologies Research Lab has appointed the former Victorian Department of Justice and Community Safety’s deputy secretary corporate governance and support Andrew Campbell as an Adjunct Professor (practice). He has served in the public sector for more than 25 years.

The new chancellor of the University of Canberra is former Department of Education secretary Lisa Paul, who will start in the role in January 2024. Incumbent Professor Tom Calma is departing after serving 10 years in the position and 15 years on the university’s council.

Lisa Paul. Image: Tyler Cherry/University of Canberra

At the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, Hugh Cameron has been promoted to first assistant secretary, corporate and technology. Meanwhile, the Department of Defence’s Strategy, Policy and Industry Group has promoted Amy Hawkins to a senior executive service band two role.

The National Health and Medical Research Council has appointed Nicholas Johnson as executive director, moving from the Department of Health and Aged Care. Jennie Hood has moved from the National Emergency Management Agency to become the Department of Infrastructure’s assistant secretary, regional programs.

Former chief executive of industry body the Australian Information Industry Association Ron Gauci has been appointed the Australian managing director of tech consultancy DB Results as incumbent Brenton McPherson moves to be chief revenue officer. Mr Gauci will retain his responsibilities as head of the advisory and technology services group.

The inaugural chief executive of the Tasmanian Waste and Resource Recovery Board is Hugh Christie, who will begin in August. To fill the role Mr Christie has resigned as the Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers Association’s chief executive.

The new consul-general and general manager Middle East and Africa is Bryony Hilless, the new consul-general and senior trade and investment commissioner in San Francisco is Christopher Ketter, and the new consul-general and trade and investment commissioner in Frankfurt is Kelly Matthews. Their appointments were announced last week.

This week, new ambassadors and high commissioners were appointed to several countries. This announcement included the appointment of career Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade officers Vanessa Wood as Australia’s Ambassador for Arms Control and Counter-Proliferation and James Larsen as Australia’s next Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations in New York.

Elizabeth Hallett has been reappointed to the board of Australia’s Civil Aviation Safety Authority for a three-year term. She has been on the board since July 2020. This coincided with the release of a new Statement of Expectations, guiding the strategic direction for the next two years.

Do you know more? Contact James Riley via Email.

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