Gig Guide: Curtin Uni finds new Trailblazer lead

Brandon How

Curtin University has announced energy and resources commercialisation veteran Dr Ross Waring as the director of its Resources Technology and Critical Minerals Trailblazer hub.

Dr Waring has 25 years experience working on technology commercialisation in the oil and gas, mineral resources, petrochemicals, power generation, and renewable energy sectors.

Before taking the role, Dr Waring was an industry advisor to industrial automation firm Yokogawa. He is also independent chair of the Subsea Innovation Cluster and the Centre of Decommissioning Australia, both initiatives led by National Energy Resources Australia.

Curtin University deputy vice-chancellor, research, Professor Chris Moran said the Trailblazer initiative would benefit greatly from Dr Waring’s mineral research and commercialisation experience.

“Curtin’s Trailblazer project is a critical national project and Dr Waring’s leadership will help lay the foundation to effectively bridge minerals’ research with commercialisation,” Professor Moran said.

Dr Ross Waring

Following the retirement of Alan Tudge from federal politics, the new shadow minister for education is Senator Sarah Henderson, moving from the communications portfolio. The new shadow communications minister is now David Coleman.

Former chief scientist Dr Alan Finkel and former Telstra chief executive Andy Penn are among the six members appointed to the Expert Advisory Panel of the revived Victorian State Electricity Commission.

The panel will be chaired by Victorian Department of Energy, Environment and Climate Action secretary John Bradley and also includes former Australian Energy Market Operator managing director and chief executive Audrey Zibelman, Climateworks Centres chief executive Anna Skarbek, and former Consumer Utilities Advocacy Centre executive officer Jo Benvenuti.

Former health minister Greg Hunt has been made an Honorary Melbourne Enterprise Professor, advising on innovation, leadership, and health policy across Melbourne University. In this role, he will chair the Advisory Board for Innovation and Enterprise at the Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences. Last October he was appointed to chair of the Turner Institute for Brain and Mental Health’s Advisory Council at Monash University.

Professor Deanna D’Alessandro of the University of Sydney’s Faculties of Engineering and Science is the director of the Net Zero Initiative. Professor D’Alessandro’s research focuses on the development of materials used in direct air capture of carbon dioxide emissions. She will collaborate with over 100 researchers, industry experts, and state government representatives on the development of new technologies and systems supporting decarbonisation.

Professor Deanna D’Alessandro.

The new chief executive of the Queensland Treasury Corporation is Leon Allen, who moves from his role as Under Treasurer of Queensland Treasury. Prior to that, Mr Allen spent four years as Commonwealth Bank chief executive and managing director for the Americas.

Former Queensland chief entrepreneur Wayne Gerard is now operating partner at the Queensland Investment Corporation, the state-owned investment company. The co-founder of engineering software provider RedEye served as chief entrepreneur between June 2021 and December 2022.

Business Council of Australia chief executive Jennifer Westacott will leave the role in the next 12 to 18 months. Ms Westacott has been in the role since 2011. She previously served six years as board director of KPMG Australia as national partner lead for climate, change, water and sustainability as well as the partner-in-charge, NSW government. Among her many board appointments is the Cybersecurity Cooperative Research Centre.

Australia’s high commissioner to Singapore Will Hodgman has concluded his service. At the end of September 2022 Foreign minister Penny Wong announced Mr Hodgman would end his term in Ferbruary amid a refresh of Australia’s diplomatic corp.

Prior to his time in Singapore, Mr Hodgman was the longest serving leader of the Tasmanian Liberal Party, serving as Premier between March 2014 and January 2020. During this time he was also Attorney-General and Minister for Justice. Following the end of his time in in state politics, he served as the inaugural chair of the Australian Business Growth Fund.

Fibre and network solutions provider Vocus has appointed Ellie Sweeney as chief executive from March 1. Ms Sweeney has been chief operating officer since 2019 and has more than 20 years of experience across the telecommunications industry. Incumbent chief executive Kevin Russell is retiring after five years in the role.

In January, Charlie Taylor was made the chair of the New South Wales government’s Innovation and Productivity Council. Mr Taylor was a former senior partner at multinational consultancy McKinsey and is the brother of former federal Minister for Industry and for Energy and Emissions Reduction Angus Taylor. He is also a senior office holder in the federal Liberal party, leading the Labor opposition to criticise the appointment as “jobs for the boys”.

The National Disability Initiative Association’s new deputy chief executive, strategy and service improvement is Corri Mckenzie.

Alfredo Remy has been appointed as Australasian director of Hatch Advisory, the management consulting arm of engineering firm Hatch. Mr Remy has spent the last 29 years in engineering and management consulting roles including as a partner at multinational consultancy PwC.

Do you know more? Contact James Riley via Email.

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