Gig Guide: Elaine Stead joins Main Sequence

Brandon How

Entrepreneur and venture capitalist Elaine Stead has joined CSIRO-seeded Main Sequence Ventures’ investment team, concluding her time leading Human Venture Capital.

Ms Stead has 20 years’ experience working across the startup ecosystem, including as a biochemistry and microbiology researcher, a director for several SMEs, and the lead for many other VC funds.

Ms Stead was also previously the Australian National University’s former director of New Ventures and Entrepreneurship and was on the university’s investment committee for more than 15 years.

Recently, she has led the development and launch of a free crowdsourced resource on addressing sexism in Australian tech and investment.

Writing about the decision to accept the Main Sequence role on her blog, Ms Stead said she couldn’t think of a better fit for her.

“I’m incredibly lucky they have welcomed me so warmly into the team, and I look forward to helping play a continuing role in creating Australia’s industries of the future while also solving some of our biggest problems,” Ms Stead said.

Elaine Stead

The founder of the Tech Council of Australia, an industry representative group, and former chair of the federal government’s global talent scheme startup advisory panel Alex McCauley has moved to Saudi Arabia to become the director of technology and investment for its NEOM planned urban development project. He joins former Liberal assistant minister for innovation Wyatt Roy, who announced his move earlier in the year.

The Australian Taxation Office’s chief information officer and second commissioner of enterprise solutions and technology Ramez Katf will reportedly leave the agency when his seven-year term ends on April 30, 2024.

The new director of Amazon Web Services’ (AWS) public sector industries for Asia-Pacific and Japan is Carl Ward. He has been working out of AWS’ Singapore office since 2020 and moves from his role as director of solution architecture for the region. Prior to joining AWS he spent 23 years working for multinational consultancy Accenture.

Meanwhile, Pegasystems’ new industry principal for the public sector in Asia-Pacific and Japan is Robert Bollard. His role has been expanded from just covering the Asia-Pacific, which he has held since September 2020. Mr Bollard previously spent around 20 years at IP Australia.

At Melbourne University, Tom McLeod has been appointed as a venture partner to lead its Venture Creator team and Venture Studio, moving from his contract role as an investment manager for the university. Mr McLeod has much experience in the startup sector, including at Bitshift Ventures and as a partner for startup accelerator Startmate.

As reported by, the new chief executive of representative group Science and Technology Australia is Ryan Winn. Mr Winn will move from his current role as the head of the Australian Council of Learned Academies in May.

Digital regulation and governance specialist Dr Rob Nicholls is now a senior research associate at the University of Sydney. He was previously an associate professor at the University of New South Wales Business School and is still a professorial fellow at the University of Technology Sydney.

Two new appointments to the Climate Change Authority were made last Saturday, while existing chief executive Brad Archer extended his term by 12 months. The two new members are Fiona Simson, who recently stepped down as National Farmers’ Federation chair, and experienced Victorian public servant Richard Bolt, who is currently the chair of Hydro Tasmania.

The federal government has created a new working group consisting of Telstra, Optus, TPG, and industry representative body the Australian Mobile Telecommunications Association to help ensure the switchover from 3G to 4G is safe. Telstra is planning its shutdown for the end of June, with Optus to follow in September. TPG’s 3G network was switched off in December.

Tasmanian based BioTech firm Marinova has appointed Dr Joel Kidgell as its chief chemist. Dr Kidgell has a decade of experience in researching the bioproducts of algae, with most of his PhD spent at the carbohydrate focused Ferrier Research Institute in New Zealand.

Do you know more? Contact James Riley via Email.

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