Meet our Judges: Awards for Excellence


James Riley
Editorial Director

Twenty-eight innovation ecosystem leaders from across Australia have been appointed as the independent judging crew for the inaugural InnovationAus 2021 Awards for Excellence, representing a cross section of skills, geography and background.

And we have introduced a new category – the InnovationAus WildCard Award – in response to a large number of inquiries from potential entrants who felt their worthy innovations did not fit into any of the existing categories.

The new WildCard category will enable entries from companies doing excellent work in areas like CreativeTech, AI and machine learning, Smart Cities, emergency services, FinTech and the public sector.

With the addition of a new category, the deadline for award entries has been extended until August 2. You can find more detail about the timeline for the program at the Awards website.

Ecosystem Leaders: The judging panel for InnovationAus 2021 Awards

The InnovationAus 2021 Awards for Excellence put a spotlight on the companies and people making a commercial or social impact through smart new products and services.

Once the judging begins in August, we will embark on a six-month program of stories and podcasts and video of finalists – culminating in a black-tie Commercial Disco gala on November 18.

“Our goal was to put together a group of industry leaders from broad and diverse backgrounds and industries, and we are very grateful to each of these judges for coming on board,” InnovationAus.com publisher Corrie McLeod said.

“This is an extremely impressive group. They are academics, startup founders, investors, corporate leaders, researchers and public servants.

“They are all leaders in their communities, from industry backgrounds ranging from space, the health sector, deep tech, artificial intelligence and data, robotics and intellectual property.”

The people and companies that enter these awards get themselves and their products in front of this judging group. And that’s exciting. Who knows where these things can lead?

This is an independent judging panel. InnovationAus.com staff will not have input into judging decisions, or visibility over the award entries.

The InnovationAus 2021 Awards for Excellence judges are:

  • Ashley Brinson – Founder and CEO of Greener Technologies; Director of Brinson and Associates
  • Dr Audrey Lobo-Pulo – Senior Public Policy & Economic Graph Manager, Australia & New Zealand, LinkedIn
  • Brad Chan – CEO of Banna Property Group; Founder and Director of Haymarket HQ
  • Cameron Johns – GM of Innovation, Impact Innovation Group; Co-Director of C+C Creative Studios
  • Chris Baxter – Chairman, Baxter IP Patent and Trademark Attorneys
  • Dr Catherine Ball – Associate Professor, ANU; Co-Creator World of Drones and Robotics Congress
  • Dr Dan Grant – CEO, MTPConnect industry growth centre
  • Dr Leigh Dayton – Science and Innovation Advisor
  • Dr Ian Oppermann – Chief Data Scientist, NSW Government
  • Kate Lundy –Director, NRMA; and Director, Cyber Security Cooperative Research Centre
  • Matt Tett – Managing Director, Enex TestLab; Chairman, Enex Carbon security consultancy
  • Murray Hurps – Director of Entrepreneurship, University of Technology Sydney; Co-Founder, Startup Muster
  • Petra Andrén – Life Sciences Advisor, Tattarang; Advisory Board for Anterra Capital; Director, Ena Respiratory
  • Rachael Falk – CEO, Cyber Security Cooperative Research Centre
  • Karlie Noon – Indigenous astronomer, astrophysicist and science communicator
  • Prof Toby Walsh – Scientia Professor of AI, UNSW; Research Group Leader, CSIRO’s Data61
  • Jonathan Barouch – Founder and CEO, Local Measure
  • Topaz Conway – Director, Neuraura; Director, Cicada Innovations
  • Sally-Ann Williams – CEO, Cicada Innovations
  • Pia Turcinov – Director, Mystral Enterprises Consulting, Chair of Western Australia AustCyber Innovation Hub
  • David Chuter – CEO and Managing Director at Innovative Manufacturing CRC (IMCRC)
  • Ric Richardson – Independent Inventor known for inventing Software Activation and assorted other tech
  • Flavia Tata Nardini – Co-Founder and CEO of Fleet Space Technologies; Mission Chair for Seven Sisters
  • Prof Lesley Seebeck – Honorary Professor, ANU; Member, Naval Shipbuilding Advisory Board, Australian Government
  • Philip Gehrig – Principal at Wrays
  • Lizelle Hughes – Director of ISV Partnerships, Microsoft Australia
  • Marina Yastreboff – President, Australian Society for Computers & Law; Legal Counsel, UNSW
  • Alex Harrington – Industry Advisory Board Member UTS Sydney; CEO and Founder of Noegenesis; and SheEO Activator

More details of the categories and entry criteria can be found at the InnovationAus 2021 Awards for Excellence website.

Do you know more? Contact James Riley via Email.

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