National Smart Energy Summit 2019 Speakers
The Summit will showcase leading Australian companies that have committed to significantly reduce their emissions and the smart energy businesses that are helping make the transition a reality.
The program will kick off in the morning with keynote speeches from business and political leaders, with discussions centred on commitments to cut emissions and power bills with renewable energy made by some of Australia's largest companies. The NSW Premier, Gladys Berejiklian has been invited.
Join other local and global leaders in smart energy and the renewables industry for industry insights and discover the vision for Australia's future beyond 100% renewables.
Thank you to the following speakers for participating in the National Smart Energy Summit 2019!
Mike Cannon-Brookes, Co-founder and Co-CEO, Atlassian
Mike Cannon-Brookes is the Co-Founder and Co-CEO of Atlassian, a collaboration software company that helps teams organise, discuss and complete shared work. More than $160,000 large and small organisations across the world, including companies like Spotify, NASA, Mercy Ships, Sotheby's and Visa use Atlassian’s collaboration products to help their teams work better together.
Mike was the youngest person ever to be awarded the ‘Australian Entrepreneur of the Year’ in 2006 by Ernst & Young alongside Co-Founder and Co-CEO Scott Farquhar. In 2016 they were awarded Australian Financial Review's 'Australian Business Person of the Year' and in 2017 Forbes named them on their ‘Global Game Changers’ list. Mike was recognised by the World Economic Forum as a ‘Young Global Leader’ in 2009.
Outside Atlassian, Mike is a technology investor in the areas of software, fintech, agriculture and energy and sits on the board of Zoox. He also cares deeply about giving back and sits on the board of Room to Read. A passionate clean energy evangelist, Mike was a driving force behind Australia getting the world's biggest lithium ion battery and the "Fair Dinkum Power" movement.
He serves as an adjunct professor at the University of New South Wales' School of Computer Science and Engineering and holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Information Technology from the University of New South Wales, Australia.
The Honourable Malcolm Turnbull, 29th Prime Minister of Australia
Malcolm Turnbull has a deep interest in energy issues and renewable energy.
As Australia’s 29th Prime Minister (2015-18), he recognised the urgent need for large scale storage to make intermittent renewables reliable and started the construction of the Snowy Hydro 2.0 pumped hydro scheme, which will be the largest in the Southern Hemisphere. He also identified the opportunity for similar pumped storage systems in Tasmania.
During his Prime Ministership, Malcolm also reformed Australia’s personal income tax, education and childcare systems and oversaw the legalisation of same sex marriage.
He entered the Australian Parliament in 2004 and during that time also served as Minister for the Environment and Water Resources, and Minister for Communications.
Prior to entering politics, Malcolm enjoyed successful careers as an investment banker, lawyer and journalist.
As a lawyer, Malcolm successfully defended former MI5 agent Peter Wright against the British Government in the “Spycatcher” trial before entering business, where he enjoyed a successful career with Goldman Sachs and launched multiple technology-based businesses in Australia.
Since leaving politics, Malcolm has resumed his business career including as a senior adviser at KKR, and speaks regularly at global conferences.
Malcolm is married to Lucy, the former Lord Mayor of Sydney and current Chief Commissioner of the Greater Sydney Commission. He has two children, Alex and Daisy, and four grandchildren – Jack, Isla, Alice and Ronan.
Matt Kean, New South Wales Minister for Energy and Environment
Matt Kean is the NSW Minister for Energy and Environment, a portfolio that was first combined after the Berejiklian Government’s re-election in March 2019.
Minister Kean was elected as the member for Hornsby in 2011 at the age of 29.
Prior to entering politics, the Minister, a chartered accountant, worked as a senior manager for Price Waterhouse Coopers.
Shortly after entering politics, he was elected to chair the NSW Parliament’s Joint Standing Committee on the Office of the Valuer General where he led a major review of the valuation system used for land tax, council rates and compulsory acquisitions.
In January 2017, Mr Kean was elevated to cabinet as the Minister for Innovation and Better Regulation, giving him the opportunity to continue to be a champion for the little guy.
Mr Kean sees mental health as a major concern, and is proud of the Mentally Healthy Workplaces Strategy he implemented in 2018. His first speech in Parliament back in 2011 was dedicated to a young friend who had recently taken his own life.
In his role as Energy and Environment Minister, the Minister wants to ensure the community has access to energy that is affordable and reliable. He’s also determined to tackle climate change and eager to leave the planet in a better state than the one we inherited.
Alex Hewitt, Founder and Director, CWP Renewables
Alex Hewitt is the Founder and Director of CWP Renewables, and will be speaking at the National Smart Energy Summit about the Asian Renewable Energy Hub project and Australia's potential as an energy exporter.
Alex has over 25 years of experience in the renewables industry, and has overseen the development of several major wind, solar and hybrid generation projects accross Australia and Europe.
Anna Rose, CEO, Environmental Leadership Australia
Anna Rose is an author and campaigner who has worked for over two decades to help Australia make progress on climate change. She's a Director of Farmers for Climate Action, a Governor of WWF-Australia, author of the book "Madlands: A Journey to Change the Mind of a Climate Sceptic" and co-starred in the ABC documentary "I Can Change Your Mind on Climate Change".
Anna is a Churchill Fellow, a former Myer Foundation Innovation Fellow, an Associate at Melbourne University Sustainable Society Institute and a Visiting Fellow at the ANU Climate Change Centre. She is an advisor to the Jewish Climate Network, an advisory board member of the University of Queensland’s Global Change Institute and The Australian Geographic Society, and a former Director of Solar Citizens, Green Music Australia and the Aussie Farmers Foundation.
She is a former Australian Geographic Society Conservationist of the Year, was a finalist in the Australian of the Year Awards, and is the recipient of the Sierra Club's Earthcare Award for International Environmental Protection.
Anna co-founded the Australian Youth Climate Coalition and was head of Earth Hour for WWF-Australia. She was recently named one of the Australian Financial Review/ Westpac’s 100 Women of Influence for 2019.
Audrey Zibelman, Chief Executive Officer, AEMO
Audrey Zibelman is the Chief Execuitve Officer of AEMO and will be speaking at the National Smart Energy Summit.
Ms Audrey Zibelman has extensive international experience in the public, private and not-for profit energy sectors, most recently having held the position of Chair of the New York State Public Service Commission (NYPSC), where she was responsible for overseeing the regulation and safety of New York’s electricity, gas, telephone, cable, water and steam utilities.
Ben Burge, Energy Executive Director, Telstra
Ben has been at the helm of epic and humiliating failures across six industries and three continents, in the midst of which he picked fights with bullies, lost (and then rediscovered) his faith in democracy, and occasionally got lucky in the all-consuming religion of start-up and early-stage growth.
Prior to taking the role of Member of the Team at Belong and Director of Telstra Energy, he ran a power company, a small investment bank and an ASX listed media company.
What makes Telstra excited about the role of renewables in its business?
“Combined with our standby energy fleet, renewables help us to manage our own energy costs, reduce the emissions intensity of the Australian grid, and curtail wholesale energy prices for the benefit of all Australian households.”
Brian Morris, Division Director, Macquarie Capital
Brian recently joined Macquarie Capital’s Australian Infrastructure and Energy Team team based in Melbourne. Brian comes to Macquarie with over 30 years’ experience within the Energy sector and has extensive energy market origination and energy trading experience, including renewable Power Purchase Agreements (PPA).
Brian has a deep understanding of energy financial markets and has worked with a number of large energy users on financial and physical grid connected and behind the meter energy management solutions.
Prior to joining Macquarie, Brian worked at Schneider for 7 years where he led the Electric’s Energy and Sustainability Services business in Australia, a diverse and profitable team of 75 staff focused on improving the sustainability and energy productivity of commercial and industrial sector clients.
Brian was a founder and Director of Creative Energy Solutions from 2003 – 2010, the first specialist energy advisor to be awarded an Australian Financial Services License.
Brian currently sits on the Board and is Chairman for the Energy Users Association of Australia.
Eytan Lenko, Chair, Beyond Zero Emissions
Eytan Lenko is the Chair of Beyond Zero Emissions, an Australian-based, internationally recognised climate and energy solutions think tank that brings engineers and scientists together to research and plan for Australia's transition to zero emissions across the economy and our regions. He will be speaking at the National Smart Energy Summit about Repowering Northern Territory.
Eytan has a successful business and entrepreneurship background and is a long running advocate for the benefits of strong action on climate change.
Eytan spent 2018 in Darwin where he was actively involved in advocating for an alternative economic pathway for the Northern Territory that has renewables at its heart. This approach has now been largely adopted by the NT government in their recent Climate Change Response.
Eytan also sits on the board of the Climate Mobilization, a US based organisation that assists cities around America to rapidly transition to zero-emissions.
Ian Learmonth, CEO, CEFC
Ian Learmonth is the CEO of the Clean Energy Finance Corporation, and will be speaking at the National Smart Energy Summit about how Australia will finance the transition to, and beyond 100% renewables.
Mr Learmonth had previously served as an independent member of the CEFC Executive Investment Committee.
Ian has more than 20 years' experience as a financier and investor, working across clean energy and major infrastructure projects, as well as social impact investments.
He joined Social Ventures Australia (SVA) in 2011 to establish its Impact Investing business and launched Australia's first Social Impact Bond in 2013.
Previously an Executive Director of Macquarie Group for 12 years, Mr Learmonth has investment banking experience in Sydney, Hong Kong and London. He established and led various businesses, notably European renewable energy and carbon credit investments, as well a cross-border structured finance and asset financing in Asia and Europe.
Jaad Cabbabe, Senior Manager – Business Development, Fluence
Jaad Cabbabe developed the Ballarat Energy Storage Project, and joined Fluence to lead project development for Fluence in Australia based in Melbourne.
With a financial markets and electrical engineering background and specialising in power systems and energy storage, Jaad has previously worked in demand response markets and renewable project development in both behind and in front of the meter applications.
John Grimes, CEO, Smart Energy Council
John Grimes is the CEO of the Smart Energy Council and will be speaking about the urgent need for action.
John has been the Chief Executive of the Smart Energy Council – previously known as the Australian Solar Council – since 2008.
Over that time the Smart Energy Council has grown in influence, and has significantly increased in size.
John is a regular media commentator and strong advocate for the sector. He is also a Director of the International Solar Energy Society based in Germany.
John has a background in environmental innovation, and early stage commercialisation. He has worked as a diplomat, and started his career as an officer in the Royal Australian Air Force.
Professor John Hewson, Crawford School of Public Policy, Australian National University
Dr John Hewson has been a Professor at four universities, and is currently Professor and Chair, Tax and Transfer Policy Institute, at Crawford School, ANU. He will be speaking on the urgent need for action during the afternoon session.
Dr Hewson is an economic and financial expert with experience in academia, business, government, media and the financial system. He has worked as an economist for the Australian Treasury, the Reserve Bank, the International Monetary Fund and as an Advisor/Chief of Staff to two successive Federal Treasurers and the Prime Minister.
Jon Dee, Australian Head, RE100
Jon Dee is the head of RE100 in Australia. He will be speaking about Australian corporates taking action on energy efficiency and renewables, as well as the successful Australian rollout of RE100
Jon is an award-winning social entrepreneur, broadcaster and campaigner. In 2010, he was awarded the NSW Australian of the Year.
In addition to starting the Planet Ark and DoSomething charities, Jon is a leading expert on business innovation, sustainability and energy.
His business guidebooks ‘Sustainable Growth’ and ‘EnergyCut’ have shifted over 130,000 copies.
On Sky News Business channel, Jon also wrote and presented 115 episodes of ‘Smart Money’ - a live TV program where he showed how sustainability, efficiency and renewable energy can improve the business bottom line.
Joseph O'Brien, Founder and Chairman, VisIR Holdings Pty Ltd
Joseph O'Brien is the Founding Partner and Executive Chairman at VisIR Holdings Pty Ltd, and will be speaking at the National Smart Energy Summit about the CopperString 2.0 transmission project.
Joseph has worked in the energy-supply industry for over 20 years, and today is the Founder and Chairman of VisIR Holdings, a specialist electricity industry private capital investment firm established in 2015, as well as a Director of CuString sponsor of the CopperString 2.0 transmission project.
He has led the establishment of several consulting and project-development businesses and has provided advice of significance to the electricity supply sector, particularly in Australia – over this period he has primarily worked as a CEO, Managing Director and advisor.
Joseph’s practices have revolved around the electricity supply industry, across both infrastructure and trading markets, and comprises experience ranging from a founder to global executive management, including serving on the global Board finance committee of GHD Pty Ltd. Over recent years Joseph’s focus has been on the deployment of capital into the electricity-supply sector, constructing an investment platform with a deep sector-specific focus, making investments ranging from venture to infrastructure.
Kristian Fok, Chief Investment Officer, Cbus
Kristian Fok is Cbus’ Chief Investment Officer, working closely with the Investment Committee of the Board. Kristian and his team are responsible for designing and setting the investment strategy for the Fund, evaluating the market and investment opportunities that will provide returns to members over the long term, managing investment governance and risk, implementing the strategy and monitoring the portfolio.
Kristian holds a Bachelor of Commerce, is a Fellow of the Institute of Actuaries Australia and a Fellow of the Financial Services Institute of Australasia (FINSIA).
Cbus is a AUD$54 billion Australian superannuation fund focused on members from the construction, building and allied industries.
Lisa Zhang, Marketing Director, Growatt
Lisa Zhang is the marketing director of Growatt and is in charge of Growatt’s marketing strategy and planning for global markets.
Lisa was one of the pioneering engineers in the R&D of photovoltaics of China. Lisa joined Growatt in 2011 and started her career in marketing. Under the lead of Lisa, Growatt has been established as one of the world’s leading inverter brands and its PV solutions are popular in over 100 countries. By 2018 Growatt has become the World No.3 single-phase PV inverter supplier according to IHS Markit.
Maria Atkinson AM, Advisor, Power Ledger
Maria Atkinson AM is an important advisor to Power Ledger, and will be speaking at the National Smart Energy Summit.
Maria is passionate about sustainability and works with the most senior people in Government and business globally to realise more sustainable practices and strategies. She is an expert in the realm of sustainability and is a highly sought after thought leader.
Maria’s experience spans stakeholder engagement, governance, strategy, organisational and market transformation, and business development. Maria has worked in most international markets and her sustainability and social responsibility credentials, gained in corporate, not-for-profit, professional and industry organisations, are widely recognised.
Maria has been part of some of the most important conversations about how to build a sustainable future for companies and nations that have occurred in recent times. In recognition of her numerous contributions, Maria was awarded the Member of the General Division of the Order of Australia in 2012.
Professor Martin Green, Director, Australian Centre for Advanced Photovoltaics UNSW
Martin Green is Scientia Professor at UNSW and Director of the Australian Centre for Advanced Photovoltaics, also involving several other Australian Universities and CSIRO. He will be speaking at the National Smart Energy Summit with Dr Zhengrong Shi about the importance of the China Australia Partnership.
His group's contributions to photovoltaics are well known and include the record for silicon solar cell efficiency for 30 of the last 32 years, described a "Top Ten" Milestone in the history of solar photovoltaics.
Major international awards include the 1999 Australia Prize, the 2002 Right Livelihood Award, also known as the Alternative Nobel Prize and the 2007 SolarWorld Einstein Award.
Melissa Miller, Sustainability Manager, Ikea Australia
Mellisa Miller is the Country Sustainability Manager for IKEA Australia. She has more than 20 years’ experience for IKEA across various countries including Canada, Japan and Australia.
Mellisa started her career at IKEA as a part-time sales co-worker and after graduating, pursued a role as Visual Merchandiser of the IKEA Communication & Interior Design Department. After 13 years in the department working in various roles, Mellisa moved to Tokyo as the Deputy Store Manager of IKEA Shim Misato before becoming the Store Manager of IKEA Marsden Park located in western Sydney.
In September 2019, Mellisa was appointed Country Sustainability Manager, responsible for the delivery of the IKEA People & Planet Strategy for 2030 throughout all units within IKEA Australia (including the upcoming market of New Zealand). Mellisa and her team work with all functions throughout the business to help communicate, set and deliver the overarching strategy which covers three focus areas:
- Healthy & Sustainable living – inspiring and enabling more than 1 billion people to live a better everyday life within the limits of the planet
- Circular & Climate Positive – transforming into a circular business and becoming climate positive by reducing more greenhouse gas emissions than the IKEA value chain emits, reducing the climate footprint of IKEA products and operations in absolute terms
- Fair and Equal – creating positive social impact for everyone across the IKEA value chain and in all areas of the IKEA business.
Since her appointment, Melissa has been involved in the successful roll-out of the national IKEA Buy-Back Service and plays an integral role in the delivery of the Electric Vehicle Strategy for IKEA Australia, which aims to use only electric vehicles for all operations and services by 2025.
Pat Regan, Group Chief Executive Officer, QBE Insurance
Pat Regan is the Group Chief Executive Officer for QBE Insurance, and will be speaking at the National Smart Energy Summit.
Mr Regan joined QBE in 2014 as Chief Financial Officer and was appointed Chief Executive Officer of QBE’s Australian & New Zealand Division in 2016 prior to being appointed Group Chief Executive Officer in 2018. Before joining QBE, Mr. Regan was the Chief Financial Officer of Aviva plc (2010–2014). Prior to that, he served as the CFO/COO of Willis and has held several senior roles at RSA and AXA. Mr. Regan is a Fellow of Chartered Accountants in England and holds a Bachelor of Science, Mathematics from the University of Leeds.
Mr Regan is an active member of the ‘Male Champions of Change’, an Australian initiative working with business leaders to take action on gender inequality.
Renate Egan, Chair and Co-founder, Solar Analytics
Renate Egan's 25 year career spans industry, university and not for profits. Recently described as one of Eight Great Women in the Business of Science and Solar by Renewable Energy World, she has led manufacturing and industrial technology development of energy technologies in Australia, Germany and China.
Renate is a Co-Founder of Solar Analytics, leads the UNSW activity in the Australian Centre for Advanced Photovoltaics, is Chair of the Australian PV Institute and represents Australia on the Executive Committee of the IEA solar program PVPS. The mother of two teenagers, Renate is passionate about using her skills and knowledge to making a difference through the increased uptake of solar energy.
Roger Price, Chief Executive Officer, Windlab Ltd
Roger Price is the Executive Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Windlab Limited, and will be speaking at the National Smart Energy Summit about the benefits of co-located solar and wind generation in Australia.
Roger has over 30 years of executive, technology management, business development and extensive investment experience across multiple industries internationally. He has led a number of Australian technology companies to international success, including Windlab.
He has led the financing, sale or acquisition process for more than 10 companies and raised in excess of $250,000,000 of equity for various enterprises during his career.
He has been involved in the financing and delivery of infrastructure projects across a range of industries including telecommunication, transport and energy.
At Windlab he has been instrumental in building a team with deep experience across all facets of renewable energy development, finance and construction. Roger holds an honours Degree in Engineering and currently serves on the board of Audinate Group Limited (ASX:AD8).
Rosemary Sinclair AM, CEO, Energy Consumers Australia
Rosemary Sinclair is the CEO of Energy Consumers Australia, a company established by the Council of Australian Governments Energy Council of Ministers in 2015 to strengthen independent consumer advocacy on national energy market matters of strategic importance and material consequence for energy consumers, in particular household and small business consumers.
ECA focuses on the long-term interests of consumers of energy with respect to the price, quality, safety, reliability and security of supply of energy services.
Rosemary is a Director of CPA Australia and a recent past Member (part-time) of the Australian Communications and Media Authority.
Rosemary has many years of senior large-scale operations, communications and strategy experience in business and government across telecommunications, media and education.
Rosemary has held a number of Directorships on unlisted company and not-for-profit Boards, both Australia and international.
Rosemary received the Order of Australia Award in the 2018 Queen’s birthday Honours List.
Rosemary has degrees in Arts, Law and Business and a Masters of Commerce from UNSW. Rosemary is a qualifieds CPA and Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
Simon Corbell, Chief Advisor, Energy Estate
Simon Corbell is the Chief Advisor for Energy Estate, and will be speaking at the National Smart Energy Summit about hydrogen hubs and renewable energy zones.
Simon was appointed as the first Victorian Renewable Energy Advocate in December 2016 to promote the state’s renewable energy sector, provide independent advice to the Victorian Government and assist the state in meeting its renewable energy targets.
He was previously Deputy Chief Minister and Minister for Environment and Climate Change of the ACT and served in the ACT Legislative Assembly between 1997-2016. In these roles he championed policy which put the ACT on track for 100 per cent renewable energy by 2020, through policies to support large scale solar, wind and battery storage projects.
Simon was a joint winner of the Banksia Foundation's Gold Award for the ACT Solar Auction program in 2015, and has been recognized by the Clean Energy Council and the Climate Alliance for his work in championing the clean energy transition in Canberra and nationally. He is also a Patron of the Smart Energy Council and an Adjunct Professor of the University of Canberra.
Tim Washington, Founder and Director, JET Charge
Tim Washington is the Founder and Director of JET Charge, Australia's largest EV charging infrastructure business. He will be discussing the incumbent electric vehicle revolution at the National Smart Energy Summit.
JET Charge is also co-founder of Ohmie Go, Australia's first private EV car share businesses. In addition, Tim is a co-founder of Chargefox, Australia's largest EV Charging network.
Tim is the current Chair of the Electric Vehicle Council, the EV industry's peak representative group.
Vincent Dwyer, Principal, Energy Estate
Vincent Dwyer is a Principal and Founder of Energy Estate, and will be speaking about the pathway to decarbonising heavy industry at the National Smart Energy Summit.
For over 25 years, Vincent has been at the forefront of developments in the energy and infrastructure sectors, from privatisations and infrastructure investments and development to the emergence and rapid deployment of renewable energy.
Vincent has worked on many of the Asia-Pacific region’s most significant and innovative transactions in the energy and infrastructure sectors. He has worked with governments, utilities, pension funds and start-ups across thermal and renewable energy, transmission infrastructure, gas, water, ports, and desalinisation.
Prior to founding Energy Estate, Vincent was APAC Head of the Corporate and Transactional practices at Norton Rose Fulbright.
Dr Zhengrong Shi, Founder, SunMan Co Ltd
Dr Zhengrong Shi is a renowned Australian solar scientist and widely known as the Sun King. He is the Founder of SunMan Co Ltd, and will be speaking at the National Smart Energy Summit with Professor Martin Green about the importance of the China Australia Partnership.
Dr Shi is regarded as one of the world’s most successful clean energy entrepreneurs. His passion for the environment and making solar energy affordable and available to all, has led him to invent 60 patents in photovoltaic technology over the last 30 years.
His company SunMan Co Ltd has spearheaded a new wave of solar products that enables the seamless integration of solar onto any surface. The company’s revolutionary eArche solar panel is glass-free, lightweight and flexible and is made out of polymer composite material.
He is a fellow of the Australian Academy of Technological Science and Engineering he has been named as one of "50 people who could save the planet" by The Guardian, and described by TIME as a 'Hero of the Environment,' an annual list that celebrates the most innovative and influential protectors of the planet.
Dr. Shi has received numerous awards through his career, including the 2019 Al-Attiyah International Energy Award, The International Photovoltaic Science and Engineering Conference Excellent Contribution Award in 2005, Zayed Future Energy Award in 2010, and the Murphy & Spitz Global Leader Award 2011 at the World Economic Forum. In 2009, he was on Business Week’s "China’s Most Powerful People" list. He was awarded the "Annual Economic Figure" in 2006 and was honoured as the Green Figure of the Year in 2007 by China’s CCTV.
In 2010 he installed Australia's largest-capacity rooftop solar panel array at the Sydney Theatre Company's historic Walsh Bay building and this year the Australia’s largest light weight solar panel system at the Australian National Maritime Museum’s Wharf 7 building in Pyrmont, Darling Harbour.