speakers

  • Andreas Bleich
    Assistant Secretary – Data, Systems and Information Management , Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development, Communications and the Arts

    Session: PANEL DISCUSSION: What emerging threats and opportunities will generative AI expose the public sector to over the next 6-12 months?

    Andreas Bleich is the Data Champion for the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development, Communications and the Arts and Assistant Secretary of the Data, Systems & Information Management Branch. Andreas has over a decade of experience in different Departments in the Australian Public Service and has had the privilege of working on exciting projects such as Free Trade Agreement negotiations, Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme compensation cases, the establishment of the High Speed Rail Authority and the review of Infrastructure Australia and Government response, which included legislative changes. Andreas has been awarded with 2 Australia Day awards and 3 Secretary’s awards from different Departments.

  • Suneetha Bodduluri PSM
    Director - Information Technology, Service NSW

    Session: PANEL DISCUSSION: How can government embed human-centered values in AI development?

    A visionary and strategic leader with a proven track record in driving digital modernization and transformation across the public sector, Suneetha Bodduluri is an award-winning Senior Executive known for her ability to deliver system-level impacts and exceptional customer experiences. As an interconnected thinker with advanced stakeholder engagement, technology, communication, and influencing skills, she excels in creating synergies that go beyond her remit.

    Her leadership has been instrumental in bridging diverse worlds, integrating people, processes, and systems to achieve seamless customer experiences and significant stakeholder benefits. With deep expertise in technology, she ensures corporate strategies align with the selection of solutions that guarantee results. Additionally, her proficiency in leadership and cultivating strong organizational cultures enables her to build and mobilize autonomous teams focused on customer experience, agility, and innovation.

  • Katherine Boiciuc
    Board Member, Bureau of Health Information

    Session: PANEL DISCUSSION: How can the public service ensure reliability and safety in AI systems?

    Katherine Boiciuc, also known as KB, sits on the boards of NSW Bureau of Health Information and Infoxchange (Australia’s largest technology non for profit). KB has more than two decades experience and is one of Australia’s go to professionals on tech. She’s led global teams and Telstra and more recently has been advising Australia’s next generation of CTOs as EY’s Chief Technology and Innovation Officer for the Oceania region.

    KB holds an MBA and Master of Leadership from Deakin University, is a graduate from of the London Business School where she studied Managing the Company of the Future and is an accredited Futurist with the Institute for the Future in California.

  • Sharon Bowman
    Manager - Technology and Transformation, Hornsby Shire Council

    Session: Adapting to a generative AI-powered public sector workplace

    Sharon joined Hornsby Shire Council in January 2020 as Manager, Technology and Transformation. Since then, she has led a significant transformation of the tech infrastructure, operational foundations, and the way Council does business, via an extensive digitisation program. Prior to joining Council, Sharon spent almost 20 years as a business consultant specialising in Local Government, and worked across a broad range of projects.

  • Ben Burge
    Department of Unresolved and Meaningful Problems, Telstra

    Session: LIVE FIRESIDE CHAT: Lessons from the private sector with special guest Ben Burge, Department of Unresolved and Meaningful Problems, Telstra

    Ben is Member of the Team at Telstra.  He 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. While Ben is fascinated by the prospect of interplanetary missions, he would like the earth to remain habitable for generations to come.

  • Distinguished Professor Fang Chen
    Executive Director – UTS Smart Data Institute, UTS

    Session: PANEL DISCUSSION: What emerging threats and opportunities will generative AI expose the public sector to over the next 6-12 months?

    Distinguished Professor Fang Chen is the Executive Director at the UTS Data Science Institute. She is an award-winning, internationally recognised leader in AI and data science. Her expertise lies in developing and deploying innovative data-driven solutions to solve complex problems within large-scale networks, encompassing a variety of sectors including transportation, water, energy, health, agriculture, telecommunications, education, health, real estate and more. With her vast experience in industry, government, and academia, Fang excels in developing strategies for innovation, shaping digital transformation initiatives, and creating world-class R&D for industries and governments. She is also a staunch proponent of ethical and human-centred AI practices.

    Distinguished Professor Chen actively contributes her expertise to various advisory committees and expert panels, such as the Industry Science and Innovation Australia Board, the inaugural NSW Government AI Review Committee, and the expert panel of the Singapore National Research Foundation (NRF). She also holds positions on the ITS Australia Board, and several startup company boards, and is a venture partner at a venture capital fund.

    Distinguished Professor Chen won the "Oscar" of Australian Science – the Australian Museum Eureka Prize 2018 for Excellence in Data Science. She is the "Water Professional of the Year", awarded by the Australian Water Association in 2016. In 2021, she won the NSW Premier's Prize of Science and Engineering and the Australia and New Zealand "Women in AI" Award in Infrastructure.

    She leads multidisciplinary teams of experts, together with whom she has won major scientific and industry awards on the national level. These include the Intelligent Transport Systems Australia National Award 2014, 2015, and 2018, the NSW iAwards 2017 and 2023, the VIC iAwards 2019 and 2020, and the National Award and NSW "Research and Innovation Award" 2018 and 2022 from the Australian Water Association.

    Distinguished Professor Chen has forged a career centred on innovation, crafting digital transformation strategies, and leading their execution with both passion and leadership. She brings a wealth of global experience, having collaborated with over 100 entities across North America, Europe, and Asia. Her work covers a wide range of scenarios, from early-stage research and development to product development and deployment. Her exceptional ability to connect customer needs with innovative technological solutions has generated significant business value through innovation.

    Distinguished Professor Chen has produced groundbreaking research, as demonstrated by her 400+ peer-reviewed publications in the fields of science and engineering, along with authoring several highly influential books. Moreover, she has filed 30+ patents across Australia, the US, Canada, Europe, Japan, Korea, Mexico, and China.

  • Dr Kameron Christopher
    Director - Data Science and Research Service, Australian Institute of Marine Science
  • Andrew Closey
    Executive Director - Strategic Corporate Services and Chief Operations Officer, Cenitex

    Session: PANEL DISCUSSION: How can the public service ensure reliability and safety in AI systems?

    Andrew has held senior leadership roles in ICT Service Delivery, Operations, Law, Finance and Risk in both public and private sectors. He is a champion for workplace diversity and inclusion with substantial experience leading successful incremental and transformational change. Andrew is an Australian Lawyer with practice experience in criminal, family and civil litigation law and holds a Masters of Laws and Bachelor of Science degrees.

  • Kylie De Courteney
    Managing Director, NSW Telco Authority

    Session: Opening remarks from the Chair

    Session: PANEL DISCUSSION: How can the Australian public sector mitigate risk before, during and after the implementation of AI tools?

    Kylie De Courteney is Managing Director of NSW Telco Authority, which manages and operates the Public Safety Network to deliver communications for frontline responders.

    Leading a $1.5 billion portfolio of NSW Government connectivity projects, Kylie is committed to bridging the digital divide to address connectivity challenges, digital transformation of government and customer-centric service.

    Prior to joining NSW Telco Authority, Kylie served as the Chief Customer Officer and Chief Digital Officer at Service NSW.

  • Dr Tom Gao
    Chief Technology and Digital Services Officer, City of Sydney

    Session: PANEL DISCUSSION: How can government embed human-centered values in AI development?

    Tom is a seasoned digital and technology leader with extensive experience in project and line management across digital and Microsoft platforms. With a track record of success in both startup and enterprise environments, he excels in leading teams to deliver complex IT-enabled change projects while effectively engaging stakeholders.

  • Susan Gibson
    Head of Data Analytics and AI, University of Technology Sydney

    Session: Opening remarks from the Chair

    Session: LIVE FIRESIDE CHAT: Lessons from the private sector with special guest Ben Burge, Department of Unresolved and Meaningful Problems, Telstra

    Session: PANEL DISCUSSION: How can the public service ensure reliability and safety in AI systems?

    Susan is a transformational leader who has over 20 years of experience developing and executing digital, data and analytics, and AI strategies. She ensures her team continue to be at the forefront of technology whilst ensuring strategic alignment, revenue generation and operational efficiency gains. Recently she has been responsible for leading the implementation of both predictive and generative AI within the operations of the university. This involved establishing responsible AI practices, fostering AI fluency and overseeing the technological, data and organisational changes necessary to ensure successful adoption.

  • Christina Graves
    Special Counsel, MinterEllison

    Session: Ensuring legal and regulatory compliance in public sector data management

    Christina Graves is committed to providing clients with pragmatic solutions to complex and sensitive data management challenges, while balancing regulatory compliance and business, operational and reputational risks.

    In addition to this work, she has a strong interest in administrative law and enjoy supporting clients through administrative decision-making and subsequent merits review processes.

    Christina has also been independently recognised by Best Lawyers as a Lawyer of the Year 2023 in the Privacy and Data Security law category.

  • Lieutenant Colonel Adam J. Hepworth
    Technical Director - Artificial Intelligence, Australian Army

    Session: PANEL DISCUSSION: How can the public service ensure reliability and safety in AI systems?

    Lieutenant Colonel Adam Hepworth leads exploration of Artificial Intelligence within the Army’s Robotic and Autonomous Systems Implementation and Coordination Office (RICO). Adam’s portfolio includes human-cognitive augmentation, autonomous systems, AI-enabled decision-making, and human-machine teaming and swarming.  Adam holds a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics from the University of New South Wales, a Master of Logistics and Supply Chain Management from the University of South Australia, a Graduate Diploma in Scientific Computation from the Naval Postgraduate School, a Master of Science in Operations Research from the Naval Postgraduate School, and a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Computer Science from the University of New South Wales.

    Adam was the 2022 Chief of Army Scholar at the Australian Army Research Centre and is presently a Visiting Fellow at the University of New South Wales, resident in the School of Systems and Computing. His current research contributes to swarm shepherding for human-swarm teaming, activity recognition and behaviour prediction, and the design of artificial intelligence systems.

  • Mark Higgs
    Executive Director – Digital Channels, NSW Department of Customer Service

    Session: PANEL DISCUSSION: What emerging threats and opportunities will generative AI expose the public sector to over the next 6-12 months?

    Mark Higgs leads the NSW Government digital channels team, focusing on creating customer-centric digital experiences. He oversees the OneCX program, collaborating with 10 NSW Government portfolios and over 400 websites to establish nsw.gov.au as the primary source of information for citizens. This initiative is supported by innovations in artificial intelligence, machine learning, personalisation, and headless content management.

    Before joining the public service in 2015, Mark managed several award-winning engagement, communications, and digital projects for global brands such as Vodafone, Nestlé, nudie, Commonwealth Bank, Woolworths, Weet-Bix, ING Direct, and the Palm Jumeirah Dubai.

  • Zafar Issadeen
    Manager - Business Information and Intelligence, Level Crossing Removal Project

    Session: Examining the critical role of AI tool selection and monitoring in the public sector to reduce risk

    Zafar is a business information and intelligence executive with extensive experience in records management, information management, technology training, knowledge management, information security, and analytics. Currently, he oversees these areas at the Level Crossing Removals Project (LXRP) in Victoria and lectures in Business Intelligence at La Trobe University. Zafar is passionate about leveraging technology to improve operational efficiency and is currently leading the implementation of Azure's Open AI technology to develop a chatbot for LXRP’s business operation.

    Prior to his current role, Zafar held positions at KPMG in Identity Management and IT Audit Assurance and served as the Director of Delivery for the APAC and EMEA regions at INEIGHT. His expertise spans across developing strategic initiatives and driving technology adoption to enhance business performance.

  • Bianca Jordaan
    Chief Digital and Information Officer, NSW Department of Planning and Environment
  • Professor Virginia Kilborn
    Chief Scientist, Swinburne University of Technology

    Session: PANEL DISCUSSION: How can the public sector ensure the validity of AI-generated information?

    Professor Virginia Kilborn is Swinburne's inaugural Chief Scientist, working to further education, research, policy and equity at Swinburne and beyond.

    Virginia is also a radio astronomer with the Centre for Astrophysics and Supercomputing at Swinburne University, where her research interests include tracing galaxy evolution by studying the neutral hydrogen gas in galaxies. She is surveying the sky with the next generation radio telescopes, such as the Australian SKA Pathfinder (ASKAP) and the SKA in the future.  Virginia undertook her PhD studies at the University of Melbourne, and following a post-doc at Jodrell Bank observatory in the UK, she returned to Melbourne to take up an ARC-CSIRO linkage fellowship at Swinburne in 2003. Virginia was deputy director of the Centre for Astrophysics and Supercomputing from 2011-2013, and acting director for CAS in 2013. Virginia was the Chair of the Department of Physics and Astronomy from 2015-2018. From 2019-2021 Virginia was the Dean of the School of Science.

    Virginia is an enthusiastic educator and has taught into the Swinburne Astronomy online program since 2006, and helped to instigate Swinburne's new and innovative space education programs. She undertakes numerous public outreach opportunities including STEM talks and programs for schools, and space and astronomy outreach with the general public. Virginia is active in the Australian Astronomical community and is a past President of the Astronomical Society of Australia.

  • Dr Michael Kollo
    Chief Executive Officer, Evolved AI

    Session: Shifting horizons: generative AI's dynamic evolution generative AI and the public sector implications

    An executive business leader with global financial services and deep technology management experience Dr. Kollo has deep subject matter expertise in quantitative finance, asset allocation, portfolio construction and risk management, as well as economic forecasting.

    Dr. Kollo is an analytical and thoughtful people leader with a passion for mentoring and bringing aligning to high performing teams.

  • Simon Kriss
    Chief AI Officer, simonkriss.ai

    Session: Leveraging AI for societal benefit: strategies for wellbeing and community sustainability

    Simon Kriss, Chief AI Officer at simonkriss.ai is a sought-after keynote speaker and consultant. He is author of “The AI Empowered Customer Experience”, hosts podcasts on CX and AI, and was named in the 2024 CX Top 50 Global Influencers to follow.

    Based in Melbourne Australia, Simon is a CX and AI futurologist who presents to audiences around the world and works with company boards and C-suite executives to help them better understand where the AI opportunities lie for their businesses, and how they can get started with effective and ethical AI adoption.

    He is a divergent thinker who creates unique ideas and solutions, often finding the hidden opportunities for businesses to innovate now and win in the future.

  • Olga Lysenko
    Director - Enterprise Data Strategy, Governance and Management, Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water
  • Alicja Mosbauer
    Chief Data Officer, IP Australia

    Session: Creating supportable auditing standards to ensure ethical and regulatory compliance

    Alicja is the Chief Data Officer at IP Australia. She has been leading the IP Australia Generative AI working group for the past 12 months as well and a member of the Government AI Taskforce Copilot subcommittee. Alicja’s team have responsibility for Data and Information governance (including record keeping); Data Engineering; Data Analytics/ BI  and Data Science – the team are a flexible team with locations from Townsville to Adelaide.

  • Dr Kellie Nuttal
    Strategy and Business Design Leader, Deloitte AI Institute

    Session: Masterclass A: How to leverage generative AI for public sector innovation

    As the AI Institute Leader and Strategy and Business Design Leader for Deloitte Australia, Dr. Kellie Nuttall leads the charge in collaborating with organisations to develop strategic plans for transforming complex data into valuable insights. Her passion lies in integrating AI and cognitive technologies into business and government to create a better world.

    Kellie is has a vast track record in using AI, digital twins and other emerging technologies to optimise complex operational systems and value chains, with a focus on driving high-value business outcomes. She has extensive experience designing AI operating models that align with companies’ strategic goals. Kellie is also a faculty member at Singularity University, where she applies exponential technologies to enhance transportation systems. Prior to her current role, Kellie led transport planning and applied advanced analytics at the Department of Transport and Main Roads (QLD). Kellie holds a Ph.D. in consumer decision making and nudge psychology.

  • Marc Pelusi
    A/Director Service Delivery, End User Computing, Web and Application Development, Sydney Local Health District

    Session: PANEL DISCUSSION: How can the Australian public sector mitigate risk before, during and after the implementation of AI tools?

    Marc Pelusi is a distinguished digital health portfolio director with over two decades of public sector experience, primarily in health and education. Currently serving as Acting Director of Service Delivery End User Computing, Web, and Application Development at Sydney Local Health District, Marc leads significant digital projects integrating advanced technologies like Azure AI. His leadership has been pivotal in driving numerous innovative healthcare solutions. Marc’s blend of technical expertise and empathetic leadership continues to advance digital health, making him a key contributor to the sector's progress.

  • Lucy Poole
    General Manager – Digital Strategy, Architecture and Discovery, Digital Transformation Agency

    Session: PANEL DISCUSSION: How can government embed human-centered values in AI development?

    Lucy leads the Strategy, Planning and Performance Division which focuses on providing whole-of-government strategic leadership to the development and implementation of digital policies, the Australian Government Architecture, and the Data and Digital Government Strategy.

    Lucy oversees the management of the government’s digital investment pipeline to ensure an integrated and coordinated approach to government’s investment in digital and ICT. A key priority for Lucy is driving the achievement of the Australian Government’s vision to implement world class digital capabilities to deliver outstanding outcomes for all.

    Lucy also manages the Digital Transformation Agency’s development of policies, governance models, and assurance frameworks for the implementation and use of Generative Artificial Intelligence technologies across the Australian Public Service.

    Prior to joining the Digital Transformation Agency, Lucy held senior executive roles at the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet and the Australian Public Service Commission where she led several transformation programs. Lucy has experience across a range of sectors including Australian federal and state governments, the private sector and the UK civil service.

  • Rob Sewell
    Chief Information Officer, nbn Australia

    Session: PANEL DISCUSSION: How can government embed human-centered values in AI development?

    Rob joined NBN Co in February 2023 as Chief Information Officer, bringing significant experience in the international telecommunications sector, notably in technology strategy and transformation.  Rob is also the Executive Sponsor of NBN Co’s Culture Diversity network.

    Prior to joining NBN Co, Rob was with Maxis in Malaysia, leading technology strategy and digital transformation.  And before that, seven years as the Chief Information Officer and Head of Network Planning with Indian mobile network operator Aircel and, in Australia, over 17 years at Telstra in a range of roles, including Director of Architecture.

  • Bill Simpson-Young
    Chief Executive Officer, Gradient Institute

    Session: Understanding and managing the risks in developing and deploying generative AI

    Bill has spent more than 20 years building teams of researchers, software engineers and product designers to develop novel techniques, technologies and products and get these into widespread use. He started as a software engineer and research assistant in machine learning (ML), working on the c4.5 library, one of the world’s first ML technologies used commercially.

    He has led R&D for global technology companies (Canon and Unisys) and government-funded research institutions (CSIRO and NICTA) and been on the executive teams of three leading Australian science and technology organisations (CiSRA, NICTA and CSIRO’s Data61).

    Most recently, he has been Director of Engineering and Design at Data61 where he led a team of 100 data scientists, engineers, user experience designers and product managers, developing new techniques, technologies and products. This included work in areas incuding ML (including ethically-aware ML), data privacy, computational law, geospatial systems and more.

    He designed and taught a Masters course in IT Innovation at University of Sydney for seven years to 2016 covering topics such as technology life cycles, disruptive innovation, open innovation, open source strategies, organisational culture for innovation and innovation ecosystems. He has sat on several government data-related committees influencing approaches to data sharing, data privacy, data analytics and open data as well as advisory groups at two Australian universities. He has degrees in computer science, history of art and cognitive science.

  • Leanne Siveyer
    Chief Information Officer, Sutherland Shire Council

    Session: PANEL DISCUSSION: How can the Australian public sector mitigate risk before, during and after the implementation of AI tools?

    Leanne Siveyer is the CIO at Sutherland Shire Council a position she has occupied for the past two and a half years.

    Leanne is passionate about the AI space and the opportunities it presents to improve service delivery to the community. Her aim is for her Council be to educated consumers of AI technology and has encouraged staff to embrace the technology within the appropriate guardrails. Leanne is currently championing a POV (proof of value) initiative using generative AI to support Customer Service staff.

  • Michael Smedes
    General Manager & Chief Information Officer, Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS)
  • Nattlie Smith
    Branch Manager - Strategic Insights Branch, National Indigenous Australians Agency

    Session: PANEL DISCUSSION: How can the Australian public sector mitigate risk before, during and after the implementation of AI tools?

    Nattlie (Natt) Smith is a proud Wiradjuri woman from Condobolin/Orange in NSW and the Branch Manager for the Strategic Insights Branch, National Indigenous Australians Agency (NIAA). The Strategic Insights branch brings together expertise in data analysis, governance of Indigenous data, evaluation and qualitative and quantitative research related to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and communities. Natt has over 25 years of experience in both government and non-government policy and operational roles across many human service areas. In previous roles for NSW Government, Natt has co-led on Closing the Gap Target 9 Housing and Target 17 Digital Inclusion. Natt is committed to making a positive difference and ensuring the voices of Aboriginal peoples and communities are at the heart of culturally responsive data plans and insights, policy design, program development and the evidence building process.

  • Andrew Spiegelman
    Head of Data & Analytics, Service NSW

    Session: Developing conversational AI analytics capabilities to reduce cultural and financial costs

    Andrew has been in data science since 2006, before it was even an expression, and his entire career has been in the data industry. He transitioned to data leadership in 2017, having spent 11 years wrangling data and building models. Andrew has led data science and analytics in several industries: the academy, anti-fraud, consulting, financial services, healthcare operations, medical research, phone centres, and the US federal government. Born and raised in New York City, Andrew has lived in Australia since 2020 and intends to stay.

  • Professor Kimberlee Weatherall
    Professor of Law, University of Sydney

    Session: Insights from the NSW Ombudsman’s report into generative AI and the public service

    Kimberlee is a Professor of Law at the University of Sydney focusing on the regulation of technology and intellectual property law, and a Chief Investigator with the ARC Centre of Excellence for Automated Decision-Making and Society. She is a Fellow at the Gradient Institute, a research institute developing ethical AI, and a research affiliate of the Humanising Machine Intelligence group at the Australian National University, and a co-chair of the Australian Computer Society’s Advisory Committee on AI Ethics. She is the co-host of IP Provocations, a podcast asking challenging questions about IP law.

  • Paul White
    Chief Information Officer, Port Macquarie Hastings Council

    Session: PANEL DISCUSSION: How can the Australian public sector mitigate risk before, during and after the implementation of AI tools?

    Paul White, with 30 years of global IT and senior leadership experience across various industries, is the Chief Information Officer and Head of Customer Service at Port Macquarie Hastings Council. Known for driving transformation and aligning technology with business goals, Paul has successfully implemented numerous strategic initiatives that have enhanced operational efficiency, revenue, and customer experience. He is also a board director of Koala Conservation Australia, where he leads digital initiatives in conservation, focusing on innovative solutions to support wildlife protection and environmental sustainability.

    Paul’s extensive experience in both public and private sectors underscores his expertise in leveraging technology to achieve significant business outcomes.

  • Dr Liming Zhu
    Research Director – Software and Computational Systems, CSIRO

    Session: Harnessing responsible AI for a fair and effective public service

    Dr/Prof Liming Zhu is the Research Director of the Software and Computational Systems division at CSIRO’s Data61. Data61 is part of The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) and Australia’s data/AI innovation arm. The division innovates in the area of AI/ML/big data infrastructure, computational and simulation sciences platforms, trustworthy and responsible AI, distributed systems, blockchains, software ecosystems, software engineering/architecture, DevOps, quantum software, privacy and cybersecurity. He is also a conjoint full professor position at the University of New South Wales (UNSW). He is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. He formerly worked in several technology leadership positions in the software industry before obtaining a PhD degree in software engineering from UNSW. He is currently the chairperson of Standards Australia’s blockchain and distributed ledger committee and on AI trustworthiness-related committees. He has supervised more than 20 PhD students and taught software architecture courses at UNSW and the University of Sydney. He has published more than 300 academic papers on software architecture, dependable systems, data/ML infrastructure, blockchain, governance and responsible AI.