2023 speakers

  • Manisha Amin
    Chief Executive Officer, Centre for Inclusive Design

    Dr Manisha Amin is an innovation leader and a cultural and social change champion, focused on helping organisations harness the power of thinking from the edge. She is CEO of the Centre for Inclusive Design, a social enterprise which helps companies to build and design products, services and policies that are inclusive, valuable and usable for as many people as possible.

    CFID’s research demonstrates that products and services designed with unique needs in mind can reach four times the size of the target audience, significantly impacting the bottom line.

    Currently, millions of Australians across the country are unable to access products and services because of poor design. This number includes people living with a disability (18%) and the elderly (14%), however there are millions of Australians who are also vulnerable to exclusion due to location (28%), gender (50%),health (20%) ethnicity or financial status. Manisha and her team provide simple solutions that allow everyone the opportunity to participate in economic, social, civil, political and cultural life.

    Prior to joining CFID, Manisha worked in innovation, design, environmental advocacy and non-profits including Barnardos, Cancer Council, Guide Dogs Australia. She is passionate about social justice and business growth, and believes that when we combine the two we get gold.

    She has a PhD in Arts and Social Science, a Masters in Professional Writing, and a Bachelor of Business (Marketing), from the University of Technology, Sydney. Manisha is also on the Board of ADHD Australia and is a published novelist.

  • Gavin Artz
    Business Development Manager, Commonwealth Government, CSIRO Data61

    Gavin Artz is the Director of Critical Technologies at the Department for Trade and Investment in South Australia.

    He has worked with companies such as Accenture, Deloitte, Cognizant and the Commonwealth Bank of Australia to win commitments of 11,000 hi-tech jobs in south Australia. His focus on building AI and data innovation has attracted tier IV data centres from Next DC and DCI, Nokia 5Gs National 5G Industrial Incubation Lab, and AWS.

    Gavin works to create innovation partnerships and consortiums of companies to tackle complex problems and develop future technologies from a base in South Australia.

    With a focus on AI, data management, data infrastructure such as data centres and quantum computing, Gavin has helped transform South Australia into one of the leading hi-tech jurisdictions in Australia.

  • Adam Berry
    Deputy Director, UTS Data Science Institute

    I am passionate about leading data science research that transforms Australian business and government. I am an Associate Professor in data innovation, leading work that is focused on translating data into data-driven insight and innovation through the application of data curation, machine learning, data visualisation and statistical approaches. As Deputy Director of the UTS Data Science Institute, I drive research strategy, partnership engagement, project design and research execution to deliver real-world impact and value for Australia. I am fortunate to work with a team of amazing data scientists to deliver concrete data-driven, evidence-based solutions to problems facing industry and government Prior to joining UTS in 2019, I was Program Director of the National Energy Analytics Research Program, a multi-million dollar research initiative focused on dismantling barriers to energy data access and building insight through the fusion of social science, computer science and electrical engineering. I am a winner of the inaugural CSIRO Collaboration medal, recognising exceptional collaboration across disciplines and industry, and I remain deeply committed to bringing together teams that unlock new ways of looking at, exploring and extracting insight from data.

  • Rhod Brown
    Director, Australia and New Zealand Enterprise Sales, NVIDIA

    Rhod is Director, A/NZ Enterprise Sales at NVIDIA, and is responsible for sales of NVIDIA Enterprise hardware, software and cloud services into Federal Government, Defence, and other strategic customers in Australia and New Zealand. Prior to NVIDIA, Rhod has worked in Systems Engineering and Sales roles at Cisco and Oracle, and has a B.Eng (Telecommunications) from the University of Wollongong.

  • Daniela Combe
    Vice President and Assistant General Counsel, IBM

    Daniela Combe is currently IBM’s Vice President & Assistant General Counsel, Intellectual Property Law. Daniela also works with the IBM AI Ethics Board as part of the IBM Governance model and helps develop and advocate for IBM’s policy positions in emerging technologies, including Artificial Intelligence. She has been engaged with the US Government’s consultations on Artificial Intelligence, including how it affects Copyright issues, along with other AI related policy discussions.

    Since 2014, Daniela has served as IBM’s representative on the Board of BSA, The Software Alliance, the leading advocate for the global software industry before governments and in the international marketplace.  As a member of the Board, Daniela regularly speaks with Regulators about modernizing laws and policies that enable the growth of the industry, including Artificial Intelligence, cloud computing, privacy and data transfer issues.

    In 2022 Daniela joined the board of the Open Invention Network, which is a patent non-aggression community focused on supporting freedom of action in Linux and Linux-related systems and applications to enable higher levels of innovation.

    Daniela is passionate about growing the capabilities and impact of the law department and in that regard serves as co-sponsor of the law department’s Education and Pro Bono initiatives and is a member of the department’s Executive Diversity Committee. 

    Daniela graduated with an AB in History from Dartmouth College and received her law degree from New York University School of Law.  Daniela is married and has two adult children.

  • Passiona Cottee
    Associate Director, NSW Department of Premier and Cabinet

    Experienced leader of programs at the nexus of data, automation, privacy and ethics, across both public and private sectors. Multi-disciplinary skillset in data governance, policy, data science, data ethics, privacy law, research, policy and, product and metadata management. Proven track-record in negotiating with diverse stakeholders towards data governance agreements that enable data-driven innovation. In my last project I led the design of a $40mil inter-jurisdictional data asset and I am now setting up an AI labs function in a foresight unit, all whilst lecturing in data ethics and information privacy law to data scientists at UTS. I hold Bachelor, Graduate and Masters qualifications in law and data science to enable the ethical use of data and machine learning.

  • Lorraine Finlay
    Australian Human Rights Commissioner, Australian Human Rights Commission

    Lorraine Finlay commenced her term as Human Rights Commissioner on 22 November 2021.

    Prior to joining the Commission Lorraine has worked as a lawyer and academic specialising in human rights and public law. Her most recent roles have been as the Senior Human Trafficking Specialist with the Australian Mission to ASEAN, and as a law lecturer at Murdoch University. In her academic role Lorraine has lectured in areas including criminal law, constitutional law and international human rights, and has been recognised with a number of national and university awards for her teaching and research.

    Before moving to academia, Lorraine worked as a State Prosecutor with the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (WA) and at the High Court of Australia, initially as a Legal Research Officer and later as a Judges’ Associate. Lorraine is a former Singapura Scholar, being awarded a dual Masters in Law from New York University (majoring in Justice and Human Rights) and the National University of Singapore (majoring in International and Comparative Law).

    Lorraine has also been actively involved in a variety of community organisations. Most recently this has included being a member of the Executive Committee of the National Council of Women (WA) (2011-2019) and a Board Member of the Ishar Multicultural Women’s Health Service (2013-2018). Lorraine has previously been awarded the Centenary Medal and WA Law Society Youth Community Service Award for her volunteer work.

    Lorraine currently lives in Canberra with her husband and two young children.

  • Justine Hall
    General Manager - Customer Experience Group
    IP Australia
  • Lieutenant Colonel Adam J Hepworth
    Technical Director - Artificial Intelligence, Australian Army

    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.

  • Lee Hickin
    AI Policy and Technology Lead, Asia, Microsoft Australia and New Zealand (ANZ)

    Lee Hickin is the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) at Microsoft Australia and New Zealand (ANZ), responsible for driving Microsoft's technical strategy and innovation across the region. With over 20 years of experience in the technology industry, Lee is a seasoned leader and strategist who has a deep understanding of how technology can help businesses transform and grow.

    Prior to joining Microsoft, Lee held various senior leadership positions in technology companies, including serving as the Chief Technology Officer for both SaaS-based and managed services businesses. Lee is passionate about empowering individuals and organizations to achieve more through technology, and has been a champion for digital transformation across various sectors.

    At Microsoft ANZ, Lee is responsible for driving Microsoft's technical vision and strategy, and leading a team of experts who are focused on delivering innovative solutions that help businesses and individuals achieve more. Lee is a frequent speaker at industry events and is regularly featured in the media sharing his insights on the latest technology trends.

    Lee holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science and Mathematics from the University of Auckland, and a Master of Science degree in Computer Science from the University of Otago. When he's not busy exploring the latest technology advancements, Lee enjoys spending time with his family, hiking, and practicing photography.

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

    Mark Higgs leads the NSW Government digital channels team, focussed on creating customer centric digital experiences.

    Mark oversees the OneCX program, working with 10 NSW Government clusters and over 750 websites to build nsw.gov.au as the single location for customers to source information. The website played a pivotal role during the COVID-19 pandemic making it easy for customers to find the information they need from across government in one place.

    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.

  • Jessica Ho
    Director Digital Investment Assurance, NSW Department of Customer Service

    Jessica works as a Director in ICT Digital Investment and Assurance Division of Digital NSW, managing the ICT Digital Investment Assurance and administration of Digital Restart Fund. This unit is responsible investment assurance across Digital Restart Fund projects and all ICT investments in NSW.

    Prior to this role, she was an associate partner with IBM responsible for Defence and National security account in Australia. Jessica is highly regarded within Federal Government where she has held Senior Executive ICT Management roles with Attorney General’s, Australia Capital Territory Government, Defence, Employment/Workplace Relations and Medicare. She has been in the ICT industry for almost 30 years and has degrees in Health Science, Nursing and ICT. Currently, she is finishing her studies with ANZSOG Executive Master in public administration. And hoping to commence her PHD studies in Artificial Intelligence next year.

  • Loretta Joseph
    Consultant, Virtual Assets | Co-chair, Commonwealth Secretariat | IDAXA

    Loretta is a public policy influencer and globally recognised as an authority in digital asset regulation and blockchain technology.

    Loretta is a highly dynamic, skilled banking, financial and consulting professional with over 25 years in financial markets and related sectors. She has a worked for major investment banks at Board, MD or senior management level throughout Asia and India including, RBS (India), Macquarie Group (India), Deutsche Bank, Credit Suisse and Elara Capital (India), Spanning a long career, Loretta has tremendous exposure to global financial markets, multiple asset classes and emerging market environments. Loretta has advised many international banks, global hedge and pension funds on managing portfolio and exposure to derivatives and related products. For the last decade, she has been paramount in successful transaction facilitation for Foreign Investors in India and other emerging markets. She has operated in many multi-cultural organisations. Loretta sits on the advisory board of UWS (Business School), Blume Ventures (India).An adjunct fellow at UWS, life time fellow of the advisory board of ADDCA (Australian Digital Currency and Commerce Association) and holds various advisory positions for multiple tech, biotech and Cybersecurity companies.Loretta champions the cause for responsible blockchain adoption with global governments,regulators and industry players.She was the recipient of the Fintech Australia,”FinTech Leader of 2017", “Female leader of 2016” and Sancta Sophia College (Within Sydney University) Alumni Award 2016 for Social impact.

  • Gisele Kapterian
    APAC Public Sector Strategy Lead, Salesforce

    Gisele leads Public Sector Strategy across the Asia Pacific Region where she assists federal and state governments deliver public services and outgoing funds more effectively and efficiently with the help of technology. She leads Salesforce’s global thought leadership research with BCG on the relationship between Trust and Government Service Delivery. She has extensive experience providing strategic advice to governments and corporations on a range of regulatory, business and public policy issues.

    Gisele began her professional career as an international trade lawyer advising the public and private sectors on a range of trade issues, and appeared as counsel for various governments before the World Trade Organisation in Geneva.  She recently served five years as political adviser to three Australian Federal Cabinet Ministers and has a Masters in International Law from Cambridge University.

  • Dr Holger Kaufmann
    Chief Information Officer and Executive Group Manager, Digital Solutions, ACT Health

    Innovative leader in ICT delivery and operations, technology consulting and business management, with over 20 years’ experience in executive leadership roles. Strong commercial acumen and a proven track record in driving transformational change, achieving outcomes and delivering on targets.

    Passionate team builder with the ability to inspire a clear sense of purpose and direction in large ICT organisations and the capacity to effect lasting cultural change.

    Currently at the Australian Digital Health Agency driving its national infrastructure modernisation.

  • Daniel Keys
    Head of Innovation, xAmplify

    Daniel leads the Artificial Intelligence practice at xAmplify, responsible for the delivery of all AI related projects, enabling capabilities and innovation. Daniel recently served as Chief Information Officer at the Commonwealth Department of Health, leading the delivery of many solutions in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. With over 25 years' experience in ICT delivery, he has also held senior digital and ICT leadership roles at the Civil Aviation Safety Authority, Digital Transformation Authority and Australian Taxation Office. 

  • Dr Michael Kollo
    Chief Executive Officer, Evolved Reasoning

    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.

  • Kaaren Koomen AM
    Director, Government & Regulatory Affairs, Australia/NZ, IBM

    Kaaren is an experienced senior executive who has held senior management roles in the private and public sector, including executive roles at IBM, Cable and Wireless Optus, Singtel Optus, Charles Sturt University, Baker & McKenzie Lawyers and the Australian Broadcasting Authority (representing Australia on communications policy at OECD and European Commission fora) and was a Consultant to UNESCO.

    She is currently Director of Government Relations, IBM Australia/New Zealand where she has been since 2004, advising the company on all aspects of Government and Regulatory Affairs. Kaaren was appointed to the Board of IBM Australia from 2014 to the present.

    She is also a Member of the CSIRO National AI Centre Think Tank, a Member and CEDA’s Public Interest Technology Task Force and was appointed a Women in Leadership Ambassador by the University of Technology, Sydney Business School in April 2020. In 2023 Kaaren was appointed to Standards Australia Committee on AI.

    Kaaren has extensive board experience and has served on industry and government boards for over 30 years. She currently serves on the following boards

    • Deputy Chair, NSW Telecommunications Authority (from 2014-present)
    • Director of IBM Australia Limited (from 2014-present)
    • Director, Australian Services Roundtable (2005-present), Previously Vice President from 2012- 2015 and President from 2008-2012, currently Secretary

    Kaaren was also Chair of the award winning Museum of Australian Democracy at Eureka from 2011 - 2018, a multimedia museum located at the site of the Eureka Stockade in Ballarat, Victoria. The museum celebrates the history of Eureka, the path to universal suffrage in Australia and places Australian democracy in a historical and global context.

    Kaaren has received a number of awards including;

    • The 2022 IBM Market Support Award for Government & Regulatory Affairs
    • The 2019 IBM Gerstner Award for Client Excellence, issued by IBM's President, Chairman and CEO
    • An Honorary Life Membership of the Australian Services Roundtable; and
    • The 2011 Best of IBM Award

    In 2016 Kaaren was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for ‘significant service to the information, technology and communications sector, to business through executive roles, and to education.’

    In addition Kaaren ran a commercial cattle farm from 2002 -2018 and was a Director of Tigrah Pastoral Company Pty Ltd.

    During the era of COVID, Kaaren had the opportunity to pursue her interest in Australian landscape painting and established Tigrah Gallery www://tigrahgallery.com.au and the Sirius Cove Artists.

  • Ben Lamont
    Manager for Technology, Strategy and Data
    Australian Federal Police
  • Dr Reza Mohammed
    Head of Hive Innovation, Level Crossing Removal Project, Victorian State Government

    Dr Reza’s 20-year career includes technical roles in oil and gas, advisory roles in management consultancy, and research roles in tertiary education. He recently led innovation functions at RMIT University and Australian Red Cross Lifeblood, and is now at the Level Crossing Removal Project (LXRP).

    LXRP is a $20B Victorian State Government project tasked with removing 110 dangerous and congested level crossings across Melbourne by 2030, the largest project of its kind in Victoria's history. Innovation is a key contributor to this major transport infrastructure project being ahead of schedule and under budget, and Dr Reza heads up Hive Services: LXRP’s innovation hub, and the Australia’s first innovation incubator on a major construction program where his team connects, supports and empowers people in exploring, trialling and incubating audacious ideas to deliver breakthrough outcomes.

    Dr Reza holds MEng and PhD degrees from Imperial College London, and multiple innovation certifications from organisations including IDEO, Harvard, Stanford and MIT.

  • Anthony Murfett
    Head of Division - Technology and Digital, Department of Industry, Science and Resources

    Anthony Murfett is the Head of Division for Technology and Digital within the Department of Industry, Science and Resources. The Division is responsible for providing policy advice to government, delivering programs and engaging domestically and internationally on critical and enabling technologies as well as the digitization of the economy, that will be central to Australia’s prosperity, safety, security, for the benefit of all Australians. Current priorities include quantum technologies, robotics and automation, artificial intelligence, over the horizon technologies as well as the responsible use of these technologies.

    Previously, Anthony was the inaugural Deputy Head of the Australian Space Agency, where he had oversight of the establishment of the Agency, as well as strategy, policy and day-to-day operations. Anthony has also worked as Minister Counsellor, Industry, Science and Education at the Australian Embassy in Washington DC and as General Manager of the Growth Centres Branch within the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science in Canberra.

    Dedicated to purpose, Anthony brings an entrepreneurial spirit to policy development, valuing partnerships while drawing strength from diversity and pushing the boundaries of our knowledge.

    As a road bike enthusiast, Anthony is not only at the forefront of technology industry development, he is well on his way to cycling the distance to the moon (238,855 miles or 384,400 km), having ridden and competed across the country and the globe.

  • Dr Ian Oppermann
    Chief Data Scientist, NSW Department of Customer Service

    Dr. Ian Oppermann is the NSW Government’s Chief Data Scientist working within  the Department of Customer Service. He is also an Industry Professor at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS).

    Ian has been recognised as a Global Leader in Data and Analytics (Corinium’s Global Top 100 in 2020 and 2022) spanning the domains of government, industry, academia and standards. Ian has an MBA from the University of London and a PhD in Mobile Telecommunications from Sydney University.

    Ian is a Fellow of the Institute of Engineers Australia, a Fellow of the IEEE, a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering, a Fellow of the Royal Society of NSW, is a Fellow and Immediate Past President of the Australian Computer Society, and a graduate member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. He is Chair of Australia’s IEC National Committee and JTC1, the NSW AI Review Committee and the NSW Smart Places Advisory Council.

  • Kate Pounder
    Chief Executive Officer, Technology Council of Australia

    Kate is an expeirenced tech policy expert and senior executive who has worked across the public, private and non-profit sectors. She is the CEO of the Tech Council of Australia, the peak body representing the Australian tech sector. Before her time in consulting, she spent 15 years working in technology policy roles with the Australian Industry Group, National ICT Australia (NICTA), Network Ten, and the Federal Government. Kate is passionate about growing Australia's tech sector, creating new jobs and businesses, and helping all Australian bussinesses make the most of the tech adoption.

  • Matthew Prouse
    President, Digital Service Providers Australia New Zealand (DSPANZ)

    Matthew Prouse, Principal Consultant at Capability Wise, connects government agencies, policymakers, accountants, bookkeepers, business owners, and software developers to the digital economy.

    With a decade-long tenure at Xero, Matthew played a central role in designing, developing, and delivering key initiatives such as Xero Tax, Single Touch Payroll, Small Business Insights, and COVID-19 support measures.

    He was elected director of the industry association, Digital Service Providers ANZ (DSPANZ) in 2016 and currently serves as its President, representing the tax, accounting, payroll, and business registry software developers' industry in Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand."

  • Bill Simpson-Young
    Chief Executive Officer, Gradient Institute

    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.

  • David Siroky
    General Manager AI & Data Analytics, Dell Technologies

    David Siroky has been with Dell Technologies in a variety of leadership roles across the Asia Pacific region for 12 years. David leads a team solution architects & data scientists focused on helping organizations accelerate their AI projects. David brings international experience from customers adopting AI technologies across the Asia Pacific & Japan region.

    Prior to working at Dell Technologies, David worked for Microsoft for 15 years, based in Redmond, Washington, on multiple business including Office 365, Microsoft Azure and Windows. David holds a bachelor’s degree in computer science and business, with experience working with software development teams, application architecture, IT infrastructure and multiple software languages.

    David is a proud father of a 15-year-old girl, an avid reader, fitness enthusiast, skier and passionate about diversity & STEM.

  • Susan Slocum
    Head of Innovation Lab, Reserve Bank of Australia

    Susan is an acknowledged thought leader in digital strategy, design thinking, and experience design. She has also successfully established and led services practices at multiple organisations, with outstanding financial, people, and client outcomes. Her experience spans global multi-national corporations to start-ups, as well as regional and national government. She is a little bit in love with Japan, and robots.

  • Paul Tatum
    Executive Vice President, Solution Engineering - Global Public Sector, Salesforce

    Paul Tatum leads the Global Public Sector Solutions Engineering team, helping governments around the world modernize their businesses and missions using Salesforce leading PaaS and SaaS offerings. Paul has responsibility for overall technical direction, architecture, and solutions based on Salesforce cloud services.

    Paul brings over 30-years of experience working with Public Sector customers and provides technical and business executive insights in the areas of Cloud Computing, CRM, Case Management, Security, Integrated Platforms, AI/ML, Analytics, and IT trends in government. Paul has held Solutions Engineering leadership roles since 2000, always focusing on technical excellence and customer success.

    Prior to joining Salesforce, Paul spent 20 years at Oracle and Sun Microsystems, focused on the DoD, Civilian, State & Local, and Canadian Public Sector markets. During his tenure he helped customer’s successfully architect and deploy solutions for some of the most complex business and IT challenges faced by Public Sector customers today.

    Previously, Paul worked with Fortune 500 companies across North America to scale out their architectures and data centers for initial Web 1.0/ 2.0 / Internet deployments. He also spent a number of years as a software developer focused on DoD C3I systems, flight simulators, and low-level Unix kernel enhancements. He holds a BS and an MS in Computer Science from George Mason University. Paul and his wife live in Northern Virginia.

  • Margaret Tregurtha
    Deputy Director General, IP Australia

    Margaret has been part of IP Australia’s leadership team since early 2020.  Her focus is on ensuring that IP Australia has the right capability to deliver on its strategic objectives, and on working collaboratively both domestically and internationally to support effective IP policy development.

    Before joining IP Australia, Margaret was A/G First Assistant Secretary of Legal and Compliance in the former Department of Environment and Energy.

    Margaret has extensive experience in providing legal and governance advice to government across a range of subject matters including education, industry, science, environment and energy.

    Since 2008 she has held Senior Executive roles in the Commonwealth Government. She was General Counsel of the Department of Industry Science and Resources from 2012 to 2017 and General Counsel of the then Department of Environment and Energy from 2017 to 2019.

    She has a Bachelor of Arts/Laws (Hons) and a Graduate Diploma of Legal Practice from the Australian National University. She is also a graduate of the Australia Institute of Company Directors.

  • Svetha Venkatesh
    Alfred Deakin Professor, Co-Director of Applied AI Institute, Deakin University

    Svetha Venkatesh FAA FTSE is one of the top 15 women in the world in Artificial Intelligence. She is Indian/Australian and is an Alfred Deakin Professor in the Faculty of Science, Engineering & Built Environments, in the Department of Pattern Recognition and Data Analytics at Deakin University, as well as a professor of computer science and director of the Centre for Pattern Recognition and Data Analytics (PRaDA) at Deakin. She was elected a Fellow of the International Association of Pattern Recognition in 2004 for her contributions to the "formulation and extraction of semantics in multimedia data". She was also elected a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering in 2006 and an ARC Laureate Fellow in June 2017. She was elected a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science in May 2021.

    Venkatesh has developed new technologies in large-scale pattern recognition in big data. Her work has led to start-ups such as iCetana which finds anomalies through video analytics to detect potential security threats in large data sets;  the development of a health analytics program which enables doctors to predict suicide risk; and PRaDA's development of the Toby Playpad app which provides therapy for children with autism. Her work on using surveillance data led to the development of a "virtual observer" which was used after the 2005 London bombings.

    Based on gender diversity analysis of 1.5m research papers, Venkatesh is one of the top 15 women in the world contributing to artificial intelligence research. She is based in Geelong, Victoria.

    Venkatesh delivered the 2015 Harrison Lecture for Innovation. In addition to her research, in 2015 she founded SPARK Deakin - Deakin University's flagship entrepreneurship program.

    Venkatesh's son, Akshay, a mathematician specialising in number theory and related topics, was one of the four Fields Medal winners in 2018

  • Ying Yang
    Assistant Commissioner, Australian Taxation Office

    Dr. Ying Yang is an award-winning senior data scientist at the cutting edge of information technology and computer science, and was nominated for the Women in AI 2022 Award, Australia and New Zealand.

    Ying is in charge of the data science capability of the Australian Taxation Office (ATO), leading one of the Australian Public Sector’s largest data science teams of over 100 data scientists.

    Ying and her team deliver trusted AI service and expert advice to the full business spectrum across the ATO. Their work is of very large scale and high impact, is renowned for innovation and excellence, and has won many awards.

  • Liming Zhu
    Research Director, CSIRO Data61

    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.