2023 Conference


A line up of international and national speakers will look at the status and trends in energy policy and regulation, primary fuel supply and demand, technology changes, markets and disruption, emissions and consumer issues.

Delegates can expect a strong focus on Western Australia with thoughtful and candid discussion from the expert panels.

Our confirmed 2023 speakers will be updated as the program develops, so please check back regularly to see the latest speaker line up.

Placeholder speaker imageHon. Bill Johnston
Hon. Bill Johnston
Minister for Mines and Petroleum, Energy, Hydrogen Industry and Industrial Relations
Parliament of Western Australia
Western Australia

The Hon. Bill Johnston is Western Australia's Minister for Mines and Petroleum, Energy, Corrective Services and Industrial Relations. He has been a Minister for the McGowan Labor Government since

Placeholder speaker imageAlan Finkel
Alan Finkel
Chair, Corporate Advisor and Author
Stile Education

Dr Alan Finkel AC is a neuroscientist, engineer, entrepreneur and philanthropist.

Placeholder speaker imageMary Burce Warlick
Mary Burce Warlick
Deputy Executive Director
International Energy Agency

A retired career diplomat and former U.S. Ambassador to Serbia, Ms. Warlick has held a variety of senior leadership positions at the U.S. Department of State, National Security Council and Department of Defense, serving in Washington and abroad.

Placeholder speaker imageProfessor Rod Sims AO
Professor Rod Sims AO
Chair of the Superpower Institute
Professor, Australian National University

Rod Sims AO is Chair of the Superpower Institute, a non-profit organisation dedicated to Australia moving quickly to,and benefitting from, the transition to net zero emissions.

Placeholder speaker imageMichael Gunner
Michael Gunner
Director, Australia West
Fortescue Future Industries

Michael Gunner is the Director of Australia West, leading Fortescue Future Industries’ (FFI) work across Western Australia, South Australia, and the Northern Territory.

Placeholder speaker imageProf. Yolande Strengers
Prof. Yolande Strengers
Professor of Digital Technology and Society
Emerging Technologies Research Lab, Monash University
Melbourne, Victoria

Yolande Strengers is a digital sociologist and human-computer interaction professor investigating the sustainability, energy and inclusion impacts of digital and smart technologies, including emerging forms of AI.

Placeholder speaker imageJai Thomas
Jai Thomas
Deputy Director General - Coordinator of Energy
Energy Policy WA (DMIRS)
Western Australia

Jai Thomas is the Deputy Director General - Coordinator of Energy, a statutory role that leads Energy Policy WA. As Coordinator of Energy, he is also the designated Hazard Management Agency for disruption to electricity, natural gas or liquid fuel supplies in Western Australia.

Placeholder speaker imageFabian Le Gay Brereton
Fabian Le Gay Brereton
Chief Executive Officer

Fabian Le Gay Brereton is a passionate clean energy entrepreneur and the Co-Founder and CEO of Gridcog, a groundbreaking startup dedicated to the clean energy transition.

Placeholder speaker imageKate Ryan
Kate Ryan
Executive General Manager WA & Strategy
Western Australia

Kate Ryan is responsible for leading the Western Australia function and AEMO’s corporate strategy. Kate joined AEMO in February 2022, and has extensive knowledge and experience built over decades in the energy industry.

Placeholder speaker imagePierluigi Mancarella
Pierluigi Mancarella
Chair Professor of Electrical Power Systems
The University of Melbourne

Pierluigi Mancarella is Chair Professor of Electrical Power Systems at the University of Melbourne, Australia, and Professor of Smart Energy Systems at the University of Manchester, UK.

Placeholder speaker imageRuby Heard
Ruby Heard
Electrical Engineer and Energy Consultant
Director, Alinga Energy Consulting

Ruby Heard is a versatile and ambitious entrepreneur and electrical engineer with global experience and an affinity for sustainability. She began her career with Arup designing electrical and lighting systems for iconic buildings in Melbourne. In 2015 she transferred to San Francisco to follow her passion into the renewable energy sector, designing complex solar arrays and microgrids for Google campuses. 

Placeholder speaker imageSally McMahon
Sally McMahon

Sally McMahon is an economist with more than 25 years’ experience in energy and industry reform programs.

Placeholder speaker imageDavid Fyfe
David Fyfe
Chief Executive Officer
Western Australia

David has more than 20 years' experience across the energy and telecommunications industries, including holding executive roles in operations, commercial sales, asset management and business development.

Placeholder speaker imageSam Barbaro
Sam Barbaro
Western Power
Western Australia

Sam was appointed Western Power CEO in August 2022. He has been a member of the Executive team since 2014 serving firstly as the Executive Manager of the Governance & Assurance and then the Executive Manager Asset Operations.

Placeholder speaker imageBethwyn Cowcher
Bethwyn Cowcher
Division Director
Macquarie Group
Western Australia

Supporting the energy transition. Specialties include strategy development, commercial negotiation, renewable projects, gas, electricity, hydrogen, asset sales and acquisitions.

Placeholder speaker imageNaoki Takahashi
Naoki Takahashi
Chief Representative
Japan Bank for International Cooperation

Naoki Takahashi is Chief Representative of the Japan Bank for International Cooperation's Sydney Office

Placeholder speaker imageStephanie Unwin
Stephanie Unwin
Horizon Power
Western Australia

As Chief Executive Officer of Horizon Power, Stephanie Unwin leads Australia’s only vertically integrated energy utility and is responsible for the largest geographical catchment of any Australian power provider, covering an area more than one quarter of the Australian continent.

Placeholder speaker imageKatie McKenzie
Katie McKenzie
Western Australia

Katie is an energy policy, regulation and stakeholder relations specialist pursuing her passion for a clean, consumer-centric energy transition.

Placeholder speaker imageProf. Lachlan Blackhall
Prof. Lachlan Blackhall
Entrepreneurial Fellow and Head, Battery Storage and Grid Integration Program
The Australian National University

Professor Lachlan Blackhall is Entrepreneurial Fellow and Head, Battery Storage and Grid Integration Program at The Australian National University.

Placeholder speaker imageSarah McNamara
Sarah McNamara
Chief Executive
Australian Energy Council

Sarah is an is an industry leader with more than a decade of experience working with policy and regulatory frameworks across the resources and energy sectors.

Placeholder speaker imageJenness Gardner
Jenness Gardner
Chief Executive Officer
Economic Regulation Authority

Jenness Gardner is an experienced strategic leader working in the energy and resources sector leading economic policy development, commercial negotiations and large scale project development for the state.

Placeholder speaker imageMartin Wilkes
Martin Wilkes
Managing Director

Martin Wilkes is the Managing Director of RISC, an independent International Energy Advisory company headquartered in Perth, Western Australia.

Placeholder speaker imageMark Jeisman
Mark Jeisman
WA Business Development Manager
JET Charge

As the WA Business Development Manager at JET Charge, Mark has been privileged to be part of the team delivering landmark projects including the State Government's WA EV Network.

Placeholder speaker imageScott Hamilton
Scott Hamilton
VP of Origination

Scott is VP of Origination at Xodus with a remit to update and change the company’s business model as it relates to the offshore wind sector.

Placeholder speaker imageCecily Rawlinson
Cecily Rawlinson
WA Cyber Security Innovation Hub

Cecily Rawlinson was appointed in July 2021 as Director of the WA AustCyber Innovation Hub, recently rebranded as CyberWest.

Placeholder speaker imageChris Alexander
Chris Alexander
WA Expert Consumer Panel
Western Australia

Chris is a member of the Western Australian Expert Consumer Panel and Market Advisory Panel, where he advocates for consumers on a range of network regulatory, retail market and energy transition issues.

Placeholder speaker imageJacinda Papps
Jacinda Papps
General Manager, Regulatory Affairs and Compliance
Alinta Energy
Western Australia

Jacinda Papps is a regulatory, policy and government relations professional with over 20 years’ experience in energy markets across multiple jurisdictions, including 15 years in Western Australia.

Placeholder speaker imageBobby Ditric
Bobby Ditric
Lantau Group
Western Australia

Bobby Ditric has over 15 years’ experience in energy sector market operation, reform and development. He has extensive expertise in market design and regulatory instruments for reliability of supply, including capacity mechanisms/markets, scarcity payments, and reserve capacity instruments. He has advised on direct sales transactions frameworks (governance and market design implications) as well as the corresponding market rules and contracting instruments. He has advised commercial, regulatory, and policy stakeholders on crucial market reforms in the Western Australian, Eastern Australian, Northern Territory, Singapore, Peninsular Malaysian, and Oman electricity sectors. Prior to joining TLG he worked in a governmental electricity sector reform unit and before that was involved in the settlement of transactions in the WA Electricity Market (WEM) including review of the associated complex mathematical and financial calculations, verification of energy market data integrity, and troubleshooting market database issues. Bobby holds a BCom from Curtin University, Australia.

Placeholder speaker imageGreg Ruthven
Greg Ruthven
Associate Director
Rennie Advisory

Greg Ruthven is an Associate Director with Rennie Advisory, with a focus on regulation, reform and strategy in the transitioning energy markets

Placeholder speaker imageHolly Taylor
Holly Taylor
Head of Strategy and Partnerships
Energy Efficiency Council

Holly leads a team that focuses on strategic initiatives that build the energy management market, facilitating the realisation of an equitable, prosperous, net zero economy.

Placeholder speaker imageJustin Nash
Justin Nash
Business Development Director for Hydrogen in WA

Justin Nash heads up the Geraldton Export-Scale Renewable Investment (GERI) Project, H2Kwinana and is a director of bp’s Kwinana Refinery subsidiary.

Placeholder speaker imageGreg Allen
Greg Allen
Director Project Development & Deal Origination

Greg is part Vestas’ development team and is responsible for project origination and development activities in Western Australia and South Australia.

Placeholder speaker imageDr Kari Dahlgren
Dr Kari Dahlgren
Research Fellow, Department of Human Centred Computing
Monash University

Dr. Kari Dahlgren is a Research Fellow in the Emerging Technologies Research Lab at Monash University. Kari is a social anthropologist and ethnographer interested in the social and ethical aspects of energy production and consumption in Australia.

Placeholder speaker imageFareed Kaviani
Fareed Kaviani
Research Fellow
Emerging Technologies Research Lab - Monash University

Fareed is a multidisciplinary social scientist. He is currently a research fellow at the Emerging Technologies Research Lab (ETRL) focusing on energy scenarios and digital technology futures. Additionally, Fareed is a research

Placeholder speaker imageProf. Peta Ashworth
Prof. Peta Ashworth
Director - Curtin Institute for Energy Transition
Curtin University
Western Australia

Professor Peta Ashworth OAM is the Director, of the Curtin Institute for Energy Transition (CIET). Prior to joining Curtin University, Professor Ashworth was the Director of the Andrew N. Liveris Academy for Innovation and Leadership, and Chair in Sustainable Energy Futures at The University of Queensland (UQ).

Placeholder speaker imageJanica Lukas
Janica Lukas
Distribution Grid Strategy & Planning Manager
Western Power
Western Australia

As Western Power’s Distribution Grid Strategy & Planning Manager, Janica Lukas is charged with planning for the rapidly changing future of the distribution network of Western Australia’s South West Interconnected System. Janica is responsible for distribution network strategies and the scoping of investment proposals with a project pipeline of $40M-$50M per year.

Placeholder speaker imageKieran Rayney
Kieran Rayney
Assistant Director, Electricity Network Regulation
Energy Policy WA (DMIRS)
Western Australia

Kieran Rayney is Assistant Director, Electricity Network Regulation at Energy Policy WA (DMIRS), where he is leading the implementation of the State Government’s Energy Governance and Legislation Reforms and advising on network regulation matters.

Placeholder speaker imageLesley Walker
Lesley Walker
Executive General Manager, Customer
Western Australia

Lesley joined Synergy in January 2022 and has considerable prior experience with customer engagement in the banking and finance sectors.

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