UNSW Innovation Summit Speakers

Confirmed Speakers

Senator the Hon Arthur Sinodinos AO – Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science

Arthur Sinodinos first entered the Australian Senate in October 2011 and was appointed Shadow Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Opposition in September 2012, a position he held until the election of the Abbott Government. He served as Assistant Treasurer from September 2013 to December 2014.

From September 2015 to January 2017, Minister Sinodinos served as Cabinet Secretary in the Turnbull Government. In this role, Minister Sinodinos was a Cabinet-level minister assisting the Prime Minister in ensuring the proper process and functioning of the Government. On 24 January 2017, Minister Sinodinos was sworn in as Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science. Read more


Professor Ian Jacobs – President and Vice-Chancellor, UNSW Australia

Professor Ian Jacobs is President and Vice-Chancellor of UNSW Australia (the University of New South Wales), a position he has held since February 2015. He succeeded Professor Fred Hilmer, who stepped down after eight years in the role.

Professor Jacobs came to Australia from the UK, where he had a distinguished career as a leading researcher in the area of women’s health and cancer and in university leadership. Immediately prior to joining UNSW he was Vice President and Dean at the University of Manchester and Director of the Manchester Academic Health Science Centre, a partnership linking the University with six healthcare organisations involving over 36,000 staff. He was previously at University College London, where he created and led the Institute for Women’s Health, was Research Director of UCL Partners and Dean of the Faculty of Biomedical Sciences. Read more.

Professor Mary O’Kane – NSW Chief Scientist & Engineer

Professor Mary O’Kane is the NSW Chief Scientist & Engineer and also a company director and Executive Chairman of O’Kane Associates, a Sydney-based consulting practice specialising in government reviews and research and development. 

She is also Chair of the boards of the Cooperative Research Centre for Spatial Information, the Space Environment Management Cooperative Research Centre and the Institute of Marine and Antarctic Studies at the University of Tasmania. She is also a director of the New Zealand Antarctic Research Institute, Capital Markets Cooperative Research Centre and Business Events Sydney.


Craig Davies – CEO, Australian Cyber Security Growth Network

Craig Davies is the CEO for the Australian Cyber Security Growth Network Ltd (ACSGN).

Australia's Cyber Security Strategy, launched in April 2016, committed to establish a Cyber Security Growth Centre to position Australia as an attractive location for cyber security research and innovation. The ACSGN has been created as the Growth Centre. It will support the development of a vibrant and globally competitive Australian cyber security industry aimed at enhancing Australia's future economic growth and help protect Australia's interests online.

Prior to joining the ACSGN, Craig was Head of Security for Atlassian where he lead the security program supporting all aspects of Atlassian’s business from product security, to their Cloud operations and the protection of Atlassian itself. Read more

Dr Fiona MacKenzie – Co-Founder and Director of Strategy, Australian Futures Project

Dr Fiona McKenzie is a human geographer with a PhD on innovation and expertise in both public policy and academic research. Co-Founder and Director of Strategy for the Australian Futures Project, she has led the design and implementation of a range of unique programs including ‘social innovation labs’ on early childhood development and agriculture.

Fiona is respected for her ability to rapidly synthesise complex topics for decision makers and co-design systems change processes with stakeholders. She has more than 15 years of experience working with a range of academic, government, non-government, and intergovernmental organisations. This includes the United Nations Environment Programme, Terrestrial Carbon Group, National Australia Bank, Wentworth Group of Concerned Scientists, Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research,  Read more.

Sue MacLeman – Managing Director & CEO, MTPConnect

Ms MacLeman has more than 25 years experience as a pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical technology executive with roles in corporate, medical, commercial and business development at Schering-Plough Corporation (now Merck), Amgen, Bristol-Myers Squibb and Mesoblast Ltd.

Sue has also served as CEO and Board member of several ASX and NASDAQ listed companies in the sector and is currently a non-executive director at RHS Ltd, veski and Oventus Medical Ltd.

Sue was recognised for her leadership with a BioMelbourne Network’s 2017 Women in Leadership award.


Ric Gros – CEO, METS Ignited

Ric has more than 30 years in senior leadership roles across mining equipment, mineral processing, Infrastructure, Construction, B2B Industrial, FMCG and Global Supply Chains.

Ric’s previous roles include: CEO/MD in private and listed environments, non-executive directorships, portfolio management, commercialisation, mergers, acquisitions, capital raising and venture capital, with extensive end-to-end local and international supply chain management expertise. Also 

He is a former Non-Exec Director of mineral processing start-up at METSOL Ltd, former Non-Exec Director of Austmine which promotes the advancement and competitive positioning of Australian technology, collaboration and innovation in mining & resources.

John Mattick AO – Executive Director, Garvan Institute of Medical Research

John Mattick obtained his BSc the University of Sydney and his PhD from Monash University in Melbourne. He then worked at Baylor College of Medicine in the Texas Medical Center in Houston and the CSIRO Division of Molecular Biology in Sydney. In 1988 he was appointed the Foundation Professor of Molecular Biology at the University of Queensland, where he was also Foundation Director of the Institute for Molecular Bioscience and the Australian Genome Research Facility.

Professor Mattick’s honours and awards include the inaugural Gutenberg Professorship of the University of Strasbourg, the Order of Australia and Australian Government Centenary Medal, Fellowship of the Australian Academy of Science and the Australian Academy of Health & Medical Sciences, Associate Membership of the European Molecular Biology Organization, Read more.

Professor Brian Boyle – Deputy Vice-Chancellor Enterprise, UNSW Australia

Professor Brian Boyle joined UNSW Australia in July 2015 and is Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Enterprise). The Division provides strategic leadership support to the President and Vice-Chancellor, and where appropriate to the University Council, on all aspects of the University's enterprise and innovation agenda. Driving a significantly enhanced culture of innovation in the University, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Enterprise) works with a wide range of University staff in Faculties, Schools and central administrative units to realise the University's innovation goals. 

The Division of Enterprise has carriage of "Delivering from Research Excellence" and "Knowledge Exchange for Social Progress on Economic Prosperity" as part of UNSW's 2025 Strategy. Read more

Dr Jens Goennemann – Managing Director, Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre 

Dr Jens Goennemann joined AMGC Ltd in 2016 where he brings extensive experience managing large manufacturing operations in Australia and Europe. In previous roles, he served as Managing Director of Airbus Group Australia Pacific and Airbus Helicopters. Before his seven-year appointment to Australia, Jens spent six years in Germany with the former European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company (EADS), today known as Airbus Group. He was Head of the CEO’s office in Germany, and before that was in charge of Soldier and Parafoil Systems within the Defence Division. Previously, he spent two years in Athens, where he established and managed the Eurofighter Office of DaimlerChrysler Aerospace, one of the three founding partner companies of EADS. He began his career with Daimler-Benz AG in January 1996. Read more


Dr Mirjana Prica – Managing Director, Food Innovation Australia Limited

Dr Prica is an experienced business and strategy leader in food and agribusiness, with a passion for connecting ideas and devising solutions to deliver maximum benefit.

She is currently Managing Director of Food Innovation Australia Ltd (FIAL), a national food and agribusiness hub that has brought together over 3,000 stakeholders from over 3,000 organisations to drive innovation and market initiatives for Australia. 

Dr Prica is a business-science post-graduate from the University of Melbourne with over 20 years’ experience in the Research and Development of food, and has worked as a senior research scientist and lecturer at Keele University in the UK. Read more.

The Hon. Matt Kean MP  Minister for Innovation and Better Regulation

Matt Kean was born in Wahroonga on September 16, 1981, and became the Member for Hornsby on March 26, 2011. The next year, he was elected to chair the NSW Parliament’s Joint Standing Committee on the Office of the Valuer General, later recommending radical changes to the system of land valuation in NSW.

Re-elected in March 2015, Mr Kean continued his advocacy for the people of Hornsby and counts amongst his achievements the completion of the $120 million first stage – and the start of the $200 million second stage - of the Hornsby Hospital rebuild.

He is a tireless campaigner on mental health issues and suicide prevention, especially as it impacts our young people. His first speech in parliament after his 2011 election was dedicated to a young friend who had recently taken his own life. Read more


  • Dr James Dromey – Chief Operating Officer and Company Secretary, Murdoch Children's Research Institute