2024 Program overview

Program subject to change

8:00 am


8:45 am

Welcome and acknowledgements

Welcome & acknowledgements by:

Headshot image of Thys Heyns
Thys HeynsChairGeelong Manufacturing Council
Headshot image of Trent Sullivan
Trent SullivanMayorCity of Greater Geelong
9:00 am

The future of Australian / Geelong manufacturing, barriers and opportunities

In Conversation:

Headshot image of Jennifer Conley
Jennifer ConleyCEOGeelong Manufacturing Council
Headshot image of Hon Richard Marles
Hon Richard MarlesFederal Member for CorioAustralian Government

Panel: How has Australian manufacturing changed over the past four decades? │ What will accelerate and secure the future of manufacturing? │ What will drive scale and high-growth SMEs?

Session Chair:

Headshot image of The Hon Robert Hill
The Hon Robert HillChairViva Energy


Headshot image of David Chuter
David ChuterExecutive Director, Industry GrowthDepartment of Industry, Science and Resources (DISR)
Headshot image of Professor Roy Green
Professor Roy GreenSpecial Innovation Adviser, Office of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Enterprise)University of Technology Sydney
Headshot image of Ivan Power
Ivan PowerCEONational Reconstruction Fund

What does AI mean for improving safety management, productivity, and recycling outcomes in manufacturing? Australian research and industry leaders share how digitisation and advanced automation are delivering efficiencies and higher value jobs – and helping to reduce the compliance burden on industry.  

Session Chair:

Headshot image of Prof Nick Birbilis
Prof Nick BirbilisExecutive Dean Faculty of Science, Engineering & Built EnvironmentDeakin University


Headshot image of Prof Bronwyn Fox
Prof Bronwyn FoxChief ScientistCSIRO
Headshot image of Lee Miezis
Lee MiezisCEOEnvironment Protection Agency Victoria
Headshot image of Peter Smith
Peter Smith CEOBoomaroo Nurseries

Morning tea

What are the imperatives and solutions transforming industries? Hear from leading Geelong-based manufacturer Incitec Pivot on actions that are creating successful pathways to decarbonisation.


In conversation:

Headshot image of Cr Trent Sullivan
Cr Trent SullivanGeelong MayorCity of Greater Geelong
Headshot image of Karen Durand
Karen Durand Corporate Sustainability ManagerIncitec Pivot

Regional technology leaders share leading edge breakthroughs and innovations that are solving challenges. 

World-first innovations that will transform our energy and our environment are being developed and commercialised right here in the Geelong region: sustainable diesel, aviation fuels, plastics recycling. Renewable organics turned into biochar and exploited for use in sodium ion batteries. Turning wastewater into hydrogen and fuelling trucks.

Session Chair:

Headshot image of Carley Brennan
Carley BrennanSkilling the Bay ManagerThe Gordon


Headshot image of Jack Fitzgerald
Jack FitzgeraldFounder & Chief Technology OfficerThink Fencing
Headshot image of Professor Maria Forsyth
Professor Maria ForsythProfessor in Electromaterials and Corrosion Sciences Deakin University
Headshot image of Lachlan Pfeiffer
Lachlan PfeifferChief Business Development and Sustainability OfficerViva Energy
Headshot image of Emily Rahles-Rahbula
Emily Rahles-RahbulaCircular Economy Infrastructure LeadBarwon Water

Barriers to commercialisation include investment depth, but what else? Do we need to upgrade Australian business acumen and access to other expertise beyond the technology experts?  

Hear from manufacturers and investors who have walked the walk.  

Are our pockets deep enough and Australia’s risk appetite big enough to build a strong advanced manufacturing sector? What will make the difference for advanced manufacturing?

Session Chair:

Headshot image of Lyn George
Lyn George Co-owner & DirectorAusteng


Headshot image of Jason Coonan
Jason CoonanDirector, Advanced ManufacturingBreakthrough Victoria
Headshot image of Matt Dingle
Matt DingleCo-Founder & Managing DirectorFormFlow
Headshot image of Tim Haden
Tim HadenDirector, Head of OriginationAustralian Business Growth Fund
Headshot image of Peter Meikle
Peter MeikleCEOUniversal Motion Simulation

Lunch & Networking

Carbon Revolution CFO, Gerard Buckle, talks with GMC Chair, Thys Heyns, about building scale for new disruptive technologies.

In conversation:

Headshot image of Gerard Buckle
Gerard BuckleChief Financial OfficerCarbon Revolution
Headshot image of Thys Heyns
Thys HeynsChairGeelong Manufacturing Council

Case studies of successful applications of IoT and how even small-scale improvements in digitising manufacturing processes are having large impacts. What are the cyber challenges and immediate fixesHow advancing technology will give you an edge in supply chains.

Session Chair:

Headshot image of Harry Baxter
Harry BaxterHead Government Relations & CommsDMTC


Headshot image of Sam McNaughton
Sam McNaughtonGeneral ManagerDI Advisory Services
Headshot image of Nicole Sinclair
Nicole SinclairCEO Parish Engineering Co.
Headshot image of Shane Williams
Shane WilliamsCo HostManufacturing Tech Australia

City of Greater Geelong’s goal is to be a world-leading smart and creative city │ How does circular economic theory play into this? │ What will drive future advances for Geelong? Can we advance city planning and optimise community outcomes for our future City with technology and collaborations?

Session Chair:

Headshot image of Professor Tuba Kocaturk
Professor Tuba KocaturkProfessor of Circular CitiesDeakin University


Headshot image of Professor Doug Creighton
Professor Doug CreightonDirectorInstitute of Intelligent Systems Research & Innovation
Headshot image of Troy Edwards
Troy EdwardsExecutive Director Corporate ServicesCity of Greater Geelong

Afternoon tea and Event close

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