1 November | MCEC, Melbourne

1 November 2018

MCEC, Melbourne


Andrew Johnson


Andrew has extensive senior management experience servicing both the higher education and vocational education and training sectors, including membership based professional associations. His career has seen him work in a diverse range of markets across the Asia Pacific region and includes developing accreditation and certification frameworks. In his time at the ACS he has delivered significant growth results in the workforce planning and development, SFIA and education markets, all while improving member engagement, particularly among professional partners. Mr Johnson holds a Master of Arts in Technology Policy and Management. He is an ACS Certified Professional and an accredited SFIA Consultant.

Yohan Ramasundara

President, ACS

Yohan is an experienced executive with a strong track record of successful achievement of business outcomes leading high-performing teams in public, private and not-for-profit sectors for over fifteen years. Yohan is an Australian Public Service (APS) employee from Canberra. In 2017 Yohan was in San Francisco Bay Area as the Innovation Manager International Operations for Austrade. Previously he was the Head of Governance at IP Australia and National Manager of Assurance Services at Ecowise Environmental, Australia’s largest provider of integrated environmental consulting services at the time. Yohan is the President of the Australian Computer Society (ACS) and the Secretary General of SEARCC – the Asia Pacific Forum for Information Communication Technology (ICT). Yohan is also an international Cricket umpire. A graduate of University of Canberra, with ICT, accounting and finance qualifications, he is also the recipient of the prestigious University of Canberra gold leadership award at the 2005 Blues & Leadership awards for his sporting achievements. He is currently authoring a children’s story book in his spare time.

International Keynote
Technology & Empowerment

Lyndsey Scott

iOS mobile app software developer, model and actress

After graduating from Amherst College with dual majors in Theater and Computer Science, Lyndsey started acting and modeling in New York City and soon became the first African-American model to ever land an exclusive contract with Calvin Klein. Shows such as Prada, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, and The Victoria’s Secret Show soon followed; as did campaigns for clients such as DKNY, Baby Phat, Covergirl, and Sephora; and shoots for magazines such as W, Italian Vogue, and Glamour.

Lyndsey now splits her time between acting and freelance iOS Software Engineering. She currently builds apps for clients such as Susan G. Komen Foundation, AIDS Walk, and Cystic Fibrosis Foundation in her role as Lead iOS Engineer for Rallybound. She’s also ranked in the top 2% of question answerers on Stack Overflow; is a member of the iOS tutorial team; and has done video tutorials for kids co-starring the likes of Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg for Lyndsey has been featured by CNN, The BBC, NPR, Good Morning America, Forbes, Harper’s Bazaar, and many other news outlets for both her computer programming skills and her efforts to promote diversity in tech. She has recently been named one of the 100 Women of the Year for both UK Elle and and has received a "Lifetime of Inspiration" award from Harvard University's Women in Business organization.

Innovation & Technology Investment: A Company Board’s Perspective

Angus Armour

Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director
Australian Institute of Company Directors

Angus started at the AICD in October 2017. 

Previous roles included Principal Advisor on innovation and research at the Business Council of Australia; Deputy Secretary in the NSW State Government responsible for trade, innovation and industry and the arts; and CEO at Export Finance & Insurance Corporation from 2003 to 2013. 

He served in the past as Chairman of Board of the Berne Union, an association of over 50 public and private sector companies from 40 countries supporting $1.5 trillion of global trade and investment annually, as Chair of the Berne Union’s Risk and Compliance Committee, and as Chair and a member of the Asia Regional Cooperation Council. He has also served as Chair of the Asian Eximbank Association, as a member on the Board of the Committee for the Economic Development of Australia, and as a member on the board of the Historic Houses Trust of NSW.

In addition to the AICD Board, Angus serves on the boards of the European Australian Business Council and the Mohammed Bin Rashid Innovation Fund of the UAE. 

Yasmin Allen

Non-Executive Director Cochlear, Santos Limited and ASX Limited

Yasmin is the Chairman of Advance, a non-executive director at ASX Limited and a director of the ASX Clearing & Settlement boards and serves on ASX’s Audit committee. She is also a director of Cochlear Limited (and Chairman of its Audit Committee) and Santos Limited (and Chairman of Santos’ People Remuneration & Culture Committee and a member of Santos Audit & Risk Committee). Yasmin is also a Director of the National Portrait Gallery in Canberra and a member of the board of The George Institute for Global Health, a medical research and commercialisation group. Her previous directorships include IAG Limited, EFIC (Australia’s Export Bank) and she is the former Chairman of Macquarie Group’s Global Infrastructure Funds.

Prior to her directorships, Yasmin had an extensive career in investment banking, including as Vice President of Deutsche Bank, Director of ANZ Investment Bank in Sydney and Director with HSBC in London.

Yasmin has a Bachelor of Commerce from Melbourne University and in 2015 was awarded the Melbourne University Alumni of Distinction. Yasmin is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and a member (and former council member) of Chief Executive Women.

Ajay Bhatia

Managing Director, Consumer Business

Ajay is the Managing Director of the Consumer Business and leads the group that brings together all consumer facing parts of the business. Ajay was previously the Chief Product and Information Officer, responsible for all aspects of product management, software development, infrastructure and IT operations.

Ajay has held several technical and commercial leadership positions ranging from GM Commercial, Product Director, and Technology Director to CIO. Ajay holds a Bachelor’s degree in Engineering from University of Technology, Sydney and a Masters in Management. Ajay was awarded Australian CIO of the year for 2015 by CEO Magazine Ltd.

Peter James

Chairman of Macquarie Telecom Group, Nearmap and Droneshield

Peter has extensive experience as Chair, Non Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer across a range of publicly listed and private companies particularly in emerging technologies and e-commerce. 

He recently completed 12 years as a Non Executive Director of ASX listed iiNet, chairing iiNet’s Strategy and Innovation Committee. 

Peter is a successful investor in a number of Digital Media and Technology businesses in Australia and the US and travels extensively in reviewing innovation and consumer trends particularly in the US and also Asia. 

He is currently Chair of a number of listed technology companies including Macquarie Telecom Group, Nearmap and Droneshield.

Peter is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and has a BA with majors in computer science and business. 

Morning Tea
Expediting Australia’s Digital Transformation

Senator The Hon Bridget McKenzie

Deputy Leader of The Nationals
Minister for Regional Services, Sport, Local Government and Decentralisation

Proud and passionate about regional Australia, Bridget McKenzie is the Deputy Leader of the National Party and is The Nationals Senator for Victoria.

Growing up in Victoria with the traditional rural influences of small business, sport and agriculture, Bridget is firm in her belief that strong regional economies and secure regional communities are critical to the future prosperity of our great nation. 

Recognising small business is the backbone of many regional communities, Bridget wants to ensure they have every opportunity to prosper. 

Her experiences as a secondary school teacher and university lecturer have fuelled Bridget’s passion for education and our youth. She is committed to improving opportunities for young Australians, no matter where they live. 

Bridget’s penchant for research and evaluation fits well with her role in the Senate, where she is the Chair of the Senate Standing Committee on Education and Employment and an active member of the Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade and its Trade sub-committee. 

A netball fan and general sports enthusiast, Bridget is proud to promote healthy, active lifestyles and community connectedness through grassroots activities. 

As a senator dedicated to those who live and work outside the cities, Bridget has established her office in the regional centre of Victoria, Bendigo.

The Hon Ed Husic MP

Shadow Minister for Human Services and the Digital Economy

Based in Western Sydney, Ed Husic was elected to the House of Representatives as the Federal Member for Chifley in 2010. Currently in his third term, he was re-elected to Parliament in 2016.

Before entering Parliament, he held a number of roles within the public and private sector including National President of the Communications Electrical Plumbing Union. Prior to this he was employed with Integral Energy (now Endeavour Energy); a major national energy retailer and NSW based electricity distributor.

In August 2018 Ed was promoted to Shadow Minister for Human Service and retained his responsibilities as the Shadow Minister for the Digital Economy. Ed had previously been the Shadow Minister for Employment Services and Workplace Participation, a position he had held since 2016.

Ed has had a long standing interest in the impact of tech on our economy and community and his portfolio appointments and parliamentary interests have focused on this. For a number of years, he has been part of the Federal Opposition’s team developing policies to promote early stage and digital innovation.

In 2015 Ed was appointed Shadow Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Opposition Bill Shorten, assisting with Digital Innovation and Startups – the first time startups were acknowledged in a ministerial or shadow ministerial line-up. His policy focus was examining ways to boost the growth of startups and digital entrepreneurship as a vehicle for enhancing economic activity and productivity.  He was also the Shadow Parliamentary Secretary to the Shadow Treasurer Chris Bowen.

In the former Labor Government, Ed held the positions of Parliamentary Secretary to Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and Parliamentary Secretary for Broadband.

Ed has engaged in digital economy issues as a member of the House of Representatives Infrastructure and Communications Standing Committee and as Deputy Chair of the Joint Select Committee on the National Broadband Network.

He established the Federal Parliamentary Labor Digital Economy Group, which brought together policy makers and industry on matters affecting the sector.

Ed was raised in Western Sydney, educated locally, and graduated from the University of Western Sydney with a Bachelor of Arts (Applied Communications).

Ms Terri Butler MP

Shadow Minister for Employment Services, Workforce Participation and Future of Work
Shadow Assistant Minister for Equality, Young Australians, Youth Affairs, Family Violence and Child Safety

Prior to being elected as the member for Griffith in 2014, Terri was a lawyer and a principal of the national law firm Maurice Blackburn, where she established and led the Queensland Employment and Industrial Law Section. While working as a lawyer, Terri was listed as one of Queensland’s top workplace relations lawyers in the Doyles Guide to the Legal Profession.

Terri has long been involved with organisations supporting those in the community.  She has served on leadership groups of Children By Choice and the YWCA.  Terri has also been involved in Labor’s policy development, having served two previous terms on Labor’s National Policy Committee, and a term on the new National Policy Forum. 

Terri is the Shadow Minister for Young Australians and Youth Affairs, and the Shadow Minister for Employment Services, Workforce Participation and Future of Work. She is the Deputy Chair of the House Standing Committee on Employment, Education & Training, and a member of the House Standing Committees on Procedure, and Tax and Revenue. She's on the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Corporations and Financial Services.  She is co-chair of the Parliamentary Friends of Innovation and Enterprise group.

Building Capability to Succeed in the Fourth Industrial Revolution

Peta Ellis

Chief Executive Officer
River City Labs

Peta is a change maker and community leader in the Entrepreneurial landscape and brings 20+ years’ experience in Business, Entrepreneurship, Marketing & Communications and Media Relations.

Peta launched and exited four ventures before turning 30. In the last 6 years she has mentored over 500 entrepreneurs and hosted more than 1000 startup events at River City Labs. As CEO of RCL, Brisbane's leading Innovation and Startup Hub she founded a Corporate Pre-Accelerator Program and the Young Entrepreneurs Network (YEN), a community focused on connecting young entrepreneurs with industry, schools, course providers and program facilitators.

Peta is a passionate advocate for women in Entrepreneurship and actively promotes positive lifestyle balance for founders which lead to co-founding Peak Persona and 3AMFounders in 2017.

Aaron Birkby

Startup Catalyst

By background Aaron is a successful tech entrepreneur, having successfully built and exited several startups. He is an active startup community leader, working with hundreds of founders every year through his various roles, including as CEO of Startup Catalyst, where he reprograms and re-calibrates entrepreneurs’ minds through immersive international missions to startup hotspots such as Silicon Valley, Europe, Israel and Asia.

As the co-founder and CEO of Peak Persona, Aaron also delivers programs to help founders achieve sustainable high performance. He serves on the Board of StartupAUS, the national body representing early-stage technology companies in Australia, and is a frequent keynote and public speaker, and facilitator. In 2016 Aaron was awarded the national Benson Award for Entrepreneurship, and also the Pearcey Award as entrepreneur of the year for Queensland, prior to which he was also the Entrepreneur In Residence for the River City Labs Accelerator.

Krista Jones

Managing Director, Enterprise
MaRS Discovery District

Krista is the creator, managing director, and driving force behind MaRS Discovery District’s globally leading Enterprise sector. Krista has been a passionate innovator and builder of technology-based businesses for over 25 years. 

Krista works with entrepreneurs, corporate leaders, investors and technologists who are applying innovative and cutting-edge technologies to create solutions that are advancing the competitiveness of global enterprises small and large and the workforce that fuels them.

Informed by her deep engagement with over 1000 technologists, entrepreneurs and innovators over the last 10 years, Krista is relied on as thought leader in the “Future of Work” and the "Intelligent Enterprise" by organizations from all around the world. Krista’s work leverages her depth of knowledge surrounding how exponential technology is reshaping our world and the human skills and competencies this future state requires.

Krista has experience working in both large public companies and in startups. She is an engineer, entrepreneur, mentor and an expert at solving ambiguous problems. She has a unique combination of strategic, technical, operational and marketing expertise. 

Tiziana Bianco

Customer Experience, Innovation and Transformation Executive, Commonwealth Bank

Tiziana is an organizational transformation leader with primary expertise in Customer Experience and Innovation. Tiziana is a technology, business and management executive with over 15 years of global experience. She has developed and launched business operations, new products, solutions and services for major global brands. 

Most recently, Tiziana was accountable for creating and leading the global Innovation Lab network at the Commonwealth Bank across Sydney, London and HK. Her role was to best position the Group’s innovative capability, products and services for consumer, business and enterprise clients. This included the incubation of new ideas, the experimentation of new business models and emerging technologies. In addition to helping drive business performance and solution development, Tiziana and her team work closely with the sales and product teams to embed core innovation capabilities both within the bank and across the Australian business landscape. Her ability to identify, test and drive new skills and capabilities to help organisations future fit themselves, drive customer advocacy and establish a sustained innovative culture are her core passions. 

Having joined the Commonwealth Bank in 2008, Tiziana has held a range of roles contributing to strategic initiatives, Go-To-Market programs and new product development and deployment.

Previously, Tiziana was a management consultant at Capgemini Australia, with primary expertise in large scale transformational programmes, from strategy through to implementation within the financial services, retail and telecommunication sectors. Prior to moving to Australia, Tiziana spent time at ING DIRECT, Canada with a predominate focus on customer experience initiatives.

Disrupting to Create Value in the Digital World

Suzy Nicoletti

Managing Director, Twitter Australia

Suzy is Twitter Australia’s Managing Director and has been instrumental in growing Australia to become a part of the one of the fastest-growing regions for the company globally.

A Silicon Valley native, Suzy was part of the founding team that established Google in Australia in 2008. She is a director on the board of Ovarian Cancer Australia, a Founders Member of TechSydney and on the Governor’s board of the American Chamber of Commerce in Australia.

Suzy is a huge believer in the power of trust and reputation for organisations, and helping executives engage with their customers on social platforms.

Mother to two children, Suzy is a keen swimmer and Surf Lifesaver for North Steyne SLSC. You can find her on Twitter @suzynicoletti.

Steve Baxter

Investor and Founder of Transition Level Investments

Tech start-up investor Steve Baxter is a proud Queenslander, born in the remote town of Cloncurry and raised in Emerald in the State’s central highlands. He left school at 15 and joined the Army, enlisting in its apprenticeship program. There, he became a technician working in the field of electronics, telecoms and guided weapon systems.

In 1994, at the age of 23, Steve put his life savings of $11,000 on the line to launch his first start-up, the pioneering internet service provider SE Net, from the spare room of his Adelaide home. Servicing more than 35,000 customers, SE Net was eventually acquired by Ozemail/UUNet under the stewardship of its founding Director and now Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull.

In 2001, Steve teamed with a schoolmate to launch his second start-up, PIPE Networks, a provider of wholesale telecoms infrastructure that was listed on the ASX in 2005. Eight years later they sold it to the TPG Group for $373 million.

Steve spent a year working with Google in California in 2008, leading a project to deliver high-speed telecommunications systems across North America.

Since 2010 he has become an early stage investor in startups through his investment company, Transition Level Investments. This lead to the founding of Brisbane tech startup hub River City Labs and the creation of Startup Catalyst and RiverPitch programs.  He has been on the listed boards of Vocus Telecoms, Indoor Skydive Australia Group and OtherLevels as well as being on the board of Commercialisation Australia.

He has been heavily involved in the early days or founding of numerous industry groups and forums such as the South Australian Internet Association, South Australian Internet Exchange, Australian Domain Name Authority, AuDA, INTIAA, IIA, AusBone and AusNOG.

He has been a Shark on Channel 10’s Shark Tank Australia for the past four seasons.

In 2006 Steve received the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year for the Northern Region. In 2016, Steve received the Pearcey Medal for Lifetime Achievement in recognition of distinguished lifetime achievement and contribution to the development and growth of the Information and Communications Technology Industry.

Steve is married and the proud father of 4 year-old daughter as well as twin baby girls and is a keen private pilot and recreational fisherman.

Kumar Parakala

Global Digital Lead

Kumar Parakala is an entrepreneur, a business leader and a trusted advisor. He has worked at the intersection of business and technology for more than two decades, serving clients in 30 countries and engaging with them at the Board and C‐level on technology and digital disruption.

As the Global Digital Leader of GHD, he motivates clients to reimagine their business futures in a digital era and helps them get there. GHD is a global professional services firm with 9000+ people and 200+ offices. Prior to joining GHD, Kumar was a Senior Consulting Partner at KPMG, a firm he served between 2000 and 2015. He was one of the founding Partners of the global Technology Advisory practice comprising of 11,000 people, serving on its global executive board and in numerous leadership roles.

Kumar is the recipient of SEARCC- ACS Digital Disruptors' International Professional of the Year 2016 Award. He was inducted into the ACS Hall of Fame and ranked in the Australia's Top 50 in Technology. Kumar is an alumnus of the Harvard Business School and Central Queensland University.

Kylie Merritt

Chief Executive Officer
Your Money

Kylie Merritt is the CEO of Your Money, a joint venture between the Nine Network and Australian News Channel (Sky News). Your Money broadcasts 24/7 simultaneously on Foxtel and Free-to-Air (Channel 95), has a comprehensive website and an extensive presence on video streaming and social media platforms.

Prior to Your Money, Kylie was the Commercial Director of Australian News Channel, a company where she also held positions in editorial, digital product and operations.

Kylie began her media career in 1997 as a reporter with Prime Local News in Orange and has since worked across news, TV production and digital at companies including the Seven Network and News Corp Australia.

olds a BA (Broadcast Journalism) from Charles Sturt University an MBA (Exec) from the Australian Graduate School of Management and is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Emerging Tech & Transforming your Business Model

Sigalit Klimovsky

Grove Ventures

Sigalit is a Partner at Grove Ventures, an Israeli fund, which invests and empowers early-stage startups to shape the future of the world through cutting-edge technology.

As a technology investor, she mainly invests in the areas of IoT, AI, Digital Health and Automotive.

Sigalit brings with her 20 years of global experience in consulting, managing and setting the foundation for start-ups, transforming them to large and successful companies.

She has fulfilled C-level roles, covering all aspects related to Operations, Customer Services, Technology, Marketing and Business Development in the Telecommunications, New Media, Consumer Electronics, Financial and Technology Sectors.

Sigalit holds a Bachelor of Economics and Management (BSc) from the Technion, Israel Institute of Technology, in Haifa.

Simon Moorfield

Executive General Manager Information Systems and Technology, AGL

Simon has over 20 years’ experience in technology and program management across Australia, the US, Europe and Asia-Pacific. His tenure across several CIO and executive roles in corporate enterprises, such as NAB, CBA, and GE, has provided him with the opportunity to lead multiple innovation and transformation programs. Simon’s significant experience in mergers and acquisitions, information analytics, and customer engagement has equipped him with the acumen and agility required to forge strong business partnerships that help inform and drive these transformation programs to completion.

He has an ongoing commitment to ensuring technology strategy is translated into quality outcomes that deliver immediate and ongoing value to the business, employees and customers. Simon is a proactive champion of gender and cultural diversity across the technology space and believes that this ongoing investment in human capital is the key to ensuring the ongoing relevance, evolution and competitiveness of corporate enterprises. Simon joined AGL in January 2016 as Chief Information Officer. 

“I'm proud to be leading a diverse team of professionals in translating our business vision into quality outcomes – optimising our existing assets, fostering innovation and new ways of working, prioritising technology initiatives, and coordinating the deployment, evaluation, and management of current and future systems across AGL.” Simon

Mandy Ross

Chief Information Officer

Mandy Ross is Chief Information for Tabcorp. Mandy commenced with Tabcorp in December 2017 following the combination of Tabcorp and Tatts. At Tatts, she was Chief Information Officer from December 2014, and Head of Technology Transformation and Process Improvement from 2013. Mandy was previously Chief Technology Officer of start-up Literary Planet and Chief Information Officer of online travel organisation the Wotif Group. Mandy holds a Masters of Business Administration and Bachelor of Information Technology (Honours).

Peter Fuller

Managing Director
Micro Focus Australia and New Zealand

Peter is a 30-year ICT industry veteran having held senior executive and management roles with, Oracle, Sun Microsystems, SAS, SAP AG, KPMG, ASG Group, Progress Software and Unisys.

During his career Peter has largely been involved in successfully growing Enterprise ICT businesses and helping manage and lead organisations through M&A change.

In his current role as Managing Director of Micro Focus Australia & New Zealand he is focused on driving the recent integration and merger of Micro Focus and HPE software and consolidating the best of both into a formidable software organisation.

Peter is married with two adult daughters, is a keen cyclist riding with the Warrandyte Mountain Bike club as well as an avid Rugby Union player for Box Hill RUFC.

He is also a former paratrooper, who served with distinction as a commissioned officer with 1 Parachute Battalion and 44 Parachute Regiment, South African Airborne.

Afternoon Tea
International Keynote
Business Advice We Shouldn’t Believe Anymore

Professor Andrew McAfee

Co-Founder and Co-Director, Initiative on the Digital Economy
Principal Research Scientist, MIT Sloan School of Management

Andrew McAfee is the Co-Founder and Co-Director of the Initiative on the Digital Economy and a Principal Research Scientist at the MIT Sloan School of Management. He studies how digital technologies are changing business, the economy, and society. His 2014 book on these topics, The Second Machine Age: Work, Progress, and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies, coauthored with Erik Brynjolfsson, has won several prestigious awards and has been both a New York Times and Wall Street Journal top ten bestseller. His newest book with Brynjolfsson, Machine, Platform, Crowd: Harnessing our Digital Future, published June 2017, offers an executive’s guide to succeeding during this turbulent era.

Andrew has written for innumerable publications including Foreign Affairs, Harvard Business Review, The Economist, The Wall St. Journal, and The New York Times. He has talked about his work on CNN and 60 Minutes, at the World Economic Forum, TED and the Aspen Ideas Festival, with Tom Friedman and Fareed Zakaria, and in front of innumerable global and domestic audiences. He is also the host of the popular podcast, Minds and Machines with Andrew McAfee.

Andrew was educated at Harvard and MIT. He lives in Cambridge, watches too much Red Sox baseball, doesn't ride his motorcycle enough, and starts his weekends with the NYT Saturday crossword.

Summit Close
Pre-Gala Dinner Drinks & Canapés Reception
ACS Digital Disruptors Awards Gala Dinner

Rebecca Maddern

The Footy Show - Co-host
Australian Ninja Warrior - Co-host

A well-respected journalist and presenter with 15 years of Television to her name, Bec will make you stand up and cheer for all of our Disruptors! 

Ben Fordham

2GB - Host of Sydney Live
Australian Ninja Warrior - Co-host

Ben returns to emcee the ACS Digital Disruptors Awards. Last year's awards guest were in stitches with a hilarious and lively performance.