Keynote Speakers

The Conference Committee would like to thank the Keynote Speakers 2016

Chris Johnson AM – CEO, Urban Taskforce Australia

Mr Chris Johnson AM 2Chris Johnson is the CEO of Urban Taskforce Australia, an organisation that represents the property industry. In this role Chris has produced research papers on the structure of local government in NSW and publications on the future of our cities. He worked closely with local government as Executive Director in the NSW Department of Planning in developing the Housing Code, plans for regional cities and urban renewal generally. Before this he was NSW Government Architect for 10 years, a member of the Central Sydney Planning Committee, the Heritage Council of NSW and many government committees. Chris has written or edited over a dozen books on urban planning, architecture and cities. He has been adjunct professor at 3 Sydney universities and was made a Member of the Order of Australia in 2012.

Catherine Caruana-McManus – Director, Giant Ideas

Ms Catherine Caruana-McManusCatherine Caruana-McManus is a proven digital city maker and innovator.  Catherine is the founder of Giant Ideas for Smart Cities and Director of Sales for IoT integrator, Meshed.  Recently, Catherine has been deploying public access internet of things networks to support smart cities and intelligent asset management solutions.
Prior to these roles, Catherine was the Director of IBMs Smarter Cities and has held other senior positions with MC2 Consulting, PMP Limited and Telstra.  Catherine has been recognised as one of Australia’s Knowledge Nation 100 for her work in smart cities and big data. As a serial disrupter, Catherine has launched many successful internet businesses including Australia’s first real estate portal, and Some of her most notable city infrastructure projects include the iconic MCG digital transformation, the 2000 Sydney Olympics and Melbourne Docklands.  Catherine is a member of the Advisory Board for SMART Infrastructure UoW, the Chair of the IoT Alliance Australia Work Stream for Smart Cities and Industry Engagement

Professor Graham Currie –  Professor of Public Transport, Public Transport Research Group, Institute of Transport Studies, Monash University

Graham CurrieProf Currie is an international Public Transport research leader and policy advisor with over 30 years experience.  He has published more research papers in leading international peer research journals in this field than any other researcher in the world.  Professor Currie has worked for some of the worlds leading Public Transport Operators including London Transport, and he has managed numerous Public Transport research and development projects internationally.  He is Chair of the US Transportation Research Board committee on Light Rail Transit and is currently leading a research program on Place Making and Street Design for Light Rail in Melbourne.

Professor Paul Burton – Founding Director, Cities Research Centre, Griffith University

Professor Paul BurtonPaul Burton is Professor of Urban Management and Planning and Director of the Cities Research Centre at Griffith University.  Previously he headed the School for Policy Studies at the University of   Bristol.  Paul is a founding member of Regional Development Australia, Gold Coast and a member of the national education committee of the Planning Institute of Australia.
Paul’s current research interests include the theory and practice of public participation in planning; the everyday professional lives of planners; metropolitan governance and planning for climate change adaptation. Paul recently led a review of regional and infrastructure planning in Queensland.

Ivan Motley – Founder, Id. the population experts

Ivan is a geographer and the founder and director of .id (informed decisions). He has worked with local and state government and the private sector across Australia and overseas. He is interested in contributing to ‘the good society’ – in how communities can have access to education, housing, health, employment, recreation and each other. Ivan’s idea is to introduce spatial thinking to organisations, looking at places through a demographic lens, and using the power of storytelling to be persuasive. Today, 40 excellent people have joined Ivan at .id in this mission. Each year more than 1.5 million people use .id’s 500+ web applications to inform their decision-making. 10,000 people subscribe to .id’s newsletter and over 50,000 learn from .id’s blog every month.

Leanne Hodyl – Director, Hodyl & Co

Leanne Hodyl is the founder and Managing Director of Hodyl + Co, a consultancy that collaborates with those who plan for, invest in, develop, design and build cities. The company has a clear, unwavering purpose: to create cities people love.
Leanne has significant experience in leading urban policy and design projects critical to the future development of cities. Her experience encompasses built-form policy for high-density urban environments, urban renewal of inner city precincts, urban intensification strategies for existing areas, infrastructure planning and housing policy.
Leanne’s research and policy expertise has been established internationally. She was recently commended for her Churchill Fellowship report ‘Investigating planning policies in hyper-dense, high-rise living environments’, which was pivotal in creating a fundamental shift in the planning policy for central Melbourne. Leanne is currently undertaking PhD research at RMIT’s School of Global, Urban and Social Studies.

Professor Edward Blakely– Chair, Future Cities Collaborative The United States Centre University of Sydney

Professor Edward Blakely is the founder and chair of the Future Cities Collaborative, an initiative of the United States Studies Centre at the University of Sydney. One of the world’s leading scholars and practitioners of urban policy, Professor Blakely has been dean of the School of Urban Planning and Development at the University of Southern California and dean of the Robert J. Milano Graduate School of Management and Urban Policy at the New School University in New York City.
In addition to Professor Blakely’s background in academia, he has an extensive record of public service that includes advising the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the city of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, state and federal governments in Australia and the United States, as well as governments in South Korea, Japan, Sweden, Indonesia, New Zealand, and Vietnam. The Future Cities Collaborative allows Professor Blakely to combine his passion for sustainable urban design with his expertise in teaching and fostering capacity building in all levels of government.

Adam Beck – Executive Director Smart Cities Council Australia New Zealand

Adam Beck photoAdam is Executive Director of the Smart Cities Council Australia New Zealand, Cities Advisor to the Green Building Council of Australia, and Director of Centre for Urban Innovation, a consulting practice collaborating with urban leaders to build sustainable communities and cities.
Adam is also an Ambassador with Portland-based think tank EcoDistricts, where he was previously Director of Innovation. Before entering the non-profit world, Adam spent almost a decade with global consulting firm Arup, and five years with GHD.
Adam was also lecturer and studio lead in social impact assessment and community engagement at the University of Queensland, and maintains strong research interests in collaborative governance processes for city-building.

The Conference Committee would like to thank the 2015 keynotes speakers

  • The Hon. Ms Jacklyn (Jackie) Trad MP- Deputy Premier, Minister for Transport, Minister for Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning and Minister for Trade
  • Adj. Prof Penelope Coombes – The People for Places and Spaces, NSW
  • Mr Jeffrey Craft – Principal, SWA Group, China
  • Dr Simon Eassom – Global Offering Manager, IBM Smarter Cities
  • Professor Paul James – Director, Institute for Culture and Society, University of Western Sydney
  • Mr Gavin Kain – Principal, Woods Bagot
  • Professor Ken Maher – President, ASBEC (Australian Sustainable Built Environment Council)
  • Professor Peter Newman – Professor of Sustainability, Curtin University
  • Professor Edward Ng – Professor of Architecture, Chinese University of Hong Kong



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