Global Speakers


Jillian Edwards

Founder and Principal

Beyond Business as Usual

Topic: The New Era OF Climate & Disaster Risk Information Capabilities

  • Ex Director, Capability and Member Services, AFAC is the National Council and peak industry body for emergency management agencies across Australia and New Zealand. She is the architect of the AFAC Emergency Management Professionalisation Scheme and led its introduction to the industry.
  • Ex Director, National Resilience Taskforce .Department of Home Affairs – Taskforce development of National Disaster Risk Reduction Framework – a foundation for action to reduce the impacts of climate and disaster risks in Australia.
  • Beyond Business as Usual is a collaboration initiative led by Jillian Edwards. Their primary purpose is to work with and connect leaders from business, public, private, NGO and community sectors to tackle the challenge of dealing with climate change and disaster risks and go beyond business as usual.

Shannon Crofton

Vice President

NSW SES Volunteers Association

Topic: Utilization Of Helicopters For Flood Rescue And Reconnaissance

Leading Firefighter, Fire and Rescue NSW

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Shannon Crofton is a firefighter, director and volunteer rescuer in NSW Australia.

He has been a member of the NSW State Emergency Service for 31 years and has driven change locally, nationally and internationally within the flood rescue space.

Shannon is also a firefighter with Fire and Rescue NSW. For over 23 years he has responded to fires, emergencies, hazardous materials incidents, rescues and natural disasters.

He is a member of the Australian Urban Search and Rescue Team and has deployed internationally to Vanuatu, Indonesia and New Zealand as well as numerous national and local deployments.

As a subject matter expert in the field of flood and swiftwater rescue, he has spoken at conferences throughout Australia as well as many states of the US, Canada, Europe and the United Kingdom. He has conducted tours of the Middle East to conduct reviews and training in rescue and incident management and preparedness.

Shannon has also received the Commendation for Bravery from the Royal Humane Society for the rescue of four drowning youths, and the SES Commendation for Courage for the aviation rescue of two sailors 200 nautical miles out to sea in a severe weather event

Shannon was awarded the Commonwealth’s Humanitarian Medal for his work in the rescue and recovery of persons in New Zealand after the Christchurch earthquake.

Shannon is the only non American recipient of the Outstanding Achievement Medal for Flood and Swiftwater Rescue. This award is from the United States and he is the only ever non American to ever receive this award in its 26 year history.

He was recognized in 2015 as the first ever recipient of the Rotary Emergency Services Officer of the Year Award.

With Fire and Rescue NSW, he has served in the Counter Terrorism and Aviation Unit. His role as Aviation Officer on board Helicopter FireAir1 led to him becoming a Churchill Fellow in 2011. His global study of the use of helicopters for flood rescue is used worldwide. This winter he will again be presenting and training this topic in the United States.

Shannon serves as Director and Vice President of the NSW SES Volunteers Association. A charity of over 20 years dedicated to supporting the 10,000 volunteers of the NSW SES. Here he has implemented financial and governance change as well as programs to ensure mental health and welfare of volunteers injured in the line of duty.

Post his award of the US Medal, Shannon accepted an invite to serve as a Director of the United States charity, the Higgins and Langley Memorial Fund.


John Gawne

Advisory Board Member Powerline Bushfire Satety Program

Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning

Topic: Understanding The Australian Disaster Preparedness Earthquakes With AI And Big Data Framework In Practice

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Advisory Board Member to govern the implementation of a large government sponsored program to reduce the risk of fires from powerlines.
Joining a government team conducting a report into a regulated industry to analyse performance, the adequacy of regulation, compliance and detail recommendations for improvement.

He is a Subject Matter Expert in the area of Emergency, Resilience, Crisis and Security Management.


Tristan Cole



Topic: Case Study Of Red Cross Boosts Disaster-Prone Communities With Blockchain ‘Cash’

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Cofounder of Sempo, a blockchain payments company focused on emerging markets. We’ve worked in 7 countries with top international NGOs delivering cash transfer programs and enabling financial inclusion. Sempo is on a mission to build open ecosystems that connect financially isolated communities with each other and the global economy

Sempo is backed by some of the best early-stage investors in Australia and US including SOSV, Blackbird Ventures, H2 Ventures, Startmate and dLab.


Jelenko Dragisic

Executive Officer

Greening Australia Training

Topic: Successfully Implementing Disaster Preparedness, Response And Resilience Plan

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Jelenko is a collaboration strategist, developing and implementing competitive partnerships between industries and universities as well as government and industry. He believes that collaboration is a form of “new competition” and the principal paradigm for technical and social innovation.

Jelenko is the author of The Collaboration Instinct book about strategic collaboration and write regularly about collaboration and disaster and business resilience. His latest e-book “When We Stopped Eating Bananas” is reflection on disaster resilience development over the past 10 years since the Cyclone Larry (2016) devastated parts of north Queensland.

As the founder ROADMENDER, the Global Resilience Collaborative and, he combines his long standing passion for collaboration with firm belief that cross industry collaboration will increasingly be a key element of sustainable enterprises economically and socially, as well as environmentally.

Previously, he held a range of management positions in organisations such as Australian Red Cross, Griffith University and Volunteering Queensland. In his role as CEO of Volunteering Queensland, he designed and implemented the largest collaborative program in Australia focusing on building disaster resilience. This award winning program included a collaborative effort by a range of NFPs, private sector companies, all levels of government, universities and schools, as well special interest groups.

Jelenko is a member of the Inclusive Brisbane Board, a body which provides advice to Brisbane City on a range of matters affecting its future. He is also a member of the advisory council of the City Security and Resilience Networks, Australia (CSARN).


Ryan Vanderhorst

Social Media and Content Specialist

Bureau of Meteorology

Topic: Translating Tweets Into Insights For Disaster Response

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A professional with over 13 years of progressive experience within social media, marketing and the online space. I’m the guy that a lot of Social Media “experts” dislike, while everyone is complaining that their engagement and reach are down, I manage to gain Social Media growth continuously (and organically) by being 10 steps ahead of the digital curve with a knack for understanding consumer habits and behaviours.

Expertise and skill in social media and digital strategy, advertising and marketing, e-commerce, client relations and needs assessment, relationship building and great customer service.

Thrive in both independent and collaborative work environments with outstanding people skills and the ability to build and keep business relationships built on respect.

Skills and experience in real time, large scale social media management.


Andrew Short

Assistant Commissioner

Queensland Fire and Emergency Services

Topic: Roundtable Discussion: Latest Innovative Technology For Disaster & Rescue Management

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Accountable QFES Executive for the Queensland State Emergency Services (SES).

The Assistant Commissioner for SES within QFES leads the strategy, policy and planning for Queensland SES service delivery, in association with Queensland local Government. As a member of the QFES Executive Leadership Team, this role also contributes to the strategic direction of the organisation as a whole to drive key organisational priorities. In conjunction with local Government, the role has responsibility and delegated accountability for all operational and financial aspects of SES, and manages staffing, resources, systems and processes in order to achieve effective and efficient service delivery which is in line with both QFES’ legislative requirements and the needs and expectations of the community.


Mark Cuthbert

Advisor, Lessons and Evaluation

Australian Maritime Safety Authority

Topic: Innovations In Cobots And Exoskeleton In Fighting Bushfires

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Joe Urli

President & Chairman

ACUO - Australia Certified UAV Operators (Invited)

Topic: Fireside chat : Are Firefighting Drones The Answer?

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Experienced aerospace professional appointed by the Deputy Prime Minister of Australia as a member of Government’s peak Aviation Industry Consultative Council, tackling high-level strategic and policy issues and a member of the CASA CEO Director’s Advisory Panel.

Joe has more than 30 years of experience in the aerospace industry, having held senior leadership and advisory roles with brand-name organisations like Airbus, Boeing, General Electric and broad exposure to civilian and military regulations having worked as an Airworthiness Inspector & Air Transport Safety Inspector for two Government Air Safety Regulators across separate continents.

Joe has high level stakeholder relationship skills, forged through diverse relationships such as customers, suppliers and internal stakeholders. This leadership experience also encompasses appointments as a senior manager to oversee restructuring of teams and appointments to create new teams.

Career highlights include;

2019 – Appointed as a member of the Airbus Star (Advisory) Program.

2019 – Obtaining ‘first-of-kind’ CASA approval for Airobotics BVLOS RPAS operations from a ROC.

2018 – Member of NASA AMES Research Centre AOSP industry workshop.

2017 – Appointed as Director of Flight Operations and Chief Pilot for Airobotics.

2016 – Appointed by CASA CEO as a member of Aviation Safety Director’s Advisory Panel.

2015 – Appointed by the Deputy Prime Minister of Australia as a member of the Australian Government’s peak Aviation Industry Consultative Council (AICC), tackling high-level strategic policy issues.

2014 – Appointed as non-Executive member of the Board of Directors for Paris-based RPAS Coordination Council of UVS International representing 3000 companies + 44 countries.

2010 – Appointed as an Air Transport Safety Inspector for CASA.

2009 – Elected as President of ACUO national association.

2008 – Appointed as FAA Accountable Manager for The Boeing Company MRO.


Richard Adams

Program Manager, Aviation and Intelligence

Team Rubicon Australia

Topic: International Case Study: Using Drones To Assess The Aftermath Of Indonesia’s Destructive Earthquake

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With a decade in the drone industry, Rich Adams is the Aviation and Intelligence Program Manager for Team Rubicon Australia (TRA). TRA trains and deploys volunteer teams made up of military and emergency services veterans in response to natural disasters in Australia and overseas. Realizing the potential that existed within TRA, Rich started the drone program in 2018, and now oversees a team of 26 aerial damage assessment experts. These volunteers utilize DroneDeploy to undertake mapping and analysis in the aftermath of disasters, which to date have included wildfires, flood, drought, and last year’s devastating earthquake and tsunami in Indonesia, where Rich lead a team that identified 2,223 destroyed homes. When he’s not volunteering with TRA, Rich is the Chief Remote Pilot for Parks Victoria, and previously spent five years as an officer with the British Army’s UAS program, which included over 1000 hours of command and control of UAS platforms during combat missions over Helmand Province, Afghanistan.


Duncan McLuckie

Principal Flood Specialist

NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment

Topic: How Drones Are Used To Deliver Critical Lifesaving Flotation Devices During Flood And Hurricanes

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NFRAG , National Flood Risk Advisory Group is an advisory group to the Australian New Zealand Emergency Management Committee. It has representatives of all States and Territories, the Commonwealth, local government and key industry groups.

It works to strengthen Australia’s resilience to flooding by providing a national focus and strategic leadership in improving flood risk management practice and outcomes for Australian communities.

Since 2005 Duncan has led a range of NFRAG initiatives,: best practice in flood risk management in Australia and a range of associated technical guidelines and national technical specifications for flood. He has also authored and co-authored a series of papers and presentations on best practice in flood risk management.


Pradeep Khanna

Executive Director, Asia Pacific

VR AR Association

Topic: How Virtual Reality Helps Train Fire Fighters In Handling Emergency Responses During Searing Bushfires

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Pradeep Khanna is Executive Director Asia Pacific, Sydney Chapter President & Global Co- Chair Education for the global Virtual Reality Augmented Reality Association. Pradeep is also founding member of IEEE ICICLE X-Reality for Learning and Performance Augmentation SIG & CEO of Global Mindset.

He has 30+ years of executive experience and has been a leader for IBM Australia/NZ leveraging India, China, Philippines, Vietnam, Egypt, Romania, Brazil & Argentina.

He is Adjunct Professor in Australia, Singapore & India. Pradeep is regular speaker at international conferences including Vancouver, Sydney, Melbourne, Manila, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Beijing, Shanghai, New Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Auckland, Seoul, San Francisco, Perth+++. He is an acknowledged Leader in Emerging Technologies especially Virtual. Augmented and Mixed Reality.

Pradeep is an Adjunct Professor at number of institutions as well is on Advisory Boards of number of companies. He has MBA from AGSM (UNSW), MSc (Computer Science) from UTS & B Tech from IIT Delhi.


Paul Gardner-Stephen

Founder and CTO, Serval Project, Senior Lecturer

Flinders University

Topic: Championing Innovation With Serval Mesh – An Emergency Communication Network

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Dr. Paul Gardner-Stephen views himself as the digital version of a blacksmith, crafting creative and skilled solutions to a wide range of problems. His research interests include, networking, scalable computing, mobile devices, mobile communication infrastructures, disaster and attack resilient technology, creating understandable computers and the application of all these to make the world a better place.

Undertaking research in computer science and related fields, with a specific focus on the Serval Project, a humanitarian endeavor to make mobile telecommunications available to all people, regardless of income, location or disaster by allowing off-the-shelf cell phones to communicate directly without needing cell towers.

Contributing to the delivery of networking and communications topics within the School of Computer Science, Engineering & Mathematics.


Ratindra Khatri

Crisis, Emergency and Disaster Management Specialist

The Strategic Centre for Disaster Risk Reduction Nepal (SCDRR-Nepal)

Topic: Using 3D Printing To Deliver Critical Spare Parts And Medical Equipments During Disaster Relief

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A full-time humanitarian professional working in Emergency Preparedness & Response activities and Disaster Risk Reduction. Faculty Member of Tribhuvan University in Crisis Management programme. A Retired Nepal Army Colonel. While serving in army, assigned as staff, instructional, command and security related positions at different level. Gained extensive operational and administrative experiences at different levels during peace time and in crisis situations.

Served in three different UN peace operations.

– United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL-1989/90) as a Multinational Platoon Commander of Force Mobile Reserve.
– United Nations Protection Force in Former Yugoslavia (UNPROFOR -1994/95) as a Military Observer.
– United Nations Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH 2009/10) as a Chief Military Personnel Officer (CMPO) of Mission Force HQ and National Contingent Commander of Nepalese Contingent.

Actively involved in relief operations during Earthquake of 1988 in Nepal.
Involved in relief operation in flood and landslides disasters in different occasions.

Survivor and responder of devastating Haiti Earthquake of January 12, 2010. Actively involved in Search, Rescue, Relief and Recovery Operations throughout 2010.

In post-retirement period from Nepal Army since July 2011 to June 2014 actively involved in Development Sectors and Academic Field (Emergency Preparedness, Crisis Respond and Leadership, Disaster Risk Reduction and Security Management). Founder member of and Executive Director of the Strategic Centre for Disaster Risk Reduction-Nepal.

Logistics Officer (Emergency Preparedness Coordination) at UN World Food Porgramme, Country Office, Kathmandu.

Nepal Earthquake 2015 Response Operation
– Civil Military Coordination
– Government Liaison
– Logistics Cluster Coordination


Tony Nolan OAM

Community Fire Fighter and Data Scientist of The Minder Project

NSW Fire and Rescue

Topic: City Of Los Angeles Bushfire Case Study: How To Predict Bushfire Patterns And Risks Using Connected Sensors And Big Data

His main roles within the ATO, are about Data Science and Intelligence gathering and analysis. His activities centered about the research and development and innovation of intelligence tools, analytical models, diverse datasets from multiple sources, and how to apply the results to real world problems and applications. At times, He has been involved in the Intelligence Gathering and Target Identification, and other compliance issues. At times, He has managed Intelligence Units as well as worked on some special law enforcement projects. He has also been involved in training co-workers, mentoring graduates, and proving special presentations, and Charing and facilitating staff gatherings.

Some of his most recent projects were.

  • The primary function of this role was to develop new toolsets, methodologies, and procedures for redeveloping new risk filters for the new PG&I population. To develop visualizations, and dynamic documents, for non-analytics staff to explore data.
  • The development of a mirroring technique to be applied for Common Reporting standard to estimate future reporting trends and estimates. I am also analysing bank data, to search for false information patterns. I also contributed the R code for the first risk filter to be turned into a features library product in the pilot test.
  • The provision of a target address list of a specific subpopulation, using open source datasets, text mining, and filters.
  • Create new data strategies, oversea implication of strategies and monitor effectiveness of, identifying target populations, incorporating open source and propriety data to identify persons and companies of interest, concerning foreign investment.
  • Developing new profiling techniques in the combination of multiple data sources for cohort analysis of demographic and fiscal behavior, in Australia’s top companies.

Kenneth Murphy

Project Director

Fire & Rescue NSW

Topic: Understanding The Australian Disaster Preparedness Framework In Practice

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Experienced emergency services Executive with a broad understanding of the emergency management sector. This includes urban and rural fire management, incident management, hazardous materials response, recovery operations, fire engineering and training and development.
Broad practical experience with a focus on operational excellence through developing teams and policies that focus on organisational capability and capacity to effectively respond to community needs in emergency management and incident response.
Strategic focus on the development of sustainable partnerships with key stakeholders within the industry and through functional agencies to ensure that the full potential of is realised to ensure efficient and effective service delivery.


Philip Lindsay

Chief Superintendent Operational Communications

Fire & Rescue NSW

Topic: Roundtable Discussion: Latest Innovative Technology For Disaster & Rescue Management

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Before being attached permanently to Sydney’s South West as a Duty Commander. In 2008 Phil was seconded into the State Training College for 12 months as a facilitator, developing and delivering training programs for Station Officers and Inspectors.

Phil continued to work as a Duty Commander and in 2010 returned to the State Training College as the Deputy Manager of the Professional Development Unit training Officers on their professional development courses. In 2011 Phil was promoted to the rank of Superintendent and worked as the Manager of Training Coordination and Resources for 12 months before transferring to the position of Manager Technical Training at the College.

From December 2012 to February 2016 Phil worked as the Zone Commander Metropolitan South West. From February 2016 to December 2016 Phil was the Staff Officer to the Deputy Commissioner Field Operations. In January 2017 Phil was promoted to Chief Superintendent and is currently in charge of Operational Communications.

Phil has completed a Graduate Certificate in Applied Management (AIPM), Graduate Certificate in Social Sciences (Emergency Management) (UWS), and Certificate IV Training and Assessment (MRWED).

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Anthony Frangi


Pop Up Radio Australia

Topic: Roundtable Discussion: Latest Innovative Technology For Disaster & Rescue Management

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More than 30 years’ experience in media management, broadcast media, journalism education, training and consultancy. Founder of Pop Up Radio Australia. General Manager for the Fairfax Radio Network in Queensland from 2012 to 2015. Previous roles include Content Director (Public & Commercial Media), broadcaster & trainer for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Anthony continues his work at the ABC in engagement and events and was responsible for bringing Day of Sundaes 2018 (a fundraising initiative following the strawberry needle scare in Australia) to life in Brisbane’s King George Square.


Dr. Craig Challen

Cave Diver

2019 Australian of the Year

Topic: How Thai Cave Rescue Team Uses Advanced Mapping And Lidar Technology To Save Victims Trapped In Cave

Craig, along with anesthetist Dr Richard Harris, were recognised as joint 2019 Australians of the Year for their heroic efforts to save 12 boys and their soccer coach from flooded caves in Thailand last year.

From Western Australia, Craig is a technical diver and cave explorer, and previously worked as a veterinarian. He has set depth records in diving, including diving to 194m in the Pearse Resurgence, New Zealand in 2011, and in 2009, he was awarded Technical Diver of the Year at the Australian technical diving conference, Oztek.

Both Craig and Richard were awarded the Star of Courage for unwavering and selfless bravery following the successful rescue of the trapped soccer team.


Chris Quin

Project Director

Resilient Projects

Topic: Learning Lessons From Cyclone Debbie: How Crowdsourcing Intelligence Helps To Assess Damage Caused By Cyclone Debbie In Real Time

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Chris Quin is the Director of Resilient Projects.

Chris holds a Master’s degree in Disaster Preparedness and Reconstruction and is a Certified Practicing Project Director (CPPD) with the Australian Institute of Project Management (AIPM).

Chris has a keen interest in resilient infrastructure, and disaster preparedness and mitigation projects. He has extensive experience in successful projects for organisations such as the NSW Office of Emergency Services, Energy Queensland, and Queensland Fire & Emergency Services.

Chris has also worked in the response, recovery, and reconstruction effort to major natural disasters such as Cyclone Yasi, Cyclone Marcia, and Cyclone Debbie, and is an active member of the Queensland State Emergency Service.


Mark Tregellas

Founder & Project Manager

Crisis Cleanup Australia

Topic: Identifying Evacuation Patterns Using Social Media Analytics

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Mark recently retired from the position of Leading Senior Constable of police with the Victoria police force. Mark’s 31 year police career was in a community-policing role in remote rural locations. In addition to operational police duties he was involved in search and rescue, operational survival training and disaster preparedness.

Mark started Mallacoota Recovers in 2011. Mallacoota Recovers was Australia’s first community led disaster recovery platform that enabled; online volunteer sign-up, skills and equipment reporting, liability waivers, a smooth assignment process, donation Item data basing, local resource mapping, ‘sign up, don’t show up’ messaging and efficient matching, local news reporting, twitter scraping, community messaging center and community commenting.

In early 2013 Mark launched Crisis Cleanup Australia. It is Australia’s first Open Source, Inter-Organisation Disaster Recovery Collaboration and Communication Solution that has been successfully used in over 140 major recent disasters.

Mark has previous experience in the Australian military where he was a member of one of Australia’s elite military units. He is also a radio amateur with the call sign VK3FEMC.

Mark was the unit controller for the Mallacoota SES Unit from 2015 to 2016. He started the first podcast on trekking in Nepal in 2019.

He is the current president of the Mallacoota Sub-Branch of the Returned & Services League of Australia and is also on the National Executives of the Australian Bravery Association, and the Australian Commando Association, where he is developing methods of re-connecting young veteran’s suffering PTSD.

In 2019 he was nominated as a Global Goodwill Ambassador in the Australia/Oceania 1 region.


Ludovic Grosjean

Principal Consultant

OceanX Group

Topic: Saving Flood Victims With Remote-Controlled Rescue Boat Emily 

Chartered Engineer with 13 years of Ocean experience, Ludovic is Principal Consultant at OceanX Group, an Engineering Consultancy specializing in Environmental Monitoring solutions.

With a large portfolio of Ocean Projects (including ROVs, AUVs, USVs, Gliders, Drones, underwater instrumentation & sensors), Ludovic has specialized in integrating technologies and Unmanned Systems applied to environmental monitoring.

Cumulating numerous International Awards, Ludovic has been named one of Australia’s “most innovative Engineers” by Engineers Australia. He won the “Young Innovator Award” at Rotary day at the United Nations. 

As an International Professional Speaker and heavy supporter of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, Ludovic has presented his Ocean Conservation strategies at the United Nations in front of a thousand UN and Rotary Officials.

Holding a leading role in the community, Ludovic is involved with many groups advancing Engineering and Environment protection including:

  • Board Member at the Australian Association for Unmanned Systems (AAUS).
  • Corresponding Member on the National Committee for Mechatronics (NCMech) with Engineers Australia (EA)
  • Chair of the Institute of Engineering and Technology Young Professionals Section (IET- YPS) in Victoria. Victorian representative for Australian and New-Zealand Young Professional Forum.
  • Volunteer at the Project Management Institute – Melbourne Chapter (PMI).
  • Board Member of Environmental Sustainability Rotarian Action Group (ESRAG).

Ludovic holds a formal qualification in Electronics (Bachelors), in Mechatronics Engineering (Masters in Robotics) and Environmental Monitoring (Masters in Physics). In 2018, he became a Chartered Engineer and integrated the National Engineering Register (NER) for his expertise in Information, Telecommunications, and Electronics Engineering as well as Leadership and Management.

As a leader and community educator, he strives for projects to reduce water pollution on a global scale and make a long-term difference for humanity. His career focus is to build collaboration between organizations in order to advance Engineering and preserve the environment with the ultimate goal of Saving our Oceans & avoid Environmental Disasters.