Global Speakers


Nuatali Nelmes


Lord Mayor of Newcastle

Councillor Nuatali Nelmes was returned for a second consecutive term as the Lord Mayor of Newcastle following a general election held on 9 September 2017.

Councillor Nelmes previously served as Councillor on Newcastle City Council for 6 years from 2008, before being elected Lord Mayor of Newcastle in 2014.

Nuatali holds a Bachelor of Business degree with a double major in industrial relations/human resource management and marketing from the University of Newcastle, and is Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. She worked in small business and recruitment before being elected to The City of Newcastle Council in 2008.

Throughout her time on Council, Nuatali has championed the revitalisation of Newcastle’s coastline; and worked to improve vital Council services such as Blackbutt Reserve, pools and libraries, to provide all Novocastrians with equitable access to high-quality public facilities.

Nuatali has represented Labor as a Councillor on committees overseeing recreation, urban planning and design, assets, and catchment management; and is currently a member of Council’s Asset Advisory Board and Chair of Council’s Coastal Revitalisation Working Party; and sits on the Boards of the Hunter Westpac Rescue Helicopter and the Newcastle Airport Partnership.

Councillor Nelmes is only the second female Lord Mayor of Newcastle after popular 1970s-era mayor Joy Cummings, and she is the youngest Lord Mayor of Newcastle. Nuatali was raised and educated in Newcastle, is married with three children and has enjoyed a representative sporting career in basketball.


Sophia Maalsen

Ian Fell Post-doctoral Research Fellow

University of Sydney

Sophia Maalsen is the Ian Fell Post-doctoral Research Fellow at the University of Sydney, where she is researching the role of technology in ‘smart homes’ as a locus to address future environmental and social challenges.

Prior to joining the University of Sydney, Sophia was a postdoctoral researcher on the EU funded Programmable City Project where she investigated the digital transformation of cities and urban governance. In particular, she worked on the development of the Dublin Dashboard, a city metrics indicator designed to provide Dublin City Council and the residents of Dublin with real-time and relevant data on the City’s performance.

Sophia has also worked in the Enabling Built Environments Program at the University of New South Wales, specifically on a project that investigated how and why people with a disability were undertaking DIY home modifications. Her particular expertise is in understanding the intersection of the material, digital and the human and how this effects lived experience.


Greg Drumm

General Manager, Corporate Services

Latrobe City Council

Greg is currently General Manager, Corporate Services at Latrobe City Council. In this role, he is responsible for the head office functions including Performance and Innovation as well as Technology and Information Services. Prior to joining Latrobe, Greg held executive roles at ANZ Bank and WEX Australia, the local subsidiary of a US corporate payment solutions company. As Head of Alliances and Emerging Payments at ANZ Bank, Greg’s business received awards for innovation excellence and the 2010 Australian Banking and Finance Award for Innovative Card and Payment Product of the Year.  In his last year as Managing Director of WEX Australia, the business was recognised as one of Australia’s top 50 most innovative companies in the annual BRW/AFR awards.


Andrew Giles MP

Member of Scullin

Parliament of Australia

Andrew was elected to the Australian Parliament as Member for Scullin on 7 September 2013. He holds the seat for the Australian Labor Party with a margin of 14.3%.

The electorate of Scullin is located in the northern suburbs of Melbourne. Major local industries include manufacturing, food processing, health and education. The Scullin electorate is culturally and linguistically diverse. It contains areas of major urban growth as well as suburbs which form part of Melbourne’s protected ‘green wedge’.

Andrew has served as Shadow Assistant Minister for Schools since 2016. In this role he has focussed on Labor’s policies for students with disability, rural and regional schools and vocational education in high school.

Andrew serves on a number of parliamentary committees: Electoral Matters (of which he is the Deputy Chair); Privileges; and Infrastructure, Transport and Cities.

He is co-chair of Parliamentary friends of Amnesty International, Parliamentary friends of Primary Principals and Parliamentary friends of Better Cities, and the deputy chair of the Parliament’s Northern Europe group of its IPU members.

Within the Parliamentary Labor Party, Andrew is a member of the Education, Research, Science and the Arts committee, and a member of the Economics Committee: reflecting his keen interest in urban development, he was previously the chair of Labor’s Cities committee.

In addition to education, Andrew’s policy interests include cities, the future of work, climate change, immigration and social policy. He has contributed to public debate, as well as policy formulation within the ALP on these issues and on improving the health of our democracy



Janie Finlay


Launceston City Council

Alderman Janie Finlay was first elected in 2000 and served as Mayor from 2002 to 2005 after being elected to the role at just 27 years of age. The youngest female mayor in Australian history, Alderman Finlay resigned from the Council in 2007 to pursue other interests and went on to serve as a Director of NAI Harcourts, Director of the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, and Chairman of the Launceston Tornadoes. Alderman Finlay has also operated two award-winning small hospitality businesses and in 2015 partnered with a global health and wellness company.

Alderman Finlay was re-elected to the Council in 2014, bringing her experience in the not-for-profit and business sectors back to the City of Launceston. Alderman Finlay has a strong focus on family, maintaining Launceston’s unique character, a passion for good governance. Alderman Finlay is committed to working with leading organisations and community members to see Launceston become one of the great regional cities of the world.


Nick Cleary

Founder & Chairman


Nick Cleary’s background is in a range of fields including agri-business, financial services and real estate. Nick founded CLARA and subsidiary Infrastructure Corporation Australia (2011) to seek out new infrastructure opportunities to be supported by the private sector including High Speed Rail, Inland City Development, a second Sydney Airport and Land-Port facilities.

Nick has a passion for regional communities and the potential that resides within. He continues to seek ways to play an active role in contributing to the improvement of people’s lives across the East Coast of Australia. Nick served as Vice Chairman of the NSW Nationals over 2013-2016.

In 2015, Nick founded Consolidated Land and Rail Australia (CLARA) to deliver a program to change Australia. CLARA is an Australian private group which seeks to undertake a re-balancing of our settlement and deliver new ways of imagining, planning and building cities, transport and infrastructure. This is a population strategy for our nation.

CLARA is proposing to build eight new regional, compact, sustainable, SMART cities and connect them by the world’s most advanced high speed rail between Sydney, Canberra and Melbourne.


Sam Aziz


City of Casey

After 17 years of continuous service at senior levels, Cr Sam Aziz  retired from the Commonwealth Government in December 2013 to pursue a number of private business interests.

Throughout his service at the federal level, Cr Aziz also served in a number of state and local government positions.

In August 2000, Cr Aziz was appointed as a Commissioner for Multicultural Affairs by the Victorian Government, and served in that role for five years from 2000 to 2005.

In September 2005, Cr Aziz was appointed by the Minister for Police and Emergency Services as a Director on the board of the Victorian Metropolitan Fire and Emergency Services Organisation.

He was elected Mayor of the City of Casey in 2011-2012, and again in 2015-2016.

In addition to his formal university qualifications, Cr Aziz is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. He also holds an Advanced Diploma in Business and an Advanced Diploma in Government from the University of Canberra.


Lior Meyer

Deputy CEO

Tel Aviv City

Lior Meyer directs the Global Communication activities at Tel Aviv Global & Tourism, a unit of the Tel Aviv-Yafo Municipality aimed at positioning Tel Aviv as one of the world’s 20 leading global cities. As part of his role he manages the strategic brand management and partnerships of Tel Aviv around the world, in the fields of economic development, tourism and creative industries. He holds a BA in Political Science and International Relations from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and an MA in Political Marketing from the IDC Herzliya.

As part of his role, he is in chrage of creating partnerships with city-marketing directors around the world, including: Amsterdam, Berlin, New York, London, Stockholm, Paris, Barcelona and more. Lior also representing the city of Tel Aviv as a speaker at conferences, festivals and events throughout the world.


Rachel Ollivier

Group Manager, Property, Environment and Sustainability

Glen Eira City Council

Rachel is Group Manager, Property, Environment and Sustainability at Glen Eira City Council, which means she gets to explore how sustainability and emerging technologies can be integrated into city infrastructure, buildings, lighting and waste management and how to put this practice with the complexity and constraints of the real world.


James Williams

Policy Manager

National Transport Commission

James Williams is the Policy Manager at the National Transport Commission (NTC) in Australia.

James manages a range of projects at the NTC, including cooperative intelligent transport systems (C-ITS) policy and the development a safety assurance system for automated vehicles.

James’ background is in law reform and policy development, and he has worked closely with ITS, enforcement and safety professionals in a number of areas, such as chain of responsibility, electronic work diaries and using intelligent transport systems to improve transport safety.


Paul Kubat

Associate Director for Safe & Smart Cities



Sean Twomey

ANZ Consulting Manager

A2K Technologies

Sean has 20 years’ experience with infrastructure and GIS projects.

As a civil engineer, he worked on highways and bridges onsite, before spending 4 years in a design office setting up systems for CAD and design, particularly in hydroworks for drainage/sewer rehabilitation and data capture.

Sean has been heavily involved as a subject matter expert for Autodesk’s infrastructure development team.


Jane Fitzgerald

NSW Executive Director

Property Council of Australia

Jane Fitzgerald is Executive Director of the New South Wales Division of the Property Council of Australia, leading the advocacy agenda at a time of enormous investment and change in the sector.

Prior to her appointment, Jane was a senior executive with the Commonwealth Attorney-General’s Department and, amongst other roles, was the Chief Executive Officer of the Royal Commission into Trade Union Governance and Corruption. Previously, Jane was the Deputy Director-General of the NSW Ministry for Police and chief of staff to two ministers in the NSW Government.

Jane has a law degree and an arts degree majoring in politics from the University of NSW. She is also a moderator with the Cranlana Programme, an independent organisation with a broad objective to cultivate wisdom in leadership.


Garry Bowditch

Executive Director - Better Infrastructure Initiative

The University of Sydney - John Grill Centre for Project Leadership

Garry is an active contributor to the debate on infrastructure governance and investment in Australia and globally. He is uniquely placed to challenge and shape the current and future agenda for cities, regional development and the role of government and the private sector in the provision of infrastructure services. Garry is well known for thought provoking presentations, speeches and reports on the future of infrastructure that have been shaped from his unique balance of commercial and government experience spanning Australia, Asia and the OECD.


Guenter Hauber-Davidson

Managing Director


Guenter Hauber-Davidson, Managing Director of WaterGroup, is one of Australia’s leading water conservation practitioners.

Guenter has been instrumental in developing cutting-edge water conservation designs, tools and models. He is also at the forefront of innovative IoT based smart water metering , rainwater harvesting solutions, water efficiency management, leak monitoring and detection services.

To date, he has been involved in the development and delivery of well over 200 water savings projects. Guenter is amongst a handful of water conservation experts who can claim extensive involvement in the implementation of large-scale integrated water conservation schemes. He holds an MSc in Environmental Engineering and has spent his entire career working in the water and wastewater treatment field.


Dr. Subhash Challa

Founder, CEO & CTO

SenSen Networks

Dr. Subhash Challa is the Founder, CEO and CTO of SenSen Networks, a Melbourne based company focusing on Video-IoT data driven solutions for Smart Cities. With deep and passionate interest in taking ideas to usable products, he has  spent over a decade of his career in R&D & product development. During this time, SenSen won a number of innovation awards including iAwards Victoria for SenFORCE and SenSIGN products in 2014 and 2017 respectively, the Parking Australia innovation award in 2015 and the Security Industry innovation award in 2014.

Prior to taking up the full time role at SenSen Networks in January 2012, he was a Senior Principal Scientist at National ICT Australia, University of Melbourne. He started his professional career as a Research Fellow at the University of Melbourne in 1998, where he led a number of tracking and data fusion projects.

Dr. Subhash Challa was the Professor of Computer Systems Engineering at the University of Technology Sydney from 2004-2007. He has mentored several Doctoral students to completion in the areas of Bayesian Estimation Theory, Object tracking, Sensor Networks, Computer Vision, License Plate Recognition, Facial Recognition and Data Fusion. Dr. Subhash Challa also co-authored over 150 papers and the reference text, “Fundamentals of Object tracking”, that unifies disparate advances in estimation theory and object tracking into a recursive Bayesian framework and was published by Cambridge University Press, July 2011.



Alan Mihalic

Cyber Security Advisor (Smart Buildings & Critical Infrastructure)

Norman Disney & Young

Alan is a Senior Cyber Security Advisor at Norman Disney & Young, cyber writer and keynote speaker, with demonstrated expertise and success in security architecture, risk management, executive cyber advisory, and cyber smart building frameworks that support strategic enterprise and public sector initiatives.

A key advocate and thought leader for the development and deployment of Cyber Security Frameworks for Smart Cities, Smart Buildings and Critical Infrastructure, Alan also chairs the working group “Cyber Smart Buildings” at the Internet of Things Security Foundation (IOTSF), a not for profit whose mission is to help secure the Internet of Things, in order to aid its adoption and maximise its benefits. The IoTSF group is tasked with developing a global, publicly available IoT Cybersecurity Framework for Smart Buildings and Critical Infrastructure.

Alan has a background in defining strategic IT security architectural roadmaps and solutions for public and private sector enterprises. He is considered an expert in design, development, and implementation of security controls across complex multi-functional and multi-platform technologies.


Robert Sharon

Chief Innovation Officer

Blue IoT

Bob Sharon is a passionate “Disruptor” with over 30 years of commercial experience in the I.T., data centre, smart buildings and the IoT space. He is a recognized industry advisor and expert in energy and infrastructure. He is committed to innovation in the delivery of smart buildings and facilities leveraging new financial models, technologies, the cloud and the IoT. He is the Chief Innovation Officer for Blue IoT and iHome Energy.

Bob is now a member of the Executive Committee of the IoTAA where he hopes to make a worthwhile contribution to the industry.

Bob has been privileged to have conducted the world’s first NABERS (National Built Environment Rating System) energy for Data Centre Infrastructure rating back in 2013 which was for Fujitsu. Then in early 2016, he was privileged to have rated the first NABERS 4.5 star data centre, Australia’s most energy efficient data centre at the time, and since added two more. NABERS ratings are not a design rating, but rather an operational efficiency rating based on real results over a 12 month period.

Apart from the University of Life, Bob has completed his Master of Management – International Business at Monash University.


Dr Jack Barton

Urban Consultant

Jack Barton Digital Design

Dr Jack Barton is an Urban Consultant operating Jack Barton Digital Design.

Jack is focused on developing urban decision support systems. In his previous role as Outreach Manager with Australian Urban Research Infrastructure Network, he has led AURIN’s outreach program, collaborating closely with research, industry and government stakeholders across the country.

Jack is trained as an architect and progressively moved into the areas of urban design and planning support systems. In his PhD he developed a Spatial Decision Support System for the Management of Public Housing, assisting in the sustainable development of built environments and, more importantly, the communities that live there. He has managed his own consultancy for over a decade specialising in 3D geospatial mapping, community and animation projects – his clients have included Australian Urban Research Infrastructure Network (AURIN), Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute (AHURI), City Futures Research Centre, City of Sydney, National Parks and Wildlife Service, NSW Department of Housing, ShelterNSW, The Pan-Asian Olympics, URBIS, Allen Jack Cottier and SGS Economics and Planning.


Craig Sheridan

Managing Director

Sheridan Consulting Group

Craig Sheridan APM is the founder of Sheridan Consulting Group, a risk and security management firm that helps organisations seeking review and direction on their security and risk position. Sheridan Consulting Group guides and supports businesses to build a strong and resilient security culture within their organisation.

Craig has consulted to major organisations in the public and private sector in regards to Risk Management, Threat Management, Emergency Management, Crowd Management, Threat Environment and Counter Terrorism training.

Before devoting his work full time to Sheridan Consulting Group, Craig served as a Commissioned Officer NSW Police Force, as Commander, State Planning Unit, Major Events and Incidents Group, a career spanning 30 years. Craig was awarded the prestigious Australian Police Medal in the Queen’s birthday honours list for distinguished service by a member of an Australian Police Force.


Chris Cubbage

Executive Editor

Asia Pacific Security Magazine, Australian Security Magazine

Chris Cubbage is a widely published security professional, including co-author of Corporate Security in the Asia Pacific Region, CRC Press and online documentary, 11yrs After 9/11.

As an industry commentator, Chris is Executive Editor of the Asia Pacific Security Magazine, Australian Security Magazine and other technology channels. He is a contracted security advisor to government agencies, a former homicide detective and a federal commission investigator.


Dr. Hafiz Yasar Lateef


Curtin University

Dr. Hafiz Yasar Lateef, founder of SMART City Services, has several years of experience in Smart City Planning and Internet of Things (IoT).

He is a Member of IEEE Communications Society and frequently features as a keynote speaker at various international conferences and workshops. His expertise encompass Internet of Things, Low Power Wide Area Network (LPWAN), Machine-to-Machine (M2M) communication, 5G, LTE radio network planning and optimization, Small cells & DAS planning & Optimization, Self-Organizing Networks (SON) and Green cellular networks. Dr. Hafiz Yasar Lateef’s Biography has been featured on Bristol Who’s Who famous personalities registry for his excellent research work in the field of Telecommunication. His work on the areas of MIMO techniques for wireless networks, Green Cellular Networks and Self-Organising cellular networks have already found their way into telecommunication standards. He has authored and co-authored numerous international journals and conference papers in the field of IoT, M2M and LTE/LTE-Advanced Wireless Networks.

Dr. Yasar holds a Doctorate degree in the field of Telecommunications from University of Leeds, UK. He has participated in various international projects on future wireless networks in collaboration with ZTE Corporation, Texas A&M, Politecnico Di Torino Italy, King’s College London, CTTC Spain and CCSR University of Surrey. In the past, he held various roles at ZTE Corporation, University of Leeds, UK, University of Bedfordshire, UK, Qatar University, Texas A&M and Curtin University, Perth Australia.


Martin Locke

Adjunct Professor

University of Sydney

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Dr Boyd Murray

Director, Principal Consultant

Murray Wireless

Throughout his career, Dr Boyd Murray, has worked almost entirely on research and design of wireless systems including aircraft MLS (Microwave Landing Systems) for Interscan International, cellular mobile telephone networks for Optus, microwave point-to-point radio equipment for AWA-Plessey, and MIMO OFDM Wireless LANs for CSIRO. Dr Murray is now the founder & principal consultant of Murray Wireless, working in consulting, design, implementation & deployment in the IoT & Wireless industries.