Gerry Gannon

One of Ireland’s finest exports, Gerry Gannon has been a journalist, broadcaster, MC and media trainer in Australia for the last 30 years and is now one of the best known speakers and facilitators in Australia.  Gerry served on the council, and as President, of the Royal Flying Doctor Service and on the board of the Tourism Council of WA and is committed to community and non-profit organisations including as a board member of Access 31 Television, Kids Help Line and is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.  A specialist conference MC, facilitator and media expert, Gerry is renowned for his wit, passion, easy-going nature and commitment to those he works with.

KEYNOTE Deidre Willmott

Deidre Willmott was appointed to the Australia Post board in June 2017 and brings organisational transformation, government relations, public policy and business expertise to this position. An experienced Chief Executive Officer with a background in the management consulting industry, she has expertise in crisis management, corporate social responsibility and government relations. Ms Willmott was CEO of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Western Australia and is a former lawyer having held senior roles with Fortescue Metals Group Ltd and was Chief of Staff to the Premier of Western Australia.  Ms Willmott is also a director of Kimberley Foundation of Australia, Chair of St Hilda’s Anglican School for Girls and the Perth USAsia Centre. Ms Willmott graduated from University of Melbourne.

George Bauk
Managing Director/CEO
Northern Minerals

George is an experienced executive, with 25 years’ experience in the resources industry. Prior to Northern Minerals, Mr Balk held global operational and corporate roles with WMC Resources, Arafura Resources and Western Metals. As Managing Director of Northern Minerals since 2010, he has led its rapid development from a greenfields heavy rare earth explorer to now being poised to become the next global producer of high value dysprosium outside of China. Mr Galk is a passionate member of the WA resources industry holding a number of senior governing positions with the Chamber of Minerals and Energyand is non-Executive Chairman of Lithium Australia NL. Mr Balk holds a Bachelor of Business from Edith Cowan University and a MBA from the University of New England.

Grant Cucel
Deputy Mayor
City of Karratha

Mr Cucel has an extensive business background having run his own recruitment business for 10 years. He was the 2012 inductee into the Western Australian Regional Small Business Hall of Fame and was recognised as the 2013 City of Karratha Citizen of the Year. For nine years, he held the role of chair of the Small Business Centre West Pilbara and strongly advocated for small and medium enterprises in regional Western Australia. Mr Cucel was appointed to the Small Business Development Corporation Board in October 2017.  Having sold his recruitment business to a publicly listed company, Mr Cucel, now has a strong focus on assisting a cross section of organisations in a voluntary capacity, in addition to his role as Deputy Mayor at the City of Karratha. Mr Cucel has a Bachelor of Business Degree (first class honours) from Curtin University of Technology.

Mr Tyrone Garston (TBC)
Deputy CEO
Kimberley Land Council

Mr Garstone is a Bardi man and Deputy CEO of the Kimberley Land Council.  Returning from New York this month, Mr Garstone was part of the delegation to this year’s United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues.    In his role with the Kimberley Land Council, Mr Garstone has been involved with the ground breaking project which has seen the implementation of savanna burning at a series of pilot sites in Botswana, southern Africa.   The project is the result of national and international recognition of the knowledge of Australia’s first people in reducing carbon emissions through right-way fire.

Jeff Gooding
CEO Kimberley Development

Mr Gooding has held the position of Chief Executive of the Kimberley Development Commission since the Commission’s establishment and is a Member of the Board of the Commission. He is a long term resident of Kununurra and the Kimberley, has qualifications in town and regional planning, is a graduate and fellow of the Australian Rural Leadership Foundation, Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and is Justice of the Peace and former Shire Councillor.  Having participated in the negotiation process which culminated in several key Native Title Agreements, Mr Gooding continues to be substantially involved in related implementation including as a Director of the Miriuwung Gajerrong Community Foundation. He has been closely involved in the development, and initial implementation, of the Ord/East Kimberley Expansion Project and associated Land Releases.  Mr Gooding is a member of a range of Regional Planning processes and Chairman or member of various regional steering and coordinating groups.

Dr Richard Finlay Jones
Director Pilbara Solar

Dr Finlay Jones is a renewable energy developer and private consultant specializing I the development and management of renewable energy projects.  He has been directly involved in the development and approval of over 3000MW of wind energy projects, from greenfield site assessment through to full permitting.  Pilbara solar develops commercial scale solar projects to provide power to the mining  industry, government and business in long term, low cost, fixed price agreements. 

Geoff Haerawa
Shire of Derby West Kimberley

As a long term resident of Derby and business owner for over 20 years, Geoff has a strong understanding of the socio-economic dynamic across the Kimberley region. Geoff has been actively involved in organisations that complement his business activities and give him exposure to the broader view of economic and community development. In the past decade he has contributed in a volunteer capacity to organisations such as Derby Chamber of Commerce, Derby Squash Club and the Derby District High School. As Shire President, Geoff works with a wide cross-section of people and organisations to identify real needs and possibilities to progress the Kimberley region. Geoff would like to see the Kimberley region develop through structured processes of consultation that are transparent, efficient and ultimately enable development to occur in a timely manner within regulatory frameworks .

Senator Pat Dodson

Senator Dodson is a Yawuru man from Broome in Western Australia. He has dedicated his life work to being an advocate for constructive relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples based on mutual respect, understanding and dialogue. He is a recipient of the Sydney International Peace prize.  Patrick has extensive experience in Aboriginal Affairs, previously as Director of the Central and Kimberley Land Councils and as a Commissioner in the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody. He also served as inaugural Chair of the Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation and as Co-Chair of the Expert Panel for Constitutional Recognition of Indigenous Australians.

Terry Hill
CEO Pilbara
Development Commission

Terry Hill is currently the Chief Executive Officer of the Pilbara Development Commission, a position he has held for the past three years. Prior to taking up his current position he was an Executive Director at the Department of Agriculture and Food, working with the irrigated agriculture sector.  He has held a number of senior roles in the Western Australian government and at a national level. He has carried out the roles as a Director and the Deputy Chair of the Grape and Wine Research and Development Corporation and was a foundation Director of Horticulture Australia Ltd. He has also worked internationally leading a significant project in Indonesia, has lead industry trade missions to Asia and managed the commercialisation of intellectual property.  Mr Hill holds a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture, a Masters in Agribusiness and is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Jodie Lynch
Retail and Community Manager
Horizon Power

Horizon Power is a Government Trading Enterprise which generates, distributes and retails electricity to more than 47,000 connections.  Operating across the Pilbara, Kimberley, Gascoyne, Mid-West and the southern region of Western Australia which includes the Southern Goldfields, Esperance, Hopetoun and Norseman. Broome based, Jodie has a background in education, politics and the energy sector and is currently Retail & Community Manager with Horizon Power. Ms Lynch is a member of the Kimberley Committee for Regional Development Australia and a Life Member of the Broome Surf Life Saving Club.

Bruce McFadzean (Invited)
Managing Director
Sheffield Resources Ltd

A qualified mining engineer with more than 35 years’ experience in the global resources industry, Mr McFadzean has led the financing, development and operation of several new mines around the world.  His skills are driving the development of Sheffield’s world-class Thunderbird Minerals Sands Project.  Mr McFadzean’s professional career includes 15 years with BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto in a variety of positions and four years as Managing Director of successful Western Australia gold miner Catalpa Resources Limited (ASX:CAH). Under his management, Catalpa’s market capitalisation grew from $10 million to $1.2 billion following the Evolution merger. He has raised in excess of A$350 million in debt and equity from Australian and overseas markets.

Jason Medd Bsc (App Chem), MBA, Grad Cert (Econ)
Director Environment, Health & Safety APPEA

Jason has extensive experience in the onshore and offshore oil and gas business covering over 20 years with roles within the WA State and Commonwealth Governments and industry.  Jason has served with the Commonwealth Minister for Forestry and Conservation, providing research and advice on energy markets, Kimberley tidal energy and the hydrogen economy. As a senior policy advisor within APPEA, Jason’s work included the greenhouse gas, petroleum exploration and energy policy. Jason has also held the position as a commercial advisor for Tokyo Gas Australia on the Gorgon and Pluto LNG projects. In his previous role with the Department of Mines and Petroleum, Jason was closely involved with policy and regulatory reform within the department, with focus on onshore unconventional oil and gas exploration and development and stakeholder engagement.  Jason’s current role with APPEA as Director of Environment Health and Safety focuses on offshore environment and safety reform, in close cooperation with industry, State and Commonwealth Government stakeholders.

Chris Mitchell
Chair Kimberley Zone and
Kimberley Regional Group

Chris has lived in the Kimberley for over 33 years and knows the region well. He has held the position of Executive Officer of Regional Development Australia – Kimberley for eight years and is passionate about regional development opportunities that benefit the regional community.  He is very active in the community through many organizations and committees and is a Governing Council member on the Kimberley Institute of Training (TAFE), a Ministerial appointee to the Rural and Remote Education Advisory Council, and a member of the Broome District Health Advisory Council.  A serving Councillor with the Shire of Broome for over 24 years, he is currently the Broome Shire‘s representative and Chair of the Kimberley Zone of Council and a State Councillor. Mr Mitchell is a Life Member of WALGA and is a State representative on a number of Emergency Management committees.

Dr Rick Rogerson
Executive Director, DMIRS

Rick Rogerson joined the department in late 1995 and was appointed to this role in 2010. Before returning to Australia in 1995, Rick held executive positions in the Papua New Guinea Department of Mines and Petroleum. He has more than 35 years’ experience in geoscience, mineral policy advice and management, including consultancy work providing technical assistance, mainly in mineral policy and strategic management.

Senator Dean Smith

Dean Smith was appointed a Senator for WA in May 2012. In his first five years, Senator Smith has been a champion for WA issues, including being the first WA Federal Liberal parliamentarian to call for a fairer share of the GST for WA and serving on the  Joint Select Committee for Northern Australia and the Joint Select Committee for Trade and Investment growth. 

John Wiliams
External Affairs Manager

Mr Williams has significant corporate, government affairs and media relations experience working for global NYE and ASX listed companies, Federal and State governments and as a PR consultant for 20 years.  John is currently External Affairs Manager for global energy company INPEX in Australia and has previously worked in corporate affairs management roles for Italian global energy company Eni, US energy company ConocoPhillips and Australian energy company; Woodside Energy.  John is on the Executive Council of the Chamber of Minerals and Energy WA, a member of the WA Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s Energy Advisory Committee and the American Chamber of Commerce Energy Advisory Committee and is also a member of the External Affairs Advisory Committee for the Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association of Australia (APPEA).  Throughout his career, John has won multiple national and state awards from the Public Relations Institute of Australia for excellence in communications and corporate social responsibility.