Speakers 2017

  • “All the overseas speakers have been carefully selected to offer unique insights and differing points of view to generate critical thinking and practical solutions,” says Rod Cowan, a research fellow with the RNSA and convenor of its Safeguarding Australia 2017 National Security Summit.

    Read more on this year’s speaker selection.


    babakBabak Akghar, Professor of Informatics and Director of CENTRIC, Sheffield Hallam University

    Mr Akghar has extensive, hands-on experience in development, management and execution of large international security initiatives, such as combating terrorism and organised crime, cyber security, public order and cross-cultural ideology polarisation.



    butorPatrick Butor, Administrateur Général, French Ministry of Interior

    Mr. Butor will discuss his experience of working in Government in a city under attack and how it has shaped his outlook on security, highlighting the importance of individuals and companies — large and small — understanding security.

    Mr Butor is also head of the French Delegation for TC292 Security and Resilience and Chair of Working Group 6 Protective Security, building relevant standards for public and private sectors to improve protective security in a globalised world where individuals and organisations commit deliberate acts that cause social and economic harm.


    LAKE_David_PhotoDavid Lake, Head of the Phoenix Police Department’s Business and Economic Stability Team (BEST).

    David Lake is currently a Detective Sergeant and 28-year veteran of the Phoenix Police Department. He founded the concept of Economic Based Policing, a model that identifies the impact of property crimes, its role in creating urban decay and how to reverse it. He is a recognized expert in the Shadow Economy which includes investigations into counterfeit goods, organized retail theft, return fraud, cargo theft, employee theft and virtually any other attack on the supply chain.

    David Lake has been recognized as one of the nation’s leading authorities on the detection, disruption and dismantling of organizations that traffic in stolen or counterfeit goods for profit. He has authored or supervised hundreds search warrants and seized tens of millions of dollars in goods and cash from criminal organizations and illegal enterprises. He has conducted or has led some of the largest investigations in the world in the areas of piracy, pharmaceutical diversion, medical device diversion, coupon fraud, counterfeit goods and other unexplored crime trends within the shadow economy.

    Among over 100 professional commendations and awards from the Phoenix Police Department, state, federal agencies and private organizations, some of the most notable are:

    • Phoenix Police Department’s Distinguished Service Award
    • Detective of the Quarter awarded seven times
    • Crimes Suppression Award received two times
    • Community-Based Policing Award three times
    • Police Chief’s Unit Citation award two times
    • Over 100 awards and commendations from private sector organizations and corporations.

    David Lake presents to public organizations, community groups, government agencies on average twice a month. Some highlight presentations:

    • 2016 Major City Chiefs Association – San Diego
    • 2016 International Association of Chiefs of Police – San Diego
    • 2015 International Association of Chiefs of Police – Chicago
    • 2014 National Crime Summit – Australia (Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane)
    • 2013 Interpol IP Summit – Dublin, Ireland
    • Key Note Speaker – Partners in Security Summit (Rio De Janeiro, Brazil)
    • 17th International Tourism Safety Conference Las Vegas
    • ASIS Emerging Trends in Law Enforcement National Summit
    • Mid-States Organized Crime Information Center Annual training
    • Arizona Senate Organized Retail Crimes (ORC) Hearings
    • International Association of Property Crime Investigators Annual training
    • International Undercover Police Officer Association annual training
    • Arizona Narcotics Officer Association annual training 2009-2011
    • Speaker and Co-host Arizona Counterfeit Goods Law Enforcement Summit 2008-2011


    Sanjana BhardwajExecutive Director – Women & Child Protection at Austability

    A social policy expert with over two decades of work experience in the field of sustainable development in United Arab Emirates, Myanmar, Australia and India focusing on social protection needs of vulnerable children, women and people with disability. My work has primarily consisted in providing technical advisory services to policy makers and strategic planners in government, non-government and UN agencies on child protection, disability inclusion and gender based violence. I have designed and conducted community based research in several areas including child trafficking and exploitation; social services gap analysis; and social exclusion of marginalized and vulnerable population groups. I have presented at numerous international forums, most recently, at the ISPCAN International Congress on Child Abuse and Neglect. A qualified social worker and an educator with strong strategic planning; policy making; capacity development, project management and qualitative research design skills.



    Dr John Coyne, Head of the Australian Strategic Policy Institute’s Border Security Program

    Dr John Coyne is the Head of the Australian Strategic Policy Institute’s Border Security Program. John came to ASPI from the Australian Federal Police, where he worked on transnational serious organised crime, national security, and counter-terrorism. Over the last twenty years he has been an intelligence professional at tactical, operational, and strategic levels across a range of military, regulatory, national security and law enforcement organisations. During this period he has worked extensively in the ASEAN region, delivering a range of bilateral research projects. His more recent work in this area has focused on enhancing multilateral ASEAN information exchange. John has recently returned from Dubai where he participated in the Dubai Government’s Excellence Program as an assessor.



    Kate Carnell AO, Ombudsman, Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman, Non Executive Director, Climate Change Authority

    Kate Carnell commenced as Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman in March 2016.

    Kate was CEO of the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) from May 2014 to February 2016. ACCI, Australia’s largest and most representative business organization, is the leading voice of business in Australia advocating for over 300,000 businesses across all industries.

    Kate was CEO at beyondblue from 2012 to 2014 addressing issues associated with depression, anxiety and related disorders in Australia. Prior to this, Kate was the CEO of the Australian Food and Grocery Council. She is also the former CEO of Australian General Practice Network is a pharmacist by profession and was the first female to become the National Vice-President of the Pharmacy Guild of Australia.



    Mark Crosweller AFSM, A/g Deputy Secretary, Criminal Justice Group

    Mark Crosweller AFSM is A/g Deputy Secretary, Criminal Justice Group in the Attorney-General’s Department. In this role, Mark is responsible for criminal justice policy and programmes, criminal casework, international legal assistance and AusCheck.

    Mark’s substantive position is the Director-General, Emergency Management Australia—a position that includes responsibility for the coordination of Australia’s response to crises, including natural disasters and to terrorist or security related incidents both domestically and internationally.

    Mark has more than 30 years of operational experience ranging from firefighter through to Commissioner and Director-General, and has almost 20 years in senior executive leadership and strategic management roles.


    Dr Haroro J. Ingram, Research Fellow with the Department of International Relations and lecturer with the National Security College (Australian National University).

    Dr Haroro J. Ingram is a research fellow with the Department of International Relations and lecturer with the National Security College (Australian National University). A recipient of the Australian Research Council’s Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (DECRA), his postdoctoral research analysed the role of propaganda in the strategies of violent non-state political movements with Islamic State and the Afghan Taliban as major case studies. He has engaged in fieldwork through South Asia and the Middle East interviewing current and former activists and fighters from Afghanistan, Iraq, Chechnya and Syria. Ingram has been a visiting fellow with institutions such as the International Centre for Counter-terrorism (ICCT) in The Hague and the Naval Postgraduate School’s Defense Analysis Department (Monterey, California). Prior to entering academia, Ingram worked in a variety of national security roles.


    Craig Sheridan APM EMPA, Managing Director, Sheridan Consulting Group P/L

    A retired Commissioned Police Officer professional with 29 year’s experience with the NSW Police Force.

    Craig has been appointed to a number of notable positions since retiring from the NSW Police Force including Lead Security and Risk Consultant, Vivid Festival Sydney 2016 and 2017, Lead Security and Risk Consultant for Property NSW, introducing an operational readiness framework for New Years Eve 2016 and other major events held across the Sydney Harbour Foreshore, Lead Security and Risk Consultant, Department of Premier and Cabinet, New Years Eve 2016 Crowd Management, Lead Security Advisor Virgin Supercars, DNSW Emergency Management Advisor Supercars Sydney 500, and Emergency Management Planner for the new Parramatta Square Precinct. Sheridan Consulting Group has been engaged by the City of Sydney Council and Auckland Stadiums NZ to complete security and threat assessment reviews.

    Craig has consulted to major organisations in regards to Risk Management, Threat Management, Emergency Management and Threat Environment and Counter Terrorism training including consulting with ACES Group to Venues West in WA. Additionally, Craig has completed major risk reviews for Roads and Maritime Services NSW, Arts NSW and Dexus Property Group. Craig has partnered with Deloitte in the areas of Risk management, Recovery and Resilience and provided counter terrorism response training (Responding to Workplace Emergencies) to Prime Group, Red Dawn, EGroup, Village Roadshow and ANZAC War Memorial.



    Professor Greg Austin, Professor in the Australian Centre for Cyber Security at the University of New South Wales (Canberra)

    Fields of research: Defence Studies, Government and Politics of Asia and the Pacific, International Relations
    Campus: UNSW Canberra
    Tags: Government and Politics, Law, Politics and Community Services

    Dr Austin is a Professor in the Australian Centre for Cyber Security at the University of New South Wales (Canberra). He concurrently serves as a Professorial Fellow with the EastWest Institute (EWI) in New York.  He has a career of achievement in international security affairs. He:

    • has held seven university appointments: Associate Professor, Senior Lecturer, Fellow (Senior Lecturer level), Research Fellow (Lecturer level), Visiting Professor, Senior Visiting Fellow and Visiting Fellow, all in world class universities or departments in the UK and Australia
    • has published six books on Asian security affairs (five are on China), each with a strong interdisciplinary focus, and one additional edited volume on energy security
    • has current research interests in cyber strategy and diplomacy, security policies of China and Russia, countering violent extremism, and national security ethics
    • held research leadership posts in leading NGOs or think tanks
    • is recognized by students and peers for his high quality teaching and mentoring
    • travels widely for consultations with business and government (e.g. office of the U.S. Secretary of  Defense in 2014, the IISS Track 1 Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore in 2015, IEEE Open Internet project in Beijing in 2016)
    • regularly speaks in prominent forums (such as the Brookings Institution in December 2014 and the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence in Estonia in May 2015, IDSA Annual Conference in New Delhi in 2016)
    • has held posts in Australian security policy as Ministerial adviser, parliamentary committee secretary, international intelligence liaison officer and intelligence analyst
    • has worked and lived in London, Brussels, Washington DC, Hong Kong and Canberra
    • has conducted other fieldwork or undertaken professional visits to China, Russia, Indonesia, Cambodia, the Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia, Thailand, Russia, the Kyrgyz Republic, and Tajikistan
    • held research leadership roles in globally prominent NGOs, including as Vice President of the EastWest Institute and Asia Program Director in the International Crisis Group.


    • International security (Russia, China, Japan, United States, Europe, NATO), Cyber policy, Terrorism and religious extremism.


    Cowan_HSRod Cowan, Strategic Advisor, Emirates/ECU Centre for Aviation and Security Studies (CASS)

    Rod Cowan has contributed for over 30 years to security thinking, through his writing, lecturing, speaking at industry conferences and public events, as well as having input to various Government investigations and corporate research.

    In recent years through Edith Cowan University, his research focused on social media and open source risk, along with illicit trade, and he has conducted workshops for and consulted with law enforcement, intelligence, government entities and corporations in Australia, Middle East and the EU on how digital communications and social media, although providing many benefits, also represents serious threats to governments, business, communities and individuals, from attacks on reputations to inadvertently leaking information. A proponent for security-minded communications, Cowan argues, criminals and terrorists excel at exploiting the potential of digital communications, especially social media, while law enforcement, intelligence agencies and security organisations lag far behind in using communications as a security tool.

    Currently, in addition to his role as Strategic Advisor to the Dubai-based Emirates/ECU Centre for Aviation and Security Studies, Cowan is the Writer/Director of the Security is Your Business collaboration project, and Editor-at-large for the Security Solutions magazine. Cowan has written for the Sydney Morning Herald, Sun Herald, the Bulletin magazine, appeared on national television and radio, and has received two industry awards for excellence for his writing on the security industry. A founding director of the Australian Security Medals Foundation Inc., Cowan is currently the Board’s Director for Philanthropy.

    Jason4Jason Brown, National Security Director, Thales

    Jason Brown is the National Security Director for Thales in Australia and New Zealand.  He is responsible for security liaison with government, law enforcement and intelligence communities to develop cooperative arrangements to minimise risk to Thales and those in the community that it supports.  He is also responsible to ensure compliance with international and Commonwealth requirements for national security and relevant federal and state laws.

    Before joining Thales in 2004 Jason had 27 years experience in Commonwealth Government with appointments which include;

    • Assistant Secretary – Defence Imagery and the Geospatial Organisation,
    • Director General – Safety, Compensation and People Development,
    • Assistant Secretary – Defence Security, and
    • Various appointments in the Attorney General’s Security portfolio in the areas of counter terrorism and security policy and investigations.

    He has served on a number of senior boards and committees in both the Public Sector and Private Institutions.  Including;

    • Chair of the Security Professionals Australasia.
    • Chair of the Steering Committee for the International Day of Recognition of Security Officers.
    • Member of ASIS International Standards and Guidelines Commission 2007 to 2015.
    • Chair of  Australian Standards Committee (MB25) for Security and Resilience.
    • Fellow and member of the Governing Board of the Australian Risk Policy Institute (ARPI) as Director, Global Security Risk Policy.
    • Chair of the Australasian Council of Security Professionals 2009 – 2012.
    • Senior Regional Vice President ASIS International Group 20 2009 – 2012,
    • Chair of Australian Defence Security Committee 1999 – 2002.

    Jason has a number of publications in the areas of client service, intelligence management and security.  He is internationally known speaker in the areas of intelligence, security, innovation, export control, scenario and strategic planning.  He is a Fellow of the British Security Institute and ARPI, a member of ASIS International, the National Gallery of Australia Foundation, the Risk Management Institution of Australasia and University House – Australian National University. He holds Security Professional Chartered status in the UK and Registered Professional status with SPR-A.  He was awarded the Australian Security Medal for Conspicuous Service in February 2011.  In 2013 IFSEC International recognised him in the top 40 globally influential persons in Security and Fire Management.

    Jason has been involved in a range of non-security related public activities, including Chair of Lake Tuggeranong College Board, Vice President of the Burragate Rural Fire Brigade, supporter of the iLead mentoring program and donor support for the National Gallery of Australia Foundation, Victorian National Gallery and the National Parks of NSW.


    paul_barnes_webPaul Barnes, Head of Risk and Resilience Program, ASPI

    Expertise: Risk, resilience, disaster management, business continuity, organisational vulnerability, national-level risk assessment

    Dr Barnes joined ASPI as the Senior Analyst of the Disaster Resilience Program in September 2015. He was previously Deputy Director of the Centre for Emergency & Disaster Management (CEDM) at the Queensland University of Technology and led the Centre’s Infrastructure research Program.

    He has wide experience in public sector and specialist management roles at both the State and Federal level.  Within the emergency services arena, he was the inaugural Manager of the State Community Safety Unit of the Queensland Fire & Rescue Authority (QFRA) where he coordinated policy support on emergency response planning and oversaw the provision of legislative support for regulatory fire safety & fire prevention. During his period with the QFRA, he chaired the National Community Education Sub-Group of the Australasian Fire Authorities Council.

    As Corporate Risk Manager of the Queensland Department of Primary Industries (QDPI), he represented the Department on the State Disaster Mitigation Committee, high-level cross-government working groups on critical infrastructure protection and biosecurity, as well as the whole-of-government Multi-agency Threat Assessment Team. At a Federal level he served as Director of Security Policy Development within the Defence Security Authority.

    He has completed projects for the Pacific Economic Cooperation Council (PECC) and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) economies on gaps in counter terrorism capability and capacity planning, and the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet on national risk assessment frameworks.


    Chris Jenkins, Country Director and Chief Executive Officer, Thales Australia & New Zealand

    Chris Jenkins is a defence industry leader, a passionate believer in local skills, and a strong advocate for Australian engineering, technology, design and manufacturing.

    Focusing on delivering performance advantages for major defence and infrastructure customers, he has played a crucial role in transforming the company from five separate businesses into one of Australia’s largest suppliers and exporters of mission critical products and services.

    Chris has held senior roles in Thales locally and internationally for over 20 years. He was appointed as Thales Australia CEO in January 2008, following the company’s 100% acquisition of the Australian Defence Industries (ADI) joint venture in 2006. This followed two years as Vice President Operations, and before that three years as CEO of a Thales consortium in the Netherlands, delivering that country’s national public transport smartcard program.

    Prior to this, Chris was Managing Director of Thales Underwater Systems in Australia from 1999 to 2003. He previously held senior marketing, sales and project director roles in the business, and was also a key player in its creation as a Thales/GEC joint venture in 1996.

    Chris started in the defence industry as a mechanical engineer with Racal in 1981, Plessey in 1983, and then GEC Marconi in 1990, heading up its Underwater Systems business in Australia.

    He is currently National President of the Australian Industry Group, Chairman of the AIG Defence Council, and an Advisory Board member of the Centre for Defence Industry Capability. He has a longstanding involvement in large-scale projects in critical industry sectors, and was previously Chairman of the International Centre for Complex Project Management, as well as a member of the Defence Portfolio Ministerial Advisory Council and the DSTO Advisory Board.

    Chris is a Fellow of Engineers Australia and an Adjunct Professor of the University of NSW.  In 2013 he received the Insignia of Knight in the National Order of the Legion of Honour.


    Dai Hockaday, Business Resilience Manager, Sydney Water

    Dai Hockaday is the Business Resilience Manager for Sydney Water.  He is responsible for the fusion of the traditionally siloed performance areas of crisis & emergency management, business continuity, strategic security and threat monitoring.. His team is also the lead for the liaison and advisory functions with local, state and federal government, particularly in relation to Critical Infrastructure Resilience and emerging or existential threats.
    Dai is currently re-engineering the concepts around Sydney Water’s capability and capacity to respond to disruption and is leading the conversation on what the key issues really are. Dai has international risk and resilience management experience through a number of in house and consulting roles, including most recently as a Senior Consultant at Jakeman Business Solutions and Transfield Services ‘General Manager Business Resilience, where his business resilience framework was externally benchmarked as in the top 3 in Australasia and in the top 30 globally.  His experience has seen him operate at the local, regional and global level in the Middle East and Africa as well as throughout South East Asia, Europe and South America.

    STEER_Geoff_PhotoSergeant Geoff Steer

    Sergeant STEER has been a New South Wales Police Force officer for 21 years. Sergeant STEER has worked General Duties in the North West of Sydney, Covert Operations and founded the New South Wales Police Force Bias Crimes Unit and is currently the Team Leader of the Bias Crimes Unit.

    In 2001, Sergeant STEER successfully completed the Hate and Bias Crime training run by the Federal Law Enforcement Training Centre (USA) in conjunction with Auburn University Montgomery and the Southern Poverty Law Centre. In 2006 Sergeant STEER successfully completed the Advanced Hate Crime course run by the Federal Law Enforcement Training Centre in conjunction with the Centre for Prejudice and Extremism – California State University, San Bernardino and the Southern Poverty Law Centre. In 2015 Sergeant STEER successfully completed the Advanced Threat Assessment and Management Academy run by Gavin de Becker & Associates (USA)

    Sergeant STEER is the Australasian representative of the Skinhead Intelligence Network, a group of active law enforcement officers from around the world who track and monitor right wing extremism.

    On this year’s speakers:

    “All the overseas speakers have been carefully selected to offer unique insights and differing points of view to generate critical thinking and practical solutions,” says Rod Cowan, a research fellow with the RNSA and convenor of its Safeguarding Australia 2017 National Security Summit.

    “As I have gone around the Middle East and Europe, the prevailing sentiment privately expressed seems to be that people working in security, law enforcement and intelligence no longer know what a win looks like. Having met or interviewed each of our overseas speakers, I can say they will bring not only intellectual depth but also a level of enthusiasm that is sorely needed in the security space right now.

    “Be prepared to be challenged, as well. For example, Mr Lake’s well-founded views, based on real-world experience, are not only thought-provoking but also, at times, downright terrifying. I’ve seen him stun a roomful of 500 police officers from around the world.”

    One issue that has come to the fore in researching next year’s event has been the importance of making security everyone’s business.

    “Mr Butor pointed out that the random nature of terror attacks means that anyone, anywhere, is a potential target,” says Cowan.

    “But, it is far more than terrorism that is a threat to contemporary society, there is also cyber-crime and illicit trade, to name two significant issues affecting not only large organisations but also small businesses, especially those who service large organisations.”

    Among the local presenters, Ms Kate Carnell, Federal Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman, will talk about the need to educate and enable small business to face a range of security threats and risks, to avoid them becoming a victim or unwittingly becoming a weak link.

    Drawing on Mr Cowan’s 35 years of experience interviewing and writing on security issues, some sessions have been designed to engage experts in conversation to generate debate and knowledge sharing.

    Called ‘In Conversation’ sessions, Cowan will interview four or five participants around various themes aiming for a diversity of points of view.

    “Too often, panels are awful, because panellists shy away from the intended topic, or avoid disagreeing with their co-panelists. The result is often a somewhat bland experience for all involved. By engaging in an interview format, everyone should be comfortable sharing their viewpoint,” says Mr Cowan. “In fact, inviting the right people and facilitating discussion in the right way can result in the most enlightening sessions you’ll ever see at a conference.”

    The audience, too, will be given ample opportunity to participate and share ideas.

    “Audience participation can often be as valuable as the presentations themselves and interactions with other attendees can reveal some surprising insights,” says Mr Cowan. “While the talks will provide new ideas, they’re by their very nature one-directional; by getting people in the audience to share unique, personal, and insightful conversations you take the whole event to a new level.”

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