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 Akhgar, Professor of Informatics and Director of CENTRIC, Sheffield Hallam University

    Mr Akhgar 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.



    DAVIES_Peter_PhotoPeter Davies, Executive Director, Analysis & Response at Austability

    After a 33+ year career in public security and policing I have joined Austability, a company where I can continue to pursue my vocation – making people safe – in a new setting.

    Our aspiration is:- “Every mind equipped with the wisdom and dexterity for independent change, so every voice can be expressed at liberty.”

    As a former Director of the National Crime Agency and CEO of the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP), as National Policing Lead on Security Industry Liaison for over a decade, and having worked in several environments where private security and public bodies work side by side, I believe that we make people safest when we all contribute what we can as a team.


    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


    KALDAS_Nick_PhotoNick Kaldas

    Nick Kaldas was a Police Officer for over 34 years, and was Deputy Commissioner of New South Wales (NSW) Police Force in Sydney Australia for nine years. NSW Police Force is the largest in Australia, with over 20,000 staff, and a budget exceeding A$3 billion. Nick’s career has primarily been in counter terrorism, major crime investigations and operations, including emergency management, armed robbery, and major drug investigations, covert operations, community policing and over a decade in Homicide investigations. He has relieved extensively in the role of Commissioner.

    For some years he was in command of Counter Terrorism and Special Tactics Command, the central unit responsible for all investigative, and intelligence activity in countering terrorism, as well as prevention, preparedness and response to both high risk situations and all acts of politically motivated violence and terrorism, and he was a member of the Australian National Counter Terrorism Committee for 7 years. He also held the statutory position of State Emergency Operations Controller in his jurisdiction, commanding all planning, preparation and operations in Emergency Management.

    He served in Iraq in 2004/5 as Deputy Chief Police Adviser for Coalition Forces, rebuilding the Iraqi National Police; and in 2009/10 as Chief of Investigations with the UN Special Tribunal for Lebanon, investigating the assassination of Prime Minister Hariri and 21 other related murders or attempted murders, and in 2016 he served as Chief of Investigations with the UN/OPCW Joint Investigative Mechanism, leading the investigation into the use of chemical weapons in the Syrian conflict.

    He is currently the Director of Internal Oversight Services in the United Nations (Relief and Works Agency), based in Amman, Jordan. He is responsible for various functions including Investigations, Audit, Evaluation and the Ethics units. His area of responsibility revolves around Palestinian camps administered by UNRWA in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, West Bank and Gaza.



    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.



    Assistant Commissioner Neil Gaughan, National Manager Organised Crime and Cyber, Australian Federal Police

    Neil Gaughan is a career police officer with over 30 years’ experience in general policing and investigative roles in both the ACT Region and AFP National Operations.

    In March 2017, Neil was appointed the responsibility for the Organised Crime and Cyber (OCC) portfolio of the AFP.  The OCC portfolio comprises three branches – Organised Crime; Criminal Assets, Fraud and Anti-Corruption; and Cybercrime Operations.  OCC’s purpose is to disrupt, dismantle and combat serious and organised crime that poses a threat to Australia.

    Previously, from February 2013 to February 2017, Neil was responsible for the Counter Terrorism (CT) portfolio of the AFP.  During this time the AFP’s CT portfolio almost doubled in size as a result of the world seeing a significant increase in the global terrorist threat, primarily brought about by the emergence of ISIS.

    From late 2014, the tempo of domestic CT activity increased to unprecedented levels in Australia’s history.  Neil was involved in the development of contemporary Australian CT policy, contributed to national countering violent extremism strategies, championed significant legislative reform and worked collaboratively and cooperatively with regional partners to combat terrorism regionally and globally.  Neil chaired the Global Leadership in Counter Terrorism Board of Governors from November 2015 to April 2017.

    Prior to working in CT, Neil ran the AFP’s High Tech Crime Operations (HTCO) portfolio. In HTCO, Neil led investigation teams with responsibility for all complex cyber-crime and online child exploitation investigations, as well as delivering all the AFP’s technical, interception and surveillance capabilities.

    During his tenure in HTCO, Neil chaired the Virtual Global Taskforce (VGT).  The VGT is a global partnership of law enforcement agencies, non-government organisations and industry, working together to protect children from online child abuse and other forms of transnational child sexual exploitation.

    Neil has tertiary qualifications in Public Administration, Public Policy and Risk Management.



    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.


    Peter White, General Manager, Transport Security Operations, Office of Transport Security, Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development

    Peter is the General Manager, Transport Security Operations, Office of Transport Security (OTS), within the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development. OTS is Australia’s transport security regulator which supports Australia’s economic prosperity. His current role includes broad organisational reform designed to deliver effective regulation of transport security through industry engagement, compliance and enforcement. Peter has international experience with the Commonwealth, which has included positions in Europe, Middle East, Asia and the Pacific. Previous roles have included: Law Enforcement Adviser to the Commonwealth Minister for Justice; Executive Staff Officer to the Commissioner of the AFP; United Nations Civilian Police Peacekeeper; Senior Adviser to the Secretary General of Interpol for their Global Security Initiative; Senior Adviser, National Security Division, Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet; and senior executive positions with the Immigration portfolio and the then Customs and Border Protection Service. Peter has undergraduate and post graduate qualifications in criminal justice, executive leadership and business administration. Professional affiliations include: Fellow of the Australian Institute of Management; Member of the Australian Institute of Professional Intelligence Officers; and Member of the Australian Bravery Association.



    Darlene Winston

    Darlene Winston, Head of Strategy, SNP

    Darlene is passionate about building culture and shifting paradigms to provide best in class solutions. As a globally accredited change practitioner, Darlene has managed large scale, complex programs across Asia Pacific and Europe.

    Darlene has tertiary qualifications across a number of disciplines which allows an in-depth knowledge of the challenges that businesses face today. Having resided in China, as well as holding regional roles, delivery of strategy has been locally across the Pacific region and Asia.

    Understanding the rich tapestry of diversity in the workplace and how to maximise the return on investment and engagement of diversity is a key cornerstone of cultural change. A keynote speaker on culture and leadership, Darlene works with senior management and boards to understand and overcome the challenges of leadership today and how organisations and individuals can build leadership capability.



    Bianca Wirth, The Human Side of Cyber Security, IAG

    Bianca Wirth is a specialist in the human side of cyber security – she is interested in the why and how people interact with technology, how we can do cyber better, and how these learnings can be applied in organisations to reduce cyber-related threats to business. In her previous roles as a technology engineer, consultant and company director, she has worked with and consulted to over 150 companies across a diverse range of industries including banking, insurance, retail, media, government, technology and telecommunications in the past 18 years. She has worked across all levels and types of businesses from the small not for profit through to organisations with over 80,000 employees, giving her a unique perspective of what works and what doesn’t when it comes to the convergence of technology and people. Her extensive technical and risk management experience spans digital, security, software and IT infrastructure technologies.

    Bianca has always believed ‘IT needs its own marketing and communications department’ to help bridge the gap between complex technology concepts, business risk and the reality of the business and employee needs. She currently gets to live out this dream leading the global cyber security education and awareness program for Insurance Australia Group (IAG) as part of broader risk management program. Keeping her toe in the technology pool, one of the elements of this role is the development and implementation of phishing simulations, designing phishing techniques, and educating employees on identifying and reporting these scams. Prior to her current role she founded and managed a successful IT consulting company for over 7 years, and was a contract CEO for a not for profit organisation.

    Bianca is a published author with book and magazine credits to her name. She is also a Prosci Certified Change Manager, TOGAF 9 Certified, Prince2 & Agile Practitioner, has a Cert IV in Training & Assessment, and is currently completing a Masters of Information Systems Security.


    DE CAIRES_Bryan_PhotoBryan de Caires, Chief Executive Officer, Australian Security Industry Association Limited (ASIAL).

    Bryan de Caires has over 25 years senior management experience gained across a range of industry sectors. His early career was as a senior editor with Euromoney Plc, a global finance and business publisher based in London. In 1990 he moved to Australia to take up a position as General Manager with b2b media company AIC (later renamed Terrapinn) and in 1997 was appointed Managing Director of the company’s exhibition business. In 1999 he joined the Australian Human Resources Institute as National Manager of Professional Development.

    He joined ASIAL in 2000 and was appointed Chief Executive Officer in 2006. He has helped guide the Association through a period of significant change, including overseeing its federal registration as an employer organisation.

    Established in 1969, the Australian Security Industry Association Limited (ASIAL) is the peak national body for security professionals in Australia. With approximately 2,600 members, ASIAL is dedicated to supporting its members, promoting standards and safeguarding the interests of the public.

    Bryan served as a Director of NSW Crime Stoppers from 2001-2014.


    MILROY_Alastair_PhotoAlastair MacDonald Milroy, AM.

    Alastair Milroy has had a distinguished and varied career in law enforcement spanning over 40 years serving with the New South Wales Police, National Crime Authority, New South Wales Royal Commission into the Building Industry, New South Wales Drug Enforcement Agency, the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal and the Australian Crime Commission.

    He was the National Security Manager for Brambles Security Services and operated a consultancy that provided investigations and risk management.

    Alastair was the Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Crime Commission responsible for national criminal intelligence and operational responses to fight serious organized crime in Australia.

    He is the current chair of the Global Access Partners, Cyber Security Task Force, a multidisciplinary group of public and private sector senior executives developing practical steps to improve cyber crime defensive measures.


    O'BRIEN_Natalie_PhotoNatalie O’Brien, Journalist.

    Media consultant with more than 20 years experience in newspapers, magazines, digital and social media platforms.

    Currently freelance journalist, media advisor, strategist and speaker on the role of new media in world affairs.

    Formerly an investigative reporter with Fairfax Media in Sydney working for the Sydney Morning Herald and The Sun-Herald.

    Previously the Investigations editor at The Australian Newspaper based in Sydney.

    Media relations and outreach advisor for The International Criminal Tribunal for Yugoslavia in The Hague and for the United Nations Development Program based in Amman, Jordan.



    SRINIVASAN_Nara_PhotoProfessor Narayanan Srinivasan, Security and Risk, School of Computer and Security Science, Edith Cowan University.

    Nara Srinivasan is  Professor of Security and Risk at Edith Cowan University, Perth Western Australia and Director of the Emirates-ECU Centre in Dubai. He completed his studies at the University of Malaya and Cambridge University, UK in areas of Criminology and Public Administration. Nara also completed programmes at Cornell and Harvard Universities in the areas of security management, international security and current trends in security profiling. Nara is engaged in many research projects in the area of aviation and maritime security in Australia, UK, Asia Pacific and the Middle East and works as a consultant to airlines and governments in these regions. He is credited with professionalising the security industry through education programmes globally. Nara is also part of the UN expert group on Civilian Private Security and a member of several professional groups looking at the professionalisation of security including the Australasian Council of Security Professionals;

    Professor Nara specialises in the areas of security and risk at Edith Cowan University, Perth Western Australia and is the Director of the Emirates-ECU Centre in Dubai. He is well-versed in security management, international security and current trends in security profiling. He frequently engages in aviation and maritime security research projects in Australia, UK, Asia Pacific and the Middle East.  He also works as a consultant to airlines and governments and is credited with professionalizing the security industry through education programmes globally. Nara is also part of the UN expert group on Civilian Private Security and a member of several security professional groups.


    VERSACI_Daniel_PhotoDaniel Versaci.

    Daniel is a security professional with over four years’ experience within retail supply chain, compliance & investigations, aviation, security risk and consulting streams. Daniel graduated from Edith Cowan University with a Bachelor of Science (Security) in 2014, and has continued his professional development by engaging in further studies in international relations and national security.

    In his previous role as a Loss Prevention Manager for a major nationwide retailer, Daniel was required to manage the security function. As a Security Consultant Daniel now conducts security risk assessments, assesses and develops security policy and designs physical and electronic security infrastructure within the private and Government sectors.

    Daniel volunteers within the industry through his efforts as a member Executive Council of the Australian Security Medals Foundation (ASMF), joining the Executive Council at its formation in 2015 to recognise exceptional individuals within the security industry and to encourage the growth of security within Australia.



    Alex Webling, Director at Resilience Outcomes

    Alex Webling, BSc, BA (Hons), Gdip Comms, GdipEd, ZOP, AARPI, RSecP, Prince2.

    Alex is Deputy Chair of Security Professionals Australasia, a member of the Standards Australia Board on Security (MB-025), a board director of the International Association of Privacy Professionals A/NZ, and Associate of the Australian Risk Policy Institute. He is a registered security professional in the area of Enterprise Security.

    Alex has been Director Resilience Outcomes Pty Ltd since 2012. Resilience Outcomes is a consultancy specialising in organisational strategy and resilience, identity, privacy and information security.

    Alex was a senior executive in the Australian Federal Government in national security. He was the foundation Director of the Australian Government computer emergency response team; Developed the Chemicals of Security Concern program; and was Head of Protective Security Policy responsible for launching the revised Protective Security Policy Framework (PSPF) and the single information classification system for the Australian Government.


    WINTER_Heidi_PhotoHeidi Winter, Senior Associate, Australia Risk Assurance, PricewaterhouseCoopers.

    Heidi Winter is a Senior Associate within PricewaterhouseCoopers Australia Risk Assurance section. Heidi’s background is in IT project management, telecommunications and compliance, which she has applied in her roles through cyber security risk management, compliance, incident management and operations. She has a personal interest in deceptive, defensive and offensive security projects, and is studying Cyber Security Operations at UNSW. Heidi is extensively involved in the cyber security community, particularly encouraging women and girls to consider cyber security as a career. Her community work includes Canberra groups: Women in Communications Technology, ACS Young IT, Geek Girls and BSides Canberra.


    Codee Ludbey, Security Adviser, Arup.

    Codee is a security adviser with Arup’s Resilience, Security and Risk team in Sydney. He has a Bachelor of Science (Security) with First Class Honours from Edith Cowan University, with a research focus on corporate security and several publications. Codee was the inaugural Australian Security Medals Foundation Philip Ruddock Fellow, which is an international scholarship awarded to young professionals in the security industry. Codee has four years of experience in providing security services, ranging through transport, arts and culture, commercial, and government projects.


    Mark Dreyfus QC MP, Shadow Attorney-General, Shadow Minister for National Security, Deputy Manager of Opposition Business (House), Member for Isaacs.

    Mark Dreyfus was elected to parliament in 2007 as the Member for Isaacs. He studied Arts and Law at the University of Melbourne.

    A former Director of the Law Council of Australia, Mr Dreyfus served on the Victorian Bar Ethics Committee and Victorian Bar Council. In 1999 he was appointed as a Queen’s Counsel.

    Mr Dreyfus is a strong advocate for social justice and believes in creating a sustainable environment for our future generations.

    During his time in the law, Mr Dreyfus worked with Australia’s Indigenous communities in the Northern Territory and was involved in the landmark Stolen Generations case before the High Court.

    In February 2013 Mr Dreyfus was sworn in as Attorney-General and Minister for Emergency Management and in March 2013 took on the additional responsibilities of Minister for the Public Service and Integrity and Special Minister of State.

    On his appointment as Attorney-General, Mr Dreyfus said:

    “I believe our laws should provide a framework that allows us to protect and care for all Australians, including our elderly, our sick, our injured, our workers, our new arrivals, our indigenous people, our young and our outspoken writers, artists and journalists, reflecting our national values of fairness and equality of opportunity.”

    Mr Dreyfus is proud of his achievements in government and opposition which include seeing off the Abbott and Turnbull governments’ proposed weakening of the race hate protections in section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act, strengthening whistleblower protections, and amending the Sex Discrimination Act to ensure intersex people are officially recognised.

    In July 2013 Mr Dreyfus led Australia’s winning case against Japan’s whaling regime at the International Court of Justice in The Hague.


    Zoe Cowan, Outreach Manager, Australian Security Medals’ Foundation Inc.

    Zoe Cowan, a outreach manager and freelance videographer focused on the security profession, has produced digital media solutions for government, business and NGOs.

    Her current projects include:

    Producer for Security is Your Business (securityisyourbueinss.com), a collaborative information exchange project between senior security, law enforcement, intelligence professionals and policy makers, sharing views, ideas, experiences and information about security and risk management.

    Outreach Manager for the Australian Security Medals Foundation (ASMF, inspiringsecurity.com), a non-profit organisation recognising acts of bravery and contribution to the security profession, where she works to change perceptions of the security industry through sharing positive stories.

    Ms Cowan is currently studying a Bachelor of Counter Terrorism Security and Intelligence through Edith Cowan University, Australia.



    Paul Goodsir, Head of Group Security, Westpac Banking Corporation.

    Paul is currently Head of Security at Westpac responsible for the Westpac Group’s physical security globally with over 40,000 staff in 1400+ Retail and 40+ Corporate sites across 15 diverse geographies and circa 3,850 ATMs.

    Paul draws from a broad spectrum of experiences after living and working in a number of geographies including the US, UK, Asia and the Pacific and managing teams in the functional areas of Finance, Management Information Systems, Operational Risk, Business Continuity, Crisis & Emergency Management and Security.

    Paul has more than 40 years of operational experience ranging from responder to executive management, including almost 20 years in senior executive leadership and strategic management roles.



    Michelle Dixon, Director Safety, Security & Risk, Opera House

    Qualifications: BA LLB (Macquarie University), Grad Dip Legal Practice (University of Technology), GAICD (Australian Institute of Company Directors)

    Michelle is the Opera House’s Director Safety, Security & Risk and General Counsel. Michelle joined the Opera House in 2008 and as General Counsel has led the legal, company secretariat, policy, insurance, government relations and risk functions. In 2015 she also assumed oversight for the Emergency Planning and Response Group along with the safety team. Michelle is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, a member of state and national security advisory groups and risk committees, the Law Society of NSW and the International Association of Venue Managers.

    Michelle was admitted as a solicitor of the Supreme Court of New South Wales and the High Court of Australia in 1995 and then practiced in the public and private sectors. Before joining the Opera House Michelle was a Senior Associate at commercial law firm Ebsworth & Ebsworth specialising in international maritime and aviation law, representing clients in domestic and international jurisdictions.


    Mercedes Page, Analyst, Thales

    Mercedes is an analyst at Thales. Before joining Thales, Mercedes worked for the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI). She is a non-resident WSD-Handa Fellow and a member of the Young Leaders Program at the Pacific Forum, Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS).




    Mohammed Mustafa, Security and Youth Liaison Officer, Access Group Solutions

    Mohammed Mustafa has been a proud member of the Dandenong Plaza Shopping Centre security team for seventeen years.

    Mohammed’s most recent title is the Community & Youth Programme Coordinator. He is working currently to survey and implement similar programs in Access Group Solutions’ wider portfolio, moving between Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria to other shopping centres with similar youth related issues.

    Just some of Mohammed’s recognised achievements include;

    • 2014 GPT People First Award and Multiple Acts; Consistent Performer (Client based recognition awards)
    • 2014 ASIAL Award for Individual Achievement; General Security at the Annual Awards for Excellence and inaugural OSPA’s
    • 2015 GPT People First Awards; Ambassador Award
    • 2016 Australian Security Medal from the Australian Security Medals Foundation



    RICHARDDAVISDr Richard Davis, Chief Technology Officer National Security, Defence Science and Technology Group

    Dr Richard Davis was appointed as Chief Technology Officer National Security in February 2017. In this role within the Defence Science and Technology Group, Richard has a whole of government responsibility for coordinating science and technology in support of national security capabilities.

    Richard came to this position after 4 years in the Joint and Operations Analysis Division in DST, including the last 6 months as a/Chief. Richard oversaw the development and employment of analytical methods and decision support tools to design the future military force and to support ADF forces on operations. He was also responsible for the provision of strategic advice to shape Defence policy through horizon scanning and technology foresight.

    Previous roles include being Assistant Secretary, National Security Science and Technology (NSST) Branch in the Department of the Prime Minister & Cabinet, where he developed the Australian Government’s first National Security Science and Innovation Strategy

    Richard’s career started as a Defence consultant in the UK before moving to the Defence Science and Technology Organisation (DSTO) in 1991. Richard’s initial work was in DSTO was on Command and Control systems. Richard’s later work at DSTO focused on whole of force capabilities, such as future concepts of operation and military experimentation, Networked Warfare, Systems of Systems and Modelling & Simulation.

    Dr Davis has a BSc and MSc in Psychology and a PhD in Human Computer Interaction.



    Dr Roger Neill, DST Group

    Dr Roger Neill is Program Leader – Grand Challenges, responsible for the Grand Challenge program under the Next Generation Technologies Fund (NGTF). Before this Dr Neill led DST’s work into Unmanned Maritime Systems. He has had longstanding involvement on an international panel of experts on unmanned systems and he initiated, and was the inaugural convener of, the influential ‘Shallow Survey’ series of conferences. Dr Neill was involved in the structural assessment of the First World War Submarine HMAS AE2 for which he received The Royal Institution of Naval Architects (RINA) Australian Division’s Walter Atkinson Award. This work has been covered extensively including in the latest HMAS Sydney book – The Search for HMAS Sydney: An Australian Story (UNSW Press).



    Dr Shane Canney, DST Group

    Dr Shane Canney was appointed to the new position of Program Leader – Counter Improvised Threats in November 2016. Shane completed his PhD in experimental physics at the Flinders University of South Australia in 1997. He joined Electronic Warfare Division of Defence Science & Technology Organisation (DSTO) (now DST Group) in March 1999 as a research scientist. His work was focussed on the modeling, simulation and performance assessment of maritime EW systems. From December 2001 until June 2014 he worked in Maritime Operations Division / Maritime Division at DST Group. Throughout his time in the maritime domain he has focused on applying S&T in the area of surface ship combat systems, specializing in modelling, simulation and analysis. Shane was promoted to Research Leader Surface Ship Operations in April 2010 and transferred to the role of Research Leader Combat and Mission Systems in Weapons and Combat Systems Division (WCSD) in DST Group in July 2014. Shane moved into the role Research Leader Weapons and Combat Systems Assessment (WCSA) in WCSD prior to being appointed to his current role.



    Dr Felicia PraderaDST Group

    Dr Felicia Pradera is the Program Manager for Medical Countermeasures (MCM) Development at the Defence Science and Technology Group. She was also recently appointed Program Manager for MCMs at the Defence Material Technology Centre. Dr Pradera spent 10 years overseas in academic research focused in immunology. After returning to Australia and working briefly in intellectual property law, she took up a position within Defence at the Technology Partnerships Office. In 2013, at the request of Land Division she was seconded to be a part of the team that developed the Australian MCM Consortium and was subsequently appointed to manage industrial and academic engagement in the advanced development of MCMs. During this time she has facilitated and led collaborative research activities with national and international partners. The aim of Dr Pradera’s work is to create an Australian MCM advanced development capability with a regional focus by engaging in national and international collaborative partnerships between industry, academia and government.



    Dr Katerina AgostinoDST Group

    Dr Katerina Agostino is currently Ag/Program Leader – National Security, in the National Security Science and Technology Centre, DST Group. Before accepting her current role Katerina worked within the Program Office of DST as a Scientific Advisor, successfully liaising with client groups to meet their S&T requirements. Before that, Katerina led the DST effort in Social Modelling and Analysis, which involved research including, social and cultural analysis, social network analysis, data and historical events analysis and modelling under uncertainty. Her research interests include: the social and cultural construction of terrorism; social modelling, violent extremism, interdisciplinary research methods.


    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.”

    Back to Conference Overview 2017    View Speakers 2016



  • Safeguarding Australia 2017

    General registration for the 2017 Conference is now open. Registration closes 4th May 2017.

    register for the event