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Fernanda Foertter is the Alliance Manager for healthcare, high performance computing (HPC) and AI at tech company NVIDIA. She has been a long-time advocate of graphics processing units (GPUs), parallel computing platform CUDA and programming model OpenACC in the HPC community.
Prior to working at NVIDIA she was a member of the Advanced Data Workflow Group assigned to the Biomedical Science and Engineering Center at the National Center for Computational Sciences (NCCS) located at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). In this role she worked on scalable deep learning algorithms on next generation high performance computing systems with application to cancer research. Fernanda was also in charge of HPC training and is the original creator of the OLCF GPU Hackathons. Her interests include disrupting healthcare research and advocating for developer productivity for HPC and AI.
Fernanda has a cross-disciplinary background in physics, computational materials science, data science and engineering. She holds a Bachelor of Science (Physics), a Masters of Science (Materials Science Engineering) and she is currently completing her PhD in Philosophy (Data Science and Engineering).

Robert Wickham


Regional Vice President, Platform & Emerging Technologies, Salesforce Asia Pacific

Robert Wickham leads Salesforce’s specialised teams for platform & emerging technologies across Asia Pacific, including Lightning Platform, Heroku, Einstein Analytics, Quip and CPQ. He also directs Salesforce’s regional program for startups and is a member of the Victorian Government Innovation Expert Panel. Robert is a regular public speaker and media contributor, having appeared in Sky News, Boss Magazine, Australian Institute for Company Directors and CloudAsia.

Prior to joining Salesforce, Robert led the Engineered Systems business at Oracle across Australia & New Zealand; held multiple marketing, product management and sales leadership positions at Boston-based technology startup Empirix and was the co-founder of European airline Go Fly Limited, which was later sold to EasyJet. He holds a Master and Bachelor of Aeronautical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and a Masters of Business Administration from Harvard Business School.



Global Digital Advisor

Blair Bryant is a Global Digital Advisor at Microsoft, where he works to ignite top global enterprises via strategy and digital innovation. His knowledge of ever-evolving technologies, including AI, big data, IoT, machine learning and Azure cloud solutions, gives him the background to open up the opportunities that are core to implementation.


Blair is also the CEO of Arcadia Pacific, a values-driven private digital transformation firm working with global Fortune 500 CEOs, senior leadership teams and boards. In this role, he has worked closely with Apple, Google, Microsoft, Nokia, Motorola, Porsche Design and McKinsey.


Blair has a significant business background in global first-tier professional services, executive management and high-growth technology company leadership. He has previously worked at McKinsey, PwC and Morgan Stanley. Blair holds bachelors of Science and Business Administration and Engineering at the University of Southern California and a Master of Business Administration from Harvard Business School.


Annette Hicks


Senior Health Advisor

Annette Hicks is a Senior Health Advisor for IBM Watson Health where she works internationally to support the Chief Health Officer. In this role, she works with healthcare professionals to support the adoption of new technologies like cognitive computing. She also works with clinicians and researchers to generate an evidence base on the impact of cognitive solutions within the clinical setting. Annette is a member of the IBM Industry Academy which has a key focus to drive industry-focused eminence of its members across industries for collaboration and innovation.


Annette has a background in healthcare as a clinician and in the ICT Industry in the areas of strategy, business development, solution development and sales, service delivery, product management and training. She has worked for IBM Australia and New Zealand since 2008 and previously held the role of Health Industry Leader in the company. Annette holds a Masters of Business Administration from Deakin University, a Masters of Commercial Law from Macquarie University, a Bachelor of Health Administration from UNSW and a Bachelor of Science in Microbiology & Biochemistry from La Trobe University.


DR. Phil Cohen


Professor at Laboratory for Dialogue Research, Faculty of Information Technology

Dr. Philip Cohen has long been involved in the Artificial Intelligence sector, in the areas of human-computer dialogue, multimodal interaction and multiagent systems. He currently acts as the Professor of Artificial Intelligence and Director of the Laboratory for Dialogue Research within the Faculty of Information Technology at Monash University.


Phil is a Fellow of the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence and is a past President of the Association for Computational Linguistics. Before working at Monash University, Phil was the Chief Scientist of AI and Sr. Vice President for Advanced Technology at VoiceBox Technologies, Cofounded Adapx Inc. and was a Co-Director and Professor at the Center for Human-Computer Communication at the Oregon Graduate Institute.

Phil has worked on a number of high profile AI projects, including conceiving the initial idea and leading the team that developed the Open Agent Architecture, which eventually became Siri™. Phil has published over 150 refereed papers, with more than 16,000 citations and received 7 patents. He has a Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics from Cornell University and a PhD of Computer Science from the University of Toronto.  


Larry Quick



Larry Quick is a strategist, author and speaker with over twenty-five years of global experience in both the corporate and civic sectors. He is a cofounder of strategic firm Resilient Futures, is the original developer of the Strategy in Action framework and he co-authored Disrupted: Strategy for Exponential Change and The Disruption Readiness Test.

Larry has designed, led, and facilitated countless strategic programs that draw upon his expertise in corporate strategy, innovation, economic development, technology strategy, sustainability and resilience, and urban planning.

His recent speaking engagements include the Global Innovation and Leadership Summit in Silicon Valley, CSIRO AIM Conference, The International City Managers Association in Kansas City, the Innovation Places Network in Connecticut, and the Environmental Protection Agency District One Management Forum in Boston. He is a cancer survivor and is “committed to squeezing every ounce out of life that this great world can bring”.


Agustinus Nalwan


Head of AI & Machine

Agustinus “Gus” Nalwan is the Head of Artificial Intelligence for, where he has worked since 2009. He designs and builds AI projects for Carsales, developed the company's image recognition tool Cyclops and provides technical direction on AI to various teams across Carsales. With over 25 years of experience in software development, Gus has worked in range of areas industries including artificial intelligence, 3D animation, games development, desktop software, mobile apps, computer vision and machine learning.


Before working at Carsales, Gus was the owner and developer of where he created educational apps for mobiles and tablets. He has extensive experience working in the areas of Deep Learning, Convolution Neural Network, Tensorflow and Keras. Gus is an in-demand speaker on the topics of AI and future tech, having spoken at technology events across Australia. He has a Bachelor of Computer Science, Digital Systems and Robotics from Monash University.


Tam Cao


AI Software Engineer

Tam Cao is an AI Software Engineer at where he works on projects that apply cutting edge AI technologies to the company’s products and services. He helped to develop  image recognition tool Cyclops, Carsales’ innovative AI engine. He is passionate about artificial intelligence, machine learning and image/video processing.


Prior to Carsales, Tam worked as real-time computer vision and image processing specialist. He also worked as a system and software engineer for ATOMOS Engineering and was a software developer in image/video analysis and processing for Sentient. He has a Bachelor of Engineering (BE, Computer Systems Networking and Telecommunications) from Swinburne University of Technology and a PhD in Electronic Engineering and Computer Vision from La Trobe University.


Michelle Mannering


Founder & Director

 “Hackathon Queen”, international speaker, eSports host, motorsport journalist

Michelle Mannering is Melbourne’s “Hackathon Queen” and an accomplished MC, speaker, facilitator and journalist. With a background in science, communications, events and marketing, Michelle works to create and run hackathons, implement social media strategies and coordinate marketing campaigns for her clients.

Michelle is at the forefront of Melbourne’s science, tech and startup scenes, where she helps to drive the city’s entrepreneurial culture. She was the founder of tech and AI development company Black, led sales and marketing at BajaBoard and acted as an ambassador for the ZEN Esports Network. Michelle has a Masters of Media and Communication and a Bachelor of Science (Chemistry) from the University of Melbourne.




President, Marvelstone Group

Co-Founder and Partner, LATTICE80


Joel Ko is a serial entrepreneur and president of Marvelstone Group, a private investment company based in Singapore. In this role, he invests in and incubates startups, accelerates portfolio companies and leads mergers and acquisitions across borders with a focus on AI, FinTech, and Smart City innovations.


Joel co-founded the world’s largest FinTech hub LATTICE80, which helps FinTech startups develop and expand their business models globally, supports corporates and financial institutions in adopting new innovations, and forms public-private partnerships to develop new tech and educate the public. He also co-founded funds management company Marvelstone Capital and tech-focused venture builder Marvelstone Ventures.

Originally from South Korea, Joel founded a software company at the age of 23 and has built more than ten startups over his career. He has written widely about AI, innovation, and entrepreneurship for publications including The Business Times, Yahoo and Tech In Asia and has volunteered actively as a mentor for startups. He holds an MBA from the National University of Singapore Business School.


Agnes Panosian


Data and AI Lead

Agnes Panosian has spent 26 years in the data industry working in the domain of AI, business intelligence and analytics. She has worked at and with Microsoft in a range of roles since 1997 in engineering, consulting and strategic management. Agnes currently holds the title of Data and AI Lead at Microsoft, where she helps organisations draw greater insights and transform their businesses through advanced analytics and cognitive services.

Agnes is member of several advisory boards in the education sector and is a regular presenter at industry and analyst events. Her experience with enterprise customers and background in enterprise software engineering & information management systems allows her competencies for both business and deep technical conversations. Agnes has a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from Macquarie University and a Master of Business Administration from the Macquarie Graduate School of Management.



Dr Priscilla Rogers



Priscilla believes technology innovation in the health sector can significantly improve patient lives. She has multiple years experience in the research, development and translation of technologies to the health sector, including artificial intelligence, medical devices, and pharmaceuticals, both in corporate and start-up settings. As the Director of Upstart Innovations, she currently spends her time as the Vice President of Wintermute Biomedical, which is a biopharmaceutical company developing next-generation antibiotics to combat antimicrobial resistance (AMR).


In addition to this, she is an advisor to DoseMe; a world leading precision dosing software platform. Prior to this, she was leading the Cognitive Health & Life Sciences portfolio at IBM Research - Australia, and co-owner of a medical device company, which was recently acquired. Priscilla’s passion for health and life sciences research began when she undertook a PhD in Engineering at Monash University, specialising in the exploitation of micro and nanoscale phenomena for diagnostic applications.




Cloud Consultant: ML, Big Data & Analytics

Dr Nathan Faggian is a technical expert focused on machine learning, big data and analytics using the Google Cloud Platform. As a Google cloud consultant his role is to help large enterprise adopt and make the best use of cloud computing through technical leadership and guidance.

Nathan holds a PhD in computer science (computer vision) and has been an academic in multiple domains, with a career that has spanned computational science, meteorology and medical science.

Prior to Google, Nathan was a high performance computing section head, predictive services manager and research scientist at the Australian Bureau of Meteorology, Data Scientist and Applied Scientist at Microsoft and Research Fellow at the Centre for Neuroscience at Melbourne University.




By The Way Group


Alice is a business transformation expert, digital authority, and Advisory Board member, with over twenty three years experience enablingorganisations to improve their operations, drive their innovation agenda, and find new ways to grow. Her diverse industry experience includes retail, telecommunications, IT, mining and public sector. Having held senior global roles in many multi-national organisations as well as leading complex initiatives across the Asia Pacific, has given Alice a unique insight into how organisational ecosystems operate and how they need to evolve for what’s coming. 


Working with digital solutions before we were even calling them that, Alice has immersed herself in understanding emerging technology and what it means for the way businesses operate and grow. Her breadth of experience encompasses all things digital including navigating digital disruption, strategy, operating models, process re-engineering, risk, business delivery, commercial models, new skills, and change. She can demystify what it means to be digital, the possibilities of AI, and why Blockchain is a lot more than Bitcoin, explaining in simple business terms what it can do, and why you should care about it.


Alice has a Bachelor of Law, and Bachelor of Arts (Honours). She has worked with RMIT University to set up the first Masters of Procurement in Victoria, has held roles on numerous Government Boards and was a Legal member of the Latrobe University Human Ethics Committee. Alice is currently working with the Melbourne Business School on Digital Transformation, and has recently assumed a CEO role of the digital publishing company behind LeaderShip of Fools, a top 10 iTunes business podcast series, exploring leadership dilemmas for executives.





Trent Clews-de Castella is the Co-founder and CEO of Victorian based immersive technology (VR/AR/MR) startup PHORIA. After pioneering interactive 3D tours and VR experiences into the Australian property sector. Trent and his team continue to innovate and pioneer Virtual, Augmented and Extended Reality powered solutions into the mainstream arena.


PHORIA is working on how these new tools can augment our human and business capabilities. Trent will cover how XR technologies enable greater communication and environmental awareness. With a specific focus on how these emerging tools are helping equip the next generation of small business. Today in 2018, Trent and the team at PHORIA are helping activate world leading projects with private partners and empowering government bodies to leverages these new tools to better activate and connect with each other and the world around us.



Paul Velich


Vice President of Sales & Partnerships

Paul Velich is the Vice President of Sales & Partnerships at Headspin. Paul leads Headspin's global expansion and is accountable for all aspects of sales, marketing, products, operations and service delivery while building sustainable profit and growth.

HeadSpin helps companies build mobile apps that delight the world. The HeadSpin platform lets companies experience their applications the way their users do and take action with AI-driven performance insights through a single platform that is easy by design. Companies can gain visibility into mobile experience everywhere with access to 25,000 real devices on real networks in 150 locations globally. HeadSpin has been named one of the 20 Rising Stars as part of Forbes's Cloud 100 list. Find out more at 

As a seasoned executive, Paul has a strong track record of driving growth with a committed focus on delivering exceptional client outcomes and building high-performance teams. Prior to joining Headspin, Paul was in senior executive roles within IBM and SingTel/Optus.

Paul is also an investor and strategic advisor to a number technology startups across Asia.


Geoff Swaine


Alliances Director for APJ

Geoff Swaine is the Alliances Director for Asia Pacific and Japan at CrowdStrike. Leading CrowdStrike’s work with partners across the region, Geoff’s focus is on establishing and growing channel relationships and alliances across APJ to increase market reach and drive strategic value through its partners. With almost 20 years’ experience in helping enterprise organisations leverage technology to drive business efficiency, advantage and innovation, Geoff’s most recent roles prior to joining CrowdStrike include ANZ Managing Director at Blue Coat/ Symantec and General Manager for ANZ South at McAfee.






Martine is an experienced executive within the government, non-profit and international policy sectors, providing high-level expertise in public policy development, formulation and promotion both in Australia and internationally.

Martine joined the Committee in March 2016 after serving as Chief Executive Officer of the Australia China Business Council (ACBC), where she led the development of the organisation’s national strategy.

Prior to her role at the ACBC, Martine was Deputy Director of the Lowy Institute for International Policy, where she led the organisation’s business and organisational development.  As Secretary-General of the Australian Red Cross (ARC) from 2001-2004, based at its national headquarters in Melbourne, she worked on a national transformation strategy to help the ARC improve its delivery of community and relief services across Australia and globally.

Martine was a senior Australian diplomat for 17 years and an adviser to Foreign Minister Evans from 1992 to 1994.

She served on the Australian National University Council from 2004-2014 and is a member of the Australian Volunteers International board. Martine speaks French, German and Spanish.



Committee for Melbourne

Director of Engagement

Clive Dwyer has over 30 years’ experience in strategy and business development for major government projects, destination management, project advocacy and complex stakeholder engagement.


Clive joined the Committee in 2017 and is responsible for strengthening the Committee’s membership, stakeholder engagement and supporting the Committee’s thought leadership and advocacy work.


He recently returned to Melbourne from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) where he was Executive Director of Destination Yas Island and Executive Director, Destination Management at Miral Asset Management. Reporting to the Abu Dhabi Government Executive Affairs Authority, he was responsible for establishing the Yas Island Destination Management Strategy as well as stakeholder engagement, product development, global marketing, communications, infrastructure planning, major events and visitor services program.


Prior to his time in the UAE, Clive was Director of Business Development for the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, relaunching the largest combined convention and exhibition centre in Australia. During this time, he was Director of the Club Melbourne Ambassador program, which has delivered over 100 international conferences worth over $590 million to become the world's most influential Ambassador Program.


Before this he directed the international marketing, industry engagement and visitor services for the Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games. Other career highlights include the development of Melbourne’s annual International Mining and Resources Conference and the delivery of the globally acclaimed ‘Jigsaw’ campaign for Tourism Victoria. Clive has also held a range of industry and non-executive board positions in Melbourne.






Mike is a Solutions Architect for NVIDIA based in Melbourne, Australia. In this role, he has worked with local and worldwide technology partners to deliver some of Australia's leading High Performance Computing (HPC) and Deep Learning (DL) systems to the research, government and commercial sectors. 

Prior to joining NVIDIA, Mike developed a versatile skill-set, having graduated with bachelors degrees in both Mechanical Engineering and Laws, and then undertaking a PhD in Materials Engineering. Mike frequently deals in both technical and business spheres, enabling the successful deployment of emerging—and often esoteric—technologies in real world scenarios that ensure a meaningful return on investment.