Creating Australian industries of the future

9 June 2021

The Australia-Israel Chamber of Commerce in partnership with ANZ hosted a special panel discussion about building Australia’s future industries, and the opportunities for new value creation.


Our panel:

Professor Michelle Simmons AO is Director of the Centre of Excellence for Quantum Computation and Communication Technology, at the University of New South Wales. She is also the founder of Silicon Quantum Computing Pty Ltd, Australia’s first quantum computing company and has developed unique technologies world-wide to build electronic devices in silicon at the atomic scale.

 Michelle is internationally renowned for creating the field of atomic electronics and her team is leading the global race to develop a quantum computer in silicon. In 2017 she was recognised by the American Computer Museum as a pioneer in quantum computing, awarded the Feynman Prize in Nanotechnology and was named the 2017 L’ORÉAL-UNESCO Asia-Pacific Laureate in the Physical Sciences. In 2018 Professor Simmons was admitted as a Fellow to the Royal Society of London and named Australian of the Year.

Adrian Turner is an experienced corporate leader with a strong track record building innovative global companies. Adrian is currently Co-Chair of AustCyber, the national program to build a vibrant domestic cybersecurity company that recently merged with Stone and Chalk, Australia’s leading innovation hub, with a focus on fintech. The combined organisations have helped 560 start ups and scale ups with 147 alumni companies, who together with residents have raised an aggregate of $520 million since 2014.

He is CEO of the Minderoo Fire and Flood Resilience Initiative, a collaborative program applying a missions innovation model with an integrated work program of 70 projects to lift resilience so that communities can bounce back stronger from national disasters like the devastating 2019-20 Black Summer fires.

Prior to this, Adrian was the founding CEO of CSIRO’s Data61, the digital and data specialist of the national science agency after spending 18 years in Silicon Valley where he cofounded Borondi Group, was CEO and co-founder of Mocana corporation a global leader in IOT security, and was concurrently appointed Chairman of the Board for Australia’s expat network, Adrian graduated from UTS, completed the Executive Program for Managing Growth Companies at Stanford University, and has authored the book Blue Sky Mining – Building Australia’s Next Billion Dollar Industries.

Jennifer Westacott  AO has served as Chief Executive of the Business Council of Australia since 2011, bringing a unique combination of extensive policy experience in both the public and private sectors.
Under her leadership, the Business Council tirelessly champions meaningful policies that strengthen the ability of businesses to grow the economy for the benefit of all Australians.

Jennifer built her career in the public sector, working in senior leadership positions in the NSW and Victorian governments., and has served as the Director General of the NSW Department of Infrastructure, Planning and Natural Resources; the Secretary of the Victorian Department of Education and Training; and the Director of Housing in Victoria.

She was also the Deputy Director General of the NSW Department of Community Services, and the Deputy Director General of the NSW Department of Housing. As a senior partner at KPMG, Jennifer advised major corporations on climate change and sustainability and advised governments across Australia on significant reform priorities.
Jennifer has an unrivalled understanding of how the public and private sectors intersect and can work together to achieve the best outcomes in the national interest.

Since 2013, Jennifer has served as a Non-Executive Director of Wesfarmers Limited.
She is the Chair of the Western Parkland City Authority (previously known as the Western City & Aerotropolis Authority), which is overseeing the design and delivery of the Western Sydney Aerotropolis, as well as integrated delivery across the Western Parkland City, a region which comprises 38 per cent of Greater Sydney’s area.

Jennifer is an Adjunct Professor at the City Futures Research Centre of the University of NSW and also serves as a member of the UNSW Council. She is the inaugural Chair of the Board of Studio Schools of Australia, a patron of Mental Health Australia, the Co-Patron of Pride in Diversity, and a patron of the Pinnacle Foundation.

In 2018, Jennifer was made an Officer (AO) in the General Division of the Order of Australia.
Jennifer has a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) from the University of New South Wales and in 2017 received an Honorary Degree (Doctor of Letters) from her alma mater. She was a Chevening Scholar at the London School of Economics.

Sally Patten is the editor of BOSS, Australia’s premier leadership and management brand published weekly in The Australian Financial Review and online. She writes extensively on leadership, careers, the workplace and diversity.

Prior to this, Sally was the Financial Review’s personal finance editor, writing and commenting on superannuation, funds management, insurance, investment strategy and financial advice. Before joining the Financial Review, Sally lived in London and Hong Kong for 15 years. Latterly she worked at The (London) Times for six years, as a reporter and business news editor. She is a previous winner of the Citigroup personal finance and economics awards and in 2014 won the award for best editorial comment in the State Street Institutional Press Awards, Asia Pacific

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