Tasmanian Employer + TMEC Annual Conferences On Sale Now.

Tasmania's Premier Business Conference by TMEC

Held: 26-27 July 2023

Wrest Point, Hobart Tasmania

2023 Conference tackled the big challenges!

Amidst a backdrop of local, national, and international factors disrupting the mining, manufacturing and energy intense sectors, opportunities abound for those who can leverage developments at the frontier of innovation. In Tasmania, this sector continues to increase its identification with being cleaner, smarter, and diverse – and this is becoming a noticeable advantage for investors, customers, employees, governments and the broader community.

Dominic Thurbon

Partner, Community Impact team, EY, & an internationally engaged author, researcher & speaker.

Dominic Thurbon is a partner in the Community Impact team at EY, and an internationally engaged author, researcher and speaker in the fields of innovation, behaviour change and organisational transformation.

A business leader in the trenches, Dom was co-founder of Karrikins Group (acquired by EY in 2019), a consultancy he grew to over 150 staff with offices across Australia, New Zealand and North America. Dom has led the design and implementation of behaviour change programs in businesses and the community which have reached over 500,000 each year and won global awards for innovation and social impact.

He has worked across government, business and the not-for-profit sector helping leaders make sense of and respond to the profound forces of change that are reshaping organisations and society. His books and papers include Matter: How to rise above the competition to become the obvious choice, Talent magnets: Attracting and retaining top talent, On purpose: from purpose-driven to driven purpose and Game On: How video games change work and education.

Dom was also co-founder of Educator Impact, a technology company applying data-driven models to improve educational outcomes for students and teachers, and was a founding board member of the Shared Value Project in Australia.

Dom has delivered keynotes and workshops to a combined audience in the hundreds of thousands across Asia-Pacific, Europe and the Americas. He lives with his wife and pets in Sydney.

Presentation: Unleashing the power of innovation

In today’s market, companies that can’t innovate can’t survive. The market is changing so quickly that our ability to innovate now sits at the heart of remaining relevant and competitive in an ever-changing world. That’s probably why ‘innovation’ is one of the most discussed and debated topics at conferences, off-sites, workshops and strategy sessions around the country.

But most places can’t connect all the talk with real action, and in too many places innovation is simply as a buzzword. We need to develop a deeper and more practical understanding of what innovation is, in all its forms, and how we bring it to life. The truth is, innovation is a behaviour: you’re either doing it or you’re not. And learning the behaviours of innovation, and then finding ways to enable and promote them in your business, is the key to turning innovation from empty rhetoric to real-world change.

Mitch McPherson

Founder, SPEAK UP! Stay ChatTY

As the founder of Tasmanian-based organisation SPEAK UP! Stay ChatTY, Mitch’s journey to raise awareness of suicide prevention and reduce the stigma around mental health began after his younger brother Ty took his own life in 2013.

Mitch, the 2017 Tasmanian Young Australian of the Year and National R U OK? Day Ambassador has had a remarkable journey transitioning from an everyday tradie into a well-respected and purpose-driven public speaker. Mitch leads with an extraordinary vision for change, courageously harnessing his lived experience of loss to encourage our community to speak up about their mental health and take action. All through the important message of sparking conversations.

Since the loss of his younger brother Ty in 2013, Mitch has dedicated his life to helping, educating and encouraging others to speak up about mental health and prevent suicide. All of this important work is well aligned to Mitch’s own personal values: compassion, authenticity, kindness and perseverance.

Mitch has become a “go to” in the Tasmanian community for important discussions and messaging around mental health. From media interviews, his weekly radio segment or assisting those seeking guidance on start-up charities, a fun and vibrant MC of events, podcaster with his new show ‘Get Frank’, Mitch does all he can to positively impact the community. When presenting at schools, workplaces and sporting clubs, Mitch speaks from the heart. The connection he creates with the audiences he presents to is both genuine and empowering.

A devoted family man, father and husband, Mitch is just like a mate – he’s a passionate Carlton supporter, lover of sport and avid coffee drinker. He is someone you can relate to. He is real.

Presentation: Behind the Smile

Since the loss of his younger brother Ty to suicide in 2013, Mitch has courageously harnessed his lived experience of loss to encourage our community to speak up about their mental health and take action.

Mitch leads with an extraordinary vision for change. A devoted family man, father and husband, Mitch is just like a mate – he’s a passionate Carlton supporter, lover of sport and avid coffee drinker. He is someone you can relate to.

Through this tragedy, Mitch found his true passion and purpose in life. Mitch has become a “go to” in the Tasmanian community for important discussions and messaging around mental health and suicide prevention.

Mitch shares his story with sensitivity, safe language, and compassion, and cares deeply about prioritising the wellbeing of those in the audience today/tonight. If you feel uncomfortable throughout his presentation, please feel free to leave the room and practice self-care.

Dr Lisa Denny

Workforce Demographer & Adjunct Professor, Institute of Social Change, University of Tasmania

Dr Lisa Denny is a Workforce Demographer who provides research and strategic policy advice consulting services relating to education, skills, work and population change.

Lisa is:
• An Adjunct Associate Professor with the Institute for Social Change, University of Tasmania.
• A founding member of the Tasmanian 100% Literacy Alliance
• A member of the Expert Panel for the Centre of Population, Australian Treasury.

Lisa has a Bachelor of Commerce, Bachelor of Arts, a Graduate Diploma of Education and a PhD in which she investigated Skill Utilisation in Australia. She is also a qualified secondary teacher of economics and business studies. Lisa is currently completing a Masters in Educational Studies degree majoring in the Science of Learning and in 2022 completed the Language Essentials for Teaching Reading and Spelling (LETRS) course.

Presentation: Tasmania’s workforce: now and into the future.

Lisa will provide a powerful insight into the changes within the Tasmanian workforce and discuss how the workforce will continue to change into the future as the workforce ages, how the source of future workers will change and how employers can respond to these challenges. 

Vikram Sachdeva

Advanced Manufacturing Industry 4.0 Hub Manager, Swinburne University of Technology

Vikram Sachdeva brings 25 years of experience in the manufacturing space spanning operations, industrial engineering, continuous improvement, and digital transformation. He defines and executes strategies that equip businesses for the future. A trained engineer and a natural problem solver, he uses Lean Six Sigma and Industry 4.0 to create process, people and technology solutions that address both ingrained and evolving manufacturing challenges. 

In his current role, Vikram is leading an Industry 4.0 Hub within Factory of the Future at Swinburne, with a remit to support manufacturing businesses (primarily SMEs) with digital transformation. In the last 4 years of its operation, the Hub has successfully delivered a unique, nation first, Industry 4.0 Business Readiness program catalysing multi million dollar investment in Industry 4.0 technologies, contributing to onshoring, new jobs creation and establishing Industry 4.0 as a key enabler to any manufacturing transformation program.

Presentation: The Age of Digital Industrial Revolution:  enabling competitive advantage in Manufacturing

The session will cover the evolution of manufacturing through the industrial revolutions, what is enabling Industry 4.0 / 5.0 and where to from here. It will de-mystify Industry 4.0 (I4.0) and how it enables creation of smart factories, smart connected products, transition to net zero and business model innovation. Equally important is the approach to adopting I4.0 and the role of leadership and innovation maturity in leveraging the true potential of digital manufacturing. There will be an overview of the I4.0 Business Readiness program which 500+ Australian SMEs have participated in, helping them get started or confidently progress on their Digital transformation journeys, inform their Digital / Business strategy and developing a considered view on I4.0 investments. There will be some case studies of Australian manufacturing organisations that have used the I4.0 program to springboard their digital manufacturing and innovation journey. The talk will conclude with a brief introduction to Industry 5.0 with its focus on human centricity , sustainability and resilience.

Jenny Selway


Jenny has over 20 years of experience as an Engineer and Non-Executive Director, and a passion for decarbonisation and the energy transition. Jenny is currently the CEO of HILT CRC, a Co-Operative Research Centre that brings industry, universities and government organisations together to identify and de-risk decarbonisation pathways for Heavy Industry. Prior to this, Jenny worked across the energy industry at AEMO, the Australian Energy Market Operator where she focused on increasing renewable penetration in the Victorian transmission network, and at ExxonMobil, specialising in international joint venture and asset management.

Formerly on the board of HILT CRC, Jenny is currently an Alternate State Director at Agribio, a $288M Agricultural research facility and joint venture between the Victorian State Government and Latrobe University, and a non-executive director at Renew Australia, a social enterprise which promotes urban renewal and provides spaces for artistic and creative endeavours.

Originally graduating from the University of Adelaide with a Bachelor of Engineering (Hons) & Bachelor of Science, Jenny is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD), a Fellow of the Engineers Australia, and has completed an Executive MBA from Melbourne Business School and postgraduate studies into Climate Change Policy at the Australian National University.

Presentation: Industrial Decarbonisation - what are the key focus areas for research in Australia and its link to Tasmania

Lauren Cromarty

Senior Sustainability Consultant, DLC Spatial

Lauren is a circular economy strategic advisor, project partner and all round doer. She brings passion, a depth of unique experience and a good dose of cognitive diversity to the table. With an academic background including a Master of Planning, Bachelor of Environmental Management, and a Certificate IV in Competitive Systems & Processing (LEAN), Lauren is not one to shy away from tough conversations or question the status quo. She’s inspired to find unique solutions that have a positive impact on our planet and society, using her experience to overcome any obstacles in the way.

Presentation: Circular Economy: An opportunity for Tasmania

Are you curious about the circular economy, but find it overwhelming? Don’t worry, you’re not alone! Join Lauren on an exciting journey as she explores the practical implications of this revolutionary concept. You’ll learn what we need to do as individuals, organisations, and as a state, to achieve a circular economy. This includes balancing profit with purpose, stimulating collaboration, fostering innovation, and unlocking new opportunities. Although Tasmania has enormous potential, no one is currently leading the way. Waiting for the government to act or introduce policies is not an option because time is not a luxury we have. By embedding the three principles of a circular economy into our operations, we can start realising the benefits immediately.

Justin Resta

 Technical Manager,  Bluestone Mines Tasmania Joint Venture

Justin is Technical Manager – Metallurgy at BMTJV.  His role is to develop and deliver on medium to long term future development and growth opportunities to optimise the overall value of the Renison project.  Justin is a minerals processing/metallurgy specialist with over 27 years’ experience gained across a broad range of production, commissioning, research, development, commercial laboratory, engineering, and management roles.

Presentation: Rentails, Realise the Full Potential of Renison

The Rentails Project is focused on providing a significant step change in the scale of the Renison operation, leading to a more robust and sustainable, long-term operation. The project applies new minerals processing and pyrometallurgical technologies to the retreatment of historic tailings, to recover both tin and copper, while also allowing metal recoveries from underground ore sources to be increased.  A key benefit of the project is to provide improved environmental outcomes through the application of modern standards to water and waste management.  This presentation provides a brief overview and progress update for the project.

Tim Finnigan

Head of Engineering, University of Tasmania

Professor Tim Finnigan is the Head of Engineering at the University of Tasmania.  As a manager, engineer, and entrepreneur, his career has focussed on innovation and project delivery in the energy and technology industries. Prior to joining The University of Tasmania, Professor Finnigan was Director of CSIRO Energy, where he led a national team of scientists, engineers, economists and business professionals involved in research to enable Australia’s transition to a net zero emissions energy future. He has been a company founder and CEO, director, consultant, engineer, lecturer, and researcher.

Philip Haris

Director, Harbo Engineering

Philip has been an active Director of Harbro Engineering Pty Ltd for nearly two years now, a company founded in 1988 by his Father, Mr. Reg Harris. Philip is also a director of their r new subsidiary company, Phlow Pty Ltd, which Philip and his brother established last year to diversify into the rapidly growing additive manufacturing industry. 

Philip’s background has been in the construction industry for over 20 years all around Australia until he chose to follow my passion to be a teacher. He completed his Bachelor of Education in Technology at Griffith University in 2006 and taught Design and Technology, Mathematics, and Certificate 1 in Construction, in secondary schools in Brisbane for 6 years. 

Philip left teaching to work with Construction Skills Queensland (CSQ) supporting apprentices across the industry until 2013 when he was seconded to the Queensland Master Builders to establish the very successful Construction Apprentice Mentoring Scheme throughout Queensland. 

In 2014 he was approached by Hutchinson Builders to develop the innovative and successful “Ready for Construction” program specifically designed to prepare senior high school students for the work force and guide them into apprenticeships in the construction industry.

In 2021 Philip became more actively involved in Harbro Engineering to assist diversifying from traditional clients such as Caterpillar to a broader client base with more advanced technology and manufacturing processes. 

Harbo Engineering’s focus is to modernize the  business, streamline processes using up to date, appropriate technology, and machinery to best utilize our current workforce and train their apprentices and trainees into the next generation of tradespeople. They have also diversified into Additive manufacturing becoming the first AM bureau in Tasmania recognizing the potential of this new technology for advanced manufacturing in this state.

Presentation: Working Smarter for our Future

Peta Sugdeon

Director, Workforce Development and Strategic Relations, Skills Tasmania

Peta is currently serving as the Director of Workforce Development and Strategic Relations at Skills Tasmania where she provides strategic leadership and stakeholder engagement for Skills Tasmania’s work on workforce development. 

Prior to her role with Skills Tasmania Peta was the Executive Director – Investment Attraction in the Office of the Coordinator-General for eight years where she assisted facilitate investment into the State through investment matching and facilitating major projects. Peta has also held a number of roles across government, including the Deputy Director of Invest Tasmania, Chief of Staff in a Ministerial office and other senior roles in business development for the agricultural, food and small business sectors. 

Peta’s private sector experience includes senior management positions within the Tasmanian poppy industry – where she was the General Manager of a company that successfully commercialised new processing technologies for opioids – and a global inspection, testing and certification company where she audited companies against ISO 9000 and HACCP standards across the globe. 

With her expertise in strategic leadership and stakeholder engagement, Peta plays a vital role in bridging the gap between industry requirements and the training and workforce development system.

Alexis Wadsley

Dr Alexis Wadsley is the Director, Data and Strategic Projects at Skills Tasmania, part of the Department of State Growth. Starting his career with Woodside Energy, Alexis has worked in finance, academia, consulting and for the Tasmanian State Government in the Departments of Treasury and Finance, Premier and Cabinet, and Justice. Project highlights include financing the Burrup Ammonia plant, the Tasmania’s Place in the Asian Century White Paper, Tasmanian Energy Security Taskforce, Criminal Justice Demand Forecasting Model, and most recently, Energising Tasmania

Presentation: Bridging Skill Gaps: Government-Industry Collaboration for a Sustainable Workforce

Skills Tasmania’s presentation will examine the diverse skill profiles required in mining and manufacturing including trades, semi-skilled roles, design, supervisors, managers, procurement, and more. It will at look forecasted numbers and necessary qualifications for these profiles, emphasising the changing industry needs.  The presentation will delve into what’s currently in place for training and education for new entrants and the upskilling of existing workers.  We will examine the benefits of a collaborative approach to bridge the skill gaps, including strategies, policies, and initiatives for government support, plus industry’s role in investing in training programs and fostering a culture of continuous learning.  The central point highlights actions for the government and industry to close these gaps through a collaborative approach to bridge the skill gaps. By aligning efforts, we can ensure a capable workforce driving innovation and sustainable growth in the combined sector.

Stuart Hollingsworth

Director, Jobs Tasmania

Stuart is the inaugural Director of Jobs Tasmania, Department of State Growth. Stuart previously worked as the Director of Workforce Development in Skills Tasmania and has held previous roles across Australian, Tasmanian and Victorian governments. This has been in a range of economic and social policy areas including community development, workforce participation, local government, urban planning and has worked on national health, education and tax reform. In between these roles Stuart also ran a small business of his own but public policy development and implementation is his passion.

Alison Brown

Project Officer, Employer of Choice Program Jobs Tasmania

Alison is the Project Officer managing the Employer of Choice Program in Jobs Tasmania, Department of State Growth. Alison is a relationship based HR professional with over 20 years’ experience implementing change through her HR roles. Alison is passionate about people and has a strong interest in organisational change and ensuring that people are at the forefront of any change process.

Presentation: Growing your workforce – Recruit, Attract, and Retain

Positioning yourself as a great employer. 

Jobs Tasmania’s presentation will cover topics such as recruitment, attraction and retention, positioning yourself as a great employer, local networks and opportunities to engage 

2009 saw the creation and relaunch of the Employer of Choice program, and since this time more than 100 businesses have been recognised as Employers of Choice. 

In 2022, the Employer of Choice Program was aligned to the Jobs Tasmania agenda – supporting local people into local jobs. 

The presentation will delve into how government, business and community can collaborate especially in regional communities and how employers can create great workplaces to attract a diverse workforce to meet growth and demand. 

Kerrilyn Cope

Human Resources Manager, Caterpillar Underground Mining

Kerrilyn Cope is the Human Resources Manager at Caterpillar Underground Mining and is also responsible for the Resource Industries Operations and Products Division across Australia. During her 14 year tenure, Kerrilyn has managed Human Resources responsibilities across multiple time zones and various cultures whilst juggling family responsibilities.  She is one of two female managers within the company and as the only female leader on the Hard Rock Vehicle Management Team, she is able to engage in strategy sessions further promoting women in the resources sector.  She is passionate about building strategies and initiatives focused on employee culture and engagement, talent development and employee relations.  Kerrilyn was awarded the Exceptional Woman in Tasmanian Resources and received Highly Commended in the Exceptional Woman in Australian Resources National Awards in 2022.

Presentation: Caterpillar Diversity and Inclusion, Harnessing the Power or Everyone.

Diversity and inclusion (D&I) is a journey, not a destination. At Caterpillar, we believe in The Power of Everyone, different perspectives help us do our best work, achieve great outcomes and make positive changes in the communities where we live and work. That’s the Power of Everyone, and that’s why fostering a diverse and inclusive work environment is everyone’s responsibility.

Dr Gavin Lind

Chief Executive, Mining and Automotive Jobs and Skills Council 

Dr Gavin Lind is the Chief Executive of the Mining and Automotive Skills Alliance an independent, industry-led organisation supporting and transforming Vocational Education and Training (VET) delivery across the mining and automotive sectors and becoming one of 10 new Australian Government Jobs and Skills Councils. 

Gavin began his career as a Mining Engineer and has more than 20 years of experience in the mining industry here, and overseas, with a focus on health and safety, higher education, and skills development.

Gavin holds a Bachelor’s degree in mining engineering, a Master’s degree in industrial engineering and a PhD focused on improving health, safety and risk management outcomes for the mining sector in South Africa.  

His achievements include establishing the Earth Resource Regulation branch at WorkSafe Victoria, and leading the Australian Government’s Mining Skills Organisation Pilot in conjunction with the Minerals Council of Australia, where he led Workforce and Innovation Skills, and Health and Safety.  For over more than a decade, Gavin advanced policy and advocacy for more than 80 corporate members ranging from multinational corporations to regional explorers. 

Gavin was also an Executive Director of the Minerals Tertiary Education Council where he developed programs and initiatives in higher education, vocational education and training, skills and workforce planning, professional development, and research and innovation, on behalf of the Australian mining industry.

In 2013, he was awarded the LH Martin Award for Excellence in Higher Education Leadership for his work promoting mining education in Australia. 

Gavin is a Registered Professional Engineer with the Engineering Council of South Africa (ECSA), a Fellow of the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy (AusIMM), and a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD).  He also holds a Mine Manager’s certificate of competency for coal mines.