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Welcome to the Locate24 Conference Speaker Showcase! Get ready to be inspired by a lineup of distinguished thought leaders and innovators who are at the forefront of shaping the future of geospatial technology. From industry titans to visionary researchers, our speakers bring a wealth of expertise and insights across a spectrum of topics. 

Prof Deen Sanders

Prof Deen Sanders

Partner, Deloitte Access Economics

Professor Deen Sanders OAM leads the Deloitte Integrity practice which sits within Deloitte Access Economics.

Deloitte Integrity focuses on matters of governance, leadership, trust, policy and strategy, helping businesses and governments tackle the complex commercial, environmental and social issues of our time. Our practice brings multi-disciplinary expertise and a systems thinking lens to respond to challenges and unlock new opportunity.

As a founder of Deloitte’s Indigenous Leadership team, lead for Deloitte’s Truth and Reconciliation Action Plan, and Worimi man and Giparr (cultural leader) in his community, Deen has a particular dedication to cultural leadership and the role that Indigenous Knowledge systems have in shaping the future of economics, law and policy.

Deen is also a leader in the Deloitte Space practice advising the sector on matters of protocols, laws and regulation.

Before joining Deloitte, Deen was a leader in the government and commercial sector. As inaugural CEO of FASEA, he developed the blueprint for the professional standards and ethics regime in financial advice. Prior to that he was the head of Australia’s Professional Standards Authority, responsible for the oversight of Australia’s regulated professional communities (Law, Accounting, Engineering etc). As well as CEO roles in corporate and government regulatory environments, he is recognised as a global expert in the field of professions, regulation, ethics and law, and has been a key policy adviser and negotiator for law reform in the financial services and professional regulatory environments. Deen has a Doctorate in the field of Professions and Consumer trust and was awarded an Order of Australia Medal in 2017 for services to these fields.

Dyan Currie

Dyan Currie

Chief Planner, Brisbane City Council

Brisbane’s world-leading blueprint for economic growth and sustainability is engineering a positive legacy extending beyond the 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

With the UN Habitat’s SDG Cities Gold Level under its belt, Australia’s largest council is driving regional collaborative government strategy to shape the future for Southeast Queensland.

Dyan Currie, City Planner and Host City Lead, provides a first look into the strategies and capabilities enabling Brisbane’s commitment to a sustainable future.

Prof Fang Chan

Prof Fang Chan

Executive Director, UTS Data Science

Distinguished Professor Fang Chen is the Executive Director at the UTS Data Science Institute. She is an award-winning, internationally recognised leader in AI and data science. Her expertise lies in developing and deploying innovative data-driven solutions to solve complex problems within large-scale networks, encompassing a variety of sectors including transportation, water, energy, health, agriculture, telecommunications, real estate and more. With her vast experience in industry, government, and academia, Fang excels in developing strategies for innovation, shaping digital transformation initiatives, and creating world-class R&D for industries and governments.

Additionally, as a member of the Industry Innovation and Science Australia Board and the NSW Government AI Review Committee, she is a staunch proponent of ethical and human-centered AI practices. She is also on the expert panel of the Singapore National Research Foundation (NRF), and holds positions on the ITS Australia Board and several startup company boards.

Distinguished Professor Chen specializes in AI and data analytics, boasting a distinguished record of research excellence and innovation. She received the Australian Museum Eureka Prize in 2018, often referred to as the “Oscar Prize” in Australian Science, for her outstanding contribution to Data Science. Additionally, she has been honoured with the NSW Premier’s Prize for Science and Engineering in 2021 and the Women in AI Australia and New Zealand Award for AI in Infrastructure. In 2016, she was named the NSW “Water Professional of the Year.”

With over 350 publications and 30 patents across 8 countries, Distinguished Professor Chen has made her mark on the global stage, delivering numerous public speeches, including TEDx talks. She serves as the Chair of the ACM Steering Committee for Intelligent User Interfaces and has successfully supervised over 30 PhD students to completion.

Dr Ian Opperman

Dr Ian Opperman

Co-Founder of Service Gen

Dr. Ian Oppermann is co-founder of ServiceGen, helping Governments accelerate digital service delivery. He is also an Industry Professor at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS). From 2015 to 2023, Ian was the NSW Government’s Chief Data Scientist working within the Department of Customer Service where he held numerous roles including chairing the NSW government’s AI Review Committee and Smart Places Advisory Council. He was CEO of the NSW Data Analytics Centre (DAC) from 2015 to 2019.
Ian is considered a thought leader in the area of the Digital Economy and is a regular speaker on data, broadband enabled services and the impact of technology on society. Ian has an MBA from the University of London and a Doctor of Philosophy in Mobile Telecommunications from Sydney University. Ian is a Fellow of the Institute of Engineers Australia, a Fellow of the IEEE, a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering, is a Fellow and Past President of the Australian Computer Society, Fellow of the NSW Royal Society, and a graduate member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Dr James Johnson

Dr James Johnson

Chief Executive Officer of Geoscience Australia

Dr Johnson has been the Chief Executive Officer since April 2017. Dr Johnson is a geologist with over 35 years’ experience, including private sector mining and mineral exploration. He has led teams of geoscientists for over 20 years with a number of diverse achievements. These range from discovery of over two million ounces of gold reserves in industry, to national scale pre-competitive geoscience programs that have attracted exploration investment to Australia. Dr Johnson first joined Geoscience Australia in 2006 and in that time has been head of various divisions with diverse duties including carriage of energy and mineral programs. He has also been a member of the Board of the National Computational Infrastructure (NCI) at the Australian National University since 2017, and a member of the Australian Antarctic Science Council since 2018. Dr Johnson is also a fellow of the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering. Dr Johnson has a Bachelor of Science majoring in Geology from the University of Sydney and a PhD from the Australian National University. Dr Johnson’s vision for Geoscience Australia is one of deploying integrative geoscience for the economic, social and environmental benefit of Australians. He is driving a strong agenda of inclusiveness, has led Geoscience Australia towards Bronze and Cygnet accreditation in the Science in Australia Gender Equity (SAGE) initiative and is driving Geoscience Australia’s engagement with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Narelle Underwood

Narelle Underwood

Locate24 Conveor & Surveyor-General of NSW

Narelle Underwood is the Surveyor-General of NSW and Executive Director Spatial Services, part of the NSW Department of Customer Service, where they work at the intersection of technology and regulation to protect the integrity of the State cadastre and deliver foundation spatial data services for the benefit of the community, business and government.
Leading a team of 300 she is responsible for delivering technical projects, policy, legislation and digital transformation. She is the president of the Board of Surveying and Spatial Information (BOSSI), Chair of the Geographical Names Board (GNB), and the NSW representative on ANZLIC – the Spatial Information Council.
Narelle is responsible for the delivery of the Live NSW program which includes the NSW Spatial Digital Twin and Gravity Model. The program provides an enabling framework for Smart Places and forms part of a digital government which is community focused and outcomes driven.

Prof Lisa Harvey-Smith

Prof Lisa Harvey-Smith

Locate24 MC

Professor Lisa Harvey-Smith is an award-winning astrophysicist with 20 years’ experience in scientific research including the use of supercomputers to study stars, galaxies and black holes. Harvey-Smith is the Australian Government’s Women in STEM Ambassador and a professor of practice in science communication at the University of New South Wales. She has written more than 50 academic publications and six popular science books. She has received the CSIRO Chairman’s Medal and the Eureka Prize for promoting the understanding of Australian science research.

Paul Farrell

Paul Farrell

Chief Executive Officer of NGIS

Paul is the Chief Executive Officer of NGIS, leading its evolution as a global leader in creating impact with geospatial technology.

As a strategic thinker, Paul is driven by a profound belief in the power of geospatial technology as a catalyst for positive change in business and society. Making him a prominent figure in shaping the future of the geospatial sector.

He is a sought-after advisor for government and commercial entities alike, renowned for his ability to explore transformative opportunities by making data and technology open, accessible and location-enabled.

Paul holds several qualifications, including a Bachelor of Science (Honours), an Executive MBA from UWA (University of Western Australia) and a Postgraduate Diploma in Management from ANU (Australian National University).

Paul is a graduate of the AICD, extending his influence with over a decade of experience serving as a board member for various private, government, not-for-profit, and publicly listed entities worldwide.

Lisa Bush

Lisa Bush

Branch Head - National Location Information, Geoscience Australia

Lisa Bush is the National Location Information Brach Head. She is focused on uplifting and modernising our geospatial capabilities to deliver key Government initiatives including the Digital Atlas of Australia. 

Lisa holds a range of post graduate qualifications focusing on Geographic Information Systems, environmental management, strategic studies, project and program management, executive management and leadership. Her passion is realising the potential of location in time and space across multiple and disparate data sets to achieve organisational outcomes.

Lisa joined Geoscience Australia following 26 years of service in the Australian Army. During her time in the Australian Army, Lisa undertook a range of domestic and international appointments and deployments including the geospatial intelligence officer for OPERATION RESOLUTE, the whole of government approach to Border Security, and designing and establishing the Military Mapping Program for the world’s newest country as part of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan. Most recently, Lisa commanded the newly formed Australia Defence Force Mission Data Intelligence (MDI) Directorate where she led enterprise reform for Full Spectrum Targeting, Intelligence Mission Data and the Defence Geospatial Requirements and Prioritisation Framework.