Speakers to be announced shortly.
Mr Greg Hoffman, PSM
Executive Officer, NWQROC
Greg Hoffman PSM is one of Australia’s leading local government professionals with over 45 years’ experience working in State and local government across three states and the Northern Territory. He has held positions of CEO, Commissioner, Managing Director, policy analyst, advocate and industry representative. In his current role Greg’s focus is on the people, policy and politics of the State’s remote and productive North West Region. Greg is passionate about regional Queensland and has devoted a lifetime assisting councils, regional bodies and communities to ensure their voices are heard and that they receive a fair return for the contribution they make to the State and national economies.
Greg holds qualifications in accounting, management, public policy, media and company directorship. He has been recognised for his outstanding contribution to local government having received a Public Service Medal in 1993 and a Centenary Medal in 2002 for his contribution to Australian society and government.
Cr Jack Bawden
Mayor, Carpentaria Shire Council
Chair, North West Regional Organisation of Councils
Cr Jack Bawden is a born and bred North West Queenslander. This practical exposure has given him an invaluable perspective on the opportunities, possibilities and challenges for the region. He actively promotes the needs of NWQ at every forum and level of government and believes that a common sense approach to development of the right infrastructure, at the right time, is needed to increase the sustainability and viability of the key industries such as tourism, agriculture, transport and mining in our region. He is a member of the North West Queensland Regional Roads Group. In his day job Jack runs a mechanical workshop in Normanton.
Cr Ernie Camp
Mayor, Burke Shire Council
Cr Ernie Camp is a strong advocate for the NWQ region and has been involved in local government for close to two decades. He is a Chair of the Australian Beef Association, as well as a member of many organisations in his community and beyond, including: AgForce, Gulf Cattleman’s Association, and NORTHBeef, Gregory Downs Jockey Club, Isolated Children’s Parents Association (ICPA), Gregory Downs Sporting Association and Southern Gulf NRM. He is also the Chair of Gulf Savannah Development.
Cr Greg Campbell
Mayor, Cloncurry Shire Council
Cloncurry Shire Council Mayor Greg Campbell proudly calls Cloncurry home along with his wife Anan and three children. Greg served as a Councillor for a term between 2004-2008 and as Deputy Mayor 2008-2012. Prior to Greg’s Mayoral appointment, he held a number of technical and managerial roles with Ergon Energy for the North West. Greg has significant experience in the energy industry with over 20 years as an electrician and various managerial roles. Being an active part of his community is a passion for Greg, with involvement in local groups, organisations and events including the Cloncurry Football Club, coach of the junior players, Cloncurry Fish Stocking Group. Greg has had past involvement in the Rotary Club and the Cloncurry Merry Muster Committee. Greg’s priorities as mayor include supporting local businesses, sealing of rural roads and improving the town's water supply. Greg also has a passion for agriculture and the development of rural Queensland and when he is not in the office he enjoys working on the family beef cattle property.
Cr Jason Ned
Acting Mayor, Doomadgee Aboriginal Shire Council
Cr Jason Ned is a Ganggalidda and Garrwa man. He was elected for his second term on the Doomadgee Aboriginal Shire Council in March 2016. Jason was born and bred in Doomadgee and currently runs a cattle property 45km from the Community and also undertakes contract mustering for other stations in the gulf area. He has also spent time working as a mechanic and fencing contractor. Cr Ned chose to run for council as a way of supporting people in the community and to make sure they receive good quality services. Jason Ned was appointed as Acting Mayor in June 2018.
Cr Jane McNamara
Mayor, Flinders Shire Council
Cr Jane McNamara is a born and bred, third generation North West Queenslander. Jane and husband Brendan live at Abbotsford, a sheep and cattle property 87 kilometres from Hughenden. After completing grade 12 Jane lived and worked in Townsville for two years, before returning home to assist her mother in running Abbotsford. Over six years Jane learnt the hands-on skills needed to run a property/business, from her mother. Jane was elected mayor of Flinders Shire in 2016 following a family commitment to the Shire – her father had been a councillor and Shire Chairman, her mother was the first female councillor and her husband Brendan had also been a councillor and mayor, retiring in 2012 after 21 years of service. Over the years she has been strongly involved in many community organisations on a volunteer basis.
Cr Belinda Murphy
Mayor, McKinlay Shire Council
Cr Belinda Murphy moved to NWQ from Tasmania in 1998 and worked as a pilot on various large-scale stations across the region. Belinda’s involvement in McKinlay Shire Council began when she took on the role of Senior Manager from 2005 until 2010. During this time she completed a graduate degree in Public Sector Management and various local government training programs. Belinda has been on many community organisations since moving to Julia Creek and enjoys campdrafting. Belinda is passionate about the shire and the lifestyle that it provides which is only enhanced by the people who reside there. Belinda and Wayne have two children, daughter Madeline and son Liam.
Cr Joyce McCulloch
Mayor, Mount Isa City Council
Cr Joyce McCulloch has lived in Mount Isa for over 30 years and with her husband William has two children. She was General Manager of the Mount Isa Rotary Rodeo for 15 years, transforming it into a profitable viable event. Joyce was awarded a Winston Churchill Memorial Trust Fellowship in 2007 and elected to the Mount Isa City Council in 2012. She has held numerous positions during her time as a councillor, is actively involved in the community and long been committed to tourism in the region. She would like to see council become more focused on progressing the city to its rightful position as a prominent regional inland city.
Cr John Wharton, AM
Mayor, Richmond Shire Council
Cr John Wharton AM was first elected to the Richmond Shire Council in 1991 and became Mayor in 1997. On 11 June 2007 he was the recipient of a Member of the Order of Australia Award for his service to the community of North West Queensland through local government, regional development, natural resource management and primary industry organisations. He also received the Centenary Medal for distinguished service to local government.
Ms Ranee Crosby
CEO, Port of Townsville Limited
Ms Crosby has more than 20 years' experience in the port and shipping industry. As Chief Executive Officer of Port of Townsville Limited, Ms Crosby has overall responsibility for the strategic leadership, direction and operation of the Ports of Townsville and Lucinda. Townsville Port is the largest container and automotive port in Northern Australia, and the country’s largest sugar, copper, zinc, lead, fertiliser and molasses port.
Prior to her appointment as CEO, Ranee held a number of senior executive positions in commercial, planning, property and governance fields. Ranee has led, managed and advised on a number of major infrastructure projects and investments, and she has a comprehensive understanding of port and supply chain operations.
Ms Crosby holds a Bachelor of Laws Degree (LLB) from James Cook University and is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. She sits on a number of boards and committees, including the Queensland Ministerial Freight Council, Queensland Ports Association, North Queensland Defence Advisory Board, Townsville Industrial Development Board and Townsville Enterprise Limited.
CEO, Outback Tourism Australia
Pete is a solution focused General Manager with a career demonstrating visionary leadership and performance in people management, strategic project management and business growth. He is an exceptional communicator, with high level negotiation skills who identifies opportunities, develops and provides tactical solutions to exceed organisational objectives.
With a wealth of experience in events, hospitality, tourism, retail, business to business sales, small business and management, Pete is a passionate contributor to growing tourism in outback Queensland.
Mr Tony Knight
Chief Government Geologist, Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy
Tony Knight, Queensland Chief Government Geologist since 2016. Prior to joining government Tony worked for 28 years in a variety of roles across the resources sector, most recently as Vice President Exploration for Arrow Energy.
Tony’s focus in the role of Chief Government Geologist is to apply a strategic approach to exploration and resource development in Queensland. He is leading a focus on increasing the rate and success of new discoveries in the Northwest Minerals Province, coupled with a drive to achieve a future state of “data driven exploration” where optimal use of geoscience information leads to industry exploration success.
Tony is also working to identify new opportunities across the supply – demand spectrum to further develop and enlarge the resources sector in Queensland.
Mr Jed Matz
CEO, Cooprerative Research Centre for Developing Northern Australia (CRCNA)
Jed has had over 20 years of experience providing policy, strategy and operational leadership in Australian Agriculture.
Graduating from the University of Adelaide (Roseworthy) with Bachelor in Agricultural Business majoring in both marketing and international trade, Jed worked with the Department of Primary Industries and Resources SA, as an English teacher in Japan and with the South Australian Farmers' Federation representing the interests of Sheepmeat, Cattle, Wool, Poultry and Pork Producers.
In 2007 Jed moved from his home state of South Australia to Canberra where he worked with the Cattle Council of Australia as the Policy Director representing and progressing the interests of Australian beef cattle producers. In 2013 he was appointed CEO of that organisation.
Jed was appointed as the inaugural CEO of the CRC for Developing Northern Australia (CRCNA) in July 2017. The CRCNA will be investing $75m of Commonwealth funds over the next ten years to support industry-led research collaborations. The funding will develop new technologies, products and services which address industry issues in Northern Australia within three areas of agriculture and food, tropical health service delivery and Traditional Owner led business development.
Mr Michael Mitchell
Regional General Manager - Nth QLD, Queensland Rail
Michael has held a number of senior management positions in the freight, logistics and infrastructure industries throughout Australia for more than twenty years. Michael is the Regional General Manager – North Queensland for Queensland Rail, leading the Northern Regional team that is responsible for integrated management network operations, maintenance activities and construction projects across a multi-billion dollar asset base comprising 3680 kilometres rail infrastructure.
An important part of Michael’s regional responsibilities is the Mount Isa Line, 1032 kilometres of track which extends from Stuart (near Townsville) to Mount Isa and includes the Phosphate Hill branch line. The Mount Isa rail line services a number of communities along the line through passenger transport, and provides a critical infrastructure backbone underpinning freight systems. The line is the critical link from the North West Minerals Province to the Port of Townsville where the majority of bulk products are exported. Queensland Rail remains a major employer along the corridor, and throughout the Northern Region.
Director, Copper String II
John O’Brien has been supporting energy infrastructure development and major energy users and producers throughout Australia and internationally for over 40 years. John has been working as an engineer, businessman, developer and advisor based in Townsville since 1981. John recognises the strong economic interdependence of the NWQ and the coast.
Kim Skubris is a broadcast journalist with 25 years experience in News, mostly with the Seven Network in Australia and overseas. For 20 years she has also been a communications and media advisor, emcee and keynote speaker, and now works as a freelance reporter while running her own consulting business. Kim is passionate about helping people through message mastery, storytelling, video, and presenting to become powerful communicators.