Discussion Leads


Advance GameChanger
Global Australian Technology & Entrepreneurship Awardee 2022

Dr Seiji Armstrong is a quantum physicist and machine learning specialist on a mission to make the internet safer. As Head of Machine Learning in the Trust and Safety division at Google headquarters in California, Dr Armstrong leads a dedicated team focused on protecting child safety, countering violent extremism and, most recently, eradicating Covid-19-related racial vilification online. Operating in what is a new frontier for global safety and security, he has developed a series of machine-learning algorithms able to rapidly identify online abuse and policy breaches, with the goal of creating a safer place for all digital users online. Find out more about Dr Seiji Armstrong here. 

Jeanette Cheah

Australian Innovator

Jeanette Cheah, CEO and founder of HEX, is a dynamic and inspiring tech and business leader on a mission to transform today’s youth into tomorrow’s innovators. Her vision is to prepare the next generation of leaders, thinkers, and problem solvers who will shape the future of the world we live in. Jeanette leads tech diversity programs at Monash University, contributes as EIR, mentor and judge for accelerators like TechStars, Catalysr and RMIT LaunchHUB, and co-created the Gingerbread Demolition fundraiser for Save the Children Australia.  Before founding HEX, Jeanette spent over a decade building innovation solutions, marketing strategies, and digital products for some of Australia’s largest companies, including ANZ, AXA, AMP, and Origin Energy..Find out more about Jeanette Cheah here.


Advance GameChanger
Global Australian Life Sciences GameChanger 2020

Dr Sandro Demaio is a globally-renowned public health expert, advocate and medical doctor who has a passion for food, health and wellbeing. He previously held the roles of Medical Officer for non-communicable conditions and nutrition at the World Health Organisation, and CEO of the EAT Foundation; the science-based, global platform for food systems transformation. Dr Demaio has co-founded NCDFREE, founded festival21, and established an independent, not-for-profit foundation focused on improving the health and nutrition of young Australians. During Dr Demaio’s impressive career, he has also published more than forty scientific papers, authored the Doctor’s Diet cookbook and co-hosted the ABC and Netflix television series ‘Ask the Doctor’. Find out more about Dr Sandro Demaio here.


Australian Innovator

Sam Elsom is co-founder and CEO of Sea Forest (Ltd), an innovative environmental biotechnology company developing the scaled cultivation of the red seaweed, Asparagopsis. When added to livestock feed, it makes a significant impact on methane emissions reduction from livestock and dairy production and has the potential to reduce over 1 million tonnes of CO2-e per year by 2023.Mr Elsom is a passionate environmentalist and entrepreneur, having previous founded one of Australia’s first sustainable apparel businesses measuring social and environmental impact across supply chains as well as implementing a satellite factory in India to support poor communities with income, training, clean water and education. Find out more about Sam Elsom here.


2021 Social Impact Awardee and Global Australian of the Year

Leith Greenslade is a passionate advocate for the empowerment of women and children and founder of JustActions LLC. JustActions works with the world’s leading innovators to advance ten mutually reinforcing, measurable goals with the power to accelerate progress to a more just world rapidly, sustainably and irreversibly. Ms Greenslade states the purpose of her organisation as mobilising humanity’s most precious resources – inventors, scientists, doctors, teachers, students, entrepreneurs, politicians, artists, activists, corporate leaders and young people everywhere – to make one or more of the JustActions their life’s work. Find out more about Leith Greenslade here.


Nicola Hazell is social innovator, board director and tech ecosystem leader, committed to placing gender equality at the centre of the global innovation agenda. As Founder and CEO of The Sunshine Effect, Ms Hazell works in partnership with organisations and leaders to drive inclusive innovation and achieve social impact at scale. With a 20 year career spanning technology, government, journalism and civil society, Ms Hazell traverses the gap between practitioner and policymaker, and has ventured from startups to big tech in an effort to drive change. As Global Inclusive Innovation lead at Amazon Web Services, Ms Hazell led development of a specialisation to embed inclusion into the baseline of innovation; and as Founding Director of SheStarts, she helped build the ecosystem of support for women launching global tech companies. Ms Hazell holds various board and advisory positions and is a long-term supporter of Advance Global Australians, helping the organisation weave together and amplify the diverse stories and insights of our community of global Australians. Find out more about Nicola Hazell here.


Minister for Industry and Science

As the Federal Minister for Industry and Science and the Member for Chifley, The Hon Ed Husic MP is a passionate advocate for jobs, education, infrastructure, healthcare and innovation. Mr Husic has been vocal in pushing Australia to think proactively about the impact that technology has on jobs and communities as has devoted his efforts towards helping the industry to prepare and capitalise on all opportunities to grow and develop. Above all, Mr Husic’s passion lies in Australia’s manufacturing capacity and ensuring secure, rewarding and well-paid employment to all Australians. Before entering his Federal position, Mr Husic worked across roles in private and public sectors which included National President of the Communications, Electrical and Plumbing Union and at Integral Energy. Read more about the Hon Ed Husic MP here.


Australian Innovator

Mick Liubinskas is a climate tech investor and advisor. He co-founded Climate Salad to help build climate-focused startups and help the world get to and beyond net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. Mr Liubinskas has helped build 100’s of tech companies as a co-founder and with Pollenizer, Startmate, muru-D and Austrade. He programmed his Commodore 64 at age 8, sold computer networks at age 17, raised capital for a business at 22 and ran marketing globally for Kazaa at 26. For the past 18 years he has co-founded 4 technology startup companies, including three years in San Francisco. Mr Liubinskas has also written a novel to inspire teenage girls into the world of STEM, called She’s Building A Robot. It is accompanied by a series of interviews with women with careers in robotics, technology, science and maths. Find out more about Mick Liubinskas here.


Australian Innovator

Professor Veena Sahajwalla is an internationally recognised materials scientist, engineer, and inventor revolutionising recycling science. She is renowned for pioneering the high temperature transformation of waste in the production of a new generation of ‘green materials’ at the UNSW Sustainable Materials Research and Technology (SMaRT) Centre, where she is Founding Director. She is the inventor of polymer injection technology, known as green steel, an eco-friendly process for using recycled tyres in steel production. Prof Sahajwalla is the director of the ARC Industrial Transformation Research Hub for ‘microrecycling’, and has also been appointed hub leader of the national NESP Sustainable Communities and Waste Hub. In 2021 she was featured in the ABC’s Australian Story and named the 2022 NSW Australian of the Year. Find out more about Professor Veena Sahajwalla here.


Independent Member for Wentworth

Allegra Spender is the independent Member for Wentworth. She was elected as part of a wave of so called  “Teal” independents who swept into the crossbench in May 2022. Allegra went to Ascham School Edgecliff,  has an Economics degree from Cambridge University, an MSc from the University of London, and has  completed business courses at Harvard and Dartmouth College. Before parliament Allegra worked as a business analyst at McKinsey, a policy analyst with UK Treasury and later Managing Director at Carla Zampatti Pty Ltd, her family’s fashion label. Allegra was also the chair of the Sydney Renewable Power  Company, and CEO of the Australian Business and Community Network, which addresses educational  disadvantage by partnering low socio-economic schools with leading Australian businesses. Find out more about Allegra Spender here.


Australia’s 29th Prime Minister (2015-2018)

Australia’s 29th Prime Minister, Mr Turnbull has had international careers in law, business and the media and is a successful venture capitalist. As Prime Minister, he is best known for overseeing the legalisation of same sex marriage and the announcement of the construction of Snowy Hydro 2.0, the biggest pumped hydro scheme in the southern hemisphere. Mr Turnbull is currently a senior adviser to KKR and an investor in, and adviser to, many Australian technology businesses. He is a director of the International Hydropower Association and Chairman of Australian Fortescue Future Industries.  Mr Turnbull speaks and writes on a range of issues including cyber security, geopolitics and renewable energy. Find out more about Mr Turnbull here.


Australian Innovator

Chris Vein, CEO Australian Computer Society, is an accomplished administrator, leader, and evangelist with a passion for solving the world’s most pressing challenges. With a wealth of experience in digital transformation and innovation, Chris has held numerous high-profile positions, including Partner, Global Government Digital Transformation at PWC Australia; Chief Innovation Officer for Global ICT Development at the World Bank; and Deputy United States Chief Technology Officer for Government Innovation at the White House. Recently relocating from San Francisco to Sydney for his latest role, Chris is dedicated to bringing communities together and creating a more connected, innovative world.  Find out more about Chris Vien here.


Australian Innovator

Sally-Ann Williams is the CEO of Cicada Innovations, Australia’s home of Deep Tech. The Incubator has a twenty-one-year track record of developing deep tech ventures tackling pressing problems like the future of human health and the climate crisis. She leads national commercialisation programs to drive a fundamental shift in Australia’s economic base by increasing the number of R&D driven businesses. Ms Williams is currently serving as Chair of the Pathway to Diversity in STEM Review for the Federal Government. She is an experienced Non-Executive Board member and Advisory Group Member for many other companies as well as branches of Government. Prior to Cicada, Ms Williams was an Executive Program Manager at Google for 12 years where she led Google’s efforts in entrepreneurship and startup engagement, research collaborations with universities and CS and STEM education & outreach (K-12). Find out more about Sally-Ann Williams here.

Back to Gala Dinner and Summit Page