Speakers and Chairpersons

Dr. Fang Liu, Secretary General of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO)

Dr. Fang Liu is the Secretary General of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). She was first appointed for a three-year term starting August 2015 and has recently been reappointed for a consecutive three-year term until July 2021.

Prior to her appointment as Secretary General, Dr. Liu served for eight years as the Director of ICAO’s Bureau of Administration and Services (ADB). During her tenure, she contributed extensively to ICAO’s Senior Management Group and also participated in the High-Level Committee on Management within the United Nations common system. She transformed the administration of ICAO by enhancing efficiencies, improving governance, and providing effective management and support in areas such as human resources, language services, and conference and information technology services.

Prior to joining ICAO, Dr. Liu served the General Administration of Civil Aviation of China (CAAC), where over the course of twenty years she successively held the posts of Legal Counsel, Deputy Director, Director and Deputy Director General, Department of International Affairs and Cooperation. She was responsible for China’s international air transport policy and regulations, bilateral and multilateral relations with international and regional organizations including ICAO, the World Trade Organization, the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), the European Union, and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). Dr. Liu was also chief negotiator for the Chinese government for bilateral and multilateral air transport agreements with foreign countries.

During her career with the CAAC, Dr. Liu was elected chair of the Aviation Group of the Asia- Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) and was nominated by China to sit on the Air Transport Regulation Panel in ICAO. She also served as an expert on mediation and dispute resolution. Dr. Liu earned a PhD in international law at Wuhan University, China, and a Master’s degree in air and space law at Leiden University, the Netherlands. She was the Director of the Association of Air Law of China and of the Association of Private International Law of China and has published articles and delivered lectures on a wide range of topics in international air transport regulation and air law. She speaks Chinese and English and has knowledge of French.

Gerard Forlin QC, Cornerstone Barristers UK

Gerard Forlin was called to the Bar by Lincoln’s Inn and appointed Queen’s Counsel in 2010 in both the Civil and Criminal law sections, Gerard Forlin QC’s broad practice covers civil, criminal and commercial litigation; environment; fire; corporate governance (including bribery and corruption); major event planning & crowd safety; crisis management; health and safety; aviation; inquests and inquiries; local authority governance and services; and regulatory law.

Gerard currently inter alia is instructed in relation to Grenfell Tower, the Shoreham air crash, an F1 case and numerous other cases both in the UK and all over the world.

He has published more than 100 articles and is the author of Corporate Liability: work related deaths and criminal prosecutions (3rd edition) (Bloomsbury). The 4th edition will be published in 2019. He has been ranked in six separate areas by the leading directories. He has worked in over 65 countries, one of only a tiny handful of London Barristers to have ever achieved this. 

He is known globally in his various fields of practice and has worked from Vancouver in Canada to Queenstown in New Zealand.  Also, from the Falkland Islands and South Georgia in the Antarctic Ocean to Seoul in Korea and Beijing in China.  A selection of his areas of practice are set out below.

Gerard has acted for many of the major UK companies (retail, manufacturing, aviation, transport, tour companies, sporting including F1), regarding various regulatory matters.  He has also acted for numerous local authorities and individuals.  He is currently also acting for the majority of the families in the pending Inquest into the Shoreham Air Crash when eleven men died after a jet aircraft crashed on a road near Brighton in Sussex in the UK.

He has also appeared in court in several jurisdictions across the world and advised numerous other parties from all over the world including Airlines, Airports, Manufacturers, Mining companies, Water companies and Tour companies.  He is an expert on aviation mental health regulatory issues and spoken several times at the Royal Aeronautical Society. 

He has also spoken on expert panels on health and safety and environmental law at the International Bar Association annual conferences in Vancouver, Madrid, Rome and Seoul.

Gretchen Haskins, CEO of HeliOffshore Ltd

Gretchen Haskins is the CEO of HeliOffshore Ltd, a company dedicated to global offshore helicopter safety. She is an aviation industry leader in safety performance improvement and an internationally-recognised expert in human factors.

She has served on the board of the UK Civil Aviation Authority as Group Director of Safety, overseeing aviation safety in the UK (including airlines, aerodromes, air traffic, airworthiness and personnel). Prior to that, Gretchen was Group Director of Safety at the UK air traffic company NATS where she championed activities to support frontline operational safety.  Gretchen previously worked in nuclear certification and safety of intercontinental ballistic missiles, joint airworthiness trials for military aircraft, defence system design – and as an expert advisor to NATO on human performance and safety critical systems. She has a strong aviation background and has flown jet and piston aircraft in the U.S. Air Force.  She serves as a board member of the Flight Safety Foundation and is a fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society.

Peter Kearney, Chief Executive of the Irish Aviation Authority (IAA)

Peter Kearney was appointed as Chief Executive of the Irish Aviation Authority (IAA) in June 2018. A State-owned company, the IAA is the Irish civil aviation safety regulator and air navigation services provider (ANSP). Placing innovation at the core of his leadership, Peter is keen to ensure that the IAA delivers best in class service to its customers and stakeholders and is regarded as a leader in the Irish aviation sector and amongst small to medium Air Navigation Services Providers (ANSPs).

Peter has worked with the IAA since 1998, holding various management positions and also working initially as an Air Traffic Controller. He has a strong interest in innovation in ATM, being a key advocate of the IAA’s successful Remote Towers Project (which won the Single European Sky Award in 2017) and being heavily involved in Aireon, the IAA’s investment in the world’s first satellite based air traffic surveillance system.

Peter holds a Masters in Human Factors and Safety Assessment in Aeronautics from Cranfield University and a BSc. (hons) Business Management from Trinity College Dublin. Peter is also a graduate of Harvard Business School. His PhD research focussed on human machine interface, specifically the influence of ATM systems safety alerting tools on air traffic controllers response to critical safety events and the design of future ATM systems. With a keen interest in aviation Peter is a qualified helicopter pilot.

Captain Deborah Lawrie, Tiger Airways

Deborah Lawrie learnt to fly in 1969 and is a current check and training captain with with 40 years of airline experience. She was educated at Our Lady of Sion and graduated with a BSc from Melbourne University in 1974 and later she studied a Diploma of Education at Rusden State College. In 1998 Deborah completed the Cranfield University Aircraft Accident Investigation Course. In 2017 Deborah was inducted as a Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society and was awarded the honor of Master Air Pilot.

Deborah taught mathematics and Physics at secondary school level during the mid-seventies and was a general aviation flying instructor at Moorabbin airport from 1976 until 1979. In 1979 Deborah was the subject of the first contested equal opportunity anti-discrimination case in Australia. The case was fought for more than a year and after winning the battle against Sir Reginald Ansett in the High Court, she joined Ansett Airlines to become the first female airline pilot for a major airline in Australia. Deborah’s autobiography was published in 1992.

After the 1989 pilot’s dispute Deborah joined KLM Cityhopper in The Netherlands. She was a training Captain on the Fokker 50 for four years and later flew the Fokker 70 / 100. In 1998 Deborah established KLM Cityhopper’s Flight Safety Department. She held the position of Flight Safety Manager for 4 years and was the Chief Flight Safety Investigator for 8 years. Deborah was also chairman of the European Regions Airlines Association Air Safety Working Group from 1998-2004 and she was a member of the IATA Aircraft Accident Classification Working Group. In 2005 she transferred to KLM mainline where she flew the A330 to several countries around the world.

In 2003 Deborah was the lead developer of an Airline Incident Investigation Course, which has been delivered to several airline operators around the world and is currently delivered in New Zealand. In 2004 Deborah was part of a team that was commissioned by the government of The Netherlands to bring the Latvian aviation regulator’s knowledge and standard of aircraft accident investigation in line with European standards.  

In 2008 Deborah returned to Australia to join Jetstar Airways as the Manager of Safety Investigations and eventually returned to line flying based in Christchurch.  In July of 2012 Deborah joined Tiger Airways based in Sydney and is currently a Check and Training Captain on the A320.

Brent Hayward, Managing Director of Dédale Asia Pacific

Brent Hayward is the Managing Director of Dédale Asia Pacific. He is a professionally qualified and Registered Psychologist, with more than 40 years’ experience in the provision of services and advice to management within the aviation industry. Previous employers include the RAAF Psychology Service, Australian Airlines and QANTAS Airways.

Brent’s work has included a broad variety of aviation selection, training, safety investigation, and organisational effectiveness activities. He has been responsible for production of a range of innovative human factors training materials for operational personnel, including the highly successful CRM film, “The Dryden Accident” (1992), and the “Safety Culture Evolution” (2000) and “ASSIST” (2007) safety promotion films for EUROCONTROL.

Brent has developed and delivered specialist training in aviation psychology, human factors, CRM, and aviation safety investigation methods for a range of organisations in Australia, Africa, Asia, Europe, the Middle East, the Pacific, & North and South America. This work has included human factors and safety investigation training seminars and workshops conducted on behalf of the European Association for Aviation Psychology (with the late Dr Rob Lee AO from 1999-2017) in Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland & the UAE, for EUROCONTROL (since 2000; in Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Denmark, Estonia, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Kosovo, Luxembourg, Poland, Portugal, Romania and Switzerland), for EMBRAER (Brazil) and for the Singapore Aviation Academy (since 1998). In recent years Brent also partnered with Dr Rob Lee to conduct Independent SMS reviews for Airservices Australia and Changi Airport Group (Singapore).

Brent has had considerable experience in the investigation of human factors aspects of both military and civil aircraft accidents and incidents, including those involving Boeing and Airbus aircraft, CH-47 Chinook, General Dynamics F-111C, Macchi MB326-H, McDonnell Douglas F/A-18, Mirage III-O, Mitsubishi MU-2, and Piper Chieftain. In 2003 he was appointed by the NSW Ministry of Transport to investigate human factors and operations aspects of the Waterfall Rail Disaster.

Brent was the founding President of the Australian Aviation Psychology Association (1992-2000), and is a Member of the Australian Psychological Society, the European Association for Aviation Psychology (EAAP), the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society (USA), and the International Society of Air Safety Investigators (ISASI).

He is co-editor of the books: Applied Aviation Psychology (Avebury Aviation, 1996), and Aviation Resource Management, Volumes 1 and 2 (Ashgate, 2000), and is an Editorial Board member of the international journal Aviation Psychology & Applied Human Factors (Hogrefe).

In December 2003 Brent was honoured as recipient of the Australian Aviation Psychology Association’s Third ‘Aviation Human Factors Achievement Award’.

In 2004-2005 Brent served as Human Factors Advisor on the Steering Committee of the National Patient Safety Education Framework project, an initiative of the Australian Council for Safety and Quality in Health Care.


Wayne Martin, Central Queensland University

Wayne Martin commenced flying in 1979 and then spent 10 years in the Royal New Zealand Air Force from 1980-1990. Following his military career, which was spent on HS748 Andovers, F27’s and C130 Hercules aircraft, he joined the Air New Zealand group with one of their Link carriers, Air Nelson. After 4 ½ years with Air Nelson, having attained the role of fleet manager, he then moved to Ansett New Zealand, where he spent most of his time on the Bae 146, until that company ceased operating in 2001. Following this he worked for a company flying Dash 8 and ATR72 aircraft on various contracts around New Zealand and the South Pacific. During that time he went from a line Captain’s role, through Check and Training Captain, to eventually finish up as Training Manager. In 2004 Wayne joined Pacific Blue (Virgin Australia New Zealand) initially as a First Officer, then as a Captain and Training Captain, before moving across to the B777 in 2010. He continues to fly the B777 to this day and has accumulated just over 20,000 hours of flight time across his career to date.

Throughout his career Wayne has been heavily involved in both flying training and ground training across a wide variety of disciplines. He has also held various management positions, including as a manager of the long-haul Non-technical Skills program at Virgin Australia. Beyond the airline world, he also started, and continues to run, the PACDEFF CRM and Airline Human Factors Conference, which is held in Australasia every year. The conference, which is the largest of its type in the world,  is principally a Human Factors practitioner’s conference, which showcases some of the best Aviation Human Factors research around and facilitates interaction between Human Factors professionals across the aviation industry.

Along the way Wayne has accumulated four degrees, including two Masters’ degrees and a PhD in Human Factors. His Doctoral Thesis was entitled ‘Pathological behaviours in pilots: The effects of startle, freeze and denial on situation outcome’. He has also spoken widely at conferences around the world on his research and has published a significant number of journal articles and research papers. Wayne has taught at three Universities over the last ten years and currently holds a position as an Adjunct Associate Professor at Central Queensland University, where he continues to supervise seven PhD students.  

Over the period 2014-2017 Wayne was the Upset Prevention and Recovery Training (UPRT) workstream chair for the International Pilot Training Association. This ICAO/IATA/RAeS collaboration is a world-wide initiative to standardise best practice across nine different disciplines and domains in the aviation industry. Wayne was privileged to lead an international team of SME’s in the development of a comprehensive report into UPRT best practice from around the world, culminating in a final report to the IPTA board in April 2017.

Wayne was made a fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society in 2014.

Richard Charlton, CEO and Co-Founder of Electro.Aero

Richard Charlton is the CEO and Co-Founder of Electro.Aero, a Perth-based technology company developing electric propulsion systems for light aircraft. Working with aircraft designers and manufacturers to provide fully-integrated, turnkey propulsion systems, Electro.Aero is currently converting in-production aircraft to electric. Electro.Aero is also the world’s most experienced owner of commercial electric aircraft, with over 150 hours of flying on the 100% electric Pipistrel Alpha Electro. Richard’s background is in finance and strategy, and he holds a PPL and RAAus Pilot Certificate.

Greg Hood, Chief Commissioner of the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB)

Greg Hood is the Chief Commissioner of the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) —Australia’s national transport safety investigation agency.   

Greg has almost 40 years’ experience in the transport industry, beginning his career as an air traffic controller in the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF). Greg has since had a wide range of operational, training and leadership roles across the civil aviation industry. Greg has had the unique experience of acting as Director of Aviation Safety at CASA and acting Chief Executive of Airservices Australia, before his appointment as Chief Commissioner and CEO at the ATSB.

As well as being a glider and powered aircraft pilot, Greg is involved with a number of aviation bodies. He is a Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society, a Freeman in the Honourable Company of Air Pilots, and a Life Member of the Qantas Founders Museum.

Before joining the ATSB, Greg was a Board Member of Safeskies Australia and a recent past-president of the Canberra Philharmonic Society. Greg has also served as a member of the business advisory council for World Vision, and has for the past 3 years, been a Champion for the St Vincent de Paul CEO Sleep-out, raising funds for Australia’s homeless.

Lieutenant Kate Munari, Transport Safety Investigator of Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB)

Lieutenant Kate Munari grew up in Sydney and joined the Royal Australian Navy at the age of 18 through the Australian Defence Force Academy, ADFA, completing a Bachelor of Science degree. Qualifying as a helicopter pilot in 2006, her skill and dedication to flying, lead to her being selected for a four and a half year posting to the Royal Navy, UK. There Kate flew as part of Commando Helicopter Force, CHF, who fly in support of the Royal Marine Commandos.

Kate served in Afghanistan three times as part of CHF, flying day and night, in all weather conditions as aircraft captain and formation commander, leading teams in some of the toughest conditions any workplace can present. On several occasions Kate’s aircraft came under enemy fire and she was responsible for making the tough decisions as to what to do in those critical moments.

Also during her time in the UK, Kate was chosen to be the Officer in Charge of the Royal Australian Navy’s vessel which escorted the Royal barge during the Diamond Jubilee river pageant for Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II. In 2011 His Royal Highness Prince Charles presented Kate with the British Afghanistan campaign medal at Clarence House in London.

On return to Australia, Kate was selected to study at the Australian Defence Force’s Capability and Technology Management College, graduating with a Masters in 2013. Returning to flying in 2014, Kate was a Flight Commander flying the MRH90 helicopter at sea on HMAS Canberra, one of Australia’s newest ships followed by her final posting in the Navy as the Operations Officer at 808 Squadron.

Kate has retired from the Royal Australian Navy in 2018 after 17 years of service and has started a new career with the Australian Transport Safety Bureau as an Air Accident Investigator.    

Kate is also a motivational speaker who is keen to share her experiences with others. Kate will inspire and motivate audiences to overcome challenges and achieve their goals.

Melanie Todd, Principal Human Factors Advisor of The Keil Centre

Melanie Todd is a Principal Human Factors Advisor with The Keil Centre and has worked within regulatory and investigation agencies, analysing human performance and approving the introduction of new technologies, safety management systems and providing human factors training in aviation. Melanie has considerable experience and specialist interest in accident and incident investigation, evaluating human performance in training, human error analysis, safety management systems and fatigue risk management. Her strong interest is in understanding human performance and tailoring training to support this, including using investigation techniques to aid this process.

Melanie worked as a Manager and Senior Transport Safety Investigator (Human Factors) with the Australian Transport Safety Bureau, conducting independent safety investigations into complex aviation, rail and maritime accidents and serious incidents. This experience reinforced Melanie’s understanding of the importance of a systems approach to managing human performance, and the need for tools and guidance to support this approach to gain practical solutions for the workplace. Her PhD explore pilot training and the link between performance and experience.

Melanie holds a Bachelor of Aviation and Masters of Science and Technology in Aviation (Human Factors), a PhD in Psychology (Human Factors) as well as the Diploma of Transport Safety Investigation. She is the President of the Australian Aviation Psychology Association and a member of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society Australia.

David Anderson, Managing Director, BARS Program of Flight Safety Foundation

David Anderson commenced his aviation career as an apprentice mechanic in the Royal Australian Air force (RAAF) before moving to flight crew as a Flight Engineer on the P3C Orion where he spent 10 years in crew member, instructor and check & training roles. After 17 years of service life, David joined an international airline as a B747 Flight Engineer and spent 11 years on international, domestic passenger and cargo operations. At the end of the flying career, David moved into quality and safety with experience in IOSA and ISAGO audits on behalf of IATA, QMS Auditing and BARS auditing for the Flight Safety Foundation. In this time David also achieved a multi engine commercial pilots license.

David holds an MBA, Company Director Qualifications, QMS Lead Auditor certification and engineering qualifications.

David has been involved with the FSF BARS Audit Program since it earliest days in 2010 as an Auditor, Program Manager for the Audit Companies, Audit Manager for the Foundation and now is the Managing Director for the BARS Program within the Flight Safety Foundation.

Lea Vesic, Innovation and Improvement Executive at Recreational Aviation Australia

Lea Vesic is a strong believer that “you can’t be what you can’t see” and a passionate advocate for youth engagement and women in the aviation and aerospace industries.  Lea enjoys motivating the next generation of aviation professionals to strive to be innovative, inspiring and to be empowered to make a positive difference in the world through leadership and aviation.

Lea has experience working within both the aerospace public and private sectors internationally and domestically.  Lea has worked in flight operations, private jet sales, aviation training, policy development and finance and administration roles and more recently in change management as the Innovation and Improvement Executive at Recreational Aviation Australia.

Lea holds a Diploma of Flight Operations, a Commercial Pilot’s License and Multi Engine Command Instrument Rating.  Lea is qualified Lead Auditor, currently studying a Masters of Aviation Management at the University of New South Wales and completing a CASA Flight Instructor Rating.

Lea is a guest lecturer at the University of New South Wales, the Secretariat for TAAAF (The Australian Aviation Associations Forum), the first female chair of Royal Aeronautical Society Canberra branch and a board member of the Women in Aviation Australian chapter.

Shane Carmody, Chief Executive Officer and Director of Aviation Safety Civil Aviation Safety Authority

Shane Carmody was appointed as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Director of Aviation Safety (DAS) on 7 June 2017.  Immediately prior to his formal appointment, Shane acted as CEO/DAS for eight months from October 2016.

CASA’s roles include the safety regulation of civil air operations in Australian Territory, the operation of Australian aircraft outside Australian Territory and encouraging a greater acceptance by the aviation industry of its obligations to maintain high standards of aviation safety. 

Immediately prior to joining CASA, Shane was Deputy Secretary, Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development.  In this position his responsibilities included the Office of Transport Security, Aviation and Airports, Local Government and Territories and the Western Sydney Airport project.

Before joining the APS in 1989, Shane had a 15 year career as an Army Officer, where he served in various Australian and overseas locations.

Shane studied Bahasa Indonesia at Gadjah Mada University in Yogyakarta, Indonesia.  He has a BA from the University of Queensland, an MBA from Monash University, is a fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society (FRAES) and a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.  He is also the current Chair of the International Civil Aviation Organization’s Regional Aviation Safety Groups.

Jason Harfield, Chief Executive Officer of Airservices Australia

 Jason Harfield was appointed Chief Executive Officer on 9 March 2016, beginning his career with Airservices as a flight data officer in Adelaide in 1989.

With more than 30 years of experience in aviation and the air traffic management industry, Jason has been a core member of the Airservices Executive Leadership Team since 2005. His executive leadership roles included leading the safety and future services functions as well as leading and transforming the air traffic control operations through the introduction of new services, advanced airport capacity and air traffic flow management capabilities, whilst reinvigorating Airservices largest operational workforce.

Prior to this, Jason held a number of operational management and senior management positions including Australia’s Head Air Traffic Controller and Australian Airspace Regulator as well as operating as a qualified operational air traffic controller.

Jason has an EMBA from Melbourne Business School (Mt Eliza) and has completed the Advanced Management Program at Harvard Business School. He is also a fellow of both the Australian Institute of Company Directors and Royal Aeronautical Society as well as a private pilot.

Matt Hall, 2019 World Champion Red Bull Air Race

Matt Hall is a third-generation pilot and his country’s foremost aviator. He flew solo in a glider at age 15, got his pilot’s license at 18, and has flown more than 6000 hours in various aircraft. A decorated former Wing Commander in the Royal Australian Air Force, he was named Fighter Pilot of the Year and became a Fighter Combat (Top Gun) Instructor. 

After retiring from the military, Hall became Australia’s first, and still only, Red Bull Air Race pilot. In a career in aviation’s number one sport that has spanned a decade, Hall has won seven races and finished runner-up in the world championship on three occasions.

Not content to keep his skills solely in the cockpit, Hall has built a successful aviation business that has included the purchase of Lake Macquarie Airport and specialised in aerobatic displays, aviation risk management, joyflights and corporate speaking engagements where he relates knowledge learnt in aviation, both in combat and as a civilian, to all manner of industry.

Hall is also the QBE Airmanship ambassador, heading up a program that aims to minimise risk and maximise education for Australian General Aviation pilots.

Sir Angus Houston, University of the Sunshine Coast

Air Chief Marshal Sir Angus Houston AK, AFC (Ret’d) was awarded the Knight of the Order of Australia in January 2015 for extraordinary and pre-eminent achievement and merit in service to Australia, through distinguished service in the Australian Defence Force, continued commitment to serve the nation in leadership roles, particularly the national responses to the MH370 and MH17 disasters, and in a variety of roles in the community.

Sir Angus retired from the military in July 2011 after serving for 41 years. He was Chief of the Australian Defence Force from 2005-2011 and prior to that was Chief of Air Force for four years.

Sir Angus is Chancellor for the University of the Sunshine Coast. He Chairs a number of boards and also serves as a board member for numerous organisations. He is a visiting fellow of the Australian National University National Security College. In addition, he is the Ambassador/Patron of a number of charitable organisations. Sir Angus has been awarded four honorary doctorate degrees from the University of South Australia, the Australian National University, the University of New South Wales and Griffith University.

Rich Davis

Rich Davis recently retired from United Airlines. 

Rich’s career spanned almost 41 years at United Airlines which included 30 years in the corporate security department and 22 years as their Chief Security Officer.   Rich has had many roles within the security industry which included 13 years on the U.S. State Department’s Overseas Security Council (OSAC), 10 years on the Executive Board of the FBI and DHS’s Domestic Security Alliance Council (DSAC), 5 years on the Board of Directors of the International Security Management Association (ISMA) and is the President of the International Security Foundation (ISF).  Rich was a 6 time Chairman of the Airlines for America (A4A) Security Council and 3 time Chairman of the International Airlines Security Council (IATA). He also spent seven years as Vice-Chair of the two councils. Rich was a member of the Global Security Advisor Group (GSAG) for the Center for Strategic International Studies (CSIS) as well.

Rich’s responsibilities included all of the traditional corporate security issues but was heavily focused on the anti-terrorism efforts in the aviation industry.

Brigadier John Fenwick, Director General of Army Aviation

Brigadier John Fenwick is the Director General for Army Aviation. His appointments as a brigadier include serving in 2018 as the Deputy Commander of the Combined Joint Force Land Component in Iraq. For his service in this appointment, he was awarded the United States Legion of Merit. His prior appointment as a brigadier was Chief of Staff to Special Operations Command in 2017.

Brigadier Fenwick commissioned from the Royal Military College in 1992 to Australian Army Aviation and qualified as an Army pilot in June of 1994. He has commanded both 161 and 162 Reconnaissance Squadrons as well as the 1st Aviation Regiment. During command of 1st Aviation Regiment he introduced the Tiger aircraft into the Regiment. Prior to those commands, he served as a pilot in 162 Reconnaissance Squadron in Townsville (flying Kiowa), 9 Regiment Army Air Corps flying AH-1 Gazelles, and 2nd Squadron, 17th Cavalry Regiment of the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) where he flew the OH58-D(I) Kiowa Warrior and was the Squadron Assistant S3. For his service at Fort Campbell he was awarded the United States Meritorious Service Medal.

In addition to his 2018 deployment in Iraq, Brigadier Fenwick has served on operations in East Timor in 2003 as a United Nations Military Observer on OP CITADEL as well as deploying 162 Reconnaissance Squadron to East Timor on OP ASTUTE in 2006. In 2012/2013 as a colonel, he deployed to the Headquarters of the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan as the Director for Security Transition.

Staff appointments have seen Brigadier Fenwick serve as the Adjutant, 1st Aviation Regiment, the Staff Officer (Grade 2) Combat Aviation in Army’s Force Development Group, and the Deputy Director of Military Operations in the Headquarters of Defence Force Recruiting. In 2012 he was the Military Assistant to the Chief of Army. He was the Director for Close Combat and Special Operations projects in the Capability Development Group for the period 2013-2015.

Brigadier Fenwick has graduated from the Australian Command & Staff and the Defence & Strategic Studies Courses at the Australian Defence College. In addition to his bachelor’s degree, Brigadier Fenwick has a Master’s in Business Administration, is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and is an Associate Fellow of the Australian Institute of Management. He is a non-executive director on the Board of the Macular Disease Foundation of Australia.

Stuart Aggs, Chief Operations Officer of Virgin Australia Group

Virgin Australia Group, Chief Operations Officer, Stuart Aggs oversees the Operational Divisions including, Flight Operations, Cabin and Inflight, Ground & Network Operations, Safety Systems and Engineering.

Stuart joined the airline in May 2004 and has held several senior management positions within the Group including General Manager Safety Systems. After a move to Director Group Flight Operations in June 2016, Stuart was appointed to his current role in June 2019.  

Stuart is a Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society and holds a Master of Science (UNSW) in Aviation and a Bachelor of Arts (UNE).

AIRCDRE Guy Wilson

Air Commodore Guy Wilson was born in Sydney and attended Barker College in Hornsby. He joined the Air Force in 1989 and completed pilot training in 1990. His first posting was to the Aircraft Research and Development Unit at RAAF Base Edinburgh to fly DC-3 Dakotas. In 1994 he commenced flying the C-130E Hercules at RAAF Base Richmond, and spent three years providing air transport support to the ADF both in Australia and the region. During this posting he was also involved in humanitarian relief operations in Australia and Papua New Guinea.

In 1997, Guy completed a staff officer position at Headquarters No 86 Wing in Richmond, where he planned exercises for the two C-130 squadrons. In 1999 he was posted to 33 Squadron to fly the Boeing 707 air to air refuelling and transport aircraft. He was promoted to Squadron Leader in 2000 and for the next four years performed the roles of Tanker Flight Commander and then Executive Officer of 33 Squadron. In 2002, he deployed to Kyrgyzstan to fly air refuelling missions over Afghanistan in support of coalition operations. For this deployment, the unit was awarded the Meritorious Unit Citation.

Guy completed Australian Command and Staff College in Canberra in 2005. In June 2006 he was promoted to Wing Commander and assigned the role of Deputy Director of the KC-30A Transition Team, which managed the replacement of the Boeing 707 with the Airbus KC-30A Multi-Role Tanker Transport. He took command of 33 Squadron in 2008 and moved the squadron to its new facilities at RAAF Base Amberley in preparation for the arrival of the new aircraft.

In 2011, Guy was promoted to Group Captain and selected to be the Chief of Staff of Headquarters Air Mobility Group, leading the staff responsible for the governance of all Air Mobility Group aircraft and personnel. He was then appointed Officer Commanding of 86 Wing in November 2013. In this role he commanded three busy air mobility squadrons: 33 Squadron (KC-30A); 36 Squadron (C-17A) and 38 Squadron (B300).

Guy completed the Defence Strategic Studies Course in 2016 and was promoted to Air Commodore in March 2017. He deployed as the Deputy Commander of the Australian Joint Task Force in the Middle East for eight months. Upon return in December 2017, he assumed the position of Deputy Air Commander Australia. AIRCDRE Wilson was awarded a Masters of Management (Defence Studies) degree in 2005 and a Master of Politics and Policy degree in 2016.

Mark Hughes, CAA of New Zealand

Mark Hughes leads a Group which is responsible for the safety oversight of New Zealand airlines and supporting maintenance, design, and manufacturing organisations.  The Group also provides safety oversight of foreign airlines flying to and from New Zealand.  

Mark’s early aviation career included roles as a military pilot for both the Canadian Armed Forces and the Royal New Zealand Air Force.  Before joining the CAA he had an extensive career in commercial aviation, flying a range of aircraft including the Airbus A320 and A330, and Boeing B757, and B737-800.  He has held roles as an Instructor, Flight Examiner, Human Factors Specialist, Chief Pilot, and Director of Flight Operations.

Mark has experienced the evolution of aviation safety first-hand, including significant changes in technology and training, and a greater focus on organisational factors and safety culture.  These changes have required aviation regulators to adopt new ways of engaging with industry to achieve desired safety outcomes. 

Air Vice-Marshal Joe Iervasi AM, Air Commander Australia

Air Vice-Marshal Joe Iervasi was born in Sydney. He joined the RAAF in 1985, completed flying training in 1989, and converted onto the F/A-18 Hornet in 1991.

Air Vice-Marshal Iervasi served at No 3 Squadron as a junior pilot before proceeding on exchange to No 5 Squadron RAF flying the Tornado F3. During this tour he deployed on Operation Deny Flight enforcing the no fly zone over Bosnia-Herzigovnia (1995). Upon return to Australia he served as a flight commander at both Nos 77 Squadron and 75 Squadron.

In 2001 Air Vice-Marshal Iervasi completed the inaugural Australian Command and Staff College at Weston Creek and was subsequently posted to Capability Systems in Russell Offices. During this period he was responsible for the development and sponsorship of F/A-18, F-111 and Hawk major capital equipment projects, with the most notable being the Hornet Upgrade Project. In 2005 he returned to Williamtown as the No 81 Wing Senior Operations Officer and assumed command of No 3 Squadron in Dec 2005. He was promoted to Group Captain on 12 Jan 2009 and served as Chief of Staff Air Combat Group.

In 2010 Air Vice-Marshal Iervasi completed the Defence and Strategic Studies Course and was appointed as Officer Commanding No 81 Wing in December of that year. In January 2013 Air Vice-Marshal Iervasi was posted as Chief of Staff to the Vice Chief of the Defence Force.

Following this posting Air Vice-Marshal Iervasi was promoted to Air Commodore and deployed to the Middle East as the Director, US Central Command 609th Combined Air Operations Centre at Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar. He returned to Australia in Jul 2014 and was appointed to the position of Director General Air Command Operations (Headquarters Air Command) and Director General Air (Headquarters Joint Operations Command) where he commanded global air operations including Operation OKRA. This posting was followed in December 2016 with a two year appointment as Commander Air Warfare Centre. In December 2018, on promotion to Air Vice-Marshal, he was appointed Commander Joint Task Force 633 and deployed again to the Middle East this time stationed in Al Minhad Air Base, in Dubai. Air Vice-Marshal Iervasi took up his current role as Air Commander Australia in Jul 2019.

Air Vice-Marshal Iervasi has over 3000 hours flying fast jets. He holds a Bachelor of Science Degree, a Masters of Management in Defence Studies and a Graduate Diploma in Strategic Studies.

He has been awarded the Medal in the Order of Australia (2009), Australian Active Service Medal (Balkans and ICAT Clasps), Afghanistan Medal, Defence Long Service Medal with Third Clasp, and the Australian Defence Medal. He was appointed as a Member in the Order of Australia in 2016.

Air Vice-Marshal Iervasi is married to Donna Allen. They have twin daughters, Rosie and Lily. He enjoys travel, cricket, reading, and entertaining.

GPCAPT Nigel Ward

Group Captain Nigel Ward grew up in Ireland and joined the Royal Air Force (RAF) in the United Kingdom as a pilot in 1986. Upon completion of pilot training, Ward was posted to RAF Kinloss in Scotland to fly the Nimrod MR2 aircraft in the Maritime Patrol role. In 1994, after two operational flying tours on No 206 Squadron, Ward was posted to the rotary wing Flying Training School at RAF Shawbury in England for rotary wing conversion. On completion of rotary wing training on the Gazelle and Wessex aircraft, Ward was posted to No 84 Squadron at RAF Akrotiri in Cyprus to fly the Wessex HC2 helicopter in the Search and Rescue and Battlefield Support roles. Following completion of Qualified Flying Instructor (QFI) training at RAF Cranwell in 1997, Ward completed a tour as a QFI in the Basic Flying Training (BFTS) role on the Bulldog T1 aircraft prior to returning to RAF Kinloss in early 2000 for a further operational tour on No 120 Squadron flying the Nimrod MR2 aircraft. Following promotion to Squadron Leader in 2001, Ward served for a tour as XO on No 201 Squadron flying the Nimrod MR2 aircraft, prior to serving as XO on No 42 Squadron, the Nimrod MR2 Operational Conversion Unit.

In 2006, Ward left the RAF and moved to Australia to take up a position as a QFI at the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) instructor school at RAAF Base East Sale in Victoria, flying the Pilatus PC-9 and CT-4 aircraft. After a three-year tour, including two years as a member of the RAAF Formation Aerobatic Team (The Roulettes), Ward was promoted to Squadron Leader and posted to 92 Wing at RAAF Base Edinburgh to fly the P-3 Orion as a FLTCDR in the surveillance role. On completion of a second tour as a FLTCDR, as the Training FLTCDR on 10SQN, Ward was promoted to Wing Commander and posted to Canberra to complete Australian Command and Staff Course (ACSC). On successful completion of ACSC, Wing Commander Ward was selected to command 11SQN flying the AP-3C Orion aircraft in the Maritime Patrol role.

In October 2016, after two years in command, and having served as the final AP-3C Orion Squadron Commander on 11SQN, Wing Commander Ward was selected to serve as the Staff Officer to Chief of Air Force (SOCAF). In January 2018, Ward was posted to DDAAFS as the Deputy Director of Safety Investigation. In July 2018, Ward was promoted to Group Captain, and appointed as Executive Director – Flight Safety (DFSB) within the Defence Aviation Safety Authority.

Group Captain Ward has over 8,000 flying hours on twelve military aircraft types spanning a flying career of 31 years. He lives in Canberra with his wife, Sonny, a Psychiatric Nurse. He has two children, Patrick and Heather, both of whom are studying at university. He enjoys motorcycling, football and sailing.

Pip Spence, Acting Secretary of Dept. of Infrastructure

Pip Spence is the acting Secretary at the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Cities and Regional Development. 

Prior to returning to the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development in December 2015, Pip had a number of senior leadership roles in the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, including running the Cabinet Division and the Ministerial Support Division.  She was also closely involved in the establishment of the National Broadband Network in the Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, and was awarded a Public Service Medal for her contribution to the telecommunications regulations reform associated with the implementation of the NBN. She commenced her career in the then Department of Transport and Communications, where she worked in a number of aviation-related areas, including as adviser to the then Minister for Transport. 

Pip has a Bachelor of Economics from the University of Tasmania and a Graduate Diploma in Economics from the Australian National University.

Patrick Murray, Industry Chair of CASA's Aviation Safety Advisory Panel

Patrick Murray is the Industry Chair of CASA’s Aviation Safety Advisory Panel and has an extensive background as a pilot, flight instructor and academic, with the broad perspective of having held senior positions in the military, academia, a major international airline and the aviation regulator.

Currently Head of Part 141 and 142 Flight Operations at Aviation Australia, Pat is a CASA flight instructor and examiner, specialising in multi – crew training. With postgraduate qualifications in Aviation Management, Safety and Human Factors, Pat also holds an appointment as Professor of Aviation and Logistics at the University of Southern Queensland and is currently conducting research into Airline Safety through LOSA data driving Evidence Based Training.

Pat has published widely and regularly appears as an invited chair and keynote speaker at international conferences in aviation safety and training, as well as other high skill, high – risk disciplines such as healthcare. He has held a Governor General appointment to the Australian Government Veterans Review Board, is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directorsand has been awarded Fellowships of the Royal Aeronautical Society, The Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport and the Institute of Managers and Leaders. He is a director of an international safety consultancy and a large not – for profit organisation.

Captain Adrian Young, Chief Pilot of Qantaslink

Adrian Young‘s dream of flying commenced at an early age and by 14 commenced flying training. He achieved his commercial pilot licence on his 18th birthday and commenced work as an instructor shortly thereafter.

Adrian has over 30 years industry experience ranging from aviation training to high capacity airline operations including 15 years in flying operations management. His career encompasses Australia but also overseas in Europe, United States, New Zealand and PNG.

Today after almost 20 years with QantasLink he is the Head of Flying Operations and Chief Pilot. Throughout those years Adrian has held numerous management roles in training, standards and safety management. In 2017, Adrian was the architect of the Qantas Group Future Pilot Program (QGFPP) – a program designed in partnership with Australia’s and New Zealand leading aviation universities to provide an integrated pilot pathway into various airlines within the Qantas Group. Then in 2018, Adrian joined the Qantas Group Pilot Academy project team as the Flying Operations Principal Advisor.   

Adrian is a qualified Accident Investigator, holds post graduate degrees in Aviation Management and Safety & Risk Management, Adjunct Professor and in excess of 10000 hours on 46 different aircraft. Today Adrian sit’s on various external panels and boards providing aviation advice to government, tertiary institutions and aircraft manufacturers. 


Steven Campbell, Senior Adviser (Aviation) to the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Transport

Steven Campbell has had over 30 years in the aviation industry as a pilot and more recently working in aviation policy areas within government.

Steven has enjoyed very broad civil aviation experience, initially as an instructor and eventually becoming Chief Flying Instructor and Chief Pilot where he learnt to fly at Peninsula Aero Club at Tyabb Airport in Victoria. Steven followed the traditional pathway into the airlines after this, Chief Pilot of a charter company in Darwin, flying RPT in Alice Springs and building his experience with the former regional Kendell Airlines, flying the Metro 23 and SAAB 340.

His flying career literally took off when he started with Cathay Pacific Airways in Hong Kong on the 747-400 and then the B777, his career of 15 years with Cathay was capped off with 6 years as Captain on the B777. During his time in Hong Kong, Steven also gained experience in technical and safety areas working with the pilot association as Vice-President and also on the HKALPA committee. Steven was also able to continue with his other life passion in Hong Kong, cricket! Enjoying 12 seasons with the Swire team whose previous members included Sir Rod Eddington, as well as playing for the Hong Kong Cricket Club where he is still a member.

Chris Deeble, Chief Executive of Northrop Grumman Australia

Chris Deeble is chief executive, Northrop Grumman Australia. Deeble is responsible for supporting the company’s longstanding programs in Australia, as well as exploring new business pursuits. He reports to the company’s chief global business officer.
Prior to joining Northrop Grumman, Deeble worked for Airservices Australia as the program executive for OneSKY, responsible for delivering the Civil Military Air Traffic Management System for Australia. As the program executive, he led a joint Airservices and Defence team in managing the acquisition and delivering the infrastructure of the most complex, world-leading air traffic management system.

Previously, Deeble served for 37 years in the Australian Defence Force, most notably as an Air Vice-Marshal. As a senior program manager in the Capability Acquisition and Sustainment Group, he managed over $25 billion of complex acquisition and sustainment programs. These programs included the Joint Strike Fighter, Wedgetail Airborne Early Warning and Control, Multi Role Tanker Transport and Collins Class Submarine. His performance in leading these significant programs was recognized in 2016 when he was awarded the Officer of the Order of Australia (AO).

Prior to serving as Air Vice-Marshal, Deeble undertook senior roles in Air Force capability management and aerospace development. As the Director General Aerospace Development, Deeble was responsible for leading the development of submissions to the Australian government for all joint aerospace capability. As a result of his efforts, he was awarded the Conspicuous Service Cross (CSC) in 2007.

Deeble earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from the University of Sydney, New South Wales.

Sue Burdekin, Senior Lecturer of the University of New South Wales

Sue Burdekin is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Engineering and IT with the University of New South Wales at the Australian Defence Force Academy in Canberra.  Sue teaches Human Factors, Accident Investigation and Aviation Safety Management Systems to military Officer Cadets who will specialize as Pilots, Air Traffic Controllers, Air Combat Officers, Mission Specialists and Maritime Aviation Warfare Officers.  Since 2010, she has held the appointment of Aviation Program Coordinator.  Sue is an organizational psychologist and commercial pilot with ATPL subjects, and has extensive experience in aviation business management. 

Sue’s research interests include human behaviour and performance in the workplace and she has worked in this capacity with the RAAF and Navy in the Australian Defence Force, NASA Ames, Airbus, Eurocontrol, Easyjet and Maldivian Airlines.

Sue has spoken at conferences and as an invited speaker in more than 20 countries.  She was a foundation member of the Australian Defence Force Crew Resource Management Working Group; co-editor of the Australasian Aeronautics Journal; a member of the International Society of Air Safety Investigators; the European Association for Aviation Psychology; the Australian Aviation Psychology Association; a committee member of the Royal Aeronautical Society – Canberra Branch; former Queensland State President of the Australian Women Pilots’ Association; and, former Australian Governor of the International 99s (a global women pilots’ organization established in 1931 of which Amelia Earhart was the first president).  Sue is also a past Safeskies Board Member.

Dr Adam Fletcher, CEO & Principal Consultant of Integrated Safety Support

Dr Adam Fletcher is recognised internationally as a pioneer of risk-based Fatigue Management within workplaces. He provides independent expert advice to government and industry clients in a range of sectors including aviation & aerospace, rail & road transport, emergency & essential services, healthcare, mining, maritime, oil & gas as well as utilities.

Dr Fletcher founded Integrated Safety Support in 2006 in order to translate the scientific and medical understanding of human sleep, work and fatigue into practical solutions for real-world application. By combining an understanding of 24-hour work contexts, risk engineering and human performance, his work leads to measurable benefits for safety, productivity and compliance.

Adam was previously employed as a Research Psychologist working for the US Army at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research. His work was funded by a program aimed at better understanding how sleep deprivation affects operational performance and safety. Before working in the US, Adam was a Senior Research Fellow at the University of South Australia’s Centre for Sleep Research. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree (with Honours) from the University of Adelaide and a research PhD from the University of South Australia.

Example organisations that Dr Fletcher has worked with include: Air France, Airservices, Babcock International Group, BHP Billiton, Boeing, BP, Chevron, Civil Aviation Safety Authority, Exxon Mobil, Flinders Ports, Honeywell, NASA, the Qantas Group, Rio Tinto, Rotterdam Maritime Pilots, the Royal Flying Doctor Service, Scandinavian Air Ambulance, South Australian Ambulance Service, Transport Canada, Virgin Australia, Zurich.

Pete Norford, Royal Australian Air Force GPCAPT, Retired

Operational Career:

  • Iroquois (UH-1H & UH-1B) – operational and search & rescue roles
  • Macchi MB326H QFI 1982-1984
  • British Aerospace Strikemaster QFI RNZAF exchange 1984-1986
  • AS350B Squirrel and Iroquois QFI/QHI 1986-1988
  • PC9/A QFI 1988-2001
  • Flight commander, chief flying instructor and commanding officer at 2FTS (Conspicuous Service Cross)


Staff Postings:

  • Directorate of Flying Safety (DFS), 1993-1995
  • Staff Officer, Chief of the Air Staff/Chief of Air Force, 1996-1997
  • Aviation Capability Improvement Team, Air Force Headquarters, 2001-2002
  • Officer Commanding Air Training Wing, 2003 – 2004
  • Acting-Commander Training-Air Force, 2005
  • Director Defence Aviation and Air Force Safety, 2006-2007
  • RAAF Adviser/Air Attaché, London, 2008-2010.
  • Deputy Commandant/Chief of Staff and Director of Studies-Air, Australian Command and Staff College, 2011-2013.

Appointed a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for services to flying training and aviation safety in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list 2008.   

Chris Hine, Executive Director and Group Flight Operations Advisor of Regional Express Group

Over 25 years of aviation experience including Board and Senior Management positions and experience as an Air Operator’s Certificate Accountable Manager, Chief Pilot and Flight Instructor. Chris also has extensive senior Flight Operations management experience including airline Check and Training. Chris’ experience as an airline AOC Accountable Manager also includes continuing airworthiness/maintenance control, airport operations and human factors and he has particular capabilities in regulatory affairs and management.

Current roles include the CEO/Executive Chairman of the Australian Airline Pilot Academy.

Also, as a current member of a Board Safety and Risk Management Committee and safety management group, Chris has significant expertise in the operation and functioning of Safety and Quality Management Systems.

Chris also has experience as a lecturer in Cockpit Systems Management for the Bachelor of Applied Science (Civil Aviation) degree at the University of South Australia.

Adam Burford

Adam Burford is a highly experienced leader with particular expertise managing large, complex teams and programs across multiple sites, building strong customer relationships and team engagement. During the past 20 years Adam has worked with many different customers from around the world, including US, Europe and the Asia-Pacific region. Prior to launching his own consultancy business in 2016, Adam had P&L responsibility for an aviation business of 450+ professional engineers and support staff with turnover of 150MAUD.

Additionally, Adam provides strong governance and leadership through his current and previous roles as Chairman and Director of various industry associations and organisations including Chairman of Aviation / Aerospace Australia and previously Chairman of the Aviation IRC.

Joe Hattley, Manager of Safeskies Australia Conferences

Joe Hattley was an aircraft accident investigator with the ATSB for over 24 years and has been involved in a wide range of aircraft accident investigations throughout Australia, gaining experience in accident site management, reading accident site signatures, developing accident investigation reports and safety recommendations. He has also been involved in the training and development of investigators at the ATSB.

Joe has been involved in international major accident investigations, including visiting the aircraft reconstruction of the TWA-800 B747 aircraft at Long Island, New York, and being assigned to the Indonesian Aircraft Accident Investigation Commission (AAIC) for the investigation into the SilkAir B737 accident near Palembang, Sumatra, both in 1997.

More recently, Joe has been involved in the Australian Government’s Indonesian Transport Safety Assistance Package (ITSAP), providing assistance to the Indonesian National Transport Safety Commission (NTSC) with training and development of its investigators and assisting with the development of accident investigation reports. He has also been involved in training investigators from a range of South-east Asian countries, including Singapore, Malaysia, Myanmar, Vietnam, Nepal, Papua New Guinea and Cambodia. His last appointment with ATSB was as the Australian Accredited Representative to the Malaysian investigation into the loss of flight MH370.

Joe is also a specialist contributing author to the aircraft accident chapter of the professional legal handbook Expert Evidence by Hugh Selby.

In July 2017, Joe was appointed as the Manager of Safeskies Australia Conferences and managed the internationally recognised Safeskies 2017 Conference held in Canberra in October 2017. He is currently fully engaged with Safeskies 2019 to bring together the best possible conference in Canberra from 15-17 October 2019.

Craig Bomben, Vice President of Flight Operations, Boeing Test & Evaluation

Capt. Craig Bomben is the vice president of Flight Operations for Boeing Test & Evaluation and enterprise chief test pilot. Named to this position in 2015, Bomben provides operational leadership and business oversight for all flight operations, including developmental and production flight tests of Boeing commercial airplanes and military aircraft. Bomben also serves as the skill team captain for pilots across the enterprise.

Bomben assumed the additional role of vice president of BT&E Design/Build in May 2016. The Design/Build Team is responsible for the design, build and ultimate cost of both BT&E Lab Test and Flight Test Value Stream test articles.

Bomben serves as the Boeing Executive Focal to Washington State University and is a member of the university’s Academic Advisory Board for the Voiland College of Engineering and Architecture.

Prior to his current role, Bomben was the BT&E chief test pilot for military aircraft for two years. In that role, Bomben led a team of pilots, aircrew and support personnel in the development, demonstration and production testing of all military products.

Bomben previously served as chief production pilot for commercial airplanes, assuring regulatory and safety compliance. He also oversaw day-to-day production test operations, including customer acceptance of airplanes.

Prior to assuming the role of chief production pilot for commercial airplanes in 2011, Bomben was responsible for conducting production and engineering flight tests on ZA004, the third 787 Dreamliner to enter flight test, and was a deputy chief pilot for the 737.

Linda Spurr, Safeskies Australia

Linda Spurr, Safeskies Australia is an independent non-executive director and an accomplished senior executive with many years’ experience in the aviation industry. In a former role as General Manager of Airservices’ Learning Academy she was responsible for operational training in Air Traffic Control, Aviation Rescue and Fire Fighting, and Technical and Engineering support services. Linda’s work with industry, universities, secondary and tertiary educators continues to promote quality training, education and career pathways in aviation and aerospace.

Linda is a Fellow CPA and a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors She is a Director of the Australian Aviation Hall of Fame and Deputy Chair of Aviation Aerospace Australia.

Commodore Chris Smallhorn, Vice-Chairman Safeskies Australia

Commodore Chris Smallhorn was born in Toowoomba, Queensland and attended the Toowoomba Grammar School before joining the Navy in 1987.

Chris graduated from the Australian Defence Force Academy and Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology with a Bachelor of Aerospace Engineering and completed his Aeronautical Engineering Certificate of Competency prior to conducting pilot training and earned his wings in 1993.

Chris conducted operational deployments flying the S-70B-2 Seahawk helicopter. He was selected for Experimental Test Pilot training at the United States Naval Test Pilot School in 1998, prior to being posted to the Navy’s Aircraft Maintenance and Flight Trials Unit (AMAFTU). Whilst there he conducted experimental flight testing on multiple Australian and international flight test projects, major aircraft acquisition, modification and research programs.

Chris was the Officer-in-Charge of the Aircraft Maintenance and Flight Trials Unit in 2003 before being promoted to Commander when he became the Project Manager of the Super Seasprite acquisition program. He commanded 816 Squadron (Seahawk helicopters) throughout 2008 and 2009.

Following a short tour as the Commander of Operational Airworthiness and Standards at HQ Fleet Air Arm Chris was promoted to Captain and completed staff postings as the Chief of Staff Fleet Air Arm and Chief of Staff to the Chief of Navy. He graduated as a Fellow of the Centre for Defence and Strategic Studies in 2014 prior to assuming duties as the Director of the Maritime Safety Bureau in January 2015. Chris assumed Commanded of the RAN’s Fleet air Arm January 2016 and completed is tour in December 2018. He is currently serving as the Director General Air and Land Combat Analysis within the Department of Defence’s Contestability Division.

Beyond Commodore Smallhorn’s a keen interest in Civil Aviation safety he is actively involved in University level education and was a co-creator of the University of Sydney Masters Level Systems Innovation Course designed to challenge the norms of tertiary education and create systems based and inspired lateral thinking in complex organisations. He enjoys supporting not-for-profit emergency medical and search and rescue organisations and has flown their aircraft for numerous years on weekends and during leave periods.

Chris lives on the South Coast of NSW and is married to Kerina and has two children Brittony and Claire.

CDRE Don Dezentje, CSM, RAN, Commander Fleet Air Arm

Commodore Don Dezentje, CSM, RAN joined the Royal Australian Navy in 1989 as an Aviation Warfare Officer and later specialised as a Helicopter Warfare Instructor (HWI). He has served in 723, 805 and 817 Squadrons, and HMA Ships Sydney, Darwin, Tobruk and Canberra. He has served as an Instructor at the School of Air Navigation, as the Chief Aerial Inspector in the United Nations Special Commission in Iraq, and undertook a two year exchange with the Royal Navy on HAS Mk 6 Sea King ASW helicopters in 814 and 820 Squadrons as the Squadron HWI and a Flight Commander as part of the Carrier Air Groups of HM Ships Illustrious and Invincible.

Staff appointments include Staff Officer (Administration) to the Chief of Defence Force Deputy Director Naval Aviation, Deputy Director Operations/ Chief Joint Operations Liaison Officer in Coalition Maritime Forces in USNAVCENT, and Director Navy People Career Management Agency,

Command related appointments include Commanding Officer 723 Squadron and Deputy Commander Fleet Air Arm. He completed Australian Command and Staff Course in 2002 and the Defence & Strategic Studies Course in 2015. He assumed command of the Fleet Air Arm in December 2018.

During his career Commodore Dezentje was awarded Dux of his Instructors course, Sea Skua Trophy for Dux of HWI course, G.R Griffiths Prize for management at ACSC; and five commendations comprising commendations from the Chief of Defence Force, Land Commander Australia, Commanding Air Training Wing (Air Force), Commander Australian Navy Aviation Force and Commanding Officer 817 Squadron. In 2000 he was awarded the Conspicuous Service Medal.

Commodore Dezentje holds three Masters Degrees – Masters of Management in Defence Studies, a Masters of Maritime Studies and a Masters of Business Administration. He is married to Jodie and has three young daughters.

Capt. Billy Nolen, Executive Manager of Group Safety & Health Qantas

Capt. Billy Nolen was named Executive Manager, Group Safety & Health in June 2018

In his role, Nolen works across all Business Units to influence the Group’s Safety and Health strategic goals and to insure proper execution. Nolen provides advice and input to both Qantas’s General Management Committee as well the Board Corporate Health, Environmental, Safety and Security Committee on matters involving Safety and Health

Prior to this, Nolen was Senior Vice President, Safety, Security & operations at Airlines for America. In his role there, Nolen worked closely with A4A members to advise, evaluate and set standards and procedures that maximize safety and customer service and improve efficiency. As the leader of the operations division, Nolen worked closely with the Administration and government agencies to ensure A4A members operate in a regulatory environment that enables the industry to build upon its impeccable safety record. He oversaw the six key functional areas within the airline portfolio at A4A, all of which are core to member airlines: Air and Ground Safety; Security; Flight Operations; Air Traffic Management; Engineering and Maintenance; and Cargo Services.

Prior to joining A4A, Nolen held a number of safety-related positions with American Airlines, including managing American’s Operations Aviation Safety Action Partnership program and acting as Senior Manager of Flight Safety.  He was a pilot for American from 1989 to 2015, retiring as a Captain on the B757/767. Nolen was also an Aviation Safety Officer and Rotary Wing/Fixed Wing Pilot with the U.S. Army from 1980-1989.

A native of Alabama, Nolen graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in professional aeronautics from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and has received several program certificates on aviation safety from the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School, U.S. Army Safety Center and University of Southern California

Paul Stoddart, Government Affairs Manager, Airservices Australia

Paul Stoddart is the Government Affairs Manager at Airservices Australia.

Paul’s role is to proactively develop and maintain positive relationships and networks with government and industry stakeholders relating to Airservices business operations. He works closely with government agencies and briefs officials and politicians on matters of interest in which Airservices has a position.

Currently, Paul is leading Airservices engagement with Australian Government agencies on the development of a drone policy while also supporting Airservices Low Level Airspace Management Program. The Program has been established to test new service concepts that support safe integration of drones while also enabling future airspace-related services. 

Critical to this is the need for Paul to work with policy and regulatory agencies to ensure Airservices continues to meet its legislative obligations,  ensuring the safe, efficient and equitable access of airspace for all airspace users (safely integrating RPAS with conventionally piloted aircraft); and fostering civil aviation (which includes drones). 

Paul has over 20 years’ experience working in government and the private sector which includes roles in the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, Attorney-General’s Department and Ernst and Young. He has also worked for a federal cabinet minister.

Hugh Rodrick, Technical Director ATM of Thales Australia

As the Technical Director of Thales Air Traffic Management Hugh Rodrick acts as the Design Authority for Thales ATM products, executes independent governance over solution compliance to safety, security and product policy, and manages research into future ATM architectures and capabilities.

Right from the outset Hugh’s career has been focused on safety critical distributed systems. After graduating from Swinburne University of Technology in 1987 with a Bachelor of Applied Science he joined Honeywell Process Solutions where he spent 8 years implemented SCADA industrial control systems for diverse industries such as oil and gas, mining, pharmaceuticals and environmental monitoring. In 1994 he commenced the first of his overseas stints, this one based in Brussels to introduce the Honeywell’s batch process control product into the  European, Middle Eastern and African markets. Shortly after he moved to the UK to implement safety shutdown systems for unmanned offshore gas platforms in the North Sea and then to Switzerland to automate the national telecom network configuration for Swiss Telecom.

In 1997 Hugh returned to Australia where he joined Thomson Radar Australia Corporation (the pre-cursor to Thales ATM) to work on the TAAATS program. Since joining Thales ATM Hugh has held almost every possible engineering role in the Thales ATM organisation and has worked on numerous programs varying from Fiji to China, from smallest to largest and from culturally and technically to regulatory demanding.

During the first of two more stints in Europe, this time based in France, he lead the design phase of the COFLIGHT European Flight Data Processing system to be deployed in Italy, France and now Switzerland. During the second of his French stints he played a major role in several Single European Sky ATM Research (SESAR) validation programs, was the project Design Authority for the French 4Flight program and was at the birth of Thales research into future architectures for safety critical ATM systems.

Since returning to Australia early in 2018 Hugh has been leading the ATM Technical Directorate, first as deputy and then as Technical Director. Even in this role he loves to get his hands dirty. Working with interns and graduates as much as he can he remains close to engineering implementation and tries to find time to be hands-on in solution elucidation and even software as often as he can.

Even after 22 years in Air Traffic Management Hugh remains highly motivated by the potential to improve both global efficiency and safety of the aviation industry. He is an ardent technologist and a passionate promoter of the potential that new technologies offer to improving efficiency, safety and security, and ultimately to deliver a better future through sophistication built from technology convergence.

John Gissing, Group Executive of Associated Airlines and Services

John Gissing was appointed as Group Executive, Associated Airlines and Services in March 2015.

Mr Gissing previously held the position of Chief Executive Officer, Qantas Regional Airlines Group responsible for QantasLink branded operations.

His current role includes these functions as well as shared services for safety, workforce planning and ground operations as well as Auckland based B737 operator Jetconnect.

He held the position of Executive Manager, Group Safety and Health between 2009 and 2012, following six years at Jetstar as the Group General Manager, Flight Operations and Safety where he was a founding member of the Jetstar senior management team in 2004.

Mr Gissing joined Qantas Airways in 1999 and holds an Air Transport Pilot Licence with 10,000 hours flying experience.

He has more than 35 years’ experience in the aviation industry across regional, domestic and international operations in both the premium and low cost carrier sectors.

Luke Gumley, CASA

Luke has over 20 years’ experience in the aviation industry, having started his aviation career as a flight instructor at a busy flight training school in Perth, Western Australia, conducting ab-initio, commercial pilot, instrument rating and aerobatics training. He has held roles as a senior instructor, chief operations officer and chief pilot.  Luke joined the Civil Aviation Safety Authority in 2010 as a senior advisor.  He was appointed a regional manager in 2011 and was based in Adelaide for 5 years, managing CASA’s central region spanning the Northern Territory, the Kimberley region of Western Australia, and South Australia.  He has also been regional manager of CASA’s Southern Region spanning Victoria and Tasmania.  In 2015, Luke led CASA’s organisational restructure and change activities.  He commenced his current role as branch manager of CASA’s remotely piloted aircraft systems branch in August 2017.  Luke’s qualifications include an Air Transport Pilot (Aeroplane) Licence, MBA and Bachelor of Science in Aviation.