Speaker Profiles




Mayor Ann Ferguson OAM

Mount Barker District Council

Mayor Ann Ferguson OAM was born and raised on Kangaroo Island, South Australia. She moved to Mount Barker in 1964 and commenced training at the Mount Barker & District Soldiers Memorial Hospital, retiring in 2008. Married to Malcolm, they have 4 adult children and 4 grandchildren. Ann has been Mayor since 2006, and is Council’s delegate to Southern & Hills Local Government Association.

Mayor Ann is a life Member of Mount Barker Show Society, and has advocated strongly for her community at local, State and National level. Her interests include gardening, cooking and travel but her first and greatest passion is for the Mount Barker District Council and the region. Ann has travelled extensively in Canada, Scotland Turkey, Asia and Spain.



The Hon Mark Coulton

Minister for Regional Services, Decentralisation and Local Government

Mark was first elected to the House of Representatives for the seat of Parkes, New South Wales, in 2007. He has since been re-elected in 2010, 2013, 2016 and 2019.

On 26 May 2019, Mark was appointed to the Coalition Government Ministry by Prime Minister Scott Morrison as the Minister for Regional Services, Decentralisation and Local Government, and Assistant Trade and Investment Minister, and was officially sworn-in on 29 May 2019.

From March 2018 to May 2019, Mark was the Assistant Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment.

During his time in the Federal Parliament, Mark has also held the positions of Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, National Party’s Chief Whip, Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Ageing and the Voluntary Sector, Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Water and Conservation and Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Regional Development and Emerging Trade Markets.


Romilly Madew AO

CEO, Inf rastructure Australia

Romilly Madew commenced as Chief Executive of Infrastructure Australia in April 2019 and in Januaray was awarded an Order of Australia in acknowledgment of her contribution to Australia’s sustainable building movement, Romilly is recognised around the world as a leader and advocate for change in the property and construction sector.

She led the Green Building Council of Australia for 13 years, representing over 650 companies with a collective annual turnover of $40 billion, and presiding over the Green Star rating system which has seen more than 2,250 projects certif ied across the country.

Romilly holds Board positions with Sydney Olympic Park Authority and Chief Executive Women, and has sat on numerous ministerial panels including the Cities Reference Group, National Urban Policy Forum and the China/Australia Services Sector Forum.

Her achievements have previously been recognised with national and international awards, including the 2015 International Leadership Award f rom the US Green Building Council and the 2017 World Green Building Council Chairman’s Award. An honorary fellow of the Planning Institute of Australia, Romilly has been named one of the ‘100 Women of Influence’ by the Australian Financial Review and Westpac, and is a National and NSW winner of the Telstra Business Women’s Award.



Matthew Lugg OBE

Head of Profession, Local Government, WSP, UK

Matthew is the Immediate Past President of the Chartered Institution of Highways & Transportation, a past President of Association of Directors Environment, Economy and Transport (ADEPT), former chair of the UK Roads Board and the Midland Highway Alliance Board.

For the majority of his career he has worked in the public sector working for five different County Councils. His final role in local government was Director of Environment and Transport for Leicestershire County council.

In 2011 he was seconded to work for the Department for Transport, Local Transport Division on the Highways Maintenance Eff iciency Programme (HMEP) and other related initiatives.

From 2013 he moved into the private sector working for both consultants and a contractor - Mouchel, Keir and more recently WSP.

Matthew has won numerous awards for his personal contribution most notably the Institute of Civil Engineers (ICE) Municipal Engineer of the year, the UK National Transport Award for his outstanding contribution to local transport, an ICE Award for outstanding contribution to Civil Engineering in the East Midlands and the OBE for services to local government.



Michael Caltabiano

CEO, Australian Road Research Board (ARRB)

Michael Caltabiano was appointed as Chief Executive of ARRB in November 2016 after a very successful three years at the helm of the Australian Asphalt Pavement Association (AAPA). Mr Caltabiano brings to the role of Chief Executive extensive experience in the flexible pavement and bituminous surfacing industry. ARRB is the National Transport Research Organisation for Australia and New Zealand with off ices across Australia and is the national reference agency for inf rastructure standards and delivery outcomes for Local, State and Federal Governments.

He has extensive experience in the public and private sectors and also had an elected representative role at Local and State Government level for 10 years. His career has spanned across a wide range of areas including the delivery of large inf rastructure projects, the development and planning of multibilliondollar City Budgets and public representation, legislative engagement and community representation. Michael brings almost 35 years of experience, and great enthusiasm for the roads and transport sector with a particular focus on creating knowledge for tomorrow’s transport challenges and driving innovation to deliver an adaptable, connected future.



Peter Damen

CEO, Level 5 Design

Peter Damen is the Principal and Chief Executive Officer of Level 5 Design, a consulting company focussing on innovation in the transport sector. Peter is considered a national and international expert in emerging transport technologies, automated vehicles, parking and traffic management, road safety and future transport planning. He is a qualified civil engineer with over 25 years’ experience in the industry including both government and the private sector. He has been involved in some of Australia’s largest transport infrastructure projects and he has an industry network that extends across the globe.
Peter is currently the Chairman of Innovate Australia and an Executive Director with the Australian Asphalt Pavement Association (AAPA). Peter was instrumental in establishing the Australia and New Zealand Driverless Vehicle Initiative (ADVI), to address the challenges and future requirements of emerging connected and automated vehicle technologies in Australia and NZ. He went on to become the inaugural Chair of that national peak body. Peter regularly speaks on the topic of the future of transport and the importance of transport innovation. He believes that innovation is the key to Australia’s future – in making better investment decisions and accomplishing more for the community.


Lord Mayor Sandy Verchoor

City of Adelaide

Sandy was elected as an Area Councillor in the 2015 by-election and served as Deputy Lord Mayor f rom June 2017 to November 2018. She has had a career in both the public and private enterprise, not-for-prof its, and Local and State government, including three years as General Manager City Culture and Community Services for the City of Adelaide.

Sandy has contributed to the success of Adelaide’s thriving arts and culture community for more than two decades, including having been CEO of the Adelaide Fringe and the Adelaide Festival, as well as producer of the Adelaide Festival of Ideas in 2018. She has been on numerous boards including the Adelaide Convention Bureau, Premier ’s Climate Change Council, Adelaide Film Festival, Capital City Committee, as well as a trustee of the Adelaide Festival Centre Trust and chairs a disability housing solutions organisation Aliro Ltd.

As Lord Mayor, Sandy is keen to keep costs low for residents and businesses by reducing red tape, strengthening Adelaide’s global reputation for culture, climate change action, and entrepreneurialism, preserving Adelaide’s heritage, and enhancing the city’s precincts and main streets for the benef it of local small business owners and the community.


Simon Moore

General Manager, Air Traffic Policy, Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Cities and Regional Development

Simon is General Manager of Air Traffic Policy at the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Cities and Regional Development. Since taking up the role in February 2019 his responsibilities include the policy considerations related to drones. Simon previously worked at the Australian Maritime Safety Authority, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet.
Aviation is an important element of the work of the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Cities and Regional Development. The Department advises the Government on the policy and regulatory framework for Australian airports and the aviation industry, manages the administration of the Government’s interests in airports, and provides policy advice to the Minister on the efficient management of Australian airspace and on aircraft noise and emissions.


John Hilderbrand

Managing Director, Asia-Pacific RPAS Consortium

John has 30 years of law enforcement experience in both operational and management roles. In 2017, John was the Senior Project Officer role for the counter drone capability for the 2018 Commonwealth Games. With partners from the Australian Federal Police (AFP) and Australian Defence Force (ADF), John developed the first ever counter drone capability for a Commonwealth Games and the first of its type worldwide. Post the Commonwealth Games, John founded Counter Drone Solutions Pty Ltd, a company that provides end to end counter drone solutions for clients in the global market and has completed multiple operational deployments including for prisons and airports. John is also the Managing Director of the Asia Pacific RPAS Consortium (ARC) which focuses on enhancing and protecting society’s critical infrastructure with drone and counter drone solutions. During 2019 John and the ARC have been providing risk appreciation and policy and procedure development services to critical infrastructure operators. John has been a commercial drone operator since 2014 and holds a commercial fixed wing pilots licence with a base at Archerfield Airport.


Andrew Chapman

Co-Director, AUAV

Andrew Chapman is AUAV ’s CTO and oversees their drone data operations in NSW.

With a background in digital imagery, 3D computer graphics, aviation and technology, Andrew is a leader in the emerging drone industry. He has started successful companies in both Australia and while working overseas in Canada, and has been flying remotely piloted aircraft of various forms since age 7.

Andrew has a strong vision for the future of the industry and is incredibly driven and excited by all the possibilities that this new technology can bring to the LGA sector and special projects.


Richard Delplace

Network Program Manager, Austroads

Richard Delplace is Austroads Program Manager for Network, facilitating knowledge sharing, delivering best-practice research and leading armonisation efforts between the ANZ road transport agencies on matters relating to transport network operations, technology and data, traff ic management, traffic engineering, and road freight management. “Councils are responsible for 85% of the road network and play a critical role in the safe and efficient movement of people and goods. Austroads research and publications are of strong relevance and interest to local governments, and I look forward to presenting on our current efforts and future directions at the Conference to continue increasing councils’ engagement,” Richard says.


Lou Boyle

National Manager, Local Government, Teletrac Navman

Lou joined Teletrac Navman in April 2019. He is responsible for working with councils to improve fleet management and to help councils obtain organisation benefits from the IOT of vehicles. He helps councils understand current and future advancements in technology, and assists in showing how tech can be used to solve problems or improve performance.
Prior to this, Lou was the Innovation Executive for the Local Government Association of Queensland (LGAQ). In this role he worked with councils across the state to improve telecommunication infrastructure, technology awareness and adoption and led advocacy in all areas of telecommunications and digital policy. He is passionate about helping councils change their culture and understanding on how technology can be applied to maximise the benefits of technology.
He has held National and State positions with Telstra, including being appointed as the CEO Representative for Queensland, State Corporate Affairs Manager, and as a Director of Business Development manager for industry verticals.
Lou has degrees in business with majors in public administration and journalism and post graduate degrees in public relations and Information Technology.


Jim Appleby

General Manager – Reconomy, Downer

Jim Appleby has over 30 years’ experience in the road infrastructure, asphalt production and civil engineering industries. Jim graduated from Leeds University in 1991 and spent the first 25 years of his career in the UK, working for several years in senior executive positions before relocating to Australia. Jim is currently General Manager – Reconomy for Downer. Reconomy is focused on opportunities within the Circular Economy, namely Repurposing and Waste Reduction
Jim has strong expertise in the areas of strategic business management, team leadership, and complex contract delivery. Jim joined Downer Infrastructure in 2011. He has a passion for people and vision of a Zero Harm to people and the environment through embracing behavioural change.


Liam O'Keefe

Senior Strategy Manager, Tyre Stewardship Australia

Liam O’Keefe is Senior Strategy Manager at Tyre Stewardship Australia (TSA). He has a Master’s in ‘Environmental Management’ and is a Churchill Fellow (2016) who has worked extensively in local and state government, lectured at RMIT University and managed his own business developing innovative sustainability enterprises across Australia, New Zealand, India and the UK.


Russell King

Principal Engineer, City of Mitcham

Russell is the Principal Engineer at the City of Mitcham in South Australia, and has over 15 years experience in Local Government working in a number of areas such as stormwater, roads, traffic, asset management, and construction. He has a passion for innovation and improving the way Councils deliver projects instead of sticking with ‘how we’ve always done it’, and making the world a better place for his children one infrastructure project at a time. When he’s not in the office doing engineering he loves stopping pucks on the ice hockey rink (his team proudly winning the championship for 2019), and trying to find tasty new places to eat around the world while travelling with his family.


Jeremy Woolley

Associate Professor, University of Adelaide

Associate Professor Jeremy Woolley is the director of the Centre For Automotive Safety Research at the University of Adelaide. He has over 20 years of experience in road safety research across many areas including inf rastructure, intelligent transport systems, traffic modelling, enforcement, regulation, speed management, heavy vehicles and countermeasure evaluation.

He is actively engaged in knowledge transfer activities around integrating best practice in safety among practitioners, road agencies, local government and other road safety stakeholders. Jeremy has been influential on road safety policy and has been involved with the development of numerous strategies and action plans nationally.

Jeremy is currently the National Secretary and South Australian Chair of the Australasian College of Road Safety and has served on numerous task forces and committees in relation to road safety.


David Bobberman

Safety Program Manager, Austroads

David Bobbermen has worked in a variety of road infrastructure disciplines for more than 35 years and held senior engineering, policy, operational and management positions for Transport and Main Roads Queensland. David led the planning and rapid implementation of an affordable network-wide response to one of the worst performing highways in Australia. This resulted in reducing fatalities by 40% within two years which was recognised by the 3M Australasian College of Road Safety Diamond Award for 2015.

David works with practitioners across all jurisdictions to share best practice and make a significant change to improve road safety performance across Australia and New Zealand. With approximately 50% of crashes occurring on local government roads, Austroads is also ensuring practices are developed with local government practitioners in mind. “This will be important as Austroads adopts and implements safe system thinking for all roads’, and supports jurisdictions in implementing the Road Safety Action Plan 2018 to 2020. I want to develop a culture where no stone is unturned in the endeavour to save lives,” David said.


Peter Frazer

President, SARAH Group

Peter has over 40 years’ experience in economic analysis, strategic intelligence, compliance and enforcement operations, research and policy development and social.

In February 2012, Peter’s daughter Sarah was killed in a completely avoidable crash on the Hume Freeway south of Sydney. As a consequence of this tragedy, he committed his life to improving road safety outcomes through his ongoing community education and policy development work.
In 2013 he established the advocacy group Safer Australian Roads and Highways (SARAH). By 2014 he had created National Road Safety Week and the following year, established yellow ribbon as Australia’s road safety symbol.

Peter has presented at national and international forums and is a Oceania Advisory Board Member for World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims, an International Road Victims’ Partnership Board Member and in March 2018 was inaugural Chair of the International Road Victims Conference, Mullingar, Ireland. Lastly, Peter is National Ambassador for Road Safety Education’s RYDA Programme.


The Hon Catherin King MP

Shadow Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development

Catherine King has represented the Federal electorate of Ballarat since she was first elected at the 2001 Election.

While in Government, Ms King served as Parliamentary Secretary in the portfolios of Inf rastructure and Transport and of Health and Ageing. As a Parliamentary Secretary in the transport portfolio, Ms King was responsible for national road safety policy and regional aviation.

On 25 March 2013, Ms King was elevated to the roles of Minister for Regional Services, local Communities and Territories and Minister for Road Safety in the Gillard Government. Ms King was subsequently promoted to Cabinet on 1 July 2013, as Minister for Regional Australia, Local Government and Territories in the Rudd Government.

Ms King held the role of Shadow Minister for Health and Medicare in the Shorten Shadow Cabinet f rom 2013 – 2019.

Following the 2019 election, Ms King was appointed Shadow Minister for Inf rastructure, Transport and Regional Development within the Albanese Shadow Cabinet.