keynote SPEAKERs

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Mark Crosweller AFSM

Mark brings with him 32 years of operational experience ranging from firefighter through to Commissioner and now Director-General, as well as 18 years in senior executive leadership and strategic management.

In his role as Director General Emergency Management Australia, Mark is responsible for the coordination of Australia’s response to crises, including natural disasters and to terrorist or security related incidents both domestically and internationally.

Mark has led major strategic reform in the NSW including the transformation of the NSW Rural Fire Service from 142 local based fire services to a single, unified organisation; a major strategic review of General Land Rescue for the NSW State Rescue Board; and a strategic review of the NSW State Emergency and Rescue Management Act for the State emergency Management Committee.


Robyn Moore

Robyn Moore is regarded as one of Australia’s best and most in-demand speakers. Her voice has been heard in most homes in Australia, but no one will realise who she is until she speaks.

For over 40 years she has been working in Education, Advertising and the Communication/Entertainment Industry. She has unique skills with "the Power of the Word" and her entertaining, inspiring and thought provoking presentations totally captivate her audiences at national and international conferences.

Robyn’s family, along with her professional and charity work have profoundly impacted her life. She has been National Patron and a Volunteer Wish-Granter with Make A Wish Australia for 25 years (and the 2016 International Make-A-Wish Volunteer), an Ambassador for the Australia Day Council, Dragons Abreast Australia and the Australian Childhood Foundation, as well as a friend of many other organisations.

Robyn literally "sells people back to themselves" so they recognise old habits and behaviours and take responsibility for choices, which create the outcomes they want in their lives both personally and professionally.

Robyn’s highly entertaining, thought provoking and inspiring presentations are often described as … “life changing”.


John Cantwell AO, DSC

John Cantwell retired from the Australian Army in early 2012 after a unique career spanning almost 40 years. Starting as a private soldier he rose through the ranks to become a Major General. Most recently he was the Commander of all Australian forces in Afghanistan and the wider Middle East area of operations.

His experiences go well beyond the normal run of military appointments. In 2009 he was appointed interim Head (and later, Chief of Operations) of the Victoria Bushfire Reconstruction and Recovery Authority, a role in which he coordinated all Commonwealth, State and non-government efforts to recover from the deadly Black Saturday fires. The Premier of Victoria characterised Cantwell as "a hand-on tireless leader and organiser with a remarkable ability to gain the respect and cooperation of disparate groups." The Prime Minister described Cantwell as a leader possessing "exceptional skills in coordination, guidance and organisation."

When not in command appointments, Cantwell acquired a diverse skill set in other key areas of Defence including training, personnel management and capability development. For his service as the Commander of Australian forces in the Middle East in 2010 he was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for his "inspired leadership, deep commitment to his people and superior performance on operations." He has been made a Member of the Order of Australia (AM, 1990) and an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO, 2007), in addition to two Commendations for superior performance.

Major General Cantwell is a skilled and engaging public speaker. His compelling interview for the Four Corner's television program “A Careful War” in 2010 dealing with the conflict in Afghanistan won wide praise. He lectures on command, leadership and crisis management to a variety of defence, business and academic audiences.

His book Exit Wounds: One Australian's War On Terror was published in October 2012.


Dr. Catherine Ball

Dr. Catherine Ball is an author, founder, and ethics advocate working across global projects where robotics and new technology meet environmental protection.

A sought after voice in industry, Dr. Ball is now working with the application of Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) aka drone technology across remote communities, schools, industry, and citizen scientists. Dr. Ball is leading the call for discussions around the ethics of spatial data, and commercial drone operations.

Dr. Ball’s biggest passion is found working on projects that have a humanitarian aspect, ranging from the use of RPAS for emergency response, to recording cultural heritage, and agricultural assessments. Dr. Ball has travelled and worked globally on cutting edge projects that combine science, entrepreneurship, empowerment, education, and training.

Dr. Ball continues to support Australia as being the world leader in the non-military application of drone technology, also known as “drones for good”. As such, Catherine has co-created a new, global congress to be held annually in Brisbane starting in August 2017 www.worldofdrones.com.au. The World of Drones Congress will run annually and will be the first significant global drone conference to focus on all parts of the drone economy, and the future of the industry.

Dr. Ball holds a BSc Honours (Environmental Protection) and a PhD (Spatial Ecology, Descriptive and Predictive Statistics) from the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne in the United Kingdom.