A NSW Government website

Our members

Our members are eminent experts from across industry, academia, and government. They are appointed by the Governor of New South Wales for three-year term. The current Council was appointed in 2020.

Neville Stevens AO (Chair)

Mr Stevens has extensive experience chairing panels and reviews in the private and public sectors and is a distinguished former public servant who headed two major Australian Government departments. 

Since retiring as Secretary of the Department of Communications, Information Technology and the Arts in 2001, Mr Stevens has been Chair of a number of public and private organisations, conducted major Australian Government reviews and worked extensively as a consultant on both business- and government-related issues. These roles have included: 

  • Chair, Australian Press Council; 
  • Chairman of NICTA (Australia’s Information and Communications Technology Research Centre of Excellence); 
  • Independent Chairman of Communications Alliance (a body founded by the telecommunications industry to assist in self-regulation); 
  • Independent Chairman of the Broadband Management Committee (a body set up by the NSW Government in 2005 to reduce telecommunications costs); and 
  • Head of a review for the Australian Government into Indigenous broadcasting.

Amy Brown (Executive Member)

Amy Brown is the CEO (Chief Executive Officer) of Investment NSW and recently appointed Secretary of the new Department of Enterprise Investment and Trade. Before her appointment as CEO of Investment NSW, Amy was Deputy Secretary and head of the Strategy and Delivery group at the Department of Premier and Cabinet – a group formed to provide expert commercial, strategic and economic advice to the Premier on major and complex whole-of-government policies, programs and projects.

Amy was earlier a Partner in the Sydney office of PwC’s Infrastructure and Urban Renewal Business, with a practice that focused on social infrastructure and housing. She has also worked in infrastructure finance at NSW Treasury and as an infrastructure lawyer in several top tier law firms.

Professor Attila Brungs

Professor Attila Brungs is the Vice-Chancellor of the University of New South Wales. He was previously Vice-Chancellor of the University of Technology Sydney. He has also held senior positions with the CSIRO, and McKinsey & Company.

Professor Brungs is a Rhodes Scholar with a Doctorate in Inorganic Chemistry from Oxford University, and a University Medal in Industrial Chemistry from the University of NSW. 

Some of Professor Brungs’ present key appointments include ATN Chair; the Committee for Sydney Board; and Fellow of the Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering. His experience includes many distinguished past board and committee memberships including not-for-profit organisations, in addition to numerous state and federal government and institutional appointments.

Peter Freedman AM

As a multiple Australian Export Awards winner, Sydney-based RØDE is hailed as a leader in the Australian manufacturing sector, with its sustainable high-tech approach setting an example for the future of Australian manufacturing. 

Mr Freedman’s involvement in initiatives such as the Innovative Manufacturing Cooperative Research Center (IMCRC), and Microsoft’s JoinedUp Innovation initiative has seen him regularly invited as presenter and opinion leader to educational institutions both locally and internationally.

He is a member of the Order of Australia in recognition for significant service to business, manufacturing and export, and his philanthropic support of cultural events.

Professor Barney Glover AO

Professor Barney Glover AO took up the role of Vice-Chancellor and President, Western Sydney University in 2014. Professor Glover is also currently the President of the Board of Trustees of the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences Trust, and the Australian Government representative on the University of the South Pacific Grants Committee. He is also a Board Member of the Australian American Fulbright Commission, the Committee for Sydney, and Westpac Scholars Trust, and a Member of the NSW Arts and Culture Advisory Committee, and the Accelerating R&D Advisory Council.  

Professor Glover is an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO), a Fellow of the Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering (ATSE), a Fellow of the Royal Society of NSW (FRSN), and a Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (MAICD).  

Professor Glover’s esteemed career includes significant expertise and experience at the most senior levels of university management and substantial business leadership credentials. He has also served on the boards of a range of corporate organisations and several state and national centres covering areas such as health and medical research, energy, mineral exploration, and telecommunications.

Professor Brigid Heywood

Professor Heywood is the Vice-Chancellor of the University of New England. Following an academic career spanning several countries and leadership positions in regional and online universities, Professor Heywood has successfully driven advances in academic excellence, research performance, and engagement through innovation knowledge transfer.  

Professor Heywood previously held academic leadership positions at Keele University and The Open University in the United Kingdom, Massey University in New Zealand. Prior to her current appointment, she was Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) at the University of Tasmania.

Professor Ian Jacobs BA, MA, MBBS, MD, FRCOG

Professor Jacobs was President and Vice-Chancellor of UNSW Sydney from 2015 to 2022. He led the ambitious UNSW 2025 Strategy focused on the role of the university in serving society through research excellence, innovation in education, social engagement, knowledge transfer and global impact. 

Prior to moving to Australia, he was based in the UK combining roles as a cancer surgeon and Professor of Women’s Health, with leadership roles as Dean of Biomedicine at University College London (2009-11) and Vice President of the University of Manchester (2011-15). 

He trained in medicine at Cambridge University and the University of London, and for 30 years has led a research team working on early detection and prevention of ovarian cancer. He initiated and led UKFOCSS (the UK Familial Ovarian Cancer Screening) involving over 5,000 women at high risk of ovarian cancer, UKCTOCS (the UK Collaborative Trial of Ovarian Cancer Screening), involving over 200,000 women at general population risk and the multicentre PROMISE programme (Predicting Risk of Ovarian Malignancy in Screening and Early Detection). These research programmes have received approximately $100 million of funding awards over the last 20 years and have led to over 400 publications with an h-index >80. 

He is a Board member of Ovarian Cancer Australia and a former board member of The Conversation and Research Australia. He was the 2018 Chair of the Group of Eight Universities, is the former Chair of the Sydney Partnership for Health Education, Research and Enterprise (SPHERE), and is on the board of Universities Australia. In 2005, he established the Uganda Women’s Health Initiative and he is a non-Executive Director of Abcodia Ltd, a diagnostics company he founded as a spin out from his research. 

Jillian Kilby

Jillian is a Civil Engineer with a Master of Business and a Master of Public Policy from Stanford University. Unique for having boots-on-the-ground in regional NSW while also advising clients in California, Jillian established the Infrastructure Collaborative, an advisory business in California and NSW after studying at Stanford University. The Infrastructure Collaborative makes a conscious choice to continue to serve the infrastructure needs of Local Councils and Joint Organisations of Councils in NSW. She is proud to have called over 70 Councils her clients, all are over the Blue Mountains in regional NSW.   

In 2018, Jillian bought a 133-year-old post office in Dubbo and launched a second company called The Exchange, an innovation hub and coworking space serving Regional NSW. She is an Australian Sir John Monash Scholar and was the 2018 Agrifutures NSW/ACT Rural Woman of the Year. 

Dr Tony Rumble

Dr Rumble is a leading practitioner and innovator in the financial services sector. He is a  leading academic contributor in the areas of design and distribution of innovative financial products and services, financial markets regulation and public policy; and Director, The Wealth Partnership Pty Ltd. He has particular experience in private wealth management, tax, corporate finance technical advice, complex new products, and business start-ups.   

Dr Rumble has held numerous roles including: Senior Partner, PricewaterhouseCoopers; consultant for and member of Australian Government taxation review panels; academic and training services provider to financial market professionals in Australia, South Korea, Malaysia and Japan; and other engagements with Australian and global organisations in both government and non-government sectors.

Steve Sammartino

Mr Sammartino has had multiple technology start-ups and launched one of the first sharing economy start-ups, Rentoid.com. He now invests in emerging technologies and has multiple advisory board positions in start-ups involved in a variety of disruptive technologies across the airline industry, automotive, real estate, and co-working, the internet of things, quantified self, mobile applications, and 3D printing technologies.  Mr Sammartino is heavily involved in the start-up scene in Shanghai and has a passion for the Chinese culture. 

He is author of two tech strategy books, The Great Fragmentation and The Lessons School Forgot, and How to Hack your Way Through the Technology Revolution. Mr Sammartino is a media commentator on technology and the future on the ABC. He has also featured on the BBC, The Smithsonian Institute, and other programs.

Dr Richard Sheldrake AM

Dr Sheldrake had a 38-year career in the NSW Public Service, and was Director-General of four Departments (Agriculture, Natural Resources, Industry and Investment, and Primary Industries) between 2002 and 2013, when he retired.   

Richard has had a long-term commitment to rural and regional Australia, focusing on issues such as farm productivity and profitability, rural research and development, natural resource management, and our national plant and animal biosecurity systems.  

Richard is currently a member of the Board of the Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering, and The Crawford Fund. 

Professor Alex Zelinsky AO

Professor Zelinsky is University of Newcastle’s Vice-Chancellor and President since November 2018.   

Prior to joining the University, Professor Zelinsky was Chief Defence Scientist, leading Defence Science and Technology. He was also previously Group Executive for Information Sciences at CSIRO, and CEO and co-founder of start-up Seeing Machines, a technology company focused on computer vision from ANU where he was a Professor of Systems Engineering.   

Professor Zelinsky’s career spans innovation, science and technology, research and commercial start-ups and education.   

He has a Bachelor of Mathematical Sciences (Honours), Doctor of Philosophy, and Honorary Doctor of Science from the University of Wollongong and is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and has completed the Advanced Management Program from Harvard University.   

Professor Zelinsky has received numerous national and international awards, including being appointed an Officer in the Order of Australia (AO) in 2017.  

He is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering, the Institute of Engineers Australia, and the Australian Institute of Company Directors. 

Professor Hugh Durrant-Whyte (Special Advisor to Council)

Hugh Durrant-Whyte is the NSW Chief Scientist & Engineer and Natural Resources Commissioner. Prior to his appointment, Hugh was Chief Scientific Advisor to the UK Ministry of Defence from 2016-18. He has also been a Professor and ARC Federation Fellow at the University of Sydney (2014-16 and 2002-2010), CEO of National ICT Australia (NICTA) from 2010-2014, and Director of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Autonomous Systems and of the Australian Centre for Field Robotics (ACFR) from 1995-2010. 

Hugh is a world-leading authority on machine learning and robotics, and applications in areas including cargo handling, mining and defence. He has published over 300 research papers, graduated over 70 PhD students, and has won numerous awards and prizes for his work, including 2010 NSW Scientist of the Year and 2008 Engineers Australia NSW Engineer of the Year. 

In his career he has worked with many major companies and has co-founded three successful start-up companies. He is particularly well known for his work with Patrick Terminals in delivering the automated container terminals in Brisbane and Port Botany, and for his work with Rio Tinto in pioneering and delivering the automated “Mine of the Future”. He is an honorary Fellow of Engineers Australia (HonFIEAus), a Fellow of the IEEE (FIEEE), Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering (FREng), Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science (FAA), and a Fellow of the Royal Society of London (FRS).

Stephen Walters (Special Advisor to Council)

Stephen Walters is Chief Economist for NSW Treasury. He joined Treasury in July 2018. Previously, Stephen was Chief Economist with the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD) and investment bank JPMorgan, from October 2001 until February 2016. 

Before joining JPMorgan, Stephen was Senior Economist with Access Economics in Melbourne, and International Economist with Norwich Union in the UK. He also spent seven years as an Economist with the Treasury in Perth. Stephen holds a Bachelor of Economics from the University of Western Australia and a Masters in Applied Finance from the University of Melbourne. He also is a graduate of the AICD’s Company Directors’ Course and has qualifications in journalism. He has published three books. 

Stephen is Chair of the Australian Business Economists (ABE) and is a member of the Australian Statistics Advisory Council (ASAC).