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Net Zero Emission Mining WA Conference 2022

1st and 2nd September 2022

Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre, WA

In-Person + ONLINE

Ministerial Address

Hon. Bill Johnston

Hon Bill Johnston MLA

Minister for Mines and Petroleum; Energy; Corrective Services; and Industrial Relations.

The Hon Bill Johnston has been a Minister for the McGowan Labor Government since March 2017, and has previously been Minister for Commerce, Industrial Relations, Electoral Affairs, and Asian Engagement.

So far, his achievements include cutting red-tape for the mining industry, introducing the Work Health and Safety Bill (industrial manslaughter provisions) and assisting in revolutionising Western Australia’s energy system.

In Opposition he served as Shadow Minister for State Development and Energy from 2012, and Shadow Minister for Mines and Petroleum from 2013. He was a Member of the Economics and Industry Standing Committee and Deputy Chair of the Inquiry into Domestic Gas Prices from 2010 to 2011. Prior to entering Parliament, he was the State Secretary of WA Labor from 2001 until 2008, with responsibility for all State and Federal election campaigns.

Master of Ceremonies

Nicole Roocke

Nicole Roocke

Chief Executive Officer

Minerals Research Institute of Western Australia (MRIWA)

Appointed CEO of MRIWA in November 2018, Nicole Roocke spent the previous 15 years at the Chamber of Minerals and Energy of Western Australia coordinating industry input on a variety of government regulatory and policy issues and facilitating collaboration within the resources sector.

Nicole holds a Master of Science in Industrial and Organisational Psychology from UWA and a Master of Risk Management from UNSW.

Opening Keynote – Day 1

Bill Hare

Bill Hare

Climate Scientist & CEO

Climate Analytics

Bill Hare is a climate scientist with 30+ years’ experience in climate change science, impacts and policy. He is the CEO of Climate Analytics, Adjunct Professor at Murdoch University and visiting scientist at Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research. He was a Lead Author for the the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Fourth Assessment Report, for which the IPCC was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007. He also led the influential World Bank Turn Down the Heat reports series in 2013-2014, and is one of the leaders of the Climate Action Tracker. In addition, he holds a role within the UN Secretary General’s high level expert group on non-state actors net zero commitments.

In Western Australia, Bill has a history of work relevant to the gas sector and state level emissions target setting. Using a whole of economy approach, his team has produced a detailed 5 degree Paris Agreement compliant pathway for Australia with detailed sub sectoral and sectoral constraints that are technically and economically feasible. He has also led studies that have unpacked emissions from exploiting the Canning Basin, the emissions from Woodside’s entire Scarborough Pluto Project, and estimated a Paris Agreement 1.5°C compatible carbon budget for all sectors of the Western Australian economy.

Opening Keynote – Day 2

Ross Garnaut For MRIWA NZEM Conference 2022

Professor Ross Garnaut AC


ZEN Energy

Ross Garnaut is an Emeritus Professor in Economics at The Australian National University and an Emeritus Professor in Business and Economics at the University of Melbourne.

Over the past fifty years, he has had many senior roles in business and as a policy advisor and diplomat. Ross was the senior economic policy official in Papua New Guinea’s Department of Finance in the years straddling Independence in 1975, principal economic adviser to Australian Prime Minister Bob Hawke from 1983 to1985, and Australian Ambassador to China from 1985 to 1988.

Ross was awarded a Companion of the Order of Australia (AC) in 2017 for work on climate change and energy, and an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) in 1993 for services to education and international relations.

He is the author of numerous publications in scholarly journals on international economics, public finance and economic development, particularly in relation to East Asia and the Southwest Pacific. His recent books include Superpower: Australia’s low carbon opportunity, Black Inc. (2019) and RESET: Restoring Australia after the Pandemic Recession (2021).

Ross is a Distinguished Fellow of the Australian Economic Society, Distinguished Life Member of the Australian Agricultural and Resources Economics Society, Fellow of the Australia Academy of Social Sciences and Honorary Professor of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

He is now Director of ZEN Energy and Director of Renergi.

Conference speakers

Vincent Algar

Managing Director

Australian Vanadium Limited

Vincent Algar is a geologist by profession with over 27 years of experience in the mining industry, spanning underground and open cut mining operations, greenfields exploration, project development and mining services in both Western Australia and Southern Africa.

Since 2015 Vincent has been Managing Director of Australian Vanadium Ltd (ASX: AVL) and is responsible for advancing the company’s high-grade Australian Vanadium Project in Western Australia, which will comprise a minesite south of Meekatharra and processing plant located close to the port city of Geraldton. Mr Algar was instrumental in the launch of AVL’s subsidiary VSUN Energy, with its focus on developing the vanadium redox flow battery market for energy storage.

Vincent represents both AVL and VSUN Energy to the mining, financial and energy markets within Australia and overseas. He has strong technical, ESG and financial knowledge.

Matthew Bowen For MRIWA website

Matthew Bowen


Jackson McDonald

Matthew Bowen heads Jackson McDonald’s energy and regulation practice. The growth of hybrid, distributed and renewable energy is transforming the energy sector, forcing energy players to rethink their business models and challenging the applicable regulatory regimes. Matthew and his team identified and embraced this transformation early and invested heavily in developing their understanding of the technology and the associated policy issues. More recently, he has done the same with the emerging renewable hydrogen industry, preparing regulatory landscape maps for the State government and presently assisting a private entity with a commercial-scale renewable hydrogen project.

Mary Hackett

Mary Hackett

Non-Executive Director and Chair of the ESS (Environment, Social and Safety)

Northern Star

Mary Hackett has an extensive career in the resource sector, spanning more than 30 years, with senior executive roles in Brown & Root, Woodside, and General Electric. Her most recent executive role being CEO of General Electric Oil & Gas for Australasia.

Mary is a Non-Executive Director and Chair of the ESS (Environment, Social and Safety) committee for Northern Star Resources, Chair of Future Energy Exports Cooperative Research Centre. She also serves as a Non-Executive Director for Strike Energy, Sapien Cyber and Blue Ocean Marine Monitoring.

A Graduate of AICD and a Fellow of Engineers Australia, Mary holds an honours degree in Mechanical Engineering from University College Galway, Ireland.

Laura Hillis For MRIWA website

Laura Hillis

Director, Corporate Engagement

Investor Group on Climate Change

Laura is the Director of Corporate Engagement at IGCC and leads the regional implementation of Climate Action 100+ in Australia and New Zealand.

She manages IGCC’s corporate engagement program of work and thematic research on corporate climate change issues relevant to investors. She was a key contributor to the development of the Climate Action 100+ Net Zero Company Benchmark in 2020 and led the development of the initiative’s 2019 and 2020 progress reports.

Prior to joining IGCC in 2019, Laura worked in the banking and insurance sector at both Bank Australia and the Suncorp Group in sustainability and corporate communications. At Bank Australia she led projects including sustainability reporting, modern slavery, reconciliation, and climate change policy. She also has extensive experience engaging with companies on supply chain issues related to biodiversity, deforestation and human rights from her time at Zoos Victoria leading corporate engagement. Laura holds degrees in social psychology and communications from the University of Melbourne and QUT, and has also studied economics, corporate governance and climate policy.

Michael Hitch

Professor Michael Hitch

Head of School, Western Australian School of Mines: Minerals, Energy and Chemical Engineering

Curtin University

Professor Michael Hitch is the newly appointed Head of School of WA School of Mines: Minerals, Energy and Chemical Engineering.  Michael came to Curtin from Tallinn University of Technology, Estonia where he was Director and Head of the Institute of Geology and Michael has previously held senior academic roles at UNSW Sydney and the University of British Columbia in Canada. Prior to embarking on his academic pathway, Professor Hitch spent 23 years in the resources industry in roles ranging from operations, corporate finance and senior executive roles with leading organisations including AngloGold Ashanti, Ivanhoe Mines and Echo Bay Mines.

Professor Hitch’s research areas include sustainable resource management, CO2 mineral carbonation from mine waste by-products, circular economy and the emergence of social licence in post command and conflict societies.

Brigette McDowell

Chief Executive Officer

Cheeditha Energy

How can you achieve your net-zero target without impeding efficiency and profitability? This is the question Brigette McDowell, co-founder and CEO of Cheeditha Energy, seeks to answer.

Brigette completed a Bachelor of Commerce at Curtin University and entered the construction industry in Perth. During the first 10 years of her career, she continued to study a Master of Project Management and a Graduate Certificate in Energy and Carbon Studies. In 2017 she relocated to the Pilbara, making Karratha home. Having established a strong connection with the Yindjibarndi people and with her passion for the environment and sustainable futures, in 2018, she co- founded Cheeditha Energy in partnership with Cheeditha Aboriginal Community.

Cheeditha Energy has cemented itself as the Pilbara’s foremost Aboriginal Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency company. Its purpose is to be Your Partner to Net-Zero, continuing to seek out innovative solutions ensuring partners have a clear path to a net-zero future.

Bernard Norton For MRIWA website

Bernard Norton

Country Managing Director

Hitachi Energy, Australia

Bernard Norton is the Managing Director of Hitachi Energy in Australia and leads the Sales and Marketing team within the organisation.

Hitachi Energy is a global technology leader that is advancing a sustainable energy future for all. We serve customers in the utility, industry and infrastructure sectors with innovative solutions and services across the value chain. Together with customers and partners, we pioneer technologies and enable the digital transformation required to accelerate the energy transition towards a carbon-neutral future.

We are advancing the world’s energy system to become more sustainable, flexible and secure whilst balancing social, environmental and economic value. Hitachi Energy has a proven track record and unparalleled installed base in more than 140 countries. Headquartered in Switzerland, we employ around 38,000 people in 90 countries and generate business volumes of approximately $10 billion USD.

Bernard has been with Hitachi Energy since 2015 and has over 30 years of utility and related industry experience.

Bernard holds an Associate Diploma in Electrical Power, a Masters of Management and is a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Shannon O’Rourke

Chief Executive Officer

Future Battery Industries CRC

Shannon O’Rourke commenced as Chief Executive Officer of the Future Battery Industries Cooperative Research Centre on 1 December 2021.

He is a seasoned executive with 25 years’ experience in the energy sector including senior management roles with Woodside, Chevron and industrial research with Rio Tinto.

His career spans traditional and renewable energy markets with a track record of success in the commercialisation of research outcomes including managing CRC collaborations through the Future Fuels CRC and the CO2 CRC.

Vivek Srinivasan

Associate Director CSIRO Futures


Vivek Srinivasan is an Associate Director in CSIRO Futures, the strategic advisory arm of CSIRO. He leads the energy and resources portfolio within CSIRO Futures and specialises in complex national and industry challenges and the role that science and technology can play in addressing them.

Vivek’s recent work is focused on supporting industry growth and emissions reduction projects for government and industry customers. He is currently leading the development of CSIRO’s Low Emission Energy Storage Roadmap – which includes analysis on energy storage implications in mining and mineral processing. He previously led CSIRO’s Mining Equipment, Technology and Services (METS) Industry Roadmap, CSIRO’s CO2 Utilisation Roadmap which explored opportunities to make products out of carbon dioxide and waste streams such as tailings, and CSIRO’s Hydrogen Research, Development and Demonstration (RD&D) report. Vivek also previously managed CSIRO’s Australian National Outlook 2019 which explored economic, environmental and social outcomes to 2060, drawing on CSIRO’s research and integrated modelling framework and input from over 50 Australian business and non-government leaders.

Vivek has delivered tailored strategy projects for government and industry customers. These projects have included analysis of solutions to support low impact mining, technology scans to assess emerging technology options for a variety of challenges including those related to dust in mining, and the exploration of hydrogen and carbon, capture, utilisation and storage hubs.

Darren Stralow - Bellevue Gold For MRIWA website

Darren Stralow

Chief Executive Officer

Bellevue Gold Limited

Darren Stralow is an experienced mining executive and qualified mining engineer with over 20 years’ industry experience. He was a member of the senior management team at Northern Star Resources for over 10 years, with roles including head of operations and head of business development during a period of exceptional growth. Darren has extensive experience in strategy development and execution, building and operating modern underground mining operations, business integration and transformation, and building high performing teams.

Mr Stralow now proudly leads Bellevue Gold and their pathway to net zero emissions by 2026, which will be underpinned by the world class off-grid power station capable of an annual renewable energy penetration of ~80%, which will provide secure, reliable and low-emission power to the Bellevue Gold mine.

Matthew Tonts

Professor Matthew Tonts


Environmental Protection Authority

Professor Tonts commenced the role of EPA Chair in January 2021.

He has extensive professional experience spanning Western Australia’s environmental, regional, higher education and research sectors.

Between 2017 and 2020 he was Pro Vice Chancellor and Executive Dean of the University of Western Australia’s Faculty of Arts, Business, Law and Education. Prior to this he was Head of UWA’s School of Earth and Environment and Director of the Institute for Regional Development.

Prof. Tonts is internationally known for his expertise in environmental geography, regional environments, rural communities and spatial planning. He has worked closely with Commonwealth, State and local government, as well as not for profits and the private sector on issues related to regional development, land use assessment, urban development and environmental management. He has also worked on a range of projects in collaboration with partners in Africa, North America, Europe and South East Asia.

He has a Doctor of Philosophy (Geography) from Curtin University and a Bachelor of Arts (Geography and Environmental Management) (first class honours) from Edith Cowan University. In 2020 he was elected a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia.

Michael Voros For MRIWA website

Michael Voros



Michael Voros is a Counsel with global law firm Ashurst. He is a leading lawyer for climate and carbon related issues and for environment and approval issues in Western Australia.

Michael has been at the forefront of carbon issues since 2006, one of the few with that outlook across successive waves of carbon policy. He has worked with numerous leading Australian and global clients, including for the development of a carbon offset industry in WA.

More speakers will be announced shortly so ensure you subscribe for updates to stay connected with the latest announcements.

Page was last reviewed 28 June 2022

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