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Our Advisory Panel

ARENA projects

Our advisory Panel provides advice to support the development and selection of projects and initiatives for funding.

The panel’s roles include assessing program funding applications and providing specialist advice as required.


  • Susan Mallan: (Chair) Energy Industry Adviser

    Susan Mallan brings more than 25 years’ experience in the energy sector to her advisory roles on energy developments across Australia. She has worked in listed, privately owned and Government corporations across the upstream exploration and development, power generation and electricity sectors. She has led teams in commercial, project management, technical, operational services and corporate functions.

    A qualified mechanical and petroleum engineer with a Masters in Business Administration, Susan has worked extensively across Australia, the Middle East, Indonesia and North America. Susan holds a Company Directors Diploma from the Australian Institute of Company Directors and is a member of QUT’s Science and Engineering Faculty Academic Board, UNSW’s School of Petroleum Engineering Industry Advisory Board and the Women in Mining & Resources Queensland Committee.

  • Dr Bruce Godfrey FTSE: Wyld Group

    Bruce’s career has been built in business, innovation investment and technology development fields. He has focused on the advancement and commercialisation of technologies (particularly new energy technologies – renewable, enabling and low emission fossil), investment readiness of products and companies, and innovation policy and programs.

    A Fellow of the Academy of Technology and Engineering (ATSE), he also is a Director and Vice-President Diversity of ATSE. He has Chaired Expert Working Groups for the Australian Council of Learned Academies (ACOLA) on Delivering Sustainable Urban Mobility (2015) and on Energy Storage (2017). He is a Director of the Future Battery Industries Cooperative Research Centre Limited, and of Science in Australia Gender Equity Limited.

  • Mr Geoff Andrews: Founder, Genesis Now

    Geoff is a mechanical engineer, and has specialised in energy efficiency since 1985.

    He is the founder and MD of Genesis Now (1991), which has completed over 2,500 energy efficiency and renewable energy projects in most industry sectors. He has won industry awards including national energy efficiency champion, and is recognised as a leader and innovator in energy efficiency.

    Geoff also co-founded six clean-tech companies, is an early stage investor in renewable energy companies, and is an active member of the Melbourne Angel Investor group, and a member of the investment screening team, specialising in clean-tech and start-ups.

  • Mr Tom Cawley: Managing Director, Balance Energy

    Mr Cawley has technical energy experience from well or mine, through processing and transmission, to generation, with an extensive knowledge of energy use in the resources and industrial sectors.

    He also has a strong exposure to renewables including the design and construction of a pilot biodiesel plant, detailed peer review of a solar flagship CST plant and multiple analyses of renewable options in the industrial and resources sectors.

    Mr Cawley’s commercial experience includes the purchase and re-development of a gas turbine cogen plant, founding and leading a specialised energy efficiency engineering business for 13 years and recently, the successful founding and funding of a start-up with an efficiency focus. Mr Cawley’s capabilities in the emerging energy sector are underlined by his election to the well-contested board of the Energy Efficiency Council of Australia three times.

    Mr Cawley also has significant firsthand experience of innovation within the energy sector, with several new technologies and solutions delivered by his company as well as the new start-up.

  • Mr Stephen Drew: Consultant, SRD Consulting

    Stephen Drew has 37 years of practical chemical engineering experience in the renewable energy sector. Stephen helped to pioneer pinch analysis and process integration to make energy savings, predominantly on large dairy sites in New Zealand, Australia and in the United States. For most of his career, he has worked in senior roles in New Zealand’s renewable electricity industry. He has demonstrated the value in using electro-technologies in industrial applications, provided specialist services to distribution networks and more recently built a 200 MW portfolio in instantaneous reserves for a demand response aggregator. His project teams have been recognised for their innovation in the use of a novel thermal energy storage and the aggregation of very fast interruptible loads. He has participated on a New Zealand Advisory Group considering new wholesale market design, contributed to the Smart Grid Forum and is a member of the global Energy Centre for IChemE. He is an enthusiastic owner of one of the first Electric Vehicles (EV) in Wellington.

  • Mr Peter Eben: Director, Seed Advisory

    Peter is a Director and co-founder of Seed Advisory having established it in 2008. Peter has over 25 years’ experience including 20 years in the energy sector. His work focus within the energy industry has included advisory and direct energy retail and wholesale experience in executive management positions at EnergyAustralia, AGL, Pulse Energy, United Energy and IKON Energy.

    Peter’s experience in the energy industry spans the energy value chain and covers strategy, risk management, policy and regulatory development, retail marketing, wholesale trading, analysis and corporate development.

    He has worked with start up, small, medium and large companies including corporate consumers, retailers, networks, wholesale market participants, market operators, regulators, governments and investors. He has a detailed understanding of the Australian energy and renewable energy sectors covering the National Electricity Market, the Northern Territory Market and the West Australian market. Peter is also an actuary with strong quantitative and risk management skills.

  • Mr Lyndon Frearson: General Manager Business Development and Strategy, Ekistica

    Mr Frearson has significant expertise in developing and commercialising renewable energy technologies. His experience includes prefeasibility through to construction management of renewable energy generation projects.

    Notably he was involved in the first MW scale PV plant in Australia. He has previously worked to develop innovative approaches to automation and manufacturing during his seven years at Ford.

    Mr Frearson has expertise in project finance assessment, off grid and edge of grid energy projects and markets with technical expertise in solar PV, solar thermal and enabling technologies.

  • Ms Kellie Larsen: Energy Project Director, Integrated Global Partners

    Ms Larsen has over 18 years’ experience in the Energy industry across a wide variety of roles. She has strong fuels, petrochemicals and gas supply chain experience, with a deep commercial knowledge of the Australian and regional fuels industry. She has a comprehensive business skill set with strong commercial and business acumen developed through Strategy, Supply, Trading, Oil refining and Integrated Business Planning roles.

    Ms Larsen has deep insights into the fuel supply chain economics and understands the challenges faced by the biofuels industry in Australia.

  • Ms Kim Lawrence: Director, KML Advisory Pty Ltd

    Kim is a non-executive director and advisor in renewable energy, sustainability and sailing sector. She has wide ranging commercial and legal experience encompassing the energy, mining, commodity markets, banking and finance sectors both within private sector and Government enterprises. She is a strategic thinker and innovator who has led investment strategy and business development to build new businesses across multiple geographies and new markets.

    Kim has qualifications in law, natural resource economics and finance and has previously held senior executive roles are the Clean Energy Finance Corporation, Low Carbon Australia and Macquarie Bank both in Australia and the USA.

  • Mr Keith Lovegrove: Head of Solar Thermal – ITPower

    Dr Lovegrove is the Head – Solar Thermal for the UK based renewable energy consulting company ITPower. He has 28 years of experience in Solar Thermal Energy combined with 15 years of teaching experience in Energy Systems and Systems Engineering.

    He was previously the leader of the Solar Thermal Group at the Australian National University. In that role he was the lead inventor and team leader of the 500m2 Generation II Big Dish solar concentrator, recognized with a Light Weight Structures Association of Australia, 2009 design award.

    Dr Lovegrove has authored or co-authored more than 160 publications including 2 patents and 7 books, chapters and major public reports. He was the primary editor of the 2012 book “Concentrating Solar Power Technology” by Woodhead publishing UK. In 2012, he was a Member of the Australian Prime Minister’s Science, Engineering and Innovation Council, Expert Working Group on Climate Energy and Water Links.

  • Mr Robert McMillan: Director, Farrier Swier Consulting

    Robert is an experienced economist, and commercial and regulatory advisor with expertise in regulatory policy and practice in Australia’s electricity and gas sectors. He is expert in energy grid access regulation, having designed rules and incentive schemes, managed price reviews, and advised on regulatory, contestability and tariff strategy. He has a master of regulatory economics from Australian National University.

    Over the past 2 decades Robert has applied his knowledge of policy, regulation and commercial strategy to advise clients across Australia and Asia. He is recognised for his considered approach to solving commercial and policy problems, adapting and applying regulatory regimes, and engaging customers and stakeholders in business and regulatory decisions. In recent years, he has applied himself to the regulatory and pricing reforms needed to facilitate energy transformation, and to helping clients assess commercialisation of distributed energy services and embedded multi-utility solutions.

  • Emeritus Professor Graham Morrison: Managing Director, Thermal Design

    Emeritus Professor Morrison has more than 35 years’ experience with the design and commercialisation of solar thermal energy systems. Professor Morrison established the solar thermal energy department at the University of New South Wales and was Director of Solar Thermal Energy Research at UNSW until 2005.

    After leaving UNSW he has been involved in the design and commercialisation of large scale solar thermal power systems.

    He was involved with the design and construction of the first large scale high temperature solar thermal energy system connected to a conventional power station; at Liddell in the Hunter Valley NSW. He has been Australian representative on the International Standards Organisation and International Energy Agency solar thermal energy committees.

    Professor Morrison has extensive design expertise in the area of industrial thermal energy systems as well as modelling and simulation of solar thermal energy processes. In addition, he has extensive commercial development experience in enabling high temperature solar thermal energy projects.

  • Mr John G O’Brien: Strategic Energy Advisor, W Wightman Advisory

    John has worked for over 40 years as a professional engineer and businessman holding executive‐level roles in both the public and private sector for utilities and advisory firms. John’s specific roles have included participation in Australian and international energy markets, projects and operations.

    Over the last 20 years John has founded a number of highly successful consulting businesses providing strategic advice on both energy markets and electricity infrastructure to major utility and resources companies. CopperString, the largest single electricity network project in Australia, was founded by John and was designed to open up the sustainable resources corridor between Townsville and Mt Isa.

    John also has investments in a number of significant energy and resources related project developments, and has played an active role in the economic development planning for northern Queensland. John travels extensively to provide strategic advice, business input and thought leadership across Australia and internationally.

  • Mr Blair Walter: Renewable Energy Leader, Aurecon

    Mr Walter is a mechanical engineer with 20 years’ experience in the energy advisory sector incorporating a range of technical and commercial projects in New Zealand, Australia, Asia, South America, Africa and Europe. His primary focus is renewable energy and his experience includes site identification, development staging and strategy, resource and energy analysis, procurement, contracting, and finance due diligence for wind, solar and hydro projects.

    Mr Walter is based in Aurecon’s Wellington office and is Renewable Energy Leader for Aurecon. Prior to joining Aurecon, he worked for PB Power in Wellington and Brisbane from 1995 to 2000, and for Mott MacDonald in Brighton and Glasgow from 2000 to 2005.

  • Dr Muriel Watt: Head of Energy Policy and PV, ITP Renewables

    Dr Watt is a Principal Consultant for renewable energy engineering company ITP Renewables. She is highly regarded internationally for her expertise in solar and energy policy.

    Dr Watt has worked with government agencies, universities and industry in the areas of renewable energy development, policy and application since 1980. Significant past appointments include Associate Professor, School of PV and Renewable Energy Engineering, University of NSW, Chair of the Australian PV Institute, Chair of the Australian and New Zealand Solar Energy Society, Chair of the Policy Group for the Australian CRC for Renewable Energy, Australian Executive Committee member on the IEA PV Power Systems (PVPS) Implementing Agreement, member of the Australian Solar Institute Research Advisory Committee, member of the Solar Flagship Education Infrastructure Fund Advisory Board and member of the Zero Emissions Byron Advisory Panel (current).

  • Heidi Sick: Industry Director - Energy, Aurecon

    Heidi is a Chemical Engineer with 20 years of broad industry experience across Renewable Energy (solar, wind), Carbon Capture and Storage, Oil and Gas (GTL, CTL), Pharmaceuticals and Biotechnology sectors. This experience stretches across three continents, covering the complete lifecycle of multi-disciplinary complex projects. This exposure has given Heidi a solid foundation across the feasibility, design, construction, commissioning, operation and maintenance phases as well as project management and delivery and people and team management through professional consulting, engineering and client side/operational capacities.

    Heidi is the Industry Director for Aurecon’s Energy business, responsible for establishing and implementing the strategy for the energy market in Australia and New Zealand to support clients navigate through the rapid transformation occurring in the energy sector.

  • Jackie Barber: Managing Principal, Energy Market Matters

    Jackie Barber has a wealth of experience having operated in energy markets for over 25 years both in the UK and Australia. She has a background in energy trading and operated at Executive General Management level at Tarong Energy Corporation and then Stanwell Corporation when the companies merged in 2011.

    More recently, Jackie joined forces with fellow enthusiasts to form a new company called Energy Market Matters Australia (emma) with a focus on supporting businesses navigate the transition to a more energy efficient and sustainable future. Data wrangling, analysis, visualisation and simple communication of insights is where the journey often begins with customers. This leads to smarter procurement and investment in energy efficiency and/or new infrastructure and technology to lower the cost of energy and improve environmental outcomes.

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Last updated 18 January 2021
Last updated
18 January 2021


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