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SIAA Board Nominations

Nominations to join the SIAA Board are now closed.

Election of the seven Director positions on the Board of the SIAA will take place at the Annual General Meeting, details as follows:

Wednesday, 20 November 2019, at 4.30pm.
UNSW, Kensington Campus
Electrical Engineering Building
First Floor, Room 102

Nominees are:

  • David Ball
  • Melissa de Zwart
  • Rod Drury
  • Gail Iles
  • Conor MacDonald
  • Troy McCann
  • Julia Mitchell
  • Tim Parsons
  • Mark Ramsey
  • Byron Riessen
  • Eva Rodriguez
  • Steve Warr

Nominations are below - to view details please click on the relevant photo.

A pdf of all nominations can be accessed here.

Ball David

David Ball

Mr David Ball

I am the CEO of the Space Environment Research Centre (SERC) located in Canberra, Australia.   I am currently Deputy Chair of the SIAA and have also served as Treasurer since 2008.   In addition, I was a member of the Local Organising Committee for IAC2017. 

I have over 25 years of experience in the defence, space and telecommunications sectors with a significant portion of my career spent specialising in satellite communications.   I have held senior positions with several satellite operators, including Intelsat and PanAmSat, with roles encompassing sales team management, communication systems engineering and space systems development.   Prior to joining SERC, I led communications capability assessments for the Australian Department of Defence (through Envista Pty Ltd) during 2016 and 2017.   

I hold a Bachelor of Engineering (Communications Engineering) from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology and a Graduate Diploma in Business Management from Deakin University.   I am graduate of the Company Directors Course from the Australian Institute of Company Directors.  

I am keen to continue to serve as a Board Member of the SIAA.   I feel that it is important that the SIAA Board includes Directors who have significant industry background in addition to experience in corporate governance matters.   The depth of industry experience on the SIAA Board will be an important factor in how the Australian Space Agency views the SIAA and will impact the level of our engagement with, and our relevance to, the Agency.   The SIAA has actively engaged with the Agency over the past year and it is important that the effective working relationship continue.    

In addition, I am keen to see an expansion of the activities of the SIAA so that we can continue to represent and advocate on behalf of our industry and also work to create valuable networking opportunities for our membership.

Melissa De Zwart

Prof Melissa de Zwart

Professor Melissa de Zwart

Dean of Law, Adelaide Law School, University of Adelaide

I have completed my first one year term as a Board Member of SIAA. In that time I have worked actively on a number of Board initiatives including the membership portfolio, particularly encouraging diversity in membership, and the Development Grant scheme. I have also served on the Legislation Working Group and contributed to the preparation of major submissions to the Australian Space Agency on behalf of the SIAA, including the Submission to the Senate Inquiry into Space Activities Amendment (Launches and Returns) Bill 2018, the Submission on the Rules for the Space (Launches and Returns) Act 2018 and the International Space Investment Initiative Submission July 2019. Prior to this I was a member of the SIAA Advisory Board for several years and assisted with the preparation and hosting of the IAC 2017 in Adelaide.

I am a passionate advocate for the Australian space industry. My background is in commercialisation of technology, having been Legal Manager, CSIRO Corporate Legal Service, before joining academia. I research and teach in civil, commercial and military space law and am a Board Member of the Woomera Manual on the International Law Applicable to Military Space Operations. I have published widely on international and domestic space law. I am also the Asia Pacific Regional Convenor of the Manfred Lachs Space Law Moot. I believe in educating the public about the value of the Australian space industry and encouraging people to value space generally as an industry that will benefit humanity. Recently I convened a project bringing space experts to speak to secondary students about the future of space exploration and use to inspire these young minds.

I promise to bring passion, commitment and hard work, as well as my depth of experience, to the SIAA if elected for a further term.

Siaaboard 0002 Drury 2017

Rod Drury, CSC

Mr Rod Drury CSC

Rod Drury is the Managing Director, Australia and New Zealand for Lockheed Martin Space at Lockheed Martin Corporation. In this role Rod, in partnership with the LM Space Lines of Business, is responsible for the strategy, growth and execution of all LM Space business activities in Australia and New Zealand. Prior to this role, Rod was the Regional Director, Australia, New Zealand and Asia, Space Systems Company International at Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company.

Before joining Lockheed Martin in 2013, Rod established and managed several businesses delivering solutions across a range of market sectors including aerospace, corporate government relations, agribusiness and critical information security. 

Previously, Rod spent eleven years with the Boeing Corporation in Australia where he served in a number of increasingly challenging leadership roles covering corporate governance, strategy, business development, domestic and international government relations, full profit/loss accountability and mission critical program management.

In 2000, Rod left the Royal Australian Air Force following 20 years of service. During his service he enjoyed postings across Australia and USA and served in many locations around the globe. Throughout his military career, Rod gained significant experience in organisational leadership, battle-space management, space operations and training, complex project management, high-tech research and development and national surveillance. Rod’s contribution was recognised in 1998, when he was awarded a Conspicuous Service Cross for ‘exceptional leadership, whilst Commanding Officer of No 1 Radar Surveillance Unit, Alice Springs’.

He is Chair of the Space Industry Association of Australia and a member of the South Australian Space Council.

Rod has been awarded a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from the University of Southern Queensland, a Graduate Diploma in Management Studies from the University of New South Wales and a Diploma in Company Directorship from the Australian Institute of Company Directors.  Rod is also an alumni of the Australian Graduate School of Management, University of New South Wales. He applies his experience as an active company director and company/business owner/operator. 

Conor Operationsprojects

Conor MacDonald

Conor MacDonald

My motivation to serve as a director of the SIAA is to continue making a meaningful contribution to the Australian space community, building on my previous roles volunteering for the Australian Youth Aerospace Association (aerospace not-for-profit organisation) and professional background as a Systems Engineer with Shoal Group.

Since 2016, I have performed in various roles for the Australian Youth Aerospace Association (AYAA), this year as President. I am most proud of my role as co-founder of the Australian Universities Rocket Competition (AURC) and passionate about being a role model for youth engagement in aviation and space initiatives around Australia, assisting in the organisation of the AYAA’s programs, growing the AYAA brand and promoting the diversity of gender and technical background in our programs and national executive committee. I also aided in strengthening the governance and internal processes of the AYAA, drawing upon my experiences with international non-for-profit Space Generation Advisory Council (SGAC) and my employer, Shoal Group.

In my professional capacity I work at Shoal Group as a Systems Engineer in the Decision Support Analytics team. I have worked through a variety of different projects within the Australian space and defence environments providing support in systems engineering and modelling and simulation roles.

Over the past four years, I have developed skills of a capable leader, a proven team-player, a strong networker, and a passionate advocate for boosting space skills in young Australians. I hold a BE in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Adelaide (’15), completed the SH-SSP Program from the International Space University (’16), and have a Graduate Certificate in Space Studies from UniSA (’16).


Julia Mitchell

Julia Mitchell

Julia is currently Secretary of the SIAA and Senior Spacecraft Systems Engineer for Sitael Australia. Julia has 10 years’ experience in the upstream and downstream areas of the space sector in Australia and internationally.

Previously, Julia has led the SBAS test-bed project at FrontierSI as the Program Manager where she worked with a wide range of users of satellite positioning technology across Australia and New Zealand. There, EY and FrontierSI found Australia and New Zealand economies would benefit by at least $7.6 billion over 30 years from more accurate positioning. Prior to this, Julia has worked as a Spacecraft Systems Engineer on large communication satellite projects for the SES-16/GovSat-1 and Jabiru-1 spacecraft for SES and NewSat respectively. She has also worked as a Structures and Graduate Engineer for Qantas for their Boeing 737 fleet and as an Aerospace Engineer for Aerospace Concepts (now the Shoal Group).

Julia has completed a Master of Science in Astronautics and Space Engineering from Cranfield University in the UK and combined Bachelor of Engineering (Aerospace) with first class honours and a Bachelor of Science (Physics) from UNSW.

Recently, Julia has been the recipient of the Ray Stalker Award which recognises exceptional young professionals in the Australian aerospace industry for their outstanding achievements and leadership. Julia was also selected as an Emerging Leader and attended the EU-Australia Leadership Forum in Brussels in November 2018.

Julia has been a SIAA director since April 2019 and believes she has a lot more to contribute to the SIAA and its members. She is particularly keen to see the Australian space industry grow in capacity and capability (including bringing more workers into the space industry), creating awareness of space activities (and how widely it is used in everyday life) for all Australians and advocating for diversity in the sector.

Ramsey Mark Photo

Mark Ramsey

Mark Ramsey

Mark Ramsey is the General Manager and a director of Sitael Australia, located in Adelaide Australia, and is a current director of the Space Industry Association of Australia. Mark has previously worked for several large and medium companies in Australia and Europe, including Lockheed Martin Australia, Thales Alenia Space, BAE Systems and NewSat, with experience covering all major space domain applications including Earth Observation, Satellite Communications, Space Situational Awareness, Positioning Navigation and Timing, and Space Science. Mark has recent experience in business leadership and management roles, and has also built up strong technical experience over his career.

Mark has a Bachelor of Engineering, Diploma of Languages, and will complete his Masters of Business Administration in 2019. In addition, Mark has completed the Company Directors Course from the Australian Institute of Company Directors and is the immediate past Chair of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Adelaide Section.

Mark has been a member of SIAA for over a decade, was previously elected to the Executive Council, and in recent years has been a member of the Advisory Council. Mark has been an active participant in several SIAA initiatives, having served on several subcommittees, responded to many government submissions, and was one of the lead authors of the SIAA white paper “Advancing Australia in Space”, which successfully supported the case for the creation of an Australian Space Agency.

Having spent several years at senior levels within SIAA, and most recently as a director, Mark is renominating for the role. Mark has significant industry experience, a personal passion to continue developing the industry, and the additional corporate governance knowledge to add value and help shape the SIAA future vision as the industry moves through rapid change both in Australia and internationally.

Eva Rodriguez

Eva Rodriguez

Eva Rodriguez

Eva Rodriguez Rodriguez has over 10 years’ experience working with international agencies, government, research, industry and user groups, coordinating and leading the creation of collaborative end-user driven innovations integrating earth observation, satellite telecommunications, satellite navigation and other space-derived data and technologies, both in Australia and Europe.

Eva is currently the Portfolio and Strategy Manager at FrontierSI, where she leads the creation of long-term strategic work in the space and spatial sectors; including the 2026Agenda, of which she is Co-Executive Officer. She is also SmartSatCRC’s Program Research Manager, providing cross-program project leadership, managing the RP3 Next Generation Earth Observation Data Services program, and having a leading role in the Diversity and Inclusion Committee. Previously, Eva was part of the Satellite Operations team at the Australian Bureau of Meteorology (BOM).

Before moving to Australia in 2014, Eva was Technical Officer at the European Space Agency’s Business Applications department, where she supported European industry, research organisations and users develop space downstream innovative applications.

Eva is passionate about the development of space technologies to solve end-user problems. A strong advocate for the growth of the space sector in Australia, Eva is motivated to join the Space Industry Association of Australia as a Director to put her broad experience at the service of the Board and the space industry.

Eva holds a Master of Science in Telecommunications Engineering and Management, and a Bachelor in Telematics from BarcelonaTech (UPC), she is currently undertaking Stanford University’s Innovation and Entrepreneurship Certificate.

Eva received an ESA Team Excellence Award in 2014, and recently been awarded the 2019 Women’s Leadership Award at the Victorian APSEA Awards, for her work strategically growing the Spatial sector in Australia, focusing on connections to the Space sector, and her leading role in growing Diversity and Inclusion in the spatial and space sectors.

Gail Iles

Dr Gail Iles

Dr Gail N. Iles

Dr Iles heads the Space Physics research group at RMIT University researching novel materials and active shielding to protect  humans and electronics against the radiation environment in LEO and lunar orbit. Dr Iles is the Programme Coordinator of the first industry-partnered, dedicated Space Science degree in Australia. Dr Iles has secured industry partnerships with Blacksky Aerospace, Geoplex/Nova Systems, Sabre Astronautics, Frontier SI, Aerospace Systems Pty Ltd, CSIRO and the Bureau of Meteorology. Dr Iles is also a supervisor of award-winning research students who build and launch rockets and design and build payloads and satellites.
As a former astronaut instructor for the European Space Agency, Dr Iles trained expedition crew for several International Space Station increments. Crew from NASA, ESA, Roscosmos, JAXA and CSA were trained to operate data, communications and power sub-systems within the Columbus laboratory. Ground control personnel were also trained, evaluated and certified during real-time simulations of ISS operations.

Dr Iles has 15 years’ experience working in intense radiation environments in the USA, Europe and Australia, attracting awards of beam time worth $1.2M. Dr Iles investigated the material properties of lightweight metallics for high-performance turbine blades in partnership with numerous industry partners including Rolls Royce and DLR. A veteran of 5 parabolic flight campaigns, Dr Iles has conducted extensive microgravity experiments on board the Airbus A300 Zero-G aircraft and partnered with Astrium and the Swedish Space Corporation for continued scientific investigations on a MAXUS sounding rocket.

As a Director of the Space Industry Association of Australia, Dr Iles would i) help to shape the direction of space in Australia drawing on expertise gained from international space agencies ii) accelerate partnership agreements for education through access to decision makers in Australian companies iii) provide access to university graduates with highly specialised skills, trained by uniquely-skilled educators and iv) provide international exposure for the association through an extensive network.

Troy Mccann

Troy McCann

Troy McCann

An electrical engineer with experience commercialising deep technologies, I have mentored dozens of space researchers and startups and have consulted for governments and large corporations both in Australia and internationally. I have an extensive network in the space sector globally, regularly present at international conferences on the future of space tech and the space economy, and was ranked Australia’s most globally influential space business leader (4th internationally) in the 2019/20 NewSpace People Global Rankings.

My career was born from a passion to grow Australia’s space capability. I co-founded the Melbourne Space Program as a university student and later sold-off multiple businesses to channel resources into Moonshot, having 3 key Australian challenges in mind:

  1. To defragment and align the interests of collaborators to lay the foundations of an Australian space economy.
  2. To amplify innovation and provide commercialisation support to enable the growth of new and existing space businesses, special purpose vehicles, technologies and supply chains.
  3. To adjust global culture to be accepting of Australian space exports.

In developing Moonshot, I have built an invaluable network and capability to act as an entirely independent advocate of the Australian space industry and its stakeholders across the nation, positively impacting much of the space community and industry.

My vision is to work with you all to create a world-leading Australian space economy.

I would like to lend my unique platform to the SIAA through a board position, to further increase its capacity to grow a powerful Australian space industry and represent the interests of all its members. In particular, I’d like to see a more proactive SIAA working with the ASA to create clarity around what opportunities exist for viable collaborations and investments that will grow the local space economy and the stakeholders within it.

Wedding Photography By Brendan Fitzpatrick At Love Is Light

Dr Tim Parsons

Dr Tim Parsons

A veteran of collaborative product and startup innovation within Space, MediaTech, and AgTech, Dr Tim Parsons leads the Australian NewSpace network Delta-V, while consulting widely to research organisations, tech-focused SMEs, startup accelerators and incubators nationally. A member of the SIAA’s advisory committee, Tim’s formal board experience extends from his role as a non-executive director of not-for-profit MediaTech incubator The Studio Pty Ltd, as well as Australian representative director of Vimond Media Solutions APAC Pty Ltd. He is also a director of both his own consultancy Super Lumina Pty Ltd and the Delta-V Newspace Alliance Pty Ltd. Tim is also a member of the establishment committee of the SmartSatCRC, as well as chair of the establishment committee of the SmartSatCRC’s Australian Space Industry Startup Cluster Company. Tim holds a PhD in Rarefied Hypersonic Flow Simulation from Imperial College, London, and is married with two children.

With my work in Delta-V, the SmartSatCRC, and the broader innovation system in Australia, I believe I have gained a unique vantage point into the needs and perspectives of emerging space startups and SMEs at this specific juncture in Australia’s space journey. I am keen to bring this perspective to a role as a working member of the SIAA board with a focus on concrete actions we can take to help members achieve our national target for growth by 2030. I believe successful ecosystems must be ‘full of leaders’ connected and sharing with one another – rather than become a zero-sum-game of competing interests – and that the SIAA can be catalyst for the kind of commercial relationships which will form the foundations of local industry success. Working with the board to achieve this outcome feels like a worthwhile use of my time.

Byron Riessen

Byron Riessen

Byron Riessen

Byron Riessen is an Adelaide-based Principal in the global services firm Deloitte. He is one of Deloitte’s leaders supporting growth of the Australian space industry. Most recently Byron secured for Australia the Gravity Challenge, activating the space ecosystem by bringing market demand and innovators together to create new and viable offerings leveraging space capability. The program boasts an impressive array of organisations like the Australian Space Agency, state/territory governments, SmartSat CRC, AWS, McLaren, Digital Earth Australia, Airbus, Air Services Australia, Greening Australia, IAG, RAA, SA Power Networks, OZ Minerals, Pivotel, Sydney Water, University of Adelaide and Westpac for the benefit of some 200+ program participants.

Deloitte has strong relationships across all key industry sectors enabled by space and with many of Australia’s most successful and innovative businesses. With offices in all states and territories, Deloitte is committed to putting the weight of the firm behind the growth of Australia’s space industry as evidenced by the example above.A key focus of Deloitte’s contribution to growth of our space industry will be helping to identify and develop the pipeline of demand-side opportunities for Australian businesses, while helping these businesses understand how to accelerate their growth in an effective and sustainable manner. Supporting this, Deloitte are also keenly interested in the education programs required to produce the skilled workers needed for these jobs of the future and a clear advocate for the economic benefits that investment in this sector will provide.

Byron has previously served in leadership roles for the peak industry body for the ICT sector and through that is familiar with developing strategies for associations like the SIAA to the benefit of members.

Byron will connect the SIAA to the Deloitte national and global network – professionals who have deep experience and networks across all industrial sectors and government.

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Steve Warr

Steve Warr

Steve Warr has been involved in the development and operation of space capability over the past four decades.  He served for a total of 25 years in the RAF/RAAF and a further 13 years in industry.  Whilst in the military he held a number of space technical command and executive leadership appointments supporting the UK MOD, US DOD, NATO & NASA. 

Steve has a BEng (Hons) in Communications Electronic Systems engineering and a Masters in Business Administration.  He has successfully completed a number of Strategic and Tactical space courses with both the UK MOD & US DOD as well as post graduate space training courses at the University Of Surrey.

Steve was a senior executive who played a leading role in the successful transition from the UK MODs Skynet 4 to Skynet 5, a Private Public Partnership initiative valued at over $10Bn NPV.  As one of only three board members he worked closely with space industry to ensure, through effective leadership and governance, the seamless introduction of the new capability.

Steve received a commendation from the US DOD Space Command for ‘providing outstanding spacecraft mission support’ whilst Officer Commanding the UK MODs Telemetry & Command Squadron.   Also, he was awarded the Australia Day Medallion for developing the ADF’s Satcom Roadmap and Space Service MOUs with Key Allies.  The Roadmap provided the justification for raising the ADF Satcom budget from $400M to almost $2Bn.

During his time in industry, Steve has fulfilled a number of executive roles responsible for the development and growth of businesses in Australia.  This experience has led to him gaining a thorough appreciation of what it takes to be successful in a global market.

Steve is highly motivated to share his knowledge and experience to support the establishment & growth of the Australian space industry.

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