Professor Peta Ashworth OAM is the Director of the Andrew N. Liveris Academy for Innovation and Leadership, and Chair in Sustainable Energy Futures at The University of Queensland (UQ). Professor Ashworth brings over thirty years’ experience working in a range of senior management, consulting and research roles. In her previous role as Group Leader at CSIRO’s Division of Earth Science and Resource Engineering, Peta conceptualised and led the Science into Society Group, which specialised in interdisciplinary research at the interface between science and society.
Professor Ashworth is a globally-recognised expert in the fields of energy, communication, stakeholder engagement, and technology assessment. For almost two decades, Peta has been researching public attitudes toward climate and energy technologies, including wind, carbon capture and storage (CCS), solar photovoltaics, storage and geothermal. Professor Ashworth is actively involved in building energy literacy more broadly both within Australian and globally, and regularly provides input to policy briefings, think tanks, as well as educational events for the benefit of the broader community.
Peta also has responsibility for the design and delivery of the Master of Sustainable Energy. This one-of-a-kind, multi-disciplinary postgraduate coursework program is designed to provide students with a deeper understanding of energy systems, responsible business practice, and innovation, and equip them to develop transition pathways that provide more affordable, reliable and sustainable energy.
Peta’s contributions to the field of sustainable energy include leading the social science research program of the Global Carbon Capture and Storage Institute, as well as working alongside Australia’s Chief Scientist in the development of Australia’s National Hydrogen Strategy as a Member of the Strategy Stakeholder Advisory Panel, and the COAG Hydrogen Working Group. In recognition of her service to science, in the field of sustainable energy, Peta was awarded an Order of Australia Medal in 2019.
Ian Macfarlane is the Chief Executive of the Queensland Resources Council, a non-executive Director of Woodside Petroleum, the Chairman of the Innovative Manufacturing Co-operative Research Centre, a member of the board of TSBE (Toowoomba and Surat Basin Enterprise), a Director of MET’s Ignited, a member of the University of Queensland Rural Clinical School Toowoomba Community Advisory Committee, a member of the Advisory Group on Northern Australia, and a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
Ian was elected to Federal Parliament as the Member for Groom in October 1998 and is Australia’s longest serving Federal Resources and Energy Minister and the Coalition’s longest serving Federal Industry and Innovation Minister with over 14 years of experience in both Cabinet and shadow ministerial positions. Ian has extensive experience across the resources and energy, agribusiness, science and innovation, skills and training and manufacturing and industry sectors.
Ian retired from the Federal Parliament in May 2016.
Before entering federal politics, Ian was one of the country's most active agripoliticians. He previously farmed peanuts, sorghum and wheat, and ran cattle in Queensland's Burnett region. Ian was President of the Queensland Graingrowers Association for seven years, President of the Grains Council of Australia for two years, and simultaneously held executive positions on the Queensland and National Farmers' Federations.
Ian is married to Karen and has two adult daughters. He lives in Toowoomba, Australia's largest
Bernard Salt is widely regarded as one of Australia’s leading social commentators by business, the media and the broader community.
Bernard heads The Demographics Group which provides advice on demographic, consumer and social trends for business.
Prior to that Bernard founded KPMG Demographics.
He writes two weekly columns for The Australian newspaper and is an adjunct professor at Curtin University Business School.
Bernard is one of the most in-demand speakers on the Australian corporate speaking circuit.
He is well known to the wider community for his penchant for identifying and tagging new tribes and social behaviours such as the ‘Seachange Shift’, the ‘Man Drought’, ‘PUMCINS’ (pronounced pumkins) and the ‘Goats Cheese Curtain’.
He is perhaps best known for popularising the phrase “smashed avocado” globally.
Bernard was awarded the Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in the 2017 Australia Day honours.
Paul's life has centred around telling stories for science. He’s been a science communicator across the country with the ABC, principally on the Catalyst program as well as Director at the Royal Institution of Australia (RiAus), Australia’s premier science communications organisation. Currently Paul is an Adjunct Associate Professor in Palaeontology at Flinders University.
While at RiAus Paul built Australia’s Science Channel, a 360 degree online science hub for Australia and the world.
Paul was a museum curator in natural history and a live presenter of science to early-aged school children. He has also acted as an expert guide for tour companies operating in Australia, Antarctica, USA and Canada.
Paul has authored several books on geology, palaeontology and natural history themes.