Professor Renée Leon
Professor Renée Leon is Vice-Chancellor and President of Charles Sturt University, Australia’s largest regional University.
Prior to her appointment as VC in 2021, Professor Leon had a career in the Australian Public Service, including as Secretary of the Department of Employment and Secretary of the Department of Human Services.
Professor Barney Glover AO
Professor Barney Glover AO assumed his position as Vice-Chancellor and President of Western Sydney University in January 2014.
His career includes significant expertise at the most senior levels of university management as well as demonstrable leadership across the higher education sector. This currently includes as Convenor of the NSW Vice-Chancellor’s Committee, Chair of the Quality Indicators for Learning and Teaching Working Group, Panel Member of the Australian Universities Accord, and the Australia-based Patron of the Association for Tertiary Education Management (ATEM).
Professor Glover is an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO), a Fellow of the Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering (ATSE), and a Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (MAICD).
Dr Ehassan Sakhaee
Dr. Ehssan Sakhaee is the founder of Inspirational Management Australia, a
leadership consultancy that helps organizations innovate new models of leadership
to support the sustainable wellbeing of people and the planet.
Over the past decade, Ehssan has worked with Fortune 500 companies such as 3M
and NTT Japan, as well as academic institutions around the world, to amplify the
human skills we need to navigate a rapidly changing world.
Ehssan holds a PhD in Engineering, an Executive Certificate in Positive Psychology
Coaching, and is an unparalleled master of moves and grooves on the dance floor
Tané is a cancer researcher, bio-informatician, and science communicator. He is a co-founder at Future Crunch. He has a Masters in Bioinformatics from the University of Melbourne, and has worked for the Melbourne Royal Children’s Hospital diagnosing rare genetic diseases.
He is currently completing his PhD at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, using molecular biomarkers in DNA and analysing them with artificial intelligence to improve treatments for people suffering from cancer. He's also a former United States mountain biking champion and an avid sailor.
Jay Laga’aia is a much-loved actor and children’s entertainer.
His film credits include Nim’s Island and Star Wars; television credits include Fighting Season, Home and Away, Bed of Roses, Legend of the Seeker, Xena Warrior Princess and Play School.
A gifted musician, Jay has written and recorded numerous albums including four ARIA nominated children’s albums with ABC for Kids; he’s performed his music with Queensland, Melbourne, Western Australia and Sydney Symphony Orchestras and starred in the Sydney Opera House Classic Christmas Concerts.
Jay has filmed four seasons of his children’s television show Jay’s Jungle. He played the title role in Shrek The Musical at the Parramatta Riverside Theatre, the Ogre in Puss in Boots and has recently completed touring with the hilarious production Peter Pan Goes Wrong.
In-demand as a MC, Jay has hosted events for Queensland Government, Kindaling, CapriCon Festival, Carols in the Domain, Sydney City, Family Day Care Australia, National Museum of Australia to name a few…
Jay is a proud father of eight and is a passionate advocate for early childhood education and early literacy.
Dr Karl Kruszelnicki
When NASA classified Karl as non-astronaut material in 1981 he walked straight into ABC Radio station Double J and offered to talk about the Space shuttle launch. They said ‘Okay’ and his radio career took off from there. ‘Great Moments In Science’ ran on Double J while Karl moonlighted as a medical student.
Since then, his media career has exploded from radio, to TV, books, newspapers, magazines, scripting, professional speaking, podcasts and the internet.
Karl made his TV debut in 1985 as the presenter of the first series of Quantum. Since 1986 he has reported science on the Midday Show, Good Morning Australia (including a full-time stint in 1991-2 as the TV Weatherman and science reporter), the Today Show and Sunrise. Alongside his fellow geek Adam Spencer, he has written and co-produced two series of Sleek Geeks for ABC TV.
Karl popularises science on ABC radio stations across Australia and, on the BBC, for several hours each week. Many of you will be familiar with the original talk back programme each Thursday on triple j from 11 am to midday.
Karl has written (so far) 45 books, beginning with ‘Great Moments In Science’ in 1984, and includes such titles as ‘It Ain’t Necessarily So…’Bro’ (2006), which was launched, quite literally, via rocket at Sydney’s Bondi Beach (a world first).
November 2009 saw the simultaneous release of Karl’s 28th book, ‘Never Mind The BULLocks…Here’s the Science’, board game (‘Fact OR Fishy’), and first ever music single, ‘Get Fact’. In August 2010 Karl’s 29th book, ‘Dinosaurs Aren’t Dead’, was released. In November 2010, Karl’s 30th book, ‘Curious & Curiouser’, was released into the adult non-fiction market. Dr Karl released two kids’ activity books ‘Dr Karl’s Little Book of Dinos’ and ‘Dr Karl’s Little Books of Space’ in June 2017.
His latest book is in full colour, with brilliant and funny illustrations, suitable for kids and adults alike, ‘Dr Karl’s Random Road Trip Through Science’ was released in October 2019. It is also the first of his books to come with Augmented Reality! Watch Dr Karl pop-up from the pages and introduce each chapter!
In 1996 Karl was invited by the United States Information Agency to be a Distinguished Foreign Guest in their International Visitor Program. Previous Alumni of this program include Julius Nyere, Anwar Sadat, Indira Ghandi and Margaret Thatcher. As part of this program he visited NORAD, Dryden Air Force Base and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory – and got to sit in the front seat of an SR-71 Blackbird.
In August 2000 Karl was one of first eight Australian Apple Masters to be announced (there are fewer than 100 in the entire world). The Apple Masters Program celebrates the achievements of people who are changing the world through their passion and vision, while inspiring new approaches to creative thinking.
In 2002, Dr Karl was honoured with the prestigious Ig Nobel prize awarded by Harvard University in the USA for his ground-breaking research into Belly Button Lint and why it is almost always blue.
In September 2003, Dr Karl was bestowed with the great honour of being named ‘Australian Father of the Year’.
Dr Karl Kruszelnicki received the Member of the Order of Australia Award in the 2006 Australia Day Honours list. In 2007 the Australia Skeptics Society awarded Dr Karl the Australia Skeptic Of The Year Prize.
In 2012 Karl was delighted to have Asteroid 18412 named after him. Asteroid Dr Karl/18412 was discovered by Robert H. McNaught at the Siding Spring Observatory in Coonabarabran, New South Wales, Australia, on June 13, 1993. In March 2012 he was named as a National Living Treasure by the National Trust of Australia (NSW).
In 2016 Dr Karl was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from the University of the Sunshine Coast.
In 2019 The United Nations awarded Dr Karl the UNESCO Kalinga Prize for the Popularisation of Science.
Karl has degrees in Physics and Maths, Biomedical Engineering, Medicine and Surgery and has worked as a physicist, tutor, film-maker, car mechanic, labourer, and as a medical doctor at the Kids’ Hospital in Sydney.
Dr Karl is currently the Julius Sumner Miller Fellow at Sydney University, where his ‘mission’ is to spread the good word about science and its benefits.
His enthusiasm for science is totally infectious and no one is better able to convey the excitement and wonder of it all than Dr Karl Kruszelnicki.
Nick Bartlett is a professional MC and facilitator who has worked across Australia and overseas. He’s Zumba’d with Dame Edna, cycled with Cadel Evans, made 10,000 friends at the Colour Run and hosted everything from conferences to awards nights to product launches for some of Australia’s biggest brands. He is very excited to be joining TEFMA in 2023 and making a few more friends.
Alison Mirams is the Executive Chair of construction company, Roberts Co, having also served as the founding Chief Executive Officer. Within the first five years the company had 280 employees and a workbook of over $1.5 billion.
Prior to establishing Roberts Co, Alison led the NSW/ACT regional business unit for Lendlease’s Building business and prior to that spent sixteen years at Multiplex, rising from Contracts Administrator to Regional Director.
Alison is deeply passionate about addressing the systemic issues that exist in the construction industry and attracting and retaining more women.
Alison is a member of the TAFE Commission Board and is on the Advisory Board for Aero PM and NHFIC.
Alison is an active mum to her ten-year-old son.