Official Eastern Australia's Energy Markets Outlook 2015 Advisory Panel

Quest Events would like to take this opportunity to sincerely thank the official event advisory panel who contributed their valuable time and expertise to ensure the agenda for this event is timely and relevant for all stakeholders in Australia’s east coast energy market.

Keith Orchison
Coolibah Pty Ltd (Panel Chair)

Keith has been involved in Australian resources and industry policy issues management and communications for 34 years. He has been a communicator for 55 years, starting as a journalist in South Africa in 1959 and emigrating to Australia in 1970. He served for four years in the 1970s as public affairs manager of Associated Pulp & Paper Mills Limited and for three years as head of public relations at La Trobe University, Melbourne. He was chief executive of what is now APPEA for 11 years and of the Electricity Supply Association of Australia for 12 years. From 2003 to 2007 he chaired the energy committee of the Critical Infrastructure Advisory Council for the Howard government. He has also been chairman of the Australian Industry Greenhouse Network and of the CSIRO Energy Technology Advisory Committee. Today he runs his own energy advisory business as Coolibah Pty Ltd and is publisher of the blog “This is Power” and of the Coolibah monthly newsletter. He is also the editor of the “OnPower” website and yearbook and he contributes a commentary on energy issues regularly to “Business Spectator.” He was editor of the “Powering Australia” yearbook from 2007 to 2012. Keith is also engaged in the organisation and chairing of a series of energy outlook conferences. He was made a Member of the Order of Australia in 2004 and in 2012 was recipient of AusIMM’s Sir Willis Connolly Memorial Medal for outstanding communication about the mining and resources sectors.

"Having worked with Jamie Turmanis from Quest Events for many years, I have confidence in his ability to stage worthwhile conferences on energy issues -- and I am committed to helping to build the communication of understanding of Australia's energy policy, potential and problems at a critical time in the national investment cycle. There is a huge amount of talk in the media about energy issues, but not enough understanding of the underlying pressures and needs."

Michael Riches
General Counsel and Head of E4th annual Eastern Australias Energy Markets Outlook 2015 conference Sydneyxternal Affairs
Alinta Energy

Michael Riches has 20 years of legal practice experience and was appointed the General Counsel and Head of External Affairs at Alinta Energy in May 2011 shortly after the restructure and recapitalisation of the business.

Michael was a partner at Minter Ellison and Clayton Utz for 11 years prior to joining Alinta.  His principal areas of practice were merger and acquisition finance, particularly leveraged finance private equity buyouts; project finance of major infrastructure; and corporate finance.  Michael was recognised by industry and general publications as an expert in these practice areas.  As a partner at Clayton Utz Michael held the role of Head of the National Banking and Finance department, comprising more than 25 partners and was elected to the board of Clayton Utz in 2008.  Michael was also a director of the listed Jetset Travelworld business when it merged with the Stella Travel business.

In the last 4 years at Alinta Energy Michael has been responsible for a number of aspects of the business, including being responsible for the Retail Markets business (managing over 800,000 customers), Regulatory Affairs, Government and Investor Relations, Media, Company Secretarial and the Legal functions.  In addition Michael has recently been leading two major growth and transformation projects within Alinta.

Michael holds a Bachelor of Commerce and a Bachelor of Laws from the University of New South Wales.

Mike Swanston4th annual Eastern Australias Energy Markets Outlook 2015 conference Sydney
Principal Consultant
The Customer Advocate

Mike was formerly the Group Manager - Customer Advocate at Energex. As well as carrying responsibility for the stakeholder and industry relationship management team for Energex, his team was focused on ‘stepping outside the company’ and fostering a healthy and productive community and customer focus.

Mike is a power systems engineer of 25 years experience in technical, regulatory, public affairs and strategic management positions across utilities in three states.

Before his position with Energex, Mike was Senior Network Manager for Powercor Australia.

“The electricity distribution industry is at a crossroads. Traditional ways of doing things – such as linear network design and cents-per-kilowatt-hour recovery – must be re-thought.

In the light of the understandable public resistance to consider rising prices, and the rapid uptake of embedded generation; we in the industry have to take a very different look at how we do things … with a real sense of urgency.”

Anthony Vassallo4th annual Eastern Australias Energy Markets Outlook 2015 conference Sydney
Delta Electricity Chair in Sustainable Energy Development
University of Sydney

Professor Tony Vassallo holds the Delta Electricity Chair in Sustainable Energy Development at the University of Sydney, in the School of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering. He took up this position in October 2008. Prior to this, he held the position of Senior Principal Research Scientist with the Commonwealth Scientific & Industrial Research Organisation, followed by a period of consultancy to industry and government in the field of sustainable energy technology. Tony has a PhD in Chemistry from Macquarie University.

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