Opening Session Speakers

Alison Overeem
Welcome to Country

Alison Overeem is a proud palawa woman from South-East Tasmania who is driven by culture, family, empowerment and creating safe spaces to build hope and dignity.

Alison is passionate about raising awareness of Aboriginal culture and history and the rights of women in society. As a result, Alison has been a member of the Tasmanian Women’s Council since 2015.

While working in aged care at the age of 16, Alison studied for a Bachelor of Education (Early Childhood) and graduated in 1989.

Alison established the Aboriginal Children’s Centre at West Moonah in 1989. As Director of the Aboriginal Children’s Centre from 1989 to 2013, she helped design a state-of-the-art, award-winning, culturally inclusive children’s centre at Risdon Cove. Alison believes she was fortunate to be at the forefront of developing a multifunctional Aboriginal service, the first of its kind in Tasmania. It was, in fact, a precursor to the Child and Family Centres rolled out across Tasmania in recent years.

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In 2013, Alison was appointed as the Leprena Centre Manager, Uniting Aboriginal and Islander Christian Congress (UAICC Tasmania). Alison has been instrumental in broadening Leprena’s engagement, networking and connections. On an average week, Leprena engages with about 80 young people.

Leprena offers a variety of activities such as children’s programs, family support programs, training and development, and mentoring. Leprena also acts as a conduit for the wider community seeking to connect with Indigenous people, and frequently engages with non-Aboriginal groups to provide ‘Welcome to Country’ experiences. Alison believes these experiences are vital in helping to close the gap between First and Second Peoples.

Alison has made numerous contributions to publications and resources to promote National Aboriginal and Islander Children’s Day and culturally inclusive practice models of service delivery for Aboriginal communities. Alison’s membership of the National Aboriginal and Islander and Childcare Executive enabled her to provide representations on issues impacting children and families in Tasmania.

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Hon Minister Guy Barnett MP
Minister for Primary Industries and Water, Minister for Energy, Minister for Resources, Minister for Veterans' Affairs, Member for Lyons

Born and raised on a farm in northern Tasmania, Guy Barnett studied law (LLB, LLM) and worked in Melbourne and Washington, D.C. before he established and managed his award winning government and public affairs business.

After almost a decade representing Tasmania in the Senate Guy was elected to the Tasmanian State Parliament in 2014.

He was appointed to Cabinet in 2016 as Minister for the Resources and Minister for Building and Construction. In 2017 he was also appointed the Minister for Energy. In 2018 Guy became Minister for Primary Industries & Water and Minister for Veterans and in 2019 was again appointed as Minister for Resources.

Guy has enthusiastically advocated for Tasmania as the renewable energy powerhouse of the nation.

Guy is an author of several books including, ‘Our Heroes, Tasmania’s Victoria Cross Recipients’ and ‘Make a difference – a practical guide to lobbying’.

Guy is married with 3 children, and is a sports enthusiast with a keen interest in trout fishing.

Andrew Catchpole
Chief Strategy Officer, Hydro Tasmania

Andrew Catchpole has for the last nineteen years been involved in Hydro Tasmania’s participation in Australia’s National Electricity Market.  Roles have covered market entry and regulation, energy policy and stakeholder engagement, business sustainability and transformation. Andrew is a Fellow and former Director of the International Hydropower Association. He currently has responsibility for corporate strategy, engagement on energy policy and regulation, communications and business development for Hydro Tasmania.

Professor Rufus Black
Vice Chancellor, The University of Tasmania

Rufus Black is the Vice-Chancellor and President of the University of Tasmania. Previously, he was Master of Melbourne University’s Ormond College and an Enterprise Professor in the Department of Management and Marketing and a Principal Fellow in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Melbourne.

Rufus’ private sector experience includes nine years as a partner at McKinsey and Company, serving clients in Australia and Asia, and as a Director for national law firm Corrs Chambers Westgarth. His educational and social sector experience includes being the President of Museums Victoria, the Deputy Chancellor of Victoria University, the founding Chair of the Board of Teach for Australia, a Director of the New York based Teach for All and a Director of the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research.

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He has worked extensively for government at Federal and State levels.

He conducted the Black Review into the Department of Defence and the Prime Minister’s Independent Review of the Australian Intelligence Community and was the Strategic Advisor to the Secretary of Education in Victoria. He was a Board Member of Innovation Science Australia. Rufus holds degrees in law, politics, economics, ethics and theology from the University of Melbourne and Oxford University, where he studied as a Rhodes Scholar.

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Keynote Speakers

Stephen Clark
Project Director, Project Marinus TasNetworks

As Project Director Stephen Clark’s role is to oversee the design and integration of Marinus Link into the power systems at each end. His team are also tasked with investigating the cost/benefit analysis of a 1500 MW second Bass Strait interconnector ‘Marinus Link’, that can play a significant role in Australia’s future electricity grid.

Stephen has +25 years experience in the energy industry. He has held executive roles in Asset Management, Power System Planning, Engineering and project delivery at Transgrid, AEMO and now TasNetworks where he is Project Director for Project Marinus. He is also a member of the AEMC reliability panel and a Director of CIGRE Australia

Presentation: Marinus Link: Delivering low-cost, reliable and clean energy while stimulating jobs and investment in regional Tasmania and Victoria

Professor Jovica V Milanovic
Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, The University of Manchester, UK

Jovica V Milanovic received Dipl.Ing. and M.Sc. degrees from the University of Belgrade, Yugoslavia, Ph.D. degree from the University of Newcastle, Australia, and D.Sc. degree from The University of Manchester, UK. Prior to joining The University of Manchester, UK, in 1998, he worked with “Energoproject”, Engineering and Consulting Co. and the University of Belgrade in Yugoslavia, and the Universities of Newcastle and Tasmania in Australia.

Currently, he is a Professor of Electrical Power Engineering and Deputy Head of Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering at The University of Manchester, UK, and Visiting Professor at the University of Novi Sad and the University of Belgrade, Serbia. He was chairman of 4 international conferences, editor or member of editorial/technical boards of 70+ international journals and conferences, research project assessor or panel member for numerous international government research funding councils, member of 9 (convenor of 3) past or current IEEE/CIGRE/CIRED WG and consultant or member of advisory boards for several international companies.

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Professor Milanovic published over 550 research papers and reports, gave about 30 key-note speeches at international conferences and presented about 150 courses/tutorials and lectures to industry and academia around the world.

Professor Milanovic is a Chartered Engineer in the UK, Foreign Member of the Serbian Academy of Engineering Sciences, Fellow of the IET, Fellow of the IEEE, Distinguished IEEE PES Lecturer, member of the IEEE PES Governing Board as Regional Representative for Europe, Middle East and Africa, Chair of the IEEE Herman Halperin Transmission and Distribution Award Committee and a member of the Customer Engagement Group ( an independent customer group helping to shape Electricity North West’s (one of six DNO in the UK) business plans to ensure that they address the needs and preferences of their current and future customers and stakeholders.

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Presentation: Advanced monitoring and demand side management – enablers for provision of system services by distribution network operators

Paul Molnar
Project Director, Pumped Hydro and Tarraleah Redevelopment

Paul is currently Hydro Tasmania’s Project Director, Pumped Hydro and Tarraleah Redevelopment, the key projects underpinning the Battery of the Nation initiative, the blueprint for how Hydro Tasmania’s renewable energy resources could be developed over coming decades.

An electrical engineer by profession, Paul has worked in the renewable energy generation industry (hydropower and wind) for over 30 years, both in Tasmania and NSW. He has worked across a broad range of engineering and management roles including multi-discipline project management, strategic asset management, business improvement and operations. He has a strong background in managing major projects and power scheme upgrades.

Presentation: Battery of the Nation

Professor Nikos D. Hatziargyriou
The National Technical University of Athens, Greece

Nikos D. Hatziargyriou is professor in Power Systems at the National Technical University of Athens. He has over 10 year industrial experience as Chairman and CEO of the Hellenic Distribution Network Operator and as executive Vice-Chair of the Public Power Corporation. He was chair and currently vice-chair of the EU Technology and Innovation Platform on Smart Networks for Energy Transition (ETIP-SNET) representing E.DSO.  He is honorary member of CIGRE and past Chair of CIGRE SC C6 “Distribution Systems and Distributed Generation”. He is Life Fellow Member of IEEE, past Chair of the Power System Dynamic Performance Committee (PSDPC) and currently Editor in Chief of the IEEE Trans on Power Systems. He has participated in more than 60 RD&D projects funded by the EU Commission, electric utilities and manufacturers for both fundamental research and practical applications. He is author of the book “Microgrids: Architectures and Control” and of more than 250 journal publications and 500 conference proceedings papers. He is included in the 2016, 2017 and 2019 Thomson Reuters lists of the top 1% most cited researchers.

Presentation: The ETIP-SNET VISION 2050: Integrating Smart Networks for the Energy Transition into Europe

Prof. Saifur Rahman
Director, Virginia Tech Advanced Research Institute, USA
President, IEEE Power & Energy Society, 2018 & 2019

Professor Saifur Rahman is the founding director of the Advanced Research Institute at Virginia Tech, USA where he is the Joseph R. Loring professor of electrical and computer engineering. He also directs the Center for Energy and the Global Environment. He is a Life Fellow of the IEEE and an IEEE Millennium Medal winner. He was the president of the IEEE Power and Energy Society (PES) for 2018 and 2019. He was the founding editor-in-chief of the IEEE Electrification Magazine and the IEEE Transactions on Sustainable Energy. He has published over 150 journal papers and has made over five hundred conference and invited presentations. In 2006 he served on the IEEE Board of Directors as the vice president for publications. He is a distinguished lecturer for the IEEE Power & Energy Society and has lectured on renewable energy, energy efficiency, smart grid, energy internet, blockchain, IoT sensor integration, etc. in over 30 countries. He has a PhD in electrical engineering from Virginia Tech.

Presentation: Global Electric Power Sector: Engaging with Environmental Issues

Nicola Falcon
Group Manager, Forecasting Australian Energy Market Operator

Nicola has over 20 years’ experience in the energy and environment sectors and has managed assignments in Australia, New Zealand, Asia, Africa and North America.

As Group Manager of Forecasting at the Australian Energy Market Operator, Nicola leads teams that assess future electricity and gas demand and supply needs, provide insights to facilitate market responses, and undertake economic analysis to assess benefits of transmission in the National Electricity Market.

Nicola’s team is responsible for delivering the Gas Statement of Opportunities, and Electricity Statement of Opportunities, and jointly with AEMO’s Planning team, produces AEMO’s Integrated System Plan.

Presentation: AEMO’s Integrated System Plan: producing a robust plan for Australia’s future electricity system

About the Association

AUPEC is the premier conference in power engineering in Australia, New Zealand and South East Asia. This conference provides a forum for both university and industry researchers and experts in power engineering to discuss and share ideas, present results, reflect on past experiences and discuss future projects.

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