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[In]Sight: Australia’s regional competitiveness index is home to more than 97, 000 facts. To help you make the most of [In]Sight, CEO of the RAI Jack Archer will be running a series of interactive online webinars.
Andrew McConville is the Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Petroleum Production & Exploration Association (APPEA), a position he has occupied since April 2019.
As Chief Executive, Andrew is responsible for leading the Association and its members to be the effective voice the Australian oil and gas industry, building community trust and support, driving advocacy and engagement, developing the industry’s key policy positions and executing a strategy for growth of the Association.
Andrew is an advocacy and corporate affairs professional with more than 25 years’ experience across the oil and gas, agribusiness, banking and finance, FMCG and government sectors.
Andrew holds a first class honours degree in Agricultural Economics from the University of New England, a Master of Science in Agricultural Economics from Oxford University and is a Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
Paul Cronin is the Head of Corporate Affairs at Aurizon. Aurizon is Australia’s largest rail freight operator and a top 100 ASX company. Each year the company transports more than 250 million tonnes of Australian commodities, connecting miners, primary producers and industry with international and domestic markets. Approximately 80% of Aurizon employees live and work in regional communities.
In his role Paul is responsible for Organisational Communications, Media, Stakeholder Relations, Brand and Sponsorships.
Since joining Bendigo and Adelaide Bank in 1987, Robert has held a wide and varied range of positions across the Group, from Customer Service Officer to playing a pivotal role in the development and expansion of the Community Bank® model. Robert is currently General Manager Corporate and Public Affairs, with responsibility for shaping and maximising the Bank’s position through external communications and championing its point of difference to all stakeholder groups. Robert and his team also have responsibility for Government and industry consultation, as well as the Bank’s early work in climate change action and E.S.G. reporting (environment, social, governance).
From 2006 Robert’s roles have included responsibility for the Bank’s key innovative partnerships, as Head of Group Strategy, and Executive Engagement Innovation, before leading the creation of the Corporate & Public Affairs division in 2018.
Robert is a director of the Bendigo Art Gallery, a director of Community Sector Banking, and a member of the Victorian Government’s Regional Partnerships group representing the Loddon Campaspe region.
Grant’s team is responsible for serving and meeting the financial services needs of our rural commercial and agribusiness customers in over 70 locations across regional Australia.
Grant joined the Commonwealth Bank in 2005 and has broad experience across the Business and Private Banking (BPB) division. His leadership roles include heading up the Client Acquisition, Transaction Banking, Asset Finance and Industry Specialists teams. He has also held executive roles managing the Bank's Commercial Lending and Asset Finance products and portfolio.
Prior to joining the Commonwealth Bank, Grant worked as a General Manager within the McCarrolls Automotive Group. He started his career as an accountant at KPMG.
Grant has completed Australia's flagship Asia Leadership Program and holds a Bachelor of Commerce, Accounting and Finance as well as a Master of Applied Finance. He is also a Chartered Accountant.
Outside of work, Grant enjoys spending time with his young family, playing golf and reading.
Based in Sydney, Eacham Curry is the Director of Government and Corporate Affairs for Expedia Group in Australia/New Zealand, spearheading governmental affairs and public policy strategy on behalf of Expedia Group’s ANZ portfolio of online travel brands such as Expedia, Wotif, Stayz and Egencia.
A champion of collaboration, Eacham forges close working relationships with government, regulatory bodies, industry, community and media stakeholders, and represents Expedia Group on key industry associations. As such, his voice helps shape the debate surrounding the travel, tech and e-commerce opportunities and landscape in ANZ. He is regularly spokesperson on public policy matters impacting Expedia Group’s business in ANZ. • In 2020, he joined Australia Regional Institute’s (RAI) Council / Board • Also in 2020, he was elected as the Foreign Company Representative Director to the Japan Association of Vacation Rentals (JAVR)
Eacham has extensive past experience in political and economic leadership a roles ANZ and in Asia. Prior to joining Expedia Group, Eacham was the Managing Director of Barton Deakin Government Relations in Western Australia, having established that operation in 2013. He joined Barton Deakin Government Relations after serving as a Chief of Staff across several portfolios, including Transport, Commerce, Finance and Small Business, in the Western Australian Barnett Government from 2008 to 2013. Prior to relocating to Western Australia, Eacham held a variety of Federal government relations and political staffing roles for many years, and was a chief of staff and senior adviser to ministers in the Howard Federal Government across the Health and Ageing, Defence, Veterans’ Affairs and Family and Community Services portfolios. A veteran of 22 political campaigns he has also twice been a delegate for the internationally recognised Australian Political Exchange Council on delegations to China (2004) and New Zealand (2008).
Robert joined KPMG in February 2017 and is National Lead Partner – Food & Agribusiness. He works across the agri-business and food supply chain to help businesses build profit and growth; solve complex problems and harness new ideas. Robert has a team of food and agri-business specialists who work on projects across management consulting, risk, deals advisory support and enterprise. He is also leader of the Operations Advisory team leader in Melbourne and is responsible for the day-to-day performance of a team of 110 people - working across multiple disciplines including financial services, supply chain, procurement and defence. He has successfully built a strong food and agri-business practice from scratch and placed KPMG as the number one professional services firm in the Australian food and agri-business sector.
Gavin Williams is Chief Development Officer, Regional & Remote at NBN Co.
Mr Williams was appointed to the Chief Development Officer Regional & Remote in October 2019, bringing more than five years’ experience at NBN Co and 25 years within the telecommunication industry across Australia.
He has held leadership roles that have spanned engineering, product management, marketing and strategy disciplines across consumer, business and wholesale markets.
Prior to joining NBN Co, Gavin held positions in Optus, Telstra and was principal of an independent consultancy. He was a Board Director of Southern Cross Cable.
Mr Williams holds a Bachelor of Engineering degree (Hons) from the University of Melbourne and a Master of Business Administration from Macquarie University.
Mark leads stakeholder engagement for Prime Super. We have a national team of 20 (mostly regionally based) professionals who assist and inform employers and individuals on superannuation matters.
Prime Super has been a partner to regional Australians for more than 20 years. We are a high performing independent super fund owned by our nearly 130,000 members. The fund is open to all and our mission is to ensure every member has the opportunity to enjoy the best financial retirement outcome they can expect from their lifetime of work.
Ben Gursansky joined Telstra in January 2019 as the Head of Rural and Regional Affairs.
Prior to joining Telstra, across 20 years Ben has held a number of senior policy and management positions within the agriculture sector and Government. This included working with Saputo Dairy Australia, Australian dairy processor Murray Goulbourn Co-operative Ltd, the SA Farmers Federation Grains Council, Australian Pork Limited and in management consultancy. Ben was also a policy adviser to the former Federal Minister for Regional Development, the Hon Simon Crean.
Ben holds a Bachelor of Applied Science (Agriculture) with Honours from the University of Adelaide, a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) from the University of New England, and a Master in Business Administration (MBA) from the Melbourne Business School.
Graeme has more than 30 years’ experience working in business and government at the highest levels. Before joining TransGrid in November 2018, Graeme’s career included Director of Specialised Capital Group, Westpac’s investment banking arm, General Manager, Government and Corporate Affairs with Origin Energy and consulting for business and governments in Australia and Asia with a range of firms including KPMG. In government, Graeme served in a number of roles including senior adviser to Australia’s Minister for Foreign Affairs and as Chief of Staff for the longest continuously serving NSW Premier.