Advance Queensland Expert Panel

The Advance Queensland Expert Panel is an advisory body that brings together successful leaders from across the business, academic, research and education sectors who can provide broad-based expertise and independent advice to government in the implementation of the Advance Queensland initiative. 

The experience and expertise of the panel will maximise opportunities and ensure the programs provided through Advance Queensland are being effectively targeted.

The panel will also provide recommendations to government on future directions, opportunities and challenges in regard to science, innovation, economic development and the growth of the knowledge economy and jobs in Queensland.

On occasion, due to their recognised expertise in an identified area, members of the Expert Panel may participate in separate advisory or assessment activities for specific Advance Queensland programs. In these circumstances, all assessors are required to declare any actual or perceived conflicts of interest.   

The Expert Panel is a voluntary, non-decision making body.

Meet the Panel

Business and Industry

Monica Bradley, Director, Purposeful Capital

Monica has extensive strategy and global advisory experience with particular focus on innovation in the digital economy. Monica holds non-executive directorships and provides board level strategy advice.

She is an active investor in early stage startups and social impact enterprises. Through her director, mentoring and advisory roles she provides innovation and digital economy expertise to corporates, government, not for profits and startups.

Monica helps organisations transform from the industrial age into the digital economy. She has designed and led significant transformation programs in government, private sector and regulated industries. Her strong commitment to social capital is evident in her advocacy of impact investing in the NFP sector.

Collaborating with QUT and PwC, Monica was instrumental in establishing the PwC Chair in Digital Economy, an Australian first research chair focused on the digital economy.

Wayne Gerard, Founder and CEO, RedEye

Wayne is a passionate entrepreneur and a champion of Australia's growing startup ecosystem.

In 2012, Wayne co-founded RedEye, one of Australia's fastest growing startups, and the first software business to make engineering data truly mobile.

Wayne plays an active role in the development of Australia's startup ecosystem as a Director of StartupAUS, the national advocacy body for technology startups, and in advisory roles with the Queensland State Government. In June 2015 he was the first startup entrepreneur to be appointed to the QLD Premier's Business Advisory Committee, and in 2015 was awarded the Queensland Entrepreneur of the Year Pearcy Award.

David Gray, Chairman, Queensland Cyber Infrastructure Foundation and Chairman, Australian Urban Research Infrastructure Network

David has had an illustrious career in manufacturing, engineering, project management and the defence industries.

He was CEO of Boeing Australia for 12 years, CEO of EEC Marconi Australia for six years, and prior to this held senior management positions in industry in South Africa.

David is Chairman of the Queensland Cyber Infrastructure Foundation, the Australian Urban Research Infrastructure Network and of technology provider Zuuse, and has a mentoring role as CEO in Residence at QUT.

David was Chairman of Queensland Motorways from 2006-2010 and has also been Chairman of WaterSecure and the Brisbane Airport Corporation, and Deputy Chair of the Civil Aviation Safety Authority.

David was awarded the Centenary Medal for his contribution to the aviation industry and in 2001 was awarded an honorary doctorate from QUT for his advancement of the education and aviation industries.

Dr Cherrell Hirst, Chair ImpediMed, Director, Medibank Private, Director, Gold Coast Health and Hospital Service

Cherrell has had a distinguished clinical career in the detection and diagnosis of breast cancer. Dr Hirst’s initial career was as a medical practitioner and for almost 20 years she led the Wesley Breast Clinic.  She is Chair of Impedimed, and Interim Chair of Tissue Therapies since April 2015, and a Director of Hatchtech Pty Ltd.

Dr Hirst is also a Director of RSL Care Ltd and Chair of the Advisory Board of the Institute of Molecular Biosciences at The University of Queensland. Cherrell was CEO of life sciences venture capital fund QIC BioVentures from 2007-2014.

Cherrell has held non-executive directorships in financial services companies including Suncorp and MBF and is currently a Director of Medibank Private. She was Chancellor of QUT from 1994-2004 and was elected to the Academy of Technology Sciences and Engineering in 2008. She has received three honorary doctorates, the award of Officer of the Order of Australia and a centenary medal in recognition of her work in breast cancer and education. Cherrell was Queenslander of the Year in 1995.

Anna Rooke, Managing Director, QUT Creative Enterprise Australia

Anna Rooke is a Managing Director of QUT Creative Enterprise Australia (CEA), Tech Fund initiative. CEA supports creative businesses in the areas of music, film and television, new media and design through creative accelerator programs.

Anna has led the development of a new $1.2 million Creative Enterprise Fund provided by CEA to help Australian creative startups access early stage capital to scale their business venture. CEA’s current investment portfolio includes Fame & Partners, Metaverse Makeovers, Handkrafted and Trademark Vision (See-Out) Pty Ltd.

Anna has worked for over 20years to support the growth of bioscience, creative, digital and arts-based businesses in the UK and Australia. In her previous role as Director of Science City York, Anna was responsible for the strategic and operational development of the UK’s first National ‘Science City’. During her leadership, this initiative created over 2,700 new employment opportunities and over 70 startup companies in creative, digital and bioscience sectors.

Anna has served on a number of steering committees and boards in UK and Australia responsible for innovation and creative industries. She established Creative3 in 2010 in response to the challenges facing the creative industries sector in Australia. During her role at CEA, she has been engaged as an advisor to creative industries projects in Europe, Indonesia, China and Taiwan. Anna is passionate about supporting creative industries and innovation businesses achieve their business potential and identifying new pathways for investment.

Anna is a Director of Metaverse Group Pty Ltd and a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. She was the Chairman of Fame & Partners Pty Ltd until February 2016 supporting the company from startup through to Series A investment. She is a member of Brisbane’s Economic Development Advisory Board, Creative Economy Board and Queensland Startup Committee.

Dr Elaine Stead, Investment Director, Blue Sky Venture Capital

Elaine is the Investment Director at Blue Sky Venture Capital and is responsible for the management of the Blue Sky venture capital fund and portfolio for Blue Sky. Established in 2012, the venture capital division has expanded to bear its second fund, VC2014, and over $40 million in assets under management across a broad range of industry sectors.

Elaine has worked for a number of years as a venture capitalist and management consultant to the venture capital industry across Australia and the United States. As an Investment Manager at CM Capital Investments, a venture capital fund with $250 million under management and a dual focus on healthcare and digital technology, Elaine focused on investment origination, portfolio management as well as portfolio company performance. Elaine has also worked in strategic management consulting, with both NASDAQ and ASX listed and private companies based in Australia and the US.

Originally trained as a stem cell biologist, Elaine has since spent the last decade within the innovation and investment spectrum, initially in technology commercialisation assisting public institutions and founders translate and commercialise their technology across a broad range of industry sectors including agriculture, healthcare and IT.

Elaine has a strong academic foundation holding a PhD in biochemistry from the University of Adelaide. She is actively involved in Australia’s professional venture capital community, as a member of AVCALs venture capital stakeholder committee and as a member of the investment committee of ANUConnect Venture Capital, the Australian National University’s venture capital fund.

Damien Walker, Director-General, Department of Innovation, Tourism and Industry Development

Damien was announced as the Director-General of the Department of Innovation, Tourism Industry Development and the Commonwealth Games in December 2017.

Previously he was the Director-General of the Department of Tourism, Major Events, Small Business and the Commonwealth Games (DTESB). Damien has also been a Deputy Director-General (DDG) in DTESB and the Department of Housing and Public Works and was Queensland’s Deputy Coordinator-General.

Before leaving Adelaide to live in Queensland, Damien held senior executive roles in the South Australian Government in infrastructure planning and delivery, investment facilitation, contract management and reform implementation. Just prior to his move, Damien led the delivery of major health infrastructure, including the $2 billion New Royal Adelaide Hospital; the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute; and the Glenside Campus Redevelopment.

Damien holds academic qualifications in public policy and planning, and has broad experience, particularly in the economic development and strategic planning arena.

Academia and research

Professor Ian Frazer, School of Medicine, The University of Queensland

Professor Ian Frazer trained as a renal physician and clinical immunologist in Scotland before emigrating in 1981 to Melbourne to pursue studies in viral immunology and autoimmunity at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research. In 1985 he moved to Brisbane to take up a teaching post with The University of Queensland (UQ). He was inaugural Director of the Translational Research Institute and holds a personal chair at UQ. He was co-inventor of cervical cancer vaccine Gardasil with Dr Jian Zhou.

Professor Frazer holds research funding from several Australian and US funding bodies. He is a director of a biotechnology startup company, Admedus Vaccines, with an interest in optimising and targeting polynucleotide vaccine protein expression. He is a fellow of the Royal Society of London, was named Australian of the Year in 2006, and received the Prime Minister's Prize for Science and the Balzan prize in 2008. He is President of the recently formed (2014) Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences and a member of the Commonwealth Science Council.

Professor Frank Gannon, Director and CEO, QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute

Professor Frank Gannon is the QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute's seventh Director and CEO. Previously, he was the Director General at the Science Foundation Ireland from 2007.

From 1994-2007, Professor Gannon was the Executive Director of the European Molecular Biology Organization and Senior Scientist at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory, based in Germany; and Director of the National Diagnostic Centre and Associate Professor in the Department of Microbiology at University College Galway, Ireland (1981-1994).

Professor Gannon has seven patent applications, four of which are active at present and was the founder of both Bimini Ltd (1990) and Elara Pharmaceuticals (2006). He was a member of the interim Board of Science Foundation Ireland from 2002 to 2004 and was elected as a Member EMBO in 1989, Academia Europea in 2004, of the Royal Irish Academy in 2007, the Mexican Academy of Medicine in 2008 and The European Academy of Cancer Sciences in 2009. In 2012, Professor Gannon was appointed as a Queensland Academy of Arts and Science Fellow.
He was Vice President of the European Heads of Research Council and an advisor to the European Union Commissioner for Research and Innovation prior to his move to Brisbane. Currently he is a board member of the Australian Association of Medical Research Institutes.

Professor Arun Sharma, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Commercialisation), Queensland University of Technology

Professor Arun Sharma is QUT’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Commercialisation). He has played a leadership role in development of Australian research capability in information and communication technology. He was co-founder of National ICT Australia Limited (NICTA) – Australia’s national centre of excellence, and was inaugural Director of its largest research laboratory. Prior to establishing NICTA, he was the Head of the School of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of New South Wales where he co-founded the CRC for Smart Internet Technology.

He was the President of the Australia India Business Council (Queensland Chapter) during 2005-11 and served as the National Chairman during 2011/2012. He served as a member of the Queensland Premier’s Smart State Council from 2005-11 and a member of the Premier’s Business Roundtable 2008-11. He was awarded the 2010 Premier’s Special Award for contribution to building the export profile of Queensland.

His current board memberships include Translational Research Institute (TRI) Ltd and Adani Abbot Point Terminal Pty Ltd.
His past board memberships include Sugar Research Limited, Farmacule Bio industries Pty Ltd, Australasian CRC for Interaction Design, Creative Industries Pty Ltd, CRC for Construction Innovation and the Gallipoli Medical Research Foundation.

Professor Grant Stanley, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research), Central Queensland University

Professor Stanley first arrived at CQUniversity in 2010 as Dean of Medical and Applied Sciences and is currently the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research).

Grant holds undergraduate and postgraduate degrees from the University of Melbourne and has a background in Applied Microbiology/Biochemical Engineering, with on-going research interests in biofuels, especially the production of second generation bioethanol.

He has experience in researching and teaching microbial metabolism, fermentation systems, bioreactor design and bioremediation. He has published more than 110 refereed and non-refereed papers, one international patent, has received a number of Category 1 funding grants and supervised 14 PhD students to completion.

Professor Stanley has been on the organising committee of a number of national and international conferences and is currently an Associate Editor of the journal Biotechnology for Biofuels.

Professor Zee Upton, Research Director, Institute of Molecular Biology, Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*Star), Singapore

Professor Zee Upton is a biochemist, an inventor and a tissue engineer, recognised nationally and internationally for her research in growth factors, extracellular matrix proteins and wound healing.

In July 2015, Professor Upton relocated from Queensland to Singapore to take up an appointment as Research Director in the Institute for Molecular Biology within A*Star (Agency for Science, Technology and Research).  Her new role and responsibilities encompass building high-quality, outcomes focused, inter-disciplinary research opportunities for the institute.

Previously, Zee was located at the Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation within the Tissue Repair and Regeneration Program, an interdisciplinary consortium of more than 50 researchers. Since the award of her PhD in Biochemistry in 1994 Professor Upton has a significant record of innovative and quality scientific research that has yielded: more than $24 million in research funding from both competitive grant schemes and industry; more than 100 publications; over a dozen patent applications; the establishment of new, innovative, collaborative, research projects, including the successful bid in 2009 for $28 million from the Australian Government to form the $108 million Wound Management Innovation CRC; and the establishment and listing of a biotechnology company, Tissue Therapies Ltd, on the ASX.

Past Experts

Dr Laurie Hammond, Chair Mining 3 CEO and Founder inQbator

We are saddened by the sudden passing of inaugural Advance Queensland Expert Panel member Dr Laurie Hammond.

Dr Hammond made an enormous contribution to Innovation in Queensland. His vision and wisdom changed the lives of many entrepreneurs, researchers and investors. Queensland will continue to benefit from his life’s work. 




Last updated 09 Nov, 2018
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