Zoe Eather
KEY NOTE
Zoe is an engineer and a millennial with a passion for Smart Communities, Smart Cities and Smart Regions. She believes in using technology and Smart ways of thinking as enablers to make the places we live more accessible, liveable and sustainable for all. Zoe keeps up-to-date with the latest trends and shares her learnings through hosting The Smart Community Podcast. Zoe’s background includes civil construction, project management, environmental engineering and advanced and emerging transport technologies. Through her boutique consultancy, she offers Smart Community advisory services with a focus on Smart Mobility, Smart project management, Smart technology in regional communities, dealing with disruption and facilitating genuine collaboration.

Sarah Nolet
KEY NOTE SPEAKER
Sarah Nolet is an internationally recognized food systems innovation expert, the CEO and Founder of AgThentic, a global food and agriculture strategy firm, and a General Partner at Tenacious Ventures, Australia’s first dedicated agrifood tech VC firm. Sarah has been instrumental in building the early stage agtech ecosystem – from advising dozens of startups, designing accelerator programs and consulting to established agribusinesses, to helping industry, universities and government develop and implement forward-looking initiatives in food system innovation.
Sarah is also the host of the AgTech…So What? podcast, and co-founder of Farmers2Founders, a national innovation program that supports primary producers to commercialize inventions and new businesses, as well as gain early access to emerging technologies.
Sarah holds a Masters in System Design and Management from MIT, and a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science and Human Factors Engineering from Tufts University.


Darren Price
Director & Consultant – Price Rural Management Pty Ltd. 
Precision Agriculture Manager – Meat & Livestock Australia.  

Darren has 34 years Rural Industry experience. He is extremely passionate about the industry, its people and its future.
Darren started the consultancy business – Price Rural Management in 2013. This business provides Agri business and rural advisory and consultancy services to clients with various size holdings and enterprises, as well as the wider agricultural industry.

In 2019 Darren joined MLA as a Precision Agriculture Manager (Consultant). This role allows Darren to provide expert knowledge and leadership in precision agriculture. Specific tasks include advancing the recent pilot digital farms/digital forums, addressing producer requests and delivering producer awareness, producer adoption and demonstrable impact of precision agriculture.
Darren held the role of General Manager with Carwoola Pastoral Company (CPC) for 22 years. CPC is a group of 4 properties comprising over 16,000 acres. With fodder crops, centre pivot irrigation and carrying capacity of 2,000 cattle and 13,000 sheep, Carwoola Pastoral was an ideal location and property mix for Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA) to evaluate digital production opportunities.
Darren possesses high level knowledge of Agri business management. Key areas include livestock production and operations, whole property and business management, financial budgeting, reporting and analysis, staff recruitment and training, business compliance and governance, digital technology implementation and integration.


Warren Dean
SMART COMMUNITY STREAM
Warren is passionate about all things data especially enabling others to understand complex problems via simple visualisations. Warren currently leads the analytics function at the City of Casey and is referred to as the Power BI Wizard. He founded the Local Government BI Meetup in Victoria which now had attendees from over 30 councils. Warren has spoken at multiple events and conferences including the Zurich & Melbourne Power BI User Groups. He is a Certified Data Science Associate via Dell EMC and was part of the team awarded the Victorian I-Award for AI or Machine Learning innovation of the year in 2018.


Catherine Caruana-McManus
SMART COMMUNITY STREAM
Catherine is a global expert in Smart Cities and IoT. Co-Founder and Director of Meshed IoT Integrators, Founder of the Global Community – Giant Ideas for Smart Cities, Co-Founder and Board Member the IoT Alliance Australia. As a global leader in smart sustainable cities and digital transformation, Catherine has been awarded prestigious industry awards including the IoT Ambassador Award by the IoTAA and Smart Cities Industry Leader by Smart Cities Council. Prior to Meshed, Catherine was the Director of Smart Cities and Industries for IBM and has held other Executive positions for KPMG, MC2 Consulting, Telstra and PMP Communications and earlier in her career was a Strategic Planner for the City of Prahan (aka as Stonnington.) Catherine is an Advisory Council Member for University of Wollongong SMART Infrastructure and holds university qualifications in urban planning, economics, telecommunications, management and applied finance.


Chris Rowlands Schroder
SMART COMMUNITY STREAM
Chris is a town planner and advocate for keeping rural and regional communities included in the conversation about digital technology and innovation. He has held positions in community development, planning and transport across rural and regional local government in Victoria. In his most recent role as Senior Innovation Officer with City of Greater Bendigo, Chris was responsible for driving smart city and innovation initiatives where he also ran demonstration projects like Bendigo’s Clever Weather Network, an award-winning community weather network ran over a local LoRaWAN network.

Having lived in rural and regional Victoria his entire life, Chris understands first-hand the social and economic benefits and opportunities that connected communities bring in the regions. He also understands the unique challenges and nuances that come with developing these smart communities in regional Australia. Chris is currently Community Engagement Manager at NBN for North West Victoria.


Emma Van Smale Schroder
SMART COMMUNITY STREAM
Emma Van Smale is an innovation and business transformation professional dedicated to driving human and technological change to deliver better business benefits and community outcomes. Weaving human centred approaches and continuous customer engagement into solutions and cultural change is a passion, with a strong focus on education and adoption. 

Emma comes with a spectrum of experience spanning digital transformation, tech product management, project management, digital marketing and customer experience, industrial design, continuous improvement and adoption. She is currently merging her experience in scaling successful tech start-ups with digital transformation and community programs in Local Government to form approaches, products and programs for positive social impact and community economic development outcomes with the 25eight Group.


Dr Allen Benter
Allen Benter is a researcher at NSW Department of Primary Industries, Agriculutre/Climate Branch. Since 2017 he has led projects in the development of digital technology solutions for agriculture across NSW. Allen is project lead for Climate Smart Pilots, funded under the NSW Climate Change Fund, trialling an open Internet of Things platform to pilot new technologies for agriculture with a particular focus of improving responses to climate variability.


Mark Sloan
Mark is an Industry Technology Coordinator with Agriculture Victoria. Over the past two years he has been working alongside farmers in the Agriculture Victoria On Farm IoT Trial to investigate the benefits of IoT technology on farm.

Mark has a diverse background; from working as a technology support and product development consultant, to running his own small business providing technological solutions for the bulk heavy vehicle industry. He owns a small property with his partner in the East Wimmera producing fat lambs. Mark also spent over a decade in the education sector specialising in maths, physics and science.


Lachlan Monsbourgh
Lachlan is the Head of Sustainable Business Development for Rabobank in New Zealand and Australia. Lachlan is currently building for the bank an assessment tool which measures the environmental and agronomic performance of clients so the bank can deepen its relationship with clients.

Before joining Rabobank, Lachlan previously worked for the Zurich based chocolate manufacturer Barry Callebaut running their agronomic R&D division providing research and technical services to cocoa farmers around the tropical belt. Previous to Barry Callebaut, he worked for Ecom and ran their cocoa export business out of Papua New Guinea, running both a trading arm and an NGO to deliver services to smallholder cocoa farmers. Lachlan is originally from a Beef and Sheep farm in Southern Victoria


Ben Gower
Prior to moving to the Limestone Coast in early 2016, Ben had a 30-year career in aviation that spanned the world as both a Royal Australian Air Force Navigator and then as a Senior Vice President of Operations at Cobham Aviation Services – a global aerospace and defense company.

A graduate of Executive Management Programs from both the Melbourne and Harvard Business Schools, he had executive management responsibility for Cobham’s operations, engineering and maintenance, program management, information and technology and continuous improvement functions; a £600 million operating budget and 2,200 employees.

He is passionate about building high performing teams and he is a strong advocate for embracing diversity and building trusted relationships through open and honest communication at all levels of an organisation.

As Chief Executive Officer of the Wattle Range Council, Ben pursued a fundamental “tree change” in both his personal and professional lives where he could put down roots, contribute to local communities, and be given the opportunity to share some of the lessons he has learned from a globally focussed career at a local and regional level.