The Honourable Clare O'Neil MP

Minister for Home Affairs & Minister for Cyber Security

Clare grew up in the Eastern suburbs of Melbourne. Clare Green backgroundAfter she finished school, Clare studied Law at Monash University in Clayton. While she was at university, Clare was elected to the City of Greater Dandenong Council and a year later she became mayor of the City of Greater Dandenong. After graduating from Monash Uni, Clare travelled to Harvard University in the US to study Public Policy. While she was there she lived in Boston and New York and worked in the New York Stock Exchange. Clare has served as an adviser to the Office of the Commonwealth Treasurer and has worked as a consultant with CEOs around Australia in key industries including mining, manufacturing, banking and retail.

Clare has a special interest in economics, Indigenous Australia and the welfare of children. Clare was elected to Federal Parliament in 2013. She represents the electorate of Hotham in Melbourne's South East, which stretches from Oakleigh in the north to Springvale in the south and is home to over 130,000 people. Hotham is one of the most diverse electorates in Australia, with 35% of residents born overseas.

Clare was appointed to the Shadow Ministry as the Shadow Minister for Justice in 2016 and was also appointed Shadow Minister for Financial Services in 2018. In July 2019, Clare was appointed the Shadow Minister for Innovation, Technology and the Future of Work, and since February 2021 Clare was the Shadow Minister for Senior Australians and Aged Care Services. In 2022 Clare was appointed the Minister for Home Affairs and Minister for Cyber Security and became a Cabinet member.

Clare lives with her husband, Brendan, their two sons and their daughter.


Chris Brookes

Assistant Inspector-General – Agency Oversight

Office of the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security

Chris BrookesChris Brookes is the Assistant Inspector-General Intelligence Oversight at the Office of the Inspector-General Intelligence and Security where he leads the branch responsible for undertaking inspections and inquiries into the activities of the agencies in the National Intelligence Community (NIC) to provide assurance to the Parliament and public that the NIC is operating legally, with propriety and consistent with Australia’s human rights obligations.

Prior to his current role, Chris has worked in senior leadership roles across the NIC, most recently as the Coordinator of NIC Innovation, Science and Research at the Office of National Intelligence and prior to that in operational cyber security and security roles at the Australian Signals Directorate, Australian Cyber Security Centre and the Department of Defence.
Chris has completed a Master of Arts (Strategic Studies) at the Australian Defence College, and a double bachelor’s degree in Economics and Information Technology at the Australian National University.

Chris is married and has two daughters (12 and 9 years old) and in his (limited) spare time enjoys working on, and driving, his modified historic Holden, playing golf, fishing and keeping fit and active.


Assistant Commissioner Scott Duval

DuvalScott Duval joined South Australia Police in 1982 and has experience as a general duties patrol officer and a Detective with general Criminal Investigation Branch experience, as well as postings to Major Crime, Major Fraud and Drug Investigation Branches.  In 2004 Scott was promoted to Inspector and his first posting was Officer in Change Adelaide CIB, followed then as the Officer in Charge Paedophile Task Force.  In successive officer promotions Scott has been the Officer in Charge Licensing Enforcement Branch, Drug Investigation Branch, Media and Marketing Section, Executive Support Section and Regional Operations Service.

In 2017 Scott was promoted to Assistant Commissioner and has held the portfolios of Security and Emergency Management Service, Operations Support Service and currently has the portfolio for policing of the metropolitan area of Adelaide through Metropolitan Operations Service.  Scott has held this portfolio since September 2020 so much of that time has been consumed by supporting the policing response to COVID-19 as well as providing a general policing service in the metropolitan area. 

Scott is a graduate of the FBI National Academy and in 2015 was awarded the Australian Police Medal.  He has also participated in the Pearls in Policing Program an international executive policing collaboration between Australia, Europe, United States of America and South East Asia,

Scott is married with 2 children and one grandchild.  He has a strong interest in travel with his wife and family, and is a keen golfer.


Mark Anderson

National Security Officer
Microsoft Australia & New Zealand

Mark AndersonMark has over 25 years’ experience in the IT industry with 16 of those at Microsoft in various roles across the globe. As the National Security Officer for Microsoft Australia & New Zealand, Mark is responsible for working with customers, partners, governments, and industry regulators to ensure that the Microsoft platforms are not only understood by policymakers but also adhere to their security, compliance and risk management requirements. Mark is accountable for the PROTECTED level assessment of Azure, Office 365, and Dynamics. In addition, Mark owns the Government Security Program and facilitates the intelligence sharing relationships with government agencies.

Mark holds a Master of Cyber Security degree with high distinction from Edith Cowan University and is a Visiting Associate Professor at Macquarie University.


Grant Lucas

Former U.S. Government Chief of Europe, Middle East, and Africa Operations

Grant LucasGrant Lucas devised, led, and executed international investigations and tactical operations with the U.S. government for more than two decades; including complex investigations and operations with host overseas government services in several dozen countries targeting high-value bad actors and criminal networks.

Lucas specialized in global undercover operations, and cases and operations involving counterproliferation, the illicit acquisition of sensitive technology, kleptocracy, high-profile international fugitives, encounter management and identity resolution, organised crime, and complex money laundering. After more than 19 years of field work, Lucas served as his agency’s Chief of Operations for Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, and later as his agency’s Director’s Senior Advisor for U.S. Congressional Affairs.

A few of his many global cases and operations have been highlighted and published in books such as Chinese Communist Espionage: An Intelligence Primer written by the accomplished Matthew Brazil and Peter Mattis, and American Warlord, a True Story by renowned journalist, author, and professor Johnny Dwyer. Multiple cases have been featured in The Economist, The Guardian, The Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times as well as several other international and U.S. media outlets.

Following his government career, Lucas served as a C-suite advisor and an International Head of Financial Crime Threat Mitigation for Europe’s largest bank. There, he supported financial crime risk and controls management efforts by developing and leading global investigative, intelligence, analytical, and research teams in Continental Europe, Bermuda, the Channel Islands, Malta, South Africa, Armenia, and Russia.

For most of his government career, Lucas served and lived along the US-Mexico frontier, in Canada, Central and Eastern Europe, and in conflict zones in the Balkans, the Middle East, and West Africa. He is a former stockbroker and is a certified anti-money laundering specialist. He is an avid supporter of the Pittsburgh Steelers (American) football team, disabled allied veterans, and access to education for minorities.


Dr Phil Kowalick MAIPIO



Phil KowalickPhil is one of Australia’s preeminent thought leaders in law enforcement, intelligence and national security. For over 34 years in the Australian Federal Police, he played a key role in many of Australia’s most important law enforcement programs and initiatives. He established multiagency intelligence capabilities in Australia’s major airports; designed arrangements to set and manage Australia’s counter terrorism priorities in the Counter Terrorism Control Centre; was instrumental in developing the Australian Criminal Intelligence Model; the strategic organisational design of the Australian Border Force; the Australian Federal Police, International Engagement 2020 and beyond; and the National Plan to Combat Cybercrime. Phil is the President of the Australian Institute of Professional Intelligence Officers and a member of the School of Justice Advisory Committee at the Queensland University of Technology.


Dr Malcolm Davis

Senior Analyst, Defence Strategy and Capability
Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI)

Dr Malcolm DavisDr Malcolm Davis joined ASPI as a Senior Analyst in Defence Strategy and Capability in January 2016. Prior to this he was a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow in China-Western Relations with the Faculty of Society and Design at Bond University from March 2012 to January 2016, and he currently retains an Honorary Assistant Professor position in the Faculty. He has worked with the Department of Defence, both in Navy Headquarters in the Strategy and Force Structure area, and with Strategic Policy Division in the Strategic Policy Guidance and Strategic External Relations and Education sections from November 2007 to March 2012. Prior to this appointment he was a Lecturer in Defence Studies with Kings College London at the Joint Services Command and Staff College, in Shrivenham, UK, from June 2000 to October 2007. He holds a PhD in Strategic Studies from the University of Hull as well as two Masters degrees in Strategic Studies, including from the Australian National University’s Strategic and Defence Studies Centre. His main research focus is on defence strategy and capability development, military technology, and the future of warfare.


Associate Professor Alice Gorman

Associate Professor, College of the Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences, Flinders University
Council Member, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Adelaide ChapterDaniel Kukec Photography. www.danielkukec.com

Dr Alice Gorman is an internationally recognised leader in the field of space archaeology and author of the award-winning book Dr Space Junk vs the Universe: Archaeology and the Future (MIT Press, 2019). Her research focuses on the archaeology and heritage of space exploration, including space junk, planetary landing sites, off-earth mining, and space habitats. In 2022, she co-directed (with Justin Walsh) an archaeological survey on the International Space Station, which was the first archaeological fieldwork ever to take place outside Earth. She is an Associate Professor at Flinders University in Adelaide and a heritage consultant with over 25 years’ experience working with Indigenous communities in Australia. Gorman is also a Vice-Chair of the Global Expert Group on Sustainable Lunar Activities, a member of the Advisory Council of the Space Industry Association of Australia, and Vice-Chair of the Adelaide Section of the American Institute for Aeronautics and Astronautics. Asteroid 551014 Gorman was named after her in recognition of her work in space archaeology.               


Senior Sergeant First Class Digby Howis

Manager, Crime Stoppers Section
State Intelligence Branch, South Australia Police

Digby HowisDigby served frontline patrols in Adelaide before a short term secondment to a local intelligence section introduced him to intelligence processes, practices and procedures. Mentoring from his excellent Intelligence Manager cultivated a passion for intelligence. He has worked in SAPOL’s State Intelligence Branch focusing on organised criminal activity, and worked in SAPOL’s Security Intelligence Section, working in partnership with State and Commonwealth agencies with the responsibility for matters pertaining to terrorism and security. 

In 2009, Digby worked in the project team to implement SAPOL’s Intelligence Business Process. Afterwards, he joined the intelligence training team helping train police and civilians in these new intelligence concepts, principles and practices. He has helped on ANZCTC courses as exercise control and delivered intelligence training.

In 2014, he served in the Joint Intelligence Group in Brisbane for the G20, and in 2015, published an AIPIO Journal paper ‘A systems thinking approach to threat assessment’. From 2016-2019, he worked in SAPOL performance and governance area and in 2019 returned to intelligence training, assisting with another project. He holds a Post Graduate Diploma in Intelligence Analysis from CSU, in July 2021 became the Manager of Crime Stoppers Section with the State Intelligence Branch and in October 2021 became the National Police Coordinator for Crime Stoppers Australia.

Patrick Ingram

Senior Consultant
Protegas Australia

Patrick LowRes 2 1Patrick Ingram is an experienced intelligence professional and Senior Consultant at Protegas Australia. As a consultant, Patrick has been instrumental in developing the Royal Australian Navy’s Information Warfare, Mine Warfare, and Maritime Geospatial workforce. Patrick is a founding member of Protecast, a podcast of intelligence professionals constructively examining intelligence and policy challenges with a diverse range of thought leaders, community organisers and policymakers to understand wicked problems, present solutions and reflect on the key issues of the 21st Century.
Patrick is also a former Australian Army Intelligence Officer experienced in geospatial and all-source intelligence. Patrick’s career highlights within Defence include coordinating the national geospatial support plan for the whole-of-government response to COVID-19, for which he was awarded a Chief of Defence Force Gold Commendation and leading an intelligence team for 24-hour reporting to inform national strategic decision-makers during the opening months of the Russo-Ukrainian War.
Patrick holds a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Tasmania and a Masters of War Studies from the University of New South Wales. Patrick’s interests include military history, understanding and countering violent extremism and studying intelligence as a craft.


Major General (Retired) Ben Kite OBE

Senior Executive Leader in Defence, Intelligence, Cyber, Security and Resilience,

Ben KiteBen Kite was commissioned into the British Army’s Intelligence Corps in 1990, retiring in April 2022 as a Major General in April 2022. During his thirty-two year career he worked on intelligence, Security and Cyber issues both in the UK as well on deployments to Germany, the United States, Belize, Bosnia, Kosovo, South Africa, Iraq and Afghanistan. His last role was as Director Intelligence Interoperability in Defence Intelligence where he led the creation and implementation of Defence’s first Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance strategy and managed International Intelligence engagement and interoperability with the single services. Ben is currently working as a Defence, Intelligence, Security and Cyber adviser for the strategic consultancy firm Kearney which is based in Abu Dhabi. He studies military history in his spare time and has published three books on the Second World War, as well as being elected a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society.



Rebecca Kuster

Defence Sector Lead, Space Weather Engagement

National Security and Space Program, The Bureau of Meterology

Rebeca KusterRebecca is the defence sector lead, Space Weather in the Bureau of Meteorology's National Security and Space program. In this role, she works with defence to determine how the Bureau's space weather warnings, alerts, and forecasts can support their operations. Her background includes ten years as a defence operational analyst for the Defence Science and Technology Organisation (DSTO, now DSTG). Rebecca also project managed planning publications, a joint regulatory investment test for transmission, and the integration of the first 100 MW battery into the Australian Energy Market at AEMO. She led the supply chain program of the Moon to Mars initiative at the Australian Space Agency.

Rebecca has a Science degree with honours, a Masters in Operations Research and Statistics, and a Graduate Diploma in Systems Engineering. She has also completed the joint International Space University/UniSA Southern Hemisphere Space Studies Program.


Dr Trent Lewis

Senior Data Scientist, Fivecast

Trent HeadshotTrent is part of the Fivecast AI team and leads the efforts in natural language processing of OSINT data and the evaluation of the Fivecast Risk Detectors.  Prior to joining Fivecast in 2021, Trent was an academic at Flinders University (2005-2021) teaching and researching in databases, programming, and machine learning.  With a background in cognitive science, Trent has a PhD in Audio-Visual Speech Processing that explored the use of multi-modal data sources to improve the classification of speech.


Venessa Ninovic

Senior Intelligence Analyst

NSW Police

Venessa NinovicVenessa is a Senior Intelligence Analyst at the New South Wales Police Force in the Strategic Intelligence and Policy team. She loves her job and being able to inform high-level decision makers of emerging issues within the community. Venessa has a strong interest in open-source intelligence, which began when participating in her first Tracelabs CTF in 2020. Fast forward to 2023, and Venessa has been blogging, presenting, and constantly learning along the way. In 2022 Venessa presented at the SANS OSINT Summit, at BSides Sydney, and was a guest on the Layer8 podcast. Venessa was also awarded the ‘Emerging Intelligence Professional’ award by the Australian Institute of Professional Intelligence Officers in 2022.


Randy Pherson

Pherson Associates

Randolph PhersonMr. Pherson is President of Pherson Associates. He has taught advanced analytic techniques and critical thinking skills to analysts in most US Intelligence Community agencies, a dozen Fortune 100 companies, and many countries around the world. He has authored or co-authored twelve books including Structured Analytic Techniques for Intelligence Analysis, Critical Thinking for Strategic Intelligence, and How to Get the Right Diagnosis: 16 Tips for Navigating the Medical System. He has facilitated Strategic Foresight Analysis workshops for foreign governments, international foundations, and multinational corporations. Mr. Pherson also is a Founding Director of the Forum Foundation for Analytic Excellence, a nonprofit that supports the propagation of critical thinking skills and structured analytic techniques.

Mr. Pherson was a career CIA intelligence analyst and manager, last serving as National Intelligence Officer for Latin America. Previously at CIA, Mr. Pherson managed the production of analysis, served on the Inspector General’s staff, and was Chief, Strategic Planning and Management Staff. He was awarded  the Distinguished Intelligence Medal for his service as NIO and the Distinguished Career Intelligence Medal. He received his AB from Dartmouth College and MA in International Relations from Yale University.


Leah Pinto

Customer Engagement Lead – Cyber Intelligence

Leah PintoLeah works in the CyberCX Intelligence team to help customers identify their intelligence requirements and how they can operationalise CyberCX Intelligence to uplift cyber maturity. She works with intelligence clients to both define their problem statements and identify intelligence requirements, guiding customers to interpret their  analysis and it's meaning to their cyber threats landscape and business operations.

Leah has over 12 years of experience building intelligence teams and has worked across NSW Government, NSW Police Force and consulting to deliver intelligence functions that drive organisational capability and growth. Her background encompasses intelligence across cyber security, cybercrime, serious and organised crime, counter-terrorism, public order and drugs.

In 2019 Leah played a pivotal role in the development and delivery of cyber intelligence and cyber incident response coordination across NSW Government where she assisted to build the whole-of-government function at Cyber Security NSW. In her roles across government Leah delivered key organisational documents and high-level coordination reports including threat landscape reports, whole-of-government incident playbooks, intelligence doctrines, criminal intelligence training continuums, intelligence collection priorities and strategic intelligence products.

Leah is passionate about intelligence as a discipline and enjoys mentoring junior intelligence professionals in both law enforcement and cyber disciplines. She holds certifications in cyber threat intelligence and counter terrorism operations, an Advanced Diploma of Police Intelligence Operations, a Graduate Certificate in Criminal Intelligence, a Masters in Criminology and a Bachelor of Social Science and Policy majoring in Criminology.

Meg Tapia

Managing Director
Meg TapiaMeg Tapia is a seasoned national security practitioner with expertise in intelligence capability, technology, and foreign policy. She excels in providing sound advice on high-risk issues and engaging senior stakeholders across cultures. As Managing Director and Founder of Novexus, Meg integrates commercial perspectives, strategic thinking, and policy insights to solve complex national security challenges. She leverages her unique blend of national security, foreign policy, government relations, commercial, and leadership expertise to drive real impact, prioritising open communication, trust, and evidence-based advice.

Meg’s extensive experience includes National Intelligence Lead at Accenture and key positions in the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, overseeing client engagement, leading multidisciplinary teams, and advising on complex issues. With diplomatic postings in Afghanistan, Vanuatu, and Papua New Guinea, she brings a wealth of international experience and cultural fluency. Her expertise spans classifications, languages, and cultures, making her adept at navigating complex environments.

Committed to fostering an inclusive and innovative national security landscape, Meg actively engages as a conference moderator, speaker, and mentor. She hosts the ANU Women in National Security Podcast and mentors in the Prince's Trust and AWSN. Meg's exceptional leadership has earned her accolades such as the Australian Operational Service Medal and NATO Medal for her service in Afghanistan. 


Dr Dan Wildy

Director National Intelligence
New Zealand Police

Dr Dan WildyDan Wildy is the Director National Intelligence at New Zealand Police and Chair of the New Zealand Institute of Intelligence Professionals. Before joining Police in early 2020, Dan served in the Army for 18 years as an Intelligence Corps officer, leaving uniform in early 2016 to begin a civil service career in the national security sector. During his career to date he has deployed operationally to East Timor and Afghanistan, been seconded to the British Army, undertaken representative duties abroad, and advised senior government office holders on a variety of pressing national security issues. He holds a PhD in History, a Master of Strategic Studies, and a BA in History. Dan is a graduate of the New Zealand Defence Force’s Command and Staff College. Dan is married with three children and lives in the Wairarapa, New Zealand.



More speakers to be announced