UNSW Business School
Regional Development

Next Steps:

Harmonising Australian Aircraft Maintenance Training & Licensing
Building a Strong Aviation Infrastructure/Aerospace Industry: Civil, Defence and Export

Tuesday 5 September 2017, 10:00 AM to 5:15 PM (Registration 9:30am, Networking drinks 5:15pm–6:30)

Following on from UNSW and RDA Sydney workshops held in November 2016, this one day forum will explore ways to remove barriers to a strong globally-competitive Australian aviation/aerospace and maintenance training industry.

Morning: Progress reports and discussion:

  • Key national and sector-specific developments since November 2016
  • Findings of overseas scoping studies and on-going research

Afternoon: Panel session of industry perspectives, workshops and final plenary:

  • Building aviation and aerospace workforce and training capacity and meeting industry needs
  • Reforming the training and licensing system
  • International and cross-sectoral harmonisation of qualifications, standards and training
  • Strengthening our national aerospace, aviation and Defence capability
  • Building a training export industry
  • Developing a future policy advocacy and research agenda.

For further information contact:

Ian Hampson, UNSW Business School

John Pearson, RDA Sydney

  • Tuesday 5 September 2017
  • UNSW Business Lounge, Level 6, UNSW Business School Building E12, University of New South Wales, Kensington NSW 2052
  • Registration: 9.30 to 10.00
  • Morning Session: 10.00am - Progress Reports and Discussion
  • Lunch: 13:00 - Sponsored by RDA Sydney
  • Afternoon Session: 13.45 - Panel, Perspectives, Workshop and Plenary
  • Networking Drinks: 17:15 - 18:30 - Sponsored by RDA Sydney

Event Programme

Ticket Prices

Tickets are free of charge and include:

  • Forum and Workshop entry
  • Morning tea (sponsored by School of Business, UNSW Canberra)
  • Lunch (sponsored by RDA Sydney)
  • Afternoon tea (sponsored by School of Business, UNSW Canberra)
  • Access to networking drinks

Register for the Event

Special Thanks

  • Karin Sanders, Tanya Allan, Ian Hampson, David Morgan, Andrea Tompkins (School of Management)
  • Peter Sheldon, Anne Junor, Jason Antony, Tanya Carney, Anthony di Rosa, Michael Peters (IRRC)
  • John Pearson, Olga Yoldi, Belinda Topou (RDA Sydney)


Panel Session



Tamara Bell is Executive Director of Aviation/Aerospace Australia. Tamara drives the operational direction of Aviation/Aerospace Australia with over ten years experience in project management; events and marketing; international trade delegation; membership and stakeholder delivery at professional member associations. Responsible for developing the Women in Aviation/Aerospace Australia initiative, Tamara has created a collaborative environment to encourage the Australian industry in its diversity journey to achieve measurable improvements in gender diversity in technical, non traditional and corporate roles. Tamara leads the A/AA’s NextGenNetwork, fostering future professionals in the industry, providing opportunities for growth in soft and technical skills and offering networks for students and young professionals to connect across industry sectors. Tamara has a global network of contacts developed over five years in the aviation and aerospace industries both domestically and internationally. Tamara sits on the apicsAU International Trade Special Interest Group.

Jon Bradshaw is chair of the SADIG Skills Committee. Jon commenced his career with a five year engineering apprenticeship, integrated with tertiary training and subsequent career development as an Industrial/ Manufacturing Engineer with BHP Group subsidiary Tubemakers of Australia. He has had extensive project management and business development experience and bid team connections across Australian manufacturing. Areas of specialisation include the aerospace, defence, maritime, and scientific sectors, involving the major research institutions in 'cutting edge' industrial process technologies, and the design engineering of unique high productivity solutions using high strength light weight materials. Jon has been a vigorous advocate of high technology, high value manufacturing and the STEM skills agenda in Australia.

Russell Burgess is the Senior Coordinator Apprentice and Intern Programs at Qantas Engineering, and is the Chair of the Aerospace Education and Training Industry Reference Committee of Innovation and Business Skills Australia, advising the Australian Industry Skills Council on the Aeroskills Training Package. His role at Qantas is to maintain compliance in the recruitment registration and performance management of training in accordance with the National Training Package and respective State Training requirements. Russell also oversees the Qantas Engineering Services Winter and Summer School Intern Programs. Interns undertake proof of concept projects working within the Engineering Services Department and receive coaching and mentoring during the period of practical exposure in the work place. His previous experience was as an engineer and leading hand, working on a range of aircraft avionics systems and components relating to Boeing 707, 747, and 767 aircraft, and military aircraft including the Navy A4 Skyhawk and Hercules C130A and H models.

Ken Cannane is Executive Director of the Aviation Maintenance, Repair & Overhaul Business Association (AMROBA), incorporated for over a decade, and an Executive Member of The Australian Aviation Associations Forum. He has been involved in the aviation industry for over 58 years; specialising in the airworthiness, maintenance and production of aircraft and products of all kinds. He has extensive industry management and regulatory experience on rotary and fixed wing aircraft ranging from stick and rag aircraft through to large wide-body transport aircraft. He retired from the Civil Aviation Safety Authority as Head of maintenance and maintenance personnel. He is actively involved with many committees and groups dedicated to aviation safety and the promotion of Australian aviation.

Ian Curry is the National Coordinator: Skills, Training & Apprenticeships with the Australian Manufacturing Workers’ Union (AMWU). He has national responsibility for managing the AMWU’s engagement with the national training system and the structures that underpin it. Ian has a long history of engagement with the training system and has served on many state and national regulatory and advisory bodies associated with the training system.

Stephen Dawkins is Head Teacher Polymer/Aeroskills at TAFE NSW - South Western Sydney Institute (SWSi). He holds degrees in engineering and education and has an extensive background in plastics which began in 1974 in toolmaking, followed by many years spent in the design of components and their associated tooling. A member of the SADIG Skill Committee, he has recently initiated the introduction of a new Aviation Diploma program for pilots and flight instructors, responding to growing demand in the Asia-Pacific region.

Richard Dunford is Associate Dean, International & External Relations in the UNSW Business School. Richard has held a range of academic leadership roles, including PVC (Business and Law), University of Newcastle; Chair of the International Business Discipline, University of Sydney Business School; Deputy Dean / Interim Dean, MGSM; Head of Management, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand; and Associate Dean for Research and Postgraduate Studies, UTS. As well as working within the university sector, Richard has worked in business (the oil industry) and government (technology policy) and has provided consulting services on strategy, managing change and executive education to a wide range of companies in Australasia and South-East Asia. Through these roles, Richard has had extensive experience in engaging with Asia, industry and government.

Bob Germaine is Executive Officer at Regional Development Australia, Sydney. His international experience in senior management and specialist management include his role as General Manager for The Greater Western Sydney Economic Development Board (GWSEDB). Experienced in developing industry, business and community networks, and in the planning, building and development of investment projects within the Asia Pacific region, he works with RDA Sydney to bring together industry, business, Government, education, and community stakeholders to advance sustainable economic development and social equity within the Sydney Region. Bob was the founder of the Sydney Aerospace and Defence Industry Group.

Group Captain Steve Green joined the Air Force in 1990, graduating from the Australian Defence Force Academy in 1992. He has held a range of maintenance management, engineering, sustainment and project management roles mainly supporting Air Force's air combat fleet. He is currently Director Technical Capability within Air Force Headquarters Logistics Branch where his responsibilities include maintenance governance, technical workforce sponsorship and technical reform initiatives related to identification and implementation of improvements in Air Force system of maintenance.

Sarah Gregson is a senior lecturer in the School of Management at UNSW, where she teaches employment relations. Sarah was a chief investigator in the 2011-2014 Linkage project, The future of aircraft maintenance in Australia: workforce capability, aviation safety and industry development. Her research interests include oral and archival study of work histories and memorialisation, with subjects including the RSL, The Titanic, and migrant workers and working class solidarity in mining towns. She has co-authored a range of articles on aircraft maintenance work organisation.

Ian Hampson is an Associate Professor in the School of Management at UNSW Business School. He has been Chief Investigator in two ARC Linkage grant funded projects, including a study of the future of aircraft maintenance in Australia. Apart from aircraft maintenance regulation and workforce development, Ian’s research interests include skill formation, skill recognition, workplace learning, vocational training reform and industry policy, as well as international comparisons of national systems of welfare and labour market regulation. He has a particular interest in Sweden, and is the co-author of an influential study of the politics of the Accord.

Air Marshal (Ret) John Harvey AM was appointed as Defence Advocate for NSW in May 2016 and is a retired Air Marshal in the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF). Air Marshal (Ret) Harvey's Australian Defence Force career spanned more than 30 years, with early emphasis on employment as a navigator and weapons officer in Canberra and F-111 aircraft, and later in more diverse roles such as technical intelligence, military strategy, visiting Fellow Strategic and Defence Studies Centre at the Australian National University, instructor at the Australian Defence College and Defence Attaché Southern Europe. He has had extensive experience in the Defence capability development process in his appointments as Air Warfare Adviser within Force Development and Analysis, Director General Aerospace Development, Director General New Air Combat Capability, and Program Manager New Air Combat Capability (NACC) within the then-Defence Materiel Organisation.

On 26 January 2008 (Australia Day Honours), he was appointed Member of the Order of Australia (Military division) for ‘exceptional service to the Australian Defence Force and Royal Australian Air Force’ in that role. In October 2010, John was promoted to the rank of Air Marshal and appointed as Chief Capability Development Group (CCDG) with responsibility for requirements development and obtaining government approval for approximately 200 projects with a total value of approximately $200 billion. Roles required in that position included Chair of the Defence Capability Committee, Chair of the Options Review Committee, and member of the Defence Capability & Investment Committee and the Defence Committee. Since retiring from the RAAF in 2012, John has completed a PhD in Computer Science at UNSW Canberra, and is currently providing aerospace and defence advice to the Department of Defence as a Reserve Officer.

Mike Higgins has been the CEO of the Regional Aviation Association of Australia (RAAA) since 2015, leading the organisation, managing its day to day operations and performing the duties of Company Secretary. He came to this role from CASA, where he served as a senior manager. He is recognised in the industry as one of the architects of regional aviation security regulations. His career has also included working as a licensed aircraft maintenance engineer, commercial pilot, maintenance organisation manager and airline general manager. Mike is a member of the Aerospace Education and Training Industry Reference Committee of IBSA, advising the Australian Industry Skill Council. Mike also works closely with the departments of Infrastructure, AirServices Australia, the Bureau of Meteorology and CASA in regulations and policy development and is an active member of the Australian Aviation Associations Forum.

Gary Holgate is presently the Director of Compliance Assurance in the Defence Aviation Safety Authority. CAPT Holgate has 36 years of service in the Royal Australian Navy’s (RAN) aviation community, and he holds an Undergraduate Degree in Aeronautical Engineering from UNSW, and a Masters in Maritime Studies from UOW. Over his career in the RAN, CAPT Holgate has been an airframe and engines technician on fixed and rotary wing aircraft, operationally deployed on HMAS Manoora for Operation Slipper in the North Arabian Gulf, been the Squadron Engineer for a new Defence capability the Seasprite helicopter, attended the Joint Staff College, served on exchange with the Royal Navy, completed a number of postings in the Defence Material Organisation (now CASG) culminating as the Navy Aviation System Program Office Chief Engineer, and was the Executive Officer of HMAS Albatross prior to taking up his current post.

Anne Junor is a Senior Visiting Fellow in the Industrial Relations Research Centre at UNSW and Editor in Chief of The Economic and Labour Relations Review. She was one of the chief investigators in the 2011-2014 Linkage project that produced the report, The future of aircraft maintenance in Australia: workforce capability, aviation safety and industry development. Her other research interests include women’s employment and pay, training reform, precarious employment, and approaches to the recognition of under-codified social and organisational skills and work process knowledge.

Michael McGill has worked in aviation for 39 years, beginning as a QANTAS aircraft maintenance engineer (structures mechanic) apprentice and then working in Canada with Bristol Aerospace (heavy maintenance/major airframe/avionic upgrade) and as a Canadian licensed aircraft maintenance structures engineer (AIRBUS A319/320/321, BOEING 737-300/400 narrow body heavy maintenance) and as a heavy maintenance production planner. In the Australian Department of Infrastructure (formerly Dept of Transport) he worked as a Policy Officer in the Office of Airspace Management and in the Air Traffic Policy Branch. He is now a Senior Standards Officer in the CASA Airworthiness Standards section of the Airworthiness and Engineering Branch. His role includes research and development of policies and standards, regulations and associated guidance material and procedures for CASR Part 66 and Part 147; and managing ongoing development amendments. He is project leader for the Post Implementation Review (PIR) of CASR Part 66, and CASA/Australian representative on the AME working group of the ICAO Competency-Based Training and Assessment Task Force (CBTA-TF).

Robert McNeil has worked since 2015 with BAE Systems Australia as a Project Manager at the Defence Skills Training Academy in Wagga. His previous appointment with BAE Systems was as a Program Manager, based in Nowra, from 2010 to 2014. From 2005 to 2010, he was MRH90 Helicopter Maintenance Support Manager with Australian Aerospace, based in Brisbane, and from 2001 to 2005 he was Engineering Performance Manager with the Naval Aviation System Program Office.

Jason Middleton was appointed to the position of Head, School of Aviation in 1995, and was responsible for overall management and performance of the School until 2017. The School of Aviation is now the largest of its kind in Australia. Jason also holds a Commercial Pilot License. While completing a PhD in environmental fluid dynamics, he worked as a charter pilot taking passengers and freight across Bass Strait from Victoria to King Island. Later he flew in the United states and Canada. His principal expertise is in environmental fluid dynamics and he has published extensively in coastal oceanography and aviation meteorology. He maintains his instrument rating currency and flies to obtain airborne data in support of local marine and terrestrial research. Jason’s area of consulting expertise is dispersion in environmental flows, coastal oceanography, aviation meteorology, aviation safety and airborne remote sensing.

David Morgan is senior lecturer in the School of Management at UNSW. He teaches, researches and publishes in the fields of research methods, organisational theory, employer associations, labour relations, technological innovation, and professionalisation, and has recently joined the team of UNSW Business School researchers examining issues relating to the international harmonisation of professional standards and qualifications in the aviation/aerospace industry.

Patricia Neden is CEO of Innovation & Business Skills Australia (IBSA), which is a Skills Service Organisation covering the manufacturing sector. Previously, she was a Deputy Secretary in the Victorian Public Service. Patricia’s experience covers policy, inter governmental negotiations and national systems implementation. Patricia is a Board member of the Australia-Pacific Technical College and a member of the Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport & Resources Audit and Risk Committee. She is also a former member of the Australian Industry and Skills Committee and the Victorian Registration and Qualifications Authority.

Michael O’Donnell is Professor of Human Resource Management in the School of Business at UNSW Canberra. Michael's research interests include public sector employment relations, private sector executive remuneration, and international employment relations. He has been chief investigator in ARC funded projects exploring public sector management strategy and employment relations and executive remuneration and corporate governance in Australian listed companies. His co-authored books include a study of management practice in Korean chaebol, with a focus on Hyundai.

John Pearson is a Project Development Manager with Regional Development Australia Sydney. He holds qualifications in science, economics, and marketing, with diverse regional development experience in government and industry. John’s earlier career work included Australian and international roles in the resource assessments for water, mineral exploration and mining sectors. His recent roles in Western Sydney include management of a member based industry organisation providing business improvement, advocacy and advisory services. Prior to joining RDA Sydney in 2012, John was responsible for the forums and multiple networked activities of the Manufacturers Connection. His thematic areas of regional development and innovation include manufacturing, defence, aviation/aerospace, industry clusters and waste management.

Michael Quinlan is a professor in the School of Management, UNSW Business School. His major expertise (teaching and research) is the field of occupational health and safety (OHS) and risk, particularly aspects related to work organisation, management and regulation. In addition to publishing widely on OHS he has undertaken inquiries, investigations and audits for governments in Australia and New Zealand on safety in the trucking industry, mining and OHS regulatory regimes. He has also served as an expert on a number of government advisory bodies in Australia and New Zealand as well as helping to prepare reports on OHS for the World Health Organisation, European Commission, European Agency on Safety and Health at Work and International Labour Organisation.

Steve Re has been fulfilling the role of the Technical Manager for the Australian Licenced Aircraft Engineers Association since early 2007 as well as being a senior official, elected to the position of Trustee in 2006. Steve’s previous experience came from an 18 year career with Qantas working as a Licenced Aircraft Maintenance Engineer and in Quality Auditing. Steve is a member of the Aerospace Education and Training IRC of IBSA, the CASA Maintenance Standards Committee and licencing related working groups as well as being a member of the CASA Standards Consultative Committee, the CASA Regional Aviation Safety Forum and the CASA Directors Advisory Panel prior to their replacement in June this year.

Les Roelandts is the Manager, Business Implementation and Projects at Northrop Grumman Integrated Defence Services. Les previously worked as Employee Relations Manager in Qantas Engineering supporting management on business transformation programs. Les also has experience in Engineering Supply Chain where, as Qantas National Operations Manager, he led the logistics operations team of over 280 employees, driving significant improvements in delivery times, quality control, workplace health and safety and employee engagement.

Karin Sanders is Professor and Head of the School of Management and Director of the Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship in the UNSW Business School Sydney. Karin has published in journals such as Academy of Management Learning & Education, Organization Studies, Organisation Science, Human Resource Management and Journal of Vocational Behavior. Her research focuses on the process approach in HRM, in particular, the impact of employees’ perceptions of HRM on their attitudes and behaviours, such as their informal learning activities.

Adam Sandilands is a Senior Trade Adviser with Austrade’s (the Australian Trade and Investment Commission) Advanced Manufacturing team, specialising in trade across aerospace, aviation and defence sectors (since 2015). To 2014 he worked in the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science, as Acting Assistant Manager Trade and International Branch, and as Acting Assistant Manager Marine and Aerospace Policy Section where he took the lead on Aerospace Industry policy implementation. In 2010 Adam worked in the Department’s Space Policy Unit, assisting in policy and program development and international relations.

Jasmine Sharrock is the Northrop Grumman Integrated Defence Services (NGIDS) National HR Manager. Commencing in this role shortly after the acquisition of Qantas Defence Services (QDS) to NGIDS in 2014, this role has required a significant focus on key HR deliverables including change management and cultural transformation. Jasmine has previously held leadership roles at Qantas Airways, working extensively in the Engineering function supporting large scale transformation. One of her career highlights was being part of the team recognised with an Australian Human Resources Institute (AHRI) award for this transformation work. Prior to her HR career in Aviation, Jasmine has worked in HR in the Property and Retail industries. Jasmine also holds a Masters degree in Employment Relations from Griffith University.

Peter Sheldon is a Professor in the School of Management and Director of the Industrial Relations Research Centre in the UNSW Business School Sydney. He researches labour history, employer organisations and employment relations practices in China, Singapore, Korea and Italy. The recipient of three teaching awards and the author or co-author of a range of books and articles, he is on the editorial board of four journals.

Alan Smith is the Chief Executive Officer of Hawker Pacific (appointed August 2003). From an aircraft maintenance engineering background, Alan joined Hawker Pacific in 1982 as the manager of the technical advisory team to the Royal Thai Air Force based in Central Thailand, for the introduction into service of the Australian built Nomad utility aircraft. In total Alan has spent nine years based in Asia, of his thirty four year career with Hawker Pacific.He was manager of the Far East division, based in Hong Kong and responsible for all Hawker Pacific activity in China, The Philippines, Thailand, India, Japan and South Korea. From 1995 Alan headed up the re-engineering of the Australian Spares and Logistics business unit, whilst maintaining an enthusiastic involvement in the company’s Asian activities and has been involved in most aspects of the Hawker Pacific business and has been an executive member of the board of directors since 2002. Apart from his aircraft engineering qualification, Alan is a graduate of Melbourne University School of Business, a graduate of the Crosby Quality College in Singapore and a member of the Australian Institute of Management. He also attended Stanford Graduate School of Business Executive Program for Growing Companies in July 2005.

Mark Thompson joined Aviation Australia as Technical Training Manager in May 2015, bringing extensive and broad engineering and maintenance experience, developed over 38 years with Qantas Engineering, where his most recent role was Manager Line Maintenance Operations QLD/NT. Mark has completed a significant amount of aviation training including LAME qualifications in both Mechanical and Avionic streams, MEDA, Taproot, Human Factors, Safety and Risk as well as Lean Methodologies. Mark holds a Diploma in Management, Certificate IV in Training and Assessment, CAANZ Maintenance Controller accreditation and is our responsible manager for the CASA, EASA and GCAA Part 147 approvals.

Joanne Warner is a Senior HR Specialist at Northrop Grumman Integrated Defence Services, where she has led a range of business as usual HR solutions as well as complex case management and large scale organisational change and development activities. Holding a Master of Commerce degree, Joanne is also on the Program Committee of SuperFriend, a national body which works with Industry Superannuation Funds. This national mental health promotion foundation focuses on creating mentally healthy workplaces to reduce the incidence of suicide and the impact of mental illness on individuals and organisations. Previous appointments include work as a Senior HR Consultant with the NSW Department of Transport, work with LG Electronics as a full function business partner and subject matter expert for remuneration and benefits in Australia and New Zealand, HR Manager in the Department of Aging, Disability and Home Care, Senior Business Partner, Parramatta Council, and HR Advisor with Fosters Australia.

Justin Wastnage is the principal of public affairs agency Message Shapers, which specialises in strategic communications for aviation and tourism companies. Previously Justin was the director of aviation policy at the Australian industry group Tourism & Transport Forum. In this role he led several successful policy campaigns for member companies. Core competences included visitor visa reform, border agency passenger facilitation, developing future airport concepts and the integration of public transport to airport precincts. Prior to this Justin had had over 10 years in aviation and travel journalism, including at Flight International, where he was the founding online editor and a former political affairs correspondent based in Brussels. Justin’s early career was in technology public relations, working for Text 100 in editorial communications. An honours graduate in European studies and French from the UK’s University of Derby, Justin also studied at the French Institut d’Études Politiques political studies school.

Olga Yoldi joined RDA Sydney in 2009, having worked for GROW Sydney ACC. She manages the South West Region, where she works with all levels of Government and community groups to facilitate economic development and job creation initiatives. Her thematic areas include housing affordability, homelessness, manufacturing and agriculture. Olga studied Communications and Literature at the University of Technology and the University of Pau, France. She has held different management roles in the community sector and State government agencies and in the media. She is inspired by working for an organisation that empowers communities and develops regions.

Supported By

School of Management, UNSW Business School

Message Shapers
UNSW Canberra