Keynote Speakers

Photo:Alex Bates

Alex Bates

Regional Vice President, Newmont

Alex Bates was appointed General Manager for Newmont Boddington Gold in September 2015, and is currently Regional Senior Vice President for the Australian Operations of Newmont Mining Corporation.

Prior to joining Newmont, Alex was General Manager of Rio Tinto Iron Ore’s Brockman Region. He started in iron ore as General Manager Yandicoogina Operations in February 2011 after many years of experience in leadership roles across the resources industry all over the world, including Phalaborwa, Cape Town, London, Montreal and Brisbane. Alex has 25 years of experience in the resources industry and served as a Director on the Board of the Gumala Aboriginal Corporation. Raised in Wales and Namibia, Alex studied Engineering in Cape Town and moved to Australia in 2004.


Photo:Joanne Farrell

Joanne Farrell

Group Executive Health, Safety, and Environment (HSE) and Managing Director Australia, Rio Tinto

Joanne has worked in the Mining Industry since 1981, following an earlier career as an economist.  She has a BSc (Psychology and Economics), a Graduate Dip (Management) and has completed Business Leadership Programmes through the University of NSW and London Business School.  Joanne was appointed Rio Tinto’s Group executive, Health, Safety and Environment in July 2016, and additionally holds the position of Managing director Australia, a role that overseas Rio Tinto’s representation in Australia.  

During her career, Joanne has held a variety of leadership roles in human resources, training, communications, health, safety, environment, government and community relations at both a corporate level and in Rio Tinto’s key commodities including iron ore, exploration, energy, aluminium, diamonds and coal. She has worked in most of the states of Australia as well as in the UK and the USA. Joanne is a director of Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts, a member of Chief Executive Women, the Business Council’s Economic and Competitiveness as well as their Governance and Citizenship Committees.  In addition she is a Special Advisor on the Male Champions of Change and one of the Co-Chairs for the B20’s Energy, Climate and Resource Efficiency Taskforce.   In 2012 Joanne was awarded the Chamber of Minerals and Energy WA Women in Resources Champion and recently was recognised as one of the Australian Financial Review and Westpac’s 100 Women of Influence for 2016.


Photo:Gerard Forlin QC

Gerard Forlin QC

Barrister, Cornerstone Barristers

Gerard has practised, consulted or lectured in over 60 countries. His broad practice covers:

  • Civil, Criminal and Commercial Litigation: Professional discipline, healthcare, product liability, consumer crime, commercial fishing (EU and global), licensing, corruption and bribery, construction, aviation, fraud and inquests.
  • Environment: Oil and gas, environmental crime including water pollution and fishing quotas, and waste offences. He also acts for the Environment Agency on policy issues.
  • Health and Safety Inquests and Inquiries: Public inquiries, human rights and inquests. He has been involved in over 300 fatality cases and has appeared in many of the major cases in this field in the last ten years, both in the UK and abroad.
  • Local Authority Governance and Services: Health and safety, healthcare, environmental matters and inquests.
  • Public Law and Judicial Review, including case stated matters
  • Regulatory Law: Corporate and gross negligence manslaughter, disaster litigation, aviation, railways, shipping, regulatory offences and diving.

He has published over 100 articles and authored Corporate Liability: work related deaths and criminal prosecutions (3rd Edition) Bloomsbury (2014). He appears regularly on TV and radio channels such as CNN, BBC and Sky.

Gerard was Special Adviser to the Bar Council on the Corporate Manslaughter Bill (2005), Consultant to a recent Global Aviation Concordat on Aviation Safety, Standing Counsel to numerous PLCs in the UK and abroad. Gerard also acts for Crown Departments on Crown Censure (occasional AG nomination) and is a Consultant to the Army, Governments and various police forces in the UK and around the world.


Photo:Eddy Haegel

Eduard Haegel

Asset President, BHP Nickel West

Eduard Haegel was appointed to the role of Nickel West Asset President in March 2015. Prior to this and from January 2011, Eddy was Vice President Production Mines for BHPB Iron Ore. From 2006, Eddy was the COO and Asset Lead for BHP Billiton Hunter Valley Energy Coal and was a member of the Energy Coal EXCO. His earlier experience was spent in BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance (BMA), where from 1987 he held a variety of engineering, operational, maintenance and business improvement roles culminating in his appointment to the General Manager Norwich Park.

Eddy’s commercial, technical and operational experience of open cut mining spans 25 years and four commodities. Eddy has a First Class Honours degree in Mining Engineering from the University of Queensland and has also completed the Advanced Management Program at the Harvard Business School in Boston.


Photo:Trish Kerin

Trish Kerin

Director IChemE Safety Centre, Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE)

After graduating with honours in mechanical engineering, Trish spent several years working in project management, operational and safety roles for the oil, gas and chemical industries.

Trish has represented industry on many government committees related to process safety, and sits on the board of the Australian National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority (NOPSEMA) and the Mary Kay O'Connor Process Safety Center steering committee.

Trish is a Chartered Engineer, registered Professional Process Safety Engineer, Fellow of IChemE and Fellow of Engineers Australia. Trish holds a diploma in OHS and is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (GAICD).


Photo:Niall Myles

Niall Myles

Senior Vice President Australia Operating Unit, Woodside Energy Ltd

Niall was recently appointed Senior Vice President - Australia Operating Unit and has responsibility for the safe, reliable and efficient operation of all operating assets within Australia.

Born in Belfast, Northern Ireland, Niall graduated with a Bachelor of Chemical Engineering (Honours) from Queen’s University and has 28 years’ experience in the oil and gas industry

Before joining Woodside in 1997, Niall held roles with Esso Australia Ltd and a number of consultancies in the United Kingdom.

Commencing as a Process Engineer supporting the North West Shelf Project’s Goodwyn Alpha Platform, Niall broadened his experience through a number of production planning, project, commercial and business development roles.

In 2003, Niall moved to Karratha as Operations Superintendent at the North West Shelf Project’s Karratha Gas Plant, and in 2006 became Vice President of the facility.

In 2009, Niall took up a Perth role in business development for Pluto LNG, and in 2011 went back to Karratha as VP Production Pluto, overseeing the safe and reliable start up of the Pluto LNG Project.

Prior to his new appointment, Niall was Senior Vice President - North West Shelf for four years.


Photo:Professor Malcolm Sim

Professor Malcolm Sim

Director, Monash Centre for Occupational & Environmental Health (MonCOEH), Monash University

Professor Malcolm Sim is an Occupational Physician who is Director of the Centre for Occupational and Environmental Health in the School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine at Monash University. He leads a diverse research program studying workplace and environmental hazards and their role in chronic diseases, such as cancer, respiratory disease and psychological impacts. He is a Board Member of the International Commission on Occupational Health and the Editor-in-Chief of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, the main international occupational health journal. In 2016 Malcolm led the review of the resurgence of cases of coal workers’ pneumoconiosis in Queensland coal miners for the Queensland Government.


Photo:Peter Wilkinson

Peter Wilkinson

General Manager, Risk, Noetic Group

Peter Wilkinson specialises in high risk industries. Peter spent 27 years as a regulator in the UK HSE, with the last 4 years in Australia leading the team that has developed the National Offshore Petroleum Safety Authority (now NOPSEMA). From 2005–2009 Peter was on the leadership team of Caltex Australia, as GM Operational Excellence and Risk. He now consults globally, especially in oil and gas and mining. From 2011–2016 Peter provided support to the US Government’s Chemical Safety Board in their investigation into the BP Macondo/Deepwater Horizon Gulf of Mexico disaster in which 11 people died – it is known as the USA’s worst oil spill.