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Industry speakers

Learn from industry's finest

Learning from the lessons of those who have worked extensively on major projects is key to the John Grill Centre learning experience. Board members and senior executives from a range of industries join our programs to share their insights.

David Higgins

Sir David Higgins
High Speed 2, UK

David was appointed Chief Executive Designate of the Olympic Delivery Authority in December 2005 & appointed Chief Executive with effect from 30 March 2006. Prior to December 2005, he was Chief Executive of English Partnerships, the Government’s national regeneration agency, for 3 years.

On 1 April 2010, he was appointed a non Executive Director of Network Rail Infrastructure Ltd. On 28 September 2010, he was appointed Chief Executive of Network Rail Infrastructure Limited with effect from 1 February 2011 until February 2014.

On 1 January 2014, he was appointed Chairman of High Speed Two (HS2) Ltd.

David graduated in Civil Engineering from the University of Sydney & holds a Diploma from the Securities Institute of Australia. Following graduation, he spent time working in the UK & Africa, returning to Australia in 1981 & joined the Lend Lease Group, an international property & construction company, in 1985. In 1995, he was appointed Managing Director & Group Chief Executive of the Group.

Anna Booth

Anna Booth
Deputy President
Australia’s Fair Work Commission

Prior to her appointment as Deputy President of the Fair Work Commission in February 2012 Anna Booth was a director of the workplace relations consulting firm CoSolve Pty Ltd, Chair of listed consumer law firm Slater & Gordon Ltd and a non-executive director of retail and wholesale financial services companies, Members Equity Bank and Industry Funds Management (owned by industry superannuation funds).

Anna has served on the boards of the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, the National Road Motorists Association (NRMA), the Centre for Policy Development and the Commission for Children and Young People. She was a member of the Sydney Organising Committee for the Olympic Games (SOCOG) and was the Chair of the Torch Relay Committee. She was also the National Secretary of the Textile, Clothing and Footwear Union of Australia and a Vice President of the ACTU.

Steven Sargent

Steven Sargent
Non-executive Director

Steven Sargent joined the Origin board in 2015 and is Chairman of the Origin Foundation. Steven is Chairman of OFX Group Ltd, Non-executive Director of Nanosonics Ltd and the Great Barrier Reef Foundation. Over recent years he has been a Non-executive Director of Veda Group Limited and Bond University Ltd. Steven was also a member of the Australian Treasurer’s Financial Sector Advisory Council, President of the American Chamber of Commerce and a Director on the Board of the Business Council of Australia.

Steven’s most recent executive role was President and Chief Executive Officer of GE Mining, GE’s global mining technology and services business. He joined GE Capital in 1993 and held a number of global leadership positions with the company, spanning the US, Europe and Asia. He was a member of the Australian B20 Leadership Group and Coordinating Chair of the B20 Human Capital Taskforce.


Michelle Tredenick

Michelle Tredenick
Non-executive Director
Bank of Queensland and Canstar

Michelle is a company director with extensive experience in businesses operating in a broad range of industries, including financial services, education and training, health insurance and the superannuation sector. She has deep experience in businesses and industries undergoing change and runs her own corporate advisory business advising boards and CEOs on strategy and technology.

Michelle currently serves on listed and private company boards, including ASX listed - BOQ and private company Canstar - Australia's leading ratings and research provider. She is also a Non Executive Director of Cricket Australia and chair of the IAG/NRMA Superannuation Fund. In the NFP sector, she is a Board member of the Ethics Centre and a Member of the University of Queensland Senate.

Her executive career included roles on the group executive teams of a number of Australia’s largest companies including NAB, MLC and Suncorp.

Leigh Clifford

Leigh Clifford AO
Qantas and Bechtel Australia

Leigh Clifford was appointed Chairman of the Qantas Board on 14 November 2007, having been a Qantas Director since 9 August 2007.

Leigh is also a Director of Bechtel Group Inc in the USA and Chairman of Bechtel Australia Pty Ltd, Senior Adviser to Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co, Chairman of the Murdoch Childrens Research Institute and a member of the Council of Trustees of the National Gallery of Victoria, and also Chairman of the National Gallery of Victoria Foundation.

Leigh retired as Chief Executive and Director of Rio Tinto, after 37 years with the company, in 2007. He is a qualified mining engineer, having graduated from the University of Melbourne with a Bachelor of Engineering (Mining) and a Master of Engineering Science.