Here are some of the speakers who have committed at this stage –


  • The honorable Member for Sturt and Federal Minister for Defence Industries,  Mr Christopher Pyne
    In 1993, at the age of 25, Christopher Pyne was elected to the House of Representatives for the seat of Sturt.Christopher is the Minister for Defence Industry and Leader of the House of Representatives. As Minister for Defence Industry, Christopher is responsible for delivering the $200 billion build up of Australia’s military capability, the largest in our peacetime history.In his time in Parliament he has also served as Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science, developing and delivering the National Innovation and Science Agenda, a transformative economic plan to encourage Australians to embrace risk and commercialise their ideas.Christopher also spent two years as Minister for Education and Training, and in this role, amongst other things, he reformed the National Curriculum, introduced compulsory literacy and numeracy testing for Australian teaching graduates and expanded phonics teaching in remote schools in northern Australia.Christopher is a member of many community, social, and sporting groups in his electorate, and is an Adelaide Crows Ambassador and supporter of the Norwood Redlegs Football Club.





  • Dr Tim Cooper – Coopers Brewery
    A fifth-generation brewer, Tim Cooper began professional life as a doctor, completing medical studies (MBBS, Adelaide) in 1979. He practised hospital medicine for nine years, working mainly in the UK as a Registrar in medicine and cardiology. He conducted medical research in Bristol to complete a Doctor of Medicine (MD, Bristol) in 1990. He has written several papers on the investigation of pulmonary embolism, along with other papers on cardiopulmonary disease. Tim took time off medicine in 1986-87 to study Brewing Science (MSc, Birmingham) before joining the family company in 1990.After starting in the brewery as Technical Manager, Tim became Operations Manager in 1993, and subsequently Operations Director in 1997. He studied part-time from 1995-97, obtaining an MBA from the University of Adelaide in 1998. From 1999-2001 he was responsible, as Project Director, for the development and construction of Coopers Brewery at Regency Park. He became Managing Director in 2002.Tim also holds the role of Deputy President of the Institute of Brewing & Distilling, a members’ organisation recognised globally throughout the professions of malting, brewing, distilling and cider making.Tim was awarded a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in 2008 for service to the brewing industry, particularly through environmentally sustainable production and manufacturing practices, to professional organisations, and to the community.




  • Sophie Thomson- Sophies Patch
    Sophie Thomson’s enduring love affair with plants and gardening was inherited from her plant loving parents and her early training began working at the family nursery in the Adelaide Hills.What started-out as a necessity eventually became a key driver in her life as she steadily acquired in-depth knowledge of the nursery’s large collection of rare and distinctive plant varieties.  After the nursery was sold, Sophie embarked as a garden consultant and took an active role in the media.Sophie Thomson lights up the screen as ABC television’s Gardening Australia South Australian presenter, where her enthusiasm for gardening inspires people of all ages. She is also a popular newspaper columnist, national public speaker, TEDx presenter, author, broadcaster and horticulturalist.  As well as writing for the Gardening Australia magazine, Sophie writes the weekly gardening column for the Adelaide Sunday Mail and the Weekender Herald.Sophie’s first book From the Ground Up – a complete guide for South Australian Gardeners was released in November 2008 and was judged the best general gardening book in Australia at the 2009 biennial Laurel Awards for Horticultural Media of Australia.  It was the first South Australian book to win this award.  Sophie co-authored the Reader’s Digest book Waterwise Gardening and the Reader’s Digest publication The Ultimate Book of Vegetables.  Her next book ‘Sophie’s Patch’ is due out in autumn 2018.She lives at Sophie’s Patch – a three-acre property in the Adelaide Hills, with husband Richard, five children under 16 and a menagerie of animals.  Over the last five years they have created a remarkable garden around the old stone cottage on what was once a bare paddock.  The Patch includes numerous contained spaces as well as a fully productive organic vegie patch, more than 100 fruit and nut trees and what she hopes one day will be a breathtaking, climate compatible ornamental garden.


  • Rod Hook  & Associates – Infrastructure Project Consultant

    Rod Hook is a highly respected and experienced leader having been involved in delivering outcomes in a wide range of sectors including infrastructure, transport, planning, environment and property services.   He is best known for his leadership roles in successfully delivering infrastructure that has changed the way people live, work and do business in South Australia such as the Adelaide Oval Redevelopment, Riverbank footbridge, tram extensions, Port River Expressway, Northern Expressway, Southern Expressway, underpasses and overpasses, Adelaide Convention Centre Redevelopments and deepening of South Australia’s port. 
    Rod Hook and Associates (RHA) contributes to the delivery of beneficial outcomes in the cities and regions of Australia and, where opportunities arise, overseas.RHA prides itself on its experience, ethics and outcome-orientated approach.  Our specialty is finding a way to get results and deliver for our clients. We tailor our approach and role depending on the situation and your need.We have been instrumental in bringing together teams to deliver transformational projects in South Australia.




  • Professor Tanya Monro

    Professor Tanya Monro is Deputy Vice Chancellor Research and Innovation and an ARC Georgina Sweet Laureate Fellow at the University of South Australia.

    Tanya was the inaugural Director of the Institute for Photonics and Advanced Sensing (IPAS) from 2008 to 2014 and was also the inaugural Director for the ARC Centre of Excellence for Nanoscale BioPhotonics (CNBP) at the University of Adelaide.  Her research is in the field of photonics, with a focus on sensing, lasers and new classes of optical fibres.

    Tanya obtained her PhD in physics in 1998 from The University of Sydney, for which she was awarded the Bragg Gold Medal for the best Physics PhD in Australia. In 2000, she received a Royal Society University Research Fellowship at the Optoelectronics Research Centre at the University of Southampton in the UK, and is also an inaugural Bragg Fellow of the Royal Institution of Australia (RiAus).

    Prof Monro is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science (AAS) the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering (ATSE), the Optical Society of America (OSA) and the Australian Institute of Physics.  She is a member of the Prime Minister’s Commonwealth Science Council (CSC), and a Board Member of the Commonwealth Science and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), the South Australian Defence Advisory Board, and the South Australian Economic Development Board.

    Tanya’s awards include: Eureka Prize for Excellence in Interdisciplinary Scientific Research, South Australia’s “Australian of the Year”, Scopus Young Researcher of the Year, South Australian Scientist of the Year, and the Prime Minister’s Malcolm McIntosh Prize for Physical Scientist of the Year.


  • Dr Peter Sutherland OAM
    Dr Peter Sutherland trained in Australia, the USA and the UK and has since gained over twenty five years experience in Urological practice. He was the Head of the Urology Department at Adelaide’s largest teaching hospital, The Royal Adelaide for twenty years. With the University of Adelaide’s Department of Surgery, he manages a team of researchers offering trials of new drugs and techniques for many Urological conditions.Dr Sutherland’s particular areas of interest are prostate cancer, laser treatment of prostatic obstruction, kidney disease and erectile dysfunction. He was instrumental in leading the first surgical team to introduce robotic radical prostatectomy into the Australian public health system. He has performed more than 2000 da Vinci procedures over an 11 year period making him one of the most experienced robotic surgeons in Australia.  He continues to complete more than 130 cases a year and through his association with the Royal Adelaide Hospital he provides a robotic service to both public and private patients.


  • Michael Aish
    At his peak, Norwood’s Michael Aish was among the finest South Australian footballers of his generation. His slight frame belied his extraordinary courage and a tremendous capacity for hard work, and he topped this off with a sublime range of skills that made him exhilarating to watch in full flight. A popular winner of the Magarey Medal as a twenty year old in 1981, he won Norwood’s club champion award on four occasions, and was a member of Redlegs premiership teams in 1982 and 1984. 

During the course of his 307 game league career between 1979 and 1993 he resisted overtures from at least five different VFL clubs, content to eke out his trade in familiar but by no means less challenging surroundings. Captain of Norwood from 1987 to 1989, Aish also counted captaincy of his state, for which he played on 15 occasions, among his football achievements. A dual All Australian – the only Redlegs player to be so honoured more than once – he was chosen as a ruck-rover in the Redlegs’ official ‘Team of the Twentieth Century’. He is the son of former Norwood captain Peter Aish.

Retirement and the Next Chapter……  I know I’ve said this a million times and then had more come backs than Sinatra, but this time I’m for real. I’m retiring from the sport of Athletics and moving on. Time to start looking for a real job. For as long as I can remember, I’ve always been a “runner”. I remember the first time I put “athlete” down as my occupation on a customs form. When I got to the counter, the customs officer asked me if I had any drugs? As the color started to drain from my face, he then informed me that I’d probably need them if I wanted to compete with those Africans…. Nonetheless I kept at it without the drugs, and the rest is history.

It’s been 25 years since I put down my skateboard, kind of, and focused on running and I sometimes still can’t believe that it was real. Running changed my life.
I went from a welfare child to traveling the world and staying in fancy hotels. I got to stand on the start line with some of the best athletes in the world and race on some of the biggest stages.

Yes, there are a few things that I’d wish I’d been able to do better, and a few times looking back that I’d wished I’d rested a little more, but what can you do? It’s a hard game and it’s not always rainbows. As a whole, I’m happy with how it all worked out. My agent once told me, “The highs are really high and the lows are really low, so if you want to be in this game you better be ready to deal with it.”

I know I never really did anything amazing or won any medals on the world stage, but I’m not sure if that really matters to me now. I always felt that I gave my best and was never afraid to risk it all for a great result. I’ve been blessed to have a healthy body my whole career, so rather than run the wheels off of this old truck I think it’s time to enjoy some of my other passions in life. I turned 40 this year and as my grandmother keeps telling me, it’s time to fine a real job. Any ideas are greatly welcomed…