Nicole Andronicus is passionate about international relations, diplomacy and economic development and its impacts on cities, businesses, and local communities. As the Director of International Relations & Multicultural Affairs for the city of Brisbane, Nicole’s focus is linking local business to the world with a suite of city-wide programs and initiatives. Equally, her team design programs and facilitate introductions for both inbound and outbound Mayoral and business delegations including the United States. Nicole’s team are the secretariat for one of the largest city summits in the world- The Asia Pacific Cities Summit and Mayors’ Forum- which brings together city thinkers, makers and trailblazers to propel urban capability and best practice. Nicole has had the joy of interviewing, meeting and working with people at the top of their field including Sir Richard Branson, Olympian Lord Sebastian Coe, Netflix Co-Founder Marc Randolph, and Amazon Chief Scientist Andreas Weigend.
Simon Beard is a highly accomplished entrepreneur, having co-founded the premium streetwear brand Culture Kings in Brisbane in 2008. Culture Kings was added to a.k.a. Brands' portfolio of high growth brands in March 2021. Mr Beard is a visionary leader who rapidly grew Culture Kings from a flea market stall to one of the most unique e-commerce and brick & mortar experiences that combines fashion, music, culture and sport. Mr Beard successfully developed Culture Kings into a company at the forefront of streetwear fashion, known for its extensive, curated collection of leading global brands, as well as its attractive offering of proprietary brands and exclusive styles. He holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the Queensland University of Technology.
Nathan Dunlop is the vice president of Strategy at Tritium. Tritium is a world leader in the design, development, and manufacturing of Electric Vehicle fast chargers. Tritium is based in Brisbane, Australia but exports to over 40 countries and has deployed over 6,700 DC fast chargers globally. Nathan joined Tritium in 2018 when Tritium had grown to close to 100 employees, since then Tritium has expanded its presence internationally to three overseas office locations and nearly 600 employees. Nathan works to understand the changing landscape and trends within the evolving e-mobility market and in turn craft strategic responses for Tritium. Nathan is particularly interested in emerging new business models and the convergence of industries who are competing to supply transport energy. Most recently Nathan has supported Tritium in the journey to becoming a publicly listed company, where Tritium was listed on the NASDAQ (DCFC) in January 2022. Prior to Tritium, Nathan was a Strategy consultant focusing on the future of Utilities and Energy.
Viki Forrest commenced as commissioner for North America in April 2019. She brings to Trade and Investment Queensland more than 20 years’ experience in international business, with a particular focus on the technology sector in and around Silicon Valley. Born and raised in Australia, Viki moved to the USA in 2001 as Vice President of Marketing for Bullant Inc, a software platform for internet and wireless applications. Viki has also worked with the Forum for Women Entrepreneurs and the ANZA Technology Network, an accelerator specialising in launching overseas tech companies in the American market. Viki was appointed CEO of ANZA in 2006. She was also previously the Director of Sales Support (Asia Pacific) for Digital Equipment Corporation Australian Pty Ltd, with responsibility for markets in Australia, New Zealand and an area that stretched from Fiji to India and the 10 ASEAN nations. Throughout her career, she has participated in a number of trade missions promoting Australian products and expertise in the North American market. Viki holds a Diploma of Computer Programming (Sydney) and has completed studies at Monash University (Mount Eliza) Business School in Executive Management for Women and Leadership Development.
James Horwillis an Australian former rugby union player with 62 international caps. He captained the Wallabies 16 times, including during the 2011 Rugby World Cup. After rugby, James went into his family’s business, EGR Automotive, initially as Director of Strategic Planning and recently becoming the Global Brand and Marketing General Manager. EGR was founded in 1973, initially producing nested acrylic coffee tables, shoe stands for chain stores and plastic framed mirrors. In 1983 EGR began production of automotive accessories, and since then has gone from strength to strength as an automotive components manufacturer. Today, auto accessories is now the largest division within EGR, and the company has grown to a staff of over 1,100 internationally, including 700 employees in the USA. James is responsible for the ongoing success and expansion of EGR across all geographic markets. James recently completed an Executive MBA from University of Cambridge.
Dr Sean Parsons is a clinically trained business leader with a track record of successfully developing breakthrough medical technologies and leading the product commercialization for the benefit of human health. He is the founder, CEO and Managing Director of Ellume and serves in dual commercial and technical capacities in the company. Dr Parsons is a co-inventor of Ellume’s core pioneering quantum dot detection system technology and is named in over 40 patents and papers. He has provided the strategic vision for the company in the digital health technology space and has led the negotiation and execution of all major partnerships and collaborations.
Previously, Dr Parsons was a critical care clinician with post-graduate training in emergency and intensive care medicine, working in major metropolitan hospitals in Queensland, Australia. He holds a Bachelor of Science (BSc), Dual Major – Physiology and Biomedical Science with First Class Honors from the University of Queensland, and a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) also from the University of Queensland. Dr Parsons is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
Dalene Wray’s visionary leadership of a farmer-owned Queensland organic beef company has seen OBE Organic emerge as a progressive exemplar for innovation in the organic beef industry and broader red meat industry. She is a major force for improving the sustainability of the Australian beef industry by driving change, innovation and digital adoption at OBE Organic & acts as a role model for the rest of her industry. Dalene is focused on using her professional networks and influence, for the good of her community, her industry, our animals and the planet. She is known for her innovative and out of box thinking, championing of women’s empowerment, enhancing the profile of Australian organic agricultural product and for speaking widely on the unique opportunities & challenges which SMEs experience in overseas markets. Dalene is an effective communicator & shares her ideas and views openly on social media. Dalene grew up in the iconic outback Queensland town of Birdsville. She started her career as a radiographer and then a tour guide in France, before joining OBE Organic in 2003. Between 2009 and 2015 she gained invaluable international business experience whilst living in Beijing and then Hong Kong, driving business opportunities for OBE Organic in Asia and the Middle East. Her active involvement in the Hong Kong – Australia expat business community, served to further enhance the profile and reputation of the Australian beef industry offshore.