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ICRAR is governed by a nine member competency-based board established under the Joint Venture Agreement and appointed by the State Government.

Dr David Skellern is the current Board Chair and we extend a warm welcome to him.

We would like to thank our previous Board Chairs Dr Jacqui Coombes (acting) and Dr Ken Michael for their guidance and advice. The previous, and inaugural, chair was Dr Bernard Bowen. We thank Dr Bowen for his service and his instrumental role in the formation and growth of ICRAR since 2009.

Current Members

Professor Virginia Kilborn

Independent member

Appointed August 2018

E: virginia.kilborn@icrar.org

Professor Virginia Kilborn is a radio astronomer with the Centre for Astrophysics and Supercomputing at Swinburne University. Her primary research interests include tracing galaxy evolution by studying the neutral hydrogen gas in galaxies, and she is now working towards preparations for surveys with the next generation radio telescopes, such as the Australian SKA Pathfinder (ASKAP) and the SKA. Professor Kilborn is involved in the WALLABY ASKAP hydrogen survey, and is also chair of one of the survey’s scientific working groups.

Ms Jahna Cedar

Independent Member

Appointed September 2020

E: jahna.cedar@icrar.org

Jahna Cedar is a Nyiyaparli/Yindjibarndi woman from the Pilbara region of Western Australia, with family connection to the Gija people of the Kimberleys, and is recognised as a strong Indigenous community leader. She has worked for over 20 years advocating for equal rights and reconciliation of Indigenous people and has represented Indigenous Australia at the United Nations in New York, on three occasions. In 2012, Jahna was the youngest person to be elected into the West Australian International Women’s Day Hall of Fame and in 2017 proudly won Business news 40 under 40, First amongst equals. Jahna was also awarded Telstra Business Women Awards WA – For Purpose and Social Enterprise Winner in 2017 and enjoys speaking at various events on issues of social justice, Indigenous rights and business management.

A motivational leader, Jahna’s corporate experience includes 18 years in business/human resources management and consultancy, including the implementation of organisational and change management strategies, projects and policy development, in both the Not for Profit and Private sector.

Offering an innate leadership style and proven business acumen, Jahna drives consistent results and is passionate about encouraging and developing others, while working ethically towards corporate and strategic goals. Jahna is dedicated to challenging preconceptions, breaking down damaging stereotypes and working hard to make a difference for Indigenous people, specifically women and youth.

Dr Jacqui Coombes

Independent Member

Appointed September 2020

E: jacqui.coombes@icrar.org

Dr Jacqui Coombes is Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Amira Global.  Amira Global is a global, member-based, not-for-profit organisation that provides platforms for thought leadership; builds collaborations to address key R&D and Innovation breakthroughs; and develops pathways to enable those outcomes to be delivered in industry.

Jacqui is a minerals industry thought leader with experience across the mine value chain, commodities, and across the globe.  Jacqui’s passion for governance frameworks and accelerating change in society is augmented by her skill in building collaboration across the industry, government and academia; her experience in developing capability of businesses and people; and her deep commitment to fundamental science and integrity of data.

Jacqui holds a Bachelor of Science degree (double major: Statistics and Mathematics); a Masters degree in Statistics; a Masters degree in Resources and Commercial Law; and a PhD in statistical reasoning and competency development.

Ms Linda Dawson

Nominated Member

Appointed November 2020

E: linda.dawson@icrar.org

Linda is a senior executive with more than 25 years experience working in large Australian and multinational organisations across the resources and utilities sectors. She has held diverse portfolio roles across operations, human resources, health safety environment, corporate affairs, corporate services and community social performance functions. She currently works with Western Australian state government Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science and Innovation as the Deputy Director General Industry, Science and Innovation.

Linda holds a Masters of Education and Bachelor of Physical Education from the University of Western Australia, is a Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, Certified Professional of the Australian Human Resource Institute and Fellow of the Australian Institute of Management.

She is also currently a Board Member of Workpower, Scitech and AROSE; Vice Chair of Midland Womens Health Care Place Inc and a member of the Sir Charles Gardiner and Osborne Park Hospital Human Research Ethics Committee.

Professor Melinda Fitzgerald

Nominated member

Appointed July 2023

E: lindy.fitzgerald@icrar.org

John Curtin Distinguished Professor Melinda Fitzgerald is the Interim Deputy Vice Chancellor, Research at Curtin University and CEO of Connectivity Traumatic Brain Injury Australia.

Lindy is responsible for the development and implementation of strategies, frameworks, and activities to achieve the University’s strategic goals in research and IP commercialisation, including Curtin’s Resources Technology and Critical Minerals Trailblazer funded by the federal government.

Professor Fitzgerald also leads a team of researchers and post-graduate students in nationally coordinated research focused around understanding and preventing the loss of function that occurs following neurotrauma.

Mr Bhavesh Morar

Independent Member

Appointed August 2023

E: bhavesh.morar@icrar.org

Bhavesh is a senior finance executive with over 25 years of strategic, financial and commercial experience in complex multinational organisations.

Over the past two decades, he has worked in multiple sectors including resources, engineering & construction and professional services and on a broad range of issues, including business turnarounds, transformational change, performance improvement, and scaling up start-up enterprises.

Bhavesh provides a unique perspective on business challenges approached from a systems thinking approach, and combined with multi sector experiences, allows him to provide clear, concise and practical insights for executives to implement.

Bhavesh holds a Bachelor of Economics from Macquarie University; is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia & NZ; and a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Professor Anna Nowak

Nominated member

Appointed September 2023

E: anna.nowak@icrar.org

Professor Anna Nowak is Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) and has responsibility for research policy development and leadership of the University’s research activities, postgraduate education, industry liaison, intellectual property and commercialisation.

Professor Nowak is a medical oncologist and clinician scientist who completed both her undergraduate medical degree and her PhD in tumour immunology at The University of Western Australia (UWA). A post-doctoral fellowship in clinical trials and quality of life research at the NHMRC Clinical Trials Centre in Sydney gave her a true bench to bedside research perspective. Anna has been a clinical academic in the UWA Medical School since 2005, and has built a strong research program encompassing laboratory, murine, translational and clinical trials work, with a focus on mesothelioma. Her research has been funded by NHMRC, Cancer Australia, Cancer Council WA, the US Department of Defense, and through industry partnerships and philanthropy. Anna represents her discipline on a number of international research and policy groups in this field. She embraces collaboration, and has built longstanding productive partnerships with researchers in psycho-oncology, public health, palliative care, imaging and clinical trials locally, nationally, and internationally. In 2018, Anna was named Cancer Researcher of the Year by the Cancer Council of WA, and in 2021 received both the International Mesothelioma Interest Group’s prestigious Wagner Medal for her contribution to mesothelioma research, and the Medical Oncology Group of Australia’s inaugural Martin H Tattersall’s Heroes Award for her mentorship, advocacy and contributions to the discipline.

Anna’s research leadership experience includes her role as Pro Vice Chancellor (Health and Medical Research) at UWA, Associate Dean (Research) of UWA’s Faculty of Health & Medical Sciences, as Director of the National Centre for Asbestos Related Diseases since 2018, and as Chair of the national brain cancer collaborative clinical trials group COGNO from 2017 to 2020. She is a member of the Cancer Council WA Board. Anna is passionate about mentoring, collaboration, building a positive culture for research staff and students, and women in science.

Dr David Skellern

Board Chair

Appointed April 2024

E: david.skellern@icrar.org

Dr Skellern has worked in radio astronomy for 10 years and taught electronics at the University of Sydney and Macquarie Universities for 16 years. He came to prominence in the IT industry, co-founding Radiata in 1997. Building on joint research at Macquarie University and CSIRO, Radiata demonstrated the world’s first chip-set implementation of the 54Mbit/s lEEE 802.11a high speed WLAN standard. Radiata was sold in 2001 to Cisco Systems Inc, where Dr Skellern was Director, Technology of the Wireless Networking Business Unit until 2004. He was appointed to the Board of National ICT Australia in 2003 and was Chief Executive Officer 2005-2010.

Dr Skellern was formerly on the Board of the Capital Markets CRC (CMCRC) as a Director 2004-2019 and Chair 2013-2019, then Chair of RoZetta Institute Ltd (formerly CMCRC) 2019-2022 and on the Boards of eight other RoZetta group companies.

Dr Skellern is currently Chair of Quasar Satellite Technologies Pty Ltd, Semiconductor Sector Service Bureau (S3B) and Australian Innovation eXchange Pty Ltd (AIX), and a Director of Trovio Pte Ltd, METS Ignited Limited and digi.cash Pty Ltd.

In 2012 he received The Order of Australia.

Dr Skellern commenced as Board Chair on April 1 2024.

Dr Douglas Bock

CSIRO Nominated Member

Appointed May 2024

E: douglas.bock@icrar.org

Dr Douglas Bock serves as Director, Space and Astronomy at CSIRO, and Director of the Australia Telescope National Facility. He also represents Australia on the Council of the SKA Observatory.

Douglas leads CSIRO’s activities in Space and Astronomy, including NASA’s Canberra Deep Space Communication Complex (operated by CSIRO), CSIRO’s Space Research Program and Centre for Earth Observation, and CSIRO’s radio astronomy activities (instrumentation, astrophysics research, SKA Observatory planning and pre-construction work, and the Australia Telescope National Facility)

From 2010 to 2016, Douglas led the operation of the Australian SKA Pathfinder (ASKAP), the Parkes Telescope, Australia Telescope Compact Array (ATCA), and the Mopra Telescope – which are used by more than 400 Australian and overseas scientists each year. He oversaw the transition of ASKAP and the Murchison Radio-Astronomy Observatory from construction to early science and was active in planning for the SKA. His early career was focussed on the development and operation of radio astronomy technology and observatories in Australia and the United States.

Douglas is a Fellow of the of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering, of the International Union of Radio Science (URSI), and of the Astronomical Society of Australia

Former Members

  • Dr Ken Michael, Chair, January 2015 – June 2022
  • Dr David Williams, Nominated member, July 2015 – November 2021
  • Professor Brian Boyle, independent member, February 2009 – August 2012
  • Dr Vanessa Guthrie, independent member, February 2011 – March 2013
  • Professor Alistar Robertson, nominated member, February 2009 – November 2012
  • Mr Phillip Jenkins, nominated member, February 2009 – 2014
  • Professor Lyn Beazley, independent member, February 2009 – 2014
  • Dr Kerry Sanderson, independent member, July 2013 – October 2014
  • Ms Michelle Reynolds, nominated member, June – December 2014
  • Professor Tom Spurling, nominated member, February 2009 – June 2015
  • Ms Jennifer McGrath, nominated member, December 2014 – August 2015
  • Professor Graeme Wright, nominated member, May 2012 – July 2016
  • Dr Bernard Bowen, chair, February 2009 – July 2016
  • Professor Ron Ekers, independent member, November 2012 – June 2018
  • Professor Robyn Owens, nominated member, November 2012 – June 2020
  • Ms Fiona Roche, nominated member, September 2015 – August 2020
  • Dr Erica Smyth, independent member, July 2016 – May 2020
  • Dr Tom Hatton, independent member, July 2014 – June 2020
  • Mr Graham McHarrie, independent member, July 2009 – December 2022
  • Professor Chris Moran, nominated member, August 2016 – July 2023
  • Professor Tim Colmer, nominated member, September 2020 – September 2023
  • Professor Elanor Huntington, CSIRO nominated member, November 2022-May 2024