A visionary is a pioneer.
A visionary sees things that others don’t.
A visionary inspires.
A visionary lights the way for others.

Our visionaries are all people who’ve made a difference in their industries by seeing opportunities others haven’t.


Our advocates have been championing their industries, Business Events Tasmania and the beyond tourism benefit of business events for years.


Karen Rees

Tasmanian Antarctic Advocate 

Passionate Antarctic advocate specialising in connecting people and businesses with opportunities for the benefit of Antarctica and Tasmania and public sector policy development. Karen is Tasmania’s Antarctic Advocate. 

Full bio – 


Professor Gretta Pecl

Professor of Climate Change Ecology

Professor of Climate Change Ecology and IPCC Lead Author, Professor Gretta Pecl has been ranked in the top 200 most influential climate scientists in the world. With a rich background in research Gretta’s focus has been on the impact of climate change on natural systems and helping with the development of adaptation options for conservation, fisheries and aquaculture. 

Full Bio – 

Greg Oates

Associate Professor Mathematics Education, Programme Director BEd (Primary) and Deputy Associate Head Teaching and Learning, School of Education, University of Tasmania.

Professor Greg Oates has committed his career to passionately advocate and advance mathematics learning and teach. Associate Professor in Mathematics Education and Associate Head of Learning, Teaching and Performance at the University of Tasmania, Greg is a leader in mathematics education. 

Full bio – 

Irene Penesis

Research Director at Blue Economy CRC; Professor at Australian Maritime College

Research Director of the Blue Economy CRC, an industry-driven research and development initiative to enhance the development of Australia’s blue economy, Irene is an expert in the maritime industry. 

Full bio – 

Theo Kapodistrias

Founder, Theo Kapodistrias – Speaker & Coach

Multi-award-winning lawyer having worked in the higher education, cyber security, tourism, and energy industries. Theo was named one of Australia’s Most Influential Lawyers by the Australasian Lawyer magazine. He is also the director and Tasmanian President of the Association of Corporate Counsel Australia.   

Full bio – 


Tracey Dickson

Director – Menzies Institute for Medical Research

Professor Dickson has a PhD in Neuroscience and is the Director of the Menzies Institute for Medical Research. She has an excellent track record, national and international reputation, and over 20 years’ experience in the fields of neurodegenerative disease research, particularly Motor Neuron disease and Parkinson’s disease. She is a passionate advocate for the Menzies mission to perform international significant medical research leading to healthier, longer, and better lives for all Tasmanians.

Full bio – 

Sam Elsom

Chief Executive Officer at Sea Forest

A pioneer of Tasmania’s seaweed industry, Sam Elsom continues to open eyes and disseminate his green-focused modus operandi on the global stage.

Sam is a passionate environmentalist with over 15 years’ experience in sustainability. Having founded one of Australia’s first sustainable apparel businesses to measuring social and environmental impact across supply chains as well as implementing a satellite factory in India to support poor communities with income, training, clean water and education. Sam was drawn to explore seaweed cultivation for its impressive capacity to sequester CO2 as a potential solution to reverse climate change leding Sam to found Sea Forest.

Full bio –



Our Leaders showcase Tasmanian industry through business events on their field.

Professor Seana GallAssociate Professor – Menzies Institute of Medical Research | Epidemiologist

A/Prof Seana Gall is an epidemiologist studying the risk factors and outcomes for heart disease and strokes. She is currently leading Australia’s first research program dedicated to stroke prevention – Synergies to Prevent Stroke (STOPstroke) – and chairs the Tobacco Control Coalition, a Tasmanian government initiative responsible for developing the state’s tobacco control plan.

Full Bio – 


Adam Mostogl

Educator | Advisor | Facilitator 

As the CEO & Chief Entrepreneur of The Van Diemen Project, Adam helps people start businesses with confidence, supporting existing businesses to grow and be resilient in these changing times, kickstarting social enterprises, running engaging workshops and events as well as private advisory work to help larger organisations change for the better. 

Adam is the Founder / Inspirer of illuminate Education Australia, which focuses on inspiring students to be the confident, creative and capable people they have the potential to be. Not only are these programs changing the lives of young Australians, but it is also shifting the way schools across the nation teach and inspire students with the skills that they need to thrive. 

Full Bio – 

Anne Gigney

Founder and Co-Director at The Distillers Institute | Director IBD Board Asia-Pacific | Distilling education advocate 

Founder of the Tasmanian Whiskey Academy and co-founder of the Distillers Institute, Anne showcases the greatness of Tasmania’s distilling industry to people coming from interstate and overseas through her distilling education courses. 

Full bio – 



Sean Van Steel  

Operations Director at Core Marine 

Tassie raised; Sean is an AMC alumnus who alongside business partner Ben founded Core Marine over three years ago in Norway. 

Now running the Australian branch from here in Tasmania the focus is on providing engineering solutions that unlock the ocean space as a sustainable resource. 

Full bio – 

Dr. G. Reza Emad

Senior Lecturer | AMC Masters of Applied Science Course Coordinator | Cognitive Human Element and Maritime Education Professional 

Born and raised in Iran, Reza has worked and trained around the world in classrooms and ships in the pursuit of rectifying the disconnect that can be present between what is taught in the classrooms of universities and what is vital knowledge for those working within the maritime industry.

This pursuit saw Reza working and training at some of the world’s leading maritime colleges in Sweden and Canada before making the move to what remains his home, the #1 maritime college in the world – The Australian Maritime College (AMC) – in 2015.

Full bio – 



Andi Lucas

Founder – X-Hemp & NSP Development | | President – Tasmanian Hemp Association

Founder and managing director at X-Hemp – Tasmania’s first fibre processing factory in Tasmania – Andi is committed to fighting climate change through the discovery of alternative natural building materials that are both long lasting and fire resilient.

Full bio –

Catriona Hurd

Professor Seaweed Physiology and Ecology

Professor at the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies (IMAS), Catriona Hurd is an expert in her field having studied around the world including Canada and New Zealand. 

Full bio – 

Sam Reid

Managing Director, Du Cane Brewing and Director at Willie Smith’s Cider

Co-founder of Willie Smith’s Cider Makers – one of Australia’s leading craft cider companies  Sam Reid is a leading voice for the cider industry in Australia. As an expert in his field, Sam offers in-depth and profound knowledge on the alcoholic beverage industry. 

Full bio – 

Fiona Turner

CEO of Bitwise Agronomy

CEO of Bitwise Agronomy  a company providing innovative technology delivering operational and yield insight for farmers – Fiona Turner is a trailblazer for the agricultural industry. A farmer herself she understands the challenges farmers face and has worked to create new solutions for age old problems. 

Full bio – 

Andy Flies

Postdoctoral research fellow – Immunology – University of Tasmania

See Andy’s profile

Pat Wongpan

University of Tasmania · Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies (IMAS) Doctor of Philosophy

A quantitative sea ice biogeochemist/ecologist at the Australian Antarctic Program Partnership Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies, University of Tasmania. Pat obtained his PhD from University of Otago in New Zealand, was a David Crighton fellow at University of Cambridge, and was a JSPS Postdoctoral fellow at the Institute of Low Temperature Science, Hokkaido University, Japan. 

Full bio – 

Dorothy Roberts

Generation Minister, Door of Hope Christian Church

Dorothy Roberts is dedicated to delivering programs and events that provide parents with a safe, positive environment for their whole family. 

Full bio – 

Dr Cynthia Honan

Senior Lecturer & Clinical Neuropsychologist at University of Tasmania

Dr Cynthia Honan is a clinical neuropsychologist and lecturer within the School of Medicine at the University of Tasmania (Utas).

Cynthia’s research focuses on the neuropsychology of various clinical disorders including multiple sclerosis and acquired brain injury. She has a specific interest in social cognition, cognitive fatigue and cognitive biomarkers, meta-social-cognitive functioning, and functional outcomes (e.g., employment and meaningful occupation).

Full bio – 

Jane Woollard

Associate Head Learning and Teaching, Senior Lecturer in Theatre and Performance, School of Creative Arts and Media at University of Tasmania.

Theatre Director, playwright, and dramaturg with a demonstrated history of working in the performing arts industry and in Community Cultural Development. Jane Woollard is skilled in teaching acting, Shakespeare, Musical Theatre, and Movement. Strong arts and design professional with a Doctorate in early nineteenth-century Australian Theatre from La Trobe University. 

Full bio – 

Stephanie Trethewey 

Founder & CEO – Motherland, 2024 Australian of the Year for Tasmania, 2022 Rural Woman of the Year 

Stephanie Trethewey is the 2024 Australian of the Year for Tasmania. She’s a visionary leader who has transformed personal challenges into a nationwide movement to support rural mothers across Australia. Stephanie’s transition from life in the city and a successful career in television journalism, to embracing farm life and rural motherhood in Tasmania, has been both a brutal and beautiful journey. Her struggles with postnatal depression and isolation inspired the creation of Motherland, a national charity that fervently advocates for the mental health and well-being of rural mothers, and celebrates and connects them through platforms like the Motherland podcast and Motherland Village program.

Full bio – 

Robyn Moore AM 

Professional Speaker, Voice Actor 

A passionate Tasmanian, Robyn has been one of Australia’s most in-demand Speakers for 30 years. Her “Life-Altering” presentations re-set Corporate Cultures, re-engage people with their Vocation, Family, Relationships and restore Communities during challenging times.

As an Educator, she has inspired tens of thousands of Students at Leadership Forums and in schools around Australasia…and her iconic characters in Animation and in Political-Satire on radio, have entranced the nation since the 1980s. Robyn has also been a Volunteer for many charities over 30 years, helping to raise $1 million+…and is privileged to be the National Patron (and a Wish-Granter) with Make-A-Wish Australia.

Full bio – 

Rachel Power 

Owner, Mt Field Retreat, Waterfalls Cafe & Gallery 

During her time as a writer for one of Australia’s first ever family travel blogs – The Great Aussie Road Trip – that was designed to inspire families to experience Australia; Rachel and her family fell in love with Tasmania and quickly decided to move here for the foreseeable future.

With Mt Field National Park becoming the family’s favourite location in Tasmania, Rachel became a Tasmanian business owner after purchasing the Waterfalls Café & Gallery.

Full bio – 

Dr Jeff Hawkins 

Managing Director | Pivot Maritime International

Dr Jeff Hawkins is the Managing Director of Pivot Maritime International, a Tasmanian company that specialises in maritime simulation systems and maritime consultancy services.

Jeff has over 30 years professional experience in the maritime industry. A Master Mariner, he has a solid background in international shipping, port management, and strategic and financial management. He holds a PhD in Maritime Strategic Planning, Master of Science in International Shipping, Master of Education, Graduate Diploma in Business (Shipping), and Bachelor of Commerce (Economics).

Full bio – 

Dr Louise Grimmer

Retail & Consumer Expert | Speaker, Advisor, Commentator, Columnist | Author

Dr Louise Grimmer from the University of Tasmania is Australia’s leading expert on local and small city retailing and consumer shopping behaviour.

Her research focuses on small stores, improving main streets and consumer trends. She was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship, and is the only Australian awarded Senior Fellow status of the Institute of Place Management in the UK.

Full bio – 

Ally Bradley

Executive General Manager (Victoria, Tasmania, South Australia and Northern Territory) – Southern Cross Austereo

Ally is a passionate leader with a dynamic media career spanning over two decades. Her journey began with a fervent passion for radio, nurtured while traversing regional Australia. Since 2015, she has called Hobart home, in 2018, Ally ascended to the role of General Manager at Southern Cross Austereo, where she oversaw leading TV and radio stations. By September 2023, her expansive role encompassed South Australia and the Northern Territory, unifying all SCA Channel 7 assets under her innovative leadership.

Full bio – 

Natalie Fryar

Distiller, Sparkling Wine Maker and Consultant

Driven by the knowledge that Tasmania creates sparkling wines of detail and precision, dubbed “Australia’s Sparkling Queen”, Natalie has devoted her career to crafting exquisite wines. She has over 30 years’ experience making wines from the finest regions in the country, from Margaret River to the Victorian High Country, from Henty to the Barossa, and most in between. That passion led her to Tasmania and in 2015 saw the establishment of Bellebonne: to solely focus on creating Australia’s best sparkling wine.

Full bio – 


Express your interest in joining our visionary program today.

Join our visionary program