THE NEW chief executive of carbon capture and storage research organisation, CO2CRC, is David Byers, who steps into the role from July 23.

“David has extensive experience in the resources sector, having most recently worked as Interim CEO of the Minerals Council of Australia (MCA), the peak national body for the Australian minerals industry,” CO2CRC chairman. Former Federal Minister for Resources and Energy, Martin Ferguson said.

Mr Byers replaces Tania Constable, who has been appointed chief executive of the MCA. 

“The CO2CRC Board thanks Tania for her leadership of the CO2CRC and looks forward to David continuing the model of strong stakeholder engagement established by Tania during her four years as CO2CRC chief executive,” Mr Ferguson said.

“CO2CRC is pleased to have attracted someone of David’s experience and calibre to the role of chief executive. CO2CRC is Australia’s leading carbon capture and storage (CCS) research organisation, supporting industry to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. It is an active participant and leader of CCS projects globally and in Australia, demonstrating CCS in-field at its $100 million Otway Research Facility.

“We have a big task ahead of us to limit global temperatures to below 2 degrees and CCS is critical to a number of industries including gas, coal, cement and steel to help meet this goal” Mr Ferguson said.

Immediately prior to joining the MCA, Mr Byers was vice president for government relations and public policy for BHP, with responsibility for coordinating the company’s global government affairs and public policy interests.

This followed four years as CEO of the Australian Petroleum Producers and Explorers Association (APPEA), the peak national body representing Australia’s oil and gas exploration and production industry. During this period, the Australian oil and gas industry experienced its largest ever expansion with seven major LNG projects under construction and development of new onshore and offshore gas resources.

Mr Byers’ role at APPEA followed his earlier appointment from 2007-2010, as chief executive of the Committee for Economic Development of Australia (CEDA).

David Byers has spent almost all his career in the resources sector with over 17 years at ExxonMobil Corporation in a variety of senior roles in Melbourne, Singapore and the US and four years with Woodside, based in Karratha, Western Australia.


LONG-ESTABLISHED northern NSW charity, The Buttery, has announced the appointment of one of the founding partners of private equity firm Next Capital, Sandy Lockhart, as its chairman.

Mr Lockhart replaces the long-serving former chair, Professor Robert Weatherby. 

The Buttery Board has also appointed Byron Bay based lawyer and yoga teacher, Kara Goodsell to the position of company secretary. 

The Buttery conducts residential and community-based programs in northern NSW for teenagers and adults who may be affected by substance misuse, gambling addictions or mental health issues.

Mr Lockhart has been associated with The Buttery for many years and said he looked forward to continuing that engagement for the foreseeable future.


BERNIE DEAN is stepping up from his role as chief operations officer to become chief executive of Industry Super Australia (ISA), starting September 1.

Mr Dean joined ISA  in early 2013 as the director of marketing, assuming responsibility for the successful collective marketing campaign to promote the benefits of being a member of an Industry SuperFund. 

“Bernie’s commitment to improving the quality of retirement of all Australian workers is paramount,” ISA chair, Peter Collins said. “During his time at ISA, Bernie has led a series of ground-breaking campaigns, including Compare the Pair, In good hands and Banks aren’t super.

“Member recognition of, and trust in industry super funds has grown significantly under his stewardship of the campaign. More broadly, Bernie has experience working with governments, employers and trade unions and is well-known among industry super funds.

“We are delighted that he has accepted our offer to become chief executive of ISA.”

Prior to joining ISA, Mr Dean held senior positions in the Victorian public service. As the executive director of marketing and communications for many years, Mr Dean led WorkSafe Victoria’s award-winning marketing program to drive down the rate and cost of workplace injuries.

Helater became the general manager of OHS Strategy, leading collaboration between the regulator, employer and union bodies to develop policy and regulatory solutions to tough problems faced by workers such as asbestos removal, dangerous machines and manual handling.

Prior to his departmental roles, Mr Dean was a senior adviser to the former Victorian Premier Steve Bracks on issues including infrastructure and public transport.

Bernie Dean joined government after working as an organiser with the ACTU in the mid-1990s where he represented and campaigned alongside workers across the public, hospitality and finance sectors.


SANDRA PARKER has been appointed as the Fair Work Ombudsman for a five-year term, starting July 15.

For the past eight years Ms Parker has served as a Deputy Secretary at the Department of Jobs and Small Business and its predecessors. Prior to this she was the head of the Office of the Australian Safety and Compensation Council and held senior executive roles in the vocational education and training field at federal and state government levels. 

“I congratulate Ms Parker on her appointment. Her distinguished public service career, and extensive experience in complex environments including policy, regulation and service delivery roles, make her an exceptional candidate for the position,” Minister for Small and Family Business, the Workplace and Deregulation, Craig Laundy said.

“Highly regarded in her field, Ms Parker was awarded a Public Service Medal for her outstanding contribution to workplace relations policy and program delivery on Australia Day 2018.”

“Ms Parker’s outstanding qualities, management skills and wide-ranging experience in stakeholder engagement are well-suited to the Office’s important role of promoting harmonious, productive and co-operative Australian workplaces,” Mr Laundy said. The Minister also acknowledged the significant service of outgoing Fair Work Ombudsman, Natalie James.

“I would like to thank Ms James for her exceptional work during her five year term,” Mr Laundy said. “Ms James has taken a very proactive approach to ensuring workers are protected and get what they are owed.

“She has made a significant contribution to the workplace relations landscape in Australia through educating employees and employers on their rights and responsibilities. She has been very effective in the role and I again thank her for her dedication.

The Fair Work Ombudsman is an independent statutory office holder. The key functions of the office are to provide information and advice, investigating workplace complaints and enforcing Commonwealth workplace laws.


INSTITUTE of Public Accountants (IPA) chief executive officer, Andrew Conway has been appointed to the Professional Accountancy Organisation Development Committee (PAODC) of the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC).

“On behalf of the IPA Board of Directors, I would like to congratulate Andrew on this important appointment,” IPA president, Damien Moore said.

“Andrew is the ideal appointment which recognises his commitment to the profession that has included the chairing of the PAODC of the Confederation of Asian and Pacific Accountants (CAPA) over the past few years working closely to build the capacity of the profession. 

“The IPA is very committed to IFAC’s objectives and more so, the development of the profession globally.  This appointment further demonstrates the IPA’s leadership position in the global profession.

“The IPA is very proud of Andrew’s achievements and his contribution to global leadership and governance within the profession,” Mr Moore said.



PRUE BONDFIELD, a highly regarded pastoralist and businesswoman, has been appointed to the Regional Investment Corporation board. 

Ms Bondfield is the general manager and director of Palgrove, a livestock business with properties in Queensland and New South Wales. Ms Bondfield also has a background in law and has demonstrated strong corporate governance skills, developed through professional training, her own business enterprise and various industry roles. 

She has held positions as the chair of the Beef Industry Sustainability Framework Steering Committee, a director of the State Management Council for the NSW Livestock Health and Pest Authorities, and has been a director of the Beef Improvement Association. 

The RIC will administer the Coalition Government’s $2 billion farm business concessional loans program and the $2 billion National Water Infrastructure Loan Facility. 

The Federal Government has also appointed David Foster, Lucia Cade and Mark Lewis as members of the RIC board, with David Foster appointed as chair of the board.

Mr Foster has an extensive background in commercial finance having previously worked for both Westpac and Suncorp. Mr Foster is also a current director with Genworth Mortgage Insurance, G8 Education Limited and Local Government Enterprises of Queensland.

Ms Cade has a background in engineering and commercial leadership, with a focus on water infrastructure, utilities and professional services. Ms Cade has beencChair of South East Water, a Victorian government-owned water utility, since October 2015.

Mr Lewis is a former Western Australian Minister for Agriculture and Food and the former Member for Mining and Pastoral on the Western Australian Legislative Council from 2013 to 2017. His prior responsibilities included the Rural Business Development Corporation, which administers loans to primary industries, including concessional loans on behalf of the Commonwealth.

By Ellen Boonstra, Asia correspondent >>

ANDREW BIGGS is arguably the most famous foreigner in Thailand today.

Over the last 25 years, the Australian has hosted national TV and radio shows in Thai and English. His books have been bestsellers and he has a whopping 2.5 million followers on Twitter.

For a former journalist from Queensland that’s an impressive array of achievements. 

Back in the 1980s, he had the chance to go to England to work for another Rupert Murdoch-stable newspaper. Thai Airways had the cheapest flights then, but the catch – and the letdown for him – was the mandatory two-day stopover in Bangkok.

Arriving on Valentine’s Day, 1989, he had no interest in seeing the city. Instead, he had planned on holing up in his hotel room to spend his downtime reading Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, but the capital, with what he called its “air of excitement and a little bit of lawlessness,” along with the genial people, slowly pulled him into their orbit.

Mr Biggs extended that two-day visa for two weeks and then two months, backpacking around much of the country. Every time he called his mother she’d tell him to leave Thailand immediately because it was too dangerous.

In an irony of travel ironies, when he finally arrived in London all of his possessions were stolen out of his friend’s flat within the first two days, including his traveller’s cheques and clothes – whereas nothing in the least negative had befallen him while in Thailand.

Only a month later, after realizing that being a journalist in London would be much the same as in Australia, he was back in Bangkok, convinced that the capital would be a more dramatic catalyst and backdrop for stories. That theory proved to be practical.

During his time at newspaper The Nation, he witnessed some pivotal points in Thai history, like the ‘Black May’ crisis in 1992, when protestors took to the streets around Democracy Monument to voice their discontent with the installation of an unelected military government.

Around then, Andrew Biggs happened to be at work in the editorial offices of The Nation newspaper, when somebody dropped by to say they needed English-language content and videos for a public bus service in Bangkok. On the spot they offered him the job.

Initially hesitant about hosting a TV show – “I have a face that’s perfect for radio,” he said with a wry grin – the Australian turned what could have been a banal segment, English on the Bus, into an often hilarious and culturally insightful showcase for how to teach the language in Thai terms.

The 55-year-old parlayed those appearances into regular slots on Thai TV, hosting news programs and even a game show about learning English that turned him into a household name in Thailand by the late 1990s.


No longer a far-flung outpost for backpackers, Thailand has become one of the world’s greatest tourism success stories, notching up more than 30 million arrivals last year.

These are the kinds of now-and-then stories and recollections that he sometimes shares in his weekly column ‘Sanook’ (a Thai word meaning ‘fun’) in the ‘Brunch’ supplement of the Sunday Bangkok Post. It’s an entertaining read that also illuminates many murky aspects of Thai culture and history unbeknown to most foreigners.

In between running his own language school, the Andrew Biggs Academy, serving as a consultant for the Education Ministry of Thailand, working on more books and more academic degrees, the workaholic mocks his brand-name status in the kingdom, saying, “I think most of my Twitter followers just want free English lessons.”

While he still likes returning to his hometown of Brisbane for holidays, the most famous Australian living in Thailand today will not be trading in his celebrity status for a return to the limbo of anonymity in his native land any time soon.

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