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Organisation

Our Team

Our dedicated team is passionate about delivering our mission and vision.

Noelene Buddle

Noelene Buddle
Chief Executive Officer

Noelene joined The Royal Institution of Australia in November 2019. She has a diverse background in strategic management, having held senior executive roles in the life science, arts, entertainment and higher education sectors. She has also served on a number of commercial and not-for-profit boards including TAFE SA, Jam Factory, South Australian Museum and WorkCover SA. Her qualifications include a Bachelor of Arts (Accountancy), Master of Business Administration and she is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Chuck Smeeton
Chief Operating Officer

20 years’ experience as a media industry executive with organisations such as News Limited, Foxtel, Fox Sports and Australian Consolidated Press as a journalist, editor, publisher, general manager, director and c-suite executive. He has specific expertise in cross-platform brand and content solutions.

Sarah Brennen
Corporate Services Manager

Sarah looks after the books, the building and overseeing all things IT. She has a degree in Accounting and is just finalising her CPA. Starting in the hospitality industry in London, Sarah brings with her many years of varied experience including the Not for Profit and IT Sector.

Katherine Roberts
Partnerships and Events Manager

Katherine has a long history of building partnerships that matter, creating value and meaning for all organisations involved. From the start to finish, no matter the duration, she values working with stakeholders to deliver the best outcomes and inevitably make an impact. In addition, Katherine is the Festival Director of the SCINEMA International Science Film Festival, the largest science film festival in the southern hemisphere. Overseeing every component of the festival including programming, SCINEMA has become the largest National Science Week events in Australia with in excess of 2000 screenings around the country. 

Ian Connellan
Editor-in-Chief

Ian is a former editor-in-chief of Australian Geographic, where he also worked as a book publisher, and a former Lonely Planet writer and photographer. His story and book commissioning over two decades focused on work about remote Australia, natural history, science and technology.

Gail MacCallum
Editor, Cosmos Magazine

Gail MacCallum started in publishing as a fiction and non-fiction book publisher. Her subsequent editorial work in periodical media includes stints at The Bulletin, POL Oxygen, Pen Magazine, and the Sydney Morning Herald, focussing on engaging and rigorous journalism across the spectrum of subjects and ideas.

Nick Carne
Editorial Manager

Nick has been a professional writer and communicator in Australia for more than 40 years. Among other roles, he has been a reporter and editor in the print and electronic media, served as an advisor to government and a public relations consultant, and worked for all three South Australian universities.

Jennifer Chalmers
Education Manager

With a degree in physics, background in product design engineering and a post-graduate degree in science teaching, Jen spends her day collating the latest developments in STEM and creating educational resources to engage and excite students in all things STEM. Her biggest passion is getting students involved in STEM and loves nothing more than when someone realises that their future may lie in this field.

Kelly Wong
Social Media Manager

Kelly spends way too much time online and is a serial multi-tasker. With her research background in biomedical science and immunology, she is adept at understanding and communicating science. She has over 6 years of experience in creating communities on social media and is passionate about getting them engaged with science. She loves problem-solving, particularly for anything online, and creating creative digital marketing campaigns to bring audiences into our world of science.

Carol Perkins
Group Art Director

Carol has over a decade of experience working on branding, digital and print design in Australia and UK, with qualifications in digital marketing, design and typography. When times allows, she loves creating illustrations to allow people to see science in new ways. Carol has driven the brand and design of The Royal Institution of Australia’s products for several years.

Tammi Parsons
Subscriptions & Finance Officer

As well as making sure our subscribers get their Cosmos Magazines and online content on time, Tammi is a problem solver and data whisperer. From analysing and keeping track of data collections, to designing subscription campaigns that give more people the opportunity to experience the incredible world of science, Tammi is a specialist when it comes to understanding who, how, and why the world interacts with Cosmos Magazine.

Amelia Nichele
Science Journalist

Amelia is a writer and content creator for The Royal Institution of Australia’s editorial team. Across all the products, she revels in bringing the often-hidden world of science to the public in an entertaining, engaging and fascinating way. With a degree in journalism, she interviews the world’s leading scientists and writes about the latest breaking discoveries that change how we see the world.

Lauren Fuge
Science Journalist

Lauren has a degree in Creative Arts from Flinders University in 2013 and a degree in Experimental and Theoretical Physics from the University of Adelaide in 2016, and so comfortably straddles the perceived divide between arts and science. Her writing has previously been featured in The Best Australian Science Writing 2015. Her début novel, When Courage Came to Call, was published in 2010 by Random House Australia. She continues to write young adult fiction in her spare time, along with essays about travel, language, and culture.

Debbie Devis
Science Journalist

Debbie obtained her PhD in molecular genetics. She is most passionate about genetics, plant science and Dungeons and Dragons, but is always willing to learn as much about science as possible. She has extensive experience in science outreach and a love of science communication. She has run the Why Waite outreach program at the University of Adelaide, delivered two science-themed online exhibits and science livestreams for MOD @UniSa, conducted a year-long blog and podcast with the aim of teaching science through the metaphor of Pokemon, and developed online science content for the Wheat Hub and the University of Adelaide.

Christine Bruderhans
Reception and Functions Coordinator

Christine Bruderhans is the receptionist and functions coordinator at The Royal Institution of Australia. Being the front face of the company, she maintains a professional and cheerful approach to general business operations and administrative support. With a degree in International Business and a strong background in customer service, Christine aims to create a friendly and smooth-running experience for all clients and customers. 

Nicola Gaskell
Marketing Manager (maternity leave)

Nicola has over 10 year’s experience working both agency and client-side, with a proven track record as a respected integrated marketing professional working across a variety of different industries. Prior to joining RiAus she worked at both the University of Adelaide and Flinders University in marketing roles.

Professor Alan Duffy
Lead Scientist

Professor of Astrophysics at Swinburne University and Program Lead of SpaceTech Applications at its Data Science Research Institute. Alan combines both scientific research and the communication of that science to international audiences in TV, print and radio as a regular in Ten’s The Project and ABC Breakfast News TV, his efforts recognised with the 2018 Eureka Award for Promoting Australian Research, the Nation’s highest science communication award.

Our Council

The Royal Institution of Australia is governed by a the following council members:

Peter Yates

Peter Yates, AM FTSE FAICD BCom (Melb), Master of Science (MGT) (Stanford), Doctorate of the University (Murdoch), is Deputy Chair of AIA Australia Limited and Chair of Colonial Mutual Life Assurance Society Limited, a Director of Linfox Australia Pty Ltd and Mutual Trust Pty Ltd. He is Chairman of the Royal Institution of Australia, the Australian Science Media Centre, the Faculty of Business and Economics at Melbourne University, the Royal Children’s Hospital Foundation, the Shared Value Project and the NHMRC Centre for Personalised Immunology at ANU and the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Quantum Computation and Communication Technology at UNSW. From 2004-2007 Peter was Managing Director of Oceania Capital Partners and held the position of Chief Executive Officer of Publishing and Broadcasting Limited from 2001-2004. Until 2001, he worked in the Investment Banking industry including 15 years with Macquarie Bank. He holds a Doctorate of the University from Murdoch University, a Masters degree from Stanford University Graduate School of Business and a Commerce degree from University of Melbourne. He speaks Japanese, having studied at Keio University in Tokyo. Until 30 June 2019, Peter was Deputy Chairman of The Myer Family Investments Ltd. He has been a Director of the Royal Children’s Hospital and the Australian Chamber Orchestra, Asialink, Publishing and Broadcasting, Crown Ltd, Foxtel Ltd, The Nine Network, Ninemsn, Ticketek, Veda Ltd, Oceania Capital Partners Ltd, the National Portrait Gallery, The Melbourne International Arts Festival, Centre for Independent Studies, MOKO.mobi and the Australia-Japan Foundation. In the June 2011 Queen’s Birthday Honours, Peter was awarded a Member of the Order of Australia for service to education, to the financial services industry and to a range of arts, science and charitable organisations and in 2017 was made a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering (ATSE). He has also recently been awarded the Australian Academy of Science Medal for 2019.

Professor Lyn Beazley AO

Professor Lyn Beazley AO is the Former Chief Scientist of Western Australia, Professor of Zoology at the University of Western Australia and the Sir Walter Murdoch Distinguished Professor of Science at Murdoch University. Professor Beazley built an internationally-renowned research team in Neuroscience that focused on recovery from brain damage. As Chief Scientist for Western Australia (the first female to hold such a state role nationally) she championed gender diversity and science in the classroom through programs such as Microscopes in Schools, in addition to shaping science policy. Lyn is also well known for promoting science and technology in the media and she played a key role in bringing the internationally successful FameLab science communication competition to Australia.

Christian Bennett

Christian Bennett is responsible for providing strategic advice regarding Woolworth’s engagement with government and policy stakeholders, as well broader corporate reputational issues. Previously, he was a Vice President of Government Affairs for General Electric, Vice President of Government Relations and Public Policy at BHP Billiton and led Santos’s media, government, indigenous affairs, community and corporate communications effort. Prior to joining the private sector, Christian served in the Australian foreign service for 14 years. His diplomatic assignments included serving as Australia’s High Commissioner (Ambassador) to Brunei, First Secretary (Political) in Washington DC and Third Secretary (Political / Trade) in Harare. Christian also served as Adviser (North Asia and Economic) on the personal staff of the Australian Foreign Minister, Alexander Downer, and as an Adviser (Asia) in the Prime Minister’s Department. In May 2017, he was appointed to the Board of the Australian American Fulbright Commission by the Federal Education Minister and has previously served on the Board of the Federal Government’s Australia-Malaysia Institute and Council for Australia and Latin American Relations, both by appointment of the Foreign Minister.

Will Berryman

Starting out as a reporter/producer for the ABC’s science unit, Will Berryman soon moved on to work in leading new media roles for Nickelodeon International and Fox Studios Australia. His career as a senior executive spans more than 20 years and he has extensive experience in both traditional and digital media. Will has headed up Hostworks – a subsidiary of BAI Communications – since 2013 and is a director of the peak industry body for the digital industry in Australia, AIMIA. Prior to Hostworks, Will worked in a number of roles including chief operating officer for companies Four Cross Media and Technicolour. He headed up technology and distribution for national Australian broadcaster SBS for more than five years from 2000. He is a Council member of The Royal Institution of Australia.

Dr Gregory Clark AC

Dr Gregory Clark AC is a world-renowned scientist, technologist and businessman. He has received a number of international awards and fellowships in recognition of his contributions to technology and society. He was on the Australian Prime Minister’s Science and Technology Committee from 1990 to 1998. Dr Clark has a PhD in physics from the ANU and is a Visiting Fellow at ANU. He spent 15 years with the IBM Research Division in New York. Subsequently, as President of News Technology Group and a member of the News Corporation Executive Committee, Dr Clark oversaw all technology within News Corporation and companies within the Group, including all internet and satellite pay-TV companies. He was responsible for News Corporation’s transformation of its media assets from an analogue platform into a digital platform. Dr Clark was then President and Chief Operating Officer of Loral Space and Communications in New York. This company is the world’s largest commercial satellite manufacturer and, at that time, the world’s second-largest satellite operator. During his time at Loral, he oversaw the development and manufacture of satellites, their launch and commercial operation.

Tony Clark

Tony Clark is an Emmy Award-winning Cinematographer as well as co-founder and Director of Rising Sun Pictures. His credits as a VFX Supervisor for RSP include Alfonso Cuarón’s Gravity, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, The Last Mimzy, The Core and Harry Potter & the Goblet of Fire. He is a 2010 recipient of an Academy Award for Scientific & Technical Achievement as creator of the remote collaboration tool cineSync. His deep understanding of digital film became the foundation for the technology spin- off Rising Sun Research (now Cospective). He has served as a board member on the South Australian Film Corporation, is currently on the boards of Ausfilm and ASX listed Telecommunications Provider Superloop, and is an active member of both AMPAS and VES.

Sir Rod Eddington AO

Sir Rod Eddington is one of Australia’s most experienced and accomplished business leaders. Educated as an engineer at the University of Western Australia and then Oxford University as Western Australia’s 1974 Rhodes Scholar, he has demonstrated his acumen and expertise on the national, regional, and international stages. Sir Rod’s career began in transport and aviation in 1979 when he joined the Swire Group. He worked with Cathay Pacific Airways in Hong Kong, Korea and Japan in a variety of roles, before being appointed MD and CEO in 1992. In 1997, he was appointed executive chairman of Ansett Airlines, a position he held until 2000, when News Corporation sold its 50 per cent interest in Ansett. Most recently, he returned to Australia after serving for five years as CEO of British Airways, where he successfully led the airline’s turnaround during one of the industry’s most turbulent periods. In 2005, Sir Rod was awarded a Knighthood by the British Government for services to civil aviation. In December 2006, he completed a study for the British Government on the links between transport and the economy. Today, numerous companies benefit from his time and talents. He is non-executive chairman (Australia & New Zealand) of JPMorgan, in addition to maintaining non-executive roles with News Corporation, CLP (China Light & Power) Holdings and John Swire & Sons Pty Ltd. Sir Rod also serves as Chairman of Victorian Major Events Company and Infrastructure Australia and as a Non-Executive Chairman and Independent Non–Executive Director of Lion. Sir Rod is also a President of Australia Japan Business Cooperation Committee.

David Knox

David Knox is an oil and gas industry executive and former Managing Director and CEO of Santos Limited from 2008 -2015. Previously David was Managing Director for BP Developments in Australasia from 2003 to 2007. He has worked for BP in the United Kingdom and Pakistan, and has held management and engineering positions at ARCO and Shell in the USA, Netherlands, the United Kingdom and Norway. David is originally from Edinburgh, Scotland and has a BSc Hons in Mechanical Engineering and an MBA. He is a fellow of ATSE, and Engineers Australia. David is a member of the Commonwealth Science Council, a director of the CSIRO and was formerly Chair of the CSIRO Energy Advisory Board. He is also a board member for the Adelaide Botanic Gardens, the Adelaide Festival and the Migration Council.

Karen Dobson

Karen Dobson is President and Managing Director of Dow Australia and New Zealand based in Melbourne, Australia.  In this role she is responsible for Dow’s business and operations including manufacturing and distribution centres and advancing the company’s strategy and reputation across Australia and New Zealand. Karen joined Dow as a graduate engineer at the Altona manufacturing plant in Melbourne and has over thirty years’ experience with Dow.  She has held a variety of technical, marketing and business roles including Global Marketing Director for membrane technologies in Dow Water & Process Solutions, Asia Pacific Corporate Marketing & Business Development Director, Global Business Director for mining in Dow Oil, Gas & Mining and Global Commercial Director for Dow Olympic and Sports Solutions.  Karen has extensive international business experience having been posted to roles in Hong Kong, Sydney, Minneapolis and Shanghai.  She returned to Melbourne in 2014. Karen has a Bachelor of Chemical Engineering degree from the University of Melbourne.

Professor Caroline McMillen AO

Professor Caroline McMillen AO is an Australian medical and health academic and the incumbent Chief Scientist of South Australia since October 2018. She is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences, and a Fellow of the Royal Society of New South Wales. She is a Director of Compass Housing Services Co Ltd, the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute, the Australian Science Media Centre and a member of the Council of the University of South Australia. Prior to this role, Professor McMillen was the Vice-Chancellor and President of the University of Newcastle for seven years between 2011 and 2018. Professor McMillen has served on industry boards such as the Australia Automotive Industry Innovation Council, CRC for Advanced Automotive Technology and the CRC for Rail Innovation as well as the South Australian Premier’s Climate Change Council and the NSW Innovation and Productivity Council. She has also served on the Boards of the Australian Business Higher Education Round Table, Universities Australia and the Universities Admissions Centre. Prior to moving to New South Wales, McMillen had been Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice President of Research and Innovation at the University of South Australia from 2005 to 2011 and the head of physiology at the University of Adelaide from 1992. Her early research focused on the effects of prenatal nutrition on adult diseases. Her research was funded for two decades by the ARC and the NHMRC and she was on the PMSEIC Working Group on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander maternal and perinatal health. Professor McMillen was also a Member of the Expert Advisory Group for Science in Australia Gender Equity (SAGE). She holds a BA (Honours) and Doctor of Philosophy from the University of Oxford, and completed her medical training graduating with an MB, BChir from the University of Cambridge.

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