Member Biographies

Mr George Frazis

George Frazis

Chief Executive, Consumer Bank

Westpac Group

B.Eng. (Hons), MBA (AGSM/Wharton)

George Frazis was appointed Chief Executive, Consumer Bank for the Westpac Group in June 2015, responsible for managing the end to end relationship with consumer customers. This includes managing over 10,300 people and all consumer banking products and services under the Westpac, St.George, BankSA, Bank of Melbourne and RAMS brands. In his first 12 months in the role George has achieved above market balance sheet growth while increasing cash earnings by 16%.

Prior to this appointment, he was the Chief Executive Officer, St.George Banking Group from April 2012. A division of Westpac Banking Corporation, St.George Banking Group comprised 4,600 people working across St.George Bank, Bank of Melbourne, BankSA and RAMS. St.George experienced tremendous momentum under George’s leadership with six positives halves, and cash earnings (profit after tax) which increased by 14% in the 2014 financial year and 17% in the 2013 financial year.

George joined the Westpac Group in March 2009 as Chief Executive, Westpac New Zealand Limited where he was instrumental in improving the performance of the New Zealand business by tripling cash earnings over three years, growing home loans at twice the banking system average and achieving above average growth in Business Banking and Deposits during a period when the New Zealand economy was in a recession.

Prior to his roles with the Westpac Group, George was Group Executive General Manager at National Australia Bank where he was responsible for restoring NAB as the number one Business Bank. A highly experienced financial services executive, George has also spent time as a senior executive with Commonwealth Bank of Australia as the Chief Financial Officer of the Institutional Banking Division. George has also been a partner with the Boston Consulting Group, both in Sydney and London.

George started his career as an Engineering Officer in the Royal Australian Air Force with 77 Squadron, responsible for the maintenance of F/A-18 Hornet Fighter Jets.

George is an Executive Member of the Business Advisory Council – UNSW Australian School of Business, a member of the 2020 Amnesty International Council and a Governor of the St.George Foundation.

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Ben Roberts Smith

Ben Roberts-Smith VC, MG

General Manager

Seven Network, Queensland

Ben Roberts-Smith served with distinction in the Australian Army and Special Air Service Regiment. His service spans over 19 years and included operational deployments to East Timor, Fiji, Iraq, Afghanistan, and the Middle East. Ben is a recipient of the Victoria Cross for Australia, the Medal for Gallantry and Commendation for Distinguished Service.

In 2013, Ben launched his own consultancy, RS Group Australia, and advised numerous national clients across a variety of sectors in relation to corporate culture, strategic restructuring and change management. He focused extensively on assisting companies to achieve the benefits of a high performance workplace culture. Ben completed a Master of Business Administration at the University of Queensland and is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

In 2015, Ben was appointed Deputy General Manager of the Seven Network for Regional Queensland and in June that year was promoted to General Manager. 2016 saw a restructure of operations within Seven West Media and at that time Ben’s responsibilities expanded to include the Brisbane market as well as regional Queensland. Ben is now General Manager of the Seven Network in Queensland.

Ben’s contribution to Australia extends past his military service. He is also Chairman of the National Australia Day Council, Deputy Chairman of the Prime Minister’s Advisory Council for Veterans’ Mental Health, Member of the Queensland Veterans’ Advisory Council, Patron of the SAS Association’s Wandering Warriors and a National Ambassador for Legacy.

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Chris Blake

Chris Blake

Executive General Manager, Group Services

Australia Post

Chris Blake joined Australia Post in July 2010 and is the Executive General Manager Group Services. He is responsible for leading strategy, cultural change, innovation, internal and external communications, Human Resources, Government and Regulatory Affairs and stakeholder management.

Prior to joining Australia Post, Chris worked in senior executive roles at the National Australia Bank (NAB), including as the Executive General Manager People and Organisational Development and the Executive General Manager, Business Strategy & People for NAB’s Global Wholesale Banking Division, where he led the development of a new global business strategy for the wholesale bank following the Global Financial Crisis.

Chris has a wealth of experience in overseeing complex, organisation-wide change as a result of his work in senior roles in banking and with PricewaterhouseCoopers, where he was a Partner for 10 years.

Chris also served as a Member of the Prime Minister’s Advisory Group on the Reform of Australian Government Administration, is a past Chairman of the Brain Research Institute, a Director of the Australian American Leadership Dialogue and a member of the advisory boards of the High Resolves Institute, the 100% Project and the APS Strategic Centre for Leadership, Learning and Development.

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Natalie Colbert

Natalie Colbert

Chief Executive Officer

CanPLAY Pty Ltd

Natalie Colbert has eight years of corporate experience as the founder and sole Director/Chief Executive Officer of CanPLAY Pty Ltd, a company managing three separate early childhood business in Canberra and offering consulting services to other early childhood education providers.

Natalie is a veteran of the Royal Australian Air Force after serving for twenty-two years as a Logistics Officer, including a deployment to East Timor. During her career, Natalie was exposed to many unique aspects of the Defence industry, mainly within the logistics/engineering and financial environments. She has gained substantial experience in tactical, operational and strategic logistics management, the development of Defence capability requirements, and the Defence acquisition process.

Natalie is a graduate of the Australian Defence Force Academy and the University of New South Wales. She holds separate degrees in Arts, Business and Technology, and Project Management. Natalie is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

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Mark Galgsdies

Mark Galgsdies

National Training Manager – Defence

Serco Asia Pacific

Mark Galgsdies joined Serco Asia Pacific as its National Training Manager - Defence in March 2016. After spending eight years as an Education Officer in the Royal Australian Air Force, Mark pursued a career focussed on staff training and development. Over the past 20 years, Mark has worked in both public and private sector organisations across many different industries ranging from banking to construction, in Australia, Papua New Guinea, New Zealand, USA and Singapore.

Mark is a strong advocate for Australia’s apprenticeship and traineeship system. He is keen to foster collaborative and innovative partnerships between Registered Training Organisations and Group Training providers in the Vocational Education and Training sector and with industry and the Australian Defence Force to widen and deepen the opportunities for skills recognition and meaningful job and career prospects for ADF veterans and their families.

In 2013, Mark was the training and development subject matter expert for the Australian Constructors Association (ACA) Working Party on national Workforce Development issues and nationwide critical skills shortages in the construction industry.

Mark completed a Masters Degree in Education at the University of Sydney and has graduate and post-graduate qualifications in Mathematics, Science and Education from the University of Tasmania. He also holds Diplomas in Management, and Training and Assessment.

Mark is also a registered high school maths and science teacher in NSW. He is an Associate Fellow of the Australian Institute of Management and is a Certified Professional with the Australian Human Resources Institute.

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Mark Jansen

Mark Jansen

Director

PwC

Bachelor of Science – University of New South Wales

Graduate Diploma of Technology Management – Deakin University

Master of Defence Studies – Canberra University

Mark Jansen is a Partner in PwC and leads elements of the Defence and National Security Businesses. He supports clients in Strategy, Aerospace, Command, Control, Intelligence and Information Technology. Mark has over 15 years of consulting experience and was a Partner in Booz & Company before the company was acquired by PwC in 2015.

Prior to working as a consultant, Mark was in the Royal Australian Air Force for 15 years, serving primarily as an Intelligence Officer. Mark gained operational experience in East Timor. He was awarded the Chief of Air Force Prize for professional excellence on No 53 Command and Staff Course and was the academic dux of No 25 Fighter Combat Instructor/Fighter Intelligence Instructor course.

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Jenny Lambert

Jenny Lambert

Director Employment, Education and Training

Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry

Jenny Lambert has been serving the business community for 32 years as a senior manager within industry associations, including 16 years as a CEO of associations largely in the services sector.

Commencing with the Australian Hotels Association as its Industrial & Research Officer in 1984, Jenny then served as Project Manager at Tourism’s Industry Training Advisory Board in the early 1990s, working on projects relating to workplace reform, workplace assessment, competency standards, training accreditation and quality assurance.

Jenny took on her first CEO role as head of Restaurant & Catering NSW, and then jointly held the national CEO role until 1999. Then followed six years as CEO of Meetings & Events Australia, overseeing amongst other activities, a structured professional development and accreditation system. In 2005, she became CEO of Nursery & Garden Industry Australia and in 2007, CEO of the National Tourism Alliance, which is the peak body for tourism associations nationally. She commenced with the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry in May 2011 and is responsible for policy development and advocacy in vocational training, higher education, schools, employment and migration.

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Jim Lefever

Jim Lefever

Human Resources

DXC Technology Australia Pty Limited

Jim Lefever is DXC's Human Resources Director, Australia and New Zealand.

He is an experienced business transformation leader, human resources director, change manager and consultant. Jim has designed and managed the implementation of innovative and successful transformations across the world. Jim previously held senior HR and transformation roles at Salmat, Hewlett Packard/EDS Group, Equant/Global One, as well as running his own transformation consulting business, creating value and realising EBITA benefit at global, Asia-Pacific, Australian and New Zealand levels.

Prior to his civilian career, Jim spent 10 years as an Officer in the Royal Marines Commandos working in a variety of roles and a variety of locations worldwide.

He is passionate about building better relationships between employers and employees by creating solutions that transform the status quo within organisations.

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Colin McDowell

Colin McDowell

Chief Executive Officer

Allied Express Transport

Colin McDowell is the Chief Executive Officer of Allied Express Transport.

Allied Express Transport is Australia’s largest privately owned express transport company, responsible for the distribution of product from many industry leading brands such as Holden (Allied Express builds the Holden motor car!), Schneider Electric, Repco, AutoNexus, De’Longhi Group, LG and Foxtel. Colin founded Allied Express 38 years ago and it currently turns over $120 million per annum.

Colin has also been highly active in the harness racing industry, as both a participant (driver, trainer, owner and breeder) and as a sponsor. He has acted in both an advisory capacity and officially on various committees.

Colin is also major sponsor of the West Tigers Rugby League Club, an association that goes back some 25 years. Allied Express also sponsors and supports the North Melbourne Football Club, and a number of other sporting and charitable associations.

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Luke Palmerlee

Luke Palmerlee

Executive Director

J.P. Morgan Chase Bank, NA (Sydney Branch)

Luke Palmerlee is an Executive Director in the investment banking division of J.P. Morgan Australia and heads the Bank’s government business, reporting directly to the Bank’s Australian CEO, Robert Priestley. He has been with the Bank nearly 15 years, working throughout Asia and for the last 12 years in Australia. Luke has covered clients across a range of sectors including real estate, infrastructure, energy/oil and gas and diversified industrial companies.

Prior to working for J.P. Morgan, Luke worked for global real estate services firm Cushman & Wakefield in New York and Hong Kong. Luke began his professional career working as a legislative staffer in the United States, House of Representatives and Senate for members from his home state of Wyoming (Senators Alan Simpson and Malcolm Wallop and Representative Craig Thomas). He focused on trade agreements, particularly passage of the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Luke earned a Bachelor of Arts (History) from Yale University and an MBA from Columbia University’s School of Business.

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Christine Parker

Christine Parker

Group Executive, Human Resources, Corporate Affairs and Sustainability

Westpac Group

Christine Parker is Group Executive, Human Resources and Corporate Affairs for the Westpac Group.

In this role, Christine is a member of Westpac Group’s Executive Team and holds leadership responsibility for the Human Resources and Corporate Affairs and Sustainability functions across the Westpac Group.

Her portfolio includes responsibility for the Westpac Group's human resources strategy and management, including reward and recognition, safety, learning and development, careers and talent, employee relations and employment policy. She is also responsible for Corporate Affairs and Sustainability.

Before her move to the Group role in Australia, Christine was General Manager HR for Westpac New Zealand. Christine was one of New Zealand’s leading HR practitioners, and has held senior appointments across a number of high profile organisations and a range of industries including manufacturing, retail and services.

Prior to joining Westpac, Christine was Group HR Director for Carter Holt Harvey where she was responsible for the development and delivery of all facets of its global human resource strategies. From 1999 to 2004 Christine was Director of HR with Restaurant Brands NZ, the franchisor for high profile fast food brands that included KFC, Pizza Hut and Starbucks.

Christine trained as an Accountant and continued her professional development with a range of post graduate qualifications in HR Management, Leadership and Quality Management. Christine is a Governor of the St. George Foundation, a not-for-profit organisation that helps disadvantaged children and a Director of Women’s Community Shelters, an organisation that provides emergency shelter and support for homeless women.

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Andrew Plaskett

Andrew Plaskett

Director, Clients and Markets & People and Development

Clayton Utz

Andrew Plaskett joined Clayton Utz in April 2007 and is currently the Director of Clients and Markets/People and Development.

Prior to this appointment, he was the National Manager, Client Strategy at Freehills.

Andrew also worked as a Management Consultant for CCA which included a focus on supporting Government agencies across Federal, State and Local Governments in the design and implementation of enterprise development initiatives.

He holds a Bachelor of Business (International Management) from Monash University.

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Marc Bryant

Marc Bryant

Program Manager – Land

Saab Australia Pty Ltd

Marc is the Program Manager for Saab Australia’s Land domain, responsible for the delivery of Land projects with a focus on Air and Missile Defence. He joined Saab Australia in 2014 and has recently been appointed as the company’s Advocate for Veteran Employment, responsible for coordinating veteran recruitment, retention and communication.

Marc graduated from the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst in 1995 and served for 10 years in the British Army before joining the Australian Regular Army for a further 8 years. He transitioned from the Army in 2012 after serving in the Royal Artillery, Army Air Corps, Royal Australian Artillery and after three operational deployments in Northern Ireland and Afghanistan. Prior to working for Saab Australia, Marc worked as a Consultant in the resources sector for two years upon successful transition from the military.

Marc has a Masters Degree in Management Studies from the University of New South Wales and holds an Advanced Diploma and Certificate IV in Government.
 

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Michael Ward

Michael Ward

Managing Director

Raytheon Australia

Michael Ward is Managing Director of Raytheon Australia responsible for the executive management of Raytheon operations in Australia and New Zealand.

As a leading provider of Defence and training capability, Raytheon Australia provides integrated mission solutions, weapon systems and mission support services for the Australian Defence Force across a broad range of key naval, land and aerospace capabilities and training solutions to both Defence and civil customers.

Raytheon Company (NYSE: RTN), with 2016 sales of $24 billion and 63,000 employees, is a technology and innovation leader specialising in defence, civil government and cybersecurity solutions.

Prior to assuming his current position, Michael served as Raytheon Australia’s General Manager, Strategy and Business Development, where he was responsible for business growth and operational efficiency. He has also previously served as the Company’s Chief Operating Officer and General Manager, Support Services.

Before joining Raytheon, Michael was employed as a Defence Adviser to the Parliament of Australia. Michael’s service to the Parliament of Australia came at the end of a 20-year career with the Australian Military.

A native of Australia, Michael is a graduate of the University of New South Wales and a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Management. He studied for a bachelor’s degree in information technology before completing a master’s degree in business administration. Michael has also undertaken graduate training in aeronautical engineering, defence studies and training.

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