Climate Change – Facing Challenges and Realizing Opportunities
Economic Development Australia has created a diverse panel looking at the Australian context. They cover topics such as:
- Risk identification and management
- Disaster recovery
- Developing and scaling solutions
- Constructive adaption
About the Speakers
Jason McFarlane has spent his career working with entrepreneurs, communities, government agencies and investors to deliver transformative economic development projects and initiatives for local benefit. His work focuses on balancing evidence-based analytics with practical strategy to realise real-world outcomes. Jason has a Masters of Business Administration (California State University East Bay) and a Bachelor of Science (UWA), and is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
Jason is founder and Managing Director of FAR Lane and serves as a Director with Economic Development Australia (Chair) and Pollinators. He also sits on the Advisory Board for the WA AustCyber Innovation hub.
Dr. Kar Mei Tang
Dr. Kar Mei Tang
Dr Kar Mei Tang was appointed Chief Circular Economist with NSW Circular in 2020, a body established by the NSW Office of the Chief Scientist and Engineer to fast-track NSW’s transition to the circular economy.
Prior to this she was Executive Director, Circular Economy in the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment and Environment Protection Authority, where she led circular economy policy, strategy and grants management functions.
This followed several years as Director of Economic Policy in the NSW Department of Premier and Cabinet. Prior to joining the NSW public sector she was Head of Policy and Research with the Australian Private Equity and Venture Capital Association (now Australian Investment Council).
Kar Mei has a PhD in Economics and is the current Chair of NSW Women in Economics Network, as well as a Council Member of the Economic Society of Australia (NSW).
Nicki Hutley is a highly experienced economist, with broad-based expertise in both macroeconomics and microeconomic policy, gained over more than three decades in financial and investment markets and in economic consulting.
After many years in the corporate world, Nicki is now an independent economist and keynote speaker. She is also a Councillor with the Climate Council of Australia.
Nicki holds an Honours degree in Economics and was recently elected President of the Economics Society of Australia (NSW)
Shane Fitzsimmons was appointed as the inaugural Commissioner for Resilience NSW and Deputy Secretary, Emergency Management with the Department of Premier and Cabinet from 1 May 2020. He is currently the chair of the State Emergency Management Committee (SEMC), the State Recovery Committee (SRC), Board of Commissioners (BOC) and the National Emergency Medal Committee (NEMC). This appointment followed a distinguished career with the NSW Rural Fire Service of over 35 years, serving as both a volunteer and salaried member.
In 1998 he was appointed an Assistant Commissioner with the RFS and has held portfolio responsibilities for Operations, Strategic Development and Regional Management. In 2004, he was appointed the inaugural Australasian Fire Authorities Council (AFAC) Visiting Fellow to the Australian Institute of Police Management (AIPM) for a period of 12-months, developing and delivering programs in management and leadership.
During the period of September 2007 - April 2020 he was the Commissioner of the NSW Rural Fire Service and was also the Chair of the NSW RFS Bushfire Coordinating Committee and the Rural Fire Service Advisory Council. He was also a member of the NSW State Emergency Management Committee and the NSW State Rescue Board (SRB) and was Chair of SRB from 2008 to November 2015. In July 2012, he was appointed a Board Member of the NSW Government Telecommunications Authority.
He was appointed a Director of the National Aerial Firefighting Centre (NAFC) in March 2008 and was the Chair of the NAFC Board from 2009 to 2013. He was a Director on the Bushfire Co-operative Research Centre from 2009 to 2014. He was a member of the Australasian Fire and Emergency Services Authority Council from 2007 and was a member of its Board from November 2016 to November 2019 and held the position of Deputy President upon retirement from the Board. In January 2016 he was appointed as a Councillor of the Royal Humane Society of NSW Inc. Additionally, he is a patron of two charities – Kids Xpress and Coffee 4 Kids.
Commissioner Fitzsimmons has been awarded the Rural Fire Service Long-Service Medal for more than 30 years, the National Medal in recognition of more than 35 years, and the Australian Fire Service Medal (AFSM). He has also been acknowledged with a Paul Harris Fellow and a Paul Harris Fellow Sapphire through Rotary Clubs of Berowra and Sydney.
He has most recently been announced as the 2021 NSW Australian of the Year, and the Australian Father of the Year 2020 through The Shepherd Centre.