Expert Speaker Line-up
Dr Trevor Pisciotta
Executive Director Building
Planning - Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning
Dr Trevor PisciottaExecutive Director Building | Planning - Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning
As Executive Director, Building in the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP), Trevor is responsible for leading the provision of advice to the Victorian Government in relation to the State's building, plumbing and architecture industries. Trevor has also played a key role in the Victorian Government's response to the issue of combustible cladding. He played a key role in establishing the Victorian Cladding Taskforce, acted as Chief Executive Officer of the Office of the Taskforce, and has lead the provision of policy advice to Government on its response to the Taskforce, leading to the establishment of the Cladding Rectification Program and Cladding Safety Victoria. Trevor's division is also supporting the Expert Panel undertaking the Review of Victoria's Building System. Prior to joining DELWP in 2017, Trevor worked for over 10 years in the Victorian Department of Premier and Cabinet, where he provided strategic, whole-of-government advice on a range of complex and dynamic policy areas, including building, planning, sport and recreation, water and environment.
Municipal Building Surveyor
City of Melbourne
Steve BaxasMunicipal Building Surveyor | City of Melbourne
Steven Baxas is the Municipal Building Surveyor at the City of Melbourne with 30 Years of Local Government experience. Steven has been MBS for the City of Melbourne for 2 years and prior to that, Steven was MBS at the City of Port Phillip for 11 years, worked at the City of Monash for 12 years, and the City of Waverley for 4 years. He has formal qualifications in Building Surveying and Fire Engineering and has dedicated the last 11 years of his spare time as a volunteer Judge to the Housing Awards at the Housing Industry Association Steven is passionate about Fire Safety in buildings, and is a Professional Member of the Fire Protection Association of Australia. Steven is also a current serving member of The Building Regulations Advisory Committee (BRAC) as appointed by the Minister, a member of the Australian Institute of Building Surveying, and a Committee Member of the Victorian Municipal Building Surveyors Group.
Dr. Jonathan Barnett
Basic Expert Pty Ltd
Dr. Jonathan BarnettManaging Director | Basic Expert Pty Ltd
Dr Jonathan Barnett is an internationally acclaimed technical expert in fire safety engineering with over forty two years’ experience in his field. Previously a professor at WPI in the United States, Jonathan has researched topics such as computer modelling of fire, structural fire protection, combustible cladding and the development of new fire test standards. Jonathan has done projects throughout the world including the United States, Europe, New Zealand and Australia. Starting in 1992 he has worked with the CSIRO, the University of Melbourne, Victoria University, the University of Newcastle, the Australasian Fire Authorities Council, and fire brigades in Victoria and New South Wales. Jonathan is a chartered professional engineer who has designed numerous commercial, residential and special purpose buildings. He is a leader in building defect rectification strategies. Today he is the managing director of Basic Expert Pty Ltd, a specialist forensic engineering and fire engineering firm; focusing on helping people with non-compliant buildings deal with dangerous cladding, inappropriate Essential Safety Measures (fire alarm and detection systems, fire rated doors and the like), and helping them with building rectifications from design, to permits, to construction and through the legal quagmire of litigation.
Operations Chief Engineer
Michael StuckingsOperations Chief Engineer | FM Global
Michael is FM Global’s Australian Operations Chief Engineer. In this role he is responsible for the delivery of quality loss prevention engineering services to client locations throughout Australia and New Zealand. Michael is also involved in a number of external organisations including the Insurance Council of Australia, Fire Protection Association of Australia and Standards Australia. Prior to joining FM Global in 2001 as a loss prevention engineer Michael spent 10 years working as an electrical engineer in both the coal mining and water/wastewater industries where he gained skills in design engineering, project management, maintenance and operations. He earned his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of Newcastle and a Masters of Commerce (Finance) from the University of NSW.
Branch Manager - Technical Director
Holmes Fire LP
Mathew FreemanBranch Manager - Technical Director | Holmes Fire LP
Mathew has been practicing fire engineering with Holmes Fire for over 12 years. He is a Chartered Professional Engineer and is a Registered Fire Safety Engineer in New South Wales, Queensland and Victoria. He is also an active member of the Institution of Engineers Australia and the Society of Fire Safety, utilising his extensive experience to contribute to various task groups and new methods of assessment. Within Holmes Fire, Mathew has played a lead role in the development and education around cladding fire safety within Holmes Fire through his experience on a number of confidential projects and his experience working with Cladding Safe Victoria to develop assessment and remediation solutions for affected buildings. Mathew also specialises in CFD Modelling, Evacuation Assessments, Interim Fire Safety Strategies, Building Code of Australia (BCA) Assessments and has had extensive experience on projects from all sectors.
Industry Engagement Manager
Melissa HerrmannIndustry Engagement Manager | Fairview Architectural
Melissa is the Industry Engagement Manager for Fairview. Her role involves connecting with people in the construction industry, gaining insights into what issues professionals are facing and helping her clients find ways forward, with aesthetically pleasing and safe cladding solutions for their projects. Melissa comes from a design background with 15 years’ experience in product design, offshore manufacturing and trend forecasting. She transitioned into the construction industry in 2014, and hasn’t looked back. Her journey with Fairview began in 2017, and she started in her current newly created role in January 2019.
Senior Fire Safety Engineer
RED Fire Engineers Pty Ltd
Craig MillsSenior Fire Safety Engineer | RED Fire Engineers Pty Ltd
Craig has been developing performance-based fire engineered solutions for over 15 years. In recent years, Craig has been directly involved with the efforts by Victorian Building Authority, and other governmental organisations, to identify and rectify Victorian buildings with combustible cladding. In addition to his role in supporting the VBA, Craig has managed the delivery of fire engineering services associated with cladding replacement across both the public and private sectors in Victoria.
Dirk van der Walt
Senior Fire Engineer
Sotera Fire and Risk Engineering
Dirk van der WaltSenior Fire Engineer | Sotera Fire and Risk Engineering
Dirk is a senior fire engineer with Sotera Fire and Risk Engineering and currently manages their Brisbane branch. As a fire engineer Dirk is mainly involved in developing performance-based solutions to NCC DtS non-compliances and undertaking building fire safety risk assessments for buildings affected by combustible cladding. His experience further includes developing building fire strategies and designing fire protection systems. Dirk is fairly new to the Australian industry, having previously worked as a fire engineer in South Africa and the United Kingdom.
Michael MoranDirector | Philip Chun
Michael has 35 years of building industry experience, including more than 25 years practicing as a Building Surveyor. Michael joined Philip Chun in 1998 and manages the company’s Queensland office. Michael is Accredited Level 1 Building Certifier, has lectured at Universities and professional forums and is a panel member of the Department of Housing and Local Government and Planning Building Tribunal.
Past Key Speakers
The Hon. Ted Baillieu
Former Victorian Premier & Current Co-Chair
Victorian Government’s Cladding Task Force
The Hon. Ted BaillieuFormer Victorian Premier & Current Co-Chair | Victorian Government’s Cladding Task Force
The Hon. Ted Baillieu is a former Premier of Victoria, entering Parliament in 1999 as Member for Hawthorn. He was elected Leader of the Liberal Party in 2006, becoming Victoria's 46th Premier and Minister for Arts from 2010 to 2013, and retired from Parliament in 2014. As a former architect and Fellow of the Australian Institute of Architects, Ted uses his knowledge and experience to explore Victoria's challenges and build a better future for all Victorians. He pursues a significant International Engagement Strategy to provide increased opportunities for Victorian business to grow the economy. He is the recipient of the Aust. India Business Council's 2013 Ashoka Medal, the 2014 Asian Leadership Special Public Service Award, and is Melbourne University's Honorary Enterprise Professor associated with the Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning. Ted is currently Co-Chair of the Victorian Government’s Cladding Task Force, and has been Chairing the Victorian Government's ANZAC Centenary Committee – coordinating Victoria's commemorations. Ted is passionate about connecting as many Victorians as possible with our Original ANZACs. In 2017, Ted joined the Committee of the Melbourne Cricket Club, and was appointed Adjunct Professor, Swinburne University. Ted is Patron of a number of groups including Multicultural Arts Victoria, Public Record Office of Victoria, The Sovereign Hill Museums Association, Queenscliffe Historical Museum and Cancer Council Victoria: Relay for Life Hawthorn. He is also Chieftain of the Victorian Highland Pipe Band Association. Well known for his love of swimming, Ted tries to find time for a few laps or a swim in the ocean. Ted and his wife Robyn have three children.
Director Building Policy Program and Governance
Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning, Victoria
Aaron HemsleyDirector Building Policy Program and Governance | Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning, Victoria
Aaron Hemsley is the Director Building Policy Program and Governance in the Victorian Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning. Key accountabilities include the interjurisdictional work for the Building Ministers Forum and Senior Officials Group, the state’s policy work relating to cladding, portfolio governance and program oversight. Aaron has held numerous roles across the state government relating to infrastructure strategy, regulatory reform across the transport portfolio and working for the several regulators.
Fonda ZahopoulosDirector | Gallagher Jeffs
Fonda holds more than 25 years’ experience in both Commercial Building & Project Management together with Gallagher Jeffs and his own firms. Since joining Gallagher Jeffs, Fonda has taken on responsibility for the delivery of a number of significant landmark projects.
Nicola GraysonCEO | Consult Australia
Nicola Grayson is the Chief Executive of Consult Australia. Nicola is responsible for implementing the organisation’s strategy, building ongoing external relationships, and for leading Consult Australia’s advocacy and government relations agenda on behalf of member firms. Nicola is a government relations specialist, and has represented industry associations in the United Kingdom, the European Union, and Australia. Nicola has worked across a range of sectors including general insurance, consumer finance, alcohol, and education, in addition to consulting engineering. She has an Honours Degree in Law from the United Kingdom, and was previously Consult Australia’s Director of Policy and Government Relations.
Wayne LiddyDirector | Gardner Group
Wayne has 25 years’ experience as a practitioner and is considered one of Victoria’s experts in building control and is often called upon by media outlets for comment. Wayne is a Director of the Gardner Group Pty Ltd, a multi-skilled building surveying and consultancy company, and a Fellow, Vice President and Board Director of the Australian Institute of Building Surveyors (AIBS). He is currently the AIBS nominated representative on the Building Advisory Council in Victoria. Wayne has served on the Building Practitioners Board, Victoria. Having worked and consulted in both the private and public sector, Wayne has broad-ranging skills and experiences, both in the construction industry and specifically in relation to the area of building control. He has strengths in domestic and commercial construction, legislation interpretation, building and practitioner auditing, problem-solving, mentoring and having been engaged on many significant projects over the years, a practical approach to project implementation. Wayne is registered in Victoria as a Building Surveyor- Unlimited and in Western Australia as a Building Surveying Practitioner Level 1.
Manager - Fire Safety Policy Unit
Fire and Rescue NSW
Jamie VistnesManager - Fire Safety Policy Unit | Fire and Rescue NSW
Jamie has a Bachelor Degree in Mechanical Engineering and Master of Fire Safety Engineering. He worked for 9 years in private industry as a practising fire safety engineer with Stephen Grubits & Associates. Following this, Jamie joined Fire and Rescue NSW (FRNSW) to provide fire engineering support to its operations. He has been with FRNSW for over 8 years and is currently the Manager of the Fire Safety Policy Unit, providing technical engineering advice and assisting in developing FRNSW policies in relation to fire safety.
Senior Project Manager
Sam HoggSenior Project Manager | Gallagher Jeffs
Sam is an extremely motivated and dedicated Senior Project Manager, with extensive property development and management experience. Sam’s detail and diligence through the design documentation and tender phase sets up the early phases of projects for commercial success. More recently, Sam has had led our inhouse team of cladding remediation experts and helped navigate the evolving regulatory process.
Manager – Major Projects
RED Fire Engineers Pty Ltd
Blair StrattonManager – Major Projects | RED Fire Engineers Pty Ltd
Blair Stratton is a founding partner and Manager of Major Projects for RED Fire Engineers. He has over 14 years' experience as a fire safety engineer in Australia and New Zealand and has lead the fire engineering design for significant infrastructure and building projects -including the Victorian desalination plant, and the Tasmanian Museum & Art Gallery redevelopment. Blair has spent much of the past four years reviewing issues relating to combustible facades. He has developed risk assessment techniques that have assisted owners, builders and regulators to understand and manage facade fire risks.
Dr Simon Lockrey
Industrial Design RMIT University
Dr Simon LockreySenior Lecturer | Industrial Design RMIT University
Dr Simon Lockrey is a leading sustainability and design innovation researcher, having been based at RMIT since 2009. His research domains include life cycle assessment (LCA), co-design, design innovation, marketing, resource efficiency, combustible cladding, and food waste. As a result, he has generated millions of dollars of ‘industry facing’ Category 1, 2 and 3 research, creating global impact in policy changes, commercial innovation outcomes, media coverage, intellectual property and quality academic publications. He's worked with global and nationally significant companies, including CHEP, Visy, Nestlé, Dyson, Grocon and Breville. Relevant government and NGO projects have also ensued, with Sustainability Victoria, Environmental Protection Agency, Australian Food and Grocery Council, Australia Post, Australian Antarctic Division, Uniting AgeWell, and Meat and Livestock Australia. Simon has been published through international masthead newspapers, trade magazines, academic literature, and UN agency the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO). His collaborations across industry and external universities have culminated in the successful Food Agility Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) bid in 2017, national supply chain and technology projects over 10 years from a pool of $210 million cash and in-kind funding. He is now a key leader in the 2018 funded Fight Food Waste CRC, worth $121 million over 10 years.
Dr Nicole Johnston
Faculty of Business and Law, Deakin Business School
Dr Nicole JohnstonSenior Lecturer | Faculty of Business and Law, Deakin Business School
Dr Nicole Johnston is an admitted Legal Practitioner currently working as a Senior Lecturer and Researcher at Deakin University’s Business School. She is a co-leader of Deakin’s HOME research group, an interdisciplinary research network. Nicole researches strata related topics from a socio-legal perspective. Her work focuses on strata governance, conflicts of interest, purchaser knowledge acquisition, and building defects in residential schemes. She is the Chair of the International Research Forum on Multi-owned Properties, a multi-disciplinary research conference held annually.
Director/Senior Building Certifier
Peter HofstetterDirector/Senior Building Certifier | Certis Group
Peter is a Senior Building Certifier at CERTIS. His involvement in the building industry began in 1985 and he has been a building Certifier since 1994. He became a Director of CERTIS in 2000. Peter specialises in identifying areas of cost savings and performance solutions while maintaining compliance with the requirements of the Building Code of Australia. He has considerable experience in providing advice on aspects of Building Regulation matters as they relate to all commercial buildings. Peter has a specialist interest in the laboratory and educational buildings. He is also the inventor of the Risengo Stair Checker, a device to quickly and accurately check the rises and goings of stairs.
Builders Collective of Australia
Phil DwyerNational President | Builders Collective of Australia
Phil Dwyer has been a successful and award winning builder for over 40 years in the categories of Domestic and Commercial – Unlimited. In the year following the introduction of the Last Resort Builders Warranty Insurance scheme in July 2002 the Builders Collective of Australia was formed and registered as a non profit association to advocate for the reform of the industry. Phil has held the position of National President ever since campaigning for and on behalf of both consumers, builders, and the national industry.
Akritidis Group Building Consultants
Ari AkritidisManaging Director | Akritidis Group Building Consultants
Ari Akritidis is Managing Director of Akritidis Group Building Consultants, a medium sized building surveying company providing statutory and consulting services throughout Australia. He is a registered building surveyor in Victoria since 1996, registered as a fire safety engineer since 2002, and also registered for practice in the ACT and Western Australia. Ari is a current serving member of the Building Appeals Board (BAB) and the Building Regulations Advisory Committee (BRAC) as appointed by the Minister. He is a member of the Australian Institute of Building Surveyors (AIBS) National Technical Specialist Advisory Group (TSAG) providing specialised technical advice to the AIBS for adoption across State and Federal jurisdictions. Ari has previously served as a member of the Building Practitioner Board and the Australian Standards Committee for AS 2047 Doors and Glazing. He has been an active member of the building industry throughout his career and continues to strive for improved professional practices across all building disciplines and sectors.
Dr Trivess Moore
Lecturer School of Property - Construction and Project Management
Dr Trivess MooreLecturer School of Property - Construction and Project Management | RMIT University
Dr Trivess Moore is a leading sustainability in the built environment researcher and is based in the Sustainable Building Innovation Laboratory (SBiLab) in the School of Property, Construction and Project Management at RMIT University. Trivess’ research is looking at socio-technical transitions to a low carbon urban future, with a focus on housing, energy efficiency, liveability, and through-life affordability. Trivess has worked on a number of local, national and international research and is currently a chief investigator and an Australian Research Council Linkage project focused on retrofitting of existing housing with a focus on households in fuel poverty and a sustainable rental housing project funded by the Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute.