Helping ensure materials sustainability around AUKUS

Image: The AUKUS Forum Advisory Board Co-Chair former Labor Defence Minister, the Hon Joel Fitzgibbon (centre), with Forum CEO Michael Sharpe and Forum Advisory Board Member Veena.

On 9 July 2024, UNSW SMaRT Centre Director Prof Veena will present a keynote speech at the full day "The Queensland Power of AUKUS" event.

Hosted by the AUKUS Forum, of which Veena is an advisory board member, she will share her vision for a sustainable future, highlight the importance of creating a circular economy and how using waste as a resource - including various UNSW SMaRT Centre innovations - must be at the centre of our manufacturing future and innovative decarbonisation efforts.

Ensuring materials sustainability and using waste as a manufacturing resource are key messages Veena will impart to event participants.

Event website and registration

Event hosts say:

Date and time

Tue, 9 Jul 2024 8:30 AM - 3:00 PM AEST


Hotel Settlers

58 Dawson Highway Biloela, QLD 4715

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About this event

  • Event lasts 6 hours 30 minutes

    The AUKUS Forum, in collaboration with Banana Shire Council invites businesses from across Queensland - across all industries - to learn about new opportunities from AUKUS.

    The nuclear powered submarine project with AUKUS thrusts Australia into a whole new world where innovation and technology rule.

    AUKUS will be much more than nuclear submarines and the opportunities will expand into all industries - The Prime Minister has said that AUKUS will be the largest industrial endeavour in Australia's history and will require a whole of nation effort. "This whole of nation effort also presents a whole of nation opportunity; for new jobs, new industries, and new expertise in science, technology and cyber."

    AUKUS is already expanding from nuclear with particular emphasis on cyber capabilities, artificial intelligence, quantum technologies and more.

    Join us to hear from defence industry leaders, world leading researchers and industry experts as we build a whole new ecosystem to build the AUKUS Partnership.

    Collaboration will help unleash the power of AUKUS - Join us.


    Please Note - No media, no cameras, no mobile phone filming.

    [8.30-9.30] Registration and light breakfast

    [9.30-9.45] Welcome - Mayor of Banana Shire, Cr Nev Ferrier.

    [10.00-10.40] About the AUKUS Forum and Unleashing the Power of AUKUS (Michael Sharpe - Chief Executive, AUKUS Forum) - Integrating Regional Manufacturing Businesses into the Defence Supply Chain.

    [10.40 -11.00] Tony Gambling - Director of Regional Development at Regional Development Australia (Central and Western QLD)- Central QLD has geographic, infrastructure and human advantages that can help address challenges related to readiness, operational reach, resilience, reception and resupply of Australian or allied forces.

    [11.00-11.30] KEYNOTE - Special Guest - Scientia Professor Veena Sahajwalla - One of our nations's leading engineers. Australian Research Council (ARC) Laureate Professor Veena Sahajwalla is an internationally recognised materials scientist, engineer and inventor revolutionising recycling science. She is renowned for pioneering the high temperature transformation of waste in the production of a new generation of ‘green materials.’

    Veena pioneers research into waste – turning it into a new generation of green materials and products. Veena is most well known for her invention of Polymer Injection Technology, or ‘Green Steel’. In 2018, she launched the first of many MICROfactories.

    She leads two national research and industrial transformation hubs, the ARC Microrecycling Research Hub and the National Environmental Science Program Sustainable Communities and Waste Hub. Veena collaborates with leading universities and institutions, plus industry and community groups, to develop and apply new recycling science into real-world environmental and economic benefits.

    Veena was named the NSW Australian of the Year in the 2022 Australia Day Awards. In 2018, Prof. Sahajwalla launched the world's first e-waste microfactory, and in 2019 she launched her plastics microfactory, a recycling technology breakthrough. In 2019, she was also honoured by Engineers Australia as a Centenary Hero for her work.

    Prof. Sahajwalla was elected a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science in 2018. In 2016, Engineers Australia named her one of Australia’s Most Innovative Engineers and in 2015, one of Australia’s 100 Most Influential Engineers. In 2013, Prof. Sahajwalla received the Howe Memorial Lecture Award, Pittsburgh, USA, in appreciation for her lecture on ‘The Power of Steelmaking – harnessing high temperature reactions to transform waste into raw material resources’.

    [11.30-11.50] Rodney Young| Managing Director - Masters and Young Pty Ltd - A whole of nation effort - Established in 1997, Masters & Young is Queensland’s market-leading, high-end electronic design and manufacturing company - focused on providing long-term solutions for a wide range of industries including defence, medical, aerospace, healthcare and more.

    [12.00-1.00] Lunch

    [1.00-1.30] Samuel Jesuadian is the COO and Business Development Lead at the Advanced Robotics for Manufacturing (ARM) Hub. He is a seasoned senior executive with over 16 years of leadership in academia and industry, boasting a unique blend of expertise in both scientific research and strategic business development. Samuel has an intrinsic ability to bridge the gap between research and its commercialisation, driving strategic initiatives, fostering innovation, and enabling business growth. He is adept at transforming institutes into recognised brands and cultivating collaborative relationships. Samuel has orchestrated collaboration across national and global sites, enhancing organisational footprint. Over the past three years, he has developed a strategic opportunity value of $250M through international and national collaborative initiatives.

    [1.30-2.00pm] Panel discussion. TBC (Mick Green, Chief Executive at Goal Group, Abhiney Arora, Executive Director at Industry Capability Network, Mick Elliott, Manager at Gladstone Manufacturing Hub.)

    [2pm-3pm] Afternoon tea – Networking

    Registration & Tickets

    Tickets are free.

    Please register using your work email address.

    We reserve the rights to cancel tickets at our discretion. For any cancellation, notification will be provided via email.

    Registration close on Thursday 4th July, 2024 at 11:59pm. Unfortunately we cannot accept any registration after this date.


    Venue - Hotel Settlers – Function room

    58 Dawson Hwy, Biloela QLD 4715