Board of Directors

Paul CooperChairman

B. Bus (Accounting), GAICD, FCPA, CTA

Skills and experience

Paul has 25 years’ manufacturing industry experience as owner and Executive Chair of Rinstrum, an industrial electronics manufacturing company. Rinstrum is based in Brisbane and actively exports to global markets with subsidiaries in the United States, Germany, India and Sri Lanka.

Other directorships and offices

  • Director of Vadain International Pty Ltd

Not-for-profit directorships

  • Committee Member of Queensland Department of Health
  • Director and Deputy Chair of Export Council of Australia
  • Board Member and Chair of the Audit and Risk Committee of Children’s Health Queensland Hospital and Health Service

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Paul Cooper Full Biography

Dr Nina WaltonBoard Member

PhD (Econ), MPP, LLB / Independent

Skills and experience

Nina is an economist and a lawyer who specialises in corporate governance, regulation and game theory. Her previous roles included Professor of Law and Economics at the University of Southern California Law School in Los Angeles. She was appointed as a Board Commissioner for the Industrial Development Authority in Los Angeles. Nina resettled back in Australia in 2014.

Other directorships and offices

  • Board member of Australian Chamber Orchestra

Dr Nina Walton Full Biography

Michelle Shi-Verdaasdonk Board Member

BEng (AeroEng) (Honours), B. Aviation Science, MEng, MBA / Independent

Skills and experience

Michelle has been a Board member of AMGC since 2018. She has 15 years’ industry experience and is currently Vice President and Head of Manufacturing at Philips lighting. Prior to that, Michelle held various management positions at PepsiCo, Ford Motor Company and Electrolux, in Australia, Asia Pacific, Europe and USA. Michelle is a recognised thought leader in Industry 4.0.

Michelle Shi-Verdaasdonk Full Biography

Dr Jens GoennemannManaging Director

PhD (Econ), BA (Business), FAICD / Non-independent

Skills and Experience

Jens has been Managing Director of AMGC since 2016. He brings extensive experience from overseeing large manufacturing operations in Australia and Europe. Jens served as Managing Director of Airbus Group Australia Pacific and Airbus Helicopters. Before his eight-year appointment to Australia, Jens spent six years in Germany with the former European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company (EADS), today known as Airbus Group. He was Head of the CEO’s office in Germany, and before that in charge of Soldier and Parafoil Systems within the Defence Division. Previously, Jens spent two years in Athens where he established and managed the Eurofighter Office of DaimlerChrysler Aerospace, one of the three founding partner companies of EADS. He began his career with Daimler-Benz AG in January 1996.

Other directorships and offices

  • Vice chair of the German Australian Chamber of Industry and Commerce
  • Senior Member of the Executive Committee for Industry 4.0 Advanced Manufacturing Forum
  • Board Member of the Innovative Manufacturing Cooperative Research Centre
  • Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors

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Dr Jens Goennemann Full Biography

Leadership Team

Angela DoyleState Director, Western Australia

Cert. Disruptive Strategy, MBA, B. Ed., GAICD


Angela Doyle joined the Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre in 2018 as State Director, Western Australia. In the previous eight years, Angela worked with over 150 businesses in her role as a Business Adviser with AusIndustry’s Entrepreneurs’ Programme (formerly Enterprise Connect). Through comprehensive business management analyses, she helped these companies to improve their business performance and to grow. These firms have come from all corners of Western Australia covering the resources, engineering and advanced manufacturing sectors. Previously, Angela spent 17 years in senior management roles including General Manager of Issey Sunshade Systems, CEO of SIDS and Kids WA and leading a team of science and technology educators at Scitech Discovery Centre.

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Angela Doyle Full Biography

Michael GroganState Director, Victoria, Tasmania National Director Skills & Training


Michael commenced as State Director, Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania in May 2016, and is based near Melbourne. Michael joined AMGC having led Sutton Tools for almost two decades as CEO. Under his leadership, Sutton Tools employed 350 workers across three locations in Victoria. In addition, he managed manufacturing facilities and operational outlets in New Zealand, Singapore and Europe. Michael launched successful joint ventures in India and the Netherlands and boosted the company’s revenue through extending its sales reach in international markets including the USA and China.

In addition, Michael champions skill development and collaboration across the VET and Tertiary education sectors, and is active in training packages development.

Other directorships and offices

  • Board member of Defence Materials Technology Centre (DMTC)
  • Member of two Australian Government Industry Reference Committees (IRCs)
  • Chair of the William Ruthven School Council

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Michael Grogan Full Biography 

Michael HaddyState Director, South AustraliaNational Director Defence & Space

BSc, GradCert


Michael commenced as Director – South Australia in April 2018, and is based in Adelaide. Michael has a three-decade-long background in business, commercialisation and software engineering. He founded Innovation Science in 1999, a company that has developed and deployed combat system simulation and specialist systems,and provided engineering expertise in Australia, the UK and Canada. He has served different senior roles at Rapid Prototyping Development and Evaluation Program, an initiative that delivers guidance and prototype solutions for Defence projects, between 2010 and 2017.

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Michael Haddy Full Biography

Mark PetersState Director, Queensland, Northern TerritoryNational Director Projects

CPA, GAICD, Dip. (Corporate Management)


Mark joined the Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre in 2017 as State Director, Queensland and Northern Territory. Mark’s role is to support Queensland and Northern Territory manufacturers to transform their business to become more globally competitive. Under Mark’s leadership, manufactures are encouraged to automate their manufacturing processes and enter global supply chains. Previously, Mark worked as a Business Advisor as part of the Entrepreneurs’ Programme. He has worked with hundreds of firms covering diverse industries, such as, manufacturing, resources, agriculture, medical and transport. He helped these firms successfully focus on their sales model including distribution channels and new business development. Mark has a commercial background as a CEO with companies in the process control and motion control industries. He is now particularly interested in the advantages of robotics and 3D printing technology for Australian manufacturers.

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Mark Peters Full Biography

Michael SharpeNational Director Industry

AdvDipBus, FIML


Michael joined the Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre in 2017 as State Director, New South Wales and Australian Capital Territory and is based near Sydney. Michael has vast industrial experience including nearly three decades at Sharpe Bros (Australia), one of the nation’s leading road companies. From 2004 -2014, he served as Managing Director of the family business. From 2012 – 2016, he was on the board of HunterNet, a successful industry clustering initiative in the Hunter and Central Coast region and served as Chairman for a one-year period. He is currently on the board of Masonicare, a Committee Member at the Risk Discussion Group and former board member of the Central Coast Local Health District. Before joining AMGC, Michael was Adviser to the CEO at Bankstown Chamber of Commerce. He has served in numerous senior roles leading up to his AMGC Directorship, including Director at Lifeline Newcastle, Hunter & Central Coast and Committee member of the Risk Discussion Group.

Other directorships and offices

  • Board member of Masonicare
  • Committee Member at the Risk Discussion Group

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Michael Sharpe Full Biography

Jayne AshtonSenior Project Analyst

MBA, AdvDip


Jayne commenced as Senior Project Analyst in June 2017. She is a vastly experienced PMO professional with a commercial focus and an extensive background in process design, business controls and team leadership.  Prior to joining the AMGC, Jayne spent nearly two decades in PMO Management and Financial Analyst roles at IBM Australia. After IBM she held PMO roles at icare NSW and at NRMA.

Sarah BoaseCompany Secretary/Office Manager



Sarah commenced as Company Secretary/Office Manager in February 2016. Sarah is a highly accomplished and experienced executive office manager. She was Manager Executive Office/Executive Assistant to the Managing Director of Airbus Group Australia Pacific, between 2012 and 2015. This included coordinating complex, multi-city VIP tours, managing finance and human resources to support executives, and research. Prior to this, Sarah was Personal Assistant to Vice President Fixed Wing at Airbus Group Asia Pacific for a decade until 2012. She was Personal Assistant to GM and Sales and Quality Coordinator at Ensign Services (Spotless Group) between September 1995 and September 2002.


Other directorships and offices

  • Board member of Safeskies Australia
Tim GibsonDirector, Membership and Operations

BA, PgDip


Tim commenced as Director, Membership and Operations in June 2016. Tim’s career has focussed on international business develop for SMEs. Prior to joining AMGC, he held roles with the New Zealand government’s international business develop agency in the United Kingdom and New Zealand, including a period as Acting Trade Commissioner in Australia. Tim’s international experience includes developing marketing campaigns for Nictor Group, which became Scotland’s fastest growing company in 2005.

Kelly GodeauDirector, Communications and Marketing

BA (Hons I)


Kelly commenced as Director, Communications and Marketing in March 2016. She is an accomplished communications professional with global experience in the technology industry. Her background features almost twenty years of international experience at Microsoft and Symantec Corporations. This included twelve years at Microsoft in North America and EMEA overseeing marketing, communications and strategic programs. Plus, five years with Symantec managing brand, reputation and trust across EMEA. Her terms included in-depth government relations and developing influential relationships across a broad stakeholder audience.

Ellen McGarrityCommunications and Membership Associate


Ellen commenced as Communications and Membership Associate in June 2017. She is an experienced client service professional having worked with a large multinational organisation consisting of over 1000 global members. Ellen is responsible for the day to day membership experience and communications activities. Prior to joining AMGC, Ellen was Assistant Operations Manager at The Executive Centre, one of a variety of roles she held at the organisation. This followed positions as Client Service Leader and Client Service Associate.

Katie O'ConnellDirector, Research



Katie commenced as Research Director in November 2016. Katie’s background is as a researcher focussing on population perception and behaviour change. Prior to joining AMGC, she was Assistant Director of Health Promotion and Wellness and Health Promotion Specialist at the University of Chicago. These roles have featured the implementation of evidence-based behaviour change strategies and research projects.