Board of Directors

Paul CooperChairman

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

Skills and experience

Paul Cooper is Chairman of the Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre Ltd (AMGC) and, Owner and Executive Chair of Rinstrum Pty Ltd. Paul was appointed to the AMGC Board in 2015 and is tasked with overseeing the implementation of AMGC’s strategy and its alignment with the overall Federal Government’s Growth Centre Initiative.

Paul has over 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
  • Director of Horizon Two Capital Partners Pty Ltd

Not-for-profit directorships

  • Chair of Audit and Risk Management Committee for Queensland Department of Premier and Cabinet

Follow me on Twitter

Richard PalmerNon Executive Director

LLB (Law and Corporate Finance), MBA (International Business), GAICD

Skills and experience

Richard has over 25 years’ experience in senior executive roles in manufacturing, finance, software and other sectors. He is currently Chairman of The Executive Connection, a networking and mentorship initiative for leaders with a membership of more than 20,000 in 20 countries, and until recently was Managing Director of private equity firm Redwood North.

Dr Jens GoennemannManaging Director

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

Skills and Experience

Jens has been Managing Director since AMGC’s inception. 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

  • Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors
  • Member of the Industry 4.0 Advanced Manufacturing Forum leadership team
  • Former chairman of the German Australian Chamber of Industry and Commerce
  • Former board member of the Innovative Manufacturing CRC

Follow me on Twitter

Kelly GodeauChief Operating OfficerExecutive Director

BA (Hons I)


Kelly is Chief Operating Officer at AMGC. She joined the organisation in 2016 and is on its board of directors.

Kelly brings 20 years of international experience having worked at global technology company Microsoft covering its North America marketing services, and then transferring to Paris to oversee Microsoft’s Intellectual Property Protection across Europe, Middle East, and Africa. She has also worked at the cyber security firm, Symantec, and advised government officials in Brussels.

Leadership Team

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


Mark Grogan joined the Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre (AMGC) in 2016 and is the National Director, of Skills & Training as well as State Director, of Victoria and Tasmania, and is based near Melbourne. Michael joined AMGC having led Sutton Tools for almost two decades as CEO. 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 by 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 Manufacturing Skills Australia
  • Board member of the Adult, Community and Further Education organisation
  • Board member of Melbourne Polytechnic
  • Advisory board member of the Victorian Manufacturing Skills and Training Taskforce
  • Advisory board member of the Manufacturing Industry Reference Committee (IRC)
  • Deputy Chair of the Sustainability IRC

Follow me on Twitter


Mark PetersState Director, QueenslandNational Director Projects

CPA, GAICD, Dip. (Corporate Management)


Mark Peters joined the Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre (AMGC) in 2017 and is the National Director, Projects as well as State Director, Queensland and is based near Brisbane. Under Mark’s leadership, manufacturers are encouraged to automate their manufacturing processes and enter global supply chains. He helps companies deliver greater commercial outcomes through strong collaboration with research institutions and lift skills across management and the workplace. Previously, Mark worked as a Business Advisor as part of the Entrepreneurs’ Programme. He has worked with hundreds of firms covering diverse manufacturing industries, such as clean energy, critical minerals, food and agribusiness, medical devices, space, defence, and recycling. Mark has held a number of directorships with commercial and NFP organisations and is an experienced Chair. He has a commercial background as a CEO with companies in the process control and motion control industries.

Follow me on Twitter

Charmaine PhillipsTerritory Director, Northern Territory

FAIOP, Masters of Business Management


Charmaine joined the Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre in September 2021 as Director, Northern Territory (NT). Before this, Charmaine was in charge of Business Development and Client Services, Acting Chief Executive Officer and Operations Manager for the Industry Capability (ICN) Network NT, where she worked with thousands of businesses and led strategic activities including capability mapping and gap analysis for the Territory.

Charmaine joined AMGC in a role created as part of a 2020 AMGC-NT Government agreement to invest $8.75 million over five years in fast-tracking innovation among manufacturers in the Northern Territory. The effort continues a long involvement in the Territory’s industrial community for Charmaine, whose resume includes co-founding Top End Steel Supplies and over a decade as Director at R J Welding & Fabrication Solutions. Charmaine holds a range of qualifications across Human Resources, Management and Training disciplines.

Tyson BowenState Director, New South WalesMember Engagement and Media


Tyson began as Manager, PR and Communications in December 2019. He has held senior communications roles for technology and other businesses over the past 15 years, with most of his career spent in the automotive industry, including at MSR Group, Lexus Australia, and Peugeot Citroen Australia. After beginning university by studying two years of geomatic engineering, he shifted to public relations. Tyson’s background combining engineering, automotive and telecommunications gives him an appreciation of the technical as well as the importance of conveying this in a compelling and accessible way.

Tim GibsonDirector, Business Development

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.

Rajat KatyalData Scientist

B, Eng (IT), M. Sci (Data Science and Innovation)


Rajat commenced as Data Scientist at the Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre in July 2023. Prior to this, he had worked in a combination of private business, academia and government agency roles, in the data domain. Rajat began at AMGC following a Data Engineer role at the Cancer Institute NSW, where he developed the cancer data pipelines for researchers and analysts. In less than a decade since finishing an engineering degree at Pune University, Rajat has built up a wealth of technical and commercial experience. This includes tracking the dark web for illicit drug listings at the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre (NDARC), creating a smart menu and a product recommendation engine at food tech business Me&U, completing a Masters in Data Science at UTS, and managing the Indio-Pacific supply side business at Inmobi Technology, an Indian ad-tech company that scaled to a unicorn valuation. 

Ellen McGarrityManager, Business


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 O’Connell is an analytical and results-focused professional with experience investigating, defining and providing solutions to business, health and governmental challenges. She has a broad operational, strategy, advisory, and research skill set, initially developed in the public health arena, and more recently extended through her work with a government funded industry not-for-profit group.

Over the past six years, Katie has been closely examining the Australian manufacturing industry. As the Research Director at Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre for Australia, she is responsible for the orchestration of strategically aligned research aimed to provide recommendations for industry policy modifications and guide manufacturing businesses into strategic growth opportunities.

In her career, Katie stives to be a catalyst for change in movements that cause ripple effects to better the wider industry and community.

Emilia ShelstonManager, Marketing and Communications

Bachelor of Communications, Digital and Social Media


Emilia began as Communications Coordinator in February 2020. Her background is in client-facing roles, most recently as part of the customer service team at BlueFit. Emilia graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications, majoring in digital and social media. During her degree she interned at refugee, asylum-seeker and culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) advocacy group Settlement Services International. Emilia is fascinated by the role of advanced manufacturing in helping deliver sustainable outcomes and a more just world.

Donna SouthDirector, Membership


Donna joined the Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre (AMGC) in May 2023 as Director, Membership.

Her role extends a decade of working in membership associations, where her enduring goal has been “to turn every member into a raving fan.” Donna was recently Membership Director at the Association of Product Professionals, a start-up organisation and the global industry body for product people. Before that, Donna was the National Manager Membership & Marketing for Weld Australia (the peak body representing the welding industry in Australia), where she spent eight years running membership, marketing & communications, and events. At Weld Australia, Donna played a critical role in driving the success of Weld Australia’s membership business. Highlights included the rebrand from Welding Technology Institute of Australia (WTIA) to Weld Australia in 2018 and managing an international convention with over 700 delegates from more than 50 countries.

Donna’s responsibilities at AMGC include leading the development and implementation of a sustainable membership strategy and delivering exceptional values to members.