Leadership

Board of Directors

Paul CooperChairman

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

Skills and experience

​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

Not-for-profit directorships

  • Chairman Queensland Department of Health Audit & Risk Committee
  • 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

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.

Richard Palmer Full Biography

Michelle Shi-Verdaasdonk Board Member

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

Skills and experience

Michelle has 15 years’ industry experience and is currently Global Manufacturing and Procurement Director at Dyson. Prior to that, Michelle held various management positions at Philips Lighting, 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

Experience

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

Experience

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

Experience

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)

Experience

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, manufacturers 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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Michael SharpeNational Director Industry

AdvDipBus, FIML

Experience

Michael joined the Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre in 2017 and is the National Director – Industry. 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. Michael is a former Board Member of the Central Coast Local Health District and was a member of the Board Research Committee which was instrumental in planning for the new Central Coast Medical School and Medical Research Institute at Gosford Hospital. He has served in numerous senior roles leading up to his AMGC Directorship, including Board Member at Lifeline Newcastle, Hunter and Central Coast and Board Member at Masonicare New South Wales & Australian Capital Territory. He supported the establishment of the Canterbury Bankstown Chamber of Commerce as an Advisor to the CEO and is involved in a wide range of community groups.

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Michael Sharpe Full Biography

Jayne AshtonSenior Project Analyst

MBA, AdvDip

Experience

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

GAICD

Experience

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.

Tyson BowenManager, PR and Communications

Experience

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, Membership and Operations

BA, PgDip

Experience

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, Corporate Affairs

BA (Hons I)

Experience

Kelly commenced at AMGC in March 2016. In her role as Director, Corporate Affairs, Kelly is responsible for the organisation’s reputation and engagement strategy within the manufacturing industry and the broader business landscape. She oversees all communications and marketing activities, membership experience, and day-to-day operations of AMGC.

In addition, Kelly works closely with colleagues across the Australian Government’s six Industry Growth Centre Initiative, the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources and industry stakeholders.

Kelly 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 includes 12 years at Microsoft in North America and EMEA overseeing marketing, communications and strategic programs. Plus, five years with Symantec managing IP protection, brand, and building reputational trust across EMEA.

Ellen McGarrityCommunications and Membership Associate

Experience

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

BSc, MPH

Experience

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.

Emilia ShelstonCommunications Coordinator

Bachelor of Communications, Digital and Social Media

Experience

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.