Navy, Industry and Academia Training Conference 2019

Geelong Waterfront Campus

This event has now ended.

The Naval Shipbuilding College is hosting the Navy Industry Academia Training Conference 2019 (NIA 2019) on 29–30 May 2019. This invitation-only two day 'share-fest' will bring together training practitioners and thought leaders from across Defence and the industry/academic organisations that support the Defence training effort.

Event details

Deakin University, Geelong Waterfront Campus will be host to the event that features:

  • short plenary sessions in a single stream
  • core topic: ‘Collaboration between Navy, industry and academia’
  • three main content themes: Learning theory, Training Delivery, Technology in Training
  • multiple 15 minute ‘big idea’ presentations
  • fewer 30 minute ‘in depth’ presentations
  • ‘Rock the Boat’ pitch-fest for Navy personnel to share innovative ideas and seek industry/academia support
  • discussion/connection locations to follow-up on presentations with other interested parties and presenters
  • longer morning and afternoon teas and lunch breaks, to forge new collaborative relationships
  • small exhibition with practical demonstrations and innovations
  • practical learning activity with a social twist
  • networking BBQ at the end of day 1.


If your company or organisation is interested in sponsorship opportunities for this conference, please email the conference team.


Rear Admiral Pete Quinn – Head Navy Capability, RAN

Rear Admiral Pete Quinn, AM, CSC, RAN, was appointed as Head Navy Capability (HNC) in December 2017. HNC is responsible to Chief of Navy for the whole-of-life management of Navy Programs within the Maritime Domain, and provides Navy advice to other Domain leads to ensure effective joint integration across the ADF Capability Life Cycle.

Steve Bell – Thales

During and since his 13 years in the Australian Navy, Steve has been an active participant in Navy's learning culture. In a variety of roles, Steve has challenged traditional norms to achieve better results, encouraging people to think outside the box while keeping an eye on the future.

Andrew Seal – Head of Defence and Maritime, Siemens

Andrew has 30 years’ experience in the complex engineering solutions environment. He has worked in Senior Management roles in the Defence and Naval markets, in both Multi-National and SMEs.

Andrew is an electro-mechanical Engineer with an Executive MBA, a regular first adopter of new technology, a serious origamist and, as a Primary School Council President, is passionate about educating the youth of today.

Captain Tony Mullan – Director Navy Training, RAN

Over twenty eight years, Tony has been involved in the management and delivery of training and education across Navy and the ADF. His current role involves activities that cut across the whole of Navy Training Force including the introduction of innovative training in support of new capabilities.

Tony has a Masters in Instructional Systems Design and is an Australian Command and Staff Course Graduate.

Jawahar Bhalla (JB) – Manager Solutions & Technologies, CAE ME-APAC

JB is a passionate professional with over 30 years’ experience and strengths in Systems Thinking, Systems Engineering, Modelling & Simulation, Interoperability and Technical Governance. He is a member of the Simulation Australasia Board and the Technical Director for SESA.

JB has a BE in Aerospace Engineering (Honours), a BSc in Computer Science from UNSW and a MSysEng from UNSW@ADFA.

Rebecca Sanders – KBR, LHD STS

Rebecca is a training and education professional with over ten years’ experience, focused primarily in the Defence training environment. As a Commonwealth Games gold medalist, she has a passion for improvement and excellence that has been the foundation of her professional career.

Rebecca holds a Bachelor of Business , Masters in Education and is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Benjamin Gilmore – Director of Learning and Innovation, UNE Partnerships

Benjamin has led some of the most ambitious and successful learning design and technology projects in Australia over the past decade, including launching the first 1:1 iPad program and iDesignX Platinum award-winning learning simulations.

Benjamin is passionate about great student experience and clever design, which are hallmarks of the recent reboot of the Lieutenant Commander Promotion Course undertaken with the Royal Australian Naval College.

Stephen Witherden - Beca

With over 15 years’ experience in the software and systems domain, Stephen’s interest is in improving decision making through science and technology. He assists his clients in determining the applicability of VR, AR, Analytics and machine learning to their business. Stephen sits on the Asia Pacific Simulation Alliance Expert panel, which provides advice for clients seeking to use simulation.

Commander Bruce Willington – CO HATS, RAN

Commander Bruce Willington has twenty years’ experience as a Qualified Flying Instructor and is the Commanding Officer of 723 Squadron. In this role he has managed the transition of ADF helicopter training into an extensive, modern and integrated Helicopter Aircrew Training System that incorporates multiple synthetic and aircraft training devices.

Monique VanderVeen – Training Manager, KBR

Monique has over 20 years of experience as a training professional with government and the corporate sector. She was a Training Systems Officer in the Royal Australian Navy and continued her work for Defence as an independent consultant until her current role as the KBR DDGTS Training Manager.

Peter Barry – Raytheon Australia Defence Training Team Lead

Peter has worked in and with the Royal Australian Navy for the last two decades. For the last ten years he has principally worked on the AWD acquisition Training program in a variety of roles. He is now also the Defence Training Team Lead for Raytheon Australia.

Brigadier Ben James – Australian Army

Brigadier Ben James has been the Director General Training and Doctrine within Headquarters Forces Command since November 2017. He is Army’s Executive Training Authority for individual and collective training and is responsible for the continual modernisation of Education, Training and Doctrine to ensure Army maintains the human capacity advantage over adversaries.

Michael Hardy - General Manager, KBR, Modelling Simulation and Training

Michael has been around training for over 30 years. He has seen many fads and fashions hoping to be the ‘next big thing’ in training. He is passionate about ‘enabling workers’, an advocate for ‘performance support’ and a champion of augmented and mixed reality to help workers in-the-workflow, with just enough support, just-in-time.

Commander Moses Raudino – Deputy Director, Training Authority - Initial Training Leadership and Management, RAN

Moses joined the RAN as a Training Systems Specialist after a career in teaching and assessment. He has held key posts in Training Force as well as deploying on operations. He has continually adopted an innovative approach to promote optimal learning that enhances individual and organisational performance.

Moses has a Bachelor in Sociology (HONS), a Graduate Diploma in Education, and Masters in Military and Defence Studies and Business.

Dr Teresa Crea - University of New South Wales

Dr Crea is an award-winning writer, director, academic and researcher focused on information processing, narrative sense-making and situation awareness in simulated and immersive environments from a neuroscientific perspective. She is currently leading the development of a human centric design-led transdisciplinary Master of Visualisation, Simulation and Immersive Design Program for the University of New South Wales.

Percy Traill – Enlistment sailor, Boatswain Mate, Gunnery Department, RAN

For 6 years, Percy has gained experience as a Boatswain mate working with the 12.7mm machine gun, experiencing a range of scenarios including real life threats. He is currently helping the RAN to change the training process to build confidence and expose other Gunners/Boatswain Mates to real life experiences through the use of Virtual Reality.

Rob Drinkwater – LEUT, Training Systems Officer, RAN

Working with some of the world’s best international teams and athletes, Rob’s career spanned 20 years in sports coaching and management prior to joining the RAN. Passionate about personal growth and development as well as challenging the status quo, Rob has a Masters in Business Administration and was a former British National Champion in sprint cycling.

Colin Painter - Officer in Charge of the RAN Damage Control School, RAN

With over 20 years’ experience in Combat Survivability training, Colin now heads the RAN’s Damage Control School. He is focused on providing sailors the skills they need to safely and effectively prosecute an incident in ships whether it be a fire, flood or toxic hazard incident. His long association with damage control training at sea and ashore has him well positioned to equip sailors and officers with the skills they need to save the ship in an emergency.

Chris Thornton – LCDR, Officer in Charge, Learning Solutions Support, RAN

Chris has ten years experience as a Navy Training Officer and in his current role administers the LMS (Moodle) for Navy schools and provides training on its use to instructors and facilitators.

He has a particular interest in utilising emerging technologies to make learning more engaging and will soon run multimedia development courses for Navy instructors.

Kevin Paul – Chief Petty Officer Clearance Diver, RAN

Kevin has spent the last fifteen years as a Clearance Diver and is also an Explosive Ordinance Technician who has conducted two deployments to the Middle East. Kevin currently instructs both overt deep water and clandestine very shallow water mine counter measures diving at the ADF Diving School.

Tyler Sherry – Senior Systems Engineer, Collins Aerospace

Tyler began at Collins in Salt Lake City, Utah, USA developing visual software for F-35 simulation alongside many pioneers of computer graphics for simulation. The rich legacy and continued global reach of these systems, moved him to Tokyo in 2011 and from this base he continues to support the full lifecycle of Collins visual systems in the region.

Jeremy Smith – Paramedic Educator, Wodonga TAFE

Jeremy commenced with WA Ambulance Service in 2006, where he worked in a variety of roles and locations as diverse as outback WA, Nepal and Mongolia.

As a highly proficient and passionate clinical educator, he is leading the pre-hospital education for the Australian Defence Force medics.

Jeremy has a Bachelor of Health Science, Diploma of Vocational Education, and is completing a Masters of Public Health.

Associate Professor Simon McIntyre - Associate Dean Education, UNSW Art & Design

Simon is an internationally recognised, multi-award winning educator. Simon’s latest developments include of a range of industry focused short courses and postgraduate education co-developed with partners in the fields of visualisation, simulation, and immersive design to help drive innovation and shape future work practices.

Sally Dooley – Professional Facilitator, Speaker, Executive Coach.

Over twenty years, Sally has worked with thousands of leaders and individuals in a wide range of leadership, team and personal development areas. She is passionate about excellent leadership and helping to shape cultures that facilitate high performance and high wellbeing for sustainable growth.

Sally has a Master’s in Training and Development and is a TEDx speaker and speaker coach.

Chris McKinnon – Technical Team Manager, KBR Government Solutions

Chris has over 20 years’ interactive media development experience including Virtual and Augmented Reality, 3D applications and software development methodology.

Passionate about the intersection of new technologies and training, Chris manages a team of 3D modellers, developers and content creators producing VR and AR training applications for Defence and Industry.

LS Levi McClean – RAN

Levi joined the Navy as an aircraft technician in 2008. Before the decommission of the AS350BA helicopter, Levi jumped ship and moved to an instructor’s role at Training Authority Aviation, instructing future aircraft trade supervisors and technicians.

Levi received a Commanding Officer’s Commendation for his work as an instructor and was the NAVY Instructor of the Year for 2016.

Navid Mohajer – Research Fellow in Mechanical CAD and CAE

Dr Mohajer has been a researcher at the Institute for Intelligent Research and Innovation, Deakin University for over 5 years, contributing towards both fundamental and applied research. He is passionate about innovative research and design of mechatronic systems and has published in numerous high-ranking journals and conferences.

Navid has a BSc, MSc, and PhD in mechanical design and analysis.

Shannon Baldock – TAFE SA

Prior to joining TAFE SA Shannon ran a successful electrical contracting business working in high risk environments. Since joining TAFE SA Shannon has spearheaded the adoption of VR in the air conditioning and refrigeration work group. His passion for innovative training and assessment practices is rapidly spreading throughout TAFE SA.

Martin Brooker, CSC, FIML - Speaker/Leadership Expert/ Executive Coach

A veteran of over 35 years’ service in the Royal Australian Navy, Martin now specialises in working with individuals and organisations helping people transition from being the competent professional to the authentic leader.

Martin is a Fellow of the Institute of Managers and Leaders, a graduate of the QUT Business School and proud to be a RUOK? Community Ambassador.


For any other information or questions relating to NIA 2019, please email the conference team.