Advisory Board

Brian Fitzpatrick
Brian Fitzpatrick

Brian Fitzpatrick (Chair)

Principal Account Executive, Dialog Information Technology

Brian is the Principal Account Executive responsible for Dialog’s Victorian-based services team where he oversees programs of work across two dozen public and private sector clients. Brian has a strong history working in the public sector where he served as a Ministerial Chief of Staff and Senior Technology Advisor during the Baillieu and Napthine governments. Brian started his career in the military as an Artillery Systems Specialist, then moved into Web Design and Multimedia, where he worked for a Web start-up in Brazil and then ran his own web businesses. His objective is to deliver immediate outcomes while setting and driving a long term strategic vision. Brian is a leader who employs strong strategic, tactical, and motivational skills to inspire his teams and ensure they are focused on opportunities and outcomes, including over the longer term.


Tim Fawcett
Tim Fawcett

Tim Fawcett (Vice Chair)

Head of Corporate and Government Affairs, Cisco

Tim Fawcett is the Head of Government Affairs for Cisco.  A part of the ANZ senior leadership team, Tim is responsible for developing and implementing Cisco’s $50m national engagement plan and is an executive sponsor for a number of key Cisco accounts.  Tim is a passionate advocate for inclusion and diversity, which he believes is essential for a modern, sustainable business.  Tim is a director of Launchvic, the Victorian Government’s lead entrepreneur and startup support agency, where he is chair of the audit, risk and governance committee.  Tim is also a director of the Diversity Council Australia, an Ambassador for cancer research not-for-profit the Snowdome Foundation and former Vice President of the Make a Difference Foundation.  He holds a Master of Public Policy from the Australian National University and a Bachelor of Arts with Honours from La Trobe University.


Lewis Fricker
Lewis Fricker

Lewis Fricker

Head of Commercial Management, Ericsson Australia and New Zealand

Lewis has over 25 years’ experience in the communication sector, focusing on wireless connectivity, with global experience spanning Asia, Oceania, the Middle East and Africa. Lewis has experienced the benefits brought to society through universal connectivity, especially the benefits of Radio Access data, including firsthand the role a connected society played during the Egyptian revolution, which ultimately resulted in a powerful display of community solidarity and eventual regime change.

Lewis has held a range of Executive operational roles within Ericsson including being the Head of Ericsson Delivery Centres in Malaysia and Singapore as well as roles as Vice President of Services Ericsson North Africa and Head of Operations in the Middle East.

Now as Head of Commercial Management in Ericsson Australia and New Zealand, Lewis is directly involved in the continued development of 4G communications as well as being part of the seed community driving the role 5G will play to both human and machine subscriptions. With a Master’s Degree in Finance from the University of Melbourne and an MBA from Deakin University coupled with Military Radio Engineering qualifications in Communications, Lewis brings a rounded approach to his contribution to the Network Society Institute.


Kate Cornick
Kate Cornick

Kate Cornick

Chief Executive Officer, LaunchVic

Kate Cornick is the CEO of LaunchVic, the Victorian Government’s $60 million startup initiative.

Kate is deeply passionate about the role of innovation in our economy and society more broadly, and has considerable experience in technology innovation across start-ups, academia, corporates and government.

Most recently, Kate led the development of human resources technology start-up Rision Ltd, creating new products, partnerships, sales and ultimately a listing on the ASX.

Kate previously held positions at the University of Melbourne including Director of Industry Engagement and Innovation, Executive Director of the Institute for a Broadband-Enabled Society (IBES). She also co-led the establishment the Centre for Energy-Efficient Telecommunications - a joint venture between the University of Melbourne, Victorian State Government and global telecommunications giant Alcatel-Lucent.

Kate’s is a telecommunications engineer, and was involved in policy development for the NBN. She has held the positions of Senior Telecommunications Adviser and Deputy Chief of Staff to Senator Stephen Conroy, the Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy and has also worked as a General Manager at NBN Co.

Kate Cornick undertook her PhD in optical telecommunications at the University of Melbourne and, as part of her studies, spent time at AT&T Research Laboratories, USA.


Cheryl George

Cheryl George

Group Leader - Government Business and Stakeholder Engagement, CSIRO Data61

In her role, Cheryl leads Data61’s strategic engagement with Commonwealth, State and Territory Government agencies across Australia, including the identification of new data-driven research projects and initiatives.

Prior to joining Data61, Cheryl led the Australian Trade Commission’s (Austrade) digital technology investment attraction group, supporting international companies to connect into new opportunities in Australia. Her previous roles also include leading the Victorian Government’s life sciences investment activities and also a role as Head of Investment for the Small Technologies Cluster (STC Australia), a small technology and medical technology focused start-up incubator in Melbourne.

With over 15 years’ experience in business development and investment attraction roles across government and industry, Cheryl has developed extensive networks within Australia’s technology, life sciences and advanced manufacturing sectors and across Government.

Cheryl holds an Executive Masters in Public Administration from the Australia New Zealand School of Government (ANZSOG) and the University of Melbourne, and a Bachelor’s degree in Business and Commerce from Monash University.


Chris Hancock
Chris Hancock

Chris Hancock

CEO, AARNet

Chris Hancock is CEO of AARNet, a position he has held since 2004. He came to the role with 25 years executive leadership experience, including 15 years in the media and telecommunications sectors.

As CEO, Chris has overseen extraordinary growth. Under his leadership, AARNet has extended the nation's advanced network infrastructure and developed a suite of leading-edge technologies and solutions enabling Australia's participation on the world stage for research and teaching into the future.

Today, AARNet serves Australian universities and the CSIRO, as well as many health and other research organisations, schools, vocational training institutions, cultural organisations and specialist content providers. More than one million people now access the network for teaching, learning and research.

Prior to joining AARNet, Chris held several key executive positions at Optus. He was an integral member of the senior executive team that completed the initial public offering and subsequent sale of Optus to Singtel.


Mark Hargreaves
Mark Hargreaves

Mark Hargreaves

Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research Collaboration & Partnerships), University of Melbourne

Mark Hargreaves is Professor of Physiology at The University of Melbourne, Australia. He has BSc (Physiology - 1982) and PhD (Physiology - 1989) degrees from The University of Melbourne and an MA (Exercise Physiology - 1984) from Ball State University (USA). He is a Fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine and Exercise and Sports Science Australia.

As Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research Collaboration & Partnerships), he has oversight of the internal schemes that foster interdisciplinary research and the important research relationships with external organisations.

His research and teaching interests focus on the physiological and metabolic responses to acute and chronic exercise, with an emphasis on carbohydrate metabolism. Current research projects examine the molecular regulation of glucose transporter GLUT4 expression in skeletal muscle and adipose tissue by exercise. He is a Consulting Editor for Journal of Applied Physiology and serves on the editorial boards of the American Journal of Physiology (Endocrinology & Metabolism), International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism and Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise. He is a Director on the Board of the Victorian Institute of Sport.


Carolyn Phiddian
Carolyn Phiddian

Carolyn Phiddian

General Manager for Programmable Networks in Chief Technology Office, NBN Co

Carolyn is the General Manager for Technology Strategy in the CTO group, responsible for the long range technology strategy of nbn.

Carolyn is a global expert in the creation and operation of nation-wide telecommunications networks.  Carolyn has over twenty five years’ experience in the telecommunications industry in Australia, the United Kingdom, New Zealand and Asia Pacific.  Her career has been based on leading implementation of innovative technologies for practical business outcomes.

In nbn since 2010, Carolyn has established a number of engineering teams and functions, been the network design authority across FTTP, FTTN, Wireless and Satellite and also led network operations through a transformation to be ready for operating FTTN.

Previously Carolyn had senior management roles in Nokia developing and implementing IP based solution architectures for a wide range of clients. She started her career in Telstra culminating in being the first engineering executive for Voice on IP.

Carolyn has a Bachelor’s degree in engineering from the University of Melbourne and a Graduate Certificate in management from Monash University in Melbourne, Australia.


Ben Rimmer
Ben Rimmer

Ben Rimmer

Chief Executive Officer, City of Melbourne

Ben Rimmer was appointed CEO at the City of Melbourne in February 2015.

Melbourne is Australia’s fastest growing city and is driving the nation’s economy by contributing almost a third to all growth in gross domestic product. The City of Melbourne is undergoing significant technological, economic and ecological change.

Ben leads the City of Melbourne administration in supporting the Lord Mayor, Deputy Lord Mayor and Councillors to achieve their objectives and deliver the community’s vision of a bold, inspirational and sustainable city.

His role is also to ensure that City of Melbourne is ‘a leading organisation for a leading city’ – building current and future capacity to serve the interests of Melbourne and the evolving needs of the community.

Before returning to his home town of Melbourne, Ben was Associate Secretary in the Australian Government’s Department of Human Services in Canberra. He has also worked for the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, and the Victorian Department of Premier and Cabinet. Before joining the public sector he was Project Leader in the Boston Consulting Group’s London and Melbourne offices, and spent a year on secondment to Cape York indigenous organisations through the Jawun program.

Ben is a member of the Male Champions of Change program with a strong focus on delivering real and positive action for gender equality. He has degrees in Arts and Law from the University of Melbourne, and an MBA with distinction from the University of Oxford. In 2014 he received the James Wolfensohn Public Service Scholarship to undertake executive education at Harvard University’s John F Kennedy School of Government. Since 2015 he has been a member of the board of the Australian Youth Orchestra.


Matthew Vesperman
Matthew Vesperman

Matthew Vesperman

Managing Director, Australia and New Zealand, Ciena

Matthew Vesperman is currently Managing Director for Australia and New Zealand at the Ciena Corporation. In this role he is responsible for the overall sales strategy and operation of Ciena in Australia and New Zealand. Mr Vesperman joined the Ciena leadership team in 2015, from previous tenure in Ericsson, Openwave and Nortel where he has held several senior management roles across the companies working in the Asia Pacific Region.

He has over 27 years of experience in the telecommunications industry and his extensive experience includes responsibilities in multiple regions and disciplines including engineering, product management and international sales. Mr Vesperman is an active member in the community and supporter of a number of charities. He holds a Bachelor of Electrical Engineering from the University of Technology, Sydney.