ProjectChat 2024 Keynote Speakers

chris-deeble-projectchat 2024

Chris Deeble, AO CSC

Deputy Secretary of CASG
Department of Defence

Topic: PM Agility in Capability Development for a New World Order

Chris Deeble is the Deputy Secretary of the Capability Acquisition and Sustainment Group (CASG) in the Department of Defence.

Chris has extensive experience spanning the defence, industry and commercial sectors and working with Government. He also served for 37 years in the Australian Defence Force, most notably as an Air Vice-Marshal.

His most recent appointment was Chief Executive at Northrop Grumman Australia. Prior to that he worked for Airservices Australia as the program executive for OneSKY, responsible for delivering the Civil Military Air Traffic Management System for Australia.

Chris returns to CASG after previously holding the role of Senior Program Manager where he managed more than $25 billion of complex acquisition and sustainment programs including the Joint Strike Fighter, Wedgetail Airborne Early Warning and Control, Multi Role Tanker Transport and Collins Class Submarine.

Chris has a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from the University of Sydney. He was awarded the Conspicuous Service Cross (CSC) in 2007, and recognized in 2016 as an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO).

Chris is married to Donna and they have five adult children. They enjoy travel, movies and spending time with family.

Dr. Keith Joiner, Group Captain (Ret'd)

Senior Lecturer Test, Evaluation & Aircraft Systems

Topic: If you can manage people, you can manage AI

Dr Joiner joined the Air Force in 1985 and became an aeronautical engineer, project manager and teacher over a 30-year career before joining the University of New South Wales in 2015 as a senior lecturer in test and evaluation.

From 2010 to 2014 he was the Director-General of Test and Evaluation for the Australian Defence Force where he was awarded a Conspicuous Service Cross. He was responsible for Defence-wide test and evaluation policy, ensuring all new capability submissions to Government had test plans, for conducting trials on all proposed new capabilities (prototypes and off-the-shelf), and operational field evaluations for new Army and joint capabilities. During his tenure in this role he testified to the Senate Inquiry into Defence Procurement (2012) and was tasked by the Service Chiefs with developing and implementing new reforms in test and evaluation. Dr Joiner has completed a number of post-graduate degrees including a Masters of Science in Aerospace Systems Engineering with distinction through Loughborough University in the United Kingdom, a PhD in Calculus Education and a Masters of Management. In previous roles he was a design engineer for aircraft and missiles, a project engineering manager, a chief engineer for several aircraft types, and a base commander for an airfield and domestic infrastructure.

In 2009 he did wartime service as a plans officer in Baghdad for the Multi-National Force Iraq where he was awarded a United States Meritorious Service Medal for his work developing drawdown plans. He is a Certified Practising Engineer with the Institute of Engineers Australia and a Certified Practising Project Director with the Australian Institute of Project Management. In all his roles he has worked extensively with Defence scientists, sponsoring, conducting and trialling experiments and research including recent important human factors and anthropometric work for future submarines and combat vehicles.


Dr. Alicia Aitken

Chairperson for the International Centre for Complex Project Management (ICCPM)

Topic: A Different Way of Thinking and Working: Positioning Australia to Respond to an Increasingly Complex Strategic Environment

Alicia is the chairperson for the International Centre for Complex Project Management (ICCPM). In addition to this role Alicia is the Delivery Director – Suncorp Integration for ANZ Banking Corporation and works with a number of tech start-ups, Joyous, Pioneera and CloudFloat as a non-executive director and advisor.  Prior to her role at ANZ Alicia held the position of Chief Project Officer for Telstra after having spent several years as CEO, Human Systems International. Her experience ranges through several industries including Telecommunications, Banking & Finance, Defence & Aerospace, Pharmaceutical, Engineering & Construction, Mining, Oil & Gas and Government. She holds a PhD in project management and psychology with a particular focus on how project managers cope with stress. Before any of this, Alicia started her career as the founder of several small businesses ranging from B2C e-commerce, web development, project management assessment & benchmarking and consulting.


Mel Slater

Director, MARITIME, Defence SA

Topic: Project Management in South Australia’s Defence and Space Sectors

Mel Slater joined Defence SA as Director, Maritime in December 2023. The focus of his role is to develop and deliver a program of activities that grows Defence presence and contributes to a sustainable defence industry within the state.

Mel has over 35 years’ experience in shipbuilding construction (including submarines, patrol boats, frigates, minehunters, and diving systems) across engineering, major subcontracts, and senior management positions, with over 30 of those years working here in South Australia.

Prior to joining Defence SA, Mel worked on major projects including the Attack class submarine program and AIR6500, responsible for aspects of sourcing within the supply chain through market solicitations, evaluations, subcontract negotiations and executions, with overall cost and schedule responsibilities.

Mel has also worked on several other key Defence projects in the state, including the design and construction of the Collins class submarines, construction of the Hobart class Air Warfare Destroyers, and projects within the land and air domains.

Mel has formal qualifications in Mechanical Engineering, Project Management (CPPD (AIPM) and PMP (PMI)) and Business Management (MBA).

Mel will work with outgoing Director Maritime, David Eyre, over the coming months to oversee existing programs and further build relationships with industry.

Peter Sexton

Peter Sexton

Managing Director, 3PM Advisory

Topic: Pros and Cons of Agile Thinking in Capability Development

Peter Sexton is the Managing Director of 3PM Advisory and has more than 20 years’ experience in professional services focusing on project, program and portfolio management.

Peter has extensive experience in management consulting at Deloitte and KPMG (with over nine years at Partner level). Peter brings strong leadership experience to effectively manage the complexities of delivering strategic change and transformation programs and building team capabilities. He enjoys tackling new challenges and helping develop strategy and deliver results through working collaboratively with people at all levels to navigate complex programs. 

Prior to his consulting career, Peter had a range of experience in management roles within Ford Australia, General Dynamics International based at Cathay Pacific in Hong Kong, Morgan & Banks HR and Recruitment Consulting and the Royal Australian Air Force.

Peter is a Certified Practicing Project Director with the Australian Institute of Project Management, holds a Masters in Project Management and Bachelor of Engineering from the University of Adelaide and a Masters of Business Administration from the University of Southern Queensland along with completing range of industry certifications including Prince2, MSP, MoP, PMP and ScrumMaster.

Outside of work, Peter is a keen golfer and average cricketer who enjoys cooking and supporting Port Adelaide in the AFL and Liverpool in the EPL.   Peter has a wonderful family (wife Nicole and three children – two at University and one closing in completing his secondary education).  


Drew Nugent

Director (Defence), Tracey Brunstrom & Hammond

Topic: Project Delivery as a System of Systems: Moving beyond methodology partisanship

Drew is an executive leader with over 23 years of experience in the defence industry across both Australia and the United Kingdom. He has held technical, management, and strategic leadership roles ranging across Shipbuilding, System Design, Combat Systems, Maritime Sustainment, and Aerospace.

Drew has significant experience in complex project planning and controls, PMO establishment, schedule risk analysis, and change management. His skills range from devising schedule development strategies through to fully integrated project controls solutions.

Prior to taking up his current role as a Director at TBH, Drew led a large multi-national project planning and controls organisation responsible for developing and maintaining the highly complex Hunter Class Frigate Program Schedule and integrating with the broader Global Combat Ship Program

Drew resides in Adelaide but leads a national program assisting clients across the country deal with big challenges.  Drew is passionate about the defence industry and enjoys working with government, business, and industry stakeholders at all levels to deliver efficient and effective business and project outcomes.

Drew’s Experience Includes

  • Establishing schedule frameworks for high complexity program schedules
  • Leading the development of complex program schedules for major programs of work
  • Assessing maturity and quality of schedule, project control, change control, and risk analysis models, processes, and deliverables
  • Schedule dependency and integration reviews and improvement actions
  • Preparation for internal and external audits including Earned Value System Reviews and Integrated Baseline Reviews
  • Schedule Risk Analysis network development, analysis, and iteration
  • Risk and Complexity Management

ProjectChat 2024 Event Speakers


Yvonne Butler

Senior Research Fellow, National Security College, Australian National University

Topic: Accelerating the delivery of Defence Capability in a Threat Based World Order

Yvonne Butler is an advocate for Defence, Industry and the Acceleration of Capability Delivery  through excellence in the delivery of projects and programs.   A former Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Institute of Project Management and Board Advisor to the International Project Management Association, Yvonne has deep experience in Strategy Execution, Program Leadership, Project Assurance, Governance and Risk Management.

Yvonne is currently working with the National Security College at the Australian National University and the new Advanced Strategic Capabilities Accelerator to facilitate Defence, Industry and Academia’s input to the post-DSR requirement of speed to capability. Yvonne is also currently undertaking assurance reviews of major government projects for the Commonwealth Department of Finance, and is a facilitator of the Strategy, Risk and Governance subject on the Company Directors Course run by the Australian Institute of Company Directors.


Matt Armstrong

Project Manager, Hanwha Defence Australia

Topic: A delving into Project Management Methods to Madness and why some of it matters

Matt comes from Melbourne with nearly two decades of experience in Defence Industry, including time spent in the Navy as an Aircraft Technician then mounting a career in Project Management with CASG and, most recently, with Hanwha Defence Australia.  

When he’s not mixing his time with family, work and music, he’s cheering on his beloved football team (the mighty Collingwood Footy Club).

Simon White

BAE Systems

Topic: The Rules of Flow: 10 Simple Rules to Increase Workflow through Systems

Simon White works for BAE Systems as a Project Management Fellow and Business Partner for Aerospace. His 20 years’ experience includes Aircraft Maintenance Repair & Overhaul, Fighter Jet Fleet Management, Project Planning & Controls, and Systems Thinking.

Over the last two years he has worked with UK Defence Air, Land & Sea programmes, guiding people (and their Systems) on how to enable better outcomes, by improving application of work flow management methodologies. He has a passion for the practical application of Constraint Theory, the big rich picture mindset and visualisations that come from Systems Thinking, but most of all helping individuals and organisations achieve breakthrough performance using Logic, Reason, and Cause-and-Effect Thinking Processes.

Rob McMartin

Rob McMartin

Director, Emu Head Consulting

Topic: Understanding uncertainty as it applies to Project Complexity. To Understand Project Complexity, it is Important to Appreciate why the Level of Uncertainty Must Match the Level of Project Complexity.

Rob McMartin has over 40 years experience, as portfolio, program project and PMO Manager with expertise across a variety of programs, projects, general, facilities and contract management across a variety of projects  from aviation, finance, utilities, property, events, logistics, public transport, environment, software development, defence and aerospace industries.

Rob is an AIPM Victorian Chapter Councilor and the Co-Chair of the International Centre for Complex Project Management (ICCPM), Managing Risk in Complexity (MRC), Special Interest Group (SIG).

Angela Tuffley

Angela Tuffley

Director, SCRAM Principal, Independent Project Review Institute (IPRI)

Topic: Speed to Capability with the Incremental Commitment Spiral Model

Angela Tuffley is the Consultant Director of RedBay Consulting and Founding Director of the Independent Project Review Institute (IPRI). She is highly skilled in the methodology and assessment of complex projects with special focus on the Defence sector, achieving excellent results with a proven international track record. 

Angela provides expert professional services in consultancy, training and assessment of processes for the acquisition, engineering and support of software intensive systems. She focuses on the Schedule Confidence Risk Assessment Method (SCRAM); Capability Maturity Model® Integration (CMMI®) and ISO/IEC 15504 Information Technology Process Assessment (SPICE). 

Angela is a principal co-developer of SCRAM which is highly conducive to effective schedule management by establishing a framework and process for identifying root causes of schedule slippage. Funded by the Australian Department of Defence, SCRAM has been used to assess the risk to schedule confidence on a number of programs including the development and introduction of the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF).


Patrick Weaver

Mosaic Project Services

Topic: Assessing Delay and Disruption in Agile and Distributed Projects.

Patrick Weaver, PMP, PMI-SP, MAIPM, is the Managing Director of Mosaic Project Services Pty Ltd, an Australian consultancy specialising in project control systems. He is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Building, a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, and was awarded the Wayne Wilson Award for Lifetime Contribution in Project Controls at the Project Controls Expo in 2023.

Patrick has over 50 years’ experience in Project Management. His career was initially focused on the planning and managing of construction, and infrastructure projects in the UK and Australia. The last 35 years has seen his businesses and experience expand to include the successful delivery of project support services in a wide range of organisations and industries, with a strong focus on project controls, training, and forensic analysis.

Rob Edwards

Detlek US

Topic: Enhancing the Project Lifecycle: A Glimpse into Deltek PPM Innovations

Rob is currently the Senior Product Director for Schedule and Risk as well as liaison for Regulatory Compliance within the PPM product suite. Rob has over 35 years’ experience in project management and project management software. Rob worked for Welcom Software for 14 years before consulting to clients in the Construction and Defense Industries. Rob holds a BS Degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Akron (Akron, Ohio) and worked in heavy construction before working in the project management software field. Rob resides in Fort Collins Colorado where he enjoys good food, good drink and hiking in the Rocky Mountains.


Brad Richardson

Scope Works

Topic: Unlocking Project Success: Integrated Scheduling and Earned Value Management (EVM) Strategies for Enhanced PMO Planning, Performance Tracking, and Governance

Brad is the founder and Managing Director of Scope Works, a national Project Management, PMO and Project Controls and Scheduling consultancy to the Australian Defence industry and a range of other industries managing complex portfolios, programs and projects.  

Brad has over 30 years senior-level leadership and strategic, program and project management, finance and commercial experience across the Australian Defence industry. This includes working with Defence peer Primes and above the line for the CASG and LAND, SEA, AIR and JOINT Domain Defence Customers.

He is an expert in and has been trained and mentored in complex Program Management, Project Management Office (PMO), Planning and Scheduling, practical Earned Value Management (EVM) systems and training, practical Agile, Cost and Project Controls requirements, implementing tailored best practice processes and systems and conducting independent reviews including numerous IBRs for large, complex ASDEFCON, AS-4817 compliant Defence Projects.

Brad has formed Scope Works from his impressive and passionate network of senior Project Controls and Scheduling industry peers and Scope Works business model is based on providing experienced consultants and resources across the “life cycle” capabilities Project Management Office (PMO), Project Planning, Scheduling, Earned Value Management (EVM), practical Agile, Integrated Baseline Reviews (IBR), Project Controls and Reporting, Estimating and Risk Management, Commercial, Supplier and Cost Management.

Scope Works also works with organisations in assessing and uplifting their Portfolio, Program and Project PMO Processes, Systems and Reporting through our uniquely developed and tailorable Scope Work Maturity models, Gate and assurance reviews, processes and training.

Michael Yeung

Michael Yeung

SAAB Australia

Topic: Challenges with Incorporating Agility in Complex Programs in an Australian Defence Industry Context

Michael Yeung is the Head of Program Management Office within the Combat Systems Integration-Integrated Project Team (CSI-IPT) at Saab Australia. He is responsible for the delivery of PMO capability and services for the CSI-IPT and the integrated CSI-IPT performance.

With more than a decade of Maritime Defence industry experience, Michael has worked in various program/project management roles on a range of maritime programs including SEA4000 AWD Program, SEA1180 OPV Program, SEA1000 Attack Class Program and SEA5000 HCF Program. This included multiple employers including ASC Shipbuilding, BAE Systems Australia and Lockheed Martin Australia.

Michael has also worked in the Rail and Construction industry to help establish project management capability for new complex programs with a focus on development and implementation of new technology.

Michael has a Bachelor’s Degree in Engineering (Mechatronics) and Master of Applied Finance from the University of Adelaide.

Stacey Wehmeier

Stacey Wehmeier

Executive Director, Synergy Group

Topic: Implementing Project Controls fast and lite. Is it possible?

As an Executive Director with Synergy Group, I am pleased to be part of a team providing quality services to Government. I have 9 years Industry experience in the Banking, Insurance and Electricity sectors, followed by over 23 years’ experience in the Government sector. Before joining Synergy in September 2018, I led a team implementing major reform in Project Controls (Cost Estimation and Forecasting, Schedule Management, Risk Management and Workforce Planning and Estimation) for a large Government department. As a leader, I believe in being a positive advocate for my team, enabling their success in delivery, and also encouraging their personal development. The work we do is very important, but the people are more important.

I am proud to support the professionalisation of project controls through my role as a Director of the Program Governance and Controls Symposium (PGCS), as the President of the ICEAA Canberra Chapter, and a vocal supporter of, and participant in the Project Controls Expo.

Together with my husband, I also successfully breed and exhibit purebred Bullmastiffs (GrizzMuffley Bullmastiffs

Boris Kazakevich

Boris Kazakevich

MOOG Australia

Topic: Agile Acquisition Approach to Accelerate Product Development using a Test-centred MVP Framework.

Boris Kazakevich is a Principal Engineer at Moog Australia P/L with over 25 years of industry experience in designing and developing motion control systems for industrial and defence applications. In his previous roles, he led multidiscipline engineering teams and managed the delivery of complex turnkey projects for universities and research centres in the area of materials and product testing. He has a bachelor’s degree (Honours) in Mechanical Engineering and is currently studying a Master of Systems Engineering at ADFA, UNSW, Canberra. As part of the study, he is conducting a research project on the application of Agile methodologies in complex multidisciplinary developmental projects.

Daniel Foster


Topic: Project Controls: How to develop a Project Controls Professional

Daniel is a competent and successful project manager and project controls manager who has managed multiple engineering development projects at varying stages of delivery from design through to manufacture. He also managed change projects and been heavily involved with the planning and project controls aspects of the projects that he has managed.

He has experience performing consulting roles in many industries including Defence, Construction, Oil & Gas, Aerospace and Aviation. This is combined with his public speaking engagements to deliver insights into project delivery.

As Managing Partner of Skeiny he manages and delivers consulting and support assignments to clients in these industries. This is alongside managing the team of Skeiny consultants who range from graduate to expert level in their respective project management areas.

His experience is backed up by qualifications; Certified Practicing Project Director with the Australian Institute of Project Management, Project Management Professional with Project Management Institute, Diploma of Project Management, P6R8 Implementation Consultant (Oracle Certified) and PRINCE2 Practitioner. He also has a first class honours in a Bachelor of Aerospace Engineering and a Masters in Aviation Management.

Matt Betros

Matt Betros

GBA Projects

Topic: You're Ready for a Schedule Risk Assessment, but is your Culture?

Matt Betros is the Managing Director of GBA Projects and has been involved in planning, scheduling and controls for 15 years. Matt’s background in computer science led him to work for WST Pacific/Deltek which enabled him to gain a greater understanding of project controls software and data.

Matt has provided services to multiple clients in numerous industries such as Oil & Gas, Mining, Road, Transport, Building and Infrastructure and currently undertakes detailed forensic planning for several South Australian projects on behalf of the government and health.

There will be an increase in demand for competent project management and controls practitioners over the next decade to deliver the large-scale projects that would ordinarily continue to fail. There will be an even greater requirement to deliver projects quicker, cheaper and more efficiently.

GBA Projects has seen a sharp decline in project controls and management competency over many years and through the observations and experiences of the business and its team, Matt has pioneered the development of the company’s internal processes to make forensic planning easier to accomplish.


Meri Duncanson

Synergy Group

Topic: Current Project Management Trends: Hybrid Methodologies and Big Data Analysis

Meri has more than 25 years of experience in Program Controls and PMOand Governance, currently working in the defence consulting field. Most recently Meri has completed the development and implementation of project management frameworks, governance systems and a scalable PMO in the not-for-profit  and government owned corporation domains.

Over the years, Meri has held several positions in the Defence and Aerospace, and Telecommunications sectors, both in consultative and staff roles and enjoys implementing and improving program performance management systems and processes to enhance program delivery, including PMO, Governance, EVM, Project Controls, Scheduling and Risk Management.

Meri is a certified in Integrated Program Performance Management (IPPMTM) and has served on the board of the Australian Performance Management Association and is a long term member of PMI and AACEI.


Matt Williams


Topic: Program Management: The Key to Strategy Execution

Matt is the founder of Amplify, and is currently serving in the role of Chief Product Officer. 

Matt’s career has always been at the intersection of business and technology, starting his first business at 18 providing technology advice to small businesses in his hometown of Adelaide.  After university and a decade selling enterprise project management software,  Matt then founded Amplify with the vision of being the leading provider of strategy execution software to large enterprises.

Matt is also a keen runner and dad joke enthusiast.

Paula Foster

Paula Foster & Lauran Long

Skeiny Projects

Topic: Selling the Schedule: Why a realistic and robust schedule benefits everyone

Paula is a Certified Project Management Professional (PMP) and has extensive experience as a Planning Manager, and Project Controls Trainer. She has worked on projects all over the world including Australia, the United Kingdom and Europe. She has developed and delivered in-house project controls training for CASG and a variety of defence prime contractors.


Andrew Ferguson

Risk Decisions

Topic: Successful Project Managers and Planners Take and Manage Risks

Andrew is an experienced enterprise risk and project management consultant, project manager and chartered professional engineer and logistician. He has worked across a range of industries including rail, transport, mining, construction, water infrastructure, complex engineering systems, capital and maintenance projects, business operations and aerospace at senior levels. He has a defence program, logistics and engineering management background.

His past roles have included program management and Enterprise Risk (ERM), Bid and Tender Risk Manager including risk cost & schedule estimating on capital projects using Monte Carlo techniques.  Andrew has used a wide variety of schedule and risk techniques and systems including Open Plan Professional, Primavera, Predict!, @Risk and similar COTS and bespoke products

He has consulted to many organisations on diverse risk management programs and issues. He has delivered and managed enterprise, program and project risk management and analysis tasks since 2005.  Andrew has contracted to Risk Decisions Australia since 2012; providing and supporting Predict! risk software systems for Australian and Asia Pacific client corporations and government bodies. He continues to consult in logistics, engineering and cost and schedule risk and project management for construction, government and defence clients.

Chloe Kempster

Director System Requirements and Design Strategy and Planning, CASG

Topic: Enabling Defence Data Driven Culture and Decision Making: the Opportunities and Challenges

Chloe Kempster is the Director Systems Requirements and Design within Defence’s Capability Acquisition and Sustainment Group (CASG), and has been working over the past 4 years to deliver a comprehensive performance management data set and reporting system improvements for CASG.

Chloe has worked for Defence for 23 years across major acquisition projects in contract and project management fields, within Air Force Headquarters providing analysis to sustainment resourcing and within the now disbanded Capability Development Group becoming an expert on cost estimation in Defence.  On returning back to CASG and her project management roots in 2018, Chloe has worked across multiple reform initiatives for Program Management Function (PMF) and has led on PMF data and systems reform for the organisation, a particular passion for Chloe.

Chloe has a bachelor’s degree in Economics and Arts (English) from the University of Adelaide.

David Mallet & Scott Robertson

Yanun Project Services

Topic: TBA


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