Stakeholder issues are one of the leading causes of project delay, are one of the most common reasons for projects to end in dispute and have contributed to the cancellation, delay or mothballing of more than $20B in Australian infrastructure projects.

These include projects like the East-West link in Victoria, cancelled in 2015 at a reported cost of around $1.3 billion to tax payers. Major gas projects in NSW have also failed to materialise and generate much needed domestic gas. And here in Queensland, new coal projects like those in the Galilee Basin continue to be controversial.

So what lessons are Australian infrastructure projects taking from our peers around the world and how can we work smarter with communities to deliver the multi-billion dollar infrastructure program that will meet the needs of Australia’s growing population?

Our expert panel of Australian and international infrastructure leaders will explore this topic with the leaders of Australia’s Next Generation Engagement Project. They will share their experiences gained across more than $100B in infrastructure planning, design and delivery.

About the Next Generation Engagement Program

The Next Generation Engagement Program is a globally unique research effort which aims to support infrastructure proponents in making better decisions around engaging with communities, managing and pricing social risk and building a sustainable social license. It aims to do this by building a globally accessible evidence base which draws on data from completed and contemporary projects throughout the world.







VENUE: The Brisbane Club, 241 Adelaide Street, Brisbane

TIME: 12.00pm – 2.00pm

COST: Members $160, Non-members $200, Members Tables of 10 $1440, Non-members Tables of 10 $2000 (includes GST)


Download manual registration form here






Kirsty O’Connell, Industry Director, The Engagement People
Kirsty O’Connell leads industry engagement for the Next Generation Engagement program and through her company, The Engagement People, was a founding partner in this exciting work.  Kirsty has successfully led communication and engagement for more than $17 billion in transformational multi-billion dollar infrastructure projects during her 20 year career, holds an MBA with majors in finance, sustainability and innovation gained in Australia, the UK and France and is a member of the Infrastructure Sustainability Council of Australia’s Stakeholder Advisory Committee (ISCA). She lends her considerable industry experience to ensure industry concerns and aspirations stay at the heart of the Next Generation Engagement Program.



Ken Mathers, Chair, Office of Projects Victoria
Ken Mathers is a civil engineer with a wealth of experience in the planning, procurement and delivery of major road transport infrastructure.  Following an extensive career with VicRoads and Melbourne City Link Authority he worked as private consultant before appointment as CEO of Linking Melbourne Authority (LMA), a position he held for 12 years prior to his retirement from full time work in early 2015.  LMA became a specialist organisation responsible for the planning, procurement and oversight of the delivery of major road infrastructure projects undertaken as Public Private Partnerships (PPP). Projects included the 39km EastLink a highly successful toll road, and the adjoining 25km Peninsula Link the first Availability PPP in Australia. LMA was also responsible for gaining the planning approval and completed the procurement for Melbourne’s East West Link.  These very large road projects involved extensive community engagement and liaison with stakeholders throughout planning, procurement and the early operational phases.

Ken has been the Chairperson of the Advisory Board of the Office of Projects Victoria since inception in mid 2016 and continues as a consultant including engagements with Infrastructure New South Wales reviewing very significant road infrastructure developments in Sydney.

During the development of Brisbane’s Airport Link he was on the Board Director of City North Infrastructure in Queensland, and spent 7 years on the Board of Roads Australia, the peak road industry body in Australia with the final 3 years as Vice President, and 2 years on the Advisory Board for Regional Rail Link Project in Victoria.

Danielle Smalley, Chief Operating Officer,  Greater Sydney Commission
Danielle has is an experienced senior leader in the public sector with over 20 years’ experience working in senior stakeholder management, community engagement, facilitation, media, issues and project management. She led communication and engagement for the highly successful Sydney Metro Project – Australia’s largest public transport project – before accepting a role as Executive Director, Communication and Engagement at the Greater Sydney Commission. Her work at the Greater Sydney Commission, notably in engaging growing communities on long range planning and infrastructure issues, has seen her bridge the gap between communications and leadership to be named the organisation’s acting COO.


Damian Gould, Chief Executive Officer, Building Queensland
Damian is Chief Executive Officer of Building Queensland. Since his appointment in February 2017, Damian has been responsible for driving the development of the state’s major infrastructure business cases and advising the Queensland Government on infrastructure priorities. Prior to this, Damian held positions as Principal in international advisory firms Evans & Peck and Advisian leading the Queensland Government and social infrastructure practices. Damian’s career has also included senior executive roles with the Queensland Office of the Coordinator-General and the Department of Infrastructure and Planning, as well as senior positions with Queensland Treasury.


Julie Castle, Managing Director, Struber
Julie Castle is the Managing Director of infrastructure specialist consultancy Struber. She has advised, consulted and fulfilled in-house roles on over 40 major infrastructure projects including the renowned Gold Coast Light Rail; Gateway Motorway; Bruce Highway; Brisbane busways; Surat, Bowen and Galilee Basin rail corridors; and Cross London Rail Links.

She is a bold member of the board and provides a practical insight to the IAQ on traditional and innovative communication, engagement and marketing activities. Julie draws upon her background in politics and media relations, and holds a Bachelor of Public Relations and International Business from Queensland University of Technology as well as memberships with the International Association for Public Participation Australia (IAP2) and National Association of Women in Construction.

Sarah Ramsay, Associate Director, KPMG
Sarah is an Associate Director in KPMG’s Corporate Affairs Advisory team, working with clients to manage complex public issues and improve social licence. Having worked as a political advisor in State and Federal government and as a government relations advisor with the private sector, Sarah has seen first hand the importance of building trust and how grass roots advocacy can drive political decisions and build social licence.

Pursuing a purpose of improving the relationship between business, citizens and government, Sarah and the team have successfully delivered social licence assessments, and issues management,  communications and engagement strategies across a range of sectors including infrastructure projects, energy, financial services, pharmaceuticals and resources.

Sarah has a Masters in Business Administration and Bachelors in Political Science.

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