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


If you are interested in sponsoring this event please email



Kirsty O’Connell, Industry Director, Next Generation Engagement Project
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.

Jack Handford, Principle – Inclusive Infrastructure, Global Infrastructure Hub
Jack Handford is an experienced infrastructure and PPP practitioner working in the Global Infrastructure Hub’s leading practices team, under which helpful tools and guidance materials are developed for government infrastructure practitioners. The GI Hub is a not-for-profit organisation initiated by the G20 in 2014 with the mandate to grow the global pipeline of quality infrastructure projects in both developed and emerging markets. Jack is closely involved in the GI Hub’s Inclusive Infrastructure Tool, which focuses on providing governments with the tools needed to deliver infrastructure in a manner that ensures the benefits reach all members of the community. Another of the GI Hub’s recent leading practices tools, the PPP Contract Management Tool, looked at data from 250 infrastructure projects globally, highlighting leading practices, including in the area of stakeholder engagement.


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.


Associate Professor Sara Bice, Research Director, Next Generation Engagement Project (TBC)
Leading social license expert, Dr Sara Bice, heads the Next Generation Engagement research team. She is Associate Professor at the Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University, Australia’s leading public policy school and the eighth in the world. At ANU, she is Vice Chancellor’s Future Senior Fellow for her work on The Next Generation Engagement program, Australia’s largest study into community engagement in infrastructure, to date. She is President of the International Association for Impact Assessment, the world’s leading organisation for impact assessment practitioners, researchers and clients, representing almost 7,000 members in 120 different countries. Sara is Associate Professor (Special International Guest) at the School of Public Policy and Management, Tsinghua University, Beijing. She is an award-winning author and her latest co-edited book, Public Policy in the Asian Century is available from Palgrave Macmillan. She loves to surf, has been known to swim with sharks and never met a gelato she didn’t like.