Sector Director


Nick has over 28 years' experience in the technical, business and corporate development of mining projects internationally. He was co-founder and Managing Director of Mirabela Nickel Limited and led the discovery, development and construction of the Santa Rita nickel project in Brazil. Santa Rita is the largest nickel sulphide discovery in two decades, one of the largest open-pit nickel mines and was built within a record five years – from first drill hole to first nickel production.

Since Mirabela, Nick has been involved in many entrepreneurial projects in a broad range of industries and is passionate about using a mentoring based approach to help people, teams and companies to make a difference and do things in a different way.

Nick has a BSc (Hons) from the University of Western Australia, an MSc in Geology from the Colorado School of Mines and an MSc from the Sloan Masters in Leadership and Strategy Programme at London Business School.

He speaks fluent French and Portuguese and is a member of the Australian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy and the Australian Institute of Company Directors. Nick is also a non-executive director of MEC Mining.

New South Wales


Ross Carter

Partner:
Austmine
Location:
Sydney
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Ross offers 30 years of insight into the Australian Resources, Contracting, Mining and Industrial Services.

As a Business Facilitator, Ross brings a "best practice" but also practical approach to uncovering the real challenges faced when providing completed service offerings to major industrial and mining clients.

With proven experience to identify and win the work to deliver such solutions, he has led high performing teams, creating alignment across client needs, service delivery and results.

Marianne Cummings

Partner:
Austmine
Location:
Newcastle
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Marianne is an experienced Business Adviser who combines strong business analysis skills with a common sense approach to facilitate improvements in profitability, innovation, and productivity.

Marianne specialises in assisting clients from a variety of industries who supply to the resources sector. She enjoys working with clients to identify their real issues and barriers to growth and plan strategic pathways. She uses her strong networks and highly developed relationship management skills to support clients transitioning through change.

As a business consultant, Marianne spent over 15 years working with SME clients and organisations such as the NSW Department of Trade and Investment and HunterNet. She has held senior management roles with Lifeline Newcastle's commercial arm and senior relationship management roles in Commonwealth Bank Australia Business Banking.

Marianne holds the following qualifications: Bachelor of Commerce (Accounting and Marketing), Post Graduate Diploma of Management, Certificate IV Training and Assessment, and Strategic Alliance Building - Partnership Broker Level 1.

Clare Newton

Partner:
NSW Business Chamber
Location:
Newcastle
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Clare is an experienced Business Adviser covering the Hunter region of NSW, working with companies in the METS and Oil, Gas and Energy Resources supply chains. She has experience in a wide range of private sector manufacturing companies, ranging from food manufacturing, steel processing, cement making, and mining equipment manufacturing. Clare’s roles covered production management, quality management systems, process improvement, data analytics, new product development and demand planning.

With extensive consulting experience to several large industrial clients, Clare has assisted businesses using project management and change management methodologies to deliver successful process improvement projects including supply chain management, waste reduction, staff development, strategic decision making, and asset optimisation.

Clare is passionate about assisting businesses identify and implement performance improvements through utilising Industry 4.0 technologies and embracing the Internet of Things (IoT), seeing many businesses realise their growth potential.

Clare has held the position of Business Adviser for the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science since 2008 and has a Bachelor of Engineering (Manufacturing and Materials) from the University of Queensland.

Queensland


Brad Prior

Partner:
Ai Group
Location:
Brisbane
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Brad’s career spans over 25 years in the Engineering sector; his previous clients include OEM’s, Consultants and End Users in a wide variety of process industries both in Australia and internationally. Brad has specific experience in the Mineral, Oil and Gas Processing Industries as well as Energy Efficiency, Power, Steam and Heat Generation and the utilisation of Alternate Fuels.

He was a Company Director of his family’s Engineering business as well as the Director of Marketing and Sales. Subsequently he was a State Manager for a Multi-National Engineering company, where he managed the start-up of its Queensland operations.

Brad specialises in Economic Analysis, the formulation of Strategic Business and Marketing Plans and is experienced in International Business throughout Europe, Asia and Latin America. He is keen to use his management experience, analytical skills and network of contacts to assist Queensland businesses reach their potential and expand their markets.

Brad’s qualifications include a Bachelor of Economics and Master of Business Administration (General Management) both from the University of Queensland.

Joe Ippolito

Partner:
Austmine
Location:
Brisbane
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Joe works closely with SME businesses engaged in the resources industry spanning the oil and gas, coal and hard rock sectors. The SME businesses range from product suppliers to service and technology providers that have as their customers, major project owners and tier one contractors.

He has worked with over 200 businesses, across a range of business cycles from the planning and construction phase to the maintenance and, in some cases, the shut-down phase. This has enabled Joe to gain a deep understanding of the business drivers across all the various cycles of the resources industry.

Joe's work provides SMEs with additional resources and tools to critically assess their business and their business model. Central to this is providing opportunities to access specific assistance, and connections within the industry. The end goal is to assist businesses meet the requirements of their major buyers.

Joe's experience includes roles with major listed companies across finance, operational, marketing and strategic planning. Joe's qualifications include a Masters majoring in Finance and Taxation. He is a Chartered Accountant and a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Neil Platt

Partner:
Austmine
Location:
Mackay
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Neil has been involved in the resources and manufacturing sectors for the past 20 years, and works closely with resources, technology and manufacturing businesses through his role as a Business Adviser. He is a highly effective senior management professional with extensive experience in business management, human resource strategies, and integrated management systems.

Previously, Neil was a General Manager for a large engineering company with a turnover of over $50 million supplying products and services to the resources sector. His expertise includes continuous improvement programs, project management, knowledge management, organisational development initiatives, and he is a lean manufacturing practitioner.

Neil also spent 23 years in the Royal Australian Air Force as a Systems Engineer.

Neil has a Bachelor of Teaching, Graduate Diploma in Computer Based Learning, Graduate Certificate in Management, Diploma of Engineering and a Diploma of Competitive Manufacturing. In addition, Neil also has qualifications as an Integrated Management Systems Auditor (Quality, Safety and Environmental).

Victoria


Dale Thompson

Partner:
Austmine
Location:
Melbourne
Dale Thompson

Dale has extensive experience in business improvement, business development, and sales and marketing in Australia and overseas. Dale has achieved significant results for his clients in the areas of strategic planning, risk management, change implementation and governance.

As a Business Adviser, Dale has worked with over 150 businesses on improving the operations to reduce risk for business owners while improving the return on investment. He was also part of the team that developed the Resources Industry Supply Chain Index (RISCI), which measures a business' readiness to enter the resources sector. Dale has now delivered RISCI to over 200 businesses.

With commercial experience in mining equipment, explosives, ground support, and geotechnical instrumentation, as well as the marine markets in Australia and Asia, Dale has a wealth of practical experience.

Dale has a Diploma in Civil Engineering and is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, and Swinburne Institute of Technology.

South Australia


Victor Hilliard

Partner:
Business SA
Location:
Adelaide
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Vic is a solution focused Senior Financial Executive with a career spanning over 20 years in CFO and Senior Commercial Management roles. Vic has a track record of leadership, the ability to embrace the 'big picture' and achievement encompassing the development and execution of strategies to deliver continuous improvement and profitable growth.

Vic has significant experience across the METs and OGER sectors in the institution of effective management and operating controls, systems implementations, re-engineering of management reporting to deliver meaningful information, identifying business drivers and developing KPI reporting and analytics.

In recent years, Vic has been assisting organisations effectively transforming and streamlining their finance, commercial and operational functions using methodologies learnt from The Boston Consulting Group and Booz-Allen Hamilton, as well as Lean and Six Sigma. His experience in costing is extensive, given his manufacturing and resources experience. Professionally, Vic is a Fellow of CPA Australia and has an MBA from Deakin University. His experience spans private companies, ASX50 companies as well as foreign controlled entities.

Western Australia


Martin Collard

Partner:
Austmine
Location:
Perth
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Martin is a proactive strategic business excellence leader, change agent, and mentor with an impressive track record of managing and delivering tangible business improvements across a variety of sectors and industries with a focus on the Western Australian resources sector.

Martin has worked extensively with many service and manufacturing businesses within the Mining Equipment, Technology and Services and Oil, Gas and Energy Resources sectors.

Martin's specialties include business capability improvement through business guidance linked to realistic improvement action plans, strategic thinking and best practice management mentoring based on lean principles.

Martin holds technical qualifications in mechanical engineering, composite engineering and polymer technology. He also has a Diploma in Management and Executive Master of Business Administration.

Martin is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and WA President of the Association for Manufacturing Excellence (AME) and Industry Expert and Mentor for WA Leaders.

Yonca Crew

Partner:
Business Foundations
Location:
Perth
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Yonca is a business advisor with extensive international organisational development, leadership and consulting experience. Yonca has significant experience in business strategy, human resources transformation, operational reviews and change management with constant focus on business improvement. She has worked across the resources, health, utilities and public sectors in Australia and Europe.

An engaging business consultant and advisor, Yonca is passionate about developing an organisation’s capability to execute its strategy, transform and continuously improve ways of working. Yonca is a published author in her areas of expertise.

Yonca holds a MSc in Human Resource Management from the London School of Economics and Political Science, has a BSc in Geology from the Technical University of Istanbul and a Doctoral degree from the University of Leicester School of Education.

Jon Hanlin

Partner:
Chamber of Commerce and Industry WA
Location:
Perth
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Jon's professional background spans over 30 years with both owner/manager and consulting/advisory experience in the Mining and Mining Services, Energy, Government, Not for Profit, Recycling, IT, Health, Property, Banking and Finance, Civil Construction, Engineering and Education sectors.

The majority of these businesses have been SME's and startups where the assistance and expertise provided includes strategy development, financial management, business development, operational improvement and innovation & change. He has held various positions including Chairman, CEO, CFO, Group Strategy & Business Development, and Assistant Treasury Manager.

Jon works with METS (mining equipment, technologies and services), oil & gas and energy resources companies to review their business, and provide advice and recommendations to foster growth opportunities.

Jon holds a Masters of Business Administration and a Bachelor of Economics Degree from the University of Western Australia, as well as a Graduate Diploma in Applied Finance from FINSIA.

Northern Territory


Nick Lehmann

Partner:
Chamber of Commerce and Industry WA
Location:
Darwin
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Nick's background is in Financial Services and Oil & Gas and works in the METS & OGER sector as well as other sectors. He is a UK qualified chartered accountant and been the CFO of a number of companies including multinationals (Jardines and Royal Bank of Scotland Group) as well being the CFO of an O & G Exploration and Production National oil Company in the Gulf region.

He has good supply chain and project management experience as well as economic and financial forecasting.

He was the founding CEO of two Finance Companies in the Gulf (UAE) lending into the O&G, construction and general commercial asset financing market.

Nick has a B.Sc Mathematics from London University, a M.Sc. in Management Science from Imperial College London, is a FCA as well as an associate of the Chartered Insurance and Chartered Banking Institutes.