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Mr Ross MacDiarmid - Chair

Ross MacDiarmid serves as the Chief Executive Officer of the Royal Australian Mint and has also served as Chief Executive Officer Dyesol Australia Pty Ltd, Chief Executive of the Australian Capital Tourism Corporation.

Ross has held general manager positions with Lockwood Australia, Smorgon ARC, Ansett Australia and the ACT Government.


Deputy Chair (Acting)
Ilea Buffier

Ilea Buffier has been a company director for over                                            fifteen years and a non-executive director for the past 5. She is currently serving on the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD) ACT Divisional Council and their National Reporting Committee. Ilea is Deputy Chair of Northside Community Service and a member of their Finance and Audit Committee, having Joined the board of Northside 2013. She has been Managing Director and owner of Ninetwofive Interiors since 2003.

Ilea was awarded Telstra ACT Young Business Women of the Year in 2004 and holds a Diploma of Business. Ilea is a Graduate Member of the AICD, has been a Fellow of the Institute of Mangers and Leaders (IML) and is a member of the National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC) and Canberra Women in Business.

Ilea is a mentor for the Mill House Social Enterprise Accelerator program, which helps new Canberra businesses whose purpose is to make a positive environmental and social impact. 

Committee members
Peter Elford

Peter Elford is an Information and Communication Technology (ICT) professional with over 30 years of experience in the education and government sectors. He is passionate about the role ICT plays  in improving the way we work, live, play and learn, and has a particular interest in the impact of the National Broadband Network on Canberra and the surrounding region.

Peter is currently the Director, Government Relations and eResearch for the Australian Academic and Research Network (AARNet), a position he has held since January, 2014. Previously Peter spent nearly twenty years at Cisco in a variety of roles, including most recently as the Business Development Manager, Higher Education and Research.

Peter was born, raised and educated in Canberra and holds a Bachelor of Science (Hons) from the Australian National University. He is currently a resident of Gungahlin, and the Vice President of the Gungahlin Community Council.

May Ngui

May Ngui is the Regional Manager of GHD’s ACT and Southern NSW operations, based in Canberra.  GHD is one of the world’s leading professional services companies operating in the global markets of water, energy and resources, environment, property and buildings, and transportation. Committed to creating lasting community benefit, GHD’s connected global network of 9000 diverse people delivers engineering, architecture, environmental and construction services to public and private sector clients across Australia, Asia, Europe, North and South America and the Pacific region. 

A chartered professional electrical engineer  and Fellow of Engineers Australia, May has over 30 years’ experience in the design and commissioning of electrical and control systems for water, wastewater and transport infrastructure and industrial facilities both in Australia and overseas, spending time in far-flung locations such as an oil rig on the South China Sea and in a cement factory in pre-1989 rural China.

May graduated from the University of Ottawa, Canada, with a Bachelor of Applied Science (Electrical Engineering), Magna Cum Laude. She is a Graduate member of the AICD.

May is passionate about technical leadership and development of female leaders in the industry and is an active participant of Engineers Australia’s professional women’s mentoring program.

Simon Troman

Simon Troman has nearly thirty years’ experience in the renewable energy sector, ranging from hands-on construction, aid and development programs, research work and technology development and has worked on energy projects worldwide.

Simon was Managing Director of IT Power / ITP Renewables and for over ten years he grew that company in Australia and took it into international markets.

Simon has managed a $205m government incentive program for off grid renewable energy. He has qualifications in engineering and corporate governance, he has worked with CSIRO and is also the Managing Director of Atratus Consulting, a specialist renewable energy consulting firm.  


Richard Everson

Richard’s mission is to help business leaders achieve their goals, build connected communities and grow vibrant regional economies.

Richard early career was built around international tourism and hospitality. He has worked in Michelin-starred restaurant and on luxury cruise liners, held executive roles with multinational corporations and, together with his wife Evelyn, designed, built, operated and sold an award-winning guesthouse. Richard joined the Entrepreneurs' Programme as a Business Adviser in 2015 and has worked with more than 130 SME’s, assisting business owners to achieve their business and personal goals.


Laureta Wallace

Laureta is a public relations professional specialising in the issues impacting agriculture and rural Australia. Laureta cut her teeth in media as a regional print journalist, in NSW and later in Western Australia. While in the West, Laureta held senior roles with the renowned Kondinin Group and in the grains industry. She also spent time as a political media advisor. Laureta is currently the General Manager of Media & Communications at the National Farmers’ Federation.


Simon Farnbach

Simon has over two decades' experience as a practicing economist with government, not-for-profits and the private sector. He has a strong interest in governance, strategy, investment and sustainability. Simon is currently Advisory Lead at Lockbridge and was previously Australian Economics and Policy Leader at Arup. He has also held senior positions with the ACT Government. Simon is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, holds a Master of Regulatory Economics, a Bachelor of Economics and a Bachelor of Science.