The following CIVSEC 2018 advisory panel members work in conjunction with the CIVSEC 2018 team to advise on the direction, speakers and content of their relevant conference stream.

Chris Leckie (Cyber Security)

Chris Leckie is a Professor with the Department of Computing and Information Systems at the University of Melbourne, is the Associate Director of the Oceania Cyber Security Centre, and is the Director of the new University of Melbourne Academic Centre of Cyber Security Excellence. He has over two decades of research experience in artificial intelligence and data mining, having led research teams at Telstra Research Laboratories, National ICT Australia (NICTA) and the University of Melbourne.

His research on using data mining for anomaly detection, fault diagnosis, cyber-security and the life sciences has led to a range of operational systems used in industry, as well as over 200 articles published in leading international conferences and journals. His work on filtering denial-of-service attacks on the Internet resulted in a commercial product that was developed a local company and sold overseas.

Nicole Matejic (Social Media)

MA - Author, CEO Info Ops HQ, Managing Partner Quantum CIQ

Nicole is an internationally recognised military information operations advisor and social media specialist. Founder and CEO of the civil-military think-do tank Info Ops HQ and co-founder of communications agency Quantum CIQ, Nicole is a regular speaker to and trainer for NATO and is trusted by Governments around the world and the communities they serve in providing strategic and tactical advice in the areas of preventing violent extremism, counter terrorism, digital diplomacy and information operations.

With a background spanning over a decade in Federal and State Government in the Defence, Emergency Services and Intelligence portfolios, Nicole worked in several operational roles for the then Australian Customs and Border Protection Service before being promoted into corporate strategic communications and Ministerial liaison roles.

Nicole's first book 'Social Media Rules of Engagement' was published by Wiley in 2015; and her inaugural research into Australian Foreign Fighters and Domestic Actors was published by Info Ops HQ in 2016.

Nicole is an adjunct lecturer at Charles Sturt University in the school of Graduate Policing.

Dr Alexey D. Muraviev (Borders)

Head of Department of Social Sciences and Security Studies at Curtin University, Perth, Western Australia.

Alexey is a Coordinator of the International Relations and National Security programs and the founder and Director of the Strategic Flashlight forum on national security and strategy at Curtin.

He has published widely on matters of national and international security.

His research interests include problems of modern maritime power, contemporary defence and strategic policy, Russia’s strategic and defence policy, Russia as a Pacific power, transnational terrorism, Australian national security, and other.

Alexey is a member of the Australian Member Committee, Council for Security Cooperation in the Asia-Pacific region (AU-CSCAP); non-residential fellow, Sea Power Centre Australia (Royal Australian Navy), member of Russia-NATO Experts Group; member of the International Institute for Strategic Studies, London; reviewer of theMilitary Balance annual defence almanac; member of the exectuive advisory board, CIVSEC 2018, member of the Advisory Board, Australia Public Network, member of the Research Network for Secure Australia, and other organisations and think tanks.

In 2011, Alexey was the inaugural scholar-in residence at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute.

In 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010, the Australian Research Council (ARC) College of Experts has nominated Dr Muraviev as an “expert of international standing”.

He advises members of state and federal government on foreign policy and national security matters and is frequently interviewed by state, national and international media.

Nicholas O'Brien (Human Security)

Associate Professor, Counter-Terrorism
Head of School
Australian Graduate School of Policing & Security
Charles Sturt University

Before joining Charles Sturt University, Nick O'Brien represented the UK Association of Chief Police Officers - Terrorism and Allied Matters Committee (ACPO-TAM) and all the UK police forces in a diplomatic post as the Counter Terrorism and Extremism Liaison Officer (CTELO) at the British High Commission in Canberra. Nick covered Australasia and had a ‘watching brief’ on the Asia and the Pacific region.

Prior to this posting Nick was in charge of International Counter Terrorism in Special Branch at New Scotland Yard. He also had responsibility for the National Terrorist Financial Investigations Unit (NTFIU) and International Liaison.

Nick represented the UK at the G8 Counter Terrorist Practitioners. Nick has visited both Sri Lanka and Israel to study the phenomenon of suicide attacks.

Nick has also represented the UK at Europol and the European Police Working Group on Terrorism.

Nick has spoken on Counter Terrorism at Conferences in Europe, New Zealand, Australia, Singapore, Thailand, Canada, Fiji, Tonga, Vanuatu the USA and Malaysia.

He is a graduate of the international Leadership in Counter Terrorism (LinCT) program.

Nick first started working in the counter terrorism related area in 1981 and has worked on Irish as well as international terrorism.

Nick has written for various publications and has appeared on radio and television commentating on terrorist related matters.

He sits on the Board of Management of the Australian Graduate School of Policing and Security.

David Owens (Disaster Management and Response)

APM MLshipMgmt MEmergMgmt DipCrim

Managing Director, Risk-e Business Consultants

David recently retired from the NSW Police Force as Deputy Commissioner after over 30 years’ experience. He was responsible for the leadership of 13,000 police and 1200 public servants and oversighted a budget of $1.1 billion. David established robust accountability mechanisms for crisis/emergency management along with project and performance management. He was appointed to the legislated role of State Emergency Operations Controller in 2007 and was the longest serving officer in this role. He was responsible for overall emergency management responses in NSW. A sample of the operations he commanded are: Sydney 2000 Olympics (Sailing) APEC Leaders Week, World Youth Day, Black Saturday bushfires Victoria, Christchurch NZ Earthquake, Tsunami Japan and United Nations USAR accreditation (Turkey).

Post Retirement, David has been a consultant to the NSW and ACT Governments on Investigations, Policy Development and Emergency Management in the areas of mining and transport (Sydney Metro-formally North West Rail Link). Worked with the Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing (investigations and policy advice); Ambulance NSW (Strategic reviews and leadership development) and in 2015 was the independent Chair for the NSW Government on Loose Fill Asbestos Insulation (a $280m project), all recommendations accepted by NSW Government. David has also consulted to private industry on a range of issues in the security and emergency management arenas and in 2014 David completed accreditation as an OGC Gateway Review Team Member. In 2015 David was appointed by the State Emergency Management Committee as the facilitator for the Greater Sydney Mass Care Exercise. In June 2016, David was appointed as the NSW State Recovery Coordinator for the East Coast Low and in September 2016 as the Regional Recovery Coordinator for the Central Western floods. He is currently a member of the NSW Government Energy Security Taskforce.

David has the following Academic qualifications:

1989: Diploma in Criminology, Sydney University
2009: Federal Bureau of Investigation, National Executive Leadership Program
2010: Australian Company Directors Course (Diploma)
2011: Masters of Leadership and Management (Policing), (with Distinction and the Deans award for Academic Excellence) Charles Sturt University.
2013: Masters in Emergency Management, Charles Sturt University.

Deputy Commissioner Michael Phelan (Policing)


Mr Phelan was appointed to the Australian Federal Police (AFP) in 1985 and during his career has worked in a variety of fields, including community policing, narcotics and serious fraud.

In 1998 Mr Phelan accepted an appointment as the Chief Executive Officer of the AFP Association for two years and in 2000 he took up the position as the AFP’s Senior Liaison Officer in Manila. On his return in 2002, he was promoted to the Senior Executive Service in the AFP’s Brisbane Office.

Mr Phelan was appointed Director of the Australian High Tech Crime Centre in 2004, and later that year, was promoted to Assistant Commissioner and undertook the role of National Manager Border and International Network.

In September 2007, Mr Phelan was appointed as the Chief Police Officer for the Australian Capital Territory and in 2010 was promoted to Deputy Commissioner, taking up the role of Deputy Commissioner Close Operations Support overseeing the portfolios of High Tech Crime, Forensics and Intelligence.

In July 2013, Mr Phelan commenced as Deputy Commissioner Operations where he was responsible for the Crime Operations and Serious & Organised Crime portfolios including the AFP’s Overseas Network of agents.

On the 17 November 2014, Mr Phelan commenced the role of Deputy Commissioner National Security where he is responsible for Counter-Terrorism Operations and Protection Operations.

Mr Phelan is currently a member of the Australian National Advisory Council on Alcohol and Drugs (ANACAD) and has previously held positions on the Boards of the Australian Crime Commission, Crimtrac and the Australian and New Zealand Police Advisory Agency. Mr Phelan also served as a member of the ACT Law Reform Advisory Council.

Mr Phelan was awarded the Australian Police Medal in 2008 and holds a Degree in Commerce, an Honours Degree in Law and a Masters in Business Administration from Melbourne Business School.

Katherine Van Gurp (Law Enforcement)

CEO of the Australian New Zealand Police Advisory Agency

Prior to joining ANZPAA, Katherine Van Gurp worked with the Northern Territory Police, Fire and Emergency Services as Executive Director of the Office of Commissioner and CEO. Katherine has an extensive background working in the law enforcement and justice arenas over the past 20 years. Her areas of focus have been on organisational change, legislative policy, strategic planning and environmental scanning, policy advice, organisational performance and risk management.

Katherine holds a Bachelor of Business (Management) and has undertaken Bachelor of Laws studies. She is also a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and was awarded the Northern Territory Telstra Young Business Woman of the Year in 2013.

Mr Jon White (Law Enforcement)

Retired CEO of the Australian New Zealand Police Advisory Agency

Jon is the retired Chief Executive Officer of the Australia New Zealand Policing Advisory Agency (ANZPAA) based in Melbourne. ANZPAA focuses on trends and developments which shape and influence policing, while searching out more effective strategies to address longstanding issues such as alcohol and drugs, family violence, road safety and vulnerable groups.

Before taking on the CEO role, Jon was an assistant commissioner with the New Zealand Police with responsibilities for counter-terrorism, national security and international deployments/liaison. In his national security duties Jon was involved in leading the development of closer connections between NZ Police and other national and Australian organisations responsible for national security. On the counter-terrorism front, Jon played a leading role in developing community policing initiatives in New Zealand as a long-term approach to countering violent extremism and building social cohesion and resilience.

On conclusion of his 36-year policing career, in 2017, Jon retired from his current role with ANZPAA. The organisation is jointly funded by the ten police commissioners of Australia and New Zealand.

Sue Wilkinson (Major Event Security)

Director, Emergency Management, Security & Safety at the Melbourne Cricket Club.

Sue has extensive experience across all portfolios. Sue previously held the position of Head of Olympic Intelligence for the London 2012 Olympics, responsible for the assessment and review all of risks and intelligence for this event, working with multiple agencies and government to ensure the security and safety of all.

Prior to this Sue fulfilled the position of Chief Executive Officer, with the Australia New Zealand Policing Advisory Agency (ANZPAA), after an extensive career as a Commander in the UK Metropolitan Police Service, where she held a portfolio of serious and organised crime.

Sue holds an Honours degree in History, a Post Graduate Certificate in Police Management and Organisational Change, a Post Graduate Diploma in Criminology and a Masters in Terrorism and Security Studies. Sue was also awarded the Queen’s Police Medal in the Queen’s birthday honours in 2011.

John Yates (Corporate Security)


John has recently joined Westfield (November 2013) in a newly created role as Director of Security for Scentre Group in Australia and New Zealand & Westfield Corporation in the United Kingdom, United States and the emerging markets. He also has responsibility for the corporate security requirements of the Lowy family and their private assets.

John retired from the Metropolitan Police (Scotland Yard) in November 2011 after a 30 year career. He held a number of the most senior positions in UK policing. His last role was as the UK’s most senior counter terrorism officer and as the senior advisor the Prime Minister and Home Secretary on all law enforcement related security matters. Previous roles included leading the fight against serious and organised crime in London. He also led the UK’s response to the South East Asian Tsunami for which he was awarded the Queen’s Police Medal.

In between leaving policing and joining Westfield John spent time in the Middle East advising the government of Bahrain on police reform before joining G3, the Good Governance Group, a leading international strategic advisory firm, as their Group Executive Director.

John is based in Sydney.