Fiona Lake is a professional photographer and writer known for her pioneering rural advocacy. Her multi-strand business includes book publishing, photography commissions and overseas farm tours. Earlier this year our Ambassador to the US, Joe Hockey, opened Fiona's exhibition in Australia's Washington DC Embassy.
Fiona has won many awards over her three decade career and this year her Rural Drone Academy project was an AgriFutures Rural Women's Award finalist. She was the first Australian to judge the International Federation of Agricultural Journalists annual photography award and in September she will be the first Australian presenter at America's largest commercial drone expo, InterDrone.
Fiona started taking aerial photographs in 1988 and is now one of just 16 Australian women who are fully licenced drone pilots. Fiona has been running workshops across rural Australia to help boost numbers as she sees many small business opportunities for residents.
She is keen to point out that at present we have more female shearers than fully licenced female drone pilots - and this needs changing - as diverse industries are healthier.
Drew is the Director, Commercial Program at Insitu Pacific Limited, a Boeing Company, and is responsible for
Insitu Pacific’s Commercial Unmanned and Autonomous Systems.
In this role his key focus is to guide the effective development and efficient conduct of Insitu Pacific business,
particularly in the growth and execution of new commercial business adjacencies. Prior to taking up this role, he
was a Business Development Manager at Insitu Pacific Limited, responsible for formulating market strategies
and developing Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) business opportunities in the Asia/Pacific region. The key focus
was assisting military, civil and commercial entities in the establishment of effective UAS capabilities from the
proven Insitu UAS portfolio.
Prior to joining Insitu Pacific, Drew spent over 15 years working in the air traffic and maritime vessel surveillance
domains in a variety of roles around the world and prior to embarking on his civilian career spent twenty years
serving in the Australian Defence Force.
PIETER VAN JAARSVELD
IDS focus on a broad market sector delivering complex solutions to Homeland Security, Defence, Mining and
now also in Agriculture.
IDS are now entering the IoT industry and the first market is its sensors developed for the Agriculture industry.
Neil works with clients each day to solve the most complex of business problems through data and information.
Passionate about productivity at a macro level, Neil is an active advocate of economic growth and the creation
of public value. He provides tangible advice to global technology companies and all levels of government with a
focus on practical ways to leverage digital technology for social and economic gain.
Marcus Ehrlich is Managing Director and founder of Ninox Robotics, an Australian-owned and operated
company that specialises in the application of military-grade unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) or drones, for the
purposes of invasive pest detection and management, infrastructure asset monitoring, bio-security intelligence
and other agri-business purposes.
Marcus is qualified as a lawyer and has been involved in other entrepreneurial endeavours. Actively involved
in politics, Marcus served as the youngest ever mayor of Woollahra, as well as deputy mayor, while still at
It does not matter if you understand drones or not, we have to make changes in our life that are going to aid in the future.
Drones have been apart of my life from 2002 and creating Universal Drones as a business from what started as a stress relief hobby to what it is today. I’m fortunate to have the ability to understand this technology which has allowed me to become an accredited Drone Trainer and International Speaker on this topic and of cause operate drones in real life situations.
Joshua studied Robotic Engineering at Curtin University and has worked in the development of a wide range of technical innovations from process automation to wearables in neurology, giving him a solid background in both hardware and software development.
He is now apart of the Farm Automation and Software Development Team at AWI, working on projects such as providing
a solution to the connectivity problem using Microwave Dishes, the development of the Digibale Smart Tags and using Artificial Intelligence to increase productivity with making on farm decisions.
Joshua started at AWI at the start of this year as he saw it as an opportunity to work in an exciting and growing industry that is full of possibility for Innovation.
Originally from Rhodesia, Gus moved to Australia and was schooled in Toowoomba where he enjoyed the rural scene and has since been fascinated with country life.
With an engineering background and hours of research on the impact of pest vertebrates, he decided to utilise a drone equipped with a thermal camera for locating these feral animals. Taking the plunge, Skies Eye Drone Services was formed and became a fully-fledged company in March 2016 after attaining the CASA required flying licensing and operational certification.
Skies Eye Drone Services has to a degree pioneered the use of drones or UAV’s for feral animal management through extensive field trials on pigs, dogs, cats, foxes and deer. The experience and knowledge gained has pathed a way for us to implement a technique called DAGS (drone assisted ground shooting).