ICDP is governed by a strong team of Australian and Pacific public, private sector and academia professionals. This group is characterised by a mix of highly connected and respected individuals with the power to bring key leaders together from Australia and the Pacific.
Dr Ian J Watt AC
Dr Ian J Watt AC has had a long career as one of Australia’s most distinguished public servants, with nearly 20 years at the highest levels of the public service. His most recent and most senior appointment was as Secretary of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet and head of the Australian Public Service, a position he held from 2011 until the end of 2014. Prior to that, he was Secretary of the Departments of Defence; Finance; and Communications, Information Technology and the Arts between 2001 and 2011. Before that, he was Deputy Secretary of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet.
Dr Watt is Chair of the International Centre for Democratic Partnerships, Chair of the ADC Advisory Council, and Chair of the Australian Governance and Ethical Index Fund. He serves on the Boards of Citibank Pty Ltd, Smartgroup Corporation, the Grattan Institute (University of Melbourne), and O’Connell Street Associates Pty Ltd, and is a Member of the Australian National Maritime Museum Council. He has recently retired as Chair of BAE Systems Australia, and as Board Member of the Committee for Economic Development of Australia (CEDA) after completion of the maximum of two three-year terms.
Dr Watt is also a Member of the Male Champions of Change, a Member of the Melbourne School of Government Advisory Board at the University of Melbourne, a Fellow of ANZSOG, and Senior Adviser to Flagstaff Partners. He also has an Honorary Doctorate of Letters from the University of Technology, Sydney.
Dr Watt recently completed his role as Independent Reviewer of Services Australia and NDIA Procurement and Contracting with his report submitted to the Australian Government at the end of February 2023.
Catherine is the Co-founder and Managing Director of Global Access Partners Pty Ltd (GAP) which is ICDPs implementation partner. Over the last 20 years, under Catherine’s guidance, GAP has grown to be a proactive and influential network which initiates high-level discussions at the cutting edge of the most pressing commercial, social and global issues of today. Over the past few years, GAP has established a number of national consultative committees and taskforces which are working to shape the face of the Australian business and policy environment.
Catherine holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of New South Wales and a Masters of Business in International Marketing from the University of Technology, Sydney. She has three children and is passionate about helping those less fortunate. She sits on the board of social justice charity Stand Up; co-founded Thread Together which provides brand new clothing to those in need across Australia; and is part of a significant giving circle which engages whole families in the act of giving to those in need.
Professor Ian Young AO
Professor Ian Young AO has had a career that has spanned both senior Higher Education administration and scientific research. He is presently Professorial Fellow at the University of Melbourne. Prior to this appointment he held the administrative roles of Vice-Chancellor of the Australian National University and Vice-Chancellor of Swinburne University of Technology. During 2014 and 2015, he was Chair of the Group of Eight. When he retired from ANU in 2016, he was the second longest serving Vice-Chancellor in Australia. In 2012 he was awarded an Order of Australia (AO) for his services to Higher Education and research. He is a Fellow of the Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering and an Honorary Fellow of Engineers Australia. His research interests concern wind generated ocean waves. He has an extensive publication record in areas such as: the physics of air-sea interaction, the numerical modelling of waves, finite depth waves, satellite remote sensing and ocean wind and wave climate. In recent years, his research has concentrated on the use of satellite measurements of the ocean to understand changes in wind and wave climates on a global scale.
He presently holds a number of external roles including: Chair of the Board VERNet Pty Ltd., Chair of the Board of CloudCampus Pty Ltd., Director of Cluey Ltd., Chair Advisory Committee of Centre of Excellence in Gravitational Waves, Board Member International Centre for Democratic Partnerships, Chief Executive Conviro Pty Ltd.
Taulapapa Brenda Heather-Latu
Taulapapa Brenda Heather-Latu is the former Attorney General for Samoa, and Partner in the family owned law firm – Latu Lawyers in Apia, Samoa. Brenda has been in practise for 33 years in both New Zealand and Samoa. She worked at Crown Law Office in New Zealand from 1988-1996 and was appointed a Crown Counsel in 1991. In 1996, she went to Samoa under a New Zealand Aid Scheme as Principal State Solicitor in the Attorney General’s Office. Then in 1997, she was appointed Attorney General of Samoa. Heather-Latu held the post for 3 consecutive terms from 1997-2006.
Brenda is also the Honorary British Consul to Samoa and is a serving Judicial Officer with World Rugby and is also a Board Member for Habitat for Humanity (NZ) and holds the chiefly title of Taulapapa from the village of Fogapoa in Savaii, Samoa.
Brenda is a highly respected leader with outstanding, high-level connections across the whole Pacific. She is assisting ICDP to implement Pacific Connect through support of Strategic Development Group.
Hon Christopher Pyne
Christopher is Chairman of Pyne and Partners and Principal of GC Advisory, consulting to business in the domain of government and political engagement.
He is an Industry Professor in the University of South Australia Business School specialising in Defence and Space.
Christopher is Chairman of Vision 2020: The Right to Sight, an Australian not for profit established under the rubric of the World Health Organisation and the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness; and Chairman of the Australia United Arab Emirates Business Council; and Director, International Centre for Democratic Partnerships Foundation. He is on the Advisory Board of the International Institute for Strategic Leadership Dialogue as well as being on the Board of Governors of the America Australia Chamber of Commerce and Chairman of its Council in South Australia.
Christopher is the Chairman of the Advisory Board of munitions and small arms company, NIOA. As well, he sits on the Australian Advisory Board of the Dubai headquartered, international consulting group, Dar al Handasah as well as the Advisory Board of 3D manufacturer, Amaero Ltd. He is a non Executive Director of the Canberra based defence company, Xtek Ltd.
Christopher has a weekly column in The Adelaide Advertiser called “Pyne on Monday” and hosts a podcast series through Podcast One Australia called “Pyne Time”.
He is a member of the Claxton’s Speakers Bureau stable of public presenters and speaks at conferences and events both domestically and internationally on defence, national security, politics and government.
He is the author of two books – “A Letter to my Children”, published in 2015 by Melbourne University Press and “The Insider”, published in 2020 by Hachette Australia.
Christopher was elected to Parliament in 1993 and served as the Member for Sturt for 26 years. During this time, he was in the Liberal Party Leadership Group for 10 years, Leader of the House of Representatives for six years, and served in Cabinet for six years. Christopher was a Minister in the Howard, Abbott, Turnbull and Morrison Governments, holding the portfolios of Ageing, Education, Industry Innovation and Science, Defence Industry and Defence, serving as the 54th Australian Defence Minister. He was responsible for delivering the $200 billion build-up of Australia’s military capability, the largest in Australia’s peacetime history.
Serving previously as Minister for Defence Industry, Christopher assisted in developing the 2016 Defence White Paper and implementing the Integrated Investment Program. During his time he also worked to ensure the growth and sustainment of Australia’s Defence Industry, and thus implemented Australia’s Defence Export Strategy, Defence Industrial Capability Plan, and the Naval Shipbuilding Plan. He also created the Defence Cooperative Research Centre, the Centre for Defence Industry Capability, the Defence Innovation Hub, and the Next Generation Technology Fund.
He helped create the Pacific Step Up to strengthen Australia’s strategic role in the South Pacific and settled Defence Memoranda of Understanding with Israel, China, and Switzerland, and initiated Memoranda of Understanding with the United Arab Emirates and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Christopher was also one of the driving forces behind the establishment of the Australian Space Agency. As a Minister for Education and Minister for Industry Innovation and Science, respectively, Christopher delivered the National Innovation and Science Agenda, reformed the National Curriculum, introduced compulsory literacy and numeracy testing for Australian teaching graduates and expanded phonics teaching. He twice attempted to reform the University sector in Australia.
Christopher helped create Headspace: the Youth Mental Health Initiative” in 2006. He was the longest serving non-Labor Member of the House of Representatives from South Australia since Federation in 1901. He is an Ambassador for the Adelaide Football Club.
Christopher lives in Aldgate in South Australia and is married to Carolyn and is the father of Eleanor, Barnaby, Felix and Aurelia.
Before entering Parliament, Christopher practised as a solicitor at Corrs Chambers Westgarth and Thomson Geer.
Simone was the inaugural Chief Executive of the International Centre for Democratic Partnerships (ICDP). From October 2017 to September 2022 under Simone’s guidance, ICDP implemented the Australian Government’s Pacific Connect Program which provided a platform for entrepreneurs from the Pacific & Australia to work together to support business and economic development outcomes across the Pacific. Prior to this, Simone was a senior executive with over twenty years’ experience in the Australian Public Service across several challenging portfolios including Finance and Social Services. Her roles involved advising several Ministers on Asset Sales and Shareholder issues including Australian Hearing, Medibank Private, ASC and Essendon Airport. She also had oversight responsibility for many strategic reviews and investigations for government which included modernising the Medicare System, driving Public Sector Reform and the digital transformation agenda. She has extensive procurement expertise demonstrated through her senior roles as head of whole of government procurement policy and lead negotiator for contracts totalling over $1 billion annually across 130 departments and agencies. Simone is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.