• Crowne Plaza (map)
  • Merewether Street
  • Newcastle, NSW, 2300
  • Australia

The panel discussion will feature prominent female leaders from the Hunter region and beyond including Dr Yolanda Surjan (Co-Founder, RadVet), Liza Noonan (Executive Manager, Innovation at CSIRO ON Program), Cheryl Royle (Hunter Entrepreneurship Facilitator) andSusan Wilson (CEO at Regional Development Australia Hunter).

If you are a local industry representative looking to strengthen innovative practices in your business, UON academic or professional staff, or a UON under-grad/post-grad student studying in the fields of business, innovation and commercialisation, then this event is for you. 

This event is free to attend with light refreshments provided, but registration is essential.

The panel will be hosted by Professor Deb Hodgson, Pro-Vice Chancellor (Research & Innovation) and facilitated by Dr Sarah Pearson, Pro Vice-Chancellor (Industry Engagement & Innovation).


Liza Noonan, Executive Manager of Innovation, CSIRO (Sydney)

Liza leads the ON Accelerator and has extensive experience in the innovation industry. Liza was most recently General Manager of Springboard Enterprises Australia, an accelerator platform for female entrepreneurs. Prior to this she led Alcatel-Lucent’s ng Connect program in Australia. CSIRO’s ON program is a key initiative to accelerate commercialisation of university-based research.

Cheryl Royle, Entrepreneurship Facilitator for the Hunter Region, Managing Director for The Finer Line
Cheryl is a Hunter-based business coach, training consultant, and co-founder of Lone Rangers Business Network a business network for micro business owners. She has owned and operated four successful businesses over the past 25 years and educated, supported and coached 100’s of business owners, freelancers, consultants, artists and entrepreneurs across Australia. She has been recently appointed as the Hunter Entrepreneurship Facilitator a role which aims to inspire, educate, mentor and connect future entrepreneurs to start or build a sustainable small business.

Dr Yolanda Surjan, Senior Lecturer, UON and Co-Founder, RadVet

Yolanda Surjan’s RadVet team is one of 10 teams selected for CSIRO’s ON Accelerate3 research commercialisation program. The RadVet team are proposing to deliver a scalable and adaptable treatment approach to skin cancer for the veterinary world. Yolanda was awarded the inaugural Chancellor’s Award for Innovation in 2016 which will further enable Yolanda’s team to translate their research for real-world application. She was also recently awarded Female Breakout Scientist by CSIRO.

Susan Wilson, CEO, Regional Development Australia Hunter

With a career that started in private sector scientific research, and experience working on the National Science and Innovation Agenda, Susan is an advocate for girls and women in STEM careers and the value of innovation as a critical enabler of economic growth.  From international experience in government-led economic development, private sector business and current mentorships to SME start-up to scale-up businesses, Susan is equally passionate about building industry capability and competitiveness, supporting trade, investment and economic transition in the age of digitisation. She also understands the social and economic importance of regional prosperity to communities, and is looking forward to continuing RDA Hunter’s focus on improving the region’s critical economic infrastructure.

Professor Kevin Hall, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Innovation), University of Newcastle

Professor Kevin Hall joined the University in March 2014 and is responsible for the University’s diverse and comprehensive research enterprise and acts as the University’s chief research officer. Professor Hall was previously Vice President (Research and External Partnerships) at the University of Guelph, Canada and prior to that held various roles at Queen’s University, Canada, including the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada University Research Fellow, Department Head (Civil Engineering), Director of the Centre for Water and the Environment, and Chair of the Advisory Board for the Institute for Population and Public Health. Professor Hall carries out transdisciplinary research including water quality modelling, development of environmental monitoring and pathogen detection systems, syndromic surveillance and water and health in marginalised communities.