Hunter Innovation Festival keynote speaker line up announced

Some of the country’s leading experts across innovation, health, research, and government will headline this year’s Hunter Innovation Festival, with speakers today announced for the Thursday 19 October 2023 conference.

Australian business and finance leader Mark Bouris AM, NSW Modern Manufacturing Commissioner Lisa Emerson, and 2021 Newcastle Citizen of the Year and 2023 NAIDOC Person of the Year, Professor Kelvin Kong, will lead the keynote sections of the conference, each addressing topics that are certain to spark discussion and collaboration.

Hunter Innovation Festival Chair Alex Brennan says the festival is thrilled to bring together three such outstanding people who have each accomplished incredible personal and professional achievements across diverse sectors.

“We’re excited to have such a high calibre of speakers headline this year’s event. Mark Bouris AM has been at the forefront of Australian entrepreneurship for decades having established Australia’s second largest non-bank mortgage lender Wizard Home Loans, while Lisa Emerson is the first ever Modern Manufacturing Commissioner for NSW and Australia. We’re also thrilled to have Professor Kelvin Kong attend. He is no doubt one the Hunter region’s most outstanding individuals who will bring a wealth of insight into the future of medical research in our region and across the nation more broadly,” Mr Brennan said.

Mark Bouris AM said he is excited to cover topics ranging from leadership, innovation, success and resilience. “The growth of the Hunter region is clear, as one of the country’s largest regional economies. Within this, the innovation and development of complex industries, such as medical research, technology, and education, all contribute to the communities continued growth. It will be interesting to hear first-hand about this development and what factors have attributed to these advancements, whilst looking ahead to the future of the region.

“The Hunter Innovation Festival presents some amazing opportunities to learn about new emerging technologies and their effect on our commercial landscape and relevant industries, and it is also an opportunity to showcase the amazing level of innovation within the region. On top of this, I am a serial learner, and love learning about new innovations and technological advancements, and it is especially interesting to see this in a regional community,” Mr Bouris said.

Professor Kong will be discussing the field of healthcare and how it is experiencing a transformative shift through continuous innovation, and the profound impact this innovation has on health – spanning from advanced medical technologies and treatments to novel healthcare delivery models.

“I’m looking forward to discussing the synergy between technology and medicine, and how breakthroughs in artificial intelligence, telemedicine, genomics, and medical devices are enhancing diagnostic accuracy, personalising treatment plans, and improving patient outcomes,” Mr Kong said.

Hunter iF will announce the full conference schedule imminently, featuring speakers from Hunter based companies who are leading the way in the technology, renewables, manufacturing and innovation space.

“Innovation isn’t just about creating new things, it’s about applying what you have learnt in different ways to achieve different outcomes than you have before. We have put together a diverse and engaging line up of speakers that will inspire, challenge and motivate the crowd to do just that,” Mr Brennan said.

Tickets for the Hunter Innovation Festival are now on sale at: