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Craig Johnson - Chair

Commencing 2020, Craig is the inaugural Executive Director of Innovation & Enterprise at the University of Tasmania. For 10 years prior to that he was Head of the Ecology & Biodiversity Centre at the Institute for Marine & Antarctic Studies (IMAS), and Associate Director of IMAS. He completed his PhD in Nova Scotia in Canada and subsequently conducted research on marine community dynamics at marine institutes and universities in Canada, South Africa, and in Queensland before moving to take up the Chair in Zoology at the University of Tasmania in 1997. He moved to IMAS when the Institute was first established in 2010. His research is published in over 190 peer-reviewed publications including several edited books, and his work has been cited nearly 11,000 times.


Craig chaired the Marine National Facility Steering Committee 2004-14, and has played leading roles in a range of national and international initiatives including the Partnership for Observation of the Global Oceans, Global Ocean Observing System, Australian Integrated Marine Observing System (IMOS) and eMII (its data management facility), Australian National Data Service, and National Environmental Science Program Marine Biodiversity Hub.

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Mr Brett Walker

Brett holds Masters degrees in law from the University of Sydney and the University of Technology, Sydney and has worked as a lawyer for over 30 years in private, corporate and government legal practice in Australia and overseas.  Brett was General Counsel at the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation between 2009 and 2014). Brett also held various non-legal roles at CSIRO including Executive Director Operations and Deputy Chief Executive, Operations. While at CSIRO Brett was involved in the establishment, running and spin off of a number of a number commercialisation vehicles.

From 2002 to 2009 Brett was seconded to the Departments of Foreign Affairs and Trade and Agriculture as a lead negotiator for Australia in various United Nations’ intellectual property and biotechnology treaty negotiations (including the Convention on Biological Diversity, the Nagoya Protocol and the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture). This included being appointed by the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation to chair a number of Working Groups dealing with intellectual property and technology transfer related matters.

 Brett has extensive practical experience in advising on a broad range of commercial law matters both domestically and internationally and has particular expertise in intellectual property law, corporate governance and technology transfer law He is a regular presenter at conferences in Australia and internationally and is an Honorary Visiting Lecturer in Law at the Australian National University in Canberra.


Dr Shahridan Faiez

Dr. Shahridan Faiez is the Managing Director for Ever Nexus and also President and CEO of Lobster Aqua Technologies, the company responsible for developing and managing the Integrated Lobster Aquaculture Park (iLAP). Dr. Faiez has a PhD from Cambridge University in natural resources management. His passion is sustainable development, which he has applied in the international development arena as a senior technical specialist at the World Bank for 13 years, and as an entrepreneur in the aquaculture sector for the last 7 years.


Dr Faiez returned to Malaysia on the request of the Malaysian Government and helped Khazanah Nasional start- up a shrimp aquaculture company, Blue Archipelago, which became the model for the NKEA in aquaculture. Subsequently he set-­up Ever Nexus Sdn Bhd to focus on developing sustainable projects in the aquaculture, food security, and urban livability sectors.


Dr Faiez has worked in more than 22 countries and sits as a director on the board of the Global Aquaculture Alliance (GAA).

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Mr Sharizal Shaarani

In addition to his role as Director: UTAS Nexus Aquascinces Sharizal is one of the founders and principals of Ever Nexus Sdn Bhd which has Focused on Sustainable Development Solutions. 


With a strong passion for sustainability and how sustainable agriculture can transform the lives of people in rural areas, this former executive with Blue Archipelago Bhd (a wholly owned subsidiary of Khazanah Nasional) is actively involved in the government's Economic Transformation Program. He was the Lab Leader for the Agriculture NKEA that helped designed the economic transformation blueprint for Malaysia's agriculture sector to contribute towards Malaysia becoming a developed nation by 2020. He was instrumental in creating a RM1.6 billion government grant program for the nationwide promotion of the Aquaculture industry within the Agriculture NKEA.

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Rob Inches

In addition to his role on the UNA Board, Robert is the CEO of PFG Group, an advanced manufacturer of aquaculture systems and industry partner with IMAS.  Robert is an experienced senior executive with a demonstrated history of working in dynamic environments. Skilled in Budgeting, Financial Risk, Business Process Improvement, M&A and Stakeholder Management, previously Robert spent 4 years as PFG Groups CFO, managing and reporting the company’s finances. He is a highly skilled Chartered Accountant, financial planner and has a Master’s Degree in Applied Finance, his previous financial accounting and management experience includes 13 years with an ASX200 group.


Lok Choon Hong

Mr Lok Choon Hong is a qualified lawyer for Malaysia and Singapore and a registered patent, trademark and industrial design agents for Malaysia. He has been actively involved in the intellectual property (IP) field for the past sixteen (16) years. He was awarded the world’s top 1000 patent practitioners by IAM magazine for year 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020 and IPStar Award by ManagingIP Magazine for year 2019 and 2020.  


Mr Lok holds a Master of Laws Degree from University of Cambridge, United Kingdom, an executive MBA degrees from INSEAD, France/Singapore and E-MBA from Tsinghua University, China. 


Mr Lok is the managing partner of Pintas IP Group (PIPG), a regional professional IP firm with operational offices based in Singapore, Malaysia, Brunei and customer service offices in China and USA.  PIPG provides integrated IP filing and consultancy works covering Southeast Asia countries. He is also the founding partner of Global IP Southeast Asia Pte Ltd (GIP-Asean), an IP agency and consultancy boutique firm focusing on Japan-Southeast Asia regions.


Karina Groenewoud BSc(Hons) MPA GAICD – UTAS Nexus Aquasciences Company Secretary

Karina Groenewoud is Project Director for the University of Tasmania’s (UTAS’s) Governance Instruments Review Project leading the simplification of the sub-legislative, policy and delegations frameworks that underpin the University’s governance.  Karina was most recently Division Manager in the Research Division at UTAS, responsible for the management of the Office of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) and for leading the Division’s strategic planning, risk management and budget processes.  She has led executive services portfolios at UTAS and in the Tasmania public sector.


Karina spent 16 years in the Tasmanian public sector in governance, management and policy roles in the education and vocational education and training portfolios.  She was instrumental in the establishment of legislation underpinning a major post-compulsory education and training reform and a communications framework to support VET sector reform in Tasmania.  Karina is accomplished in the development and implementation of public education policy and in corporate and community communications.


Karina has held positions as Board Secretary for Tasmanian statutory authorities and acting University Secretary for the University of Tasmania Council.   She holds a Bachelor of Science with First Class Honours in Chemistry and a Master of Public Administration. She is a graduate and current member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and holds a Certificate IV in Competitive Systems and Practices (Lean Management). 

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