Conference Program

The 2018 Conference is worth 6 CPD Points per day for both Thursday 13 and Friday 14 September, totalling 12 CPD Points if attending the full conference.

The most recent version of the program is available to download by clicking the image below.

*Program subject to change


The 2018 Victoria Chapter program includes some fantastic sessions and speakers. We are extremely grateful for the effort and time that our speakers put in to make this conference possible. With a full program there is something that should appeal to all delegates. 

Please see below for information on some of our speakers, details of more speakers will be added as we head closer to the conference.

Ari Akritidis


Ari has been Managing Director of Akritidis Group Building Consultants for over 15 years. He has practiced as a registered building surveyor unlimited for over 20 years and has also been a registered fire safety engineer since 2002.

Ari joined the Building Appeals Board in 2007 and has served the Board continuously ever since except for a short 18 month break in 2014 and 2015. He is also a member of the Building Regulations Advisory Committee (BRAC) serving as the AIBS representative and the Victorian AIBS representative on the National AIBS Technical Specialist Advisory Group.

The majority of Ari’s work today is in litigation and the preparation of expert reports for complex building disputes which are before the courts. Ari is proud to serve the building surveying profession and has always strived for better professional practices across the building industry sector.


Jonathan Barnett


Dr Jonathan Barnett is an internationally acclaimed technical expert in fire safety engineering with over forty-two years’ experience in his field. Previously a professor at WPI in the United States, Jonathan has researched topics such as computer modelling of fire, structural fire protection, combustible cladding and the development of new fire test standards.  Jonathan has done projects throughout the world including the United States, Europe, New Zealand and Australia. Starting in 1992 he has worked with the CSIRO, the University of Melbourne, Victoria University, the University of Newcastle, the Australasian Fire Authorities Council, and fire brigades in Victoria and New South Wales. 

Jonathan is a chartered professional engineer who has designed numerous commercial, residential and special purpose buildings. He is a leader in building defect rectification strategies. Today he is the managing director of Basic Expert Pty Ltd, a specialist forensic engineering and fire engineering firm; focusing on helping people with non-compliant buildings deal with dangerous cladding, inappropriate Essential Safety Measures (fire alarm and detection systems, fire rated doors and the like), and helping them with building rectifications from design, to permits, to construction and through the legal quagmire of litigation. 


David Bell


David Bell is a structural engineer with Liberty OneSteel and has worked in a number of design, development, engineering and marketing positions in Melbourne and Sydney.

His current role has a focus on optimised project solutions for the Australian construction industry, as well as a broader development and education role in areas such as structural engineering, compliance, sustainability and product development. 


Mark Cardamis

  Mark is a Sales Engineer who helps professionals in the building industry go paperless.

Before starting at BCS, Mark worked for 8 years as a programmer in the building automation industry. After a successful career helping construction companies and builders, Mark now advises them on how to leverage technology in the digital age.

When not working, Mark enjoys playing soccer and travelling to new places.

Mark has a passion to solve problems, working with BCS to implement better technological solutions for the building certification industry. You can reach Mark via LinkedIn.


Nic Carr


Nic is an experienced chairman, director, consultant, facilitator and business leader. He has had experience in many aspects of business development, stakeholder management, business operations and board governance, engagement and participation. He has spent 20 years in legal practice with a mid tier law firm, 16 years of which was as Managing Principal.

Since 2007 Nic has operated as a consultant in his own business and in association with TPPG Pty Ltd working with boards and businesses in developing strategies, formulating governance frameworks and providing advice on management/governance systems and procedures.  

Nic has an Economics Degree, a Bachelor of Laws, Masters of Business Administration and is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.


Mark Carter


Mark is currently the Acting Director / Assistant Chief Fire Officer managing the MFB Fire Safety Department.

Mark is a strong advocate for safe buildings with particular focus on medium to high density living - consultant on the Fire Services approach to Combustible Cladding. Leader of a dedicated team providing a multidisciplinary output focused on delivering the best possible outcomes for communities and firefighters.

Grateful to lead a team of dedicated technical and uniform staff he enjoys the day to day thrust of the approval machine mixed with the interaction on major infrastructure projects and the complexities of innovative building design.


Lindsay Douglas


Lindsay Douglas is the Architectural Team Leader at Dig Design, a business he and his partner, Julie-Anne Smith, established in 2002. He has an impressive background in architectural excellence with over 20 years' experience in design, documentation and client liaison, and has been the driving force behind the many awards won by Dig Design.

He coordinates multi-discipline teams and integrates complex technical requirements into the final built form assuring a project’s success. Lindsay is experienced in all aspects of local government, commercial and residential projects, and understands the complexities and demands of large commercial projects, as well as the intricacies and details of residential projects.

He has been a Member of the Building Designers Association of Victoria for 16 years, and currently the BDAV's President.


Leanne Edwards

  Leanne Edwards is the General Manager - Marketing, Policy & Communications at Master Builders Victoria. Reporting to the Chief Executive Officer, she is responsible for marketing, media, government relations, and communications. 

Before joining Master Builders, Leanne was Senior Brand Manager at Coles Supermarkets; Assistant Director – Regulatory Affairs at the Business Council of Australia and a solicitor at top tier law firms. In addition to her Bachelor of Commerce/Law (Hons) from the University of Melbourne she also holds a Masters of Business Administration from Melbourne Business School (MBA). As a part of her MBA she also completed a semester at Stern Business School (NYU) in New York.


Paul England

  Paul England has been the principal of EFT consulting since 2012 and has been involved in fire research, testing and consultancy for over 35 years. He founded Warrington Fire Research (now Exova Warringtonfire) in Australia in 1991 and was responsible for its development as a leading NATA accredited fire test laboratory, research facility and fire safety engineering practice over a period of 20 years.

He has undertaken various fire safety engineering analyses underpinning proposals for change to the NCC and chairs Standards Australia Committee FP18 which is responsible for developing fire testing classification and fire safety engineering standards. He is a Fellow of Engineers Australia and is a past president of the Engineers Australia Society of Fire Safety. 


Elizabeth Flanagan

  Elizabeth is an Associate located in the Government, Planning and Environment group at Russell Kennedy Lawyers.  Elizabeth works predominantly for Local Government advising on the Building Act and the Building Regulations, in building prosecutions and enforcement in the Magistrates’ Court and in Building Appeals Board proceedings.  This work encompasses building regulation and a range of other legislative/regulatory enforcement. 

Elizabeth also focuses on client education (building surveyors and building inspectors) including topics such as amendments to the Building Act, the Building Regulations and related issues.  Elizabeth is also a regular attendee and speaker at the Victorian Municipal Building Surveyors Group meetings.


Emad Gad


Professor Emad Gad is the Dean of the School of Engineering at Swinburne University of Technology. Prior to this role, he was the Chair of Department of Civil and Construction Engineering. 

He is a structural engineer with extensive experience in dynamics and structural connections. His applied research has contributed to several industry standards and codes of practice.

He is Chair of the Board of the Australian Engineered Fasteners and Anchors Council (AEFAC), co-editor of the Australian Journal of Structural Engineering, member of the Victorian Government Building Advisory Council (BAC), a Director on the Board of the Australian Steel Institute, past Chair of the Victorian Structural Branch and Fellow of Engineers Australia.


John Gardiner

  John Gardiner is currently Acting Director, Technical and Regulation at the Victorian Building Authority.  His responsibility includes leading the VBA support and guidance to practitioners on technical and regulatory issues as well as providing Victorian input into national building standard setting processes.

Until September 2017, John was Manager Determinations and Assurance for the New Zealand Building regulator.  In this role he was the decision maker for determinations under the Building Act (equivalent to Building Appeals Board).  He also had additional responsibilities for building product issues as well as the programme leadership of the development of a new regulatory regime for earthquake-prone buildings.

After leaving his New Zealand regulatory role he set up a consultancy providing building regulatory advice to regulators, building product suppliers, owners as well as those providing manufactured building solutions.


Paolo Lavisci


Paolo’s extensive experience in developing and using wood and wood products encompasses advisory and hands-on roles in the design and construction of timber structures, project management, research and product development, teaching and training.

With a Forestry degree in Florence (Italy) and a PhD in Industrial Technologies, Wood at ENSTIB/Université de Nancy (France), Paolo worked in the industry for 7 years before starting an independent timber consulting and design practice. Among the many projects with which he has been involved are the design and specification of multi-storey timber buildings (5, 7, 9 and 12 storeys), developing new models for prefabricated homes and transportable units and the design for cross laminated timber (CLT) manufacturing plants. He also authored a widely-used book on engineering timber structures and funded the development of specific engineering software.

As part of the WoodSolutions team, Paolo sees his biggest challenge to be “changing some mindsets in the mid-rise construction market and helping those with a little pioneering spirit to take advantage of the demonstrated efficiencies and cost savings that timber can provide".


Darren Pavic

  Darren Pavic is the Broking Manager of Bovill Risk & Insurance Consultants (BRIC) and has been arranging professional indemnity for building surveyors since 1998.

BRIC is the recommended insurance broker for AIBS members.   

Darren holds a Bachelor of Commerce (Accounting) from The University of Melbourne and a Postgraduate Diploma in Management from Melbourne Business School.  He is a Qualified Practising Insurance Broker and a member of the Australian Professional Indemnity Group.


John Prendergast


John is a proven Senior Manager with over 40 years’ experience in the Building Compliance area focused on successfully delivering local Government and community expectations.
He has extensive experience in the Building Regulation, Building Act and Building Code of Australia compliance gained both as an employee of organisations in both local government and private sector.  

Leadership and development of teams in all aspect of Building Control. Focussed on the safety and wellbeing of all those who reside and recreate in buildings.
John has highly developed communication, relationship building and influencing skills used in managing consulting engagements, negotiating deals, and leading cross-functional project teams.


Keith Ryan


Keith Ryan is the Director Workplace Services & Compliance for the Housing Industry Association. 

Keith is a lawyer with over 20 years experience in both the private and public sectors who has represented clients and worked in a wide range of legal matters. 

He has particular experience in building and construction law, commercial law, insolvency, litigation, transport law, and government law. 

Keith now manages HIA’s legal and policy functions in Victoria and Tasmania.  His main areas of responsibility at HIA include policy work and advice on regulatory compliance and contract and dispute management.


Philip Sanders


Philip Sanders serves as executive director of ACRS, Australasia’s specialist, independent conformity assessment body certifying construction steels to Australian and New Zealand Standards. Philip is a strong advocate of the benefits to both industry and the public from specialised, verification-based certification of construction materials, having witnessed the results of poor materials performance during a career spanning 30-years across engineering design and specification, building construction, insurance loss control, materials supply and product certification.

Philip has acted as a non-executive director for several industry bodies, and contributed to a number of Standards Australia committees, including concrete structures, bridge structures, earthquake loading and residential slabs & footings. Philip is a Chartered Professional Engineer and Chartered Environmentalist, and a Graduate member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.


Jeremy Turner

  Accredited as a Level 1 (Building Surveyor) for over 18 years, with 22 years professional experience in Building Surveying, Jeremy Turner has also spent 19 years serving the AIBS in various voluntary roles.  Jeremy is an Engineering Technologist and has a Bachelor of Building from the University of South Australia and a Graduate Certificate in Civil (Structural) Engineering from the University of Adelaide.  

Until recently, Jeremy served the City of Adelaide for almost 10 years, where he had the privilege of working on some of the State’s most iconic projects including the Adelaide Oval redevelopment, the SAHMRI building and the New Royal Adelaide Hospital.  Jeremy has recently followed his passion for the Building Surveying role and taken up the position of National Technical Manager with the Australian Institute of Building Surveyors.


Timothy Tuxford

  Tim Tuxford is a local government practitioner who has worked in the industry for over 30 years, commencing his employment as a Trainee Health & Building Surveyor with Camden Council in 1981.  Tim is currently the Manager – Compliance at Woollahra Council, a position he has held for 10 years.

During Tim’s time in local government he has held a variety of roles and has worked in new release, country and inner city councils in New South Wales.  One of the most rewarding moments in his career was the work he undertook for Newcastle City Council following the 1989 earthquake.  Tim and many other Building Surveyors were seconded to Newcastle City Council to assist in the assessment of earthquake-damaged buildings in an effort to identify, prioritise and streamline the necessary rectification works.

While active in the South-western Sydney branch of the AIBS in the mid-to-late 1980’s, Tim only became a member of the New South Wales/ACT Chapter Executive Committee (CEC) in August 2014.  Tim commenced his term as the AIBS National President in November 2016, and he is looking forward to the challenges ahead, working to promote and enhance the Building Surveying profession.


David Wagner


David manages Atelier Wagner Architects with a knowledge of architectural practice and construction sites based upon years of managing projects of all types and sizes. David brings to the practice a conceptual design ability underpinned by a Masters of Architecture by Design at the University of Melbourne and through having taught architectural design, history and theory at the University of Melbourne for a number of years.

David is a member of the Medium Practice Forum at the Australian Institute of Architects, Secretary of the Victorian Branch committee of the Association of Consulting Architects and a director at Camberwell Grammar School.


Alex Webb


Alex is Group Leader of the Victoria team which provides a wide ranges of consulting and testing services to the Infrastructure and construction sector from acoustics to durability.

Fire safety is his passion with over 24 years experience in the fire safety industry working in a range of areas.  He has qualifications and technical skills in fire safety including flammability of materials, facade fire safety, fire testing, rail safety and bushfire protection.

He is a committee member of Australian and ISO standards, guest Uni lecturer, VBA cladding task force. In the area of facades he is involved in fire testing, material identification, audits, risk assessment for new and existing buildings. He holds a masters of science – fire protection and is a registered fire engineer in Victoria, NSW, QLD and Malaysia.


Chris Webb


Chris Webb is the Executive Director of Building Division in the Planning Group at DELWP. 

Prior to joining DELWP in July 2018, Chris was the Executive Director of Practice and Assurance for EPA Victoria, leading programs to maximise EPA’s regulatory performance, overseeing complex state-wide campaigns, and developing industry guidance to support compliance with environmental obligations. 

With a strong practical industry grounding, and experience across regulators, Chris holds a Bachelor of Science (Chemistry) from Monash University and has significant private and public sector experience in regulatory management. Chris’ knowledge of regulatory practice extends across Australian and international frameworks. 

Chris has held senior roles in risk, safety and environmental management in the oil industry and major events including the Australian Formula 1 Grand Prix. Chris has extensive executive management experience. He joined EPA in 2010 from WorkSafe Victoria where he led the regulation of the Construction and Utilities Industries. Chris was previously EPA’s Director Environmental Regulation, running field operations for three years. 


Bronwyn Weir


Bronwyn has been a lawyer for over 20 years. She recently established Weir Legal and Consulting Pty Ltd.

Bronwyn advises governments on regulatory practice, enforcement and compliance matters. 

Bronwyn was co-appointed with Professor Peter Shergold by the Building Ministers Forum to make recommendations on a national best practice approach to regulation of the building sector. This appointment reflects Bronwyn’s in-depth knowledge of building regulation having acted for the Victorian Building Authority, local councils, fire authorities, the architect’s registration board and the AIBS over many years. 


Joe Zita


Joe is a director of the building surveying firm, Approval Systems which was established in 2002.

Joe is also a member of the Building Appeals Board having initially been appointed in 2011. During his 30-year career, he has accumulated a large body of work covering all classifications of buildings, including three years at an international fire engineering, testing and research organisation, where he was an in-house advisor on international building codes and building controls.

Joe’s experience on the Building Appeals Board has included involvement with significant landmark cases including protection of adjoining property, siting and cladding matters.

More speaker information coming soon.