ACRNA 2018 Conference – PROGRAMME


ACRNA 2018 Conference

Conference Programme

Breakfast and Lunch daily, Dinner (days 1 and 2 only) 

Day 1 – Tuesday 27th November 2018

AM Programme – Control Room Processes

Workshop on Cyber and Physical Security in Control Rooms

Security around Control Rooms is integral to safe and efficient operations. Effective security management reduces both the likelihood and impact of security incidents on the safety of personnel and assets, improves reliability of service to customers, and facilitates business development and future growth.

Security does not only cover physical access but also cyber security around access to the systems. As technology continues to evolve so also do the opportunities and challenges it provides. We are at a crossroads as we move from a society already

entwined with the internet to the coming age of automation and the external access.

Physical Security direction provides decision makers and planners a suite of resources that govern the design, implementation and ownership of the security management process as part of an organisations Risk Management and Organisational Resilience Framework.

Facilitated by

Ron Whalen (Essential Energy) and David Ryan (Jemena) will facilitate this session with presentations from:

Nigel Hornidge – Organisational and Technology Manager – Essential Energy

Nigel is the Operational Technology Manager at Essential Energy. Starting with an Electrical Engineering degree (UNSW) he has spent the last 18 years as a software/integration engineer working with network management systems. Initially working on telecommunications network management systems for Australia’s two big telcos, he made a shift to distribution systems starting at Country Energy (now Essential Energy) some nine years ago.

Working between the business and IT, Nigel has a solid background in advocacy between competing divisions. Breaking operational challenges down into their ones and zeros himself and staff work to provide solutions to the operational problems faced. Securing electrical network management systems is a balance between principle and practice and cyber security maturity is a journey not a destination.

Brad Ship – Network Control Manager – Transgrid

Brad Shipp is a Network Control Manager in the TransGrid Control Centre at Wallgrove and has held this position since January 2014. 

He has been involved in system operations as both a field operator and a control room operator for over 33 years. Prior to joining TransGrid Brad worked as an operator in the Ausgrid Control Centre from 1992 until 2014. 

He is a certified trainer and assessor and has been actively involved in the development of training material for the progression of junior control room operators at Ausgrid and TransGrid.

Dr Darren Spoor – Operations Manager – Transgrid

Dr Darren Spoor is currently the Control Centre Manager at TransGrid and has worked in a variety of positions within the power transmission and distribution industry, predominantly in Planning and Operational roles. His main interests have focussed on fault location and probabilistic concepts in the operation and planning of power systems

Sophia Montgomery
Risk and Compliance Manager Essential Energy

Sophia is the risk and business continuity manager at Essential Energy.  She has over twenty years of global experience in risk and advisory roles across many industries including transport, infrastructure, finance, education, and community services.  Her particular areas of interest are resilience,  cyber security and organisational culture. 

 She has recently completed a research degree on ethical decision making in the NSW public service and is about to embark on a PhD on organisational resilience.  She is a member of the Energy Sector Group, two company Boards, and the Business Continuity Management Institute.

In 2015, she realised (with guilt at her own complicity) that organisations were surviving despite, not because of, prevalent governance and management theories.  Since then she has been fighting an often lonely fight to get organisations to realise that they are more like cats than washing machines.  She has been retweeted twice by Nassim Taleb.

Joo Ean
System Operations Sydney Manager

Joo Ean is the System Operations Sydney Manager at Ausgrid and is responsible for the Sydney Control Room and Despatch. Together with her team of operators, despatch coordinators, engineers and IT support specialists, they are responsible for the control and monitoring of the Ausgrid network. In conjunction with field operating resources, they execute switching operations to provide 24/7 safe access for Ausgrid employees and external parties who seek to work on or near the network.

Joo Ean joined Ausgrid nine years ago as an electrical engineering graduate, and has worked in various roles within the company including Asset Management, Field Services and Customer Operations, before joining the System Control team in 2011.

Joo Ean has a Bachelor of Electrical Engineering and a Masters in Engineering Science.

Control Rooms Under Pressure

Control Rooms Under Pressure 
The 2010 Icelandic Volcanic Eruption that nearly closed Europe!
It is a little known fact that most European Airlines did not ever include volcanic eruptions in their disaster recovery or operations disruption scenario planning. Nor did they have much in the way of knowledge about the impact of volcanic ash on the the modern passenger jet aircraft. Weather events, risk of terrorist attacks, airport closures and even the possibility of accidents, are all planned and prepared for. However, none of these would ever be on the scale of this event that halted almost all of easyJet’s flying operations, virtually closed large parts of the UK & Europe to air traffic and affected around 10 million travellers!
Seismic activity started at the end of 2009 and gradually increased in intensity until on 20 March 2010 Mt Eyjafjallajökull in Iceland erupted! On the 14 April 2010, the eruption entered its second phase and created an ash cloud that led to the closure of most of the European FIR airspace from 15 to 20 April 2010. As a result a significant a Number of flights within, to, and from Europe were cancelled, creating the highest level of air travel disruption since the Second World War. 
Was easyJet’s Operations Control Centre ready for operational disruption on this scale? No! Was their OCC team up for the challenge? Yes!! This workshop highlights the extreme pressures that Operations and Network Control Centres can be put under, especially when the unexpected ‘Big One’ happens! People, systems, infrastructure, safety and brand & reputation would all be tested….. The impact, the cost and the lessons learned will all be covered and open for discussion during this presentation.

By Tim Garnett

A Passenger Transport and Aviation professional with over 26 years industry experience of working in and improving Operation Control Centres. I have worked for 5 major airlines in the UK and Australia including EasyJet, Virgin Australia and Jetstar and more recently moved to the rail industry to work with V/Line Trains in Melbourne. An operational manager with significant experience in building, recruiting and leading diverse teams of professionals and considerable exposure to the design and improvement of Operation Control Centres including Emergency and Crisis Management.

Melbourne CityLink – Burnley Tunnel Incident 2007

On Friday 23 rd March 2007 a collision involving a number of trucks and cars occurred within the Burnley Tunnel of the Melbourne CityLink. As a result of the collision three motorists died and a significant fire occurred which required the evacuation of approximately 200 people from the tunnel. The tunnel was closed for 4 days. The subsequent investigations and inquests were finalised in January 2013, approximately 6 years after the event. These investigations included the examination of the control room operator’s actions, their training and competence to undertake their duties. No blame or responsibility for the incident was found against the operators.

At the time of this incident Geoff McKernan was the General Manager of the Operating
Company of CityLink and was directly involved in the legal investigations and enquiry.
Geoff’s presentation will provide an overview of;

  • the roles and responsibilities of a tunnel control room operator
  • the incident
  • the role and responsibilities of the operators in managing the incident
  • the investigation and evidence requirements
  • the impact on the Control Room operators
  • the Coroners findings

By Geoff McKernan (President)

Geoff has been involved in road operations for the majority of his working life and is currently the National Road Operations Manager at Transurban where his focus spans on operations of the Motorways Transurban operates and manages across Australia and the USA. His remit is to ensure consistency of operations. Transurban utilizes 10 control rooms. Prior to Transurban Geoff was the General Manager at Translink Operations, the Operator of CityLink until Transurban brought these functions in house in 2014. Geoff joined CityLink in 1998 and was responsible for establishing, commissioning and ongoing management of the operations and emergency management and the traffic control room functions.
Geoff also participated in a number of other projects outside of the CityLink project, including the commissioning and opening of the Dublin Port Tunnel and the emergency exercise at the Mont Blanc. He has also undertaken a number of control room reviews in Australia and New Zealand.

PM Programme – Human Factors



When critical events occur, selecting available, capable and appropriately qualified people, has until now relied on subjective assessment ‘guesswork’ in determining people’s fitness for duty and sustainability for the anticipated duration of the response due to lack of available objective real-time and predictive data.

Sophisticated and increasingly reliable communications technologies can now provide critical control room decision makers with control room dashboards and mobile device web browsers in the field, delivering visibility of, objective, real-time and predictive alertness data.

Objective scientifically validated data enables decision makers to take the guesswork out of selecting available, capable and appropriately qualified responders, enhancing safety, efficiency, response time and outcomes.

Mark Holmes, Chairman of Circadian Australia, and Gary Scott, Founder and Principal of GlobalWhere will present a Forestry Corp of NSW Case Study, facilitate a workshop discussion with conference delegates on the challenges of Fatigue Risk Management in Critical Control Rooms and how technology and objective fatigue data can now ‘Take the Guesswork out of Allocating Crisis Management Responsibilities’.

By Mark Holmes (Secretary)

Mark is Chairman and a co-founder of CIRCADIAN™ AUSTRALIA, a 100% Australian owned and operated affiliate of CIRCADIAN™ in Boston. World leaders in human fatigue research and consulting, CIRCADIAN™ AUSTRALIA designs, implements and delivers Fatigue Risk Management System (FRMS) solutions and services to the Aviation, Transportation, Mining, Energy, Manufacturing and Service industry sectors across Australia, Asia, Africa, NZ and the Pacific region. Following a career in Financial Services in CEO leadership positions with GE Capital Australia, S.E. Asia and the Asia region, and now in addition to his CIRCADIAN™ AUSTRALIA and ACRNA commitments Mark is Chairman of several SME high growth businesses.

Gary Scott Founder of GlobalWhere

And Gary Scott

Gary has more than 25 years of experience in large scale IT product, project and program strategy and delivery. He created GlobalWhere, a real-time data sharing platform to improve worker safety. Gary is passionate about making human factor risks visible so they can be managed, but fairly and while maintaining privacy.

Workshop on Employees and Recruitment of Control Room Staff

Facilitated by Mark Holmes (Circadian), Tim Garnet (General & Aviation Control Room Consultant) and David Ryan (Jemena)

Recruitment of staff to man 24 / 7 control room desks can be a challenge. Unless you are within and have been around that environment it is a foreign space that one heads in to. There are a number of areas that need to be considered around the individual and the strategy going forward and these will be the basis for our discussion.

From an individual perspective items that should be considered are:

  • Why shift work
  • Understanding fatigue and shift work
  • Understanding the unsocial hours of shift work

From a strategy going forward items that should be considered are:

  • Stereotype recruitment
  • Thinking outside the box
  • Preparing for the future
  • Diverse changes in what Control Rooms Control and Monitor
  • Recruiting for the future
  • Leadership in Control Rooms

Networking drinks and dinner

Day 2 – Wednesday 28th November 2018

AM Programme – Control Centre Tours

Get in Fast ... Group size limits apply
Some sites only allow small groups .... Reserve your spot early

PM Programme – Control Rooms

  • Visit debriefs
  • Control Room Relocation and Integration

Designing a New Control Room

Control Rooms are the human and built environments in which operators, controllers, leaders, managers, engineers and planners are relied upon to make good decisions and effectively monitor, integrate and collaborate, all for the benefit and safety of every stakeholder involved with the business, and the plant and assets which they control.

They are expected by their colleagues, and themselves, to make reliable and timely decisions in a suitably safe, comfortable and ergonomic environment.

As a human-machine interface, the control room deserves proper consideration of human-centred design for maximum reliable operator output and minimal design-induced errors.

As a built environment, it demands an ergonomic and architectural solution which is flexible, scalable, well-crafted and has an proud and rewarding sense of place.

And as a project, it commands the attention of dedicated project delivery teams to take it from inception to operation.

The site visits have introduced you to a selection of real projects introduced by their stakeholders.

This afternoon, we are privileged to have Russell Ockendon talk to us about their projects, field your questions, and facilitate a really informative discussion about “How do you actually go about integrating the requirements of an operational control room with building it?”

Russell is an architect and executive director of Control Centres Australia.

Control Centres Australia is a specialist control centre built environment and ergonomics design consultancy for clients in energy, infrastructure, oil & gas, transport, refining, and industry in general.

While Russell has been consulting in this field since 2000, CCA marked 7 years earlier this month.

Before a single pencil stroke is made in the design process, the control centre consultants must consider the humans in their built environments to ensure the built interventions support effective operations, safety and comfort of those who resort to them.

Russell has been in architecture and built environment design for 43 years.

He and his colleagues in ergonomics and human factors have delivered 45 control centre design projects, 25 of them built, in the last 18 years.

Wednesday Night Conference Dinner Guest Speaker

Arnold Dix is recognised internationally as both a rail and road tunnel fire and life safety risk expert with appointments to most of the world’s peak regulatory bodies including NFPA 130 and NFPA 502. He holds dual qualifications in science and law, and has extensive experience in technical and legal aspects of standards and their practical application internationally.  He has decades of pragmatic hands on construction and operational experience.  He holds tertiary level teaching appointments and regularly presents at the European TSO meetings.  These life skills empower him as a pragmatic advisor.

Day 3 – Thursday 29th November 2018

Operator Training Workshop

Training of all workplace personnel is critical to the effective and safe operation of any organisation. A well trained workforce will improve individual performance and overall productivity. In a control room environment, consistency in operations and actions is vital to ensure an effective and reliable response is always maintained. This is achieved through a detailed training and assessment regime as well as ongoing skills maintenance. The training not only targets technical skills required but also provides the skills and knowledge for individuals to manage the challenges of shift work, fatigue and the stresses associated with the daily activities of the Control Room.

This workshop will provide an overview on how two different industries (Road Operations and Electricity and Gas Distribution) undertake the training and assessment of their Control Room Operators for both initial training and ongoing skills maintenance. The workshop will then open up to a group discussion to investigate and identify best practice for operator training. The workshop’s aim is to identify how the Association can move forward in facilitating the development of generic competency training for control room operators.

By David Ryan

David Ryan has been in the Utility Infrastructure business for 18 years. He first started in AGL and through amalgamations and buyouts worked for Agility, Alinta and now Jemena. As an operational professional with extensive experience he has held senior management and leadership roles in operational delivery, asset management meter operations, HSE and control room operations throughout the 18 years. David is the Control and Dispatch Integration Manager in the Network Operations and Control Business Unit of Jemena. Prior to joining Jemena David was employed as a Senior Test Engineer on the New Submarine Project with Boeing Australia Ltd and spent 23 years in the Royal Australian Navy, retiring as a Lieutenant Commander Weapons Electrical Engineering Officer.

AM Programme – Association Business


  1. Establishment of Association – The journey to date
  2. Membership
  3. Financial Report
  4. Election of Committee Members
  • Future role/direction of the Association
  • What do members expect from the Association?
  • Summary of Conference, Lessons learnt, etc

Conference Close

  • Lot’s to see, learn and share
  • Great networking opportunity
  • Stay in touch with your industry
Join us at the conference. We look forward to seeing you there

Skip to toolbar