"Leadership: Defining the Challenges", features four significant industry leaders and UQ Alumni - Noel Williams (Consultant, Dragoman and former Vice President for Business Development for Dow Chemical in Asia Pacific and India); Peter Jones (Director, Exergen Pty Ltd and former Shell Senior Executive); Mark Read (President – Minerals, KBR); and Kathryn Fagg (Former President – Fast Moving Consumer Goods, Linfox). 

This is a great opportunity to take part in a discussion with Noel, Peter, Mark and Kathryn who will be addressing the topic of leadership from their own and varied perspectives, and the challenges that come along with leading complex Australian and international organisations. Our guest speakers will define and characterise strategic leadership and provide advice for future leaders to develop competencies for success in their careers.


Noel Williams
Specialist Advisor Manufacturing Dragoman Pty Ltd

Noel joined Dragoman, a Government and political risk consultancy based in Melbourne in mid 2011 as their Specialist Advisor, Manufacturing. Earlier in the year he departed from Dow Chemical after 36 years working throughout the world in a broad spectrum of roles. In 2010 Noel was appointed as Vice President to lead Dow’s Business Development efforts in Asia Pacific to grow businesses in the region while being based in Singapore. Previously he was President of Dow in South East Asia, Australia and New Zealand.

After graduating in Chemical Engineering from Queensland University, a career with Dow began with assignments in manufacturing in Australia, the US, and Hong Kong, in plastics and chemicals technologies. On return to Australia, responsibilities in a variety of plant management roles, Manufacturing Manager and Operations Director for Dow Australia led to active participation in the Australian industry, interface with the local community and participation in Industry / Government task forces.

In 1992, Noel transferred to Thailand to take on the role of Country Manager for Dow and Managing Director of Dow’s joint ventures. Noel led the investment program in Thailand and guided the growth of the developing operations which have become a significant part of the Map Ta Phut petrochemical complex near Rayong. Returning to Australia in 1996, he took up the role of Director of Strategic Development for Asia Pacific guiding projects and business development in the region and later was MD of Dow’s JV with Huntsman, Polystyrene Australia. Prior to his move to Singapore, Noel was the Managing Director for Dow in ANZ and Business Development Director for SEA.

Noel is immediate past Chairman of the board of the Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE) in Australia and was a Governor and Treasurer of the American Chamber of Commerce in Singapore . He is also a past President and a Director of the Australian Plastics and Chemicals Industry Association.

Dr Peter Jones 
Director, Exergen Pty Ltd

Peter Jones has a Bachelor of Engineering (Chemical) graduating from UQ in 1975 with 1st Class Honours and a University Medal. After a couple years in the alumina and bauxite refining sector with QAL in Gladstone, Peter completed his Doctorate of Philosophy (University of Queensland) researching the phenomenon of flow instability in standpipes. 

Since that time, Peter has built over 30 years of energy sector experience across oil refining and supply as well as chemicals. Peter commenced his career in energy with Shell in 1980, and held a number of senior roles both in Australia and Internationally including Vice President Manufacturing, Supply and Trading, East Zone based in Singapore and Shell Australia General Manager Manufacturing and Supply. Peter returned to Australia following his retirement from Shell in 2004 following his final Shell role as Vice President of Supply, Refining and DIstribution for all of Shell's portfolio east of Saudi Arabia. He has extensive experience in the management of international business.

He has servde a s Director on several Boards and is currently a non-excutive Director of Exergen Pty Ltd involved in commercialisation of new brown coal dewatering technology.

Mr Mark Read 
President - Minerals, KBR

Mark Read is a results focused business leader with over 30 years experience in both Listed and Privately owned global service companies. His experience ranges from Engineering, Project Management and Construction through to Operations and Maintenance in a wide range of industries including Mining, Power and Energy, Water, Environment and Infrastructure. He has applied these strong proven Leadership and Management skills to achieve outstanding growth and improved profitability of Private and Public Companies alike.

His current role is President Minerals, responsible for overseeing KBR’s Global Minerals business. KBR is a leading global engineering, construction and services company supporting the energy, petrochemicals, government services and civil infrastructure. KBR's Minerals business unit is a leading provider of large-scale mining developments including engineering, procurement and construction services for coal, iron ore, bulk material handling and coal processing systems. 

Kathryn Fagg 
Chair, Melbourne Recital Centre and former President – Fast Moving Consumer Goods, Linfox

Kathryn Fagg is an experienced senior executive. Most recently, Kathryn was with the Linfox Logistics group and with BlueScope Steel as President, Asia based in Singapore. Before BlueScope Steel, she was at ANZ in executive roles, including Managing Director, Banking Products. She has consulted for McKinsey & Co and commenced her career with Esso Australia after completing a Chemical Engineering degree at The University of Queensland. She also has a Masters degree in Commerce in Organisation Behaviour. Kathryn is currently Chair of the Melbourne Recital Centre, and lives in Melbourne.

Professor Paul Lant (Moderator)
Professor and Head of the School of Chemical Engineering, The University of Queensland

Paul is Professor and Head of the School of Chemical Engineering at The University of Queensland. He has an international reputation for his research in the field of wastewater treatment. His formal qualifications include a MEng and PhD from Newcastle University (UK) and an MBA from The University of Queensland.

He was a co-founder of the Advanced Water Management Centre, the leading water and wastewater R&D group in Australia. Paul has made major research contributions in the fields of biological nutrient removal, activated sludge floc modelling and understanding, mixed culture PHA production, LCA of urban water systems and industrial wastewater treatment. Paul is also establishing a reputation as a leading chemical engineering educator, receiving awards for undergraduate teaching and postgraduate supervision innovations.

Paul was awarded a prestigious Leverhulme Visiting Professorship in 2005 to further develop collaboration with UK researchers. Paul is a Fellow of the Institute of Chemical Engineers and Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. Paul has successfully started up a number of commercial ventures.

About Global Leadership Series

The Global Leadership Series (GLS) is a lively program of events for alumni and community members. Join us for lectures and discussions with the best of the best UQ-related speakers on matters that impact your community and shape your ideas of the world.

The series is an opportunity for you to engage with great minds on global matters, participate in thought-provoking discussions and network with UQ alumni and community members. All alumni, parents, community members and friends are welcome to attend the Global Leadership Series events.

Listen to podcasts of previous GLS events click here


Melbourne Business School