GMC Board re-elected for 2023

December 14, 2022

Geelong Manufacturing Council is pleased to advise that existing Board members were re-elected unopposed at the recent AGM.

Board members for 2023 are:

Lyn George, OAM, Corporate Director and Co-owner of Austeng
GMC Chair

Lyn graduated from the University of Melbourne with an Arts/Law (hons) degree. After initially working as a lawyer, since 1995 Lyn has worked at Austeng in a managerial role. In the last few years her focus has been on business strategy and vision, as Austeng has transitioned from reliance on traditional sectors such as automotive to clean tech and advanced manufacturing. They work with many start ups and universities to assist in commercializing innovative technologies.

Austeng has been inducted into the Victorian Manufacturing Hall of Fame in recognition of its outstanding reputation and track record in the industry and is the recipient of the 2014 and 2016 R&D/Innovation Award for Engineers Australia (Vic).

Jamie Baensch, General Manager of Air Radiators

Jamie’s engineering career started at Ford as a Product Design Engineer, he then moved into the automotive parts supply sector where his career evolved into manufacturing leadership roles within Australia and China.

In 2010 Jamie joined the Adrad Group as General Manager of Air Radiators’ Australia and Thailand businesses. Adrad is Australia’s largest distributor and manufacture of heat exchangers serving automotive, truck, power generation and mining sectors.

Thys Heyns, Director/Consultant
GMC Deputy Chair

Thys Heyns has 35 years’ experience in the oil and gas industry, most recently with Viva Energy as Chief Operating Officer. Prior to joining Viva Energy in February 2015, Thys was with BP for 28 years in an international career across four continents that covered Supply Chain, Oil Trading and Refining.

Thys is an experienced Refining executive with recent roles including General Manager of the 120 kb/d Viva Energy Geelong Refinery, the 400kb/d BP Rotterdam Refinery and the 140kb/d BP Kwinana Refinery in Western Australia. Prior to that, Thys was the Commercial General Manager for BP’s global refining portfolio.

Thys’ academic qualifications include a Bachelor of Commerce (Hons) in Accounting and Economics as well as a Master in Business Administration. In addition, he has attended executive education programs at Stanford University, Cambridge University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Tuba Kocaturk, Professor of Integral Design, and Deputy Head of School of Architecture and Built Environment, at Deakin University

Tuba Kocaturk is the founding director of MInD (Mediated Intelligence in Design) Lab; a trans-disciplinary and practice-based research group that operates at the intersection of Built Environment, Information Technology, Design Innovation and Circular Economy. The lab collaborates closely with design, construction, health, advanced manufacturing, art & culture, and technology sectors. As an architect, educator and international research leader, her work is predominantly practice-based and advocates the use of “design thinking” and “system thinking” as a methodology for knowledge production and as a strategy for cross-sector innovation.

Tuba is the co-founder of the European Network of Transdisciplinary Design. Her work led to her receiving one of the first Design Foundations grant, introduced by the UK government through Innovate UK, aimed at helping businesses engage with wider stakeholders through human-centred research to identify high-value innovation opportunities and generate more innovative products, services and business models. She has initiated a similar approach through Deakin University’s International Design and Innovation Platform, DesignMind, which connects industry with design-led research.

Tuba is currently collaborating with the City of Greater Geelong for the development of the city’s future agenda as a UNESCO City of Design.

Robert Backwell, Company Director

Rob Backwell is a director of the IXL Group of companies, including Backwell IXL and IXL Metal Castings.  IXL has been making things in Geelong since 1858, and today its Geelong manufacturing activity includes domestic appliances, metal stamping and a foundry.   The Group’s domestic appliance marketing and distribution business, IXL Home, sells IXL, Cannon and iRobot appliances throughout Australia and New Zealand.

Rob was previously an Executive Director of Macquarie Group, where he had an 18 year career in investment banking and private equity investment.

He holds degrees in Commerce and Law from the University of Melbourne, and an MBA from the University of Chicago.

Gregory Hughes, CEO of Farm Foods 

Greg Hughes is a driven executive with an excellent commercial skill set. He has successfully managed ASX listed companies, private equity backed organisations as well as family owned enterprises. He has held executive level positions for the last 15 years with major companies including Mars Incorporated, Sakata Rice Snacks, Dymocks group and A2 milk. He has lived and worked in Australia, SE Asia and the USA.

Greg is currently the CEO of Farm Foods here in Geelong and is a non executive Director of Kikada Lane Dental group, ACMK Investments Pty Ltd and Gateways Support Services, a major NDIS service provider in Geelong. Greg has served as both Chair and head of Finance on a number of private school boards before relocating to the Bellarine in mid 2018. Greg has a strong passion for building great cultures, enterprise value and success.

Photo: GMC Board with Rob McGavin of Cobram Estate Olives (Tuba Kocaturk absent)