Geelong Manufacturing Council team


Thys HeynsGMC Chair, Director/Consultant
Thys Heyns
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...
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Robert BackwellGMC Deputy Chair, Director of the IXL Group of companies
Robert Backwell
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...
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Jane FletcherChief Operating Officer, Godfrey Hirst
Jane Fletcher
Jane Fletcher has 28 years’ experience in carpet manufacturing with Godfrey Hirst Australia. She took on the role as a director and COO in January 2021, having previously been involved in Planning, Operations and Supply Chain Management. Jane has a Bachelor of Commerce from Deakin University and an APICS CPIM. Godfrey Hirst has been manufacturing textiles in Geelong since 1865,...
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Lyn GeorgeGMC Director, Corporate Director Austeng
Lyn George
Lyn is the co-owner and corporate director of Austeng, a boutique engineering business that specialises in the design, engineering and development of customised equipment for industry. Lyn has been instrumental in restructuring and repositioning Austeng’s focus from very much reliant on the automotive industry to operating in several new sectors and working with start-up companies and Universities. Lyn is also...
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Greg HughesGMC Director, CEO Farm Foods
Greg Hughes
Greg 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,...
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Tuba KocaturkGMC Director, Professor of Integral Design Deakin University
Tuba Kocaturk
Tuba Kocaturk is Professor of Integral Design at Deakin University School of Architecture and Built Environment. Tuba 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 and Design Innovation. The lab collaborates closely with design, construction, health, advanced manufacturing, art & culture,...
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Glen PasqueGMC Director, Operations Manager, Viva Energy Geelong Refinery
Glen Pasque
Glen Pasque has 32 years of manufacturing experience across three different industries, most recently the Oil and Gas Industry with Viva Energy as Operations Manager at the Geelong Refinery. Prior to joining Viva Energy in February 2015, Glen spent 12 years with Alcoa Rolled Products at the Point Henry Aluminium Rolling Plant in Geelong Victoria and 12 years at BHP...
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Executive Office

Jennifer ConleyChief Executive Officer
Jennifer Conley3 Color
Jennifer Conley is an advanced manufacturing advocate with two decades’ experience at the intersection of industry, research and government. Working with companies and organisations to achieve competitive advantage in the global market place, champion greater Asia-Australia business and investment, and develop thought leadership campaigns around advanced manufacturing, energy and tax policy, as well as global social issues. She’s passionate about...
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Leanne NelsonProgram & Engagement Manager
Leanne Nelson2
Leanne Nelson has worked in and with the manufacturing industry for over 25 years. She has a background in the program management, integration of systems and skills within SME’s as well as managing delivery of accredited training. Leanne is our Program & Engagement Manager, managing a number of programs including the Women in Manufacturing Network & Mentoring Program, Geelong Future...
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Shayna OgdenProject Officer (Seed2STEM Ballarat)
Shayna Feb 2024
Shayna is a qualified engineer who has worked in STEM roles for many years. She understands the challenges women face in choosing and staying in STEM careers and is keen to help address gender imbalance in this area. Shayna is a highly capable trainer and project manager, holding a degree in mechanical engineering. In the engineering sector, Shayna carried out...
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