Stay tuned for more information on register for STARS in 2023
In 2022 STARS will again be held virtually via Microsoft Teams, with 13 sessions spread over three days. You are welcome to attend as many sessions as you like. This event is free to attend for those in the Australian sports system and our industry and university partners. Registrations are required.
- Event dates
2023 dates to be confirmed
We’re pleased to announce that this year’s theme is ‘Preparing for Take-off on the Green and Gold Runway’. Presenters have been tasked with giving the STARS audience ideas, concepts, and insights into what it will take to ensure that the Australian high performance system is prepared to take advantage of ‘ten years of opportunity’ leading into Brisbane 2032.
Kim Brennan AM
Management Consultant, EY
Kim Brennan (nee Crow) is a Management Consultant - Technology Implementation, Defence, and National Security. Kim is the epitome of the modern leader. An Olympic gold, silver, and bronze medalist in rowing, Kim transferred her sporting skills to become an emerging leader in technology implementation for Management Consultancy EY.
Competing at the 2008, 2012, and 2016 Olympics Kim has won 3 Olympic medals, including gold in 2016. That year she was awarded the Gina Rinehart Award for Leadership, the Australian Female Sportsperson of the Year, the Rowers’ Rower of the Year, the Female Rower of the Year, the ACT Sportsperson of the Year, the Victorian Sportsperson of the Year, the Women’s Health Sportsperson of the Year, and the flag bearer at the Closing Ceremony of the Rio Olympic Games. While competing, Kim continued her Melbourne University Law Degree remotely, graduating with first class honours and winning the prize for top female graduate of her year.
In 2016 Kim was enticed across to EY to work in the growing field of technology advisory. There, Kim has led large scale technology implementation projects in Defence and National Security, taking a particular interest in the ethics of emerging technology and how to embrace innovation in a changing world. She is a recipient of a Fulbright Professional Scholarship to examine organisational culture through a complex systems lens and was named one of Australia’s top 100 influential women by the Australian Financial Review in 2018..
Kim has previously sat on the Australian Olympic Committee Athletes’ Commission (Chair), the Australian Olympic Committee High Performance Committee, and the Rowing Australia Athletes’ Commission. She has been an ambassador for the Australian Drug Foundation Good Sports Program. She still sits on the Australian Sports Foundation Board. Kim won the prestigious Thomas Keller award for lifetime contribution to World Rowing (one recipient awarded each year globally). Kim Brennan was awarded a Member of the Order of Australia in 2017.
Co-founder and Non-Executive Director of Catapult
Shaun co-founded Catapult in 2006 and led it as CEO for 11 years before appointing a new CEO in 2017 and retiring to board and strategy responsibilities.
Prior to this Shaun spent 5 years as Technology manager at the CRC for Microtechnology where in conjunction with the AIS the original technology that underpinned Catapult was invented.
In building Catapult, Shaun created and developed the company's strategy and business plan, sourced seed funding, negotiated technology licenses and undertook procurement.
He then managed Catapult’s early sales, establishing a distribution network and then Catapult's own offices around the world. He led Catapult through numerous acquisitions (GPSports, playertek, XOS digital, AMS) and funding rounds culminating in listing on the Australian stock exchange in 2014, where Catapult grew to be valued at more than $600m.
Catapult now employs approximately 500 people, has offices in 15 countries, generates revenue of more than $100m, and supports more than 3000 sports teams globally.
Shaun holds a Bachelor of Engineering (Hons) from the University of Melbourne and is the author of numerous patents. He currently provides advice to startups and founders predominantly in the technology space.
Professor Anette "Peko" Hosoi
Co-Founder, MIT Sports Lab
Anette “Peko” Hosoi is the associate dean of the MIT School of Engineering and Neil and Jane Pappalardo Professor of Mechanical Engineering with a joint appointment in the Department of Mathematics. In 2015, she co-founded the MIT Sports Lab with Christina Chase and serves as its faculty director. The MIT Sports Lab is a sports engineering program that seeks to improve athletic performance and advance the state of the art in research, equipment, and actionable insights to help support athletes in their goals to push the limits of human performance through collaborations between industry leaders, students, faculty, alumni, and start-ups.
Peko’s research contributions lie at the juncture of nonlinear hydrodynamics, microfluidics, and bio-inspired design. She is a world leader in the study of the hydrodynamics of thin fluid films and in the nonlinear physical interaction of viscous fluids and deformable interfaces. A common theme in her work is the fundamental study of shape, kinematic, and rheological optimization of biological fluid systems for locomotion and their application to the emergent field of “soft robotics”. A unique mixture of experimental work, numerical simulation, and theoretical analysis characterizes her work, and it combines elements of both engineering design and mathematical optimization. Her work is widely known and internationally respected by physicists, biologists, roboticists and applied mathematicians, as well as engineers, and is used to guide the engineering design of robotic swimmers, crawlers, burrowers and other mechanisms.
Peko has served as a member of the Defense Science Study Group and in 2012, was named a fellow of the American Physical Society for “innovative work in thin fluid films and in the study of nonlinear interactions between viscous fluids and deformable interfaces including shape, kinematic, and rheological optimization in biological systems.”
When she is not in lab, she can be found at Highland Mountain Bike Park on her downhill rig, snowboarding in British Columbia or monitoring her Fantasy Football team.
Professor Marco Cardinale
Executive Director of Research & Scientific Support, ASPETAR
Marco is a Sports Scientist with extensive experience in various fields. He was the Head of Sports Physiology and Research of Aspire Academy in Doha (Qatar) from 2013 until recently. Before moving to Qatar, he led the Sports Science activities for the preparation of Team GB (Great Britain and Northern Ireland) at the Beijing 2008, Vancouver 2010, and London 2012 Olympic Games.
Marco is an honorary reader in computer science in Sport at University College London and an Honorary Senior Lecturer at the University of Aberdeen in the School of Medical Sciences. He has been an advisor to various companies (e.g. Polar Electro, and Technogym), government agencies (e.g. the European Space Agency) and professional sport organisations and national governing bodies in 5 countries (USA, Italy, Spain, Sweden, UK) before working in Qatar. In 2011 he was awarded the honour of “Cavaliere dello sport pontino” by the Italian Olympic Committee for his services to international sports. Dr Cardinale is currently an advisory board member of NIKE (SPARQ) and a member of the scientific commission of the Italian Track and Field Federation. Dr Cardinale holds a B.Sc. from ISEF in Italy, a M.Sc. from the US Sports Academy in the USA and a PhD from Semmelweis University in Hungary.
A former Handball player and coach, he has been involved in coach education in various countries in the area of strength and conditioning and exercise physiology. A widely published and cited author in the scientific literature on various aspects of human performance, he has also patented an innovative exercise device consisting of a vibratory biofeedback system which received research awards from NEStech and the Design Council.
Co-Founder, MIT Sports Lab
Christina Chase is a Lecturer at MIT in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science with a joint appointment in the Department of Mechanical Engineering. In 2015, she co-founded the MIT Sports Lab with Prof. Anette “Peko” Hosoi and serves as its Managing Director. The MIT Sports Lab is a sports engineering program that seeks to improve athletic performance and advance the state of the art in research, equipment, and actionable insights to help support athletes in their goals to push the limits of human performance through collaborations between industry leaders, students, faculty, alumni, and start-ups.
Christina is an entrepreneur with a track record of success in a several industries, starting her first company when she was 18 years old. Most recently she was the CEO and co-founder of Firehoze, an education technology company that focused on online education that involved over a hundred instructors from the most prestigious universities. She has worked with numerous founding teams across industries, including B2B hardware, healthcare IT, materials and coatings, and consumer electronics, and has also led innovation in established companies, such as the photonics company, Labsphere, where as the Director of the Materials and Coating division, in under a year she tripled revenue and led the group to file three key patents for new materials.
In 2013 she was named one of the 25 Most Influential Women in the Boston Tech Community and in 2014 Mashable named her one of the 15 People Shaping Boston’s Tech Scene.
In a past life, Christina was a cyclist where she was one of 12 women selected by the US Cycling Federation to train at the US Olympic Training Center. She has taught downhill skiing in Colorado, summited six of Colorado’s 14-ers across seasons, and her latest sport is kiteboarding.
Professor Allan Hahn OAM
QAS Research Advisor
Allan Hahn was appointed by Dick Telford as a senior physiologist at the AIS in 1984. After the success of Allan’s talent identification work, he turned his attention to altitude training where he and his colleagues conducted research that eventually led to altitude training becoming a mainstay in athlete preparation in Australia.
In 1994, Allan became Head of AIS Physiology and was part of a team of scientists that undertook extensive research into maximising performance in the hot conditions expected at Atlanta. This led to the first use of cooling vests by Australian athletes. In 1998, AIS Physiology commenced a major research project to develop a test for EPO. The work resulted in IOC approval of the test for the Sydney Olympics.
After the Sydney Olympics, Allan recognised the potential for emerging technologies to enable increased measurement of athletes in the field. He successfully led the AIS into a CRC for Microtechnology that yielded the first combined use of inertial sensors and GPS in Australian high performance sport and laid the foundation for the establishment of spin off company Catapult Sports. Allan continues his work today in a role that guides research at the Queensland Academy of Sport.
Professor Louise Burke OAM
Chair of Sports Nutrition, Australian Catholic University
Louise is a sports dietitian, academic, and author with 40 years of experience in the education and counselling of elite athletes. She worked at the Australian Institute of Sport for thirty years, first as Head of Sports Nutrition and then as Chief of Nutrition Strategy. She was the team dietitian for the Australian Olympic Teams for the 1996 Atlanta, 2000 Sydney, 2004 Athens, 2008 Beijing, and 2012 London Summer Olympic Games. Her publications include over 350 papers in peer-reviewed journals and book chapters, and the authorship or editorship of several textbooks on sports nutrition. She is an editor of the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism. Louise was a founding member of the Executive of Sports Dietitians Australia, is a member of the Nutrition Working Group of the IOC, and is a Director of the IOC Diploma in Sports Nutrition.
Louise was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia in 2009 for services to sport nutrition, as a dietitian, and through academic, research, and administrative roles. Louise was appointed as Chair in Sports Nutrition in the Mary MacKillop Institute of Health Research at Australian Catholic University in Melbourne in 2014 and took up this position in a full-time capacity in 2020.
Cameron McKenzie-McHarg is a two-time Olympian and Olympic Medalist, having claimed Silver in the Rowing Men’s Four at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
At the age of 18 Cameron was recruited by the Western Bulldogs for the AFL. Cameron returned to rowing in 2001 with the goal of representing Australia at the Olympic Games. Cameron has rowed for Victoria and represented Australia at twelve world championships, winning multiple World Cup and World Championships medals. Cameron has also represented Australia at two Olympic Games; Beijing 2008 and London 2012, with his career highlight claiming Silver in the Men’s Four at the Beijing Olympics.
Having spent 15 years as an elite athlete and 10 years working in the finance industry Cameron co-founded 776BC. 776BC works with the world’s best athletes to create a range of specialised performance apparel for the water, road, and track that stands up to the toughest training programs.
776BC is the official apparel supplier and sponsor of Rowing Australia and the Australian Rowing Team.
Dr Lucy Cameron
Senior Research Consultant, CSIRO Data61
Lucy is a digital transformation and new industry development expert with CSIRO’s Data61 group. Her book, 'Building an Innovation Hotspot' outlines the policy levers used by governments and industry to support new industry development and local innovation. She is also a leading proponent of foresight, digital transformation and innovation in the Asia Pacific region.
Lucy has been the leader and convenor of the Asia Pacific Foresight Group, she led the Vietnam's Future Digital Economy project, a major collaboration between CSIRO and Vietnam's Ministry of Science and Technology, and was one of just four Australian women named as GovInsider's Women in GovTech in Asia in 2018. She was also the inaugural speaker in the Australian Women in Blockchain series.
As a previous Queensland Government Smithsonian Fellow, Lucy has a special interest in policy leading to innovation hot-spots. Commissioned reports, keynote talks, and workshops conducted as part of the Data61 Insights team have advised government and industry on policy and actions to exploit new technology for productivity gains and local business development. This involves combining digital transformation policy with foresight techniques.
Prior to working at CSIRO's Data61 Lucy worked for 10 years in digital economy and productivity policy in the Queensland Government. Her PhD from the University of Queensland studied the impact of broadband on regional development.
Her professional interest lies in determining the geographic patterns of innovation, and what governments and businesses can do to effectively and cost-efficiently promote and exploit innovation.
Igor van de Griendt
Co-Founder and Non-Executive Director of Catapult
Igor is Co-Founder and Non-Executive Director of Catapult. Prior to co-founding Catapult, he was a Project Manager for the Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) for Microtechnology. In collaboration with the Australian Institute of Sport, his team developed several sensor platforms and technologies, ultimately leading to the foundation of Catapult.
Before his time at the CRC, Igor was a Director of a consulting business that provided engineering services to technology companies such as Redflex Communications Systems (now part of Exelis, NYSE:XLS), Ceramic Fuel Cells (ASX:CFU), Ericsson Australia, NEC Australia, and Telstra.
Igor holds a Bachelor of Electrical Engineering from Darling Downs Institute of Advanced Education (now University of Southern Queensland). He is the author of numerous patents and patent applications in athlete tracking and other sensor technologies.
Michael Bohl OAM
Head Coach, Griffith University Swim Club
Michael Bohl is head coach of the Griffith University Swim Club and a member of the Australian Dolphins coaching team. Michael is best known as the coach of Emma McKeon, Australian’s most decorated Olympian, and the former coach of triple Olympic gold medallist Stephanie Rice. Michael has coached at five Olympics, getting swimmers to the podium at every summer Olympics from 2008 to 2020.
Prior to moving to Griffith University in 2017 Michael was the head coach of St Peters Western Swim Club for 14 years, one of the highest performing swim clubs in Australia.
Michael’s accolades include receiving the Australian Sports Medal in 2000, recognising him as a “Long Serving ASI Committee Member”. In 2010 Michael was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia for “service to swimming as a competitor and coach”. In 2015 he was named Coach of the Year at the Australian Institute of Sport Awards. In 2021 he was the recipient of the “Coach of the Best Female Swimmer” award from FINA and “Olympic Program Coach of the Year” award from Swimming Australia.
Prior to his life as a coach Michael was a swimmer at the AIS, competing at the Brisbane Commonwealth Games in 1982.
Dr Kath O'Brien
Dr Katherine (Kath) O’Brien is an educational leader. Her research seeks to understand how to improve the operational environment and performance practices of sport officials. Using digital technology such as 360-video and artificial intelligence (AI), Kath’s work has been nationally recognised for its impact in the sport development space. By replicating real-world experiences through 360-video and AI technologies, learners experience and interact with virtual content, providing a more authentic and vivid online learning experience.
Data generated from broadcast vision and wearable technologies also provide Kath’s research with a unique live testbed for incorporating advanced Machine Learning (ML) technologies into the restructuring of officiating performance parameters. Her work is creating a compelling new narrative for how to design educational environments that provide choice, student-centred learning, active involvement, and a sense of performance presence.
Kath recently won an Australian University Award for Teaching Excellence, and her currently funded projects include examining the quality of educational pathways open to female sport officials, the creation of conversation profiles for enhancing the performance of elite sport referees’ decision-making, and the impact of digital technology for learning hands-on, skill development in online university settings.
Dr Andrew Murray
Head of International Basketball Performance: NBA
Andrew Murray has been with the NBA for four years with the International Basketball Group. As the Head of International Basketball Performance he oversees many aspects of the NBA Academy system and contributes to domestic operations through projects such as the Draft Combine, NBA Launchpad, and working with G-League Ignite. Prior to the NBA, Andrew was the Director of Performance & Sport Science at the University of Oregon.
Andrew also spent two years at ASPIRE and five years at the Scottish Institute of Sport where he worked with Olympic athletes to provide Exercise Physiology support to world class athletes in team and individual sports across the athlete development pathway.
Professor Kerrie Mengersen
Director, QUT Centre for Data Science
Professor Kerrie Mengersen is an applied statistician with around 30 years of experience in areas of modelling and analysis of data in health and medicine, environment and ecology, biosecurity, business, and industry. She has developed close engagements with government and private organisations. As Director of QUT Centre for Data Science, Kerrie also links to experts in data science from other domains across the University and to other Centres of Data Science through our Australian Data Science Network.
In 2016 Professor Mengersen received two prestigious awards: the Statistical Society of Australia’s Pitman Medal, the highest award presented by the Society and the first time it has been presented to a woman, and the Research Excellence award by the Cooperative Research Centre for Spatial Analysis (CRCSI).
In 2018 Professor Mengersen has been elected a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science (AAS); a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia (ASSA); and an Invited Fellow of the Queensland Academy of Arts and Sciences (QAAS).
Dr Gil Blander
Founder and CSO, InsideTracker
Gil is internationally recognised for his research in the basic biology of aging and translating research discoveries into new ways of detecting and preventing age-related conditions. Gil is the founder and CSO of InsideTracker, where he leads a team of biology, nutrition, and exercise physiology experts, and data scientists. Gil has been featured in CNN Money, The New York Times, Forbes, Financial Times, and The Boston Globe to name a few.
Gil received a Ph.D. in biology from the Weizmann Institute of Science and completed his Post-Doctoral fellowship at MIT, before going on to found InsideTracker. InsideTracker was founded in 2009 by top scientists in the fields of aging, genetics, and biology from acclaimed universities including MIT, Harvard, and Tufts University. InsideTracker is a truly personalised nutrition and performance system. Their mission is to help people add years to their lives and life to their years by optimising their bodies from the inside out. By analysing your body’s data, InsideTracker can give you a crystal clear picture of what's going on inside you, along with a science-backed action plan for improving your health and becoming your best self.
The InsideTracker platform tracks and analyses key biochemical and physiological markers, then applies sophisticated algorithms and large scientific databases to determine personalised optimal zones for each marker. InsideTracker’s expert system offers science-driven nutrition and lifestyle interventions, which empower people to optimise their markers. When optimised, marker levels have been scientifically proven to increase vitality, improve athletic performance, and extend life.
Co-founder Player Armour
Rhiannon Green first played AFL in high school and fell in love with the game. After playing for many years she competed in her first official season in the Victorian Amateurs Football Association. In her maiden season she won the premiership flag, the Premiership Best on Ground, her club’s Best and Fairest, along with taking out the VAFA Best and Fairest. Rhiannon was also recruited to play in the VFLW after her first season.
In 2018 Rhiannon co-founded Player Armour. Player Armour is a new concept in athlete protection and injury prevention, allowing athletes to play harder, stay stronger, and enjoy their game even more. Pioneering the way for protection, Player Armour’s unique silicone filled foot armour protects your toes and your upper foot, whilst at the same time improving kicking efficiency.
Co-founder the Australian Sports Technology Conference
John R Persico is a world-leading expert on Sports Technology, Sports Web 3.0, and "Future of Sports". John provides strategy, research, data analytics, and deep expertise to governments, international cities, major sports organizations, major events, sports investment funds, academies, and fast-growth sports innovators on how to thrive in new data-driven world economy of Sports, Media, Entertainment, Esports and Digital Health. John works alongside leading CIOs, CTOs, and technology executives on the digitization of sports -- with a real personal passion for artificial intelligence, video analytics, OTT, wellness and health, sponsorship, wearables, stadiums and venues, and youth sports talent identification/scouting with technology. John’s mission is to accelerate the world's transition to the new sports economy.
John co-founded the Australian Sports Technology Conference. He founded the Sports Technology World Series, the world’s largest professional network for sports technology professionals across 115 countries with 57,000 members. John is also an Adjunct Industry Fellow at Swinburne University, Sports Innovation Research Group, and was a winner of Young Melbourne Entrepreneur of the Year.
John previously worked and studied in investment banking, private equity, law, and management consulting.
Co-Founder, Ida Sports
Ben Sandhu spent his career advising start-ups and accelerators in both the UK and Australia before joining Ida Sports. He is passionate about using business as a force for social change, most recently as Adjunct Professor at Monash University’s Business School. He was a semi-professional cricketer who deeply understands the athlete experience, helping Ida land contracts with some of the US’s largest sports retailers.
Ben and the Ida team were recently accepted into the Trailblazer Venture Studio, a collaboration between the Billie-Jean King Foundation, the LA Dodgers, Elysian Park, and R?GA Ventures focusing on start-ups delivering change for female athletes.
For all STARS 2022 recordings visit the Clearinghouse for Sport.
For more information please contact STARS@ausport.gov.au.