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Advanced networks program (ANP) advisory panel.

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- Media Release

ADVANCED NETWORKS PROGRAM (ANP) ADVISORY PANEL The Minister for Communications, Information Technology and the Arts, Senator Richard Alston, today announced the advisory panel that will assist with the assessment process for the Federal Government's $40 million Advanced Networks Program (ANP).

'The advisory panel comprises six widely respected individuals with expert knowledge in communications infrastructure, information industries and Australia's research and development capability,' said Senator Alston.

'There are 49 applicants for ANP funding from a diverse range of fields and the advisory panel will provide independent advice prior to a final decision being made on the successful applications.

'One of the criteria for the evaluation of these applications is the demonstration of a collaborative approach, for example, between industry and public research institutions. The importance of this principle was clearly recognised in the Government's $2.9 billion Innovation Action Plan, Backing Australia's Ability, released last month.

'Initiatives such as the $129.5 million world-class Centre of Excellence in information and communications technology (ICT) research and development and the extension of the CRC program recognise the importance of collaboration to the continued growth of Australia's ICT industries.'

The ANP is a key element of the Commonwealth Government's $158 million Building on IT Strengths (BITS) Program, funded from the proceeds of the partial sale of Telstra. The program, opposed by Labor in the Federal Parliament, will provide $40 million to support the development, trialing and demonstration of advanced communications networks,

experimental networks and test beds.

'The Government is confident the panel will make a valuable contribution to the ANP, and assist the Government to contribute to the development of advanced network infrastructure in Australia that will deliver long term benefits to the Australian economy,' Senator Alston said.

Mr Greg Crew has been appointed as Chair. Mr Angus Robinson, Professor Mary O'Kane, Ms Shara Evans, Professor Peter Darling and Mr Warwick Smith have been appointed as panel members. (See attachment for further details.)

Further information about the ANP can be found at: or by calling 02 6271 1751. Applications closed on 12 December 2000.

Media contact: Sasha Grebe Minister's Office, 02 6277 7480



15 February 2001


Mr Greg Crew (Chair) is a prominent member of the IT&T community and has vast Australian and International IT management experience. He was the first Chair of the Australian Communications Industry Forum Ltd. and an initial director of ICANN. He is currently Chair of the Australian Information Technology Education Centre Pty. Ltd. and of ASAC21, and a non-executive director of ERG Ltd. He also sits on the board of the Australian Telecommunications CRC, auDA, and the Telecommunications Society of Australia.

Mr Angus Robinson is the Executive Director of the Australian Electrical and Electronic Manufacturers' Association Ltd (AEEMA), the peak industry body representing infrastructure providers for Australia's electrical, electronic and ICT industries. In this role, he has developed a keen understanding of the roles of the engineering, manufacturing and R & D industries in the new economy. Mr Robinson was until recently General Manager of the Australian Technology Park at Redfern and previously General Manager of the Warren Centre for Advanced Engineering at the University of Sydney.

Professor Mary O'Kane has extensive, varied IT&T experience in both academic and corporate fora. She is Vice-Chancellor of the University of Adelaide and also holds the title of Professor of Electrical and Electronic Engineering within the University. She is a director of both the pharmaceutical company FH Faulding & Co Ltd, and The Group of Eight Limited. She is also a member of the Board of CSIRO, the South Australian Employment Council and the Australian and New Zealand Health Management Network. Professor O'Kane's specialisation is in computer-voice recognition, and she is a Fellow of the Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering and a Fellow of the Institution of Engineers, Australia.

Professor Peter Darling provides the ANP Advisory Panel with vast technical expertise. He has had a long career in telecommunications network planning, working with the industry nationally and internationally and with the Australian telecommunications regulators, ACA, ACCC, AUSTEL, the Spectrum Management Agency and the Australian Department of Communications, Information Technology and the Arts. Until his retirement, from Telstra in May 2000, he led Telstra's work on technical standards and regulation. His career has covered standards at the national and international level, including the ITU, Global Standards Collaboration meetings and the IETF.

He was a founder of the Australian Communication Industry Forum and remains Chair of ACIF's Network Reference Panel, developing standards for the interconnection of networks in a multi-network environment. He is a Senior Research Fellow at the network Insight Group of RMIT University, and an Adjunct Professor at RMIT University.

Ms Shara Evans is the Managing Director of Telsyte Pty Ltd, a telecommunications strategic planning consultancy that focuses on broadband technologies. Ms Evans has been active in the telecommunications industry for over 20 years and has held a variety of positions with Alcatel, Sprint, Telenet, GTE and SmithKline prior to founding Telsyte in 1997. Ms Evans is the Founding President and a current Board Member of the Advanced Networking Forum Australia (ANFA), as well as Past President of the Pacific Frame Relay Forum, and a former Board member of the AIG (Australia ATM Interest Group). Ms Evans is the author of the Standard's Watch column in CommsWorld and is the former Publisher and Editor of the Tandem User Journal.

Mr Warwick Smith has been a leading player in the telecommunications and broadcasting public policy debates in Australia since the 1980's and has both financial and parliamentary experience. He is currently an Executive Director with Macquarie Bank Limited and Co-chair of the Bank's Telecommunications Media and Technology Group.

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