Australia’s Place in Space 

Space is anticipated to be a $1 trillion industry by 2040 and the Australian government has established the Australian Space Agency to build the nation’s capability and workforce, not only to take advantage of this growing market, but also to ensure that Australia is not left behind when it comes to the benefits that space-based technology provides.  Australia had significant involvement in the original space race, (being the third nation in the world to launch its own satellite into space from home soil in 1967). However, with the demise of various European projects Australia became dependent on other nations for space capability. COVID has further highlighted that Australia lacks sovereign capability in some sectors, including space, however through its geographical and other attributes, Australia continues to contribute significantly to collaborative international space initiatives. With the federal government’s space sector investment setting the scene for a renewed priority on space capability, this panel will discuss how Australian and overseas companies can come together to work collaboratively to deliver it.


Jane MacMaster

Jane MacMaster BE FIEAust CPEng EngExec NER MRAeS (Moderator)

Chief Engineer, Engineers Australia

Ms MacMaster has a wealth of engineering experience gained in Australia and internationally, including senior systems and design engineer roles for BAE Systems Australia, for various aerospace and defence programs including a supersonic ship self-defence system project for NATO. 

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Dr Sarah Cannard

Dr Sarah Cannard FIEAust

Deputy Industry Director, SmartSat CRC

Dr Sarah Cannard is an experienced Senior Engineer and Project Manager with over a decade of experience working for Nova Systems in the defence and space industry. Sarah is currently the Deputy Industry Director for the SmartSat CRC and Project Director for Australian Remote Operations for Space and Earth (

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Dr Kimberley Clayfield

Dr Kimberley Clayfield PhD MBA MIEAust

Leader, CSIRO Space Technology Future Science Platform

Dr Kimberley Clayfield is Leader of the CSIRO Space Technology Future Science Platform (Space FSP). CSIRO’s newest and largest space program, the Space FSP was established in Nov 2018 to build capability, identify and develop innovative new space technologies and applications, and support the growth of Australia's space industry.

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Dr Cathy Foley

Dr Cathy Foley AO PSM

Chief Scientist, Australia

Dr Foley commenced as Australia’s ninth Chief Scientist in January 2021. Dr Foley was appointed to the role after a lengthy career at Australia’s national science agency, the CSIRO; she was appointed as the agency’s Chief Scientist in August 2018, the second woman to hold that role.

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