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BioBreakfast: Curating Innovation Communities

September 18, 2018 @ 7:30 am - 9:00 am AEST

At this BioBreakfast our speakers will be sharing their views on how their work fosters a collaborative community to drive innovation looking at what’s happening globally, across Australia and right here in Melbourne.

Collaboration is a good thing but it’s always harder than it looks and this will be a chance for the speakers to challenge the audience to think differently, by sharing their experiences on how to create consensus, drive cultural change, and create communities that have impact.

Our speakers at this event will be the awardees of the 2018 Women in Leadership Awards.

Date: Tuesday 18th September 2018
Time: Registration from 7:20 am for a 7.30 am networking breakfast; presentations and discussion 8.00 am – 9:00 am
Venue: The Royal Society of Victoria,  8 La Trobe St, Melbourne


Kathy Connell, Senior Director New Ventures, Australia and New Zealand, Johnson & Johnson Innovation – Women in Leadership Award

Kathy ConnellKathy Connell combines her clinical background, commercial acumen and health focus in the pharmaceutical industry, in identifying disruptive translational science with the potential to help treat patients globally. As Johnson & Johnson Innovation’s Senior Director of New Ventures, Kathy has personally overseen 50 collaborations with Australian researchers, biotechs, entrepreneurs and governments attracting many millions of investment dollars to Australia.

An inspiring leader and natural networker, Kathy has worked tirelessly to promote global business development for the Australian life-sciences sector. Her efforts have culminated in many successful private-public partnerships, including the launch of the Johnson and Johnson ovation Partnering office in Melbourne in 2018.

Kathy’s energy, ethics, and commitment to innovation are extraordinary. She is a passionate advocate for Diversity & Inclusion, and is generous in her mentoring, sponsoring and advising women in STEM. She has forged a global pathway for Australia’s scientific innovators to contribute to health solutions for patients and is an outstanding champion for the local biotechnology industry.

Dr Amanda Caples, Victoria’s Lead Scientist – Most Valuable Women in Leadership Award

Amanda CaplesThroughout her career, Amanda Caples has held leadership positions that have guided and contributed to the development of Victoria as the biotechnology powerhouse of Australia.

With a strong track record pharmaceutical product development in the private sector, Amanda joined the Victorian public service in 2002 when biotechnology was still an emerging industry with the potential to add significant economic value to Victoria. She was the Inaugural Director of Biotechnology and led a change agenda that delivered a more than 3-fold growth in Victoria’s biotechnology sector. Her skills in negotiation and building strategic partnerships have delivered significant research infrastructure and developments, including the Australian Synchrotron and the Melbourne Brain Centre.

In her current role as Lead Scientist, Amanda provides strategic advice to government on science-based issues, support public and private sector collaboration and is an inspirational role model in promoting the importance of STEM skills in education.

Amanda is a consummate professional and ambassador for the biotechnology sector and for Melbourne. Despite her busy workload, she is accessible and makes herself available at every opportunity to support the industry. She has built her career thoughtfully and strategically and her commitment to supporting the industry in Victoria is inspiring, well beyond the expectations of her job title.

Grace Lethlean, Director, Programs, ANDHealth – Emerging Women in Leadership Award

Grace LethleanGrace Lethlean is the Director of Programs at ANDHealth, supporting evidence-based digital health technologies to scale to market. She has a track record in project management, clinical validation and commercialisation in the healthcare innovation sector, and is also the co-inventor of a now ASX listed digital health technology.

Although still early in her career, Grace has consistently sought out opportunities to contribute to the industry. She generously gives her time to mentoring young product developers, startups companies and entrepreneurial university graduates, as well as requests from the community to talk about the value and importance of innovation in healthcare.

Grace’s passion for the industry is palpable to anyone who has met her. She is an emerging leader who has wholeheartedly dedicated her professional and personal time to furthering the biotechnology industry.


September 18, 2018
7:30 am - 9:00 am
$65 - $130
Event Category:


BioMelbourne Network
+61 3 9667 8181


The Royal Society of Victoria
8 La Trobe St
Melbourne , Vic 3000 Australia
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