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BioForum: Bridging the Talent Gap – Fostering a Skilled Workforce

September 14, 2023 @ 4:00 pm - 6:30 pm AEST

In-person and Online tickets are SOLD OUT.

Join us for an important discussion about talent shortages and skills gaps in the biotech sector in Melbourne and Australia. Learn about the issues, why investment in internal and external skills development matters, and how to build a skilled workforce.

Be informed about:

  • Establishing a talent pipeline – why it matters, industry programs and the future
  • Sector challenges – skills gaps, training and competition for talent
  • The bottom line – impact on business and the economy
  • Support – thinking differently and making it happen.

What to expect:

  • The latest updates from industry experts
  • Engaging information for diverse audiences
  • Dynamic panel Q&A session
  • In-person networking opportunities with peers.

Don’t miss this opportunity to learn from industry leaders and explore strategies to drive skills development and talent sourcing in the biotech sector.

Event details:

Date: Thursday 14 September 2023
Time (AEST):
3:45pm: Guest arrival and registration
4:00pm – 5:30pm: Presentations and Q&A
5:30pm – 6:30pm: Networking (In-person only)
Format: Hybrid – In-person and online
Phillips Ormonde Fitzpatrick Level 16, 333 Collins Street, Melbourne, 3000
Guest speakers: 
Jarrod Belcher, Director REDI Program, MTPConnect
Andrew Carter, Managing Director, Commercial Eyes
Professor David Grayden, Co-Director, Victorian Medtech Skills and Devices Hub
Marilyn Jones, Director, mexec
Dr Vanessa Sandford, Executive Director of Global Drug Product Development, Plasma Product Development, CSL Behring
Rosalie Staggard, Executive Manager, Workforce Planning and Training Products, Manufacturing Industry Skills Alliance
Annabella Newton, Principal, Phillips Ormonde Fitzpatrick
Jeff Malone, CEO, BioMelbourne Network
In-person: Members $85; Non Members $175
Online: Members $25; Non Members $45

Please note: Those attending online will receive a link 24-48 hrs prior to the event.

This event is sponsored by the State Government of Victoria



This event is kindly hosted by Phillips Ormonde Fitzpatrick 

Cancellation Policy

In-person registration:
Full refund given up to 7 days prior to the event
No refunds within 7 days of the event
Online registration:
Full refund given up to 3 days prior to the event
No refunds within 3 days of the event

Jarrod Belcher, Director REDI Program, MTPConnect

Jarrod Belcher is MTPConnect’s Director of the REDI program. He has nearly 20 years experience working with companies to help solve their human resource needs.
Jarrod has a history to assisting companies and industries achieve their potential through skilling workforces, across Australia, the Pacific, Asia and Middle East to government, NGO and corporate clients utilising innovative practices to embed and apply newly developed skills and behaviours. Jarrod also led the first vocational Bachelor of Biotechnology course delivered in a TAFE.

Andrew Carter, Managing Director, Commercial Eyes

Andrew is the founder and Managing Director of Commercial Eyes Pty Ltd and has over 30 years’ experience working in the health technology industry. Headquartered in Melbourne and employing over 100 people, Commercial Eyes has grown to be one of the foremost health technology commercialisation firms in Australia.

In addition to Andrew’s leadership and industry experience, he is a highly qualified and skilled company director, with over twenty years of governance experience in the private and not for profit sector.

Andrew is a director of Maxx Pharma Pty Ltd, Essence Medical Communications Pty Ltd, CBE Pure Solutions Pty Ltd, Deputy Chair of Rare Voices Australia (the national peak body for Australians living with a rare disease) and a member of the Invest Melbourne Advisory Board. He is past Chair of ARCS Australia, BioMelbourne Network and Melbourne City Mission.

Professor David Grayden, Co-Director, Victorian Medtech Skills and Devices Hub

Professor David Grayden is Clifford Chair of Neural Engineering in the Department of Biomedical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering & Information Technology and the Graeme Clark Institute for Biomedical Engineering. He is Co-Director of the Victorian Medtech Skills and Devices Hub and Director of the ARC Training Centre in Cognitive Computing for Medical Technologies. Prof Grayden's main research interests are in understanding how the brain processes information, how best to present information to the brain using medical bionics, such as the bionic ear and bionic eye, and how to record information from the brain, such as for brain-machine interfaces and epileptic seizure forecasting. He teaches BioDesign Innovation in collaboration with the Melbourne Business School.

Marilyn Jones, Director, mexec

Marilyn is a qualified scientist with R&D experience in the purification of snake venom neurotoxins for clinical therapeutic use, proteoglycan analysis and cancer research. She started recruiting in 1998, the year that GOOGLE started. There has been significant change in recruiting and hiring in that time.

Marilyn has been running her own company now for over 11 years focused on the life sciences, MedTech and healthcare sectors. She brings over 30 years’ experience in the sector working with individuals on their own job search strategy and personal career development, and for clients from start-ups to multinationals on their recruiting requirements.

Marilyn is passionate about finding those hard to source candidates that you can’t find yourself, and to ensure companies grow their business capabilities and leadership teams in Australia and New Zealand, from local and international talent.

Annabella Newton, Principal, Phillips Ormonde Fitzpatrick

Annabella is a Principal at Phillips Ormonde Fitzpatrick, where she specialises in patents in chemistry and pharmaceuticals. Annabella is particularly interested in the role of IP in the commercialisation of research, and she in an Innovation Mentor with CSIRO’s ON Program. She is a graduate of the AICD’s Company Directors Course and is currently shadowing the board of a local biotech company through the WILD BoardX Program. Annabella is a passionate advocate for diversity and inclusion within the STEM sector and the patent attorney profession. She currently serves on Council for the Institute of Patent and Trade Mark Attorneys (IPTA) and was recently named an IPSTARS Rising Star by Managing Intellectual Property.

Dr Vanessa Sandford, Executive Director, Global Drug Product Development, Plasma Product Development, CSL Behring

Vanessa Sandford leads the Global Drug Product Development organization for Plasma Product Development (PPD). Vanessa is responsible for the delivery of global development and product support for PPD related activities from drug substance to final container including primary packaging and medical devices. Her teams are situated in Bern, Marburg, Broadmeadows and in the new CSL Melbourne Building.

Vanessa is proud to be involved in establishing the new CSL Melbourne building where she provided strategic oversight for the design of R&D laboratories and workspaces to ensure that they meet the R&D needs for 2030 and beyond. She began her CSL career 13 years ago in the R&D Bioprocess Development (BPD) organization and over those years has directed teams of scientists across Cell Culture, Purification, Analytical and Formulation groups to deliver scalable platform processes for supply and characterization of the early-stage clinical recombinants. Outside of work she has a passion for art, nature and spending time outdoors.

Vanessa earned a Bachelor of Engineering (Bioprocess Engineering) and a PhD from the University of New South Wales in Sydney.

Rosalie Staggard, Executive Manager, Workforce Planning and Training Products, Manufacturing Industry Skills Alliance

Rosalie Staggard is Executive Manager, Workforce Planning and Training Products at Manufacturing Industry Skills Alliance.

Rosalie is responsible for identifying key workforce challenges and gaps in evidence and existing workforce strategies in the manufacturing industry, including the MEDtech manufacture and Pharmaceuticals sectors. She leads research, analysis, workforce planning and training product development.

Rosalie’s previous position was as Senior Manager Industry Partnerships with the Victorian Government Department of Jobs, Skills, Industry and Regions, where projects included the Clean Economy Workforce Strategy and development of the Victorian Skill Response framework that focuses on the creation of strategic skill responses to critical workforce and skilling shortages.


September 14, 2023
4:00 pm - 6:30 pm
Event Category:


BioMelbourne Network
+61 3 9667 8181


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