Kate Bower – Consumer Data Advocate, CHOICE
Speaker, Mentor and Judge
Kate Bower is a Consumer Data Advocate at CHOICE, Australia’s largest consumer advocacy organisation. The Consumer Data team extends CHOICE’s fight for fair, safe and just markets to data misuse, such as price discrimination and algorithmic bias. Current priorities are automated decision-making in essential services, data monetisation and personalised pricing. Previously at CHOICE, Kate worked as a data analyst on the digital transformation of insurance and financial services comparisons. Before joining the consumer movement, Kate was an academic for more than a decade working across a range of areas including qualitative health research, higher education and gender studies. She has a PhD from the University of Technology, Sydney and a Bachelor of Arts with Honours from the University of New South Wales.
Dr Aimee Brownbil, Senior Policy and Research Advisor Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education (FARE)
Speaker, Mentor and Judge
Aimee is Senior Policy and Research Advisor at the Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education (FARE), the leading not-for-profit organisation working towards an Australia free from alcohol harm. Aimee has a PhD in Public Health and has contributed to collaborative applied research informing public health policy for several years. In her role at FARE, Aimee integrates her knowledge and experience in research, policy and advocacy to achieve translational outcomes in public health policy and practice. She is currently leading a portfolio of work on digital marketing by harmful industries such as alcohol, gambling and highly processed unhealthy foods, exploring potential avenues for regulation in this space.
Dr Laura Edelson, Postdoctoral Researcher, New York University
Laura is a Postdoctoral Researcher at New York University with the Cybersecurity for Democracy project, which she co-directs with Damon McCoy. There, she leads the Ad Observatory and Ad Observer projects, which aim to increase public transparency of digital advertising, particularly during elections. Her research focuses on studying the spread of misinformation and other forms of harmful content in both paid and organic content on Facebook. Prior to her time in academia, Laura worked as a software engineer for many years, finishing her industry career with Palantir Technologies.
Simon Elvery, Journalist and Developer at ABC News Story Lab, ABC
Speaker, Mentor and Judge
Simon is an award winning Brisbane based journalist and developer at ABC News Story Lab. He is currently Journalist Fellow at Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, University of Oxford where he is researching the use of technology by journalists in the reporting process. His work covers a wide range of topics including data visualisation, climate change, data security and privacy and algorithmic accountability.
Samuel Kininmonth, Policy Officer, Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN)
Speaker, Mentor and Judge
Samuel is a communications researcher and consumer policy advocate. Sam is a policy officer at ACCAN, Australia’s peak body that represents all consumers on communications issues including telecommunications, broadband and emerging new services. Sam contributes to ACCAN’s efforts to provide a consumer voice on digital platforms and emerging services.
Sam’s doctoral thesis, titled The Programmatic Promise, focuses on automated media markets and communications infrastructures through a study of programmatic advertising and ad tech. Sam has published work in journals including Television & New Media and presented research in Australia and internationally.
Yuan-Fang Li, Associate Professor, Faculty of IT, Monash University
Speaker and Judge
Yuan-Fang is an Associate Professor at Faculty of IT, Monash University. His research interest is artificial intelligence, particularly the intersection between natural language processing and knowledge representation. His recent investigations include the following tasks: (1) neuro-symbolic approaches to complex question answering, (2) knowledge graph construction from text/images, and (3) graph representation learning. For these tasks, he has developed novel techniques that are capable of learning from a few samples, continually handling streams of incoming data, adapting to new domains and unseen labels, as well as handling (severely) imbalanced data.
Lizzie O’Shea, Chair, Digital Rights Watch
Lizzie is a human rights lawyer specialising in public interest litigation. Lizzie has local and international experience in a wide array of court jurisdictions, and is passionate about equality before the law and that the rule of law should be protected, particularly given the incursions on civil liberties that have become a staple part of the war on terror. In 2019, Lizzie received the Human Rights Hero Award for her work campaigning against Australia’s encryption laws.
Lilly Ryan, Lead Security Specialist, Thoughtworks
Lilly is a digital security consultant and public speaker at Thoughtworks. She also serves on the board of Digital Rights Watch. Lilly specialises in web application security, privacy education, and the history of technology-related issues. You can catch her talking security on the OWASP DevSlop Show or occasionally having opinions on 3RRR.
Erin Turner, Chief Executive Officer, Consumer Policy Research Centre (CPRC)
Erin Turner is a consumer advocate that has worked with a broad range of governments and regulators to make markets fairer for Australians. Erin was appointed as Chief Executive Officer of the Consumer Policy Research Centre in March 2022. Erin most recently led the advocacy and communications team at consumer group CHOICE. Erin has a Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Politics and Public Policy. She is a board member of the Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA) and the Chair of the Financial Rights Legal Centre.
Lucy Westerman, Commercial Determinants of Health Lead, VicHealth
Speaker and Judge
Lucy works at the Victorian Health Promotion Foundation – VicHealth, exploring the ways in which businesses’ products and practices influence health and how to mitigate their harms. She recently returned from living in the UK, where she led global campaigns and the chronic disease prevention and health promotion policy and advocacy work at global NGO, the NCD Alliance, in pursuit of stronger and better policy and action for disease prevention. Through her career to date, Lucy has sharpened her focus on alcohol, gambling, tobacco, food, and physical inactivity, and looking ‘upstream’ at cross-cutting issues such as the influence of social, political, commercial, and environmental determinants on health – and illness. Lucy holds a Master of Public Health, and bachelor’s degrees in Health Promotion, Sociology, and Nutrition, and is mother to two teenagers.
PROJECT RESEARCHERS: SPEAKERS, MENTORS & JUDGES
Professor Mark Andrejevic, Chief Investigator, ADM+S, Monash University
MC, Speaker and Mentor
Mark Andrejevic is Professor of Media Studies in the School of Media, Film, and Journalism at Monash University (Monash) and Chief Investigator at the ADM+S Centre’s Monash node. His research covers the social, political, and cultural impact of digital media, with a focus on surveillance and popular culture. He is the author of four monographs, including, most recently Automated Media, as well as more than 90 academic articles and book chapters. Mark is a member of the Council for Big Data, Ethics, and
Society and heads up the Automated Society Working Group at Monash. Before coming to Monash he held positions at the University of Queensland and the University of Iowa.
Professor Daniel Angus, Associate Investigator, ADM+S, QUT
Speaker and Mentor
Daniel is an Associate Investigator at the ARC Centre of Excellence for Automated Decision-Making and Society’s Queensland University of Technology (QUT) Node and a Professor of Digital Communication
in the School of Communication at QUT. His research focuses on the development of computational analysis methods for communication data, with a specific focus on interaction data. His novel computational methods have improved our understanding of the nature of communication in medical
consultations, conversations in aged care settings, television broadcast, social media, and newspaper reporting. Daniel presently leads the Computational Communication and Culture program within the QUT Digital Media Research Centre, and contributes regularly to media and industry on the impact of
technology on society.
Assoc. Professor Nicholas Carah, Associate Investigator, ADM+S, University of Queensland
Speaker and Mentor
Nicholas is an Associate Investigator at the ADM+S’ University of Queensland node and Director of the Digital Cultures and Societies Hub in the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences and Associate Professor in the School of Communication and Arts at The University of Queensland. Nicholas’
research examines the algorithmic, promotional and participatory cultures of digital media platforms. He is currently a Chief Investigator on the ARC Discovery Project ‘Using machine vision to explore Instagram’s everyday promotional cultures’, Linkage Project ‘Young Australians and the promotion
of alcohol and nightlife on social media, and a Vichealth-funded project that tracks below-the-line marketing by harmful industries on social media. He is an investigator on a New Zealand Marsden Fund project examining young people, digital media and limbic capitalism. Across these research activities
Nicholas’ research has offered a sustained and unique account of the foundational role advertising plays in the development of digital and social media platforms and their cultures.
Dr Robbie Fordyce, Postdoctoral Fellow, ADM+S, Monash University
Robbie completed his PhD, Radical Platforms, at the University of Melbourne, graduating in 2019. His thesis engaged in a critique of autonomist Marxist theories of imperialism. This included a wide engagement with the work of post-fordist and autonomist scholars, as well as platform studies,
theories of globalisation and imperialism, and media theory. The thesis involved an investigation into activist and disruptive technologies; this included 3D-printing, blockchain services, wikileaks, interactive
entertainment, social media, and pirate networks. Robbie’s research continues and advances these interests, expanding into research areas such as digital ethics, smart cities, infrastructure, automation, surveillance, and fabrication.
Dr Danula Hettiachchi, Research Fellow, ADM+S, RMIT
Danula Hettiachchi is a Research Fellow at the ARC Centre of Excellence for Automated Decision-Making and Society, and RMIT School of Computing Technologies. Danula’s research interests are human-computer interaction, crowd-sourcing, and social computing. He will contribute to the ADM+S Centre’s Machines program with a specific focus on quantifying and measuring user bias and engagement with automated decision-making systems. Danula completed his doctoral research, which investigates task assignment to improve data quality in crowd-sourcing at the School of Computing and Information Systems, University of Melbourne.
Dr Abdul Obeid, Data Engineer, ADM+S, QUT
Speaker and Mentor
Abdul is well-versed in machine learning, topic modelling, sentiment analysis, statistical analysis, and the use of probabilistic programming languages among other topics. He has applied these skills in industry and imparted them onto other analysts in Masters-level courses at QUT. Abdul has also taught in webdev, specifically frontend and backend development and design. He has published many software applications and has worked directly with hardware engineers in IoT communication technologies, building integrated cloud infrastructures for low-energy devices. In 2017, he was awarded his honours at QUT, for investigating influencer marketing techniques through rigorous psychometric analysis of social media. Since then, he has conceived robust scraping and storage methods, supplementing his advisory role at a Brisbane-based tech start-up. More recently, Abdul has begun research in the field of quantum cognition, a growing field that uses quantum probability calculus to
understand cognitive processes.
Prof Christine Parker
Christine has written, researched and consulted widely on how and why business comply with legal, social and environmental responsibilities, what difference regulatory enforcement makes and how businesses can work with lawyers and compliance professionals to build internal corporate social responsibility systems that work. Her work has been published in academic journals and used in policy making and enforcement strategy. Christine has a deep interest in both conceptualizing and communicating how law and regulation can help individuals and especially businesses live more sustainably well within socio ecological systems. She is working with Professor Fiona Haines on “ecological regulation”, and has also helped develop and show a live multi-media eco-music performance, Music for a Warming World, on our individual, social and political responses to climate change.
Simon Schippl, Software Engineer, Monash University
Simon is a Software Engineer currently working in the film streaming industry. He has been been a part of a number of software projects such as lab experiments for the Monash Economics department, a student-led project to improve communication between students and tutors/lecturers, and the Dark
Ads project that aimed to collect political advertisements on the web. Simon’s hobbies include video games, skateboarding and watching all the movies.
Dr Damiano Spina, DECRA Research Fellow, ADM+S, RMIT
Damiano is a Senior Lecturer and DECRA Fellow at the School of Computing Technologies at RMIT University. His research areas are Information Retrieval and Text Analytics. In particular, his research focuses on Interactive Information Retrieval (IIR) (including user-system interactions in voice-enabled intelligent assistants) and evaluation of information access systems (including effectiveness measures of search engines and fairness-aware evaluation). Besides his academic life, Damiano plays and teaches Capoeira (an Afro-Brazilian martial art) and plays Samba at the Melbourne-based band Wombatuque.
Xue Ying Tan (Jane), Software Engineer in the Digital Media Research Centre, QUT
Speaker and Mentor
Jane obtained her Bachelor of Information Technology and Master of Computer Science degrees from the University of Queensland, in 2018 and 2019, respectively. In her studies, she participated in High Performance Parallel Computing research, building a compiler to translate from OpenACC to OpenMP; and completed an internship with the National University of Singapore, Digital Media Research lab, working on surface meshing algorithms with GPU using CUDA Thrust. In her role with DMRC, she focuses on the utility of computational methods including techniques such as topic modelling,
machine learning, and information visualization to explore everyday promotional cultures in visual social media platforms. Her interests include Machine Learning, Full Stack Web Development and Data Analytics.
Sara Uyen Tran, Software Engineer, Monash University
Sara is a software engineer at Monash University. Sara’s has previously worked on the Twitter Ad collector project to develop the tools and dummy twitter accounts that could be set up to follow and respond to accounts of conservative political candidates and columnists; or progressive ones.
Dr Verity Trott, Lecturer in Digital Media Research, ADM+S, Monash University
Speaker and Mentor
Verity is Lecturer in Digital Media Research at Monash University. Her published research explores digital feminist activism, popular (anti)feminism, online communities and platform politics, and digital masculinities. She is a member of the Automated Society Working Group at Monash University in which she investigates the impacts of digital technology and automation from feminist and intersectional standpoints.
Professor Kim Weatherall, DECRA Research Fellow, ADM+S, RMIT
Mentor and Judge
Kimberlee is a Professor of Law at the University of Sydney, specialising in the relationship between law and technology and intellectual property. Her current research focuses on the law relating to the collection, ownership, use and governance of data about and related to people, including privacy law,
with the goal of ensuring that data collection, use and linkage, and data and predictive analytics are developed in a way that is fair, transparent, accountable, and beneficial to people and society. To that end she works with researchers across disciplines in the ARC Centre of Excellence for Automated
Decision-Making and Society, the Gradient Institute and the Humanising Machine Intelligence group at the Australian National University on questions relating to AI ethics and legality, data and data governance. She also has strong expertise in all aspects of privacy law, and conducted a Masterclass on Privacy as part of the leadup to the NSW Privacy Summit in 2020. She has an extensive background in intellectual property law and policy. She is currently a member of the Australian Computer Society’s Technical Advisory Board on Artificial Intelligence Ethics and Fellow at the Gradient Institute.