2021 Board Members


Steven Smith

Managing Director – Advitech Group

Chairperson – HMA – 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020

Steven has over 30 years’ experience in engineering and project management, including technical and business roles.  He spent ten years with  Tubemakers of Australia and three years with A Goninan & Co prior to joining Advitech in 1990.  As Managing Director, Steven has overall responsibility for the consulting services provided by Advitech in engineering design, project management, risk management, functional safety, sustainability and environmental management.  Steven’s specific areas of expertise include problem analysis, feasibility investigations, engineering assessments, risk management, project development and project management.  He has had significant involvement in Advitech’s growth into the Australian Defence sector.  Steven has been actively involved in the support of engineering based manaufacturing in the Hunter Region through his involvement with HunterNet – as a Director (1998 – 2006) and as Chairman (2001 – 2003).

Steven has also been involved with the University of Newcastle as a member of:

  • Course Advisory Committee for the School of Mechanical Engineering ( 2002 – current)
  • University of Newcastle Industry Scholarship Scheme (UNISS) Advisory Committee (2002 – 2010)

Steven’s corporate responsibilities currently include:

  • Director of Advitech Pty Ltd – since 1994 and Managing Director since 2011
  • Director of Novecom Pty Ltd – since 2005
  • Board Chairman of Simulation Modelling Services Pty Ltd – since 2014

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Jacqui Daley – Deputy Chair

Founder and Managing Director – The Measured Marketer

Jacqui is a Chief Marketing Officer with over 15 years’ experience driving strategy, change, and return on investment for SMEs and the public sector. Jacqui is the founder and managing director of The Measured Marketer Pty Ltd (TMM), a strategic digital marketing consultancy based in Newcastle. Before 2016 when Jacqui established TMM, she held various senior marketing and leadership roles internally within medium-large organisations, including The University of Newcastle. Jacqui’s expertise lies in developing and delivering effective marketing strategies, digital transformation and large projects such as website builds, reputation building and target-driven campaigns. Jacqui has experience in leading teams across the marketing mix, and while her passion and expertise lies in digital marketing and customer acquisition, her experience reaches across brand management, media management, event coordination, internal communications, negotiation, developing bespoke reporting frameworks for sales and marketing functions, stakeholder management and public speaking.

Jacqui is a Certified Practicing Marketer with the Australian Marketing Institute and in 2017, is judging the Digital Marketing and Social Media category in their national marketing awards program.

Jacqui has held positions on several boards and committees as part of her Director’s role at The University of Newcastle including the 2NURFM Advisory Board, Central Coast Growth Strategy Group, Admissions Steering Committee, Professional Leaders Group, Celebrate 50 Working Group, Crisis communications & Critical Incident Response Group, and the VC’s Leadership Group.

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Andrew Gresham – Treasurer

CPEng, EngExec, MBA
Managing Director – Defence Delivery, BAE Systems Australia

Andrew is a versatile senior business leader with domestic and international experience spanning project leadership roles, strategy, business winning and commercial management in Defence Industry.
With an honors degree in Mechanical Engineering and postgraduate qualifications in management, he has previously worked in the mining industry in roles ranging from engineering to operations leadership.
Andrew’s current role is leading some of Australia’s most complex projects, delivering a $1Bn cross domain portfolio of projects to delivery capability to the Australian Defence Force and export customers.
Previously, Andrew was the Director for Operations Support leading a range of enabling services to ensure project success and capability development. Prior to this Andrew led the F-35 Campaign for the Australian business to secure the Australian contribution in advanced manufacturing and establish sustainment capability for F-35 in Australia. From 2011 to 2014 he was the General Manager of the Fast Jet Support Business, delivering outcomes based support services on Hawk 127, FA-18 Hornet and F-35 for the Royal Australian Air Force.
Transitioning from the mining industry, he joined BAE Systems in 2001 as Business Manager Lead In Fighter working in Australia and the United Kingdom.
He returned to Australia as Head of Commercial & Procurement for Aerospace in 2007 with responsibilities across sustainment and development contracts.
Following the acquisition of Tenix Defence by BAE Systems in 2009 he transitioned into the Maritime division based at Melbourne with involvement in integrating the acquired business into BAE Systems and commercial management of programs such as AWD, LHD and ANZAC class support.
His passions are flying vintage aircraft, he owns a 1930’s Tiger Moth which he flies at any opportunity in the Hunter Valley.

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Robert Martin

Business Analyst – ATB MORTON

Enterprise and manufacturing business transformation specialist with over 10 years COO, Director, Greenfield Developer and General Manager experience across Australia and APAC region.

Rob commenced his career as an electronics-engineering technician in the automotive, bio medical and consumer electronics market. After ten years on the tools, he entered the electronics manufacturing business, Steel River Manufacturing. Initially working as the production manager, he then started the company’s R&D department before taking up the role as General Manager. A short time later, Rob took on the role as General Manager of the sister company Austrol Technology Group.

Rob’s introduction to metal processing commenced when he accepted the role of General Manager of Sankey Australia. The sale of the business resulted in Rob divesting the manufacturing operations throughout Australia, New Zealand, China, Thailand & Taiwan.

As Chief Operating Officer of DSI Underground APAC – 2012 to 2018, his team has significantly restructed operations throughout Asia. A full business transformation program saw automation, best practice technologies and lean systems introduced to all DSI facilities.

Robert is tertiary qualified as an engineering technician, holds an MBA and Graduate Diploma in Business Research from Newcastle University. He is also a graduate director from the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

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Brendan Smith

Managing Director – Courageous Consulting

Public Officer – HMA

Courageous Consulting Pty Ltd partner with businesses to inspire their leaders, energise their employees and create high performing and customer focussed work cultures.

As the Managing Director and Principal of Courageous Consulting, Dr Brendan Smith is an innovative and engaging Organisational Psychologist with over twenty years of experience working with leaders to transform the culture and performance of their organisation.

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Graeme Vennell

CEO – Custom Fluidpower Pty Ltd

A strategic and engaging senior executive with extensive experience in the Hydraulics and Lubrication sectors.

Currently CEO for Australia’s largest independent fluidpower solutions business, which is owned by global entity Helios technologies.

Previous roles at Custom Fluidpower  included NSW Operations, Director of Engineering before 8 years as the Chief Executive Officer

Graeme has a passion for the local mining and industrial segments in Newcastle and Hunter Valley regions of NSW. This stems from a background,  in heavy industry manufacturing with 19 years at the BHP Newcastle steelworks having commenced as an engineer cadet..

Prior to Custom Fluidpower Graeme developed & lead CCI Fluidtech as the MD of a  specialist fluidpower engineering business.  His experience extends nationally within the fluid power industry.

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Frank Sammut – Public Officer

Chief Executive Officer of Central Coast Industry Connect

Frank comes to the board of HMA with over 40 years’ experience in the manufacturing sector

As a mechanical engineer, Frank’s manufacturing experience started as a graduate in the government sector and ammunition production covering foundry, metal rolling and forming and production of various defence ammunition.

He moved on from this to set up and run a small family business in the snack food/confectionery which he did for 10 years. His hands on experience from there led him into the corporate environment where ultimately, he held senior operational roles with PepsiCo’s Frito-Lay and being Operations Director at Snack Brands Australia, Arnott’s Snack Foods and Saralee.

Across all organisations he has had multidisciplinary responsibility for Engineering, Logistics, Procurement, Manufacturing operations, Customer service and R&D and included overseeing multiple sites across Australia.

He is currently the Chief Executive Officer of Central Coast Industry Connect – a not-for-profit organisation representing Central Coast manufacturers. He is connected into the Hunter through his involvement with Engineers Australia Newcastle Division, The NSW Energy and Resources Knowledge Hub and the recently announced Hunter Hydrogen Technology Hub.

Originally from Melbourne he has lived on the NSW Central Coast for 26 years. He is currently on the board of RDA Central Coast, chairs the Central Coast Group of Engineers Australia, is the president of the Regional Advisory Council of Business NSW and sits on its State Council.

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Kristy Hedley

Managing Director – Hedweld Group of Companies

An enthusiastic promoter of the Australian advanced manufacturing industry. Kristy has undertaken many roles at the Hedweld Group of Companies since 2007 including Global Market Development Manager and Chief Operating Officer, honing her skills in domestic and international business growth within the mining industry.

Attaining a bachelor’s degree in International Business from the University of Newcastle, with a focus on Information Technology, Kristy embraces ‘working smarter not harder’ and keenly adopts new technology to streamline production and processes. Kristy is a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

As Managing Director, Kristy passionately demonstrates Hedweld’s core competencies of safety, efficiency and innovation.

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Brett Allan

General Manager – Supply Chain – Molycop

Brett is an experienced business leader with a background in Maintenance, Manufacturing and Supply Chain Management who currently has overall Supply Chain responsibility for the Molycop business in Australia.

Brett’s work and interest also extends into sustainability of operations having led initiatives in renewable energy usage and recycling within his business.

He is a Hunter region local having lived here his whole life and has a passion for the manufacturing industry in which he has worked for the past 25 years.

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Carol McEwan

Administration Manager – HMA Inc. – 2007 – current

Carol is a highly skilled administration professional and was appointed as HMA’s Administration Manager  in 2007.  Her role as Executive Assistant  to CEO/Plant Manager and Production Manager at Tomago Aluminium spanned over 18 years.

She served on the Australian Institute of Office Professionals – Newcastle Branch, as President for 3 years.

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