Dr Katherine Woodthorpe AO has been appointed as the new Chair of the Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC.
Dr Woodthorpe brings to the CRC a wealth of experience in innovation and research across many sectors, including the Cooperative Research Centres program.
She replaces Dr Laurie Hammond, the founding Chair of the Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC, who passed away late last year.
The acting Chair of the Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC, Prof Alistar Robertson, welcomed Dr Woodthorpe and said her term would start immediately. “Katherine has extensive experience in management and as a professional director. Her knowledge of the research and innovation sector will be of tremendous use as the Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC completes its current research agenda and looks further towards an ongoing role in natural hazards research.”
Dr Woodthorpe is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and the Academy of Technology and Engineering. She holds a PhD in Chemistry (Leicester) and an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Technology Sydney. In 2017, she received an Order of Australia for her ongoing service to research and technology innovation in Australia.
Dr Woodthorpe has a strong track record of achieving outcomes in a range of technology-oriented industries, including medical devices and health services, and a deep knowledge of governance, leadership and the private equity and financial sectors.
Current appointments include Chair of the Antarctic Climate and Ecosystems CRC and the HEARing CRC (both terms end in June 2019) and a director of several other organisations, including the Olivia Newton-John Cancer Research Institute. She also Chairs the National Climate Science Advisory Committee through the departments of Environment and Energy, and Industry and Science.
Katherine’s dedication to new technology can be seen in her current role as Chair of the Fishburners co-location and innovation space, assisting technology start-ups.
Previously she served as Chief Executive of the Australian Private Equity and Venture Capital Association, which represents the venture capital industry. Prior to that she was the Chief Executive of the Technology Industries Exporters Group, an industry peak body she helped establish to assist technology companies improve their export performance.
She is a former director on several Cooperative Research Centre boards including Smartprint (Chair), Deep Exploration Technologies, Cancer Therapeutics and Capital Markets.
In 2002 Katherine was the consultant that assisted the original Bushfire CRC to get its first research grant. She said “back then I would have had no idea I would be now chairing the board, it’s a pleasure to come back to such a successful research centre”.
For more information, go to bnhcrc.com.au/about/board-staff