Future State with Minister Roger Cook MLA

Future Ready Forum

Committee for Perth is pleased to present Future State – Accelerating Diversify WA, taking place on Tuesday, 23rd May 2023 at BDO Perth.

Future State presents the most significant opportunities to drive international investment for WA’s economy. It is a roadmap for our future to diversify and decarbonise.

Join us for an insightful discussion and presentation from the Deputy Premier; Minister for State Development, Jobs and Trade; Hydrogen Industry; Tourism; Science, the Hon. Roger Cook MLA, about the future of Western Australia’s economy and how we can promote Western Australia’s unique strengths and diverse industries.

Future State sets out a path to a smarter, more diversified, sustainable economy, with nine targeted, sector-specific diversification opportunities identified based on their alignment with key global trends, potential for strong economic and social benefits, synergies with existing government commitments, and industry investment and capability.

Following the Minister’s presentation will be a panel discussion about the future of WA’s economy, featuring:

  • John Van Der Wielan – Chair – Future Health & Research Fund WA
  • Renae Sayers – Deputy Director – Space Science and Technology Centre at Curtin University
  • Shannon O’Rourke – CEO – Future Battery Industries Cooperative Research Centre

This event will bring together Committee for Perth members, industry leaders, entrepreneurs, and policymakers to explore new opportunities and strategies for growth. Don’t miss this chance to network, learn, and shape the future of WA’s economy.

Places are strictly limited. Register now to secure your ticket!

With thanks to our host and event sponsor, BDO Perth.

Our speakers and panellists

The Hon. Roger Cook MLA Image

The Hon. Roger Cook MLA

Deputy Premier; Minister for State Development, Jobs and Trade; Hydrogen Industry; Tourism; Science

Born and raised in Western Australia, Roger Cook has lived and worked with his wife Carly in the local suburb of Wellard since 2007. Elected as the Inaugural Member for the State Seat of Kwinana in 2008, Roger works relentlessly within the Kwinana Community and assists many residents, school groups, and sporting clubs in addition to holding the key portfolios of State Development, Jobs and Trade, Hydrogen Industry, Tourism, and Science.

Prior to entering politics, Roger studied Arts and Public Administration at Murdoch University before completing a Postgraduate Diploma in Public Relations and a Master of Business Administration at Curtin University. He was active in campus politics and established the National Union of Students as its first National President. After completing his studies Roger Cook later became involved with several Aboriginal advocacy groups, serving at various times as a policy coordinator for the Western Australian Aboriginal Native Title Working Group, as CEO of the Yamatji Marlpa Barna Baba Maaja Aboriginal Corporation, and as Government Relations Manager for the South West Aboriginal Land and Sea Council.

Roger is a strong advocate for health and fitness, competing in regular triathlons, marathons, and rides for muscular dystrophy along with the walk for diabetes. He is an avid supporter of the Western Force and Fremantle Dockers. Roger is local and active, and a prominent and proud advocate for individuals, communities, and businesses in Kwinana. His door is always open.

John Van Der Wielan Image

John Van Der Wielan

Chair – Future Health & Research Fund WA

Mr John Van Der Wielen has over 30 years’ experience in wealth management, private banking, investments and insurance, which includes executive positions in global financial services groups.

John has worked in London, Luxemburg, Malaysia, Sydney and Perth. This includes major brands such as Crown, Blackstone, HBF, Lloyds Banking Group, Lombard Assurance and ANZ Bank.

John holds an MBA from the University of Western Australia, has studied at London Business School and Oxford University, and is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

During his career John has led many acquisitions, mergers, and divestments.

John currently holds the role of Chair, Crown Perth and is a Non-Executive Director on the Blackstone owned Crown Resorts Australia Ltd. He also serves on the Board of the Royal Flying Doctor Service, was appointed by the Western Australian Government to be the inaugural Chair of the Government’s Future Health Research and Innovation Fund, and was most recently appointed as Senior Advisor, Australia for Appian Capital Advisory UK.

Renae Sayers Image

Renae Sayers

Deputy Director – Space Science and Technology Centre at Curtin University

Renae Sayers is the Deputy Director of the Space Science and Technology Centre at Curtin University – the home of the Binar Space Program – and her goal is to help WA fall in love with space.

With her role straddling the intersections of STEM and society, Renae’s distinctive and passionate leadership translates the power of planetary research to the public, industry partnerships and policymakers alike, making accessible the inspiration and innovations of space that better our communities today.

The Binar Space Program (BIN-nar, Noongar for “fireball” or shooting star) launched WA’s first homegrown spacecraft in 2021 and is on the path to exploring our Moon, as our scientists, engineers and students come together to unravel the mysteries of the origins and evolution of our solar system.

Renae has worked on the ground floor of the WA Space ecosystem, as part of the founding team for Binar Space Program and the Australian Remote Operations for Space and Earth (AROSE), supported the alignment of Fugro Australian Space Automation AI and Robotics Control Complex (SpAARC) and spearheads BinarX – the outreach program putting space exploration in the hands of high schoolers with student-designed and built payloads on-orbit the Binar spacecraft.

Shannon O'Rourke Image

Shannon O’Rourke

CEO – Future Battery Industries Cooperative Research Centre

Shannon O’Rourke commenced his role as Chief Executive Officer of the Future Battery Industries Cooperative Research Centre on 1 December 2021.

He is a seasoned executive with 25 years’ experience in the energy sector including senior management roles with Woodside, Chevron and industrial research with Rio Tinto.

His career spans traditional and renewable energy markets with a track record of success in the commercialisation of research outcomes including managing CRC collaborations through the Future Fuels CRC and the CO2 CRC.


07:00 – Registration Opens
07:30 – Event Start
09:00 – Event Concludes


Level 9, Mia Yellagonga Tower 2
5 Spring St
Perth WA 6000


Free for invited guests of Committee for Perth

Registration Cut Off