Meet the Speakers

William Witham

William (Bill) has held senior executive roles across the Australian and African resources sector for over two decades and has worked directly in Namibia, Botswana, Cameroon, Congo, Gabon, Egypt, Niger and South Africa. He has further experience in member-based organisation leadership, including with the Chamber of Minerals & Energy WA (Government Relations and Policy), National Party WA (Corporate Director) and South Coast Natural Resource Management Inc. (Chair).
William brings an exceptional pedigree to the role, spanning corporate leadership in resource development in Africa, senior roles in resource sector representative bodies and direct experience in Government lobbying and negotiating at the State and Federal levels. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Western Australia with honours in Geology.

Samantha Patuto

Samantha Patuto is the Regional Director WA of the Department of Home Affairs. Samantha has over fifteen years’ experience managing teams at both the Director and SES level. She joined the former Department of Immigration in 2011 after several years working with the Department of Human Services. Working with Senior Executive in WA and Canberra to deliver consistent services and introduce changes that respond to the Department and Region’s Priorities. Samantha commenced in the role of Regional Director WA on October 30 2017 and provides senior leadership to regional employees including corporate governance and messaging, reform leadership and talent management.

Max Bankole

Max Bankole Jarrett is the Director-in-charge of the Africa Progress Panel Secretariat. He has over twenty-six years of professional experience in the field of political and socio-economic affairs as an international broadcaster, writer and analyst in the media sector; and as a communications expert, speech writer, programme manager and team leader in the United Nations system. Between 1990 and 2001 he worked with the BBC World Service in London, editing, producing and presenting “Network Africa” and “Focus on Africa”, the BBC’s award winning daily current affairs radio programmes for its African audience. He received his B.Sc (Hons) in Economics in 1990 from the London School of Economics and Political Science and his M.A in African Studies (Specialism: The Political Economy of Tropical Africa) in 1996, from London University’s School of Oriental and African Studies. He was born not very far from the Atlantic Ocean in Monrovia, Liberia.

Steve Kuria

Managing Director of Caleb Partners LTD [CP] & Chairman of Kenya Australia Chamber of Commerce. A qualified leader and true entrepreneur, Stephen founded Caleb Partners Group of Companies (CP) which includes Accelerate to Excellence (A2E) Australia, East Africa Oil & Gas Pty, Africa Energy and Mineral Institute (AAEMI) He has steered CP as founder and CEO to what it is today through innovation, vision, commitment and passion. Under his leadership, the company continues to expand into New Zealand, South Africa and East Africa. CP has joint investments with Kew Project Management and Australian Industrial and Mining Electrical Solutions and  companies. CP’s customer portfolio includes fortunate 500 leaders in Mining, Oil & Gas and Government institutions. CP Group has a workforce of highly skilled, multi-cultural employees and has attracted prominent venture capital partners.  In his spare time, Stephen is the Chairman of the Kenya Australia Chamber of Commerce and he is a board Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Kenya/Australia ICPAK. Stephen is a team member of the Curtin University SIFE Australia Team that won the World Championship in Innovation & entrepreneurship in Barcelona, Spain in September 2004.
He is often sought out by the media both in Australia and Africa to discuss and comment on the subject of transformation of Government services using mining and Oil & Gas. He also writes business articles for major newspapers in Africa

Professor David Morrison

I was appointed to my current position in 2012. My aim has been to develop a comprehensive research strategy for the University which will build on its proud history of creating new knowledge and tackling some of the world’s most pressing problems. Although we are a comprehensive University we have developed a focus on Health, Food, and the Environment as key areas for our contribution. Our lenses are those of translational research and multidisciplinarity, embracing basic and applied sciences as well as the arts and social sciences as crucial partners in ensuring that everything we do must make a positive difference. Since 2015 we have seen close to a doubling of our research income and research outputs in these areas and the incline of our trajectory continues to steepen.

I am an Organisational Psychologist by training having graduated in this area from the Universities of Sheffield (Masters) and Wales (PhD) in the UK. My PhD is in Human Factors in Engineering Design and I have worked in the broad area of technology, decision making and stress in both laboratory and industrial settings. I have been fortunate to collaborate with colleagues from a wide range of disciplines from Engineers, Economists and Epidemiologists, to Psychiatrists and Clinical Psychologists. My publication outputs cover diverse fields from ergonomics, industrial process control to economics and safety science, human resource management, psychological measurement and fundamental experimental psychological research.

Before taking on senior University roles I was a chief investigator on a range of Australian Research Council research grants (Linkage and Discovery) and have received funding from CRCs, research development corporations(e.g., MLA) as well as directly from government agencies (e.g., DSTO, FESA) and industry (e.g., Chevron).

Prior to appointment at Murdoch University I was Professor at the University of Western Australia and Head of School of Psychology in the Faculty of Life and Physical Sciences. Other academic appointments (in reverse chronology) have been held in Schools of Psychology at the University of Queensland, Murdoch University and the University of Wales Institute of Science and Technology and the University of St. Andrews in Scotland.

I am a registered Psychologist with Organisational Psychology as an endorsed specialty, Chartered Member of the Australian Human Resources Institute, member of the Academy of Management (US) and Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society.

By dint of my position I sit on a number of external committees and boards including: the Australia Africa Universities Network (AAUN), WA Health Translation Network Management Committee, Universities Australia Health Professionals Special Education Group, Vice President of the Australia China Business Council (WA). Board Membership of the Pawsey Supercomputer Centre, WA Animal Resources Authority and the Harry Butler Institute.

David Doepel

Chair, Africa Research Group at Murdoch University and Chair, Africa Australia Research Forum

David has held a number of positions in research management positions at Murdoch University including Deputy Vice Chancellor of Research and Development, Interim CEO of the National Centre of Excellence in Desalination, and Director, Research Institute for Resource Technology.

Prior to that he served in a variety of roles in the Western Australian Government, including Principal Policy Advisor (Science and the Arts) to the then Premier Alan Carpenter and inaugural Regional Director for the Americas for the Western Australian Trade and Investment Office in Los Angeles.

His current research interests include policy settings for structural transformation in an African context, the nexus between the extractive industries and the agricultural sector and farming system innovations.

David holds degrees from Murdoch University, the Melbourne College of Divinity and Boston University.

Kojo Annan

Kojo Annan is a serial entrepreneur and investor, with an extensive global network and strong track record of growing new businesses across international markets.

He is currently managing Vector Global, an investment holding company with interest in infrastructure, technology, sport, education and biotech.

He is also currently acting as the executive Vice Chairman and co-founder of Made in Africa (MIA), a technology driven apparel trading company focused on sustainable manufacturing which develops high-growth early stage brands that will become market leaders and manages export supply chains for global market leaders who are moving their manufacturing base to Africa. Among the early achievements of MIA is the creation of Uniform, an African brand which currently sells at Bloomingdales.

Kojo started his career in natural resources and infrastructure most notably by founding Meridian Port Services (MPS) in partnership with the Ghana Ports and Harbour Authority, Bolloré and Maersk (APM Terminals) to develop a modern container terminal in Tema, Ghana. Today it is arguably the most efficient and technologically advanced port in the sub Saharan region. As the most important public-private partnership in Ghana’s history, the new port of Tema will be able to accommodate next-generation ships (up to 18,000 TEUs) and handle the increasing flows of goods to and from Ghana and the hinterland. The new Port of Tema will significantly boost economic growth and trade revenues for local companies with an estimated US$ 1.1 billion rise in global value added to the Ghanaian economy and around 450,000 indirect jobs generated.

From a young age, Kojo has been very much involved in sports. In the period between 1999-2003 he served as the President of Vevey Sports FC in Switzerland and through his companies undertook the marketing campaign of the FIFA U-20 World Cup 1999 in Nigeria and the African Cup of Nations in 2000 (co-shared between Ghana and Nigeria) as well as became a marketing partner to the Ghana national football team from 2000 to 2003.

More recently in 2016, he founded Africa 10 (A10), a social enterprise dedicated to developing African youth through sports and education. A10 has commenced operation by providing scholarships to young Africans in order to attend established sports education university programs in the UK.

Kojo holds degrees in Economics and Political Science, is fluent in both French and English and proficient in Yoruba.

He has two beautiful children with his wife Shanthi and he is primarily based in London.

Josephine Gamboripai

Gamboripai Josephine Zimama is the Youth Director of the Organisation of African Communities WA Inc, among other voluntary roles she holds in various capacities. Commonly known as Josephine, she is passionately engaged in all forms of community work and particularly drawn to creating opportunities for empowering young people. She is also a very active member of her own Azande community, heavily engaged to the growth and development of the Azande culture in WA. Currently completing her Bachelor of Science (Health Promotion) at Curtin University, Josephine hopes to use this skill to help create interventions that bring awareness of mental health issues within refugee and migrants. Josephine is a great role model for young people, especially young women from African backgrounds. As a registered speaker with the United Nations Australian Association WA branch, Josephine presents on her journey of growing up in Australia and issues she faced as a former refugee to  assist new arrivals in their settlement. Josephine work at City of Stirling as the youth officer for multicultural youth.

Melvin Hachuma

Melvin Hachuma is a co-founder of the African Professionals of Australia, a leading professional migrant organisation founded in 2007. Melvin has been influential in the growth of APA which now has active Chapters across Australia with a membership of just over 5000. Melvin also runs a family business known as Bremsons Investments & Advisory. Bremsons Investments and Advisory is a leading firm, delivering professional advice to help clients navigate through critical and complex issues, to improve their business performance, and realise their strategic goals. Bremsons supports clients in dealing with challenges of competitive marketplace, providing advice on mergers and acquisitions, as well as managing the impact of innovation and market disruption.
After completing his Finance and Economics studies at Thames Valley University in England, he relocated to Australia 14 years ago where he has since become a citizen. Melvin is a chartered accountant and a holder of an MBA from the University of New South Wales, Sydney among other qualifications. He has a wealth of experience in Corporate Strategy, Financial Analysis, Project Management, Leadership, and Negotiation in a wide range of sectors including Mining, Advisory, Banking, Healthcare, Manufacturing, Service and Insurance with large multi-national organisations. He has also travelled extensively around the world as part of his work.
Melvin is passionate about strategic management and youth empowerment. He has delivered keynote addresses, training, and consulting assignments on these topics and many others at various forums across the world including Singapore, England, Australia, South Africa and USA.

Ms Jane Caforio

Jane Caforio is the State Director WA at the Australian Trade Commission (Austrade).  Prior to this role, Jane was a Trade Commissioner for Austrade based at the Australian Embassy in Beijing from 2010 to 2014.  Jane has lived and worked in Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong for over ten years. Prior to joining Austrade, Jane worked for Rio Tinto, Bankwest, PricewaterhouseCoopers and Deloitte in advisory, financial analysis, investment and planning roles. 

Jane holds a Bachelor of Economics from the University of Western Australia, a Diploma of Applied Finance and Investment from the Securities Institute of Australia, a Diploma of Chinese Mandarin from the Beijing Language and Culture University, and is currently completing an MBA at the University of Western Australia.

King David Oyewopo

My name is King David Oyewopo. I am a year 11 student at Rossomoyne Senior High School and I am on the student council. I am a leader at LiME Youths (Leadership in Motion and Experience), an initiative of Migrants Professional Bridge Incorporated. I’m also at level 8 Toast Master Gavel Club, an internationally recognised youth communication & leadership development system. My hobbies include basketball, volleyball, music and volunteer work. My vision in life is to become an entrepreneur and start my own company. I want to add value to the lives of every person I come in contact with even if it is making them smile on the day.

Adam Handley

Adam Handley is a Director of the Australia China Business Council (ACBC) National Board, and President of the WA branch since 2013. ACBC Western Australia Branch (ACBC WA) is one of the most active branches with an established reputation as a driving force behind building relationships between WA and China. ACBC WA serves as a focal point for the State’s business relations with China.
Adam is also a partner at leading Asia Pacific law firm, MinterEllison, and heads up MinterEllison’s international China practice. He specializes in North Asian mergers and acquisitions and project development in the energy, resources and agricultural sectors, and is widely regarded as one of the leading legal advisers to major foreign government and non-government investors into Australia.

Doug Horak

Doug is an Australian-African, originally from Johannesburg South Africa, who for the past 12 years has called Perth home. Since arriving in Perth he has maintained and continues to maintain a very strong interest in the Australia Africa corridor, particularly in the commercial and not for profit sector.  Over the years Doug has been part of numerous ex-pat focused community groups and not for profit organisations in Western Australia, as well as bilateral business focused groups like the Australia Africa Business Council. 

He has worked with companies like Deloitte in assisting establish and grow their Australia Africa business, during 2017 he was the Interim CEO for the Australia Africa Minerals and Energy Group (AAMEG) and currently works for Intertek Genalysis where he is responsible for growing the Australia Africa business. Doug continues to be a passionate Australian African hoping to make a small difference by facilitating commerce between two great continents. 

Dr. Molapo Selepe

Dr. Molapo Selepe was born at the height of apartheid in the small town of Odendaalsrus in the middle of South Africa. He grew up in the township of Kutloanong. His high school of Rearabetswe was banned by the Education Department when he was doing his final year of high school—matriculation. He defied the odds when he was admitted to the University of Cape Town Medical School in 1992.

 He completed his medical training in 1999. Dr. Selepe moved to England in 2002 where he did his medical residency until 2007. In 2009 he took up the discipline of Family Medicine. He is a member of the Royal College of GP (London) and a Fellow of Australian Royal College of GP(Melbourne). 

He has been a reputable GP since 2012. He was a GP partner in Peterborough before moving to Australia in 2013. He has been a successful GP in Perth Australia since 2013. He is a well-experienced GP who has a special interest in vasectomy, men’s health, diabetes, pediatrics, geriatrics, and education. 

He has been married to Mahali Selepe (Gospel Musician) for eighteen years. They are blessed with a son aged fifteen, Rea, and a daughter aged eleven, Halle. In January 2009, they lost their third-born child, L’amour, to a severe form of bronchiolitis. 

In his spare time, Dr. Selepe enjoys family time, long-distance running, gym, public speaking, writing, reading, and music. He is also a leader of Road To Bethlehem, the largest nativity play of its kind in Perth, Australia.

Mr. Moses Kasunia Sei

BSc Applied Geology (Mineral Exploration Major), MSc Minerals & Energy Economics, MBA Moses Kasunia Sei migrated to Australia in 2004 having spent over a decade in the refugee camps in Uganda. His professional career in the resource industry is built from the grassroots initially working at Intertek Genalysis as a sample preparer prior to progressing to Geology Field Assistant, Graduate and Project Geologist roles with Sinosteel Midwest Corporation from 2008 to 2013. He also worked as a contract field geologist for Rio Tinto, CSA Global and several junior exploration companies where he gained experience in geological data gathering and analysis through desktop research, field data collection, project appraisal through drilling program planning and execution, logging and samples management, QA/QC planning, datasets management, resource definition, and project evaluation. In addition to his current roles as a field geologist for Apex Geoscience Australia Pty Ltd, he also partners with DUFICO Pty Ltd, a mining and data analytics consulting firm established by the African diaspora with expertise in the resource sector. Moses was previously involved in the establishment of South Sudan nascent mineral sector. His ambition is exploring opportunities for diaspora participation in resource development.


Ridwana is trusted HR Business Partner with over 10 years’ experience working across a range of industries. Ridwana holds a Bachelor of Commerce (B.Com.) majoring in Human Resource Management and Business Law and graduated from Murdoch University in 2011.
As a seasoned HR practitioner Ridwana has a strong focus in Employee Relations, Performance Management, maintaining effective stakeholder relationships particularly with Union Engagement and Dispute Resolution.
Ridwana partners with the business, managers and and key stakeholders to deliver operational and strategic objectives. These initiatives include Ridwana’s underlining passion to champion and advocate key corporate initiatives such as pioneering woman in the workplace and implementing strategies to promote, educate and pioneer Diversity and Inclusion.
Having worked across the Resources, Manufacturing, Local Government and Health industries, Ridwana has the competency to deliver continuous business improvement, drive operational excellence and high-performance outcomes, with proven success across a broad range of initiatives such as talent management, succession planning, EBA negotiations, change management, as well as employee engagement.