Preparing for a Space Future: Building the Infrastructure

Donna Lawler (BA, LLB) is a Founder and Principal at Azimuth Advisory, a law firm specialising in space activities carried out by corporations, universities and governments.  Over twenty years in the satellite industry she has been a legal advisor for seven build and launch programs for geo-stationary satellites as well as launch facilities, launch service providers, operators of cubesat constellations, orbital transport systems, earth and space observation programs and lunar missions.  She is a member of the International Institute of Space Lawyers and a Fellow of the London Institute of Space Policy and Law.

Dr Tim Parsons is a deep tech-focused angel investor, facilitator, and mentor who consults widely for clients in space, digital transformation, and start-up entrepreneurship. He is chair of the Space Industry Association of Australia, founding chair of SmartSat’s Aurora Space Start-ups Cluster, coordinates the NSW node of the SmartSat CRC, and is the Australian representative director of global space intelligence group, Euroconsult. Tim holds a BSc in Computer Science and Applied Maths from Sydney University, and a BEng and PhD in Aerospace Engineering from Imperial College, London. He is married to Art Director Karen Lee and has two children.

Frank Robert is an Associated Vice President of Kearney and a member of the Australian Space Agency Advisory Board.  With over 30 years of space and telecommunications experience across 35 countries, he has served on a number of Australian Space Agency committees to establish sovereign capability across design, manufacture, launch, mission and return of spacecraft. He is also on the Advisory Board of the DLR/TRIPLE mission to release a small autonomous probe under Europa’s ice.

Allison Kealy is a Professor of Geodesy in the School of Science at RMIT University. Allison is the Coordinator for Research Capability in the SmartSAT CRC and Deputy Director of the Sir Lawrence Wackett Centre RMIT’s Defence Research Centre. She is a Fellow of the International Association of Geodesy, and of the Royal Institute of Navigation. She is a technical representative to the Satellite Division of the US, Institute of Navigation. Allison’s research interests include sensor fusion and estimation theory, high precision GNSS and collaborative localisation.

Session 3: Preparing for a Space Future, Building the Infrasture

Australia’s interest in Space has renewed focus at a government level. The establishment of the Australian Space Agency was a catalyst and federal and state governments have subsequently defined industrial sectors of interest. How can the social sciences contribute? What roles exist for social scientists across academia and practice?

Moderator: Donna Lawler, Azimuth Advisory


  • Professor Allison Kealy, RMIT, SmartSat CRC
  • Frank Robert, AT Kearney
  • Tim Parsons, Chair, Space Industry Association of Australia

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