Passionate professionals

It takes a special and committed group of people to create an environment and program like iAccelerate.

Our people are passionate professionals who believe deeply in the potential of our programs and residents to drive a revolution in innovation and technology – in our region, the nation and beyond.

They’re a fundamental part of our community, living and breathing our vision to create sustainable positive change.

Don’t underestimate the power of your vision to change the world. Whether that world is your office, your community, an industry or a global movement, you need to have a core belief that what you contribute can fundamentally change the paradigm or way of thinking about problems.

– Leroy Hood

Meet our people

Discover who they are and what they’re about below, drop them a line or connect on LinkedIn.

Daniel Murphy

Daniel Murphy

Daniel has over 15 years’ experience in various corporate and government roles. First starting out with a Bachelor of International Business his initial working career started in multinational banks in London for 3 years at which time he then moved to Melbourne. Seeking new opportunities that deliver meaningful sustainable development outcomes, he completed a Masters of Environment and Sustainability with Monash University and as a result has since gone on to develop and deliver a range of projects in the not for profit sector and local government through sustainable building assessment tools, a community solar project, coastal management projects as well as regional-scale renewable energy industry development.
 
In his current role he is responsible for a range of Council projects across a variety of areas including regional economic development, tourism, innovation, learning, co-work and civic centres, grant funding, agribusiness, amongst a number of other responsibilities.  Key to this
role is developing partnerships and relationships with key industry stakeholders and Agencies that can support the long term and sustainable growth of the Shire.

Chris Petersilge

Chris Petersilge

I am the Ecosystem Evangelist for iAccelerate: Helping share our 12-week Educate program with our regional partners, like the Bega Valley Innovation Hub. I also look after our networks of mentors, investors, and international partner programs. You can find me at events around Wollongong and regional Australia.

Mia Maze

Mia Maze

Mia Maze is the Bega Valley Innovation Hub Manager and is building the first  regional innovation eco-system for the iAccelerate Innovation Network and UOW. The past decade has inspired her to be challenged by innovation and creativity. She believes that wherever you are you can make a difference and is excited that the Bega Valley is where she can build a vibrant eco-system for the iAccelerate Innovation Network and Regional NSW.

Mia grew up in Melbourne and recently moved to the Bega Valley with her family with a head full of dreams and the motivation to create opportunities for her family and this regional area. Her diverse background, including being the founder of a successful marketing company and working with entrepreneurs across sectors undergoing growth and transition in corporate to small business, is enabling her to multiply the progress of an innovative and supportive culture for start-ups, entrepreneurs and established brands that are disrupting and influencing the economy of the Bega Valley.

Samantha Avitaia

Samantha Avitaia

Working in the Australian tertiary education sector for over 20 years, Sam is the manager of the University of Wollongong’s regional campus in Bega NSW. Since her commencement at UOW Bega in 2007, the small campus has grown to enrol over 200 students each academic year in Arts, Business, Education and Health degrees and pathway programs.

Sam grew up in the Bega Valley and has a passion for providing education opportunities to rural people from diverse backgrounds. She is the coordinator of the Regional In2Uni Schools Outreach Program, winner of several Widening Participation awards.

Sam has presented at national and international conferences on education pathways for rural students, partnered with several universities in rural education research projects and received a 2017 national Higher Education Participation & Partnerships Program grant for further development of the UOW “Rural In2Uni” Program.

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