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Australian National Fabrication Facility Governance

ANFF was established in 2007 through an Australian Government investment under the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy (NCRIS). It has received further government investments through the federal Education Infrastructure Fund (EIF) and NSW, Qld, Vic and SA state governments.

ANFF Limited (ANFF), a company limited by guarantee and incorporated in Victoria, has been established to govern the Facility. The Board and executive of ANFF, are responsible for implementing and managing the Project, managing the NCRIS and EIF funds and reporting in accordance with the Funding Agreement.

An International Advisory committee, chaired by Prof. Jim Williams, is tasked with making recommendations on the future development of the ANFF beyond the initial program. The committee will consider the long-term strategic requirements of relevant research disciplines.

A Strategic Advisory Committee, composed of the Node Directors and chaired by the CEO, advises the Board on trends nationally and internationally with regard to fabrication activities. Each Node has Access Committees who provide operational and strategic inputs on a local level.

The ANFF Board has 5 directors and an independent Chair to ensure high level compliance with the Funding Agreement and Investment Plan and to provide strategic inputs to the facility. The Directors are not representative. They are:

  • Emeritus Professor Chris Fell AM (Chairman)
  • Mr Andrew Brawley
  • Dr Colin White
  • Dr Deborah Rathjen
  • Dr Elaine Saunders
  • Dr Rowan Gilmore

The Acting Chief Executive Officer is Mrs Jane Fitzpatrick.

Emeritus Professor Chris Fell AM - Chairman

Chris Fell took the position as Chair of ANFF in December 2011. A chemical engineer by training, much of his career was based at UNSW which he first joined in 1969. He held a variety of positions during his 30 years with the University, including Deputy Vice Chancellor ( Research and International), Dean of Engineering, Head of School and Director of the Commonwealth Special Research Centre for Membrane Science and Technology. He was also founding Chair of the CRC for Waste Management and Pollution Control and co-inventor of the technology that led to the formation of the high tech membrane company, Memtec Ltd. He retired from UNSW in January 2001.

He has since held a number of positions including President of FASTS, membership of the PMSEIC, chair and member of Commonwealth and State review panels and company directorships.

He is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technological Science and Engineering and in 2003 was honoured with an AM in recognition of his services to engineering and higher education.

In 2005 he was appointed by the Commonwealth to facilitate the Investment Plan that led to the establishment of ANFF Limited.

Mr Andrew Brawley

Andrew Brawley is an alumnus of UTS and holds a Masters Degree in Business. He has been actively involved in the microelectronics manufacturing industry in Australia for over 40 years, having first joined AWA Microelectronics (AWAM), Australia's first semiconductor manufacturer in 1969, only one year after semiconductor manufacturing started in Australia.

At AWAM Andrew progressed from Wafer-Fab Manager to Operations Manager and then to Deputy General Manager. When Peregrine Semiconductor acquired AWAM in 2000, Andrew took the role of the Chief Financial Officer and was a director on the Peregrine Semiconductor Australia Board from 2003 until 2008. In 2008, Peregrine Semiconductor Australia was acquired by Silanna Semiconductor and Andrew was appointed CEO of Silanna Semiconductor, a wholly Australian-owned, global specialist microelectronics manufacturing firm. Silanna, supported by Andrew's leadership has also succeeded in entering the mobile phone and space markets, supplying customers such as Peregrine, NASA, Nokia, Blackberry (RIM), iPhone (Apple), with microelectronic products.

Dr Colin White

Dr Colin White has held the position of independent director of ANFF from its beginning in 2007.

Dr Colin White is presently a Strategic Business Unit Director within Leica Biosystems with responsibility for the global advanced staining systems business. He has been with Leica Biosystems since 2008, after leaving Invetech where he had responsibility for the product innovation business. Prior to the 8 years with Invetech, Dr White spent a decade with BHP in a variety of technical and commercial roles.

Dr Deborah Rathjen

Dr Deborah Rathjen is the CEO & Managing Director of Bionomics Limited.

Dr Rathjen has a Bachelor of Science (Honours) degree in biological sciences from Flinders University in Adelaide, and a PhD in Biology from Macquarie University, Sydney, in a joint program with the CSIRO.

Following post-doctoral studies at the Kolling Institute of Medical Research, she joined Peptech Limited in 1988 as a Senior Scientist and held a variety of roles, including Business Development and Licensing.

Dr Rathjen was a co-inventor of Arana’s TNF technology and leader of the company’s successful defense of its key TNF patents against legal challenges by BASF, Centocor and other companies with anti-TNF products. Dr Rathjen has significant experience in company building and financing, mergers and acquisitions, therapeutic product research and development, and business development and licensing.

Dr Rathjen is an expert in the field of cell biology with specific expertise in inflammation, infection and cancer, in particular the cytokines and growth factors involved in those processes.

Dr Rathjen was formerly Deputy Chair of the Australian Biotechnology Advisory Council, a member of the Prime Minister’s Science Engineering and Innovation Council, the NH&MRC’s Human Genetics Advisory Committee and the Innovation Australia Board.

Dr Elaine Saunders

Dr Elaine Saunders is the Managing Director of Blamey Saunders Hears and is an award-winning businesswoman, audiologist, academic, adjunct professor in the faculty of Science, Engineering & Technology, Swinburne University and a member of its Biodevices Advisory Board. Her accolades include being awarded BioMelbourne Network’s inaugural Women in Leadership Award in 2015, Asia’s Leading Woman in Healthcare in 2011, the Victorian Pearcey Entrepreneur Award in 2011, and the American Academy of Audiology’s Award for Achievement in Industry in 2010. Elaine was awarded the 2012 Melbourne Award for Contribution to Community by an Individual, and is one of Australia’s 100 most influential women (2015).

Elaine blogs about hearing and hearing loss at

Dr Rowan Gilmore

Rowan Gilmore is the CEO and Managing Director of EM Solutions Pty Ltd, an Australian designer and manufacturer of advanced microwave components, systems and terminals used in satellite and wireless broadband communications networks around the world.

Until June 2011 he was CEO of the Australian Institute for Commercialisation, where he helped numerous start-up companies and worked to accelerate technology transfer between research institutions and industry. Prior to this role, he worked extensively in the ICT industry, and was formerly based in London and Geneva from 1998 as Vice President of Network Services (Europe) for the airline IT company SITA, now France Telecom’s Orange subsidiary.

He is an engineering graduate and winner of the university medal from the University of Queensland, and earned his Doctor of Science degree from Washington University in St. Louis in the US. He is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering, Chairman of the ARC Centre of Excellence in Engineered Quantum Systems, and holds adjunct professorships at the University of Queensland in both the School of Business and the School of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering.