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Spark Sydney South (Council Led Event)

20/06/2024 - Netstrata Jubilee Stadium.

Connect with like minds, share ideas and skills, and see emerging innovations in the Sydney South innovation and startup ecosystem. Whether curious about innovation and technology, and a seasoned expert, this event is designed to foster engagement and collaboration across the thriving tech-enabled communities that call Southern Sydney home. 

This event is a proud collaboration between Spark Festival, Georges River Council and ANSTO.

You’ll love this if you: 

  • Like to hear fascinating new ideas (and perhaps even find your own).
  • Want to meet innovators, founders and professionals in the Sydney South community. 
  • Hear from key leaders in the NSW ecosystem about how to be supported in your own ideas and ventures whether you are a founder, startup, SME or in corporate. 

Two great ways to get involved (or go for both)! 

1. Dragon's Den: Rapid Innovation MVP Workshop 4.00pm - 5.15pm
It is a closed door session for those curious about innovation, and not sure how to start? Sounds scary, but definitely isn't. Join the co-CEO’s of Spark Festival, Dave LT and Harry Godber, as they lead an insightful and practical workshop designed to help you find your innovative idea, create ways to test and validate, and articulate your unique value proposition to colleagues, stakeholders and even future customers. Much like the Dragon's Den, but a little softer and with less at stake. A strict capacity limit will apply to ensure quality engagement and outcomes.

2. Spark Sydney South 5.15pm - 7.30pm 

A meeting of minds and a presentation of ideas, where you will:

  • Hear inspiring and thought-provoking innovation leaders share their stories and advice.
  • Discover and connect with the flourishing technology, startup and innovation ecosystem in South Sydney.
  • Find avenues of support and links to the broader NSW ecosystem.
  • Find practical takeaways that will help you grow your ideas, businesses and innovations.
  • Network with like minds and inspiring leaders in the community over delicious light refreshments.

Thursday 20 June 2024



Netstrata Jubilee Stadium.
239 Princes Highway, Carlton.


4.30pm - 8.00pm.




Places are limited, so bookings are essential. Book online using the button below.

Book Now


More information

For further information, please contact us on (02) 9330 6400 or email

Guest Panel Speakers

Maria MacNamara - CEO Space Industry Association of Australia 

Now leading the Space Industry Association, Maria was recently the Director of Government Affairs and Innovation Strategy in Australia and New Zealand at Kyndryl and was formerly the Chief Executive Officer of, Australia’s global diaspora organisation. Maria was also an Adviser to Senator the Hon. Arthur Sinodinos AO, the Acting Director of Policy and Strategy at WIRO in the Department of the NSW Government led by the Hon. Victor Dominello and Head of Strategy for the Digital Transformation Office (then Agency) within the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet. She has launched three startups and exited two.

Emma Earley - Head of AcceleratorRemarkable

A big believer in startups as a mechanism for impact, Emma has specialised in supporting startup founders to discover their potential. She is currently leading the pre-accelerator and accelerator programs at Remarkable for disability tech startups, and previously led Climate Change Cluster's Green Light Accelerator for algae tech startups. Emma has a passion for growing the Australian tech and startup ecosystem, and making it a more diverse and inclusive place for all people to participate and thrive. She is also a a Vinemaker at Grapevine, sparking important conversations championing systemic change. Emma went to school in the local area and spends much of her time there still.

Nick Karahlis - Head of Product and Transport Engineering, Compass IoT and NK Traffic Consulting 

Nick has spent over 30 years designing roads, infrastructure and advising local and state governments on transport planning. With a Masters in Engineering from UNSW, Nick left the government sector to start his own consultancy, he discovered the power of big data and at 63 years of age, is now the head of product and transport engineering at a leading Sydney software scaleup, Compass IoT. Nick is a proud resident of Georges River and is passionate about innovation. 

Annette Dockerty - Program Lead, SME Engagement at the University of Technology, Sydney (UTS)

Annette's passion is building ecosystems that unite in the interests of industry, employment and the economy; with a primary focus on advanced manufacturing, and helping business leaders looking to accelerate their adoption of technology, and access grants to support innovation and commercialisation. A longtime friend of Spark Festival, and with a wealth of knowledge and experience in the technology sector, we're thrilled to be welcoming Annette's perspective and support for the Sydney South innovation community.

Councillor Sam Elmir - Mayor, Georges River Council 

Councillor Sam Elmir, elected as Mayor of Georges River Council in September 2023, brings a profound dedication to the region's small businesses and innovation. A lifelong resident, he has served as a Councillor on Kogarah Council and is currently in his first term as Mayor and third term on Georges River Council. Alongside his civic duties, he actively supports local charitable organisations and grassroots sporting clubs, including the Kogarah Cougars Junior Rugby League Football Club. Mayor Elmir is fervent about enhancing the area's liveability and amenities, advocating for active transport infrastructure, and spearheading the development of a Creative Cultural Strategy. His commitment to driving innovation and supporting small businesses underscores his vision for a prosperous and dynamic Georges River region.

Hosts - Spark Co-CEOs Harry Godber, David LT 

Spark Festival has been made possible by support from the Georges River Council, ANSTO, NSW Government, Department of Industry, Science and Resources, Herbert Smith Freehills, Atlassian, Australian Computer Society, and Stone & Chalk and continues its mission to drive engagement into and across the NSW startup ecosystem.