Invited Speakers


Associate Professor Amanda Kennedy

Associate Professor Amanda Kennedy has been at the Australian Centre for Agriculture and Law since 2008, and has held the position of Acting Director since early 2017. Associate Professor Kennedy has extensive experience in law-based multidisciplinary research, particularly focused on instruments and institutions for effective agricultural and rural governance. Since 2012, a significant focus of Associate Professor Kennedy’s research has been the governance of extractive resource development, particularly in rural communities. Associate Professor Kennedy has also been involved in research projects examining conflict over the ownership of natural resources on publicly-owned land, the risks and benefits associated with ‘unbundling’ rights (to carbon, water and other evolving interests) in land, the ‘social licence’ of farming, and the use of non-legal instruments (such as social marketing tools) to manage natural resource use. She also has an interest in the role of lawyers in rural and regional communities.

Dr Rachelle Hergenhan

Rachelle joined the Farms in 2017 to provide support to the SMART Farms Managing Director in establishing and equipping UNE SMART Farms as a development and innovation site that provides the background and the opportunity for growing collaborative connections between UNE researchers and industries. Providing a conduit between researchers and industry with the Farms Rachelle aims to involve more researchers to make the most of the opportunities these Farms represent for industry research. With a research background in early lamb behaviour and impacts on lamb survival and undergraduate teaching experience in sheep and wool production, agricultural consulting and extension, Rachelle brings a range of knowledge and skills to this position.

Dr Lou Conway

Dr Lou Conway is the Director of the UNE SMART Region Incubator (SRI) which supports over 40 founders in Tamworth and Armidale.  The SRI exists to ignite regional entrepreneurship by innovating start-ups across the New England North West through support, outreach and UNE’s research to support commercialisation and technology transfer. Lou has worked in various roles within agribusiness, education and human service delivery and her research reflects this diversity of background and includes a fascination with how regions innovate and evolve; in particular how regions capture the benefits of technology and business through strong governance and collaboration. As an educator the hallmark of her teaching has been engagement with real word business to enhance student learning and programs to support entrepreneurial thinking and action. Lou has worked with colleagues to develop the international study program for UNE’s business students into China and South Korea focusing on business innovation, these programs have become a core activity for business students.

Aileen Kennedy

Aileen Kennedy spent ten years in legal practice and seven years in legal academia prior to commencing at UNE in 2003. In 2006 she completed her LLM at the University of Sydney. Her research is in the area of health law, currently focusing on the law relating to cosmetic surgery, female genital mutilation, voluntary amputation and other non-therapeutic body modifications. Aileen is undertaking a PhD in law. Her Thesis focuses on regulation of surgery on children and the influence of neuroscience. A focus of her research is on legal and ethical issues relating to biotechnological innovation such as assisted reproductive technology, genetics and neuroscience. She is interested in feminist theory, particularly theories of embodiment

Johl Sue

For the past 3 years Johl has been working with the Law School as an Educational Support Officer. Prior to this, Johl was with Learning and Teaching (previously Teaching and Learning Support/Teaching and Learning Center) at UNE as an Interactive Web Designer/Programmer. With a keen interests in emerging technology, video and social media, Johl brings a very mixed bag of talent to the UNE School of Law