ACUO Management Committee (MC) is made up of 10 full members of the association elected annually by their peers.
The Management Committee meets regularly to make decisions on the strategies, policies & growth of the association, to discuss matters of importance to ACUO and its members, and to ensure the integrity of the association and its core values are being maintained.
The Management Committee members are:
President: Joe Urli (Airobotics Aust. Pty Ltd - QLD)
Joe has more than 25 years of international experience in the aviation industry having worked in senior management roles for Boeing, and as an Airworthiness & Air Safety Inspector for two national aviation authorities. Joe holds CASA chief UAV Controller approvals for piloting and maintaining various types of unmanned aerial vehicles, and is also a licenced [manned] pilot and aircraft engineer. Joe is the ACUO representative on the CASA Standards Consultative Committee (SCC) UAS Sub-Committee and is also a non-Executive member of the Board of Directors for the Paris-based International RPAS Coordination Council of UVS International.
Secretary/Treasurer: Brad Mason (Helimetrex - QLD)
Brad was a marine Captain and Engineer for 20 years before exploring an alternative career in UAVs in 2001. As a co-founder of HELImetrex, he became the first certified UAV Operator in Australia in November 2002. Brad is a Chief Remote Pilot with hundreds of hours’ flight time on predominantly rotary UAVs, and a Chief UAV Maintenance Controller with thousands of hours’ experience in building & testing UA systems and associated equipment.
MC Member: Steve Brown (Altitude Imaging - WA)
Steve Brown is the owner of Altitude Imaging, a progressive UAS Operator with a ‘can-do’ attitude. Steve has over 25 years’ experience managing engineering based services businesses in Australia, Europe and South East Asia, with a background in marine and subsea operations for the oil and gas sector worldwide. Commercially astute, results driven and a strategic leader with a proven track record in orchestrating strong organisational and revenue growth, Steve combines a passion for aviation & photography with his extensive management skills to lead his team at Altitude and is a natural asset on the Management Committee of ACUO.
MC Member / Recruitment Officer: Mike Manning (Drone Solutions Pty Ltd - QLD)
Michael Manning is the Director at Drone Solutions Pty Ltd. He is also Chief UAV Controller and Maintenance Controller. Michael has a BSc degree in Land Surveying and has over 30 years total experience in the Geospatial industries, including: Cadastral, Engineering, Precise Engineering, GIS, Mining, Machine Guidance, Hydrographic and Aerial Surveying. He also has extensive international Business Development Management skills.
MC Member / IT Officer: Anthony Marsh (AEROEYE - VIC)
Anthony is a highly motivated entrepreneur with a love of flight, a knack for technology and a passion for business, with experience in engineering, technology and consulting across small and large businesses, startups, and the military. Anthony has a degree in Aerospace Engineering, a Masters in Business Administration (MBA), holds a current Private Pilot Licence (PPL) and is certified/licenced to fly both fixed wing and multi-rotor RPAs. Anthony is the Director of Aeroeye and currently manages ACUO's IT.
MC Member: Joseph Wheeler MRAeS (IALPG – QLD) (IALPG)
Joseph is an aviation lawyer and Principal of International Aerospace Law & Policy Group (IALPG), a specialist aerospace law firm. Since 2008 he has published more than 100 articles on aviation law. He was elected a Member of the Royal Aeronautical Society in 2014 in recognition of his air law expertise, and provides aviation advice and representation to a number of national organisations’ and their clients and members, including Maurice Blackburn Lawyers and the Australian Federation of Air Pilots/AusALPA.
With previous experience as an airport regulator in Canberra, Joseph now also serves as a member of both the Legal Committee, and the Professional & Government Affairs Committee of the International Federation of Airline Pilots’ Associations (IFALPA). Joseph is a regular commentator on aero legal and aero political affairs for The Australian.
Management Committee: Peter La Franchi (LFRG Pty Ltd)
Peter is an accomplished defence and aerospace industry business executive with more than 20 years experience in the global remotely piloted aircraft systems industry. He was an advisor to the Australian Defence Minister between 1990 and 1993, this period including the First Gulf War and major overhauls of Australian defence policy for industry. Between 1994 and 1995 Peter was a member of the Australian Department of Defence’s first ever exports, this including a little known effort to create a two nation military RPAS program with Indonesia. He worked as an aerospace journalist between 1995 and 2008, this part of his career culminating with his appointment as the first ever Unmanned Systems Editor of the prestigious London-based Flight International Magazine in May 2006.
Peter returned to Australia and transitioned into a business career in 2008, focussing on RPAS and running a successful consultancy firm that worked with government and industry clients across the world. He joined the Canadian-headquartered MDA Systems in 2015 as its most senior Australian executive and was directly involved with management of the Royal Australian Air Force’s “Project Nankeen” RPAS until program closure in June 2017.
Peter has extensive knowledge of Australian Federal and State government structures, systems and processes. Peter has been a non-Executive Director of UVS International, the peak association of global unmanned systems industry associations since 2013. Peter has been providing ACUO with government affairs and stakeholder engagement support since early 2014, leading the development of all our key submissions to the Australian Federal Government and its agencies. He formally joined the ACUO management committee in January 2017.