Board and Management

Australis has a proven board and management team

The board and key management are experienced and have a successful track record in acquiring, developing, managing, financing and realising value from oil and gas assets in the USA.

Jon Stewart

Jon Stewart  - Non Executive Chairman

Mr Stewart was appointed as the Non-Executive Chairman of Australis on 12 November 2015. Mr Stewart is a member of the Audit and Risk Management Committee and the Remuneration and Nomination Committee. Mr Stewart was a founder of Aurora Oil & Gas Limited (Aurora) and was a director of Aurora from 22 February 2005 until the acquisition of Aurora by Baytex Energy Australia Pty Ltd on 11 June 2014. He was Executive Chairman and CEO of Aurora until separating those roles in 2012. An experienced oil & gas executive, Mr Stewart has held a number of executive management positions in listed and unlisted companies in Australia, the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and the former Soviet Union. He has considerable experience in the management of oil and gas exploration and production companies, structuring and financing of transactions and the broader strategic development of companies. He has also been involved helping list a number of companies in Australia, the United Kingdom and Canada. Based in Europe during the 1990s, Mr Stewart helped establish a number of oil and gas ventures, particularly in the former Soviet Union, including two new oil and gas companies listed on the London Stock Exchange. He has been involved in raising significant capital from international equity and debt markets to enable the successful development of these projects. Mr Stewart was named EY’s Australian Entrepreneur of the Year – Listed Companies in 2014.

Ian Lusted

Ian Lusted  - Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer

Mr Lusted was appointed Managing Director and CEO of Australis on 12 November 2015. Previously Mr Lusted was Technical Director of Aurora from 14 April 2008 until August 2013. As well as being responsible for all technical activities carried out by Aurora, Mr Lusted played an active role in investor and stakeholder relations. He has extensive international oil & gas experience, having begun his career in the industry in 1991 with Shell International after serving for several years as an officer in the Royal Navy. At Shell, Mr Lusted gained upstream operations experience in a variety of locations including the North Sea, South East Asia and onshore Europe. He was responsible for field operations including drilling and well operations on semi-submersibles, platform, jack-up and land facilities. In 1998 Mr Lusted established Leading Edge Advantage ("LEA"), an advanced drilling project management consultancy based in Aberdeen and subsequently in Perth, Australia. Mr Lusted led a number of multi-discipline project teams that implemented world first technology applications often in complex jurisdictions. In 2005, Mr Lusted assumed the Technical Director position for Cape Energy, a private oil and gas company. The company held acreage in Australia and the Philippines where Cape Energy was a key participant in moving the offshore Galoc field to development status. Mr Lusted acted in this capacity until August 2007 when he joined Aurora and in 2008 he was appointed Technical Director. Starting with a very small technical team and drawing on the services of 3rd party contractors, Mr Lusted managed the Aurora contribution to the early evaluation and operational activity within the Sugarkane Field. As activity levels increased, staff were sourced and recruited to provide increasing in house resource and expertise, Mr Lusted continued to participate at a decision making level but took on additional supervisorial and management roles.

Mr Lusted holds a B.Sc (Hons.) from York University in the United Kingdom and is a member of the Society of Petroleum Engineers.

Graham Dowland

Graham Dowland  - Finance Director and Chief Financial Officer

Mr Dowland was appointed Director and CFO of Australis on 12 November 2015. Previously Mr Dowland was a founding director of Aurora appointed on 22 February 2005. Mr Dowland held the position of Finance Director of Aurora from 10 November 2010 until the acquisition of Aurora by Baytex Energy Australia Pty Ltd on 11 June 2014. He has over 25 years’ corporate finance and management experience in the oil and gas industry having previously held director or senior management or advisory positions in Australian, Canadian and UK-listed companies with oil & gas operations in the UK, Russia, Azerbaijan, Indonesia, Australia and New Zealand. Mr. Dowland is a qualified Chartered Accountant.

Alan Watson

Alan Watson  - Non-Executive Director

Mr Watson was appointed as an independent, Non-Executive Director of Australis on 24 May 2016. Mr Watson is Chair of the Remuneration and Nomination Committee and a member of the Audit and Risk Management Committee.

Mr Watson was formerly an independent, non-executive director of Aurora from 17 November 2010 until the acquisition of Aurora by Baytex Energy Australia Pty Ltd on 11 June 2014.  Mr Watson is a Sydney-based investment banker with 35 years of experience within various global equity markets.  Over this period he has established, directed and been responsible for the conduct of securities businesses both in Europe and Aisa advising many companies on capital structuring, initial public offerings, takeovers and mergers and investment relations strategies.

Mr Watson has held positions at Barclays de ZoeteWedd Limited, Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette Securities Corporation, Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc and  as Head of Securities Europe for Macquarie Capital (Europe) Ltd.

Mr Watson is currently independent Chairman of ASX listed funds management company Pinnacle Investment Management Group Limited.

Stephen Scudamore

Stephen Scudamore  - Non-Executive Director

Mr Scudamore was appointed as an independent, Non-Executive Director of Australis on 30 November 2016.  Mr Scudamore is also the Chair of the Audit and Risk Management Commitee.

Mr Scudamore is an experienced Australian company director. His distinguished career includes more than three decades with KPMG, including senior roles in Australia, London and PNG including Chairman of Partners WA, Head of Corporate Finance in WA and National Head of Valuations, KPMG Australia. He joins the Australis Board as an independent, non-executive Director and will be appointed chairman of the Audit and Risk Management Committee. Since 2012, Mr Scudamore has been a non-executive Director and Chairman of MDA National Insurance Pty Ltd, the insurance arm of a mutual medical defence organisation founded in Perth in 1925. He was previously Non-Executive Director of Aquila Resources and is currently a non-executive Director of Regis Resources and Pilbara Minerals Limited. His involvement in community organisations has included roles as Chairman of Amana Living, Member of Council and Chairman of the Audit and Risk Committee at Curtin University and Trustee at the Western Australian Museum. 

Mr Scudamore is a Chartered Accountant with a Master of Arts from Oxford University, a Fellow of the Institute Chartered Accountants, England, Wales and Australia (FCA), a Fellow of the Institute of Company Directors (FAICD) and a Senior Fellow of the Financial Services Institute of Australia (SF Fin). In January 2023 Mr Scudamore was awarded a Member of the Order of Australia for significant service to business and commerce.

Darren Wasylucha

Darren Wasylucha  - Chief Corporate Officer

Mr Wasylucha was appointed Chief Corporate Officer of Australis on 18 December 2017. Prior joining Australis, Mr Wasylucha was Senior Executive Vice President, Corporate at a Canadian public manufacturing company. Mr Wasylucha held the position of Executive Vice President - Corporate Affairs of Aurora until the acquisition of Aurora by Baytex Energy Australia Pty Ltd on 11 June 2014, overseeing the legal affairs of the corporate group in various jurisdictions and the managing the execution of its corporate development strategies including capital raising and acquisitions. Before to joining Aurora, Mr Wasylucha was a partner of one of Canada’s premier business law firms, where advised a wide range of Canadian and international public and private companies, and spent part of his career in London with the corporate finance group of an English law firm. He has over 18 years of experience in the areas of corporate finance, securities and corporate governance.

Mr Wasylucha holds an LLB from the University of Victoria, Canada and a BA (Honors) from the University of Alberta, Canada.

Malcolm Bult

Malcolm Bult  - Vice President – Corporate and Business Development

Mr Bult has gained extensive commercial experience over the past 19 years in the energy industry at both small and large companies, most recently providing commercial and corporate advisory services to various upstream clients. Mr Bult began his career in 1996 following post-graduate studies in economics & finance with Asian focused energy company, Energy Equity Corporation. In 2000 he joined Woodside Petroleum, a large Australian oil and gas company, where he held various senior corporate and commercial positions. In 2005, Mr Bult assumed the position of Commercial Manager for Cape Energy, a private oil and gas company that held assets in Australia and an interest in the Galoc offshore oil field development in the Philippines. Mr Bult joined the management team at Aurora in January 2008. In his role as Commercial Manager, Mr Bult was responsible for commercial activities within the company which included farm outs, acquisitions, corporate strategy, business development, investor relations and financial analysis.

Julie Foster

Julie Foster  - Vice President – Finance and Company Secretary

Ms Foster was appointed Company Secretary of Australis on 13 November 2015. Previously Ms Foster was Group Controller and Company Secretary of Aurora from 2009 until its acquisition by Baytex Energy Australia Pty Ltd on 11 June 2014. At Aurora Ms Foster was responsible for corporate accounting and compliance reporting in multiple listed jurisdictions including Australia and Canada, management of the accounting departments in both Houston and Perth and had additional responsibility for internal and third party reporting. The position required interfacing with joint venture partners, banking syndicates, auditors and various other stakeholders. Ms Foster has held a number of similar positions for other ASX listed oil and gas companies. Prior to this Ms Foster was a principal at chartered accounting firms in both Australia and the UK. Ms Foster is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ACA) and a member of the Governance Institute Australia (AGIA).

David Greene

David Greene  - Vice President Operations

Mr. Greene was appointed Vice President Operations on 1 November 2019 and is responsible for drilling and production operations at Australis, he previously filled the role of Production Manager for the Company.  He brings almost 20 years of broad operational experience that includes working for both a major and independent E&P Operator, as well as experience in the service sector. He began his career with Chevron, gaining drilling experience on offshore jackup rigs in the Gulf of Mexico, land rigs in California, and both jackups and semi-submersible rigs in West Africa.

In 2008, Mr. Greene joined St. Mary Land and Exploration Company (now SM Energy), prior to drilling their first Eagleford Shale well. He then went on to build and lead the drilling team that successfully drilled over 500 wells, managing both the engineering and operational teams. In 2015, he was promoted to Operations Manager, responsible for all aspects of the production operations for the Eagle Ford Shale Asset (the largest asset in the company). His responsibilities included the oversight and results of the production engineering and operations teams, which included the chemical, maintenance, measurement, facilities construction, SCADA, workover operations, water transfer and disposal teams.

Mr. Greene holds a B.Sc from The Pennsylvania State University in Petroleum and Natural Gas Engineering, and is a member of the Society of Petroleum Engineers, American Association of Drilling Engineers, and has served as a board member for several Houston oilfield related charity organizations.

Carol Cooley  - Vice President Land

Ms. Cooley was appointed Vice President Land on 1 January 2022 and is responsible for all aspects of land work, specializing in lease and contract negotiations, title analysis and due diligence.  Previously she served as Senior Land Manager for the Company.   Prior to joining Australis in 2017, Ms. Cooley held the position of Director of Acquisitions and Divestitures for Milagro Exploration Company where she managed the due diligence of acquisition opportunities while maintaining responsibility for land management functions.  Ms. Cooley has held various land management positions with Mission Resources Corporation, Petrohawk Energy Company and Torch Energy Advisors.

Ms. Cooley holds a Bachelor of Science degree from The University of Texas at Austin and began her oil and gas career in 1981.  She is a member of the American Association of Petroleum Landmen and the Houston Association of Petroleum Landmen.