Advisory Board

The key role of the Advisory Board is to provide governance-level oversight, leadership and guidance to ensure that the Conference achieves its objectives.

The Advisory Board is comprised of senior representatives of key stakeholders who have shared interests in the growth of the sector and its contribution to New Zealand


Andrew Jefferies
Acting Chief Executive Officer, New Zealand Oil & Gas  

Andrew Jefferies started his career with Shell in Australia after graduating with a BEng (Mechanical Hons) from the University of Sydney in 1991. He has worked in Australia, Germany, the United Kingdom, Thailand and Holland, in Operations and Petroleum Engineering – gaining an MBA (technology management) from Deakin University in Australia, and an MSc  (Petroleum Engineering) from Heriot-Watt University in Scotland. He joined Austrian Company OMV in New Zealand in 2007 and took up his first role with New Zealand Oil & Gas in early 2013 as VP & GM, Exploration & Production before becoming the company’s Chief Executive in 2016 . Andrew is also a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (GAICD).

David Darby
Manager Commercial, Analysis & Investment, ERM – MBIE

David leads the Commercial Analysis and Investment team. His team promotes New Zealand’s petroleum and mineral sectors to potential investors around the globe. The team is made up of technical, market and resource analysts. They work closely with colleagues in MBIE and other agencies on strategies to attract growth capital to the New Zealand resource sector.

David has over 20 years’ experience in the upstream oil and gas sector. He has BSc and PhD degrees from Glasgow University. Prior to joining NZP&M in October 2015, David was with Maersk Oil in the UK, and has previously held roles with GNS Science, Ikon, and BG Group.


Gabriel Selischi
SVP Australasia – OMV

Gabriel Selischi is responsible for the upstream activities of OMV in New Zealand and Australia. He studied electrical & mining engineering and started his professional career with Schlumberger in France. He held a range of engineering, petroleum engineering and consulting roles internationally and most recently held the position of Director of Projects & Engineering in OMV Petrom. He has worked and lived internationally in France, South Africa, Algeria, Angola and Romania.

Dr Joanna Breare

Dr Joanna Breare

Vice President New Zealand Upstream Energy, Chief Executive Todd Energy (NZ Assets)

Joanna Breare was appointed Chief Executive Todd Energy in 2014 and in addition to this role, she is Executive Vice President New Zealand Upstream Energy with Todd Energy’s parent company, the Todd Corporation.

Joanna graduated from London University with a BSc. (Geology, Hons  1st class) and a PhD (Geology). Joanna has 28 years’ experience in the oil and gas industry with involvement in exploration, development, project management and reservoir geology roles. She has worked in the UK and Vietnam with BP. Joanna migrated to New Zealand in 1997 and was a consultant to Shell, STOS and Fletcher Challenge Energy prior to joining STOS in 2002. During her 12 years at STOS, Joanna has held the positions of Deputy Development Manager, Joint Venture Business Manager and Deputy General Manager with her most recent role being Exploration and Development Manager for STOS and Shell New Zealand.


Robert Smillie
Manager, Resources and Materials

Rob leads the Resources and Materials Department at GNS Science. His Department undertakes scientific research that supports the exploration, development and sustainable utilisation of natural energy and mineral resources in New Zealand and overseas. Rob is a geologist with over 25 years’ experience in the resources industry, including as Exploration Manager at the National Petroleum Authority in East Timor, and Manager of Exploration and Mining Services at Crown Minerals (now NZPAM, MBIE). Prior to joining GNS Science in 2015, Rob was Exploration Manager at the Ok Tedi copper-gold mine in Papua New Guinea. He an MBA from Victoria University and MSc in geology from Otago.