The Board

Ted O’Brien

Ted is Founder & Chairman of Generation Innovation.

He is a community leader, an experienced company director and brings over 20 years of blue chip commercial experience in Australia and across the Asia Pacific.

Ted is committed to the Sunshine Coast. He has a passion for innovation and entrepreneurship and a strong track record of community service.

He has a Master in Economics (London School of Economics); Master in International Business 1st Class Hons (University of Melbourne); Bachelor of Arts (University of Queensland); Asia Pacific Fellowship in Chinese Mandarin (National Taiwan Normal University) and he is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Nicole Allen

Nicole is Vice Chair of Generation Innovation.

Nicole is an Executive and Leadership Coach partnering with clients from local businesses right through to corporate and government executives in South East Queensland.  She works for Leading Well and recently trained as an Assessor for Coaching and Mentoring Accreditation with global industry body, EMCC (European Mentoring and Coaching Council).  Nicole’s background prior to working as a Coach included 20 years of experience across corporate, government and small business environments in Human Resources and Quality roles.

Growing up Nicole was heavily involved in Youth Groups on the Sunshine Coast, and Nicole continues this passion today in her desire to provide young people with the support and accountability they need to grow.

Nicole has undergraduate and postgraduate qualifications in Human Resource Management and Management (QUT) and is an accredited Practitioner coach with the EMCC (European Mentoring and Coaching Council).

Ross Hepworth

Ross is Treasurer of Generation Innovation.

He is a highly experienced leader in vocational and educational training, having lead TAFE’s Sunshine Coast and Wide Bay campuses for many years. Ross is CEO of Horizon2, a niche training provider in the Children’s services sector.

Ross is deeply engaged in the Sunshine Coast business and community sectors, having led and served various business associations and community organisations.

Ross is a fellow of the Australian Institute of Management, a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and holds qualifications in Accounting. 

Sophia O’Brien

Sophia is a Director of Generation Innovation.

She teaches law at the University of the Sunshine Coast. She is admitted to practice in the legal profession and brings experience as a litigation lawyer. Previously, she lived and worked in Beijing, where she studied Chinese language, law and politics at Peking University while also working at the North Asia desk of International Crisis Group.

Sophia holds a Bachelor of International Relations and a Bachelor of Laws with First Class Honours. She won the University Medal and was awarded the Commonwealth Government’s Prime Ministerʼs Endeavour Award.

Dean Alle

Dean is a Director of Generation Innovation.

Dr Dean Alle is the Entrepreneur in Residence at the University of the Sunshine Coast. Dean has a wealth of experience in entrepreneurship, startups and commercialisation of new technoligies. In addition to several tech related startups of his own, Dean has led major commercialisation projects with Australian Universities and Research Centres, spinoff and startup companies, and corporate organisations.

Dean lectures at Universities, conducts innovation workshops and has been the lead mentor at several startup weekends. Dean has a PhD in Atomic and Molecular Physics from the Australian National University and is a graduate of the University of QLD and Maroochydore State High School


Sharee McBlane

Sharee is a Director and the Company Secretary of Generation Innovation.

Sharee has over 20 years’ experience within large commercial entities, statutory authorities and small privately-owned businesses. She has worked across a range of industries including finance, disability, banking, tourism, property, utilities, health, education, and agribusiness. 

Sharee has a passion for implementing collaborative business improvements.  Achieved through understanding all functions and aspects of a business to maximise the link between business strategy and the achievement of operational outcomes, based on solutions that deliver efficiencies and improve the customer experience.  She has an analytical yet personable nature, combined with exceptional planning and organisational skills.

Sharee completed an MBA in 2015 specialising in management and international business.

Shane Cunningham

Shane is a Director of Generation Innovation.

Shane teaches on the Sunshine Coast and is passionate about developing a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship within the younger generation.

Prior to teaching, Shane spent twenty years working for and consulting to some of Australia’s largest and most complex commercial businesses on the strategic application of technology.  During this time he was involved in a number of start-up and high-growth businesses, leading and managing all aspects of business development.

Shane also served in the Royal Australian Air Force.  Over ten years he completed undergraduate, graduate and pilot qualifications; accumulated almost 2000 hours of military flying experience; and was exposed to the highest levels of strategic and operational planning whilst serving as the Aide-de-Camp to the Air Commander, Australia.

Shane has a Bachelor of Science from UNSW; a Graduate Diploma in Teaching; and is a graduate of the Australian Defence Force Academy, RAAF College and RAAF Pilots' Course.