Paul Whybrow

Paul Whybrow is the Chair of SMPTE Australia, New Zealand, and South Pacific Islands, and is the MD at Varda Creative Leadership. Leading a board of 16 passionate technology professionals from across the region, he is involved in supporting initiatives that deliver value to both SMPTE members and the broader industry community. 

A central focus of Paul's role at the moment is preparing for the brand-new show, SMPTE METexpo in March 2024. This ambitious undertaking involves creating a new event and conference that aligns with the ever-evolving tech landscape of streaming, broadcast, audio, production, and movies.“a busy and fun task!”.

Being a SMPTE member, and now the Chair, is important to Paul as it has allowed him to be involved in an industry that has excited him for well over 30 years of his career. Helping steer various initiatives which empower members in their roles and enhance their skills brings immense satisfaction to him. Paul also notes the tremendous significance SMPTE has had as an industry body saying, “The SMPTE standards have been going for over a 100 years and the need for a member driven approach to design the standards that underpin so much of the industry is as relevant today as it was over a 100 years ago.”

Throughout his career, Paul has had the privilege of engaging in a diverse range of experiences. From his early days at the BBC to launching internet video with Fairfax Media or pioneering interactive red button TV, each endeavour has been nothing short of incredible. Among the many memorable moments, one that stands out is leading a team to create an award-winning multimedia feature on the post-Tsunami situation on a remote Indonesian island. This project showcased the potential of digital news services in delivering emotionally powerful and interactive journalism.

Paul's career advice is straightforward but powerful: “Keep striving to expand your experience whenever you can and if you get an opportunity to stretch yourself creatively then take it – chances are you will love the challenge and get a career bump too!”

Beyond his professional pursuits, Paul nurtures two overriding passions: chocolate and travel. An unapologetic chocolate lover, he can't resist indulging at any time of day! Equally, he is an avid traveller noting "I love to travel. The ability to meet new people, see new things and immerse yourself in a different world is magical." 

Paul Maroni
Secretary & Treasurer and Director ANZSPI

Paul Maroni is Business Development Manager - APAC at EVS Broadcast

Paul’s job is to develop and implement sales and marketing strategies to increase EVS's presence in the APAC region for their Media Infrastructure product portfolio. This includes channel development and management.

Paul sees SMPTE as the industry's constant during his lengthy Broadcast career. He remembers it originally as the ‘SMPTE show’ which showcased technologies and products every 2 years. Soon it became the biannual social event for the broadcast industry and a one-stop shop for everything that was new in Broadcast.

As time progressed, Paul quickly learned that SMPTE was more than a show, that it was a community (association) of like minded individuals who were passionate about the industry, who had been brought together to create standards for interoperability and consistency. As well as educating the market and keeping members informed on the latest technology and workflows.

Paul believes that the key to a successful career is to enjoy and be passionate about what you do! For those who are starting to establish themselves in the industry, he suggests learning as much as you can to expand your knowledge base. He says “With those two things, opportunities will knock down your door.

When Paul's not working he loves to dine on “anything that is not alive and bacteria free!”, though he’ll happily kick back and relax with a red wine or a Tequila and beer in summer, especially if its with his true passion, his family and friends.

Michael Day
Governor, APAC & Director ANZSPI

Michael Day is Product Manager for Professional Media at Telstra

In this role, Michael is entrusted with overseeing a wide range of media-centric products and services, encompassing both domestic and international networking, as well as managed and professional services.

For Michael, SMPTE represents not just an organisation, but a vital part of his journey in the industry. He joined SMPTE right after graduation, recognising its role in expanding his industry knowledge and providing a platform to grow his professional network. In 2007, Michael's dedication and passion for the industry led him to take on the role of Secretary/Treasurer for the Australia, New Zealand, and Southern Pacific Islands Section of SMPTE. Since then, he has remained a dynamic and integral part of the Section, engaging actively in all its facets, including the planning and execution of the bi-annual SMPTE Sydney Conference and Expo, which has evolved into the new show SMPTE METexpo.

Throughout his career, Michael has worked on many exhilarating and high-impact projects, including contributing to impressively large, televised events like the Olympics to being a driving force behind major infrastructure projects for media delivery, such as the Foxtel digistation. His career has been marked by many significant moments that have left a lasting imprint.

Michael’s advice to those seeking to build a successful career in this field is to always be ready to embrace the new and evolving technologies. In the media industry, technology serves as the driving force for engaging consumers and fostering innovative business models - from the printing press to online streaming there is always something new” and being open to progress is essential for professional growth and advancement.

Outside the professional arena, Michael loves Japanese food and pair this with his appreciation of a glass of fine red and it becomes a perfect blend of taste and sophistication! Not surprisingly, and in keeping with the theme of innovation and technology, Michael has a love of electric-powered vehicles, an interest which aligns perfectly with his commitment to embracing innovation and cutting-edge solutions.

Shane Ormsby
Board Manager, New Zealand

Shane is a Broadcast Specialist, with a career in the New Zealand television industry spanning 4 decades.

He is the Technical Sales Manager (NZ) at Magna Systems and Engineering (NZ), looking after solution sales for Magna NZ.

Shane feels SMPTE has been an important part of his broadcast career since starting in the industry during the mid 80s. He feels “it has always been a trusted source of knowledge, learning and technical expertise”. Eventually Shane went on to join the SMPTE Board and says his motives were to “help promote SMPTE to young Kiwi broadcasters, and find ways to ensure they can benefit from SMPTE in the same way I did.

Shane’s career has had many (and wide ranging) moments that he values. Most of these moments have been associated with developing, and being involved in, interesting broadcast solutions. But what seems to come back to him however, is that yes, “technology is cool, but understanding and helping people is what's most rewarding”.

Shane’s suggestions to those who are just starting to build their careers is to “Step up and take risks. Follow you passion and have faith in your own ability to make things happen.”

Outside of work Shane loves good scifi! He is fascinated by the conversations that are born out of the ideas and concepts that are investigated in good scifi. He feels “it's all about exploring ideas.

Trupti Patel
Board Manager

Trupti Patel is Head of Program Management at Telstra Broadcast Services.

Running the TBS Program Management Office (PMO) she provides governance and structure for the projects, overseeing a team of Project/Program managers and Business analysts, who successfully deliver complex projects for major global broadcast customers and internal projects. Trupti manages the operational excellence program in TBS, recommending best practices to be used to achieve efficiencies in delivery and how they operate.

Trupti believes SMPTE is an important organisation that has a long standing commitment to standards and education, and this has been her main attraction to this organisation. Having seen her own children go through the schooling system in Australia, she believes SMPTE has an opportunity to engage with young minds via sessions within highschools and universities in the future.

Having many high points throughout her career, Trupti feels “relocating TBS from their old Martin Place facility to Pitt St as part of the acquisition" was up there, but "my highlight was the way all the teams collaborated, took accountability and migrated all the services without a single on air outage."  Though delivering complex projects is what drives Trupti professionally, it is the people and the teams she’s worked with that she values most, noting “working with some amazing talents and to make lifelong friends is what I cherish the most.”

Trupti’s advice to those starting out is to -

"Always have the mindset to ask questions if you don’t understand. 

Always be curious to learn something new everyday 

And aim to overcome your fear - It takes years to achieve this and comes with practice and experience. I always encourage people and especially my kids - If you don't ask, you won't get.”

Outside of work, Trupti loves finding great Indian street food “being vegetarian, I love Indian food for its spices and variety. I am a bit of a foodie - and am willing to try anything new - as long as it is vegetarian or eggs (is ok). So for anyone that is a game, and would like to try some spicy food and especially Indian - DM, me and i will tell you some of the best foods to try!”

Reza Mazhari
Board Manager

Reza Mazhari is a Senior Broadcast Architect at Tabcorp Sky Racing.

His role as Senior Broadcast Architect at Tabcorp Sky Racing is to research, identify, design and implement broadcast and IT systems that will reduce the operational costs, improve QoS and/or operational workflows. Not to mention, responding to the BAU to maintain the station and the services running on all platforms.

Reza believes SMPTE is an important organisation because it is at the forefront of technological advancements in the media industry. Because the organisation develops standards for emerging technologies like high dynamic range (HDR), immersive audio, 8K resolution, and more he sees these standards as providing a common framework for innovation, enabling content creators to push the boundaries of storytelling and visual/audio experiences.

“SMPTE serves as a hub for industry professionals to exchange knowledge, ideas, and expertise. Conferences, workshops, and publications by SMPTE facilitate learning and collaboration among engineers, filmmakers, researchers, and other stakeholders.”

As an Architect Reza feels the most enjoyable moment happens when you finally get to see your design idea live in operation! It is hard for him to pick a specific moment as this feeling of joy and this exciting moment follows every project that he’s ever delivered!

Reza believes the key to being a successful Architect in a highly innovative industry like Broadcast, is to constantly build knowledge by keeping yourself abreast of new trends, reading, paying attention to industry experts and more reading.

Outside of work, Reza’s passion is nature. Exploring scenic views brings Reza a sense of tranquillity and adventure!

Andrew Martin
Board Manager, New Zealand

Andrew Martin is Event Operation Manager at Television New Zealand. In his role, he manages operational and technical logistics for sports and special events for Television New Zealand.

Andrew values SMPTE and says it “represents opportunity and collaboration, as well as education and growth.” SMPTE is an important organisation to Andrew because it “brings our industry together”.

One of the most rewarding achievements of Andrew’s career was being part of the launch team of an OTT sports startup. Moving at pace from concept to operational testing, to launch was exciting. Andrew enjoyed how it was a market changing initiative with the opportunity to wear many hats and make substantial contributions to the whole company.

Andrew believes that being reliable, trustworthy and being involved will set you up for success when building your career. Above all he says “love what you’re doing. If you have a passion and an interest the opportunities will come.

Outside of work Andrew loves to ride his 50cc scooter. He says "I plan on being 70 years old cruising in the city on my Yamaha!"

Paul Suters
Board Manager

Paul Suters is the Managing Director at Champas Professional Services.

Paul’s role has him overseeing the management of professional services across a range of divisions, specifically the consulting services provided to media services including technical design, strategic planning, workflow management, documentation and Project/Programme Management.

SMPTE has been an important organisation during Paul's career, noting it as integral “in providing a common community of like-minded specialists within this ‘small’ industry”. Paul says SMPTE “has allowed me to maintain my links to colleagues, collaborators and friends from my first days in the industry.”  Paul also believes SMPTE to be a particularly significant industry body as it “has always been an international leader in the development of standards and in driving conformance in an increasingly rapidly changing environment.”

Paul’s career has had many highlights, but two that he feels really stand out relate to the design, building and creation of new broadcast facilities. Both cases involved detailed technical planning, operational and workflow planning, and project management and vendor management to produce world leading facilities.

For those who are starting to build their careers, Paul suggests to “Always learn from the people that have gone before you, and who are at the peaks of their profession. Although you may feel they have passed their prime, these experts carry organisational and personnel management techniques, excellence in thought processes and logic and political nous that, if you can gather and harness those skills will stand you in great stead as you progress in your career.”

When Paul isn’t wearing his work cap, he instead loves 4WDing and landscape photography. He feels it's important to be able to de-stress, noting “These are activities that take me completely away from the stresses and busyness of my daily work in an industry that is 24/7. They are my release mechanisms.”

Tony Moran
Board Manager

Tony Moran is Regional Sales Director at Grass Valley 

He leads the sales activity and account management in Australia and New Zealand.

Tony says “SMPTE plays an important role in our industry. There is no other organisation that combines the skills, knowledge and experience, and makes it available to all for the good of the industry.” 

His most enjoyable career moment was the time an ABC exec visited the R&D facility in the UK and personally thanked the engineers for all their efforts in developing an emergency radio distribution system. He says “It’s not often that engineers get thanks for anything, especially not directly from the client. I could see how proud they were to have contributed to this project and how grateful they were for the recognition.”  Tony feels this particular project was not just about the media, but more so that the technology they developed has potentially had a much larger and more powerful impact, probably saving lives during bushfires and other natural disasters. 

For those who are starting out in the field, Tony suggests embracing the changes that are constant in our industry. He also says if you can imagine better ways of working, be proactive and find ways to make them happen. Tony also notes a key tip to success is to "network , network , network!"

Tony’s passion outside of work is his 4 kids! But when he’s not ferrying them around to all their sporting events, Tony loves to get away from screens and go bushwalking. “I find a few hours in the bush with no phones and no email is a great way to reset and recharge.”

Sarah Merrick
Board Manager

Sarah Merrick is Head of Business Management Technology at Special Broadcasting Service - SBS 

Her current role at SBS, sees her having full fiscal responsibility for SBS’ Technology, Transmission and Property and Workplace Services. This includes overseeing capital projects, managing the contractual arrangements and vendor relationships, and advising on a number of steering committees and advisory boards across the business. 

As a female working in the Media and Technology sector, Sarah acknowledges the importance of championing any vehicle which provides her colleagues opportunities to collaborate, connect and  drive innovation. Sarah feels SMPTE is a particularly important industry body in the media technology space as it ultimately helps to drive the industry’s overall growth and evolution. “It’s an exciting time in the industry so it’s important to stay abreast of developments and to stay connected with my peers.”

One of the standout moments in Sarah's career has been her experience working with the esteemed institutions, Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) and NASA in the United States. Her journey took her to the heart of space exploration, allowing her to tour their sites in Pasadena, Washington, and Goldstone, situated in the vast Mojave Desert. “It was an amazing learning experience enabling me to create greater relationships and understandings between organisations. I also got to see some amazing things, including the labs where the Mars Space Lab was built!”

Sarah's most important tip for those building their career, is to “be open to experiences even if they are out of your comfort zone.” Sarah has taken many big risks throughout her career like moving to different states for work opportunities, and though some paid off and others didn’t, she has always viewed each new challenge as a valuable learning experience. Sarah also notes to Also, be curious. Never be afraid to ask questions; if you don’t ask you will never know".

Sarah notes almost all her favourite passions outside of work involve food, saying I love to potter around and experiment in the kitchen, cooking and creating!”. She is equally as passionate about exploring great food experiences, heading out to dine at top-notch restaurants when the opportunity arises. With an extensive gin collection, boasting 45 varieties and counting, Sarah is also quite the gin connoisseur, often being asked to do professional gin tastings!

To counter all of the above, Sarah regularly enjoys exercise and getting outside - running, walking the dog and hiking in nature when time allows.

Jamie Drew
Board Manager

Jamie Drew is a Application Solutions Architect at the ABC.

Jamie is passionate about leveraging technology to expand and streamline content production and distribution capabilities across the ABC network. 

His commitment to innovation is exemplified by his involvement with the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE), noting “SMPTE is the premier organisation for Media Engineers and Professionals, and I wanted to be involved in the society and be part of the community and help support and provide input from my perspective and skills base.”

One of Jamie's most memorable career moments was pioneering the first file-based integration between live production and post-production in Australia back in 2006. Witnessing the transformation from a chaotic workflow to a streamlined process was immensely gratifying for Jamie, as it allowed the production team to focus on storytelling rather than logistical challenges I was proud to be a part of bringing new technology and methods into this production environment.”

When it comes to building a successful career, Jamie emphasises the importance of finding one's passion and pursuing it wholeheartedly. For him, the key to success lies in aligning personal interests with professional endeavours, this way, hard work and dedication feel effortless.

Outside of his work in the broadcast industry, Jamie's passion lies in cycling. Prior to his career in media technology, he enjoyed a successful stint as a professional cyclist, competing in prestigious races around the world. His achievements include winning the Melbourne to Warrnambool Classics twice, clinching the Australian Road Championship in 2000, and emerging victorious in the Amateur Tour of Spain in 1995. Jamie's competitive spirit and drive for excellence extend beyond the workplace, reflecting his unwavering commitment to excellence in all aspects of life.

Doxia Brownlow
Board Manager

Doxia Brownlow is currently serving as the Head of Broadcast Services at Sky Racing Australia, contributing to the esteemed media team at Tabcorp. In this role, Doxia takes charge of Broadcast & Studio Operations, along with overseeing Queensland Outside Broadcast.

Doxia places immense value on the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE), recognising its pivotal role in setting industry standards, promoting professional excellence, and fostering innovation within the dynamic landscape of media and entertainment. Doxia feels most importantly “SMPTE provides a platform for knowledge sharing, networking, and professional development.”

When reflecting on her most enjoyable moment of her career, Doxia recounts a defining moment at the age of 17 when she courageously applied for a Production Assistant position in the broadcast industry. Despite it specifying in the advertisement that only males need apply, Doxia challenged this and secured an interview, and ultimately landed the role. The experience of breaking through barriers and defying stereotypes has left an indelible mark on her career, serving as a “constant reminder that with perseverance and a willingness to take risks, I can overcome any challenge and achieve any goals”

Doxia's philosophy centres on consistently exceeding role expectations and embracing every opportunity for growth. Drawing from personal experience, she emphasises the importance of saying "YES" to tasks that come your way, viewing them as chances to shine and showcase your capabilities. She also feels it important to remember that “no task is beneath you, and contributing to even the smallest responsibilities demonstrates your commitment to the team's success… I still fill the biscuit jars!” Beyond the workplace, Doxia advocates for continuous learning, encouraging individuals to volunteer their time for skill acquisition during their off-hours.

When not immersed in the world of broadcast and media, Doxia dedicates her time to her family, which includes two teenage boys and two energetic Jack Russell terriers. She treasures a leisurely Sunday Yum-Cha with her family and to unwind at the end of the week, indulges in a well-deserved gin & tonic on a Friday night!

Richard Visser
Board Manager

Richard Visser is an Industry Sales Executive at Telstra Broadcast Services, looking after the Account Management of major broadcasters in the Australian Market.

Personally for Richard, SMPTE is an important organisation which helps him keep abreast of Industry trends and Standards. He also feels SMPTE is an important educational facilitator for current and up and coming industry professionals.

Richard’s most enjoyable career moment was delivering both the national Australian Broadcasters (the ABC and SBS) a new DAB+ services nationally around Australia.

His advice to those who are starting out in the broadcast industry is to keep up to date with best practice and market forces, noting ”The ever changing content delivery technology keeps us on our toes. So staying educated and aware of Industry trends and standards is key.”

Zali Million
Board Manager

Based in Brisbane 

Glen Humphries
Board Manager

Based in Sydney