About Us

Board and Management

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 is a qualified Chartered Accountant and 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 James David 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 Altona Mining and Pilbara Minerals Limited. His involvement in community organisations includes 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).



Michael Lloyd Verm

Michael Verm – Chief Operating Officer

Mr Verm was appointed Chief Operating Officer of Australis in February 2016 based in Houston, Texas. Mr Verm, who was previously the Chief Operating Officer of Aurora appointed in June 2011, continued in this role as President of Baytex Energy USA subsequent to the acquisition of Aurora by Baytex Energy in June 2014 until October 2015. Mr Verm has over 25 years’ experience within the oil and gas industry and has held a number of senior executive positions in North America and internationally. Mr Verm started his career at Kerr-McGee as an engineer and progressed to managing operations and reservoirs both on and offshore in the USA. This was then followed by senior positions in Canada and London culminating in being appointed asset manager for producing platforms in the North Sea. In 2003 Mr Verm was appointed the Vice President and Managing Director of Kerr-McGee China Petroleum. Prior to joining Aurora Mr Verm provided Texas-based expertise in operations and production management services to local and international companies, including establishing operating teams, asset acquisition and divestment as well as day to day operator capability.



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 Ian 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 Mari 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 Hollas – Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) Advisor

Mr Hollas was appointed as EHS Advisor at Australis in June 2017, following a contract period assisting Australis with due diligence during the Encana acquisition.  Prior to this, Mr Hollas served as the EHS Advisor for Aurora, and subsequently Baytex Energy, for assets in the Eagle Ford.  Mr Hollas holds a Master of Science degree in Environmental Science, and over the past 14 years has held leadership roles focused on environmental, safety and sustainability at international energy companies including Halliburton, National Oilwell Varco, and Schlumberger.