The PACE First Team

The Executive Group

Chief Executive Officer

Shaun Filer

Shaun has worked in the field of international risk management, disaster response, crisis & emergency management and close protection consulting for nearly 20 years. He has recent experience on high-profile cases, including during the Ukrainian, Syrian, Iraqi, Libyan, Afghan and Southern Philippines conflicts, Egyptian and Thai Civil Unrest and in the immediate aftermath of several natural disasters.

He holds post-graduate and undergraduate degrees in international relations, journalism and risk management, has a military and emergency medicine background, and is regularly deployed as a trusted advisor and emergency team leader during international crises. He is also completing a PhD focusing on environmental peace building and the linkages between climate science and conflict. He hopes to use risk management methodologies and probabilistic simulation models to identify real-time triggers, susceptibilities and protections to limit the destabilizing impacts of climate-catalyst conflicts.


Scott Briggs

Scott has more than 20 years’ experience in government, business and media. A lawyer by profession, Scott spent 10 years in the government sector working as an advisor before moving into private practice, first as a commercial lawyer at Herbert Smith Freehills, then in venture capital with Turnbull Pillemer Capital. Over the last decade, Scott has worked as a senior executive in broadcast media; both at the Nine Network and later at News Corp Australia.

Scott has served as a director on a number of boards and is an avid traveller, expanding on previous experiences to visit some of the world’s most under travelled destinations throughout Africa and the Middle East, including; Libya, Algeria, Somalia, Yemen, Iran, Iraq and Pakistan. Scott’s personal experiences and networks, together with his business knowledge enable him to assist clients to operate in complex, remote and hostile environments and to help identify and mitigate risks for staff.

Chief Financial Officer

Cormac Flannery

Cormac is a Chartered Accountant with over 15 years’ finance, commercial and corporate management experience. He has deep financial market and economics expertise and has worked in senior management and executive roles in several industries. This has recently included a role as Chief Financial Officer for a global crisis and emergency management company, where he was responsible for commercial feasibility, compliance and oversight for various high-risk projects in complex, remote and hostile environments.

Cormac has sat on multiple boards, advising on project feasibility, compliance, strategic tendering and product development. He has overseen the rapid growth and restructuring of various companies as well as being responsible for identifying commercial risks and imperatives for green-field projects in emerging and rarely capitalised markets – with recent focus in Africa and Asia.

Chief Operations Officer

Roman Quaedvlieg

Roman has 35 years of experience in national security, intelligence and law enforcement agencies, culminating in his role as the inaugural Australian Border Force Commissioner. Prior to his appointment as ABF Commissioner, Roman was the CEO of Australian Customs where he led the Federal government’s maritime strategy under Operation Sovereign Borders.

He is the former Chief of Police of Australia’s Capital Territory and the former A/Deputy Commissioner (Operations) of the Australian Federal Police. Roman’s operational roles have included all facets of policing and national security including uniform, detective, undercover, intelligence and tactical response functions. He is a recognised counter-terrorism specialist having chaired two sub-committees of the Australia and New Zealand Counter Terrorism Committee (Operational Response and CBRNe).

The Consultants

United States

Dr. Anthony Chiang

Anthony is an Emergency Medicine Physician with nearly two decades of experience working domestically and internationally in Level 1 Trauma and Burn Centers. His military service included serving as a General Medical Officer in the United States Navy, where he was also the ACLS Director for United States Naval Forces in Japan and Korea, where he was also involved with disaster response and mass-causality planning, preparations and training. Besides Emergency Medicine, Anthony also has expertise in Toxicology, the study and care of patients acutely poisoned, including adverse effects from biological warfare.

He conducted his training at a Level I Trauma Center at Lincoln Medical Center in the Bronx, New York (an affiliate of the Weill Cornell Medical College), and is currently an Emergency Room Attending at Santa Clara Valley Medical Center and Tri-City Medical Center in Oceanside, California.

United States & Australia

Elmer Lea

Elmer spent 20 years in the U.S. military with the 101st Airborne Division and prestigious Task Force 160th SOAR(A), before moving to support contingency operations for government clients the past 10 years. During his career, he has worked in Germany, Panama, Jordan, Thailand, Qatar, Kuwait, Uzbekistan, Afghanistan and Iraq – where he helped establish the first Iraqi officer training camps.

Elmer is highly experienced in crisis management, planning, project feasibility, operations and continuity. Among his numerous military qualifications he was a Jumpmaster, Pathfinder, Air Assault and SERE (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape). His knowledge in logistics, survival, weapons and anti-terrorism, and recent management and leadership experience as the Site Manager of Bagram Air Base and Senior Operations Manager at Forward Operating Base Salerno RC in Eastern Afghanistan, enables him to assist clients to operate in the most complex, remote, extreme and hostile environments and to help identify and mitigate risks to people and business operations.


​​​​​​Ken Studley

Ken has over 20 years’ Special Forces military service with Australia’s elite SAS Regiment and has operational experience in a range of theatres worldwide – including austere, remote and hostile environments. He is known for his concise communication, education and training expertise, specialist intelligence-led risk management and has consulted and trained large audiences using proven PACE techniques, practices and procedures.

As an accepted subject-matter expert in a variety of techniques used for special operations, Ken consults using proven risk management, personal protection, situational awareness and emergency response concepts. His participative and relaxed style of inclusive instruction, focus on realistic multi-faceted instructional scenarios, and insistence on life-saving concepts resonate with participants, and assists in retention of essential skills offered through Hostile Environment Awareness Training (HEAT).


Nigel Brennan

Nigel is a photojournalist, author and public speaker. For the past 10 years, he has worked as a consultant in extortion response, international risk management and crisis and emergency management. He is most recognised for surviving a fifteen-month hostage ordeal in Somalia in 2008-2009. This personal experience has enabled Nigel to consult, negotiate and mitigate risks for individuals and corporations operating in

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remote and hostile environments.

Since his kidnapping, Nigel has delivered hostile environment training to foreign correspondents, aid organizations and mining professionals. He has also advised on evasion and conduct after capture training for the Australian Defence Force (ADF), siege negotiations for the Australian Federal Police and state police forces. Nigel is an advocate for peer support networking and mental health awareness, in particularly post-traumatic stress disorder and empowering those dealing with trauma.


Peter Johnson

Peter is an award-winning director and producer who specialises in training and educational productions. Peter and his team have been responsible for developing innovative training resources in Security Management, Disaster Response, Crisis and Emergency Management and Hostile Environment Awareness Training (HEAT) for a wide range of sectors. He has recently supported the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto, Deloitte and the Public Safety Business Agency in the design and development of education and training materials.

His skills range from; business development and project management to directing, producing, non-linear editing on multiple platforms and advanced animation. He has been recognised numerous times with awards in the areas of innovation, business development, screenwriting, cinematography, directing, producing and editing. These recognitions include the Innovation Award at the 2015 Online Video Awards, and the Peoples’ Choice Award at the 2011 MTV one80 Project.

Taiwan & Hong Kong

​​​​​​Phil Smith

Phil is a journalist, editor, managing editor and general manager for Reuters with over 35 years experience. He was General Manager for South and North Asia and was responsible for the entire news output of Reuters News across text, television, pictures, online, national service, and business television.

Phil has deep financial market and economics expertise, has managed large teams across dozens of countries, and was responsible for risk assessment, management of staff and facilities and often covered stories during numerous disasters and conflicts in these regions. These have included the conflicts in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Philippines, Southern Thailand, the terrorist attacks in Mumbai, major civil unrest in Thailand and during the multi-crisis in Fukushima, Japan post-3/11 tsunami. Since retiring from Reuters News in 2014, he has taught geopolitics, economics and journalism at several universities across Asia and has continued to deliver hostile environments awareness training to working journalists.

United States

Rodrick Cannon

Rodrick has a distinguished 20-year career in military pre-hospital trauma life support, emergency medical services, disaster response and crisis & emergency management. His military service, “independent-duty” remote areas medicine, and training and development background has seen him work within several government Health and Human Services departments to improve medical capabilities and staff professional development programs at all organisational levels.

His career has taken him to a variety of locations globally, including some of the worlds’ least travelled and remote locations. He holds an undergraduate degree in political science, has numerous military accolades and awards and is completing a Nursing program with an emphasis in Emergency Medicine.

Indonesia & Australia

​​​​Scott Farren-Price

Scott has over 15 years’ international security, operational risk and crisis management expertise serving governmental and commercial organizations in more than 20 countries. In the Australian Army he served as a Commando with Special Operations Group in both counter-terrorism and conventional commands. After leaving the military, he lived and worked in some of the most high-threat areas of the world, including Iraq, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, southern Thailand and the southern Philippines – often supporting media organizations such as CNN, Fox News, Al-Jazeera, Newsweek and the Wall Street Journal.

Scott has also been a valued member of the Diplomatic Security Branch of the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT). He has supported governmental operations through risk assessment, threat analysis, training and protection of ambassadors and Ministers in Tehran, Beirut, Tripoli, Abuja, Nairobi, Addis Ababa, Baghdad, Cairo and other locations. His passion is training others, instilling knowledge and a culture of risk awareness within the workplace and in all facets of life.


​​​​Steven Dunn

Steve has over 11 years corporate experience at the director and board member for companies in Australia and Malaysia, and served in the Australian Defence Force and the elite SAS Regiment for over 18 years. He specialised in counter-terrorism training and tactics, and was one of the lead instructors tasked with developing the newly formed counter-terrorism unit, 4 RAR, based in Sydney. Upon leaving the ADF he conducted security escort roles for clients in Iraq and acted as Security Advisor for the Australian Government in Papua New Guinea.

In 2005, Steve was one of the founding directors of a global emergency management company that specialised in providing 24/7 medical and security assistance to one of Australia’s largest insurance company’s along with a range of crisis management and security services to resource, government and media clients. He is a subject matter expert in the fields of crisis management; security services, travel risk management and Hostile Environment Awareness Training.


Tim Curtis

Tim Curtis is a highly regarded change agent, thought leader and business generator in pre- frontier and frontier markets with over twenty years of leadership and management experience as an MBA qualified strategic planner and practitioner.

Mr. Curtis has a first class security pedigree born from military service as an officer in the Australian Special Air Service (SAS) Regiment. His military experience includes responsibility for the strategic design, development and management of several high profile national capabilities including the in-extremis response force for the Sydney Olympics (2000) and the raising of a national counter-terrorism force (2002). Tim was also selected as an adviser to the Government of Sierra Leone (2001), during a period of regional insecurity, and made a significant contribution to security along the Sierra Leone/ Liberian border.


Tony Hill

Tony is a news leader with more than 30 years’ experience as a managing editor, journalist, foreign correspondent and author, and as the manager of large Australian and international news teams. He played a key role in the launch and development, and led Australia’s number one television and digital news channel, ABC News 24 (now ABC News), with a weekly reach of 4 million viewers. This included managing the operations, coverage and broadcast and digital strategy for the channel.

Tony was the head of international news for Australia’s national broadcaster, the ABC, Australia’s largest international newsgathering operation with news teams and offices in 12 countries, and he oversaw award-winning coverage. He was responsible for the risk management and oversight of operations in war zones and during major natural disaster events. His work included development of security policies and guidelines, training programs, trauma awareness and support, as well as reviewing international operations.

As a foreign correspondent in Asia and the Middle East he reported from more than 20 countries on stories ranging from geopolitics in Indo China and the Middle East peace process, to events such as Tiananmen Square and the first Gulf War.

UAE / Iran

Yasmin Askari

Yasmin has nearly a decade of corporate experience in the field of Business Analysis for financial institutions and media organisations across Australasia and the Middle East. Her expertise includes requirement gathering, feasibility studies, GAP analysis, business and operational risk management, and end-to-end enterprise risk services for technology-based projects.

Yasmin’s education and expertise in business and IT ensures that client requirements are met through intelligence-led technology solutions. Yasmin is currently undertaking an MBA degree, travels extensively and splits her time between offices in the United Arab Emirates, Iran and Australia.

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