Meet the team behind Freelancer!
Matt Barrie is an award winning entrepreneur, technologist and lecturer, having won numerous awards including being named the inaugural BRW Entrepreneur of the Year in 2011. Matt was previously founder and CEO of Sensory Networks Inc., a vendor of high performance network security processors, which Intel Corporation (NASDAQ: INTC) announced in 2013 it was acquiring. Matt is also an Adjunct Associate Professor at the Department of Electrical and Information Engineering at the University of Sydney, where for the last 12 years he has taught Cryptography, and from 2010, Technology Entrepreneurship. He is the co-author of over 20 US patent applications.
Matt is a prolific speaker and has spoken at, or featured in; the Summit Series, the New York Times, Bloomberg TV, The Wall Street Journal, TechCrunch, The Atlantic, Switzer, BRW and The Economist. In 2012, he was selected out of a field of 600 presenters to be one of 21 featured speakers at South by Southwest in Austin, Texas (SXSW), which is one of the world‘s largest interactive, music, film and technology festivals.
In 2006, he was awarded the State Pearcey Award for contribution to the IT&T industry. In 2010, he was named Alumnus of the Year for the Faculty of Engineering and IT at the University of Sydney.
In 2011, SmartCompany named him in the 11 most influential Australians in IT. In 2011, he was named inaugural BRW Entrepreneur of the Year. He was also the winner of the technology category in the National Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year awards for 2011.
In 2012, he was named in the top 100 most influential engineers by Engineers Australia, and a 2012 Man of Influence by Men‘s Style Magazine. In this year he also completed the Executive Program at Singularity University. In 2013, he was named in the top 10 Australian entrepreneurs to watch in 2013 by SmartCompany, the Blackberry Young Technology Entrepreneur of the Year by News Limited, a Silver Stevie in the International Business Awards for Executive of the Year in Internet/New Media, and again in the top 100 most influential engineers by Engineers Australia.
Matt has first class honours degrees in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from the University of Sydney, a Masters in Applied Finance from Macquarie University, and a Masters in Electrical Engineering from Stanford, California. He is a graduate of the Stanford Executive Program at the Graduate School of Business. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Engineers Australia and Councillor of the Electrical and Information Engineering Foundation at the University of Sydney.
Matt is regularly invited to speak at the world‘s leading entrepreneurship, internet and business conferences/forums. He is also one of the worldwide Linkedin Influencers, along with Richard Branson, Barack Obama and Deepak Chopra, where he writes on the topics of entrepreneurship and technology.
For enquiries relating to speaking engagements, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Darren is Executive Director and Chief Technology Officer of Freelancer. In these roles, he is responsible for strategic leadership of the company‘s operating and technical direction.
Darren has experience in computer security, protocols, networking and software. Prior to joining Freelancer, Darren was a co-founder of Sensory Networks, a venture-backed network security hardware company, where he held the roles of Chief Technology Officer and subsequently Chief Executive Officer. Darren previously lectured in Computer Science at the University of Sydney in a variety of areas to postgraduates and undergraduates.
Darren has authored numerous articles, patents and papers relating to security technology, software and networking, and has spoken at a number of international conferences. Darren holds a first class honours degree in Computer Science and a Ph.D. in Computer Science specialising in computer networking from the University of Sydney.
Simon is a founding investor of Freelancer. Simon has more than 17 years experience in high growth technology businesses in both Australia and the United States. His technical expertise includes proficiency in multiple software development languages, computer security and vulnerability analysis, and he is co-author and inventor of a number of technology patents.
Focusing on consumer-centric software and Internet enabled technology he founded, and was CEO of WinGuides, which later became PC Tools. With Simon as CEO PC Tools grew to over $100 million dollars in revenue, more than 250 employees and offices in 7 countries. PC Tools was acquired by Symantec Corporation (NASDAQ:SYMC) in October 2008 in one of Australia‘s largest ever technology acquisitions at the time. Following the acquisition Simon became a Vice President at Symantec, before leaving in 2009 and founding Startive Ventures, a specialised technology venture fund. Today, Startive actively maintains investments in a number of successful global start-ups and Simon acts as a Director and advisor to companies around the world.
Neil Katz is the Chief Financial Officer at Freelancer and is responsible for the finance and administration functions of the Company. Since joining Freelancer in May 2009, Neil has been an integral part of the management team and has been involved in establishing the financial disciplines and internal controls of the Group.
Neil has over 20 years experience in finance, accounting and general management. Neil has held CFO roles at a number of technology companies, including IPscape, Threatmetrix, Sensory Networks and Aptrix. Neil has experience and been involved in numerous private equity and venture capital raisings, obtaining multiple government grants, corporate restructuring and trade sale activities. In particular, Neil was involved in the sale of Aptrix to IBM. In these previous roles, Neil has provided financial guidance to assist in the growth and international expansion of these businesses. Neil has also provided consulting services to a number of smaller technology start-up companies in areas of commercialisation strategies and capital raising.
Prior to his roles within the technology sector, Neilheld senior finance positions in distribution and retailsectors, including at Checkpoint Systems.
Neil holds a Bachelor of Commerce (Honours) degree in Financial Management obtained from the University of Cape Town, South Africa, and is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia.
Christopher Koch is Deputy Chief Financial Officer, with a focus on mergers and acquisitions, corporate strategy and investor engagement. He joined Freelancer in 2015.
Prior to Freelancer he spent nearly a decade in investment and merchant banking, with a focus on the internet and technology sectors, finishing as a Director at UBS Investment Bank. His experience is extensive in mergers and acquisitions, equity capital markets and equity syndication.
He worked on $35+ billion of transactions including listings on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) and the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), on matters across Australia, Hong Kong, mainland China, Tokyo, London, Europe and the United States.
Christopher completed his masters in finance at INSEAD (France and Singapore campuses), and read economics and law with first class honours at the University of Adelaide. He is a Fellow of the Financial Services Institute of Australasia, and a Graduate Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
Christopher's career started in government where he worked for His Excellency The Honourable Alexander Downer AC during the Howard Government.
David Harrison is the Vice President of Engineering at Freelancer, and has been responsible for leading the engineering team in its design and implementation of the web-scale features that have allowed Freelancer‘s websites to handle the growth in web traffic that has been experienced. David has also led the Company‘s adoption of cloud based technologies, realtime systems, and service oriented architectures. He is also a co-author of a patent application.
Previously, David was the Chief Technical Officer at 3rdSense, a company specialising in casual gaming and online gaming networks. Prior to that, David was a partner in an IT security consultancy business providing auditing and secured infrastructure services. David has spoken on technology issues and entrepreneurship and has spoken at various events including CeBIT Cloud 2013, the AllWorld Summit@Harvard, Chicago Techweek, the Global Entrepreneurship Summit in Dubai, Digital Jam 2.0 with the World Bank (Kingston, Jamaica) and at the Sydney Vivid Festival. David has previously presented on cloud technology at Amazon Web Services summits and featured in publications such as TechWorld, The Australian, the Australian Financial Review MIS and on Sky News. David has also guest lectured at the University of Sydney, the University of Melbourne and Macquarie University on topics including software engineering, scalable infrastructure and IT management.
David holds a Bachelor of Computer Science and Technology from the University of Sydney.
Willix Halim is the Vice President of Growth at Freelancer and manages the growth team, which is responsible for the strategy, product management, data science and analytics functions of the company. Willix manages a technical and multi-disciplinary team consisting of data scientists, engineers, mathematicians, statisticians, physicists and product managers.
Willix conducts speaking engagements internationally and has recently spoken at or featured in AdTech Marketing, SparxUp, Techinasia, e27, Echelon Ignite, Tempo. co, Bloomberg Indonesia, Media Indonesia, Kompas and DailySocial. Willix also lectures at universities on topics such as growth, strategy, data warehousing and analytics.
Previously, Willix was a lead engineer at Honeywell Inc., a global provider of automation and control solutions. Prior to that, Willix was a commercialisation product manager at the CSIRO.
Willix grew up in Indonesia and graduated as valedictorian with first class honours degrees in Mechatronics Engineering and Computer Science from the University of Melbourne. Willix recently completed the Stanford Executive Program For Growing Companies at the Stanford Graduate School of Business.
Greg Robinson is the Vice President of Compliance at Freelancer. Greg oversees the overall compliance environment within the Company. In this role, Greg is responsible for the development and maintenance of the governance and compliance risk programs to support the business.
Before joining Freelancer, Greg worked for PayPal Australia as Head of Compliance Programs and was part of the initial executive team which launched PayPal into the Australian market in 2005. Greg worked for Colonial First State Investments Limited from 1998 to 2004, as Head of Compliance with responsibility for implementation and management of the compliance governance framework. Prior to that, Greg held senior positions with Perpetual Limited for more than 13 years.
Greg has relevant experience working as a compliance professional and has spent a large part of the past 10 years focusing on governance and compliance issues in the online environment. Greg is a Senior Associate of the Financial Services Institute of Australasia and an Associate of the Australasian Compliance Institute.
Matt O'Kane is responsible for formulating and executing the plans of the product and technical teams of Freelancer.com and its related websites. Also, Matt is responsible for company-wide budgeting and process improvement.
Matt has worked in high-growth online businesses since 1999, building twin specialities in online product management and software development. He has specialised in large online business websites and apps (from 100,000 users per month to over 12M) for most of that time. In particular, Matt has held key leadership roles at Expedia (Asia Pacific), and Fairfax Media (Australia), including as the Product Manager for the highly successful Stayz.com.au.
In study, Matt achieved the highest score in Computer Studies in NSW in high school, and was offered a $40,000 Co-op Scholarship to attend the University of New South Wales studying a Bachelor of Science (Business Information Technology), where he graduated with first class honours. He completed his Masters of Business Administration at the Australian Graduate School of Management.
Matt also has a strong background in community service, having formerly lead CanTeen NSW (The Australian Teenage Cancer Patients Society) and served for ten years as a specialist consultant to Vision Australia working with assisting blind and visually impaired children and teenagers. Matt's passionate about disability advocacy, as well as involvement in breakthrough medical research, now actively working with the Save Sight Institute - a leading eye disease research unit in Sydney. Matt has also been nominated twice for Young Australian of the Year in the "community service" and "career achievement" categories.
He is a regular guest speaker at Sydney University's School of Medicine in topics related to disability advocacy.
Adam Byrnes is responsible for expanding Freelancer across the world, particularly into markets that are dominated by non-english native speakers, such as Asia and Latin-America. He leads teams in public relations, content, marketing and translation, and has been responsible for launching Freelancer‘s websites internationally, including 40 dedicated regional sites and 31 languages.
Prior to joining Freelancer, Adam worked as a physics researcher at the University of Sydney in the field of photonics. During this time, he co-authored a number of academic papers in major physics journals and presented his work at the CLEO conference in California. Adam has also worked in information technology for Macquarie Group and Aalborg Industries.
Adam holds a first-class honours degree in Electrical Engineering and Advanced Physics from the University of Sydney, and studied abroad at the University of California, Santa Barbara.
Alaister Low is the Senior Director of Warrior Forum and Warrior Payments. He is a marketing professional with experience in online relationship marketing, customer service and sales. He is responsible for managing the operations and overall strategy of Warrior Forum and Warrior Payments.
Prior to this, Alaister was the Director of Customer Experience at Freelancer.com where he was responsible for the entire customer experience team, working on processes to improve the overall online customer support process and experience of the users.
Previously, Alaister held the position of Online Marketing Manager at Freelancer.com for 2 and a half years, heading the company's online marketing efforts. During his time, the company hit many milestones where he played a crucial role, including growth to 4 million global users from under 500,000 and growing the site to within the top 300 trafficked websites worldwide according to Alexa.
Alaister is a well known thought leader and speaker in the field of Internet marketing, and has presented at conferences for many different industries, as well as published a number of e-books in the field. Earlier in his career Alaister consulted to businesses to help with their customer acquisition, growth strategies and online marketing.
He has also worked in sales positions selling advertising to some of the largest consumer retailers in Australia.
Joe Griston is the Director of People and Talent at Freelancer. He is responsible for attracting expertise into the organisation whilst establishing a culture that ensures both Freelancer and its employees thrive and prosper.
After starting his career as part of the first programming team for BAA in the United Kingdom, Joe then assisted in establishing Centre4 Testing, one of the world‘s premier software testing organisations providing specialist quality assurance resources and consultancy services into the UK and European markets. After enjoying 8 successful years in London he moved to Australia in early 2010 and has since been concentrating on delivering talent solutions across the Australian and Asia-Pacific market.
Joe holds a degree in Computer Science from Liverpool John Moores University.
Sebastián Siseles is responsible for creating, communicating, maintaining, and aligning the company's international expansion strategy for long-term, profitable growth, leading the team of regional directors and country managers worldwide. Sebastián is also directly involved and responsible for international launches, establishing and consolidating Freelancer's presence and growth in both developed and emerging markets, with special focus in managing company's operations across Latin America and Southern Europe. An Argentine entrepreneur with an MBA from the University of Pittsburgh, Sebastián has a background in law specialising in corporate finance and M&A and has taken post-graduate courses at the Buenos Aires Stock Exchange and the Southwestern University School of Law on International Business Transactions.
Prior to joining Freelancer, Sebastián cofounded multiple Internet and communications companies and has also served as President, Director, General Counsel, and COO in different Internet and non-technology companies, while being part of a prestigious corporate law firm in Argentina.
Nik Badminton is the Regional Director for North America at Freelancer.com. He is leading the charge of expanding Freelancer across Canada and the USA and is based in Vancouver, BC.
He has over 18 years of experience operating in the digital world and has lead transformational capabilities in world-leading companies, ad agencies, consulting organizations and start ups. He has been the trusted advisor to C-level executives across government, telco, high-tech, air transport, travel, pharmaceuticals, gaming, and utilities industries on transformation.
He is also a notable speaker on the future of work and disruptive technology at universities and at conferences across North America, including SXSW, ICSC, Marketing Magazine, Deloitte, and BCAMA. He also writes for The Huffington Post and curates events related to tech, culture and humanity.
Nik holds a degree in Applied Psychology and Computing from Bournemouth University and specialized in social network theory, linguistics, artificial intelligence and organizational psychology.
Evan Tan leads a team of PR and communications professionals spread across Asia, which ensure that Freelancer is the top-of-mind online outsourcing and crowdsourcing marketplace in the region. Evan and his team‘s duties involve partnering with local media and stakeholders who are aligned with Freelancer‘s aim to provide time- and cost-efficient outsourcing and crowdsourcing opportunities for small businesses in Asia.
A Mass Communications Major in Advertising, Evan graduated from the Lyceum of the Philippines University and has trained under the veteran communication experts at McCann-Erickson, Philippines. He has also worked for the Philippines‘ oldest existing English newspaper, The Manila Times. During his stint with multi-awarded marketing communications agency GeiserMaclang, he won clients numerous citations from the Philippine Quill Awards and the Philippine Anvil Awards.
Evan was also part of the team which launched A Liter of Light, a grassroots solar lighting campaign by non-profit organization MyShelter Foundation, which aims to provide economically- and ecologically-sustainable lighting for underprivileged families‘ homes. This globally-recognized project is currently being adopted in numerous countries such as Bangladesh, Gambia, and Peru.