Introducing Unearthed Accelerator Program Director Kathy Bunce

Hannah Frankish News, Partners, Press, Unearthed News





Kathy Bunce

Accelerator Program Director



  • Accelerator Program Director at Unearthed
  • General Manager People, Innovation and Information at Iluka Resources
  • General Manager HR at Iluka Resources
  • General Management Program graduate from Harvard Business School


Kathy is a resources industry veteran. Before joining Unearthed, she was General Manager People, Innovation & Information at Iluka Resources, a leading international mineral sands mining company.

While at Iluka, Kathy was involved with developing a culture and practices to build capability and capacity, drive safe and proactive production, diversity and innovation to ultimately deliver Iluka’s strategy.

Her role was to find ways for people and technology to improve, grow and transform Iluka, the mineral sands industry and the resource sector. She is passionate about developing people to achieve their full potential.


Kathy is also a passionate supporter of creating opportunity for young people, and has brought a youth coding hackathon – We Connect The Dots (WCTD) to Australia.

The WCTD program supports digital literacy amongst high school students and drives the importance of science, technology, engineering, arts and math to match the demands of industry.


Kathy, what motivated you to get involved in the Unearthed Accelerator Program?

I was firstly attracted to the Unearthed team who, led by Justin and Zane, truly work to a set of values underpinned by a passion to grow an ecosystem that connects entrepreneurs with industry to match problems and solutions, build sustainable leadership and drive commercial value.  

The credibility of Unearthed as an entrepreneurial start-up with industry experience helping other start-ups connect to industry is inspiring.  The Accelerator Program is where the ecosystem collides collaboratively producing the energy and ideas to drive change and disruption not yet imagined.  I believe in people and their ability to adapt, I have great respect for the resources industry and the power of technology and I wanted to bring my energy and contribute to the limitless possibilities that will result from the collaboration.

How do you think that the Unearthed Accelerator is uniquely positioned to help entrepreneurs, innovators and the resources industry?

With depleting resources,  continued flat or declining demand and ongoing margin pressure the resources industry needs a faster digital revolution underpinned by agile enterprising skills.  We need to move past rehashing the same conversations and just do it.  The program is an exciting vehicle for industry to spend time working on their business to protect, refine or completely shift its competitive advantage.  By making themselves more permeable to see disruption, to learn from those with agile and enterprising skills and ultimately solve problems or leverage their untapped information assets they have the potential to create more unrealised value.  

For entrepreneurs and innovators it is an opportunity to also work on their business with supporting infrastructure, gain access to real industry problems, sharpen leadership skills that will help them build a sustainable business to find unimaginable solutions for industry partners ready for change.  

The Program will also create ripple effects on satellite stakeholders that support the program.

Which accelerator program goals do you hope to see realised by the end of 2017?

The  goal is to have two fully funded programs in Perth and Brisbane that support twenty innovators in 2017.  

The real value is in the tangible outcomes of the program, which for me are:  a permeable industry sharing real problems and investing in disruption to see and apply the change; government support and actions that create a commercial environment for competitive disruption; and a group of entrepreneurs with strong leadership skills who build products that solve real problems for industry.  

The momentum from these outcomes will create a self perpetuating ecosystem that will drive economic and social benefits for the entrepreneurs, industry, Australia and over time other international locations.


For more information about the program, visit our Accelerator page.