The Australian Executive Women's Leadership SymposiumThe Australian Executive Women's Leadership SymposiumThe 2015 Australian Women's Leadership Symposium

Australia’s premier annual event for women in leadership

The 2015 Australian Women's Leadership Symposium is the most highly attended women's leadership event in the country, providing an unparalleled opportunity to explore leadership, life and career development.

The Australian Executive Women's Leadership Symposium

Every year hundreds of women from all sectors and industries are exposed to state-of-the-art strategy and advice delivered by Australia's most inspirational trainers, academics and business leaders. Drawing on the experience of many of Australia's highest profile women, the Symposium explores leadership from a local, national and international perspective.

The unrivalled quality of the event reflects its deep roots within the heart of the Australian community. Through powerful connections to all areas of Australian life, the Symposium maintains an enviable position at the forefront of the wider women and leadership debate.

Embraced by leading organisations throughout the country, the event has become a powerful hub for business development and networking. Each year, attendees representing a wide variety of organisations use their participation to tap into a wealth of new ideas and create powerful business alliances.

For individuals, the Symposium represents a unique opportunity to reflect on one's own leadership aspirations and build meaningful life-long connections. Now in its eleventh year, the Symposium continues to enable female leaders at all levels to leverage their individual strengths and realise greater life and career fulfilment.

The 2015 Australian Women's Leadership Symposium will feature inspirational stories from an exceptional line up of Australia's most influential and successful leaders.

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Addressing issues of leadership and career, the Symposium offers an important opportunity to stay abreast of current Australian and international leadership trends. Engaging subject matter is designed to enhance the leadership capacity of participants, offering an opportunity for a broad range of women to share their experiences and learn from their peers. Informative case studies and keynote addresses enhance the experience, exploring key issues pertaining to the on-going development of Australia’s female leaders.

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Drawing participants from every state and territory, the Symposium offers an unsurpassed opportunity to extend your networks far beyond your local community and develop lasting relationships with like-minded women. Effectively leveraging the bountiful networking opportunities can be daunting, so the event is geared to provide engaging ways to meet other women, including colour-coded nametags, business card swaps, seating movements, group activities and structured networking sessions. In addition to providing an unparalleled opportunity for women to make new connections, the Symposium provides practical advice for building your personal brand.

…and be inspired

Every year over 70 inspirational speakers offer their experience and knowledge to a whole new generation of female leaders. Hundreds of women from every corner of the nation participate annually in the symposium events ensuring that the national program remains Australia’s largest and most prestigious gathering of female leaders.

The program attracts both current and aspiring female leaders from a broad cross section of industries and sectors.

If you would like to sponsor the 2015 Australian Women’s Leadership Symposium, contact Brian Rault on brault@wla.edu.au to receive a sponsorship prospectus.

The Symposium series brings together over 1,000 senior-level, women executives from throughout Australia drawing inspiration and ideas from other leaders through exposure to state-of-the-art leadership thinking.

Sponsors of the 2015 symposium series will have the opportunity to interact and network with key decision makers from a large number of organisations whose influence informs their companies on the selection of products, advice, services and systems to address the issues and challenges they are currently facing.

Our tailored sponsorship packages are designed to ensure maximum ROI – all sponsorship packages include a comprehensive level of Branding, Visibility, and Public Relations.

Improve brand exposure and awareness with a targeted C-Level audience through inclusion of your logo in pre-conference promotions including:

  • E-marketing: regular, targeted email blasts promoting the conference, including program updates, key dates and featured speakers to over 100,000 executive level decision makers nationwide.
  • Websites: the conference website which will be regularly updated with the latest program and sponsorship information.
  • Network, build brand recognition and credibility. Build rapport and generate new business with senior professionals at the Symposium and networking events.
  • Showcase products, strategies and services. The conference provides an ideal opportunity to show high level decision makers the products, strategies and services that you provide.
  • Gain new contacts. Gain access to the conference delegate list and build relationships during conference networking opportunities and branding platforms.

The 2015 Australian Women’s Leadership Symposium will be held from May to July in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide, Canberra and Darwin.

Symposium speakers are thought leaders in their respective fields. They represent individuals who have successfully navigated difficult and challenging journeys. Diverse in their achievements, Symposium speakers are recognised for their vision, their leadership and their capacity to make a difference. By sharing their knowledge and experiences they encourage other women to uncover and leverage their individual strengths and talents.

See detailed information on speakers presenting at the Australian Women's Leadership Symposium in 2015 below.

Caroline de Mori

Chairman, EON Foundation

Caroline was the driving force behind the creation of EON. She has more than 25 years’ experience as a public relations and corporate communications manager and until recently was the proprietor of a specialist corporate communications consultancy. Caroline frequently travelled to remote areas of Western Australia in her role as a consultant to WA based companies and witnessed the need for better education, training and health services in Aboriginal communities. In setting up EON she felt that she could put something back into this State and provide an opportunity for other individuals and corporations to help a part of our community in need. In addition to her work with The EON Foundation, Caroline is a member of the Landcorp Board of Directors. Caroline is the recipient of the 2013 Local Hero of the Year Award for her work as an indigenous health advocate.

Dawn Freshwater

Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor, University of WA

Prior to moving to Western Australia to take up the position of Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Dawn Freshwater served as the Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Staff and Organizational Effectiveness, Professor of Mental Health and Head of the School of Healthcare at the University of Leeds. Professor Freshwater received her doctorate at the University of Nottingham in 1998 and has been the recipient of a number of awards. She was elected to a Fellowship of the Royal College of Nursing in 2001.

As an academic Professor Freshwater serves on the HEFCE Research Excellence Framework (REF) panel in the UK; reviews and acts in an advisory capacity for the National Institute for Health Research and MRC and to the National Institute for Clinical Excellence. She contributes to clinical academic fellowship panels and to awards of doctoral training centres.

In her leadership capacity, Professor Freshwater has championed and led the successful Award of Athena SWAN; funded a study to examine the impact of globilisation on leadership; led an initiative for recruiting leadership chairs, and developed a manifesto for Inclusive Leadership jointly with the British Council.

Key Research:
Professor Freshwater's research has focssed on two key themes; these being psychological therapies research and offender health research. She has developed a multi-disciplinary clinical academic research centre in practice. She is currently the editor of the International Journal of Mixed Methods Research.

Judith Fordham

Barrister, Associate Professor in Forensic Science, Author & Speaker

Judith has worn zebra-print shoes into a courtroom, represented transsexuals, bikers, alleged murderers and rapists, and raised four children on her own. Once a battered wife, who, struggled to feed her family she is now one of Western Australia's best known criminal lawyers, and "Partner in Crime", with an ex-Detective Superintendent. She is also an expert in forensic science, and an internationally known jury researcher.

Judith has been honoured to serve as an Australia Day Ambassador, been awarded a life membership of Angelhands (a support organisation for secondary victims of homicide), and her law practice was a 2014 state finalist in the Telstra Business Awards.

Judith has carried out several research projects on juries, including a study of juror intimidation at the W.A. Attorney General's personal request. She had permission for almost unprecedented access to jurors for post trial interviews.

Her bold approach to life and law is inspiring, and her stories about the world of crime and justice told in her book 'Life, Law and Not Enough Shoes' are fascinating.

Judith has recently returned from her second stint as a speaker on the prestigious ship the Queen Mary 2, where she attracted standing room only crowds of over 600 passengers at each of her seven presentations.

Judith will entertain, inspire or confront any audience. Alternatively she can just have them "rolling in the aisles" with tales from 25 years of crazy experiences in the practice of criminal law; she is entertaining, motivational and (if you ask her nicely) downright hilarious! She is a first class speaker whose entertaining and informative presentations will inspire and motivate any audience. Judith can also create or tailor a presentation to suit your specific event theme or requirements. Judith offers a range of fascinating, entertaining presentations including.

Robin K. McClellan

Director, Minerals Research Initiatives
Curtin University

Mrs. McClellan took up her position as the Director of Minerals Research Initiatives at Curtin University in September 2013. Her role is to position Western Australia’s largest university to understand industry needs for research and to introduce Curtin’s talented researchers to those who can benefit from their work.

Robin retired from the U.S. diplomatic service in December 2010, after a 24-year career focused on Southeast Asia, South Asia, and Australia. She has also worked on regional integration issues involving China, Taiwan, and Japan. Robin delved into the politics, cultures, and histories of her host countries during senior diplomatic postings in India (covering all of South Asia), Australia, Malaysia, and Indonesia. With a background in economics and trade, Robin assisted American companies on issues such as regulatory frameworks, market access, and intellectual property protection. She also coordinated U.S. counterterrorism efforts in South Asia, with a focus on measures aimed at stopping the flow of funds to terrorist groups.

Robin joined ExxonMobil Corporation in January 2011, as Asia Pacific senior government relations advisor. Based in Singapore, she helped the corporation understand the politics and energy frameworks in Asia, focusing most recently on the new markets of Myanmar, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka. In this role, she also worked extensively on issues related to ExxonMobil’s $19.2 billion LNG project in Papua New Guinea, the overlapping boundary claims in the South China Sea, and the World Bank-led Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative.

As U.S. Consul General to Western Australia, Robin participated in hundreds of speeches, media interviews, and other public appearances. She also has considerable experience in preparing senior officials, including the President of the United States, for visits, key meetings, and media opportunities.   Other professional experience includes serving as Director of the Committee for Economic Development of Australia’s presence in Western Australia, teaching business ethics and organizational strategy at the Curtin Graduate School of Business Curtin in Perth, and representing Duke University in Southeast Asia.   

Robin serves on the Advisory Board of Close Comfort, a firm that is striving to make energy-efficient personal air conditioners available in regions with unreliable electricity supply, and as a Co-Chairman of the Energy Committee of the Singapore American Chamber of Commerce.   She is also a non- executive director of Star Energy, a Singapore-based firm with natural gas and geothermal assets in Indonesia.

Robin is still engaged with the family farm she grew up on outside the small town of Palco, in western Kansas in the United States. She attended Cottey College in Nevada Missouri, the University of Kansas, and the University of Costa Rica while studying for her undergraduate degree. She also has a Master’s degree in Economic History from the University of Exeter, England, and an MBA from the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University.  Robin speaks Indonesian, Spanish, French, and German.  She and her husband have four children.

Katie-Jeyn Romeyn

Director, Coach on Collins

Katie-Jeyn is a leader in closing the gender pay equity gap. Her business Coach on Collins helps companies bridge the gender divide and provides “success” coaching for women starting, changing or elevating their careers or enterprises.

Prior to launching Coach on Collins, Katie-Jeyn had a 15-year career in the mining industry. Starting as a mine site administrator, she quickly progressed to executive leadership ranks. Her most recent corporate role was Executive General Manager People & Business Services with St Barbara Limited, an ASX-listed gold explorer and producer.

In seven years at St Barbara, Katie-Jeyn led the company’s pay equity gap reduction from a staggering 43% in 2007 to 11.4% in 2014. This result out-performed the mining sector’s gap of 23.8 % in 2014 and the national gap of 18.2%. As a result, St Barbara won state and national awards, and was a recipient of the 2014 Workplace Gender Equality Agency’s “Employer of Choice for Gender Equality”.

Tracey Spicer

Journalist, newsreader and TV personality

Tracey Spicer is one of the most versatile journalists and presenters in the country, with a portfolio spanning television, radio, newspapers, magazines, and online media. 

During her 25-year career, she has anchored news, current affairs and lifestyle programs in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.

Currently, Tracey works as an anchor for Sky News, weekly columnist for Fairfax Media and The Hoopla, radio broadcaster, and presentation trainer at the Australian Film, Television and Radio School. 

She is best known for presenting Channel 10’snational weekend and morning news services for 14 years.

Tracey has written, produced and presented documentaries for NGOs in Bangladesh, Kenya, Papua New Guinea, and India. 

The mother-of-two is an Ambassador for ActionAid, World Vision, Life’s Little Treasures, Karitane, and Dying with Dignity, Patron of the NSW Cancer Council and the National Premmie Foundation, and face of the Garvan Institute’s research into pancreatic cancer. 

As you’d probably guess from her twitter feed (!), Tracey is passionate about women’s rights, social justice, and equal opportunity, and a lobbyist for the voluntary euthanasia movement. 

The 46-year-old has just set up Women in Media, a mentoring and networking group, backed by the Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance.  

For the past two decades, she has been a highly sought-after MC and keynote speaker.

Sonja Cox

Manager, Planning and Reporting with the West Australian Crime and Corruption Commission

Prior to her role with the CCC, Sonja worked for the Department of Corrective Services in WA for almost 19 years. She has extensive experience across the corrections environment including work with victims of crime, managing offenders in the community and custody and for three years held the position of Director Operational Performance, Policy and Planning, a portfolio which included the development of policies and procedures underpinning the management of the states 10,000 offenders in custody and community as well as the development of strategic plans and governance frameworks for managing risk and compliance. Prior to her departure from corrections, Sonja was the Director, Knowledge Management and was responsible for developing and implementing a knowledge management strategy across the Department as well as ensuring compliance with the State Records Act through appropriate recordkeeping practices.

In 2013 Sonja won the WA Telstra Business Women’s Award in Community and Government as well as overall WA Telstra Business Woman of the Year. Sonja was acknowledged for her strong and successful leadership in a complex environment as well as her approach to family, self and the community. Sonja is the mother to 3 young sons and balances a full time position with raising her children as a single parent. She is a strong advocate for flexibility in the workplace and developing the leadership potential of other young women across the public sector.

Sonja is a fellow of Leadership WA, a not for profit organisation that provides leadership development, invaluable insights and unique experiences to leaders from the corporate, not for profit and government sectors. Sonja has provided pro bono work for the not for profit sector in WA including the facilitation of workshops, key note speaking and mentoring.

Turia Pitt

Burns Survivor, Motivational Speaker, Engineer and Author

Turia Pitt was named Cosmopolitan's 'Woman of the Year' for 2013, short-­‐listed for this year's 'Young Australian of the Year' and the winner of the recent NSW 'Woman of the Year' Awards. She is a burns survivor, motivational speaker, engineer and published author.

She has a double degree in Mining Engineering and Science and graduated with first class honours. She worked as a model before landing her dream job with Rio Tinto at their prestigious Argyle Diamond Mine and moving to Kununurra with her partner, Michael. Their lives were turned upside-­‐down when she was trapped by a grassfire in a 100-­‐kilometre ultra-­‐marathon in September 2011, and suffered burns to over 65 per cent of her body.

She completed the Variety Cycle from Sydney to Uluru, the 20 kilometre Lake Argyle Swim and a section of the Great Wall of China. She is a passionate ambassador for Interplast, a charity that provides free reconstructive surgery to people in developing countries. In 2014 she managed to raise almost $200,000 for this cause with a team of incredible women. In 2015, she will lead another group to the Inca Trail (Peru).

She undertook her MBA last year, hopes to compete in an Iron Man one day, is excited to have a family with her wonderful partner Michael and has aspirations to study Medicine.

Her memoir 'Everything to Live For' was published late in 2013.

Annastacia Palaszczuk

Premier of Queensland Member for Inala

Annastacia Palaszczuk was sworn in as Premier of Queensland on 14 February 2015 following the state election on 31 January.

Prior to the election Ms Palaszczuk had been Leader of the Opposition and Leader of the Queensland Parliamentary Labor Party following the March 2012 state election.

She has represented the Inala electorate in the Queensland Parliament since September 2006.

Ms Palaszczuk served as Chair of the Parliamentary Ethics Committee and following the 2009 election Annastacia was appointed as the Minister for Disability Services and Multicultural Affairs.

She was appointed Minister for Transport in February 2011 and held the position up until the March 2012 election.

She holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Queensland, Master of Arts (Hons) from the University of London, Bachelor of Laws from the University of Queensland and a Graduate Diploma of Legal Practice from the Australian National University.

Ms Palaszczuk was the recipient of a British Council Chevening Scholarship enabling her to study for a year in London at the Institute of Commonwealth Studies and the London School of Economics.

She was born in Brisbane on 25 July 1969 and attended Jamboree Heights State School in Brisbane and St Mary’s Catholic College, Ipswich.

Before being elected to the Queensland Parliament she worked as a part-time sales assistant; a tutor with the Aboriginal and Island Students Service at the University of Queensland; tutor at the Australian National University; and as an adviser to federal and state MPs and Ministers.

Jean Madden

Managing Director, Street Swag

Realising the negative effects lack of sleep and sleeping on concrete had on physical and mental health, schoolteacher Jean Madden designed the Street Swag made from a super lightweight waterproofed canvas with a high-density foam mattress that also has room for extra belongings.

Funded by the community, prisoners sew the street swags gaining work readiness skills and qualifications, Aboriginal Communities gain government employment, and home industry skills and school children roll and package them adding other essentials. Together
with the help of numerous aid organisations, and volunteers Jean's team have distribute over 30,000 Street Swags to those homeless 'sleeping rough' across Australia. Working to break this cycle of homelessness and incarceration particularly in Aboriginal communities her team has now begun a program to chip away at the hurt, that causes and perpetuates more abuse, this developing work has lowered crime, violence and addiction.

Along with founding and running the charity Street Swags Ltd, Jean has begun it's wholly owned subsidiary Walkabout Beds Pty Ltd, which sells a commercial version to the public. Jean was the first Australian winner of the world's largest design award, the INDEX: People's Choice Award, The QLD Young Australian of the Year 2010 and a finalist in 2 categories for the 2011 Telstra Business Woman of the Year Awards and the winner of QLD Innovation. She also took out silver for the not-for-profit section in the Stevie Awards New York, the most prestigious award for Woman in Business in the world. Jean's initiatives are about keeping people alive.

Dr Jennifer Bowers

CEO Australasian Centre for Rural & Remote Mental Health

Dr Jennifer Bowers has a first class honours degree in Science and a PhD in Social Psychiatry from the Australian National University and holds adjunct professorial appointments at Griffith University and James Cook University.

She has held chief executive positions in South Australia Mental Health Service and at a Queensland Mental Health facility.  She also worked in the Commonwealth Department of Health in both Canberra and Queensland. 

Jennifer has experience in the not-for-profit and private sector including her own healthcare consulting business focussed in Asia.  Involvement in the development of a remote tourism facility provided experience of living and working in a remote location.

She has been a finalist in the Telstra Business Women’s Awards for Innovation and is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Jennifer is the inaugural CEO and Managing Director of the NFP Australasian Centre for Rural & Remote Mental Health established over 8 years ago. She continues to lead in the development and implementation of awareness-raising prevention programs and early interventions for Indigenous, agricultural and mining/resource sectors across Australia.

The Hon. Justice Roslyn Atkinson

Justice of the Supreme Court of Queensland

Justice Atkinson was appointed a judge of the Supreme Court of Queensland in September 1998. Her Honour holds a Bachelor of Laws degree with first class honours from the University of Queensland (1985). She received numerous prizes including, the Women Lawyers Prize (1984), Ruthning Memorial Scholarship (1984), the Virgil Power Prize (1984), the Morris Fletcher & Cross Prize (1984) and the Wilkinson Memorial Prize (1984). Justice Atkinson served as president of the International Commission of Jurists (Queensland) (2000 -2013) and chair of the Queensland Law Reform Commission (2002-2013). In November and December 2000 and April 2001, she visited South Africa to assist in the implementation of that country's Promotion of Equality and Prevention of Unfair Discrimination Act 2000. Prior to her appointment to the Bench, Justice Atkinson practised at the Queensland Bar. She also served as a member of the Social Security Appeals Tribunal (1988–90), a member (1992–94) and later inaugural president (1994–97) of the Anti-Discrimination Tribunal, and a hearing commissioner for the Human Rights and Equal Opportunities Commission (1994–97)..

Kiri Parr

Principal / Regional Legal Counsel, Arup

Kiri Parr is legal counsel with Arup – a global engineering design consultancy who seeks ever better ways to imagine, reimagine and reshape the built environment. Globally, Arup has more than 10,000 staff operating out of 92 offices in 37 countries and with an annual turnover exceeding AUS$1bn. People are attracted to Arup through its ethos, as the firm's founder puts it: "fell it, really believe in it and mean to work for it" – and this is true for Kiri who pursues her role as with passion and integrity. With 19 years practice, predominantly practicing as a construction lawyer, Kiri is head of legal services for Arup's Australasia region, which encompasses Australia, New Zealand, South East Asia and the Pacific. She has been with Arup for over nine years and her role includes contract advice, training, managing claims, general legal advice. Officer to the board and the regions ethics champion. In December 2013 Kiri was elected to the board of Consult Australia.

Laura Tyler

Asset President, Cannington Mine, BHP Billiton
Vice President, Queensland Resources Council

With more than 25 years in the civil and mining sectors, Laura Tyler has amassed an incredible range of experience on a path to becoming one of the top executives in her field. She is a leader in the mining industry with experience across multiple disciplines including operational and technical leadership, project management, environmental compliance, and community and corporate affairs.

Originally from the UK, Laura gained degrees in Geology and Mining Engineering and commenced her career in civil engineering in the late 1980s. In 1994 Laura emigrated to Australia and began her career in mining starting as the UG 'beat' geologist at Mount Isa Mines and later rising through supervisory, analyst and later management roles with BHP Billiton. She has expertly led teams by bringing out their best while reinforcing the importance of individuality and difference.

A passionate believer in the role of mining as an important economic contributor, Laura's career has taken her across the globe where she has witnessed the positive impacts the industry brings to individuals, communities and our way of life.

Laura is the Asset President of BHP Billiton's Cannington Mine in North West Queensland and a Vice President of the Queensland Resources Council. She currently lives in Townsville with her husband, three children and a large dog where they all enjoy the outdoors active lifestyle that goes with living in North Queensland.

Professor Lyn Griffith

Executive Director of the Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation, QUT

Professor Lyn Griffiths is the Executive Director of the Institute of Health and Biomedical innovation at QUT. She is a molecular geneticist who has been studying the genes involved in common human disorders for nearly two decades. Her expertise is in the field of human gene mapping and focuses on identifying the genes involved in common complex disorders, including migraine, cardiovascular disease and several types of cancer.

Professor Griffiths graduated from the University of NSW Biochemistry Department in 1980, and gained a PhD from the Faculty of Medicine, University of Sydney in 1990. Following her PhD she moved to Qld where she established the Genomics Research Centre at Griffith University on the Gold Coast. Prof Griffiths was also Head of The School of Medical Science for many years, and held the role of Dean Research 2007-2012 and Director of the Griffith Health Institute, before recently taking on the role of Executive Director of the Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation at QUT. She has published over 250 research papers,

Rabia Siddique

Human rights lawyer, Author and Professional speaker

Rabia is a criminal and human rights lawyer, a retired British Army officer, a former terrorism and war crimes prosecutor, a humanitarian, a professional speaker and published author. In 2006 Rabia was awarded a Queen's commendation for her human rights work in Iraq and in 2009 was the Runner Up for Australian Woman of the Year UK.

Rabia's memoir "Equal Justice" was published last year and is a story of strength, resilience and courage. The book is currently in it's third reprint and well on it's way to being a bestseller. Rabia has appeared in various Australian, UK, South East Asian and Middle Eastern media publications, television and radio programmes, and has appeared as a guest at several Australian Writers Festivals. A UK/Australian feature Film is currently being developed based on Rabia's book.

Rabia believes passionately in leading by example and giving back to her community. To that end she is a Board Member of Kids Are Kids! Therapy and Education Centre Inc and an Ambassador for 100 Women, The Esther Foundation and Ishar Multicultural Women's Health Centre. She is also a member of Australian and British Red Cross, UN Women, Law Societies of WA, England and Wales, Women Lawyers WA, the International Institute for Humanitarian Law and is an Associate Fellow of the Australian Institute of Management.

Rabia speaks English, French, Spanish and Arabic, has run the London marathon for charity, undertaken human rights and community aid work in the Middle East, South America, United Kingdom and Australia, and is a mother to 5 year old triplet boys, her biggest challenge yet!

This year Rabia has been nominated for Telstra Business Woman of the Year, The Zonta Club Woman of Achievement Award and the 100 Women of Influence in Australia Awards.

Professor Sandra Harding

Vice Chancellor and President, James Cook University

Professor Sandra Harding took up her appointment as Vice Chancellor and President of James Cook University Australia in January 2007. In this role, she is responsible for ensuring clear and effective leadership and management of the University across all operating sites, including campuses in Cairns, Singapore and Townsville.

Professor Harding has extensive academic and academic leadership experience. An economic sociologist by training, her areas of enduring academic interest include work, organisation and markets and how they work. She also has a keen interest in public policy, particularly education policy and other policy domains affecting higher education.

Professor Harding has undertaken a wide variety of external roles within the business community and the higher education sector.

Current roles include: Chair, Universities Australia; Member, Northern Australia Advisory Group; Member, Trade and Investment Policy Advisory Committee; Member, the Australia-China Council Board; Co-Vice Chair, the New Colombo Plan Reference Group; Member, International Education and Training Advisory Council Queensland; Director, Regional Australia Institute; Council Member, the Australian Institute of Marine Science; Director, North Queensland Cowboys NRL club; Member, Defence Science and Technology Organisation (DSTO) Advisory Board; Member, Australian Research Council (ARC) Advisory Board; Director of Townsville Enterprises and of Advance Cairns (regional economic development bodies); and; a Governor of the Committee for Economic Development of Australia (CEDA).

Deborah Homewood

Managing Director MAX Solutions

Deborah is deeply committed to ensuring MAX Solutions meets the needs of every job seeker in Australia and strongly believes that employment is a fundamental right that underpins self esteem, wellbeing and a connection to society. She is passionate about community projects, is past president and an active member of Sydney Cove Rotary. Deborah has years of experience in sales and marketing management, including more than 16 years as a CEO. She was the Australia and New Zealand CEO of Pacnet; leading the company through an era of expansion before her appointment as Managing Director of MAX Solutions. Deborah enjoys working in a vibrant team environment. Her proudest achievements are those that have come from collaborating with others. She currently lives in Sydney with her husband, daughter and two very spoilt dogs.

Turia Pitt

Burns Survivor, Motivational Speaker, Engineer and Author

Turia Pitt was named Cosmopolitan's 'Woman of the Year' for 2013, short-­‐listed for this year's 'Young Australian of the Year' and the winner of the recent NSW 'Woman of the Year' Awards. She is a burns survivor, motivational speaker, engineer and published author.

She has a double degree in Mining Engineering and Science and graduated with first class honours. She worked as a model before landing her dream job with Rio Tinto at their prestigious Argyle Diamond Mine and moving to Kununurra with her partner, Michael. Their lives were turned upside-­‐down when she was trapped by a grassfire in a 100-­‐kilometre ultra-­‐marathon in September 2011, and suffered burns to over 65 per cent of her body.

She completed the Variety Cycle from Sydney to Uluru, the 20 kilometre Lake Argyle Swim and a section of the Great Wall of China. She is a passionate ambassador for Interplast, a charity that provides free reconstructive surgery to people in developing countries. In 2014 she managed to raise almost $200,000 for this cause with a team of incredible women. In 2015, she will lead another group to the Inca Trail (Peru).

She undertook her MBA last year, hopes to compete in an Iron Man one day, is excited to have a family with her wonderful partner Michael and has aspirations to study Medicine.

Her memoir 'Everything to Live For' was published late in 2013.

Ms Joanne Jessop

CEO Mutlicap

Ms Joanne Jessop joined Multicap, a high needs disability service provider, as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) in 2006 and has significant leadership and senior management experience within the healthcare and human services sectors both internationally and within Australia. Jo has an Executive Master of Business Administration from the University of Queensland and is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Management. She is an alumni of the Social Leadership Australia program and is a current member of Queensland Leaders. Jo is currently a director of CheckUP (Primary Health Care) and G8EHR (Shared Electronic Records for people with disabilities). Jo is a member of the inaugural Queensland Independent Remuneration Tribunal, and has recently been appointed as a member of the Brisbane City Council Parking Review taskforce.

Jo has been a member of the NDS Queensland State Committee since 2007. She is a member of the Partnership Forum, the Queensland Planning and Implementation Group (QPAIG), set up by Minister Davis to ensure Queensland is prepared for the transition to the NDIS and she has also been asked to be a member of the Building Capacity for Service Providers Co-Production Group.

Over the past 12 months Jo has been engaged in driving improvements in several key areas that ensure service providers can continue to deliver quality services; these include the Restrictive Practices Legislation Review and Implementation of changes working party, streamlining and improving the capacity notification process for both services providers and Dept Communities, and improving the timely reporting to service providers of grants summaries including amounts paid and agreed outputs. Jo’s current focus is on ensuring the Queensland Government actively supports and reduces barriers for disability services providers as they prepare for the NDIS transition.

Wendy King

(Australia Pacific LNG)
General Manager, Commercial

Wendy King is the General Manager, Commercial for Australia Pacific LNG and has been seconded into this role by the joint venture partner ConocoPhillips.

Previous:
Prior to starting with Australia Pacific LNG in July 2011, Wendy fulfilled a variety of leadership roles for ConocoPhillips in Alaska serving as the Vice President, External Affairs and as Manager, Alaska North Slope gas development.

Personal:
Wendy began her career as a petroleum engineer with Conoco Inc. in 1990 and has held various technical and leadership positions in the Exploration and Production business in the United States, United Kingdom and Africa.

She received a Bachelor of Science degree in Petroleum Engineering from Colorado School of Mines in Golden, Colorado in the United States. Wendy lives with her husband and two children in Brisbane.

The Hon. Julia Gillard

Prime Minister of Australia, 2010-2013

Julia Gillard was sworn in as the 27th Prime Minister of Australia on 24 June 2010 and served in that office until June 2013.

As Prime Minister and in her previous role as Deputy Prime Minister, Ms Gillard was central to the successful management of Australia’s economy, the 12th biggest economy in the world, during the Global Financial Crisis and as Australia positioned to seize the benefits of Asia’s rise.  Ms Gillard developed Australia’s guiding policy paper, Australia in the Asian Century.  Ms Gillard delivered nation-changing policies including reforming Australia education at every level from early childhood to university education, creating an emissions trading scheme, improving the provision and sustainability of health care, aged care and dental care, commencing the nation’s first ever national scheme to care for people with disabilities and restructuring the telecommunications sector as well as building a national broadband network. In foreign policy, Ms Gillard strengthened Australia’s alliance  with the United States, secured stronger architecture for the relationship with China,  upgraded Australia’s ties with India, and deepened ties with Japan, Indonesia and South Korea.  Ms Gillard has represented Australia at the G20, including winning Australia’s right to host the 2014 meeting, the East Asia Summit, APEC, NATO-ISAF and chaired CHOGM.  Under Ms Gillard’s leadership, Australia was elected to the United Nations Security Council.

Ms Gillard is the first woman to ever serve as Australia’s Prime Minister or Deputy Prime Minister. In October 2012, Ms Gillard received worldwide attention for her speech in Parliament on the treatment of women in professional and public life.

In February 2014, Ms Gillard was appointed chair of the Global Partnership for Education, a leading organization dedicated to expanding access and quality education worldwide.  In October 2013, Ms Gillard was appointed a non-resident Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington.  Ms Gillard also serves as an Honorary Professor at the University of Adelaide.

Andy Moffat

Chief People and Culture Officer, TAL

Andy joined TAL as its Chief People and Culture Officer in January 2014. He has extensive experience as a senior human resources executive in financial services firms and has worked in United Kingdom, North American and most countries in Europe.

His key strengths are in driving culture change, enabling organisation development and aligning people practices to deliver business priorities.

Most recently he was the Human Resources Director, Europe, at Aviva PLC where he aligned people processes around a customer-centric journey across a number of different countries. Prior to this, Andy was the Human Resources Director for Aviva's Corporate Office and he held senior roles at Aduronet, Norwich Union, Teleglobe International, Intelsat and IBM UK Ltd.

Andy has a Master of Arts in Social Sciences from the University of Glasgow, a post-graduate Diploma in Personnel Management from the University of Aston and is a Graduate of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development in United Kingdom. A proud Scot, Andy was a semi-professional soccer player in his early years and is married with children.

Angela Priestley

Founding Editor, Women's Agenda

Angela Priestley is an Associate Publisher with Private Media and the founding editor of Women's Agenda, a publication for career-minded women.

She has been a journalist and editor for more than ten years, writing about and editing publications on legal affairs, business, politics and technology. She's a passionate advocate and supporter of making career opportunities more accessible to men and women, no matter what their life choices.

Angela is a new mother and Gen Y woman with plenty to say about the opportunities and challenges facing women of her generation. She wrote her first book, Women Who Seize the Moment, while on maternity leave, after speaking with dozens of inspiring and game-changing women and discovering that successful and satisfying careers come to those who make them happen, instead of sitting back and waiting for them to occur.

Angela was named one of Cosmopolitan's 30 Under 30 in 2013, and in 2014 as one of Open Colleges most inspiring women online.

Geraldine Doogue

Journalist & Broadcaster

Geraldine Doogue is a journalist and broadcaster who has worked in print media, television and radio for more than four decades. In a career that started with a cadetship at the West Australian, she has gone on to receive a United Nations Media Peace Prize and two Penguin Awards for her major role in ABC TV's coverage of the Gulf War. In 2003 she was made an Officer in the Order of Australia for services to the community and media. A former host of Radio National's Life Matters, Geraldine is currently hosting ABC TV's Compass and Radio National's Saturday Extra. The Climb: Conversations with Australian Women in Power is her first book and was published by Text Publishing in 2014. She lives in Sydney.

Helen Connealy

Charity Strategist

Helen is a leading strategy specialist for charities and is committed to driving social change.

She has over 25 years’ experience in a range of leadership roles across healthcare, community services, education and publishing. With a strong background in marketing, fundraising and journalism, Helen has held CEO roles at the Mary MacKillop Foundation and the Kolling Foundation at Royal North Shore Hospital and has developed growth strategies for a range of Australian charities.

She is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and a member of the Fundraising Institute of Australia.

Helen is an advocate for women, passionate about philanthropy and building social impact and strives to foster leadership and social inclusion to build a better society.

Indira Naidoo

Broadcaster & Author

Indira Naidoo is one of Australia's most popular broadcasters.

During her 25-year award-winning journalistic career, Ms Naidoo has hosted and reported for some of the country's most distinguished news and current affair programs.

She achieved national prominence as the host of the ABC's LATE EDITION nightly news and as an anchor and reporter for SBS TV's award-winning late night news service the WORLD NEWS TONIGHT.

Ms Naidoo developed a cult following for her less serious appearances on the McFEAST show, ROY and HG's CLUB BUGGERY, GOOD NEWS WEEK, and the Glasshouse. Indira was also a contestant on the inaugural episode of Celebrity MasterChef.

In recent years Indira's interest has shifted to the issues of food security, global environmental sustainability and gardening.

She has been the media manager and spokesperson for consumer advocacy group CHOICE and was a Geneva-based sustainability consultant with the United Nations' trade development arm – The International Trade Centre.

In 2009 she was selected from 2000 applicants to be trained by former US President Al Gore as a climate change presenter.

Her first book, the best-selling 'The Edible Balcony' about growing food in small spaces has been launched in London, Hong Kong and New York and she lectures internationally on food sustainability issues.

Indira is an ambassador for Sydney's homeless crisis centre the Wayside Chapel and conducts weekly gardening classes on its rooftop vegetable garden for its homeless visitors. She is a member of the international Slow Food movement and has written on food and sustainability issues for The Sydney Morning Herald and Gourmet Traveller magazine, and writes the Saucy Onion food blog.

Indira's wealth of experience makes her a highly sort after MC, guest speaker and conference facilitator. Recent events include; guest speaker at Green Roofs Seminar, Footprints Ecofestival, Sustainable City Living Festival, The Business Association of Victoria Women's Lunch, MC for BHP Bilton Awards, HSEC Awards, RIRDC Rural Women's Awards, AHRI Diversity Awards, National Architecture Awards, Rabobank Awards, Premier of Queensland's Export Awards, SMH Good Food Awards and facilitating roles at the NSW Environment Protection Love Food Hate Waste forum, Terrace to Plate Panel discussion, The New Rural Industries Australia Conference, Sydney Council Smart Green Apartments Launch and the Australian Human Rights Commission event.

Most recently she was the curator for the Australian Garden Show Sydney and special guest at Floriade in Canberra.

Jane Hunt

CEO, Adopt Change

Jane Hunt is the CEO of Adopt Change, a highly influential organisation advocating for change in adoption policy and practices in Australia. She is leading the development of the next stage of the organisation, including setting the strategic direction, developing the business model and establishing a centre of excellence in pre and post adoptive care. Jane is passionate about providing children the best start in life so that they can live rich and full lives.

Prior to joining Adopt Change, Jane was the inaugural CEO of Fitted for Work, a not-for-profit that transformed the lives of over 18,000 women experiencing disadvantage. She developed Fitted for Work into a highly effective organization tackling women's disadvantage and unemployment. She also developed several for-profit social enterprises (CareerIgnite and Dear Gladys) to ensure that Fitted for Work had a sustainable business model.

Before joining Fitted for Work in 2008, Jane was the Victorian Strategy and Operations Manager, Community Services. She developed and oversaw services for families and children, young people, Aboriginal Australians and disadvantaged communities. Jane also lead the development of social enterprises at Mission Australia, such as Charcoal Lane.

As an active contributor to advancing social innovation in Australia, Jane has provided consulting services to a diverse range of organisations in the arts, legal, corproate and community sectors. Examples of her ability to draw a synergy and develop relationships between business and the community sector include collaborations between NFP's and Yarra Trams, David Lawrence and Westpac.

In recognition of Jane's contribution, she received the global Schwab Foundation Social Entrepreneur Award in 2012. As part of this Award she is invited to attend World Economic Forum events. Jane was also the winner of the Victorian Telstra Business Women's Award – Nokia Business Innovation Award 2011 and awarded the 2010 Melbourne Business 3000 Award for Community Innovation.

Jane was appointed as a Director of Yarra Community Housing in late 2014 and she is an active member on the Advisory Council for Affinity Private (a boutique wealth advisory practice).

Her qualifications include a Bachelor of Arts (Hons), Masters of Arts (Hons) and a Masters of Business Leadership. She also won a scholarship to participate in INSEAD's Social Entrepreneurship Programme and is an active member of their global network.

Jane is a much sought after guest speaker on a range of topics including: leadership, effective career transitions for womensocial innovation and developing social enterprises.

Jane is married to Andrew and has two children Thomas and Harper. She mentors two other CEOs. She loves CrossFit, cooking, music, bike riding and going to the theatre.

Jayne Hrdlicka

Jetstar Group Chief Executive Officer

Jayne Hrdlicka was appointed Group Chief Executive Officer of Jetstar Airways Pty Limited on 1 July 2012.

Jetstar is the Qantas Group's low fares airline brand. Headquartered in Melbourne (Australia), the Jetstar Group includes international and domestic operations in Australia and New Zealand. With its partners, the Jetstar Group also includes airlines in Singapore, Japan, Vietnam and Hong Kong*. In total, the Group flies to 64 destinations in 16 countries with a fleet of over 110 aircraft.

Jayne joined Qantas in August 2010 as Group Executive Strategy and Information Technology. Qantas is a portfolio of related businesses which include Qantas Airlines, Jetstar and Qantas Frequent Flyer Program.

Jayne is a former senior partner with Bain & Company in the firm's Customer Strategy and Marketing Practice, and led Bain's Customer Practice for the Asia region. She was also an inaugural member of Bain's Global Women's Leadership Council.

Jayne has written several articles on the challenges women face in business, including: "Level the playing field: A call for action on gender parity in Australia".

Early in her career, Jayne left consulting and spent six years as an executive and was subsequently a CEO of two publishing and marketing related businesses. She later returned to Bain as a senior leader in the Australian practice.

Jayne holds an MBA from Dartmouth College, New Hampshire USA and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Mathematics and Economics from the Colorado College, Colorado USA.

In addition to her role at Jetstar, Jayne is also a Non-Executive Board Director of Woolworths Limited, Australia's largest retailer and a member of Chief Executive Women.

Jodie Sangster

CEO,
Association for Data-Driven Marketing and Advertising

Jodie Sangster is the CEO of the Association for Data-driven Marketing and Advertising (ADMA), and Chair of the Global DMA.

Her extensive experience in the fields of global data-driven marketing and advertising spans over 16 years and includes experience throughout the US, Europe and the Asia-Pacific region.

Jodie began her career as a marketing and advertising lawyer in London specialising in data. She moved to Australia in 2001 to run ADMA's Legal and Regulatory Affairs division, playing a significant role in shaping the digital and data-driven marketing landscape.

From 2005-2007, Jodie held the position of Chief Data Officer of Acxiom Asia Pacific, responsible for data protection throughout the Asia-Pacific region.

Jodie moved to New York in 2007 where she became Senior Vice President of Global Development for the US DMA. Based in New York, she was responsible for global operations and worldwide data-driven marketing initiatives. In this role she gained a unique insight and perspective on global marketing and advertising issues, and was instrumental in developing international programs aimed at advancing and promoting data-driven marketing and advertising.

Jodie returned from the US in 2011 to take up the CEO position with ADMA. She also runs the Global DMA, a consortium of 27 marketing associations around the world with a mandate to advance and champion responsible global marketing.

Dr Judith Slocombe

CEO Alannah and Madeline Foundation

Dr Judith Slocombe's career spans many roles; veterinarian, entrepreneur, business owner, senior executive manager within a large corporate and non-executive director.

Judith graduated as a veterinarian from the University of Melbourne and, after practising in Australia and overseas, commenced a small veterinary pathology business from home. She went on to create a completely new business model which redefined veterinary diagnostics in Australia and she grew her small business into the largest veterinary diagnostic group in Australasia.

In 2001, Judith sold her business to the Gribbles Group. She graduated with an MBA from the Melbourne Business School in June 2002. Judith's transition from small business owner to senior corporate manager was complete when she was appointed Group General Manager, Pathology, heading up the major human pathology division of the Gribbles Group with laboratories throughout Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia, India and Singapore.

Throughout her career, Judith's work has been recognised by numerous prestigious awards, among them Australia's most highly regarded award for women in business, the Telstra Australian Business Woman of the Year. In 2003 she was awarded a centenary medal for service to Australian society in business leadership. She is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Management.

Judith also holds numerous directorships including Agriculture Victoria Services, Leadership Victoria and The Young and Well Cooperative Research Center. She is a past director of the Australian Red Cross Blood Service, Victorian Health Promotion Foundation (VicHealth), Open Universities Australia, South East Water Limited, and former President of the Animal Welfare League of Australia.

In 2005 Judith was appointed CEO of The Alannah and Madeline Foundation. The Foundation cares for children who are victims of violence and works to create safe and caring communities for children and young people. A major focus of the Foundation is cybersafety and reducing bullying and its devastating effects in our society. This children's charity is a natural fit for Judith who is a mother of nine children of her own.

Judith's vision for The Alannah and Madeline Foundation is for all children to have a safe and happy childhood free from violence.

Superintendent
Karen McCarthy

Commander Botany Bay Local Area Command

Superintendent McCarthy has a 25 year career with the New South Wales Police Force. During that time she has performed duties across specialist, corporate and field operations.

Superintendent McCarthy is currently the Local Area Commander of Botany Bay Local Area Command. This command contains the largest critical infrastructure in NSW including Sydney Airport, Port Botany – the largest port in Australia and ten Major Hazard Facilities. The command also contains some of the busiest roads across the Sydney road network. Superintendent McCarthy is the Local Emergency Operations Controller for both Botany and Randwick Local Government Areas.

Superintendent McCarthy has particular interests in the areas of technology and innovation and how the rapid advances in these areas can be utilised to strengthen and improve the efficiency of law enforcement organisations.

Superintendent McCarthy holds a Graduate Certificate in Public Administration, an Associate Diploma in Criminal Justice, a Bachelor of Social Science (Criminology) and a Masters of Public Policy.

Superintendent McCarthy is also the successful recipient of a Churchill Scholarship for overseas research in the areas of emerging technology, Innovation and Emergency Management with a specific law enforcement focus.

Kate O'Reilly

Managing Director, Optimiss Consulting

Kate O’Reilly is the Managing Director of Optimiss Consulting. She works with large firms in Australia advising on the retention, promotion and attraction of women. She also runs North Lewis Advisory, a firm that provides strategic planning and advisory services to government clients.

Kate has previously worked in a range of private and public sector roles in Europe, Africa and Australia. She has been a finalist for the Deloitte Business Woman of the Year and was appointed to Deloitte’s Emerging Leaders Council. She has been the treasurer of the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UN Women) Australia and a director on the board of Girl Guides Australia. She is also a member of the University of Sydney Alumni Council.

Lisa Annese

Chief Executive Officer, Diversity Council Australia Ltd

Lisa Annese was appointed CEO of DCA in June 2014. She first joined DCA in 2009 and left for a short stint in 2011 as the first dedicated Diversity Manager at Corrs Chambers Westgarth, who later won the Lawyers Weekly Firm Diversity Award. Prior to joining DCA, she worked at the Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace Agency where she developed the first ever census of ‘Australian Women in Leadership’, ‘Business Achievement Awards’, and ‘Employer of Choice for Women’ citation.

Lisa was awarded a Medal for Significant Contribution to the Australian Public Service and co-authored “Chief Executives Unplugged: CEO’s Get Real About Women in the Workplace” which was named a “must-read business book” by AFR/BOSS magazine in 2005.

Melissa Fuller

Deputy CEO, Rice Warner

Melissa has 18 years' experience in the financial services industry. She joined Rice Warner in 2001 after spending five years working in the reinsurance industry as an assistant underwriter.

She became the youngest member of Rice Warner's Leadership Team whilst developing and managing all business operations including IT, Management Reporting, Accounts and Human Resources.

Melissa is now Deputy CEO and is responsible for Marketing and Operations as well as supporting the CEO and Board with Business Strategy. She is also on the Board of Rice Warner.

She has a particular interest in improving retirement adequacy for females and in finding appropriate political and societal solutions to this complex issue. She championed Rice Warner's 'Valuing Females' package that was launched in July 2013. The package seeks to improve retirement adequacy for female staff at Rice Warner. The initiative and Melissa's ongoing work on female retirement adequacy saw her nominated as a finalist in the Diversity category of the 2013 AFR/Westpac 100 Women of Influence awards.

Ming Long

Group Executive,
IOF Fund Manager

Ming Long is a Group Executive and the Fund Manager for Investa Office Fund (ASX: IOF).

Ming has extensive experience in real estate, capital management, corporate finance and funds management. She has significant experience in the leadership of financial and human capital within organisations with a strong track record in driving performance through challenging markets. She is responsible for the strategic direction and performance of IOF. Prior to her current role Ming was the Joint Managing Director & Finance Director for Investa Property Group and was the Group Chief Financial Officer of Investa Property Group from 2009. She has close to twenty years financial management experience and has been at Investa for nearly ten years.

Ming was previously a Director on the Responsible Entity Boards of Investa Office Fund and Investa Commercial Property Fund, and the Board of Investa Property Group Holdings Pty Limited for many years. She has also been a Director of other Investa funds management boards. She is a member of the Property Council of Australia's International Capital Markets Division Council and the CFO Roundtable. She is also a member of the Finance & Audit Committee of the University of Sydney, one of Australia's leading universities.

Ming has a Bachelor of Economics, a Bachelor of Laws, a Masters of Business Administration and is a Chartered Accountant. She is also a Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and a Fellow of Finsia.

Dr Jacqui Abbott

Head of Flexibility and Diversity, Allens

As Head of Flexibility and Diversity at Allens, Jacqui is responsible for developing and implementing the diversity strategy and introduced the firm's broader diversity program, which includes gender, flexibility, RAP, relationships including families, cultural competency, LGBTI and disability.

Jacqui established a Diversity Advisory Board within the firm in 2011, consisting of predominately external experts to provide diversity thought leadership for the firm. In 2014 this has now evolved to an internal Inclusion and Diversity Council and an Allens Diversity Thought Leadership series with 80% client involvement. Jacqui also established programs, resources, coaching and policy to support a flexible working environment. In 2010 Allens won the AHRI Sir Ken Robinson award for workplace flexibility.

Jacqui has extensive experience working across industries in both corporate roles (Shell, Orica, Arthur Andersen, Ernst & Young, Grant Thornton and the Ford Motor  Company) and through her own company which specialises in coaching, diversity and flexibility consulting. Since 2011 Jacqui has focused on coaching high potential women at management and executive level and also coaching women through parental leave transitions.  In 2012 Jacqui was elected as a board member of Diversity Council Australia.

Jacqui's PhD explored the latest thinking related to management and employee perspectives of work/life benefits in large multinational organisations with specific reference to workplace flexibility.

Rabia Siddique

Human Rights Lawyer, Author and Professional Speaker

Rabia is a criminal and human rights lawyer, a retired British Army officer, a former terrorism and war crimes prosecutor, a humanitarian, a professional speaker and published author. In 2006 Rabia was awarded a Queen's commendation for her human rights work in Iraq and in 2009 was the Runner Up for Australian Woman of the Year UK.

Rabia's memoir "Equal Justice" was published last year and is a story of strength, resilience and courage. The book is currently in it's third reprint and well on it's way to being a bestseller. Rabia has appeared in various Australian, UK, South East Asian and Middle Eastern media publications, television and radio programmes, and has appeared as a guest at several Australian Writers Festivals. A UK/Australian feature Film is currently being developed based on Rabia's book.

Rabia believes passionately in leading by example and giving back to her community. To that end she is a Board Member of Kids Are Kids! Therapy and Education Centre Inc and an Ambassador for 100 Women, The Esther Foundation and Ishar Multicultural Women's Health Centre. She is also a member of Australian and British Red Cross, UN Women, Law Societies of WA, England and Wales, Women Lawyers WA, the International Institute for Humanitarian Law and is an Associate Fellow of the Australian Institute of Management.

Rabia speaks English, French, Spanish and Arabic, has run the London marathon for charity, undertaken human rights and community aid work in the Middle East, South America, United Kingdom and Australia, and is a mother to 5 year old triplet boys, her biggest challenge yet!

This year Rabia has been nominated for Telstra Business Woman of the Year, The Zonta Club Woman of Achievement Award and the 100 Women of Influence in Australia Awards.

Rachel Argaman

CEO, TFE Hotels

A visionary leader who believes in "encouraging the heart," Rachel is CEO of TFE Hotels (Toga Far East Hotels).

With 20+ years of international experience at executive management level in the hospitality industry, Rachel has a passion for creating results-oriented, responsive and market-driven culture within companies. This is backed by a driving belief that success of businesses depends on the quality of people they employ.

Rachel has a proven track record of increasing sales, global market share and profitability, is goal-oriented, and focused on the accelerated growth of TFE Hotels and their brands: Adina Apartment Hotels, Travelodge Hotels, Rendezvous Hotels, Medina Serviced Apartments, and Vibe Hotels. Her experience includes managing company growth, takeover and integration, and establishment of new brands.

Rachel's success to date has been recognized by various business awards. In 2014 she was the HotelsWorld "First Award" winner. 2012 saw Rachel presented with the prestigious "Fellow of the International Centre of Excellence Award," in 2010 was named HM Magazine's Hotelier of the Year, and in 2008 Rachel was the Telstra National Corporate Businesswoman of the Year.

Rachel also has participated in the Australian version of Undercover Boss, allowing her to see her company through a "different lens" as she worked on the front line, a move which facilitated ongoing changes for the way TFE Hotels' management team supports the business.

TFE Hotels' charitable focus is on helping the homeless. To that end, hotels donate good-quality leftover food to OzHarvest, and Rachel is currently a Director of the OzHarvest Board.

Rachel holds an MBA in Service Industry Management.

Sue Cato

Principal, Cato Counsel

Sue Cato is a corporate communications professional with over 20 years' experience advising leading Australian and international companies.

Sue established Cato Counsel in 2003 as a corporate communications company providing high-level strategic transaction support and public and corporate affairs advice.

Sue is a regular panellist on ABC24 TV's The Drum and the 2UE Breakfast Show. She is also a commentator on business issues for the national press.

She is a board member of Carriageworks and an advisory board member of Sydney Contemporary and is a member of Chief Executive Women.

Ita Buttrose

AO, OBE

Ita Buttrose AO OBE is a truly exceptional Australian: a legendary media editor, businesswoman, best-selling author, committed community and welfare contributor and 2013 Australian of the Year.

Twice voted Australia's most admired woman, Ita Buttrose was the youngest ever and an unprecedentedly successful Editor of The Australian Women's Weekly, the founding editor of Cleo, the first woman to ever edit a major metropolitan newspaper in Australia as Editor-in-Chief of the Sydney Daily & Sunday Telegraphs, and the first woman director of News Limited. In 2011, Ita's early career was the subject of highly-acclaimed ABC miniseries Paper Giants: The Birth of Cleo, in which she was portrayed by actor Asher Keddie.

Ita later founded Capricorn Publishing and The Good Life Publishing Company and created ITA Magazine, and has been involved with publishing work for such clients as David Jones, Telstra, and the ATO.

Ita Buttrose is the current National President of Alzheimer's Australia, Patron of the Macular Disease Foundation, and Emeritus Director of Arthritis Australia. She received an AO for her services to the community especially in the field of public health education when she spearheaded Australia's HIV/AIDS Education Program, an OBE for her services to journalism, and a Centenary Medal for business leadership.

A founding member and former president of Chief Executive Women and host of the TEN Network's new morning chat program, Ita has written 11 very successful books including her best-selling autobiography A Passionate Life.

An accomplished communicator with a wealth of experience across a broad range of industry sectors, Ita has worked behind the scenes and in the public eye for major corporates, small business, governments and charity. When she speaks she does so with on-the-job knowledge and experience to deliver a speech that informs, entertains and inspires her audience. Her lively wit is a joy and there is never a dull moment at question time. Not surprisingly she is much in-demand as an entertaining speaker, an accomplished facilitator and a superb master of ceremonies.

Dr Michele Bruniges AM

Secretary, NSW Department of Education and Communities

Dr Michele Bruniges leads one of Australia's largest state government departments with a full time equivalent workforce of approximately 85,000 staff. She is responsible for all state public schools, providing education to more than 756,000 children. She is also responsible for early childhood education and care, vocational education and training, Aboriginal affairs, volunteering, youth and community engagement.

Previously, she held senior roles in the Australian Government's Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations and senior positions in the ACT and NSW Departments of Education and Training.

Her qualifications include a PhD in Educational Measurement and a Masters in Education. She is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, a Churchill Fellow and a Fellow of the Australian College of Educators and the Australian Council for Educational Leaders.

Dr Bruniges is a Member of the Order of Australia and is an Adjunct Professor at the University of New South Wales. In 2012, Dr Bruniges was nationally recognised for her work in public policy as a joint recipient of the Inaugural 100 Women of Influence Awards.

Abbie Wright

Diversity & Inclusion Manager, Aurecon

Aurecon is a leading, vibrant and global engineering, management and specialist technical services consultancy that operates in robust expanding markets. Across 12 markets including resources, transport, property, water and energy industries, Aurecon’s people are empowered to deliver their vision, foster human achievement, and enhance communities in partnership with their clients. The Aurecon group, with an office network extending across 26 countries, is involved in projects across Africa, Asia Pacific and the Middle East and employs around 7,500 people. Diversity in Aurecon Australasia is managed by a dedicated Diversity and Inclusion Manager who reports directly to the senior leadership team.

Abbie Wright, Aurecon's Diversity and Inclusion Manager, is a long standing employee and valued advisor on diversity and inclusion matters. With a background in human capital, cultural change and leadership development, Abbie's approach to diversity and inclusion is to "bring others on the journey" by influencing a work environment where everyone can feel safe and accepted regardless of difference. Abbie delivers a diversity portfolio that supports Aurecon's business strategy and respects client and staff expectations. Abbie is the 2014 Australian Human Resources Institute Diversity Champion award recipient, an award she dedicates to the many diversity and change champions within Aurecon. 

Elaine Bensted

CEO, Zoos South Australia

Elaine Bensted is Chief Executive, Zoos South Australia commencing on the 3rd September 2012. 

Prior to being appointed as Chief Executive, Zoos South Australia Elaine held the position of Chief Executive, Office of TAFE SA.

Prior to that role, Elaine held Senior roles in both State and Local Government and has had previous roles in the private finance sector – including human resource and training management, operation and project management and running a branch of a bank.

Elaine’s qualifications include an MBA and a Masters in Public Policy and Management.

Indira Naidoo

Broadcaster & Author

Indira Naidoo is one of Australia's most popular broadcasters.

During her 25-year award-winning journalistic career, Ms Naidoo has hosted and reported for some of the country's most distinguished news and current affair programs.

She achieved national prominence as the host of the ABC's LATE EDITION nightly news and as an anchor and reporter for SBS TV's award-winning late night news service the WORLD NEWS TONIGHT.

Ms Naidoo developed a cult following for her less serious appearances on the McFEAST show, ROY and HG's CLUB BUGGERY, GOOD NEWS WEEK, and the Glasshouse. Indira was also a contestant on the inaugural episode of Celebrity MasterChef.

In recent years Indira's interest has shifted to the issues of food security, global environmental sustainability and gardening.

She has been the media manager and spokesperson for consumer advocacy group CHOICE and was a Geneva-based sustainability consultant with the United Nations' trade development arm – The International Trade Centre.

In 2009 she was selected from 2000 applicants to be trained by former US President Al Gore as a climate change presenter.

Her first book, the best-selling 'The Edible Balcony' about growing food in small spaces has been launched in London, Hong Kong and New York and she lectures internationally on food sustainability issues.

Indira is an ambassador for Sydney's homeless crisis centre the Wayside Chapel and conducts weekly gardening classes on its rooftop vegetable garden for its homeless visitors. She is a member of the international Slow Food movement and has written on food and sustainability issues for The Sydney Morning Herald and Gourmet Traveller magazine, and writes the Saucy Onion food blog.

Indira's wealth of experience makes her a highly sort after MC, guest speaker and conference facilitator. Recent events include; guest speaker at Green Roofs Seminar, Footprints Ecofestival, Sustainable City Living Festival, The Business Association of Victoria Women's Lunch, MC for BHP Bilton Awards, HSEC Awards, RIRDC Rural Women's Awards, AHRI Diversity Awards, National Architecture Awards, Rabobank Awards, Premier of Queensland's Export Awards, SMH Good Food Awards and facilitating roles at the NSW Environment Protection Love Food Hate Waste forum, Terrace to Plate Panel discussion, The New Rural Industries Australia Conference, Sydney Council Smart Green Apartments Launch and the Australian Human Rights Commission event.

Most recently she was the curator for the Australian Garden Show Sydney and special guest at Floriade in Canberra.

Jo Stewart-Rattray

Director, Information Security and IT Assurance, BRM Holdich

Jo has 25 years' experience in the IT field some of which were spent as CIO in the Utilities space, and 17 in the Information Security arena. She underpins her information technology and security background with her qualifications in education and management.

Jo specialises in consulting in information security issues with a particular emphasis on governance in both the commercial and operational areas of businesses. Jo provides strategic advice to organisations across a number of industry sectors including banking and finance, utilities, automotive manufacturing, tertiary education, retail and government.

Jo is the Chair of ISACA's International Professional Influence & Advocacy Committee and past chair of its Leadership Development Committee. She is past president of ISACA's Adelaide Chapter and she has served as a Director on ISACA's international Board of Directors. ISACA is a professional body with some 105,000 members in approximately 200 countries around the world and represents professionals from the IT assurance, governance and information security disciplines.

Kate Costello

Managing Director, Governance Matters

Kate Costello is the Managing Director of Governance Matters, a consulting company specialising in improving corporate governance practices and board performance.  The company develops industry-specific governance programs, conducts board evaluations and sells governance-related resources.
Kate is also a renowned speaker on governance topics.
Prior to establishing the successful management consultancy, Kate earned a law degree from the University of Melbourne and worked in management at a commercial law firm. She was also an academic at the University of South Australia.
Kate’s experience in the sector stems from over 25 years of work in corporate governance and strategy consulting.  She has worked closely with the boards of client organisations across the country and has held several directorships.  Kate was also a facilitator in the Company Directors’ Course, a comprehensive director program offered by the Australian Institute of Company Directors. 

Internationally, Kate was an integral part in developing an inaugural governance program for Thailand’s Institute of Directors.  She was also an alliance group member engaged by AUSAID and the World Bank to undertake a governance initiative in China.

Kate works in governance consulting with boards and executive management on strategy, restructures, skilling programs and board evaluations. 

Kate’s board experience includes directorships of The South Australian TAB, Festival City Broadcasters Ltd and Saab Systems Pty Ltd and, chairmanship of Saab ITS and Bassett Consulting Engineers. She currently holds directorships in two ASX listed companies, Integrated Research Ltd and LBT Innovations Ltd.

Kate is a member of the Independent Selection Committee of the University of Adelaide and was a committee member for the independent review of the governance of soccer in Australia.

Kerry Rowlands

General Manager Customer & Community Relations, SA Water

Kerry has more than 20 years of business experience holding senior commercial, customer interfacing positions within organisations such as Kimberly Clark Australia and Faulding Pharmaceutical before joining SA Water in 2004. Kerry is committed to customer service excellence and driving a customer focused organisation. Kerry is currently on the Energy & Water Ombudsman SA Board, is part of the Allwater Alliance Leadership Team and is an active Water Services Association of Australia’s Customers and Community Network member.

Lauren Ganley

General Manager, Indigenous Directorate, Chief Sustainability Office, Telstra

Lauren Ganley is a descendant of the Kamilaroi people and is the General Manager of Telstra's Indigenous Directorate. She has worked with Telstra for thirty-plus years and brings a wealth of knowledge of telecommunications and stakeholder relations to this role. She describes her job as 'pretty special' and leads programs and business activities that make a positive difference for Indigenous communities across Australia. Lauren was a member of the Expert Panel (2011) to recognise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples in the Australian Constitution. She is currently a Director of Kakadu Tourism and the Aboriginal Foundation of South Australia, co-convenor of the National Indigenous Corporate Network, a Fellow of the Australian Rural Leadership Foundation and a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. In 2014 Lauren was named by the Australian Financial Review and Westpac Group as one of Australia's 100 Women of Influence in the Diversity category.

Stephanie Alexander AO

Food Activist & Founder, Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Foundation

Stephanie Alexander AO is regarded as one of Australia's great food educators. Her reputation has been earned through her thirty years as an owner-chef in several restaurants, as the author of 14 influential books and hundreds of articles about food matters, and for her groundbreaking work in creating the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Foundation.

Everything she has achieved and worked towards has been driven by her desire to break down people’s anxieties about cooking, to emphasise the beauty of produce fresh from the garden, to demonstrate the pleasures of sharing around a table, so that more of us will choose to live a more joyful and healthier life. Her fifth book, The Cook’s Companion is regarded as an Australian classic, and has sold 500,000 copies. In 2013 this monumental work, in response to the new technology, appeared as an easy-to-use digital App.

In 2014 Stephanie became an Officer of the Order of Australia in recognition of her work with the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Foundation. In October 2014, she received the Australian Council for Educational Leaders Honorary Fellowship Award acknowledging the educational value of the Program. Her strong belief is that the earlier children learn about food through example and pleasurable hands-on experience, the better their food choices will be throughout life. 

Abigail Forsyth

Founder & CEO, KeepCup

Abigail's entrepreneurial spirit was kick-started when she caught sight of opportunity as an eleven year old, selling sandwiches in the business park where her father worked in the school holidays. Profits and losses were accounted for, Abigail recognised a need she could satisfy and got a taste for the relationship between effort and reward. With delights like peanut butter, honey and apricot sandwiches well received, there was delight in others appreciation of a creative idea.

Following a Law and Arts degree at the University of Melbourne, Abigail worked as a solicitor for a boutique law firm in Melbourne. During this time Abigail regularly volunteered at the Immigration Advice and Rights Centre (IARC) a not-for-profit charity, giving legal advice to refugees and immigrants to Australia.

In 1998 Abigail left the law to start up Bluebag - feel good food, a chain fresh and healthy sandwich shops in Melbourne's CBD, with her brother Jamie Forsyth. The move meant the uncovering of Abigail's creative flair in the store design, menu and packaging. Bluebag operated six stores and a thriving corporate catering business. During this time Abigail commenced an MBA at the University of Melbourne but found practical matters always drew her away from her studies.

After twelve years the business was sold in 2010, having provided the idea and stepping stone for her latest venture, KeepCup. The large volumes of disposable packaging and waste alarmed Abigail, so the search began for more sustainable and environmentally gentle ways to serve food. Abigail saw an opportunity in the inadequacy most reusable mugs or thermoses to replace disposable cups. They set about designing KeepCup as a product response that would inspire and assist in the behaviour change from discard to reuse.

"We took a big gamble that usability and aesthetics were key reasons for the poor take up of reusables as an alternative to disposable cups. As a global problem we always had our sights set on a global brand. People purchase KeepCups to be sustainable but they keep using them because they love the way they look and feel" says Abigail.

As co-founder and spokesperson for the brand it has been a wild ride. In four years over three million KeepCups have been sold from Australia to Iceland. KeepCup products are designed and manufactured in Australia and exported to the world, and KeepCup has offices and warehouses in the USA and the UK, and 25 global distribution partners. KeepCups are sold in 32 countries around the world. Positive word of mouth has turned the world's first barista standard reusable cup into a global phenomenon. In Abigail's words, "KeepCup is a simple product whose thoughtful design and clever marketing has given people permission to do the right thing". However with an estimated 500 billion disposable cups manufactured annually there remain significant challenges ahead.

Abigail lives with her husband and two children, Bess and Clarence.
She loves her garden and before KeepCup she was a good cook.

Celia Pollard

HR Director, Public Transport Victoria

Celia has been HR Director at Public Transport Victoria since its inception in 2012 following more than 20 years' experience as an industrial relations and human resources practitioner. She started her career as a tutor in politics at Monash University and went on to become first a researcher and then an industrial officer at various trade unions. Celia worked for the US Government as an advisor on labour relations and the Victorian Government at Industrial Relations Victoria as a policy analyst.

Celia has since held leadership positions in industrial relations and human resources in the higher education, health and transport portfolios. Celia has post-graduate qualifications in business and management and is an alumnus of the Harvard Business School Women's Leadership Forum.

Lieutenant General David Morrison AO

Chief of Army

Lieutenant General David Morrison joined the Army in 1979, after completing a BA at the Australian National University. He graduated from the Officer Cadet School, Portsea to the Royal Australian Infantry Corps. He has held command positions as the Commanding Officer of the Second Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment, Commander of the 3rd Brigade and Commander of the Australian Defence Colleges.

He was appointed as Land Commander Australia in December 2008 and became Army's first Forces Commander on 1 July 2009. On 24 June 2011, he was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant General and on 27 June 2011 he assumed his current appointment of Chief of Army.

For his service to the Australian Army in the fields of training and education, military strategic commitments and force structure and capability; in particular, as Commander Australian Defence College, Head Military Strategic Commitments and Deputy Chief of Army he was appointed as an Officer in the Order of Australia in the 2010 Australia Day Honours list.

General Morrison is an ambassador for White Ribbon, and a Male Champion of Change.

Frances Cawthra

CFO, Australian Taxation Office

Frances Cawthra is the Chief Finance Officer, and her portfolio includes the ATO's management and financial accounting functions, procurement and contract management as well as property and facilities management services.

Frances plays a key advisory role to the Commissioner and ATO Executive ensuring that organisational strategy is informed by a financial perspective. At an operational level the finance function ensures the ATO is provided with robust reporting and insightful business intelligence, understands their obligations and are supported in complying with Commonwealth requirements.

Frances joined the ATO in August 2005 and has been a key change agent, introducing to the organisation dialler technology, use of external collection agencies, expanding the client service window and established the ATO's community programs.

Frances held a number of senior roles in the private sector in a range of industries including retail, energy and financial services prior to joining the ATO.

James Thiedman

CEO & Managing Director, Monash IVF Group

Mr James Thiedeman is the CEO and Managing Director of the Monash IVF Group and has responsibility for the Group's 21 fertility clinics which span Australia and Malaysia. Monash IVF Group is an ASX 300 company which has been a global leader in the development of assisted reproductive technologies (ART) and continues to achieve many Australian and world firsts since the efforts of its pioneers who achieved the first IVF pregnancy in the world in 1973. The Group offers a complete range of fertility treatment options including IVF (in vitro fertilisation), with a holistic approach to fertility care. With over 40 years' experience and over 35,000 babies Monash IVF Group provides its patients the best chance of realising their dream of having a family.

James has spent 25 years working in healthcare in both the public and private sectors.
Prior to joining Monash Group, he was the CEO of Noosa Private Hospital on Queensland's Sunshine Coast and has held senior roles with Ramsay Health Care, Affinity Health, Mayne Health and Health Care of Australia.

Before moving to the private health industry, James held senior policy and planning positions in the public sector.

James holds a Bachelor of Business in Health Administration from the Queensland University of Technology and an MBA from Griffith University.

James lives in Abbotsford in Melbourne with his wife and mischievous eight year old son.

Jan Berriman

CEO, YWCA Victoria

Jan has been in her current role with YWCA Victoria for just over a year where she has lead the organisation in the development of a sustainable business model. Her experience over the past twenty years has been at executive level within not for profit organisations understanding the governance, legal, financial and service delivery models required to deliver the vision and mission of the organisation.. She is passionate about social justice and has worked in remote, rural and inner urban context delivering housing, mentoring, leadership and services to those most disadvantaged within the community.

Jan's experience in mergers, acquisitions and development of multi-use housing projects in the highest land value areas in Victoria along-side her recent experience in Central Australia leading and developing an aboriginal corporation is unique. These experiences has developed Jan's leadership style and ability to negotiate partnerships with the 'top end of town' or with a remote aboriginal community who meet under 'gumtree 21' at Amooguna.

Her strength in negotiation was demonstrated with Australia's first affordable housing project within a mixed use development in Docklands, in partnership with LendLease Developments, 3 State Government Departments and the Nab. Jan believes that sustainable communities are achievable through working in partnership across all sectors, cultures and social spheres. She is an accomplished and innovative manager in organisational development and growth with demonstrated experience in securing partnerships to ensure lasting impact.

Jane Hunt

CEO, Adopt Change

Jane Hunt is the CEO of Adopt Change, a highly influential organisation advocating for change in adoption policy and practices in Australia. She is leading the development of the next stage of the organisation, including setting the strategic direction, developing the business model and establishing a centre of excellence in pre and post adoptive care. Jane is passionate about providing children the best start in life so that they can live rich and full lives.

Prior to joining Adopt Change, Jane was the inaugural CEO of Fitted for Work, a not-for-profit that transformed the lives of over 18,000 women experiencing disadvantage. She developed Fitted for Work into a highly effective organization tackling women's disadvantage and unemployment. She also developed several for-profit social enterprises (CareerIgnite and Dear Gladys) to ensure that Fitted for Work had a sustainable business model.

Before joining Fitted for Work in 2008, Jane was the Victorian Strategy and Operations Manager, Community Services. She developed and oversaw services for families and children, young people, Aboriginal Australians and disadvantaged communities. Jane also lead the development of social enterprises at Mission Australia, such as Charcoal Lane.

As an active contributor to advancing social innovation in Australia, Jane has provided consulting services to a diverse range of organisations in the arts, legal, corproate and community sectors. Examples of her ability to draw a synergy and develop relationships between business and the community sector include collaborations between NFP's and Yarra Trams, David Lawrence and Westpac.

In recognition of Jane's contribution, she received the global Schwab Foundation Social Entrepreneur Award in 2012. As part of this Award she is invited to attend World Economic Forum events. Jane was also the winner of the Victorian Telstra Business Women's Award – Nokia Business Innovation Award 2011 and awarded the 2010 Melbourne Business 3000 Award for Community Innovation.

Jane was appointed as a Director of Yarra Community Housing in late 2014 and she is an active member on the Advisory Council for Affinity Private (a boutique wealth advisory practice).

Her qualifications include a Bachelor of Arts (Hons), Masters of Arts (Hons) and a Masters of Business Leadership. She also won a scholarship to participate in INSEAD's Social Entrepreneurship Programme and is an active member of their global network.

Jane is a much sought after guest speaker on a range of topics including: leadership, effective career transitions for womensocial innovation and developing social enterprises.

Jane is married to Andrew and has two children Thomas and Harper. She mentors two other CEOs. She loves CrossFit, cooking, music, bike riding and going to the theatre.

Dr Judith Slocombe

CEO Alannah and Madeline Foundation

Dr Judith Slocombe's career spans many roles; veterinarian, entrepreneur, business owner, senior executive manager within a large corporate and non-executive director.

Judith graduated as a veterinarian from the University of Melbourne and, after practising in Australia and overseas, commenced a small veterinary pathology business from home. She went on to create a completely new business model which redefined veterinary diagnostics in Australia and she grew her small business into the largest veterinary diagnostic group in Australasia.

In 2001, Judith sold her business to the Gribbles Group. She graduated with an MBA from the Melbourne Business School in June 2002. Judith's transition from small business owner to senior corporate manager was complete when she was appointed Group General Manager, Pathology, heading up the major human pathology division of the Gribbles Group with laboratories throughout Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia, India and Singapore.

Throughout her career, Judith's work has been recognised by numerous prestigious awards, among them Australia's most highly regarded award for women in business, the Telstra Australian Business Woman of the Year. In 2003 she was awarded a centenary medal for service to Australian society in business leadership. She is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Management.

Judith also holds numerous directorships including Agriculture Victoria Services, Leadership Victoria and The Young and Well Cooperative Research Center. She is a past director of the Australian Red Cross Blood Service, Victorian Health Promotion Foundation (VicHealth), Open Universities Australia, South East Water Limited, and former President of the Animal Welfare League of Australia.

In 2005 Judith was appointed CEO of The Alannah and Madeline Foundation. The Foundation cares for children who are victims of violence and works to create safe and caring communities for children and young people. A major focus of the Foundation is cybersafety and reducing bullying and its devastating effects in our society. This children's charity is a natural fit for Judith who is a mother of nine children of her own.

Judith's vision for The Alannah and Madeline Foundation is for all children to have a safe and happy childhood free from violence.

Kate Palmer

Chief Executive, Netball Australia

Since her appointment as Chief Executive of Netball Australia, Kate has led significant change. Netball has balanced commercial outcomes - demonstrated by the growth of the ANZ Championship, securing the rights to the 2015 Netball World Cup, increased corporate and government partnerships and broadcast and digital strategies with an overarching belief and commitment to building and sustaining communities through the power of netball.

Netball Australia and its eight States/Territories have been implementing governance reform since 2009 when the first stage of a governance improvement project was undertaken. More recently the sport was involved in a project in partnership with the Australian Sports Commission. This project has led to further investment in governance improvement at both the National and State levels.

Larke Riemer

Director of Women's Markets for Westpac Banking Corporation

Larke Riemer is the Director of Women's Markets for Westpac Banking Corporation.

Larke has over 30 years with the Westpac Group and has worked across many areas of the bank. She has been instrumental in positioning Westpac to be recognised by the World Bank as global best practice for the work they do with women. Larke has responsibility for growing the overall footings of female customers which currently sits at approximately $107 billion and generates over $1.6 billion in revenue.

Larke is a regular commentator in the media as a spokesperson for Westpac on issues relating to women and the female economy.

Larke is the Chair and Global Ambassador of the Global Banking Alliance for Women in Banking whose mission is to accelerate the growth of women in business and women's wealth creation globally, while generating superior business outcomes for member financial institutions.

Larke is a regularly asked to speak internationally for the World Bank/International Finance Corporation on issues relating to women and access to finance.

In 2011 Larke was recognised by The International Alliance for Women for her efforts in advancing economic empowerment of women worldwide and was awarded with the World of Difference award.

In 2012 Larke was awarded Westpac's CEO Lifetime Recognition Award for her Outstanding Contribution to Women & Banking.

In June 2014 Larke was a keynote speaker at the annual Power Shift Conference at Oxford University for Women in the Global Economy on the topic of Women in Finance.

Michelle Dixon

Partner & CEO,
Maddocks

Michelle is a partner and the CEO of national law firm Maddocks. She was appointed to the role following 17 years at Maddocks including a period as leader of the firm’s commercial disputes team. Michelle works with the Board and partnership to set and deliver the strategic direction for the firm. Her career to date has been punctuated by numerous industry awards including being listed as a leading litigation lawyer in the 2014 edition of Best Lawyers. She has also been recommended each year for dispute resolution in Asia Pacific Legal 500 -  a client guide to the world’s best law firms since 2011. Under Michelle’s leadership, Maddocks was this year recognised as an Employer of Choice for firms >500 employees by Australasian Legal Lawyer, who surveyed employees within the industry.

Michelle is a strong advocate for women in leadership and helping them develop their career in the legal profession. She is an ambassador for the Workplace Gender Equity Agency’s (WGEA) ‘In Your Hands’ initiative which is designed to empower leaders to flag the item of pay equity with senior executives within their organisations. Michelle is also a major champion of the Maddocks Women initiative, set up to help the firm’s female employees with their professional development as well as to promote the firm as an innovative and responsive employer for women. As part of this initiative, Michelle mentors young lawyers within the firm.

Michelle is a mother of two young children (and with her husband, parent to a foster child).

Maddocks has been recognised for ten consecutive years as an Employer of Choice for Women (EOWA), affirming that the firm offers equal opportunities to all its people irrespective of gender. The EOCFW citation has allowed Maddocks to express its commitment to equal opportunity in the workplace for women, to seek and retain the best possible talent as well as to secure new clients, looking to partner with EOCFW cited organisations.

Sadhana Smiles

CEO, Harcourts Victoria

Sadhana Smiles is an engaging, entertaining speaker who takes you on a journey and tells you as it is – what you see is what you get.

As the only female CEO in her sector she has created a brand that has placed her amongst her peers as a thought leader and industry commentator.

Her renowned wit, inspiring personality and acute ability to capitalise on a commercial opportunity along with her innate sense for quickly identifying issues affecting business performance, have earned Sadhana the respect of some of the most admired leaders of the Real Estate world in Australia.

In 2013 Sadhana was named the Victorian Telstra Business Women of the Year, as well as the Victorian Telstra Private Corporate Sector award.
During the last financial year Sadhana has lead the business through significant growth in a property market that was tumultuous. Providing a 17% growth on written sales, 12% growth on settled sales, over $2B in property sales, increasing the average gross commission of sales agent by 20% and growing the network by 20%. Under her leadership Harcourts is now the 3rd largest and fastest growing network in Victoria.

Sadhana is the founder of Links Fiji, a not for profit, with a focus on conducting pap smears for women in rural areas of Fiji.

She is passionate about the issue of gender equality and violence against women.

A single mum of two kids, Sadhana’s drive comes from her desire to leave the world she influences a better place.

Stephanie Alexander AO

Food Activist & Founder, Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Foundation

Stephanie Alexander AO is regarded as one of Australia's great food educators. Her reputation has been earned through her thirty years as an owner-chef in several restaurants, as the author of 14 influential books and hundreds of articles about food matters, and for her groundbreaking work in creating the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Foundation.

Everything she has achieved and worked towards has been driven by her desire to break down people’s anxieties about cooking, to emphasise the beauty of produce fresh from the garden, to demonstrate the pleasures of sharing around a table, so that more of us will choose to live a more joyful and healthier life. Her fifth book, The Cook’s Companion is regarded as an Australian classic, and has sold 500,000 copies. In 2013 this monumental work, in response to the new technology, appeared as an easy-to-use digital App.

In 2014 Stephanie became an Officer of the Order of Australia in recognition of her work with the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Foundation. In October 2014, she received the Australian Council for Educational Leaders Honorary Fellowship Award acknowledging the educational value of the Program. Her strong belief is that the earlier children learn about food through example and pleasurable hands-on experience, the better their food choices will be throughout life. 

Susan Alberti AO, MAICD

Founder, Susan Alberti Medical Research Foundation

Susan Alberti was born in 1947 in Bairnsdale, Victoria. She is the co-founder and Managing Director of the DANSU Group based in Wheelers Hill.

DANSU Group successfully completed substantial commercial, industrial and property development projects, especially in Melbourne's south eastern suburbs, including Hallam, Dandenong, and surrounds.

Susan has supplemented her successful business career with a major contribution and commitment to fundraising and promotion of Type 1 diabetes research. She has been involved in raising money for research into diabetes since her daughter was diagnosed with the chronic disease in the 1980s. She is a major philanthropic supporter of many Melbourne medical research facilities.

In 1997 Susan was awarded Member of Order of Australia Medal awarded for services to the community and diabetes generally. Susan Alberti was made an Officer the Order of Australia in 2007 and Finalist in Australian of the Year 1997 & 2009 (Victoria). Susan also was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Laws honoris causa from Monash University 2006 for her work as a campaigner and fundraiser for juvenile diabetes. Susan is an Australia Day Ambassador (Victoria) and a Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. She is Chair of the Susan Alberti Medical Research Foundation, Chair of the St. Vincent's Institute of Medical Research Foundation, and Chair of the Victoria University Foundation. Former National President of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, former Member of the International Board of Chancellors Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation International based in New York, former member of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation International Board - the first Australian ever elected to this position in the history of the organisation and former Chairperson of the International Affiliates of JDRF International. Susan is Director of the Australian Centre for Health and Research, Director of the Western Health Foundation and is the Vice President, Director and Patron of the AFL Western Bulldogs Football Club.

In 2012 Susan won the Humanitarian Award at the 5th Annual Gold Harold Awards which are designed to honour achievements made by leading Australian individuals and organisations that have contributed to the health and wellbeing of Australia's children and young people.

In September 2013, Susan accepted the invitation to become (Alma Mater) Patron of Siena College Camberwell and later Patron of Siena College Camberwell and Governor of the Siena Philanthropic Society. Susan was a finalist in the Financial Review and Westpac Group – 100 Women of Influence Awards 2013 and was awarded the Research Australia - Macquarie Group Foundation Great Australian Philanthropy Award in November, 2013.

Earlier this year, Susan Alberti was appointed by the Minister for Health, Hon Peter Dutton MP, to a group overseeing the development of a new National Diabetes Strategy. Members of the Advisory Group have been drawn from eminent researchers, practitioners and key stakeholders in the diabetes field.

Katie-Jeyn Romeyn

Director, Coach on Collins

Katie-Jeyn is a leader in closing the gender pay equity gap. Her business Coach on Collins helps companies bridge the gender divide and provides “success” coaching for women starting, changing or elevating their careers or enterprises.

Prior to launching Coach on Collins, Katie-Jeyn had a 15-year career in the mining industry. Starting as a mine site administrator, she quickly progressed to executive leadership ranks. Her most recent corporate role was Executive General Manager People & Business Services with St Barbara Limited, an ASX-listed gold explorer and producer.

In seven years at St Barbara, Katie-Jeyn led the company’s pay equity gap reduction from a staggering 43% in 2007 to 11.4% in 2014. This result out-performed the mining sector’s gap of 23.8 % in 2014 and the national gap of 18.2%. As a result, St Barbara won state and national awards, and was a recipient of the 2014 Workplace Gender Equality Agency’s “Employer of Choice for Gender Equality”.

Lyn Goodear

CEO & Managing Director AHRI

Lyn Goodear is the Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Human Resources Institute. She was appointed to the role in December 2012. Lyn has also held the role of Secretary General and Treasurer of the Asia Pacific Federation of Human Resource since 2012.

Lyn was formerly National Manager, Professional Development at AHRI, a position she held from 2005 to 2012. Previously Lyn held leadership and management roles within the education sector at Southwest Institute of TAFE and Deakin Australia, in addition to accounting roles within the mining and engineering industries located in the United States and Australia. She has also managed her own consulting business.

Lyn has a Bachelor of Business and a Master of Education (Leadership and Management). She is an alumnus of the Mt Eliza Business School Leadership Program and the Advanced Human Resources Executive Program of the Ross Business School, Michigan, USA.

Tracey Fellows

CEO REA Group

Tracey Fellows is Chief Executive Officer of ASX-listed REA Group, responsible for the Group’s operations and investments in Australia and international markets.

REA Group is a digital advertising business specialising in property. It owns and operates Australia’s leading residential and commercial property sites, realestate.com.au and realcommercial.com.au, as well as property sites in Italy, Luxembourg, France and China.

The Group also has strategic investments in Move Inc., a leading digital real estate advertising business in the United States, and iProperty Group which operates real estate advertising portals across South-East Asia.

Prior to joining REA Group in August 2014, Tracey was Executive General Manager of Communication Management Services at Australia Post, responsible for the physical and digital mail business which encompassed 13,000 employees.

Previously, Tracey was based in Singapore as Microsoft Vice-President for the Asia-Pacific region, responsible for sales, services, and marketing across 12 countries. Prior to this, Tracey was Managing Director of Microsoft Australia and New Zealand for four years and also served on the ninemsn board. Tracey has also held senior roles with Dell and IBM.

Born in Canada, Tracey holds a Bachelor of Economics from Monash University and a Postgraduate Diploma of Banking Management from the Macquarie Graduate School of Management. She lives in Melbourne with her husband Ian and son Jake.

Vicki Pridmore

CEO, BreastScreen Victoria

Vicki began her career as a wood-work and metal-craft teacher (she can tell you the difference between welding and brazing). She then trained as a psychologist; has worked in education in clinical counselling and guidance services as well as organisational review, and has had a long and distinguished career in the Victorian Department of Human Services, culminating in a role as Director, Portfolio Services, managing corporate complaints; privacy; ombudsman; legal services; media; communications; internal audit and FOI services and provided support and advice to the Ministers for Health, Aged Care, Community Services and Housing.

From 2005 until 2008 Vicki was CEO of the Cheltenham & Regional Cemeteries Trust, an organization which had been through a protracted period of upheaval and external scrutiny where she worked to stabilize the organisation and move it to a more modern way of operating. Vicki worked with the Greek Orthodox Church to establish the first Greek orthodox chapel on a Victorian cemetery site and unusually travelled to America to establish Bunurong Memorial Park as the sole Australian provider of LifeGem memorial Diamonds.

Since 2008, Vicki has been CEO at BreastScreen Victoria reprising her previous role on a statewide level, in an area focused on women and health - important considerations for Vicki. BSV is government funded to provide free biennial mammography screening to more than 240,000 Victorian women aged between 50 and 74 each year. As the CEO of BreastScreen Victoria Vicki has worked with the BreastScreen Board of Management, Victorian public hospitals and private radiology firms to ensure an efficient quality service is delivered. To date, BreastScreen Victoria has performed more than 2.8 million screening mammograms and continues to work towards reducing deaths from breast cancer through early detection of the disease.

Catherine Fox

Journalist, author and former 'Corporate Woman' Columnist

Catherine is one of Australia’s leading commentators and writers on women and the workforce. A journalist, author and public speaker, her expertise also includes leadership, management and workplace change.

After working in the financial services sector in Sydney and London, Catherine joined the Australian Financial Review and during a long career there she edited several sections of the publication, and wrote the Corporate Woman column. She was deputy editor of Boss magazine for several years before leaving the AFR in 2012.

Catherine has written three books and her latest, “Seven Myths about Women and Work” (New South) was released in August 2012 and shortlisted for the Ashurst Business Literature Prize.

Catherine is co-chair of the Westpac/Financial Review 100 Women of Influence Awards and is on several advisory boards, including the Defence Force Gender Equality Advisory Board. In 2013 she was appointed an associate fellow of the Centre for Ethical Leadership at Melbourne University. She has a BA (Communications) UTS and an MA (Hons) UNSW.

Geraldine Doogue AO

Journalist & Broadcaster

Geraldine Doogue is a journalist and broadcaster who has worked in print media, television and radio for more than four decades. In a career that started with a cadetship at the West Australian, she has gone on to receive a United Nations Media Peace Prize and two Penguin Awards for her major role in ABC TV's coverage of the Gulf War. In 2003 she was made an Officer in the Order of Australia for services to the community and media. A former host of Radio National's Life Matters, Geraldine is currently hosting ABC TV's Compass and Radio National's Saturday Extra. The Climb: Conversations with Australian Women in Power is her first book and was published by Text Publishing in 2014. She lives in Sydney.

Helen Summers

Helen has have been in private practice in Darwin for 16 years, with nine visiting clinics in regional and remote areas across 1500 sq km of the Top End, including Katherine, Nhulunbuy, Jabiru (Kakadu); Adelaide River, Batchelor; and Arnhemland homelands.

Global goals of Vision 2020 and national Goals for Close the Gap for Vision, which are about reducing preventable blindness and providing vision services in regional and remote Australia are well supported with a Vision Foundation for donated ready-mades, sunglasses and low cost glasses.

Helen has an interest in dry eye and anterior eye disease, glaucoma and macula management, contact lenses, children's vision, neuro-optometry conditions and indigenous health and embraces the latest in technology and research ideas.

The practice is in partnership with Flinders University and hosts final year students for training, mentoring.

Helen was the winner of the 2013 National Business Owner Award Winner, Telstra Business Women's Awards, the 2013 NT Telstra Business Women for the Year and the 2014 Australian Business Woman's Hall of Fame inductee.

In April 2014 Helen relocated her practice and opened as Australia's flagship Nikon concept practice.

Jan Berriman

CEO YWCA Victoria

Jan has been in her current role with YWCA Victoria for just over a year where she has lead the organisation in the development of a sustainable business model. Her experience over the past twenty years has been at executive level within not for profit organisations understanding the governance, legal, financial and service delivery models required to deliver the vision and mission of the organisation.. She is passionate about social justice and has worked in remote, rural and inner urban context delivering housing, mentoring, leadership and services to those most disadvantaged within the community.

Jan's experience in mergers, acquisitions and development of multi-use housing projects in the highest land value areas in Victoria along-side her recent experience in Central Australia leading and developing an aboriginal corporation is unique. These experiences has developed Jan's leadership style and ability to negotiate partnerships with the 'top end of town' or with a remote aboriginal community who meet under 'gumtree 21' at Amooguna.

Her strength in negotiation was demonstrated with Australia's first affordable housing project within a mixed use development in Docklands, in partnership with LendLease Developments, 3 State Government Departments and the Nab. Jan believes that sustainable communities are achievable through working in partnership across all sectors, cultures and social spheres. She is an accomplished and innovative manager in organisational development and growth with demonstrated experience in securing partnerships to ensure lasting impact.

Katrina Fong Lim

Lord Mayor of Darwin

Katrina was born in 1961 in Darwin, the fourth of six daughters of respected local couple Alec and Norma Fong Lim. Alec was a businessman who became Lord Mayor of Darwin in the 1980s. Katrina completed her primary and secondary education in Darwin, graduating from Darwin High School in 1979. She was an AFS1 Exchange Student to the USA for the 1978-79 school year.
1 American Field Service (AFS) Intercultural Programs

Katrina worked for thirteen years with the Commonwealth Public Service, undertaking a variety of jobs in a range of government departments. She then left the Public Service to work in the not for profit sector where she worked for 20 years including time at the YWCA, Crafts Council, NT Centenary of Federation and most recently as the Executive Director of Australia Day Council NT.

Katrina has a Bachelor of Business with a double major in Human Resource Management and Marketing. She also holds a Master of Professional Accounting from the University of Southern Queensland. Katrina operated a small business in Darwin, initially delivering Financial Management Training to builders through the Master Builders Association NT.

Katrina was voted Lord Mayor of Darwin in April 2012, and together with twelve elected Aldermen, will lead the 21st Council of Darwin for a period of four years.

Katrina lives with her husband Tony Waite in Nightcliff. She names her five sisters and mother as her strongest supporters and influencers, with the values and ethics instilled by her late father Alec Fong Lim still guiding her today.

Priscilla Collins

CEO, North Australian Aboriginal Justice Agency

Priscilla Collins is Eastern Arrernte from Central Australia and mother of 6 children. Priscilla is the CEO of the North Australian Aboriginal Justice Agency which provides high-quality and culturally appropriate legal aid services for Indigenous people in the Top End. She is fully engaged in pursuing the rights of Indigenous people through law and policy reform.

As the Deputy Chairperson of National ATSILS, Cilla aims to work towards gaining justice for Indigenous people and keeping their culture, tradition and law strong, Cilla won Northern Territory Businesswoman of the year for the 2011 community and government sector.

She holds a Master of Arts in Producing and is included in the 2008-2014 edition of Who’s Who of Australian Women.

Previously Cilla was the CEO of the CAAMA Group, the largest Indigenous owned and operated multimedia organisation in Australia. She managed the commercial enterprises of the CAAMA Group through Radio Broadcasting, Remote Indigenous Broadcasting, Independent Music Label, Film and Television Production Company, Shops and Television Broadcasting.

Cilla worked with the Australian Indigenous Communications Association in establishing the National Indigenous Television Service.

She was also the Executive Producer and Creator of the first Indigenous children’s television series called Double Trouble produced for a commercial network, Channel 9, and Disney.  “Double Trouble” was nominated for an AFI in 2008 for “Best Children’s Drama”.

Previously she was a Board Director on Indigenous Business Australia and Chairperson of the Indigenous Australian Indigenous Communications Association, Board Director of Imparja Television, National Indigenous Television Service and Indigenous Screen Australia.

April Long

Programs Manager at National Centre of Indigenous Excellence

April Long is an Aboriginal woman from the central coast and mid north coast of NSW. April has family connections to the Gumbangiir and Darkinjung nations of NSW. April graduated from her Law and Arts degree at the University of New South Wales in 2012. In this same year April was awarded the inaugural Attorney Generals Law Student of the Year in recognition of her excellent grades, community participation and involvement in legal reform.

April is currently a board member of Ngalaya the NSW lawyers Association and the New South Wales Law Society Indigenous Legal Issues Committee. April has presented to the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child and previously edited the Indigenous Law Bulletin. April is passionate about protecting the human rights of Indigenous peoples with a particular focus on juvenile offenders. April was previously the National Manager of the National Indigenous Youth Leadership Academy an initiative of the Foundation for Young Australians’ and NCIE.

In 2013, April was a named one of Australia’s top 100 women of influence for her commitment to social change and Indigenous youth leadership.

April is currently a first year teaching fellow at the University of New South Wales. However, April’s most rewarding work is working on the ground in communities with Australia’s young Indigenous peoples April is currently the Programs Manager at the National Centre of Indigenous Excellence.

Suzi Hullick

National Head of Indigenous Business, Westpac

Moved to the Territory in 1987 in the Royal Australian Navy as an Electronic Warfare specialist and completed 7 years before having children. 

Joined NAB and enjoyed an 11 year career working through all arms of the finance industry in the Territory. Identified as a NAB rising star in 2006 and completed Executive Leadership diploma at Columbia University NYC – specialising in “Managing Relationship in Different Cultures”.  

Suzi has lived in the Territory for some 23 years and joined Westpac in 2009 as the Regional General Manager responsible for the Territory’s commercial business and retail footprint.  In August 2012 was appointed as State General Manager Commercial Banking – SA/ NT and Tasmania.

Was awarded the Inaugural Overall Women of Influence Award with Westpac in 2012 and is a Women in Leadership ambassador.

Suzi enjoys Hockey and Golf with her husband Andrew and her sons Jamie 22 and Jason 18.

Lieutenant General David Morrison AO

Chief of Army

Lieutenant General David Morrison joined the Army in 1979, after completing a BA at the Australian National University. He graduated from the Officer Cadet School, Portsea to the Royal Australian Infantry Corps. He has held command positions as the Commanding Officer of the Second Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment, Commander of the 3rd Brigade and Commander of the Australian Defence Colleges.

He was appointed as Land Commander Australia in December 2008 and became Army's first Forces Commander on 1 July 2009. On 24 June 2011, he was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant General and on 27 June 2011 he assumed his current appointment of Chief of Army.

For his service to the Australian Army in the fields of training and education, military strategic commitments and force structure and capability; in particular, as Commander Australian Defence College, Head Military Strategic Commitments and Deputy Chief of Army he was appointed as an Officer in the Order of Australia in the 2010 Australia Day Honours list.

General Morrison is an ambassador for White Ribbon, and a Male Champion of Change.

Fran Raymond

Chief Operating Officer, Australian Reinsurance Pool Corporation

Fran is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants, a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD), an Associate Fellow of the Australian Institute of Management and one of Australia's inaugural100 Women of Influence in 2012.

Fran has significant experience in government and the private sector both in Australia and Overseas. Fran is currently the Chief Operating Officer for the Australian Reinsurance Pool Corporation, a member of the Defence Bank Board and Chair of its Audit Committee and a member of its Risk and Remuneration Committees. Fran is also on the Board of the Australian National Committee for UN Women and Chairperson of the Finance, Audit and Risk and Public Fund Committees.

Fran is a member of the Credit Union Foundation of Australia's International Development Working Group and a member of the ACT Council for the AICD.

Fran has worked on development programs in the Pacific, especially in programs supporting improved financial literacy and corporate governance for community based financial institutions. Fran is also involved as a mentor, supporting young women in finance and IT programs to promote greater participation of women in the finance and government sectors.

Jenny McCombe

CEO YMCA Canberra

I have diverse senior management experience that spans 25 years in the YMCA . I have worked in education ( school and vocational ) and at different levels of management within the YMCA. I have provided leadership to the Canberra YMCA for 12 years and have taken the organisation from being in dire financial circumstances to a healthy thriving valued based community organisation. My wish is to combine my knowledge and experience to deliver supportive community structures to nurture children and families, and contribute to an equitable society where individual differences are respected and skills valued. I grew up on a farm, studied in Newcastle and now consider myself a long time resident of Canberra where we bought up our 3 children.  Mothering being one of the most enjoyable and challenging roles I have had, but taught me many skills including negotiating, patience, and the importance of a sense of humour. I’m hopeless at social media and consider myself lucky to have a few twitter followers , I love coffee, going to the rugby and my family.

Catherine Fox

Journalist, author and former 'Corporate Woman' Columnist

Catherine is one of Australia’s leading commentators and writers on women and the workforce. A journalist, author and public speaker, her expertise also includes leadership, management and workplace change.

After working in the financial services sector in Sydney and London, Catherine joined the Australian Financial Review and during a long career there she edited several sections of the publication, and wrote the Corporate Woman column. She was deputy editor of Boss magazine for several years before leaving the AFR in 2012.

Catherine has written three books and her latest, “Seven Myths about Women and Work” (New South) was released in August 2012 and shortlisted for the Ashurst Business Literature Prize.

Catherine is co-chair of the Westpac/Financial Review 100 Women of Influence Awards and is on several advisory boards, including the Defence Force Gender Equality Advisory Board. In 2013 she was appointed an associate fellow of the Centre for Ethical Leadership at Melbourne University. She has a BA (Communications) UTS and an MA (Hons) UNSW.

Jessica May

CEO, Enabled Employment

Jess May is the founder and owner of Enabled Employment, a bold new internet start-up which provides teleworking opportunities for people with disability.

The idea for the company came from Jess’ own experience as a worker with a disability.

In 2011, Jess suffered with anxiety after the birth of her first child, and was diagnosed with panic disorder. She wanted to return to her full-time job, but was terrified of going into the workplace.

Jess knew that working would help her anxiety, but despite being highly commended and a skilled worker, she could not find work which she could do from home.

Her CV is impressive, and includes the Prime Minister’s Award and the Innovation Award for Excellence in Public Sector Management, the Medicare Australia Achieving Excellence Award, and she was a recipient of the Robert Perry Memorial Scholarship at the Canberra Institute of Technology. She was also recognised by the Australia Day Council with an Achievement Medallion in 2007.

Jess has a Diploma of Software Development, a Diploma of Project Management, and a Graduate Diploma in Public Sector Management.

Realising there was no opportunities for her to work from home, she started thinking about others with disabilities, of all kinds. Like many other people with disability who are well qualified, she volunteered to stay busy, but kept thinking about how she could make a difference, and provide the sort of paid work she was looking for to others in similar situations.

Through her research into the disability employment sector, Jess came upon the ACT Government’s Innovation Council Connect Grant, and was able to use it to develop the Enabled Employment website – www.enabledemployment.com.

The company has been accepted into the Griffin Accelerator Program, and the website went live in April 2014.  Jess now teleworks from home and the NICTA Building in Canberra, and is able to manage her condition through the flexible working conditions that telework provides.

Marie Johnson

Managing Director and Chief Digital Officer of the Centre for Digital Business

Marie Johnson is the Managing Director and Chief Digital Officer of the Centre for Digital Business. An experienced CIO and CTA, Marie has delivered significant technology, innovation and digital services transformation programs across taxation, business, social services, payments and immigration operations in the Australian Government. Marie was the Chief Technology Architect of the Australian Government Health and Human Services Access Card program. At Microsoft, Marie was the Worldwide Executive Director of Public Services and eGovernment based in Redmond USA. In this role, Marie was the joint author with Dr Jerry Fishenden of the Microsoft Strategy “The New World of Government Work”. In 2006-2007, Marie was named “Innovative CIO of the Year – Australia”. In 2013, Marie was named one of Australia’s “100 Women of Influence”. Marie is a Board Director of the Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA). Marie is a member of the NSW Government ICT Advisory Panel, which advises on transformation and ICT strategic directions for the NSW Government. Marie is also a member of the NSW Digital Government Taskforce.

Marie has acted as a trusted advisor to government leaders globally, and her experience includes advisory roles on government, non-government, not-for-profit, and academic councils and boards. The egovernment and digital initiatives Marie has led have been also been recognised in Australia and globally as ground breaking achievements by institutions such as the UN, World Bank, OECD, Accenture and other global think tanks. Marie is a sought after speaker, commentator and thought leader on topics such as digital disruption, egovernment, transformation and innovation. She is also a contributor to the CIO Online magazine.

Marie has an MBA (Melbourne Business School); Bachelor of Arts; Harvard University John F Kennedy School of Government Senior Executive Fellows Program; and a Graduate of Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Marie is professionally and personally committed to advancing and mentoring women, particularly in the field of ICT and supporting philanthropic initiatives. A fitness enthusiast, Marie has run half-marathons and marathons including the London Marathon in 2012 in a team of 10 that raised $100,000 for the Leukaemia Foundation.

Dr Megan Clark AC

Dr Clark was awarded a BSc (Hons) in Economic Geology at the University of Western Australia in 1981 before earning a Doctorate in Economic Geology at Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario in 1987.

She worked in an extensive range of roles for Western Mining Corporation, including mineral exploration, mine geology, research and development and strategy, before joining BHP Billiton as vice president Technology in 2003. She was later appointed vice president Health, Safety, Environment, Community and Sustainability with BHP Billiton in 2008.

Dr Clark was previously a director at NM Rothschild and Sons (Australia) and is currently a member of the Australian advisory board to the Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

In 2009, Dr Clark was appointed chief executive of the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), Australia’s national research agency and one of the leading mission-directed, multi-disciplinary applied research organisations in the world. She retired from that position in December 2014.

In 2014, Dr Clark was awarded a Companion of the Order of Australia for eminent service to scientific research and development.

Dr Clark has been a member of the Australian Prime Minister’s Science, Engineering and Innovation Council and a Commissioner on the International Commission on Sustainable Agriculture and Climate Change. She is a member of the World Economic Forum Advisory Panel to the 2015 Global Risk Report, a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering and a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Sadhana Smiles

CEO, Harcourts Victoria

Sadhana Smiles is an engaging, entertaining speaker who takes you on a journey and tells you as it is – what you see is what you get.

As the only female CEO in her sector she has created a brand that has placed her amongst her peers as a thought leader and industry commentator.

Her renowned wit, inspiring personality and acute ability to capitalise on a commercial opportunity along with her innate sense for quickly identifying issues affecting business performance, have earned Sadhana the respect of some of the most admired leaders of the Real Estate world in Australia.

In 2013 Sadhana was named the Victorian Telstra Business Women of the Year, as well as the Victorian Telstra Private Corporate Sector award.
During the last financial year Sadhana has lead the business through significant growth in a property market that was tumultuous. Providing a 17% growth on written sales, 12% growth on settled sales, over $2B in property sales, increasing the average gross commission of sales agent by 20% and growing the network by 20%. Under her leadership Harcourts is now the 3rd largest and fastest growing network in Victoria.

Sadhana is the founder of Links Fiji, a not for profit, with a focus on conducting pap smears for women in rural areas of Fiji.

She is passionate about the issue of gender equality and violence against women.

A single mum of two kids, Sadhana’s drive comes from her desire to leave the world she influences a better place.

Alison Standen

General Manager – Tasmania for The Smith Family

Alison Standen was appointed to the position of General Manager – Tasmania for The Smith Family in March 2010. Alison has had a diverse public sector career in the areas of public health, community development and economic development. Prior to joining The Smith Family, she worked as Deputy Director of the Community Development Division within the Tasmanian Department of Premier and Cabinet - a role which included responsibility as lead official coordinating Tasmania's response to the COAG Indigenous Reform agenda.

In previous positions, Alison was a political adviser to a former Premier of Tasmania and has held senior health administration and project management roles in the State and Commonwealth Government and at the University of Tasmania.

Alison has completed a Bachelor of Science, Master of Nutrition and Dietetics and a Master of Business Administration.

Senator Christine Milne

Leader of the Australian Greens and a Senator for Tasmania

Christine Milne, Leader of the Australian Greens and a Senator for Tasmania, is this year marking 25 years in politics.

Christine grew up on a dairy farm in Tasmania and was arrested and jailed during the campaign to save the Franklin River in 1983. Following her successful campaign to stop the native forest-based Wesley Vale pulp mill in the late 1980s, she was elected to the Parliament of Tasmania in 1989.

Christine became the first woman to lead a Tasmanian political party in 1993 and led the Tasmanian Greens as they held the balance of power from 1996-98. She pioneered the idea of multi-party power sharing politics in Australia and is committed to developing ethically-driven leadership.

Christine entered federal politics in 2004 and became leader of the Australian Greens in 2012, again holding the balance of power, this time in the Senate.

Christine's deep policy knowledge about climate change and her unparalleled experience with power-sharing minority governments secured an agreement to introduce an emissions trading scheme in Australia subsequent to the establishment of the Multi-Party Climate Change Committee.  As lead negotiator for the Greens on climate policy, Christine achieved through that committee not only the emissions trading scheme, but the biodiversity fund, the Australian Renewable Energy Agency and $10 billion for the Clean Energy Finance Corporation.

Christine intends to continue standing up to the conservative Abbott government, fighting for a clean economy, to protect the natural environment, caring for refugees and to be a voice for a more equal community.

Indira Naidoo

Broadcaster & Author

Indira Naidoo is one of Australia's most popular broadcasters.

During her 25-year award-winning journalistic career, Ms Naidoo has hosted and reported for some of the country's most distinguished news and current affair programs.

She achieved national prominence as the host of the ABC's LATE EDITION nightly news and as an anchor and reporter for SBS TV's award-winning late night news service the WORLD NEWS TONIGHT.

Ms Naidoo developed a cult following for her less serious appearances on the McFEAST show, ROY and HG's CLUB BUGGERY, GOOD NEWS WEEK, and the Glasshouse. Indira was also a contestant on the inaugural episode of Celebrity MasterChef.

In recent years Indira's interest has shifted to the issues of food security, global environmental sustainability and gardening.

She has been the media manager and spokesperson for consumer advocacy group CHOICE and was a Geneva-based sustainability consultant with the United Nations' trade development arm – The International Trade Centre.

In 2009 she was selected from 2000 applicants to be trained by former US President Al Gore as a climate change presenter.

Her first book, the best-selling 'The Edible Balcony' about growing food in small spaces has been launched in London, Hong Kong and New York and she lectures internationally on food sustainability issues.

Indira is an ambassador for Sydney's homeless crisis centre the Wayside Chapel and conducts weekly gardening classes on its rooftop vegetable garden for its homeless visitors. She is a member of the international Slow Food movement and has written on food and sustainability issues for The Sydney Morning Herald and Gourmet Traveller magazine, and writes the Saucy Onion food blog.

Indira's wealth of experience makes her a highly sort after MC, guest speaker and conference facilitator. Recent events include; guest speaker at Green Roofs Seminar, Footprints Ecofestival, Sustainable City Living Festival, The Business Association of Victoria Women's Lunch, MC for BHP Bilton Awards, HSEC Awards, RIRDC Rural Women's Awards, AHRI Diversity Awards, National Architecture Awards, Rabobank Awards, Premier of Queensland's Export Awards, SMH Good Food Awards and facilitating roles at the NSW Environment Protection Love Food Hate Waste forum, Terrace to Plate Panel discussion, The New Rural Industries Australia Conference, Sydney Council Smart Green Apartments Launch and the Australian Human Rights Commission event.

Most recently she was the curator for the Australian Garden Show Sydney and special guest at Floriade in Canberra.

Jan Davis

Chief Executive Officer, Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers Association

Jan Davis is the Chief Executive Officer at Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers Association (TFGA) which represents the state's 3500 farm businesses.

Jan is the public face of the Tasmanian agriculture industry. When she is not on TV, on the radio or in the papers, she works on the continuing evolution of agricultural policy with the interests of Tasmanian farmers in mind. She kicks the dirt in the paddock, hassles and haggles with three tiers of government, and attends countless (sometimes seemingly endless) meetings. Her success in doing this was recognised when she was named as the state's leading political lobbyist in a poll last year.

Jan has a strong background in the Australian agribusiness sector and in member-based organisations. For some years, she also worked as a consultant in the sector, with clients ranging from individuals through to state and federal governments.

She has served on the boards of a range of both not-for-profit and for-profit organisations. She is currently a member of the boards of the Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture and of the Royal Flying Doctors Service (Tasmania). In the past, she has been a director of Plant Health Australia Limited, Skills Tasmania, Horticulture Australia Limited and the Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation; and also Chair of the Australian Agricultural Colleges Corporation.

As a result, she has been identified as one of the top 100 women in Australian agriculture.

Jan has more qualifications than you can poke a stick at. These include Masters degrees in Agribusiness and Environmental Planning; Bachelors degree in Economics; and Graduate Diplomas in Education and Environmental Studies. She is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, and a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Management, the Australian Institute of Agricultural Science and Technology and the Australian Society of Association Executives.

Heather Francis

CEO, Royal Hobart Hospital Research Foundation

Heather has enjoyed a diverse career in the not for profit sector, with a focus on adding value to the broader community. While undertaking roles in the areas of health and education across Tasmania over the past thirty years, Heather has also contributed at a governance level to a number of organisations including through her Ministerial appointment to the Tasmanian Women’s Council, as a Board Director of Crime Stoppers Tasmania and also upon the National Board of the Australian Marketing Institute.

She is currently on the Board of Tasmania Medicare Local and was appointed by the Governor to the Board of the Tasmanian Community Fund in 2013. Heather was also delighted to accept a Ministerial appointment as Chair of the judging panel for the Tasmanian Honour Roll of Women 2014 - 2018.

As CEO of the RHH Research Foundation since 2011, Heather was acknowledged as the Telstra Business Woman of the Year (Community/Government Sector) for Tasmania in 2013. She is inspired about the opportunity for women to work together in making a difference to communities across Tasmania.

Lindy O'Neill

CEO Uniting Care Tasmania

Lindy has worked in the community services sector for 35+ years, and is passionate about equity, social justice and the empowerment of others. She enjoys the challenges faced by the sector, in an ever changing political and economic environment.

In a 3.5 year hiatus from the community sector she owned, operated and managed a large cafe in Ocean Grove Victoria. She has faced and understands the many challenges of small to medium enterprises in an ever-changing industrial environment combined with increasing compliance issues and risk management.

If you could describe a person in one word, the word would be passionate!  If you could add another word, it would be integrity. She believes it is the only thing that can't be given to you - or taken from you without your permission. These two words underpin her professional work and other voluntary involvements in the community sector.

She has several qualifications pertaining to the community sector and is a Fellow of both the Australian Institute of Company Directors and the Institute of Management.
Lindy is an advocate for sound governance including appropriate risk management and has been a board member of many community organisations in Tasmania including Deputy Chair of TASCOSS.

Lindy was a finalist in two categories of the Telstra Business Women’s Awards 2014 – Government & Community and Innovation.

Melanie Irons

Administrator of Tassie Fires – We can Help, Director of Booty, Psychology PhD Student UTAS

Melanie is a PhD candidate at the School of Psychology at the University of Tasmania. She runs her own group fitness training and health coaching business (www.gobooty.com.au) full-time in addition to studying, and has been running this business for almost 8 years.

Mel does not have an emergency management, logistics or government background… but she learns fast! In January 2013, Mel created a Facebook page on a whim in response to seeing a large amount of information being provided or searched for on social media in regards to the devastating January bushfires in Tasmania. The page exploded, and by accident, Mel played a pivotal role in supplying the bushfire-affected community with information, support, donations and assistance, and empowering the general population to "help". Through the page, the Tasmanian community rallied together and achieved a phenomenal amount in a coordinated, well-managed way.

Since January 2013, Mel has had a huge amount of academic interest in and media coverage for her work, as she is examining as part of her PhD the role of emergent groups like the one she created in Tasmania. She has won the Golden Wattle Award for 2013, a 2013 Resilient Australia Award and a 2014 Recognition of Merit in the same Awards. She has also been presenting at numerous conferences and consulting for a number of different organisations since her efforts in January 2013 – both nationally and internationally.

The ABC filmed an Australian Story on Mel in 2013 (http://www.abc.net.au/austory/). Mel can also be seen in action doing her hobby - www.noirhouse.com! For a comprehensive list of Mel's speaking engagements to date, please see www.melanieirons.com.

Tracey Gosling

National Director State Government Sector + QLD/TAS, Australia Post

In Jan 2011, Tracey joined Australia Post to lead a national team responsible for delivery of State Government services such as bill payments, applications processing, identity checking, postal, courier and communications to the public. In addition she is now responsible for all aspects of Queensland and Tasmanian commercial sectors. Over the last 20 years Tracey has worked for various Accounting firms, global IT supplier EDS, Telstra and now Australia Post to deliver complex transformation programs within the Public Sector such as High Tech Court Systems, Critical infrastructure replacement, integrated supply chain portals, emergency management collaboration systems and hospital patient systems. In addition Tracey has served on a State Disaster Council sub-committee and Critical Infrastructure Group.

Tracey is also a volunteer for Youngcare - an organisation dedicated to serving the needs of young people with high care disabilities both in home and building specialist facilities. More than 6,500 young people are currently located in aged care home.

Sadhana Smiles

CEO Harcourts Victoria

Sadhana Smiles is an engaging, entertaining speaker who takes you on a journey and tells you as it is – what you see is what you get.

As the only female CEO in her sector she has created a brand that has placed her amongst her peers as a thought leader and industry commentator.

Her renowned wit, inspiring personality and acute ability to capitalise on a commercial opportunity along with her innate sense for quickly identifying issues affecting business performance, have earned Sadhana the respect of some of the most admired leaders of the Real Estate world in Australia.

In 2013 Sadhana was named the Victorian Telstra Business Women of the Year, as well as the Victorian Telstra Private Corporate Sector award.
During the last financial year Sadhana has lead the business through significant growth in a property market that was tumultuous. Providing a 17% growth on written sales, 12% growth on settled sales, over $2B in property sales, increasing the average gross commission of sales agent by 20% and growing the network by 20%. Under her leadership Harcourts is now the 3rd largest and fastest growing network in Victoria.

Sadhana is the founder of Links Fiji, a not for profit, with a focus on conducting pap smears for women in rural areas of Fiji.

She is passionate about the issue of gender equality and violence against women.

A single mum of two kids, Sadhana’s drive comes from her desire to leave the world she influences a better place.


Some of our Clients