Schedule 2017

2018 event information available soon

DAY ONE: Wednesday 18th October 2017


Registration opens


Welcome and Opening Remarks from the Chairperson

Nadia Taylor - Director, Livingstones


Welcome from the Event Partner



Truth to power: C-Suite and boardroom dynamics and executive skills for today’s HR leader

  • Negotiating and influencing skills for HR leaders in the executive team
  • Truth to power
  • Conflict management at the highest level – creating unity while encouraging diversity of thought
  • Guiding the executive team through ethical dilemmas

Wesley Payne McClendon - Executive Director, McClendon Research Group, Inc., Professor, Human Capital Management, Melbourne Business School


Learning and development programs that engage millennials

Technological advances and demographic shifts are disrupting the learning and development landscape. Organisations are increasingly trying to compress training into shorter, sharper interventions to engage young employees who have grown up in a digitally-saturated culture. What is the ideal blend for an L&D program?

  • How to incorporate contemporary technology into training programs and assessment
  • M-learning, E-learning and Blended formats that keep learners engaged
  • Social learning and micro-learning - How quick is too quick when delivering training?
  • Engaging without sacrificing quality and depth of learning
  • Connecting the learning experience with practice – Engaging managers in training outcomes
  • Shifting from an internally focused, corporate-centric learning universe to a learner-centric one

Peter Ryan - National Learning and Development Manager, Domino’s Pizza Enterprises Ltd


Morning refreshment break


CASE STUDY Driving cultural change through middle management

During times of organisational change, HR departments rely on line managers and department heads to follow advice and apply best-practice management principles.

  • Providing guidance, advice and support to line managers during change programs
  • Educating line managers about the role of HR during cultural change initiatives
  • Managing complex stakeholder relationships during change processes
  • Creating a culture of responsibility, whereby managers seek advice and hold themselves accountable for outcomes

Selena Turner - Executive Director, Leadership and Orgnisational Development, Queensland Treasury Corporation


HR SPOTLIGHT Leadership Attitude: How Mindset and Action can Change your World

Sonia McDonald - Director, LeadershipHQ


Risky business: Global workforces and duty of care

Given Australia’s geographic and economic position, business travel is part of the job description for many Aussies, especially to at-risk countries within the Asia-Pacific region. However, it seems many organisations may not have appropriate occupational travel health and security policies in place to ensure the wellness of their staff when overseas. To avoid the inconvenience, cost and loss of productivity due to sickness, injury or security on a work trip, it is best to consider the benefits of implementing a travel health and safety policy for employees. In this session, understand the accountability of Duty of Care and the cost and benefits of implementing an effective travel policy.

Dr Deborah Mills - Medical Director, Travel Medicine Alliance (TMA)


Networking Lunch


LEGAL UPDATE Employment law: A practical approach to managing mental health and illness in the workplace

When dealing with workplace mental health issues, employers have legal obligations relating to discrimination, privacy, adverse action and health and safety. HR professionals should tread very carefully to avoid legal risks when mental health is a factor.

  • Overview of section 351(1) of the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth), Disability Discrimination Act 1992 and Australian Human Rights Commission Act 1986
  • Diversity beyond demographics
  • Impact of Salazar v John Holland Pty Ltd [2014] relating to mental health as a contributing factor in misconduct
  • To what degree should an employer take a psychiatric disorder (anxiety and depression) into account when considering the employee’s ability to communicate within the workplace?
  • At what point is it pragmatic to cease disciplinary processes and come to a settlement with an employee who suffers from mental illness?

Jonathan Mamaril - Principal & Director, NB Lawyers


WORKSHOP What if pigs could fly? Suspending disbelief to make room for innovative workforce strategy

So often organisations' strategies are limited by a preconceived view of what is and isn’t possible. Truly innovative workforce strategy only occurs where this disbelief is suspended. This interactive workshop takes participants through a process of actively participating in the creation of a future that we want and developing workforce strategies that propel us down that path. Participants will never think about workforce strategy in the same way again!

Lenore Miller - Director, Dynamic Leadership Programs Australia (DLPA)


Afternoon refreshment break


PANEL DISCUSSION What is the right balance between commercialism and integrity?

As HR leaders increasingly focus on commercial priorities and business performance, are we neglecting long-term morale and ethical considerations? What is the right balance between hard-headed commercialism and empathising with employees?

  • Are we too focused on short-term business goals, to the detriment of long-term morale and engagement?
  • Are the so-called 'soft skills' sometimes lost in the quest to achieve budgets and objectives?
  • How to balance being able to demonstrate commercial acumen with acting as a moral compass

Jo Best - General Manager – Business Improvement, Hastings Deering (Australia) Limited

Lisa Hunt - General Manager, Human Resources, AVJennings

Ben Jensen - Chief HR & Technology Officer, Admedus

Ferdie Kruger - Senior Director Human Resources, Peabody Energy

Peter O’Sullivan - Head of People & Culture, BDO


Leisa Messer - Managing Director, HR Business Direction


Mindfulness Experiment - Stretch and Refresh

Energising stretches to uplift at the conclusion of our first full day of conference.

Sharon Wilks - Winning Mindfully


Day one concludes

5:45 - 6:15pm

Yoga in the Park

Absolute beginners most welcome. Mats supplied, wear comfortable clothes. Meet in the foyer at 5.30 and we'll practise in the Botanic Gardens next door to the Stamford Plaza.

Sharon Wilks - Winning Mindfully

DAY TWO: Thursday 19th October 2017

7:30 - 8:00am

Yoga in the Park

A beautiful way to start the day, notice how much more energised you feel! Mats supplied, meet in the Botanic Gardens next door to the Stamford. Wear something comfortable and come along with an empty stomach.

Sharon Wilks - Winning Mindfully


Mindfulness Exercise: Building resilience in times of change

Sharon Wilks - Winning Mindfully


Opening Remarks from the Chairperson

Nadia Taylor - Director, Livingstones


KEY NOTE Leading a remote & mobile workforce at Feros Care

HR directors today need to lead, collaborate and build alliances across different cultures, geographies and time zones, while engaging a workforce that is increasingly dispersed.

  • Keeping employees engaged in a virtual world
  • Dealing with an increasingly ‘nomadic’ workforce
  • Cultivating a team culture in the absence of physical proximity
  • Creating a cohesive culture across time zones, functions and regions
  • How much face-time is really necessary with a remote workforce?

Karen Foster - Director People and Culture, Feros Care


CASE STUDY Diversity and inclusion programs at Star Entertainment Group

Most executive teams now recognise the importance of diversity and inclusion programs on corporate reputation, employee brand, employee wellbeing and innovation. What does an award-winning diversity program look like?

  • Key industry metrics and benchmarks on diversity and inclusion
  • Securing leadership buy-in for diversity programs
  • Diagnosing, addressing and eliminating the gender pay gap
  • Addressing bias in recruitment, selection and reward and recognition
  • Embedding the principals of inclusion throughout the whole employee lifecycle

Christine Ung - Group Diversity & Inclusion Manager, The Star Entertainment Group


Morning refreshment break


PANEL DISCUSSION People and technology today – What role should HR play?

Digital technology is disrupting business models and radically changing the way we work. With automation increasingly disrupting the workforce, what will this mean for the future role of HR departments?

  • The opportunities and challenges presented by mobile, cloud, big data and social technologies
  • How can we help employees shift to a ‘digital mindset’?
  • How will HR itself revolutionise its own systems and ways of delivering HR services?
  • Will technological advances give HR professionals more time to focus on high-value tasks?
  • What does the ‘fourth industrial revolution’ really mean for the HR profession?

Chris Purdy - Human Resources Manager - Shared Services, Mantra Group

Leith Wiblen - General Manager Human Resources, Queensland, The Star Gold Coast

Beau Tydd - General Manager – People & Technology, Queensland Airports Limited

Grant Mason - Vice President, Employee Relations and HR Shared Services (Aust), Incitec Pivot Limited


Andrew Fletcher - Learning Commercial Leader – Pacific Career Principal - Consulting, Mercer


HR SPOTLIGHT Mutual gains leadership

Throughout the decades, HR experts have debated the best way to lead and inspire people. "I'm talking about leadership and management that takes enormous leaps" says, Luke Worth. In this talk, Worth passionately discusses how open communication and mutual gains leadership are the transformative keys to positive change management and developing the future of leadership and work.

Luke Worth - Executive Director, Performance, Innovation and Implementation (RBWH); Executive Director, Organisational Development, Strategy and Implementation (MNHHS)


The elements of a high-performance team

Successful organisations are built around highly empowered teams, driven by inspiring leaders.

  • What makes a high-performing HR team?
  • Establishing appropriate ways of expressing tension, disagreement and frustration
  • How to create collaborative team culture in a virtual team environment
  • Structuring decision making in a team so that it is flexible, agile and empowered

Liz Crawford - Head of Executive Search and Leadership Assessment, Management Consulting, KPMG


Networking lunch


Prize draw


CASE STUDY Anywhere, anytime… flexible work practices at Bentleys

Today’s employees are increasingly demanding and expecting flexible schedules and limited supervision – but such flexibility can only exist when balanced with the right systems, processes and culture, along with a strong focus on results.

  • Is the idea of working nine-to-five now an outdated concept?
  • Coaching managers to shift the way they manage their teams
  • Designing processes for individually-focused work, collaborative work and team discussion
  • How do compressed work weeks really impact on productivity?
  • How to manage the growing cohort of ‘office nomads’

Heidi Mayhew-Sanders - Human Resources Director, Bentleys (QLD) Pty Ltd


PANEL DISCUSSION Managing constant change in your organisation

As the pace of change in the economy accelerates, CEOs are increasingly requiring their organisations and HR teams to be more agile. How are employees handling such incessant organisational change? In this interactive session, participants will hone their skills in change management and change leadership.

  • Igniting an appetite for change amongst employees who are suffering ‘change fatigue’
  • Creating an agile culture that can quickly adapt to changes
  • Bedding-down change through the stages of a business lifecycle
  • Dealing with change-resistant employees

Raelene Barry - Deputy General Manager, Executive Manager, Human Resources, Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre

Hannah Bloch - Executive Director, People and Engagement, Gold Coast Hospital and Health Service

Steve Eltis - Director of People and Culture, Wesley Mission Queensland

Kenan Hibberd - Executive Manager People, Culture & Safety, Unitywater

Tony Lines - Head of People and Culture, Village Roadshow Theme Parks


Vanessa Jeske - Principal Consultant, 10K Consulting


Conference concludes


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Contact Us

Val Baluyot

Event Coordinator

P: (02) 8437 4700