Schedule 2016

Details for 2017 coming soon. Please read on the for 2016 program.


DAY ONE: Wednesday 19th October 2016


Registration Opens


Welcome and Opening Remarks from the Chairperson

Maureen Frank, Director, Emberin

9:00am What HR can learn from sales and marketing

This session will discuss the top lessons from sales and marketing that any HR team can implement immediately that will deliver deeper levels of employee engagement, more credibility with senior leaders and higher levels of productivity from the HR team. Learn:

  • How to get support from senior leaders for HR initiatives faster and with less effort by using the principles of good marketing and sales
  • How to align HR programs to the strategic plan in the same way that sales and marketing does
  • How to use corporate brand as a recruitment tool 

Tony Lehner, Senior HR Director - Asia Pacific, Unisys Australia

9:45am How to secure your place in your CEO's inner circle

In this session, discover how to become an irreplaceable member of the executive team, guarantee your place at the table, and make a bigger contribution to the bottom line.

  • Being cross-functional and commercially savvy
  • Keeping it real – Having courageous conversations in the C-suite
  • Balancing the benefits of achieving consensus with the dangers of ‘groupthink’
  • Providing the CEO and executive team with candid and pragmatic advice

Sonia Cooper, Deputy Commissioner, Public Service Commission Queensland

10:30am Morning refreshment break
11:00am LEGAL UPDATE Unfair dismissal case law: Rescissions, redundancies and abandonment

This session will review the implications of several recent unfair cases on standard HR practices relating to discipline and termination.

  • Can an employee resign, rescind their resignation, then successfully pursue an unfair dismissal case?
  • Implications of Mahoney v Bechtel – How do you demonstrate that you have genuinely considered an employee’s response to an allegation of misconduct?
  • Abandonment of employment: Implications of Johnston v MTG
  • Mackay Taxi Holdings v Wilson: When will changing job competencies make a role redundant? 

Bianca Seeto, Partner & Solicitor, FCB Workplace Law

11:45am CASE STUDY #1 in People, #1 in Pizza: The art and practice of leading innovation

The largest pizza chain in Australia, Domino’s Pizza Enterprises recently announced the creation of 3,000 more jobs as a direct result of their commitment to being at the forefront of technology innovation. In this powerful case study presentation, learn how Domino’s is improving employee safety and delivering on customer service by developing the world’s first autonomous delivery vehicle and by launching a new innovation hub. Hear from this cutting-edge company on how they invest in technology that impacts employee safety and performance while strengthening bottom-line revenue growth.   

David Klages, Group HR Director, Domino's Pizza Enterprises

12:30pm Networking lunch
1:30pm Making people love HR: How to win supporters and influence leaders

In order to win the hearts and minds of your workforce, you will need to develop effective communication and influencing skills to gain support, inspire others and persuade people to become HR champions.

  • Interpersonal, presentation, communication and assertiveness techniques that work
  • Taking a consultative approach to winning support for a proposed HR strategy and associated initiatives and programs
  • Creating options and flexibility to let people ‘choose their own adventure’ rather than enforcing centralised systems

Jane Dionysius, People & Performance Manager, Brisbane Airport Corporation

2:15pm PANEL HR by STEALTH: Should HR make itself invisible?

What does HR success look like? Are you brave enough to create a successful and sustainable organisation with near invisible HR functional presence but immense people capability? Would this even be a good thing?

  • Should HR be front and centre, or barely visible?
  • If our organisations were full of capable managers, would HR even need to exist in its current form?
  • Are we working too hard to justify our own existence? 

Maureen Frank, Director, Emberin

Lisa Hunt, General Manager HR, AVJennings

Stephen Hart, Associate Director HR - Organisational Development, The University of Queensland

Shannon Richards, Manager People and Culture, City of Gold Coast


Afternoon refreshment break


CASE STUDY HR Renewal: The City of Gold Coast's journey to improved people systems


The ‘new world of work’ now requires HR leaders to be agile, business integrated, data driven, and deeply skilled in attracting, retaining and developing talent. The City of Gold Coast council, which has some 3,600 employees, has just completed a significant HR renewal program transforming its people management systems across its business platforms. Learn how they created a comprehensive People Plan of new initiatives including the introduction of a HCMS, complete redesign of their performance management approach and the launch of a capability framework which improved engagement dramatically. Explore the critical success factors in a program launch and implementation and the lessons learned.

Shannon Richards, Manager People and Culture, City of Gold Coast

4:15pm WORKSHOP Developing a GOLDEN Mind: Understanding the six elements of peak performance

In Australia, only 24% of employees are engaged in the workplace, representing a significant cost to business and impact on employee wellbeing. The Developing a GOLDEN Mind Workshop teaches the six elements of peak performance. These elements are based on leading neuroscience and years of proven success within one of Australia’s most successful companies – Flight Centre Travel Group. The six performance elements have been specifically chosen to help individuals develop a greater understanding of their own cognitive behaviours and learn how to infuse positive habits into their personal and professional lives.

Melissa Armstrong, General Manager, GoldMind Performance

5:00pm Day 1 Concludes


DAY TWO: Thursday 20th October 2016


Registration Opens

9:00am Creating a culture of recognition

An excellent reward and recognition program goes beyond the provision of monetary rewards. It fosters a culture of praise, gratitude, loyalty, celebration and high performance.

  • Ways to demonstrate gratitude on a large scale (without large monetary rewards)
  • Interactive and engaging communication campaigns that continuously educate and engage employees
  • Ensuring that your reward and recognition program has components that motivate all sections of the workforce, not just the high performer
  • Building a culture of commitment and loyalty that is based on trust and authentic leadership

John Brennan, CEO, Surf Life Saving QLD

9:45am 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
Brought to you by Sanofi Pasteur


Morning refreshment break

11:00am Keeping it casual: Social learning in the workplace

Workplace learning has traditionally focused on the 'authoritative voice' (involving experts telling employees what they need to know) while social learning is about our people learning from one another, through knowledge-sharing initiatives. This session will discuss ways that L&D practitioners can harness, influence and measure social learning in the workplace.

  • How does social learning relate to your learning pedagogy and your underpinning philosophy for educating your people?
  • The inter-related roles of directed, guided, team and personal social learning in the workplace. Challenging 70:20:10 - Is it really so informal after all? 
  • How to get management buy-in for social learning strategies - Identify supporters, divide, gain a groundswell and conquer
  • Overcoming road blocks: What is really holding your people back from collaborating and sharing?

Louise Hope, Head of Organisation Development & Learning, Sydney Opera House

11:45am KEYNOTE Driving innovation forward through collaborative corporate culture

Twitter has changed and dominated the landscape of social media as a platform to create and share ideas and information instantly. Learn how Twitter embraces this platform as a business model that attracts and retains high performers through a collaborative and innovative culture. Hear how Twitter’s leadership team recognises and engages employees to propel business growth.  

Karen Stocks, Managing Director, Twitter Australia

12:30pm CASE STUDY REA Group: Managing large-scale organic growth

It's not just start-ups that need scale - traditional businesses taking on new challenges in the digital economy must scale to stay competitive. Strong HR leadership is the key to successful growth. In this session, Barb Hyman will discuss the HR strategy behind REA Group’s growth. Hear how REA Group, parent company of Australia's market-leading property site, is building a global business from its Australian headquarters and the lessons it has learned along the way.  

Barb Hyman, General Manager, People and Culture, REA Group


Networking lunch


Prize draw




Embracing the challenge of change during workplace transitions

HR Directors are the ambassadors of change. Understand the change process and learn key strategies to manage employee reactions - influence better and implement change with less resistance, enhanced productivity and greater success. 

  • Understand how change can represent both a challenge and an opportunity for growth, while also assessing your personal change effectiveness level
  • Turning bad news into good – Positive key messaging during workplace transitions
  • Controlling the conversation – How to steer an employee conversation in a positive direction 
  • Use internal alliances to build support for your change initiatives
  • Adopt new tools for managing the challenges of change related to communication, productivity and resistance.

Heidi Suominen, General Manager HR, RACQ

​3:00pm Creating a culture of high trust: How to give, get and grow trust

Trust is the key ingredient to business success and employee engagement. A Trust Gap wastes productivity, ruins relationships and damages business. This session will discuss practical solutions for building relationships of high trust and explore:

  • The top typical trust issues impacting corporate culture 
  • Why the Trust Gap exists and what HR leaders can do about it
  • How to communicate with transparent clarity
  • How HR professionals can be role models for trust and authentic communication
  • Skills and methods on how to promote trust in your organisation 

Sonia McDonald, CEO & Founder, LeadershipHQ

3:45pm Conference concludes


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Submit an enquiry


Contact Us

Breeanna Jeffers

Event Coordinator

P: +61 2 8437 4717


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