2021 Agenda


Australian Eastern Standard Time (AEST)

8:50 am

Opening remarks from the Chairperson

Naomi White

Director, Naomi White Consulting

8:55 am
9:00 am

PANEL: Shaping the future of work

The past year has accelerated our path to the future of work. After a year of constant change, what’s in store for 2022 and beyond? Where do we want to go?  And how will we get there?

  • Practical HR lessons from the COVID-era
  • The future of flexibility, HR technology and virtual employee engagement
  • How are corporates, SMEs and not-for-profits planning workspaces for the future?
  • Current trends in HR technology and virtual working
  • What skills will be most important as our workforce continue to evolve?


Colin Murphy

Regional Corporate Manager, SIRVA Worldwide Relocation & Moving


Sarah Bench

Group Head of Organisational Effectiveness, QBE

Rita Hudson

Senior Director, Organisational Capability, Gold Coast Health

Kate Thompson

Vice President Human Resources, Volvo Group

Dr Al Jury

Chief Human Resources Officer, University of Queensland

9:50 am

CASE STUDY: Evidence-based employee mental health strategies

The stresses from recent events have given new importance to workplace mental health and wellness. Here is how one company is helping their employees with their wellbeing.

  • How to consult with staff and leaders about mental health
  • Navigating employee anxiety, stress and burnout
  • Delivering mental health programs in a virtual and hybrid format
  • Overcoming the stigma and challenges of workplace mental health
  • What is a realistic, achievable mental health action plan and target?
  • How to measure ROI on mental health programs and practices
Rebecca Munn

Group Executive People and Culture, Queensland Rail

10:20 am
10:40 am

Successfully managing virtual teams

How can managers motivate and inspire employees when they can’t be with them all the time? And how can they promote connection and creativity within their teams? Join us for a deep dive into managing and motivating remote teams.

  • How to cultivate a strong and cohesive team culture in a virtual setting
  • Building trust and accountability among remote team members
  • Tips for improving communication and collaboration
  • Promoting team spirit and collaboration with virtual strategies
Betania Passos

Director of People, Octopus Deploy

11:10 am
11:15 am

The recent evolution of HCM technology

How has Human Capital Management changed in the past years? With the world of work continuously changing, successful HR strategies start with a trusted partner that drives value for your business today and for the future. In this session, hear how HCM technology has changed to adapt to the needs of the organisations in recent years, and what to look for in an HCM partner. 

Melissa Cairns

Senior Human Capital Consultant, Ceridian

11:45 am
11:50 am

LEGAL UPDATE: The future regulation of work: how is the law responding?

As many organisations reflect on and consider how work will be performed, how has the law responded and what does the future of workplace laws and regulations look like? 

  • Key areas of development in workplace laws and safety regulation
  • Modern awards: exemption rates and new industries. An On Demand Services Industry Award?
  • Recent changes to casual employment  
  • The challenges of implementing workplace change in the COVID-era
  • The regulation of job automation and international labour law influences 
Liam Fraser

Partner, Kingston Reid

Shelley Williams

Partner, Kingston Reid

12:35 pm
1:15 pm

Interview: Enhancing the employee experience at Youfoodz

Hear from Christina King as she shares how Youfoodz has created an empowering and engaging employee experience to support employees and to bring their best selves to work. 

Christina King

Chief People Officer, Youfoodz


Naomi White

Director, Naomi White Consulting

1:40 pm

Leveraging HR technology to drive employee engagement

This is HR’s moment to lead organisations in navigating the future of HR technology. In this session, Caroline will share tech platforms Energy Queensland is using to motivate and manage their workforce.

  • Current trends in HR tech and virtual employee engagement
  • How AI, VR and virtual assistants can benefit HR teams
  • Brainstorming technologies that facilitate innovation
  • Identifying trends using people analytics
Caroline Fleming

General Manager Human Resources, Energy Queensland

2:10 pm
2:25 pm

PANEL: Hybrid work arrangements: best of both worlds?

Workplaces are becoming more mobile and transient, tailored to the demands of hybrid working and ‘drop-in’ workers. How can HR teams build a strong and cohesive sense of belonging, equality and purpose in a hybrid environment?

  • Overcoming challenges endemic to hybrid work arrangements
  • Ensuring equity between remote and office-based workers
  • How to provide a stimulating and inspiring space that is designed intentionally
  • Providing equal training and networking opportunities for remote and office workers in a hybrid context
  • How to run hybrid meetings to ensure equality between remote and office-based workers


Naomi White

Director, Naomi White Consulting


Casey Hotham

Future Workplace Experience - Product Owner, Telstra

Tracey Lake

Chief People Officer, Great Southern Bank

Grant Mason

General Manager Employee Relations and HR Shared Services, Incitec Pivot

Barbara Fidock

Director of People and Culture, HappyCo

3:15 pm
8:55 am

Opening remarks from the chairperson

Naomi White

Director, Naomi White Consulting

9:00 am

PANEL: Building a strong employee experience and culture virtually

One of the biggest challenges of remote working is fostering culture, social cohesion and trust. How can HR teams help people to feel emotionally connected with their organisation's vision in a virtual setting?

  • Cultivating cultural and social cohesion with a remote and digital workforce
  • Risk management: How to ensure that employees are acting ethically when they are at home
  • Practical strategies to help employees to feel connected to your brand
  • Helping virtual employees to share information with each other virtually
  • Virtual events and virtual team building – what works and what doesn’t work?


Naomi White

Director, Naomi White Consulting


Jo Hardwick

Vice President Human Resources APAC, Foot Locker

Allanna Kelsall

Executive General Manager, People & Culture (Care Services), St. Vincent's Health

Chris Purdy

Director of Talent and Culture - Shared Services and Corporate, Pacific, Accor

Donna Benjamin

General Manager Human Resources, Shell Energy

9:50 am

Leading people in a world of perpetual change

How can HR leaders cultivate a sense of stability and certainty in in their workforces, while the world is still shaped by factors we can’t predict or control?

  • HR-led change management strategies for an uncertain world
  • How to set targets and measure output in the new post-pandemic era
  • Negotiating the tension between wellbeing and productivity
Heidi Suominen

Chief People Officer, RACQ

10:20 am
10:40 am

Attracting and retaining top talent in the new world of work

The new ways of working have made a lasting impact on the expectations of employees. In addition to a competitive talent pool, it has become increasingly challenging to find – and keep – top talent on a budget. In this session, Bre James will share effective and robust talent acquisition strategies to stay competitive in a changing world. 

  • Optimising the hiring process while maintaining the human connection
  • Leveraging technology to innovate and simplify the candidate experience
  • Refining your employer branding to attract candidates
  • How to make your workplace irresistible to top talent
Bre James

Manager, Consulting Psychology, Revelian

11:10 am
11:15 am

PANEL: Creative non-monetary benefits that drive employee engagement

While pay raises and bonuses may be off the cards for now, our panellists from JLL, Queensland Rugby League, and Lorna Jane are maintaining employee engagement through a creative total rewards strategy that includes flexibility, training, benefits, wellbeing and time off. Here is how they do it.

  • Finding the right mix between monetary and non-monetary rewards
  • How to assess your current approach to rewards, remuneration and performance
  • Who should receive your rewards, and what should they be rewarded for?
  • How to structure and communicate flexible work arrangements
  • Work life balance benefits: flexible schedules and job sharing schemes
  • Creative and innovative rewards and benefits employees love


Lisa Paton

Associate Director, Mapien


Kristy Arcodia

Head of People, Lorna Jane

Jane Shand

Chief Human Resources Manager, Queensland Rugby League

Nicole Zipf

Head of Human Resources - Australia and New Zealand, JLL

Leith Wiblen

General Manager, People and Culture, Queensland Airports

12:00 pm
12:40 pm

CASE STUDY: Driving diversity and inclusion initiatives at Kmart

Diversity and inclusion must be integrated into HR policies, managerial capability and the employee experience. This organisation is leading the way when it comes to diversity - here is how they did it.

  • Developing gender-balanced and diverse teams to improve performance and engagement
  • Promoting accountability within leadership for hiring, promotion, and retention
  • Using data and industry benchmarks to measure diversity metrics and monitor progress
Marcelle Harrison

Head of Diversity and Inclusion, Kmart

1:10 pm
1:25 pm

CASE STUDY: Measuring leadership impact through cultural transformation

Now more than ever, companies need to find ways to effectively drive cultural transformation through the organisation and create a mindset of constructive leadership. In this session, Graham will discuss his recent experience working with his Executive Committee peers and the Board to design and deploy a bespoke measure for leadership impact as a culture KPI.

  • How can impactful leaders help drive performance, engagement, psychological safety, growth and success within their teams?
  • Understanding the role of a strategic people partner in the boardroom
  • The ‘why’ of focusing on leadership impact through the organisation
  • Driving accountability across the Board to deliver a culture of constructive leadership

Graham Almond

Executive Vice President - Chief Officer People, Culture and Technology, OceanaGold

2:00 pm

PANEL: Performance management and target-setting for the ‘new normal’

The performance review process has been discussed and debated at HR conferences for years. In a post-pandemic world, how should we approach goal-setting, performance reviews and assessment?

  • Successful programs for assessing and measuring remote workforce
  • Recalibrating KPIs to reflect a world that is more flexible
  • How can we make performance goals fair and meaningful in this chaotic, ever-changing, uncertain environment?
  • Ongoing coaching conversations that establish a rhythm of collaboration
  • Bonus, commission and incentives that drive performance in this ‘new normal’


Naomi White

Director, Naomi White Consulting


Graham Almond

Executive Vice President - Chief Officer People, Culture and Technology, OceanaGold

Dr Joel Davies

Senior People Scientist, Culture Amp

Abby Perry

Head of People & Culture, Jumbo Interactive

Dave Waters

Executive Director, Human Resources, Metro South Health

2:45 pm
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