8:00am Registration opens
9:00am Introduction from the Chairperson

Anneli Blundell – Professional People Whisperer, Anneli.Blundel.com

9:10am Welcome from the Event Partner
9:15am HR SPOTLIGHT: Be the leader of your life

Turia Pitt is living proof that, with the right mindset, anything is possible. Caught in a grassfire while competing in a 100km ultramarathon in 2011, Turia suffered full thickness burns to 65% of her body. But surviving is the least of her achievements. One of Australia’s most admired and widely recognised people, Turia has gone on to become a bestselling author, two-time Ironman and humanitarian – raising well over a million dollars for not-for-profit Interplast.

In her keynote address, Turia will share some of her biggest achievements, the strategies that helped her rebuild her life, achieve seemingly “impossible” goals and create a thriving business. Told with her trademark wit, and raw honesty, Turia’s story proves that with the right mindset, anything is possible.

Turia Pitt – Athlete, Humanitarian, Motivational Speaker

10:15am HR SPOTLIGHT: This is the future of HR

Technological advances and demographic shifts are changing the way that people work and HR operates.

  • What will the future workforce look like?
  • How is AI changing the way we work?
  • How HR itself must change
  • Should HR be afraid of technology?

Nicolette Barnard – Head of Human Resources, Australia & New Zealand, Siemens

10:30am Morning refreshments & networking break
11:00am CASE STUDY: Leading organisational capability and workforce strategy in the public sector

Hear how Mercy Health is building a world-class public sector through its focus on people strategy.

  • Creating a diverse and inclusive values-based culture
  • Building internal capability for leadership, resilience and responsiveness to change
  • Expanding staff engagement and two-way communication across the Department
  • Targets for women and minorities in senior roles

Kate McCormack – Executive Director People, Learning and Culture, Mercy Health

11:30am HR, UBER and the Gig Economy (15 min)

Susie Gleeson-Byrne – Head of Human Resources – Australia and New Zealand and North Asia (Japan, Korea, HK and Taiwan), UBER

11:45am LEGAL UPDATE: Practical guidelines for discipline,termination and personal grievances

This session will draw on real-life scenarios to discuss procedural fair and compliant discipline and termination procedures to apply in your workplace.

  • Procedural requirements for conducting disciplinary meetings
  • How many warnings should be provided prior to dismissal?
  • Common mistakes that employers make during the disciplinary process
  • How to avoid constructive dismissal claims
  • Step-by-step guide to handling personal grievances that are lodged during disciplinary proceedings

Joydeep Hor – Founder & Managing Principle, People + Culture Strategies

1:00pm Networking Lunch
2:00pm PANEL DISCUSSION: Diversity and inclusion in a post #metoo world

The world has changed over the last two years and HR is changing with it. We are now seeing unprecedented levels of workforce diversity in terms of gender, ethnicity, culture, religion and sexual identification.

  • How has the #metoo movement changed the way we think about gender and accountability?
  • Widening the diversity lens beyond gender issues
  • Diversity strategies to incorporate Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) groups
  • What makes a successful GLBTIQA+ and pride initiative?
  • Disability inclusion programs and Disability Action Plans (DAP)
  • Bias-free recruitment processes
  • Creating an inclusive culture where everyone is comfortable being who they are


Sophie Halse – Group Manager, Diversity and Inclusion, AGL Energy

Chris Lamb – Global Head of Organisational Development, Lendlease

Kristy Macfarlane – Head of Diversity & Inclusion, National Australia Bank


Mariam Veiszadeh – Diversity Ambassador, 2016 Daily Life Woman of the Year, 2015 Westpac Woman of Influence

3:00pm Fresh perspectives on employee engagement in a changing landscape

Employee engagement is important to business success, and even more so during times of organisational change. How can HR continue to drive employee engagement and create a positive culture, especially in the context of changes in leadership, and how do you communicate about the unknown?

  • What role does HR play in management of change and supporting employee engagement?
  • Embracing new leadership and management expectations
  • The role of communication – what you say and what is heard
  • Driving engagement, retention and productivity in your workforce throughout the change journey

Gayle Phillpotts – GM, People & Performance, Sydney Airport

3:15pm Afternoon refreshments & networking break
3:45pm PANEL: Securing support for HR programs from all levels

A successful HR program starts with buy-in from the leadership team and succeeds with support from all levels throughout the organisation. But in many organisations, the HR team is still working on securing credibility and high-level support.

  • Gaining credibility from managers as a true business partner and not a ‘policy policeman’
  • Being taken seriously during decision-making discussions
  • Why are we sometimes still seen as police officers or firefighters?
  • Navigating situations where you have a seat at the table but not the credibility to influence
  • Bringing line managers on the journey towards people management excellence


Alicia Purtell – People & Culture Director, Lion

Kate Tones – Group People Experience Manager, Merivale

Robert Tanti – Director People and Capability, Hydro Tasmania

Sally Park – Head of People, Krispy Kreme Australia


Lexie Wilkins – Director, Lexie Wilkins Consulting

4:30pm Networking Event 
8:30am Registration opens
9:00am Opening remarks from the Chairperson

Anneli Blundell – Professional People Whisperer, Anneli.Blundel.com

9:15am KEYNOTE: The New World of Work 2019

Ross Sparkman – Head of Strategic Workforce Planning, Facebook USA

10:00am CASE STUDY: Managing a changing workforce

The workplace is changing and HR is changing with it. As the contingent workforce of contractors, mobile workers and freelancers grows, HR teams need to change their approach to employee engagement.

  • Strategies to engage remote workers, gig workers and contractors
  • Managing HR programs across a multi-site workforce
  • Driving cultural initiatives and social norms with off-site workers

Gillian Davie – Chief People Officer, NetComm Wireless

10:30am KEYNOTE INTERVIEW: View from the Top: Building a strong People Strategy Foundation

At Bunnings, they believe team members are the heart and soul of their business.

With the guiding principles of integrity, respect, teamwork, achievement and innovation, hear how these principles are the keys to corporate culture and to achieving success.

In this interview, hear from the Managing Director of Bunnings Group Limited on their people strategy and why it matters to overall business strategy.

Michael Schneider – Managing Director, Bunnings Group Limited

10:45am Morning refreshments & networking break
11:15am CASE STUDY: Inside Unilever’s performance & employee experience strategy

Performance management needs to help employees adopt new behaviours in the face of change, while delivering a positive employee experience (EX).

  • Digital tools and technologies that transform performance management
  • Focusing on individual engagement and growth
  • How performance management can help employees adapt their skills to stay relevant
  • Customised coaching experiences
  • Continuous performance management

Anish Singh – Head of HR- Australia & New Zealand, Unilever

11:45am PANEL: Insights from Australia’s top HR directors

  • Aligning goals and outcomes between business strategy, centres of excellence and HR business partners
  • Being a commercial, pragmatic and a personable leader
  • Inspiring leaders to do the right thing


Alana Howe – Head of HR, Nova Entertainment

Rebecca Gravestock – People and Performance Director AU & Asia, XERO

Erin Cramlet – Senior Director, Human Resources, Stryker

Ceri Ittensohn – Chief People & Culture Officer, TAL Ltd

12:30pm Reward and recognition at McDonald’s Australia Limited

Leading employers today understand the importance of a customized, individual rewards program that reflects the needs and preferences of their diverse workforces.

  • Taking a personalised approach to employee rewards
  • Recognising, inspiring, connecting and empowering employees
  • Reinforcing and celebrating positive behaviour and activities
  • Creating a recognition culture in your company

Lisa Apthorpe – Director of People and Culture, McDonald’s Australia Limited

1:00pm Networking lunch
2:00pm CASE STUDY: Next level learning and development at AccorHotels Australia

As workplaces and jobs continue to change, HR departments need to take a different approach to learning, moving away from traditional L&D towards ongoing, experiential capability building.

  • Reimagining the concept of workplace learning and lifelong education
  • Workplace learning that helps employees keep up with the pace of change
  • Micro-learning in action
  • Creating future-focused and innovative learning experiences
  • Continuous self-directed learning and development
  • Using technology to recommend, find and deliver learning

Sarah Derry – Vice President Talent & Culture Australia, AccorHotels

Kay Goodman – Director, Academie Australia, AccorHotels

2:30pm PANEL: HR technology and the future of work

HR technology is advancing at a rapid pace. The way we work is becoming increasingly augmented by technology, which frees up our capacity for higher-order cognitive tasks such as leadership coaching. Or does it?

  • Artificial intelligence, chat bots and machine learning in HR
  • Using HR technology for continuous learning, real-time feedback and performance management
  • Overcoming the challenges of HR technology implementation
  • Emerging HR technologies – what does the future hold?


Dean Summlar – HR Business Lead, Pacific Zone, International Operations, Schneider Electric

Susan Pettifer – Director, Workforce & Information Services, City of Sydney

Nikki Symonds – Group Manager Corporate & Enterprise IT, Origin

Darren Fewster – Executive Director, Transformation and People, Telstra

3:15pm CASE STUDY: Sodexo’s 2018 Global Workplace trends report

HR directors today need to be agile and flexible to the ever-changing environment of the workplace. What does the Sodexo Global Workplace Trends report say about what is driving organisational change?

  • The seven factors influencing workplaces in 2018 and beyond
  • What can HR Directors do to prepare their employees for the changes
  • How can HR Directors improve employee productivity, engagement and experience

Sarah Bendy  – Human Resources Director, Sodexo


Expo passport prize draw: $10,000 Cash voucher giveaway held on the Expo Stage

Terms and conditions: you must visit all exhibitors and complete your details in the expo passport to be eligible to win the prize. This competition is open to all delegates of the HR Summit. Employees of Key Media, HR Summit sponsors and their immediate family members are not eligible to win. The prize winner will be notified on 27 March 2019. The prize winner must be present to collect their prize.