DAY ONE: Wednesday 14 March 2018

8:00am Registration opens
9:00am Welcome from the Chair

Nadine Castle, Director, The Culture Group

9:10am Opening address from the Event Partner

Robert Bromage, CEO, intelliHR

9:15am Bold leadership from the top: Exclusive interview with two powerhouse HR champions

Forward-thinking CEOs understand the critical importance of HR directors in inspiring people to carry out strategic initiatives. In this session, the CEOs of hotel and resort marketer and operator Mantra Group and global commercial real estate firm CBRE will share their insights with HRD editor Iain Hopkins.

The session will cover:

  • The importance of empowering HR team to carry out people programs
  • The traits that CEOs value in HR leaders
  • The key to authentic, bold HR leadership in the boardroom
  • How HR can impact bottom-line revenue and performance

Bob East, Chief Executive Officer, Mantra Group

Ray Pittman, President & CEO, Australia & New Zealand, CBRE


9:45am CASE STUDY: Creating a future-ready workforce at XERO

HR leaders are continually driving cultural change throughout their organisations. In this session, XERO’s chief people officer Rachael Powell will share her story on creating a future-ready workforce. Explore:

  • Leading and building a culture of innovation
  • Communicating with and inspiring a large workforce in real time
  • Managing and leading change whilst building resilience - personally, organisationally and through others
  • Delivering high-impact, innovative workforce solutions and experiences that improve workers’ lives

Rachael Powell, Chief People Officer, XERO

10:30am Morning refeshments & networking break
11:00am Crafting a powerful employee experience at KFC

Great employers focus on the entire, integrated employee experience, including HR, workplace and management practices. High-performing companies focus on enriching the employee experience, leading to meaningful and productive work.

  • What can the concepts of customer experience teach us about employee experience?
  • Creating programs, policies, initiatives that employees love to use
  • Creating a culture where flexibility, collaboration and creativity are nurtured
  • Technological solutions that enhance the employee experience
  • Do we need to rethink the roles, structure, programs and strategies that we use in HR?

Rob Phipps, Chief People Officer, KFC SOPAC


Big data: using AI to leverage all of your human capital data

The field of sentiment analysis also known as emotion AI, analyses people’s emotional tone. This session will explain how sentiment analysis can be used in a human capital management context.

  • How sentiment analysis can be used to reveal the undertones of your organisation
  • How it helps to visualise real-time data and predict how employees are tracking and interacting
  • What other AI-based tools can help generate insights

Rob Bromage, CEO, intelliHR

12:15pm Answering the call: The business case for stronger diversity and inclusion programs at PwC

Most executive teams now recognise the importance of diversity and inclusion programs to strengthen corporate reputation, employee brand, employee wellbeing and innovation. ThiS session will explore:

  • 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

Victoria Park, Diversity and Inclusion Program Director, PwC

1:00pm Networking Lunch
2:00pm INTERVIEW: Leading HR through complex and changing times

In this interview, CHRO of Santos, Joanne Fox, will share her insights with HRD editor Iain Hopkins. The session will cover:

  • What human capital requirements will we have in 2020?
  • What should leadership development programs look like today?
  • Managing complexity, facing uncertainty and motivating a workforce through a times of volatility

Joanne Fox, CHRO, Santos

2:15pm LEGAL UPDATE: The legal aspects of driving a high-performance culture

As HR directors, we often talk about having a high-performance culture but we don’t often talk about the challenges and legal hurdles that we encounter as we’re trying to change our culture.

  • Auditing your workplace culture
  • Recruiting, promoting and dismissing around a high-performance culture
  • Can you terminate someone for culture fit?
  • Effective and legally-defensible strategies for introducing a high-performance culture
  • What are the legal challenges of implementing cultural reform?

Joydeep Hor, Managing Principal, People + Culture Strategies

3:00pm KEYNOTE: The 21st century HRD - What do CEOs and boards expect?

Ann is Executive Chairman of Carnival Australia, the largest cruise ship operator in Australasia. Prior to this, Anna was with Westpac for 12 years in roles including CEO of Westpac New Zealand, CEO Bank of Melbourne and Group Executive People & Performance. In 2004, Ann was awarded an Order of Australia for her contribution to the Australian community through the promotion of corporate management policies and practices that embrace gender equity, social justice and work and family partnerships. Be inspired by this successful business leader’s rise to the top and pathway from HRD to CEO.

Ann Sherry, Executive Chairman, Carnival

3:15pm Afternoon refreshments & networking break

CASE STUDY: Building a pipeline of future leaders

Find out how to create a leadership and learning platform that delivers for future leaders. This workshop will give you valuable insights into how to build, develop and empower future leaders in your workplace.

  • Importance of self-leadership and learning for future leaders
  • Communication and feedback skills are the keys for future leaders; why is it lacking?
  • Why leadership development needs to be delivered differently

Sonia McDonald, CEO & Founder, Leadershiphq

4:30pm Networking Event

DAY TWO: Thursday 15 March 2018

8:30am Registration opens
9:00am Opening remarks from the Chair

Melissa Armstrong, Head of Academy, Harcourts International Ltd

9:10am PANEL DISCUSSION: The future of HR: How can we capitalise on the progress that HR has made?

As businesses have been transforming and becoming more complex, the HR profession has been changing and up-skilling to help workforces deal with these changes. While great progress has been made in data analytics and change leadership, we need to continue to capitalise on our progress.

  • The future role of people skills in an increasingly automated workforce
  • Is traditional, transactional HR now dead?
  • What will HR’s role be in the core areas of attracting, engaging, retaining and developing employees?


Andrew Blakemore, General Manager and Co-head, Human Resources, Stockland Property Group

Simone Blumberg, Head of People, SunSuper

Trudie Harriman, Head of Human Resources, Qantas

Alison Merner, General Manager, HR ANZ, Big W


Arabella Macpherson, Director, Resonate Communications

10:00am Truth to power: C-Suite and boardroom dynamics and executive skills for today’s HR leader

Hear from Cathy Doyle, head of HR at rural bank and agribusiness finance leader Rabobank as she weighs in on the practical realities of strategy-making, conflict resolution and alliance-building in the c-suite and the boardroom.

  • 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

Cathy Doyle, Group Executive, Human Resources and Corporate Affairs, Rabobank

10:45am Morning refreshments & networking break
11:15am Leading organisational capability and workforce strategy in the public sector

Hear how a NSW Government Department 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
  • Exceeding targets for women in senior roles

Kerrie Field, Former Executive Director, People and Culture, Government and Corporate Services, Department of Finance, Services and Innovation


HR SPOTLIGHT: What I know for sure about HR: Reflections on the global HR profession

Nada George, VP, HR - Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia & the Philippines, American Express

12:15pm CASE STUDY: The key to transformational leadership at Simplot
  • Defining your role within a change initiative
  • Understand the complexities involved with the process of change
  • Creating a vision to guide the change through inspiration
  • Gain trust and take action to implement new initiatives

Sue Smith, Executive Director Human Resources and Transformation, Simplot Australia

1:00pm Networking lunch
2:00pm WORKSHOP: Neuroscience of decision making for today's leaders

Business and HR leaders today need the mental flexibility to understand how to make the best decisions in organisations adapting to massive disruptions

  • Understand key anatomy brain structures related to decision-making and between thinking and emotion structures
  • Interpret core brain functions and what impacts effective decision making. Build peak mental performance strategies and understand how prioritising, brain breaks, multi-tasking, reflection time and mindfulness impact decision making
  • The 'threat-reward" response, why change is hard and created threat and how to overcome it with a 30-second circuit breaker
  • How to maximise our creative and cognitive problem-solving using insights to solve everyday challenges

Kristen Hansen, Director, EnHansen Performance

2:45pm WORKSHOP: The art of leading in an overwhelming world

In a world of disruption, technology, and multi-million dollar transformations, we're also grappling with hashtags, jargon and a thousand initiative du jour. In this age of Emergent Leadership, how can HR navigate a path that is deeply relevant to employees and to business, and possibly even to society as a whole.

  • Putting your finger on the pulse of the most relevant social change
  • Tailoring your approaches to deal with disruptions, but create the right ones
  • Working with technology to deliver human friendly experiences
  • Helping employees develop emotional agility, resilience and optimism

Rhonda Brighton-Hall, Founder and CEO,

3:30pm Conference concludes

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