DAY ONE: Wednesday 14 March 2018

8:00am Registration opens

Introduction from the Chairperson

Joe Murphy, Managing Director, Australian Business Lawyers & Advisors


Welcome from the Event Partner

Danny Lessem, Chief Executive Officer, ELMO Cloud HR & Payroll

9:15am KEYNOTE: A long way home

Hear the gripping real-life story that inspired the Oscar-nominated film Lion.

Saroo Brierley, Best-selling author

Mr Saroo Brierley appears by arrangement with Saxton Speakers Bureau.

10:15am HR SPOTLIGHT: What really motivates people today?

Kynan Newswan, Head of Performance and Reward, AMP Capital

10:30am Morning refreshments & networking break

Unlearning change, Re-learning transformation

Learning to manage change has become pseudoymous with managing the status quo and this has resulted in leaders' response to change as being cause and effect - 'if this - then that'. This narrow learning perspective often cheats the prospect of innovation and squeezes transformative thinking into a set of linear, familiar change-related outcomes.

  • Re-learn a point of reference to critically reflect meaning
  • Learn how to deconstruct incremental change
  • Develop disruptive breakthrough big thinking that will lead to transformation

Wesley Payne McClendon, Global Transformation Executive & Thought Leader, McClendon Research Group, Inc.


LEGAL UPDATE How to manage difficult employee exits

Redundancies are one of the easier types of termination. Terminations for misconduct and persistent poor performance are slightly more challenging. But what happens when you want to terminate someone’s employment for being a poor cultural fit or interpersonal behaviours?

  • What makes a good employee “good”?
  • Are your values and principles relevant from a legal perspective?
  • How to help line managers deal legally with cases of “bad cultural fit”
  • When can you terminate an employee for interpersonal reasons?
  • Tips for keeping employment contracts tight

Joydeep Hor, Founder & Managing Principal, People & Culture Strategies

12:30pm The eternal HR challenge of managing change

We have to accept that with intensifying competition within and across businesses, the pace of change is ever increasing. How we manage change can often determine the sucess of your organisation, and its people that drive it. Let's uncover the following:

  • What role do you as a HR leader play in management of change?
  • How can technology better enable you to accelerate the acceptance of, and implementation of changes in your organisation?
  • What are the ways to increase employee engagement along your journey?

Tim Cincotta, Business Development Manager, ELMO Software

1:00pm Networking Lunch
2:00pm PANEL DISCUSSION: How to become an Employer of Choice - three (very different) best-practice HR strategies 

In this discussion, finalists in the Employer of Choice categories at the 2017 Australian HR Awards will share their insights into creating, cultivating and maintaining a strong and positive employer brand.

  • Creating and cultivating a great employee culture
  • Reward and recognition trends and best practice
  • Real-time learning and development options for today’s learners

Jessica Ciccozzi, General Manager People and Capability, QinetiQ Pty Ltd
Steve Reid, Group HR Director, oOh! Media
Mari Ruiz, Chief People & Culture Officer, BankVic

3:00pm Leadership and Courage: Interview with the Australian HR Director of the year

HRD editor Iain Hopkins will interview the winner of the Australian HR Director of the Year Award about the secrets of their success and the future of the HR profession.

  • The key to authentic, courageous HR leadership
  • How to overcome professional challenges to achieve success in HR
  • The key to achieving buy-in from leadership and managers

Assistant Commisioner Carlene York, New South Wales Police Force, Human Resources Command

3:15pm Afternoon refreshments & networking break
3:45pm WORKSHOP: Advanced business partnering for HR professionals

HR professionals need to provide solid technical guidance with a calm, clear and consistent approach. As the recognition of the importance of HR increases, influencing skills have never been more important than today.

  • The power of influence - convincing managers about the importance of developing their people
  • Winning the trust of line managers and leadership throughout the organisation
  • Conveying messages with authority and persuasion
Karen Gately, Director, Ryan Gately
4:30pm Networking Event

DAY TWO: Thursday 15 March 2018

8:30am Registration opens

Opening remarks from the Chairperson

Nigel Ward, CEO, Australian Business Lawyers & Advisors


KEYNOTE: Creating physical, mental and emotional resilience

Resilience continues to rank as one of the most important skills HR professionals need to perform effectively. In this exciting keynote, go beyond the boundaries of the workplace and be inspired by champion aerial skier Alisa Camplin, Australia’s first female Winter Olympic gold medallist, and how she overcame physical, mental and emotional setbacks to achieve success.

Alisa Camplin OAM, Olympic Champion and Deputy Chair, Australian Sports Commission 


Being a frank and fearless adviser in the C-Suite

It’s the role of the HR director to provide the CEO and executive team with candid and pragmatic advice, even when the truth hurts. This session will explore the role of the HR director as the honest truth-teller in a leadership team.

  • 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 ‘group think’

Meaghan Davis, Head of Human Resources, Australia, Lendlease

10:30am LIVE INTERVIEW: The role of integrity, emotional intelligence and resilience in HR today

A recent HRD Magazine survey revealed integrity, emotional intelligence and resilience as the most valued attributes among HR professionals.

  • How to handle professional situations that test your integrity
  • Tips for building personal resilience in the face of constant change and upheaval
  • Emotional intelligence – Managing your own emotions and working with your colleague’s emotions

Shannan Quain, Head of National Learning and Capability Development, Australian Bureau of Statistics

10:45am Morning refreshments & networking break
11:15am CASE STUDY:  How the National Australia Bank uses HR data analytics and metrics

HR analytics is growing exponentially in importance, with many organisations now developing sophisticated data teams and systems to inform HR strategies.

  • Using analytics to add value to customers, employees and shareholders by showing what works and what doesn't
  • Predictive models directed at improving the employee experience
  • Going beyond recruitment and retention numbers to talent and performance management
  • Can data be used to measure the adoption of cultural values?
  • Turning data into useful information to enable business leaders to make more robust decisions

Thomas Hedegaard Rasmussen, GM People Analytics, Insights & Experience, National Australia Bank


PANEL: Leadership insights from Australia’s top HR directors

In this panel, the finalists of the Australian HR Director of the Year category at the 2017 Australian HR Awards will share their challenges and insights into successful HR leadership.

  • What is the key to success in HR leadership today?
  • How is digital disruption changing the practice of HR?
  • How to lead, inspire, manage and engage a dynamic and rapidly changing workforce
  • Career development tips from HR directors who have made it to the top

Fiona Crawford, General Manager Human Resources, InfoTrack Pty Ltd
Gwilym Davies, Head of People Performance and Culture, Brisbane Airport

Laurence Halabut, Chief Human Resource Officer, Toyota Financial Services

12:45pm FIRESIDE CHAT: Insights from an HR leader

In this informal session, a top HR Director from a leading global brand shares their insights with HRD editor Iain Hopkins.

Denise Hanlon, HR Director, Winning Group

1:00pm Networking lunch
2:00pm CASE STUDY: How Aurecon creates an amazing employee experience

 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?

Liam Hayes, Chief People Officer, Aurecon
Amanda Vinning, Employee Experience Leader, Aurecon


WORKSHOP: Tough conversations - balancing strength with empathy

HR professionals are trusted by management to handle difficult conversations with sensitivity and pragmatism. This workshop will involve practical exercises to build your skills in conducting challenging interpersonal discussions.

  • Handling emotionally-charged situations with professionalism
  • Tough empathy: The ability to have tough conversation while showing empathy
  • Tips for handling unexpected scenarios with combative employees

Anna Wenngren, Human Resource Director AAPAC, Information Resources Inc


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