HR Directors Forum 2020 Agenda – National HR Summit

HR Directors Forum 2020 Agenda


Directors Forum - Australian Eastern Standard Time (AEST)

9:00 am
9:10 am

Welcome from the Event Partner

Sue Turk

Managing Director, Australia & New Zealand, Cornerstone

9:15 am

PANEL: Leading through recovery – ethical, transparent and resilient leadership

As we move through the recovery phase, executive teams are defining what’s next for their businesses and reflecting on what has worked and what we have learned in our response to COVID-19. This panel will discuss executive leadership strategies for the recovery phase. 

  • What does good business leadership look like in today’s world? 
  • How to rebuild trust within your workforce 
  • Leadership lessons from the coronavirus crisis 
  • How are Australia’s leading companies preparing for the future? 


Jon Williams

Partner, Fifth Frame


Rebekah Donaldson

Chief People Officer, Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC)

Steve Hill

Group Executive, People and Workplace Environment, First State Super

Ceri Ittensohn

Chief People & Culture Officer, TAL Life

Belinda Watton

Chief People & Transformation Officer, Energy Queensland

10:00 am

CASE STUDY: How ACCOR is leveraging L&D to prepare for the future

As we prepare our workforces for the next normal, HR teams will need to quickly deliver practical, flexible learning to help shape and support the recovery of our businesses.  

  • Aligning your L&D initiatives with your organisation’s business goals  
  • Understand what drives continuous learning culture at Accor   
  • Strategies implemented in Accor to assist employees for future leadership roles  


Sarah Derry

Senior Vice President, Talent & Culture – Pacific, ACCOR

11:00 am

Upskill, New skill, Re-skill – Why your skills strategy needs change.. Now

The post-pandemic workplace will be markedly different, with an upsurge of remote workforces and new ways of doing business. So as a HR professional, how do you respond? How do you ensure your organisation can survive what’s here today, and thrive in what’s to come?

In this must-attend session, Sue will share:

  • Why HR professionals are undergoing a radical rethink of what ‘super-skills’ mean in this environment
  • How to create a new skills strategy that meets today’s needs, as well as tomorrow
  • How to drive a more agile workforce in the face of diminishing face-to-face learning opportunities

Sue Turk

Managing Director, Australia & New Zealand, Cornerstone

11:30 am

Mental wellbeing strategies for executive leaders  

The pandemic has led to a greater increase in reported mental health and stress among employees. With HR leaders at the forefront of every organisation’s Covid-19 response, many are facing some of the biggest workforce challenges in their career. How can leaders prioritise their mental wellbeing to ensure they can continuously support their workforce during this period of uncertainty?

  • Practical strategies to mitigate stress and improve productivity
  • Creating a network of support within the leadership team
  • Work/life balance: how to be successful in both our personal and professional life
  • Tips on self-monitoring mental wellbeing and stress levels

Marlene Tanner

Head of Development, Human Resources, ANZ, AbbVie

12:15 pm

PANEL: New skills for a new world: developing workforce skills for recovery and beyond 

The rapid nature of digital transformation will mean that large portions of our workforce need to be quickly trained and re-trained over the coming months and years. How can we rapidly deploy L&D programs to meet the changing demands? 

  • What skills will your business need in the short, medium and long term? 
  • Rapid-scale workforce transformations to meet new demands and needs 
  • How can capability and skill transfer be achieved in compressed time frames? 
  • Strategies to successfully transform at speed and scale 
  • How can we build our organisations’ agility to meet unknown challenges? 


Ricky Nowak

CEO, Ricky Nowak Leadership


Peter Bowen

Manager Learning and Development, Gold Coast Hospital & Health Service

Bernadette Chehine

General Manager, People & Culture, Cricket NSW

Anjanette Murfet

Global Director People & Corporate Affairs, Accolade Wines

Pip Russell

VP, Strategy, Innovation & Commercial Operations Pacific, Schneider Electric

1:50 pm

LEGAL PARTNER: Employment law considerations for executive teams during recovery

In this session, we will give an overview of the main employment related legal questions and challenges facing executive teams. Focus areas will include health and safety as well as downsizing strategies.  

  • Redundancies and stand downs – legal considerations   
  • Managing contractual obligations and disputes at the executive level  
  • Health and safety obligations of employers during COVID-19  
  • Managing safety risks as we return to work in the new normal  

Joydeep Hor

Founder & Managing Principal, People + Culture Strategies

2:35 pm

PANEL: Your post-COVID HR strategy roadmap – pivoting for change 

HR leaders are uniquely positioned to guide CEOs and executive teams through the recovery and reinvent and reshape their organizations to succeed in the ‘new normal’. But what does HR strategy-making look like in today’s uncertain world? 

  • Executive strategy in rapidly changing business conditions 
  • Reinventing the concept of formal talent strategy-making process in the ‘new normal’ 
  • Guiding executive teams through ambiguity   
  • How to build and execute strategy in an uncertain world 
  • What does a digital first, adaptable HR strategy look like? 


Adam Hall

Strategic Talent Management & Culture Expert, Willis Towers Watson


Lisa Burquest

Chief People, Safety and Sustainability Officer, The a2 Milk Company

Allyson Carlile

Head of People & Culture, MetLife

Tanya Southey

Chief People & Culture officer, Vicinity Centres

Erika Takahashi

Human Resources Vice President – Australasia, Mastercard

9:10 am
9:15 am

Welcome from the Event Partner

Sue Turk

Managing Director, Australia & New Zealand, Cornerstone

9:20 am

PANEL: Communicating your post-COVID culture 

What culture do you want to create and cultivate to ensure your long-term survival? This panel will discuss internal communications strategies to build resilience, flexibility and agility as we move through the recovery phase and beyond.  

  • What role should the CEO and executive team play in ongoing internal communications?  
  • Communicating rapid change to your workforce  
  • Providing clear direction during uncertain and unpredictable times   
  • How to help your workforce to thrive in the new normal  
  • How to engage middle managers in your transformation programs  


Jon Williams

Partner, Fifth Frame


Vanessa Hicks

HR Director, Vodafone

Mary Lemonis

Chief People Officer, REA Group

Katie McGrath

Chief People and Culture Officer, Seven West Media

Kelly Parmenter

HR Director, Foxtel

10:05 am

Proving the value of adaptive learning in a global firm 

Peter Fox, Global Head of Digital Learning and Talent Technology, is leading the transformation of Citi’s global learning function into a user-focused learning experience that delivers demonstrable value and ROI. Live streamed from the USA, Peter will share how you can determine the value of L&D investments. 

  • Understanding the difference between linear vs. adaptive learning
  • Identifying various types of learners to determine your L&D approach
  • Key points to consider before investing in L&D programs

Peter Fox

Global Head of Digital Learning and Talent Technology, Citi Group

11:20 am

INTERVIEW: Gender equality in a post-COVID world 

Gender equality will still be an important consideration in corporate strategy in 2020 and beyond. 

In this conversation, Annika Freyer will join James Fazzino in a conversation about the enduring importance of gender diversity at all levels of an organisation. 


Annika Freyer

CEO, Male Champions of Change

In conversation with:

James Fazzino

Chairman, Manufacturing Australia, Convenor of Male Champions of Change

11:45 am

WORKSHOP: How to support your CEO through the recovery phase

The pandemic called on CEOs to operate in crisis mode to save their companies. With adrenaline now starting to run out, HR leaders can play a critical role in supporting their CEOs for success.  This workshop will equip you with practical skills to help your CEO to manage the workforce while preparing for the future. 

  • What is keeping your CEO up at night? 
  • What should your CEO be focusing on right now? 
  • How can CEOs increase their resilience for a long and difficult journey?  
  • How can HR directors effectively support CEOs to lead to recovery? 

Joanna Geysen

Director, The Culture Group

12:20 pm
1:10 pm

HR spotlight: Telling stories through real-time data

During the crisis with such rapid changes and decision-making, HR teams really learned the importance of real-time data. Darren will share his insight into the use of data for HR decision-making.  

  • Making connections across data and information to inform successful decision making  
  • Using real-time data and analytics to influence stakeholders at all levels  
  • How to shape data into a narrative to help reveal findings, trends or underlying patterns  
  • Using visualisations to explain how and why HR data changes over time  
  • How can we use data to think differently about the employee experience?  

Darren Fewster

Executive Director, HR Shared Services, Telstra

1:50 pm

INTERVIEW: Executive skills for today’s HR leader

Hear from Jane Hollman on the practical realities of ethical leadership, crisis management and dynamic decision-making in the c-suite and the boardroom.   

  • Negotiating and influencing skills for HR leaders in the executive team  
  • Creating unity while encouraging diversity of thought in the executive team  
  • Guiding the executive team through crisis situations and ethical dilemmas   


Interview by John Hilton, News Editor, HRD Magazine

Jane Hollman

Chief People & Culture Officer (Interim), AIA

2:10 pm

CASE STUDY: Leading agile career development strategies for an uncertain future

Since the start of the pandemic, many organizations quickly reshaped and redeployed their teams. Agility became the ‘new normal’. How can we maintain agility to continuously evolve while still meeting our team's need for certainty and advancement opportunities?  

  • How can we develop talent in rapidly changing agile organisations?   
  • Moving talent around the organisation to suit changing business priorities   
  • Taking an agile mindset to support and guide new projects 

Raechel Gavin

Group Executive, People and Culture, Quantium

2:45 pm
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