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

Amanda Sheard – Managing Director, Version Two

9:10am Opening address from the Principal Partner

Robert Bromage – CEO, intelliHR

9:15am HR SPOTLIGHT: This is the future of HR leadership

We are in the middle of a seismic shift in terms of the way that organisations manage their people and HR leaders are at the centre of this transformation.

  • Proactively preparing talent strategies for future needs
  • Thriving in a world of increasing and rapid change
  • Challenging commonly-held assumptions about business and culture

Lucinda Gemmell – Group Executive, People, Virgin Australia

9:45am KEYNOTE: Bold leadership from the top: exclusive interview with a powerhouse HR champion

Forward-thinking leaders  understand the critical importance of HR directors in inspiring people to carry out strategic initiatives. In this session, the Managing Director of Microsoft Australia  will share his insights with our HRD editor.

The session will cover:

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

Steven Worrall – Managing Director, Microsoft Australia


John Hilton – News Editor, HRD Australia and HRD New Zealand

10:30am Morning refreshments & networking break
11:00am The future of work

In today’s landscape, business transformation is not only inevitable, it’s vital for organisations to survive. Disruption, agility, digital transformation, AI, blockchain, globalisation, mobility, talent, leadership capability and culture are all challenging executive leadership teams in their strategic planning and day to day execution. This session will explore the “Future of Work” and aims to provide insight on what executive leadership team’s should be championing to stay ahead of the curve.

Robert Bromage – CEO, intelliHR

11:30am WORKSHOP: Authentic HR leadership

This interactive workshop will help you to create a culture that is respectful, dynamic and resilient, while drawing strength from diversity.

  • Ensuring that the senior management team possess and display the integrity, commitment and values that the organisation promotes and instils in its workforce
  • Setting and modelling the culture, values and behaviours under which the entire organisation will operate
  • Dealing with challenging ethical dilemmas and scenarios that test your leadership

Nadine Castle – Co-Founder & Director, The Culture Group

1:00pm Networking Lunch
2:00pm LEGAL UPDATE: Investigating bullying and harassment allegations & conducting effective workplace investigations

The #MeToo movement and high profile sexual misconduct allegations have elevated the profile of bullying and harassment in Australian workplaces. What HR policies and procedures will effectively prevent sexual harassment in the workplace?

  • Balancing pressure to ‘believe the women’ with employee rights to procedural fairness
  • Step-by-step guide to investigating sexual harassment and bullying complaints
  • How to handle confidentiality requests from complainants during workplace investigations
  • Dealing with false accusations – what penalties should apply?
  • Can HR professionals conduct sexual harassment investigations in the absence of an official complaint?

Joydeep Hor – Managing Principal, People + Culture Strategies

2:45pm BUSINESS STRATEGY: The forces of change shaping Australian business

Today’s HR leader is facing powerful forces that are changing our workforces and workplaces forever. What does the future hold for Australian workplaces?

  • The exponential advance of technology
  • The rise of the gig-economy and its impact on HR leadership
  • What does the future of work look like, and what are the implications for individuals, organisations public institutions?
  • People strategies that deal mitigate the risks of the unpredictability of the business environment

Vaughan Paul – Vice President-Human Resources & Chief Digital Officer, Optus

3:15pm Afternoon refreshments & networking break
3:45pm PANEL: The rise of the fearless CHRO

Successful HR leaders need to balance partnership and support with a measure of provocative action in the c-suite. What value should we be bringing to the table in today’s executive teams?

  • Agitating, disrupting and challenging thinking to promote good decision making
  • Being courageous with calling out toxic behaviours
  • Knowing when to cooperate and when to bring dysfunctional relationships to the surface


Liam Hayes – Chief People Officer, Aurecon

Cathy Doyle – Group Executive HR, Corporate Affairs & Workplace, Rabobank

Erica Traicos – Chief People & Culture Officer, GMHBA 


Ricky Nowak – Author, Executive Coach, Ricky Nowak & Associates

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

Amanda Sheard – Managing Director, Version Two

9:10am CASE STUDY: The vital role HR plays in mergers: lessons learnt from the Tabcorp and Tatts merger 

HR professionals play an active role in the change process by offering their interventions to help ensure a successful merger. Merged together, Tabcorp and Tatts have started a new chapter and are one of the world’s largest gambling-led entertainment groups with more than $5 billion in annual revenues. The merged company is powered by more than 5,000 people and has a presence at more than 9,000 retail outlets – the largest retail footprint in Australia. Hear best practices in change management including:

  • Assist employees with embracing change and culture
  • Identify leaders from both the companies for effective people strategy
  • Train managers on the nature of change
  • Orientation programs on policies and procedures and performance management
  • Identify the skills of people and mapping them appropriately
  • Town halls & Team building activities

Merryl Dooley – Chief People Officer, Tabcorp

10:00am Lending a winning performance management regime: the performance partnership process

  • Aligning your workforce to achieve businesses priorities and stretch goals
  • Driving Accountability for continuous improvement in business performance

Liam Buckley – Group Head of Culture and Talent, QBE Insurance Group Limited

10:45am Morning refreshments & networking break
11:15am HR LEADERSHIP: Hustling for results

CHROs need to be prepared to step up, apply new thinking solve business problems. This powerful talk will give you fresh insights into the role of the HR leader today.

  • Should we wait to be given a seat at the table?
  • Taking charge and championing cultural change
  • Looking to the market, looking within and creating people solutions that add business value

Eileen Burnett-Kant – Group Executive, Human Resources, Orica Limited

12:00pm POWERHOUSE SESSION: The Chief People Officer’s role in leadership accountability

Society is heading toward a greater accountability of individuals for their behaviour than we have seen for some time. The HR leader now plays an increasing role in keeping the executive team accountable

  • Cultivating an open, transparent, and informal communication style
  • Balancing the role of enabler with keeping leaders accountable to corporate and societal values
  • Helping leaders manage to their values

Susan Karson – Chief People Marketing & Corporate Affairs Officer, MLC Insurance

Jane Kelly – Chief Human Resources Officer, Super Retail Group

Interviewed by:

Amanda Sheard – Managing Director, Version Two

12:30pm 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

Zandy FellDirector, The ZALT Group

1:00pm Networking lunch
2:00pm WORKSHOP: Business strategy – building the strategic roadmap ahead

The pace of technological change, globalisation, and the rise of new competitors is rapidly driving the need for organizational transformation to ensure sustainability.

  • Moving away from short-term thinking driven by quarterly performance
  • Expanding the leadership team’s horizons
  • Scenario-planning techniques
  • Cultivating an open minded culture in the c-suite the leverages diverse perspectives
  • Adapting to rapid changes in the business environment

Sonia La Penna – Director, HR Synergy Consulting

2:45pm PANEL: Driving cultural change from the c-suite down

Many boards are concerned about changing the “real culture” of their companies. HR can play a key role in driving these cultural change conversations at the highest level.

  • Delivering the strategic, structural and program-level change agenda for business
  • Leading and executing talent management strategies that support cultural change
  • Providing leadership, support and direction for change initiatives
  • Empowering team members to drive change within the business
  • Ensuring that the culture continues to permeate through the organisation


Sophie Schaedel – Managing Partner, Business Consulting, Quinton Anthony Consulting


Heidi Beck – Chief People Officer, Pacific National

Amy Rixon – Chief People Officer, Frucor

Rebecca Nash – Group Executive People & Culture, Perpetual Limited

3:30pm Directors forum concludes

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

Click here for the terms and conditions. Licence number: LTPS/18/30793